- Dr. Megan Westbrook
Too much, Too soon?!
In the post-World War II era, breastfeeding was seen as primitive, subhuman, and uncivilized. Not only breastfeeding, but even an all-milk diet was considered archaic. The general idea was to get infants on solid foods as soon as possible. A medical philosopher by the name of Levin deemed fluid diets as obsolete and that the use of solids “illustrates the truism that babies are human.”
In the past few years, breastfeeding has come back around and is now considered important again. People are realizing how critical it is for the baby’s development and immunity. However, there are still some of us that want to introduce foods and solids earlier that we should. It’s convenient, right? Well, not exactly. Introduction of solid foods too soon can create problems for our little one later in life such as obesity, celiac disease, diabetes, and eczema. This introduction occurs most frequently in formula-fed babies as opposed to breastfed babies.
A lot of women choose to give the little one solids earlier because a doctor told them it would help them sleep better, or because the baby wanted what they were having, or because the baby was hungrier. Yes, the baby is hungrier! They’re growing at light speed! Just know that the recommended age for the introduction of solids is between 4 and 6 months old. We recommend to start with veggies first rather than starches or sweet fruits. Introducing one food at a time is also helpful to ensure the food is digested well without a sensitivity response.
It’s tough to know exactly when your baby is ready for solids. What you’re looking for is the baby to be able to sit-up and support itself, and for the “tongue thrust” reflex to be gone. If you’re putting foods into the baby’s mouth with a spoon and they immediately thrust it out, then it’s too soon!