Link between solids before 6 months and bad health in middle age??

Ez - posted on 05/05/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Most health professionals agree babies don't NEED anything but milk before 6 months, but my baby health nurse told me today that if you introduce solids before this time it can actually have a negative affect on the child's coronary and digestive health in mid-life. Has anyone else heard this??

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Emily - posted on 05/05/2009

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Quoting Jenifer:

Early solids does cause allergies - there's no question on that one. But the issue of solids causing obesity or poor health is a little more complicated. I know a lot of doctors buy into this hypothesis (the science behind it makes sense) but I'm aware of any studies yet confirming the connection.


THis is almost exactly what I was going to write. Sure there are many ped.s (mine included) who give parents the "go ahead" at 4 months but I personally feel more comfortable waiting until at least 6 months. It is a biological fact that the mucosa of the intestines do not close until around 6 months to allow antibodies from breastmilk to pass through. Larger molecules like carb chains can get in these spaces and inflame the gut.  I wait not because of theoretical issues pertaining to middle age but because I have made the determination that I feel that in the interem babies should not get anything but milk proteins until then. Obviously I don't parent "by the book"- but by several books and make a determination based on what seems healthiest.

Shelby - posted on 05/07/2009

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well my daughter is 5 1/2 months and she hasnt had anything other than breastmilk and she is perfect. I dont plan on giving her solids until she is 6 months at the earliest. There is no need for it yet. She gets full from milk. I have heard that babies are more likely to have allergies if solids are introduced before 6 months, but this is my first child so I have no experience to say one way or the other. In my opinion it's just up to the mom, if you want to start your baby on solids when they are 4 months go for it, but if you want to wait then wait.

Jessica - posted on 05/07/2009

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I think you just have to go on instinct, the baby will let you know when they're ready. My daughter got her first four teeth all at once right before she turned three months, she could also sit unsupported, and she wasn't satisfied completly with milk. So I gave her very runny cereal once or twice a day, she loved the new textures and turned into a much happier baby.



If baby is content with just milk, I don't think there is a need to start solids. I dont think there is any correlation to bad health in middle age, as there are a multitude of variables, there is no way anyone could test that theory without making a people live in a controlled environment their whole lives. There are "studies" that support every single opinion out there. Health problems in middle age are due to bad habbits that are practiced their whole lives, not whether or not you introduce solids too soon. Teach your child healthy habbits and hope that when they get older they continue to practice them.

[deleted account]

Quoting Melissa:



Quoting Jenifer:

Early solids does cause allergies - there's no question on that one. But the issue of solids causing obesity or poor health is a little more complicated. I know a lot of doctors buy into this hypothesis (the science behind it makes sense) but I'm aware of any studies yet confirming the connection.






Hey Jenifer,






Is this true? Early solids for a FACT cause allergies? Where have you heard this from? Im not having a go, because after all- i dont know anything at all on this subject, just interested is all.






 





I wasn't very clear in my post (nursing while typing....) - I didn't mean to say that introducing solids before 4 month is the sole cause of allergies, rather than it can increase the risk of developing allergies, especially for babies with a family history of them. The majority of babies who get solids early do just fine of course, but it does increase the risk. And some babies are genetically predisposed to allergies, and will get them no matter when they start solids. There have been relatively few studies on this topic (only about 18 or so), and while the results are mixed, well more than half of them showed a connection between early solids and allergies or excema. The studies all used different methods (I think only one was a truly double-blind study) so the mixed results aren't too surprising, but I do take the consensus to be that there is a connection.

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Rayna - posted on 05/07/2009

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I haven't heard that and it sounds absolutely ludicrous. I was introduced to a few solids at the age of 3 months and I am not overweight, have any sort of health issue, digestive issue or otherwise. I started to introduce solids to my 7 week old infant and she's doing just fine. No allergic reactions to anything. In fact, because of a complication at the hospital, she had a sensitivity to cow's milk and soy milk very early on. Now she's 11 months old and has NO sensitivities. She grew out of them! What does that say about the allergy issue??

Shelley - posted on 05/07/2009

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That is BS! I like to think about the way things have always been done. My grandma introduced meat at 2 months old! I'm not suggesting that, but I do think that is just ridiculous. I've gotten a lot of good info from wholesomebabyfood.com. They suggest starting solids at 4 months, as long as there is no particular issue with your child. Check it out.

Jennifer - posted on 05/07/2009

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I started my son on cereal at 2 months and then on solids at 3months, my doctor had no problems with this...I always made sure he had his milk first !! Now he's 4 1/2 and I have a very healthy active child, and no allergies (I have many food allergies) I think you can listen to everyone's advise, but when it comes down to it you need to do what YOU feel is best !!

Shelagh - posted on 05/06/2009

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Fashions come and go. When my two were babies, it was the fashion to put them on to solids at 4 months (and before that, it was 3 months). They are healthy late teens/early twenties now - will it affect them in middle age? Ask me again in 20 years! I think all the food they eat between infancy and middle age will have an effect. I would worry less about the exact timing, and more about the type of food you actually give them. And my son is 6'3" and weighs 10st (140lbs) - anyone would think I'd never fed him at all!!

Cassie - posted on 05/06/2009

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I have 4 children. 3 I gave birth to. All of my children were on rice cereal by 4 months. Now at the ages of 5,9,14,16, none have any nor had any kind of allergies to food. I was told by my doctor for my 16 year old to go ahead start on cereal but my Mom said no you should wait. I didn't know what to do. I was a new mom and scared and really didn't know what I was doing. Then i decided I didn't need anyone to tell me. I was the mom of this baby and I did what my instincts told me. My baby was hungry all the time.Once i started just a little cereal she was satisfied for longer periods of time. I was glad I did go with my instincts. We can all read the studies but we all go with our motherly instincts in the end. As for Obesity, that has not shown up either. As long as you feed your child well balanced meals and don't let them be couch potatoes or video game zombies, you really shouldn't have to worry about that either. Always remember children learn what they live. Show them how to be healthy and they will be.

Mel - posted on 05/05/2009

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if your daughter is doing well and not wanting food yet of course theres no need to introduce solids! my daughter was underweight and still is so i never got a choice what i did with her i had to have her on solids 5 times a day since she was 3 months now shes 13 months and still on a strict schedule. hopefully with my next i can chose to start solids when i found and not have to worry about feeding at all the time.

Your right Jenifer you can go to many different doctors and guaranteed they will all tell you something different. i have had everyone tell me the same time with regards to starting solids but that id be guessing is also due to the fact that my daughter is under weight or they would not have specially told me to put her on it. however with regards to starting eggs i did get one differing opinion my daughters speech pathologist said wait til just before the one year injections, which i have not yet done yet , then i saw her dietician again 2 days later and she said i have to start feeding her scrambled eggs for breakfast and she was about 10 months.

Ez - posted on 05/05/2009

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Thanks everyone for your input. It's confusing when we get bombarded with different recommendations depending on its source, and then that's not even including advice from family and friends! I was aware that starting solids prior to 6 months could have some affects, but this new idea that it could come back to bite them later in life was new to me. Glad others have received the information though. I intend on waiting til 6 months to start my daughter on solids, but understand there are cases where it is medically-indicated to start them earlier (such as two of the cases mentioned in this thread). Luckily my daughter is thriving (97th percentile) and perfect so I see no need to introduce solids yet.

[deleted account]

Don't worry, Melissa. I didn't take your post as harsh at all! I work in bio-chem research, so I do like to read medical literature when I have the time, but by no means do I think I have all the answers - I come here to find out and learn from what other moms are doing and what other doctors think about these issues. I did choose to wait until my son was 6 months before starting solids, but I know that my mom had me on rice cereal at like 2 months old, and yet no allergies here.

[deleted account]

There definitely lots of differing opinions out there about this topic. I got some great advice from both my ped and my mom on this and that was to wait until it was clear that they needed the solids. They said to wait until he was waking up at night and getting more fussy, etc. My son, who had been sleeping through the night since 2 months old and was on a good feeding schedule starting waking at night at about 5 months. At first I would just rock him back to sleep and he was fine but slowly he started waking more often and becoming harder to rock to sleep until one night I think I was out of bed more than I was in bed so I finally nursed him at about 4:30. That day I started him on rice cereal. It was obvious that he was hungry and bf wasn't satisfying him. I think this was a good way to do it. It sucked loosing sleep but I like that I made the decision by watching him and not by listening to research.

Mel - posted on 05/05/2009

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good post Emily yes i agree if there was a history of allergies in my family i would most definately not be introducing such foods as peanut butter. you wouldnt want a little baby that young to have to go through some kind of reaction.

Thats alright Jenifer im sorry if i came across harsh because i definately didnt mean to at all. gosh i vaigly remember the nursing days glad i can sleep my nights through now anyway personally i have not looked at the studies on the net into much detail i have read a little but i never pay attention to when there research was done so i kind of just prefer to ask people :) anyway they are mixed results yes since my daughter has no reason to have any allergies no family history or anything i felt just fine about giving her solids and had no reservasions i mean they also say solids are only for babies with good head control, brianna was still shaky trying to hold her head up at 6 months yet i was given the all clear to feed her early. i didnt feel worried at all just so happy to be trying her on food for the first time :)

Emily - posted on 05/05/2009

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Quoting Melissa:

  My dietician always said if baby is going to have a reaction then they are going to have a reaction whether they have peanut butter at 3 months or a year or whether they have eggs before or after that one year mark.


This is absolutely true. In fact several new studies show that for peanut butter allergies once can actually sensitize the allergic individual to the allergin by slowly introducing the food in verrrry minute amounts- under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital like environment of course. It makes sense if you think about it- I am allergic to cats but after a breif adjustment period I am eventually able to tolerate the dander of my own cats. Now, for a multitude of other reasons I wouldn't introduce peanut butter to a 3 month old personally. Additionally, I think that if one has allergies in the family waiting on peanut butter isn't such a bad idea. Anaphylactic shock is scary and it has got to be so much more dangerous to experience it as a 5 month old.

Mel - posted on 05/05/2009

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see her links she has listed them on a conversation with me previously on this thread. but we all have our own views :) See the other Jennifers post to. i found this very interesting. it does seem its always changing but i do hope they stick to the whole introducing solids earlier thing. i feel strongly and confident on this with everyone i have spoken to. My dietician always said if baby is going to have a reaction then they are going to have a reaction whether they have peanut butter at 3 months or a year or whether they have eggs before or after that one year mark. im not trying to be rude to anyone i respect that im sure you all have different views on this topic

Melissa - posted on 05/05/2009

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Quoting Jenifer:

Early solids does cause allergies - there's no question on that one. But the issue of solids causing obesity or poor health is a little more complicated. I know a lot of doctors buy into this hypothesis (the science behind it makes sense) but I'm aware of any studies yet confirming the connection.



Hey Jenifer,



Is this true? Early solids for a FACT cause allergies? Where have you heard this from? Im not having a go, because after all- i dont know anything at all on this subject, just interested is all.



 

~Jennifer - posted on 05/05/2009

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Well, here's a 2008 study......
(seems like the guidelines change every 6 months, doesn't it?)

In January 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics reversed its stance on delaying the introduction of common allergens like dairy, eggs, and nuts, stating that there was "no current convincing evidence that delaying their introduction beyond [the age of four to six months] has a significant protective effect on the development of atopic disease."

This means that, contrary to earlier recommendations, it is now the AAP's stance that dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and seafood are safe to introduce to your baby at the same time you introduce other foods. As always, however, your allergist or pediatrician is the best source for specific recommendations for your family.

Source:

Greer, Frank R., et al. "Effects of Early Nutritional Interventions on the Development of Atopic Disease in Infants and Children: The Role of Maternal Dietary Restriction, Breastfeeding, Timing of Introduction of Complementary Foods, and Hydrolyzed Formulas" Pediatrics. Jan. 2008 121(1): 183-91. 14 Jan. 2008.

Emily - posted on 05/05/2009

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Quoting Jenifer:

Early solids does cause allergies - there's no question on that one. But the issue of solids causing obesity or poor health is a little more complicated. I know a lot of doctors buy into this hypothesis (the science behind it makes sense) but I'm aware of any studies yet confirming the connection.


THis is almost exactly what I was going to write. Sure there are many ped.s (mine included) who give parents the "go ahead" at 4 months but I personally feel more comfortable waiting until at least 6 months. It is a biological fact that the mucosa of the intestines do not close until around 6 months to allow antibodies from breastmilk to pass through. Larger molecules like carb chains can get in these spaces and inflame the gut.  I wait not because of theoretical issues pertaining to middle age but because I have made the determination that I feel that in the interem babies should not get anything but milk proteins until then. Obviously I don't parent "by the book"- but by several books and make a determination based on what seems healthiest.

Mel - posted on 05/05/2009

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i rely on my daughters dietician, child health nurse and pediatricians and the doctors at her hospital and have relied on them for the past 11 months since she was 2 months old so im only going what all these people have told me with regards to my child i think everyone trusts their health professionals :) im just saying the people that believe that early solids cause allergies are people who have had perfectly healthy children who have not needed lots of intervention from a young age and im just saying because of this intervention i have 24 hour access to all the child professionals so i hear the latest and what is known nowadays. i just listen to people thats all i had no intentions of giving my little girl solids til about 5 months but when i got the go ahead to feed her even peanut butter i felt reasured. if i did not have this access i would have also waited to give my little girl things like scrambled eggs til she was 1 years old so im glad ive had all this help.

Mel - posted on 05/05/2009

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ur right Natasha it does seem to change all the time i think that is why there are some people that still believe in the old methods of waiting til 6 months to start solids. the current research shows that starting them earlier is better and prevents allergies but alot of people dont know this yet and there fore still try and tell these mothers who start them early that they are doing wrong.

Natasha - posted on 05/05/2009

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I fed my son some rice cereal very runny from 3.5 months after he was not drinking his bottles due to teething issues. I told my doctor who just nodded his head and was not concerned. My Child Health Nurse said at my sons 3 month check up to start him on solids at 4 months. Her reason was that in the near future the age to start solids was going to change again as new research was being done. My son is very tall and large for his age, in the top 10% for his age. So this could of been why either were not concerned about introducing solids to him. Apparently every decade the recommended age to start solids changes anyhow..

Bonita - posted on 05/05/2009

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I also heard this, however my children now teens ate table food about 8 months. I made thier food from fresh garden foods & veggies etc. One of the things that kept my children from being over weight was by giving them a meal plan with all the healthy food groups. None of them were overweight as babies or teens, I still serve them the same foods and only some of thier food habits have changed. They eat veggis and like cooking thier own pizza from fresh foods. So, your children will be fine if you teach them to eat right at a young age.

Alison - posted on 05/05/2009

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yes I have heard this too. They are saying babies digestive system is immature before 6 months. I breastfed my baby without solids for first six months and he was absolutely fine. he was ready to eat at six months and sitting up well too. i dont know if it causes any health problems as my first son who is now ten started on solids at 4 months as that was recommended at the time. Best not to rush it and gradually introduce foods slowly and not to bulk them up with food as milk is still important in the 1st year of life.baby will let you know how much he wants.

Candice - posted on 05/05/2009

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my oldest two had solids at 4 months.

neither have allergies and both are a good weight, not over weight, oldest is actually slightly under.

my youngest hasnt had solids yet and is lactose intolerant so i think most of what they say is theory.

im not a doctor this is just my opinion

[deleted account]

Early solids does cause allergies - there's no question on that one. But the issue of solids causing obesity or poor health is a little more complicated. I know a lot of doctors buy into this hypothesis (the science behind it makes sense) but I'm aware of any studies yet confirming the connection.

Mel - posted on 05/05/2009

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no introducing solids before 6 months actually prevents allergies i dont think theres any truth in bad health or we would all have bad health. my babys dieticians and pedi put her on solids at 3 months they said the earlier the better, before this i was like many others and thought i would never give my baby anything til 4-5 months.

Razia - posted on 05/05/2009

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my nurse said that an early intro to solid food could lead to allergies later but she said that i could start my son on solids at 4 months but on a rice cereal and then gradually move to other food types and my son now eats almost everything and i try and intro new foods to him in the mornings to see if there is an allergic reaction to anything ... the WHO says that babies should not be introduced to solids before 6 months but i was told this applies to families who have a history of allergies .... my son still has 1 litre of milk a day sometimes more but he still enjoys new flavours, tastes and textures.

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