Babies

The dangers of giving solids to your baby before 6 months of age


Advice from grandmothers, aunts and friends does not take long when you have a baby. It is appreciated that they want to help you in that great task of being a mother and, above all, when you are full of doubts. However, most of the time they are recommendations based only on the fact that 'this worked for a friend of a friend', 'previously it was done like this', 'I did it and nothing happened', like everything that has to do with it. with the introduction of solids in the baby's diet before 6 months.

Let's forget about experimenting with the baby, especially when it comes to feeding. The Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics defines three periods in the child's feeding:

1. Lactation period
From birth to 6 months of life, in which he must be fed exclusively with breast milk or infant formula.

2. Transitional period
Understood between 6 months and 1 year of age, where the introduction of foods other than breast milk begins progressively.

3. Modified adult period
It ranges from preschool to 7 or 8 years old, when the child adopts a diet similar to that of the adults in his environment.

This classification is not on a whim, it responds to the physiological conditions of the baby's body and its processing capacity as it grows. Nature is wise, and the composition of breast milk adapts to the limitations of the baby's body during the first six months of life, which makes it the ideal food and, preferably, exclusively supplied, during this time.

Up to 6 months, healthy infant has effective suckling but cannot swallow solids yet and their reflex chewing movements will appear after that age.

On the other hand, before 6 months, the digestive system of babies is not able to digest food correctly, their level of gastric acidity is low, also their bile salts and their motility; your intestine is morphologically well shaped, but its biochemical functioning is not yet 100%, so that new foods can generate intolerances or allergies due to their early introduction.

His kidney function is not mature at such a young age, and foods with a high load of proteins and minerals such as sodium, can overload the excretory capacity, creating deterioration and complications in your kidney system.

It is also important to take into consideration the psychomotor development of the baby, since he must be able to stay seated and with his head upright, in addition to the fact that the ability to swallow non-liquid food is established around the sixth month, and it is important that the reflex of extrusion, which is nothing more than the expulsion of solid food from the baby's mouth (which disappears by itself, but sometimes we confuse this reflex with thinking that the baby does not like food)

Additionally, scientific research indicates that the introduction of food before 6 months increases the probability that the child will generate obesity at an early age, due to an excessive and unnecessary caloric intake.

So We must neither advance nor delay the start of complementary feeding, since the late introduction is also harmful, because the baby may present nutritional deficiencies due to micronutrient requirements, in addition to those provided by breast milk, so a final recommendation is that you stay informed and consult all your doubts at your trusted pediatrician.

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