Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Resources
Basic Information
Infant Development: How Your Baby Grows and MaturesInfant Parenting: Keeping Your Baby Healthy and HappyInfant Safety: Keeping Your Baby SafeInfant Enrichment: Stimulating Your Baby
More InformationLatest News
Gut Microbiota May Affect Vertical Transmission of Being OverweightHealth Tip: Protect Baby from Whooping CoughMany Parents in the Dark on When Kids Should First See a DentistStroke May Not Mean Language Loss for NewbornsCause of Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths Shifts in the U.S.Babies Face Higher SIDS Risk in Certain StatesNICU Family Integrated Care Ups Infant, Parent OutcomesBabies With Normal Head Size Might Still Have Zika-Linked Brain DamageZika Tied to Rise in U.S. Birth Defects: CDCNutrients in Child's First 1,000 Days Key for NeurodevelopmentOpioid Epidemic Also Taking Toll on BabiesHome Visit Program Can Help Prevent Toddler ObesityHealth Tip: Succeed in Toilet TrainingNeurodevelopment Not Impacted by Glucocorticoids in PreemiesToo Many Babies Still Die Needlessly of SIDS, CDC Says16 Percent of Infants Receive Complementary Foods Too Early2013 to 2015 Infant Mortality Rate Varied by State and RaceHealth Tip: Health Tip: Prepare Your Child for the DentistMost U.S. Babies Start Solid Foods Too SoonSpecial Baby Formula Doesn't Seem to Prevent Type 1 DiabetesHealth Tip: Ways to Bond With BabyThe Sooner Kids Learn to Eat Healthy, the BetterHealth Tip: Kids and Window BlindsChoosing Safe Toys for the HolidaysPut Safety on Your Toy Shopping ListSpoon-Feeding Not Necessarily Safer for InfantsZika Babies Facing Increasing Health Problems With AgeNearby Fracking Linked to Low Birth WeightsWindow Blinds: A Silent Killer in Your HomeHealth Tip: Starting a Tooth Brushing Routine EarlyWhen a Preemie Goes Home, Dad Stresses OutState Newborn Screening Policies Cut Infant Cardiac DeathsLock Eyes With Your Baby, Synchronize Brain Waves?Newborns in Pain Might Not Show ItHealth Tip: Childproof Your HomePractice Variation in Treatment for Bronchiolitis in InfantsHealth Tip: How to Clean a Breast PumpBabies Start Connecting Words Early OnHealth Tip: Infant Medication Advice For New MomsHow to Spot the Virus That Puts Some Babies in the HospitalProlonged Breast-Feeding May Guard Against Teen EczemaVaccination Coverage High for Children Aged 19 to 35 MonthsU.S. Preemie Birth Rates Rise 2 Years in a RowDelayed Cord Clamping Not Beneficial for Preterm InfantsEven Partial Breast-Feeding for First Few Months Lowers SIDS RiskHealth Tip: Sleep Train Your BabyACAAI: Doctors Not Adhering to New Peanut GuidelinesHypothermia May Help Newborns With EncephalopathyOb/Gyns Warn Against 'Vaginal Seeding' Trend for NewbornsKids, Don't Touch the Toys at the Doctor's Office
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)

Most U.S. Babies Start Solid Foods Too Soon

HealthDay News
by -- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
Updated: Jan 4th 2018

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Jan. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- More than half the parents in the United States start feeding their babies solid foods before they're 6 months old -- the age now recommended by health experts, a new study indicates.

Introducing solid foods or new drinks too early could deprive them nutritionally, the researchers warned. Waiting too long can also have negative effects, they said.

"Introducing babies to complementary foods too early can cause them to miss out on important nutrients that come from breast milk and infant formula. Conversely, introducing them to complementary foods too late has been associated with micronutrient deficiencies, allergies, and poorer diets later in life," said the study's lead investigator, Chloe Barrera.

Barrera is with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

The study involved a nationally representative group of infants included in the 2009-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Researchers analyzed the food intake of almost 1,500 babies between 6 months and 3 years old.

The babies' parents were asked when they gave their babies anything other than breast milk or formula, including cow's milk, water and sugar water.

Babies who were bottle-fed exclusively or breast-fed for less than 4 months were most likely to be introduced to foods too early, the researchers found.

The study showed that nearly one-third of U.S. babies are introduced to solid foods at the appropriate age of around 6 months.

But more than half start too early. About 16 percent were given complementary foods before age 4 months, and about 38 percent started solids or other drinks by 5 months of age, the study found. Meanwhile, nearly 13 percent of babies didn't start solid foods until they were 7 months or older.

The study results were published Jan. 4 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Recommendations on when to introduce solid foods to babies have changed significantly over the past several decades, the authors pointed out. They noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services expects to release the first federal dietary guidelines for children younger than 2 years old in 2020.

"Efforts to support caregivers, families and health care providers may be needed to ensure that U.S. children are achieving recommendations on the timing of food introduction," Barrera said in a journal news release.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides more on starting solid foods.