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
Health Woes Hit 1 in 7 Babies Exposed to Zika in U.S. TerritoriesTo Combat Childhood Obesity, Start at Birth … or Even BeforeBreast-Feeding Suffers in Homes With Smokers: StudyHomeless Babies Face Lasting Health RisksHealth Tip: When Small Children Play Near WaterWhy Choo-Choo is Better for Baby's Language Skills Than TrainDrinking While Breast-Feeding May Dampen Child's Brain DevelopmentAre You Car Seat Savvy?Food Allergies Less Severe in Infants: StudyMany Young Kids Not Screened for Developmental DelaysHealth Tip: Recognizing Hearing Loss in InfantsWant Good Sleep for Baby? Food May Be KeyA-C-T to Prevent Hot Car TragediesLook Before Locking: Protect Your Child From a Hot Car TragedySmart Steps for a Safe NurseryMom's Voice: The Sleep Secret for Babies in Intensive CareHealth Tip: Soothing Baby During TeethingClean Skin, Hands Critical for 'Kangaroo Care' for PreemiesAmericans' Obsession With Sugar Starts in InfancyNo Safety Concerns With DTaP Combo Vaccine for Kids: StudyFish Oil May Protect the Youngest HeartsCould Early Birth Hinder Adult Success?Health Tip: When Baby Spits UpTreatment for Teething Pain Poses Serious Health Threat: FDAFetal Growth, Maternal Anger Impact Infant RegulationInfants Know Real 'Baby Talk' When They Hear ItOpioid Crisis Means More Newborns With Hepatitis C, But Few Get TestedCCHD Newborn Screening May Detect Other DiseasesHealth Tip: Prevent Hand, Foot and Mouth DiseaseMultiple Anesthesia Exposures Affect Learning and AttentionHealth Tip: Milestones to Look for by Age 5Anesthesia Doesn't Seem to Harm Child's IQ: StudyHealth Tip: Prevent Poisoning at HomeHeath Tip; How to Introduce Your Child to PeanutsHealth Tip: When to See a Doctor for Cradle CapZika Infection After Birth May Require Long-Term Follow-UpRear-Facing Car Seats Protect Tots in Crashes From Behind: StudyBabies Given Certain Meds May Have Higher Odds for Allergies LaterHealth Tip: Which Car Seat Should Your Child Use?Baby Sitters, Relatives Often Unaware of SIDS RiskReading With Your Toddler Boosts More Than Just Language SkillsHealth Tip: Treat Diarrhea in Young BabiesNew Moms Still Wary of Exposing Infants to PeanutsHealth Tip: Use a High Chair SafelyPoison Prevention at HomeGenetic Heart Defects Rarely the Cause of SIDS, Research ShowsVaccine Exposure in First 23 Months Has No Adverse ImpactMechanical Heart Valve Approved for NewbornsMom's Immune System May Affect Baby's BrainVaccines Don't Weaken Babies' Immune Systems: Study
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.