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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Start Your Baby on Solid Food Yet


5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Start Your Baby on Solid Food Yet

Many parents are excited to start their baby on solid food. The thrill of preparing food, bonding over breakfast and enjoying a family meal may cause you to start your baby early on solid food.
Pediatricians don't recommend starting your baby on solid food before 6 months of age. If your child is 6 months old, you can read more on how to start feeding him/her solid food here.
So why shouldn't you start your child early on solid food?

Reason #1: Your Baby's Intestines

Your baby's intestines are still maturing. Without proper growth, the intestines cannot filter harmful substances and absorb nutrients.
Between 4-7 months of age, your baby's intestinal lining begins to become more selective about what to absorb and what to eliminate.
This is also the reason why you need to introduce solid foods in a certain order, as explained in our solid food introduction guidelines.

Reason #2: Your Baby's Tongue-Thrust Reflex

Your baby is naturally blessed with a tongue-thrust reflex that protects him/her against choking. During the first few months of his/her life, any unfamiliar substance that touches the tongue is automatically thrust out instead of into the throat.
By 6 months of age, this reflex dimishes to allow the introduction of solid food.  

Reason #3: Your Baby's Safety

Your baby's swallowing mechanism are immature before 6 months of age. This means that the tongue and brain signals to swallow are not yet in sync.
If you introduce solid foods to a baby less than 6 months of age, he/she will be confused to what to do with the food and runs a risk for choking.
Moreover, pediatricians prefer for babies to be able to sit-up on a highchair before they are introduced to solid food to reduce choking hazard.

Reason #4: Developing Allergy in the Future

Introducing solid foods before 6 months of age will make the baby more prone to allergy in the future.

Reason #5: Your Baby's Weight

Studies show that premature introduction of solid foods contributes to obesity later in life.
Your baby begins to develop his/her eating habits from as early as 6 months of age. The brain begins to process hunger and satiety cues.
Babies under 6 months of age who are introduced to food have been shown to have less than optimal satiety brain cues to tell them to stop eating at later stages in life.

Being patient during the first 6 months is critical. Your baby's body is equipped to consume breast milk or formula milk exclusively. It is important to respect this for your child's safety and health.
For more food safety tips, check out our Food Preparation, Storage and Safety section.

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