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10 Frightening Side Effects of Feeding Baby Food Too Early

In some cases, you worry about the potential side effects of feeding your baby food too early. Well, if this is your case, this article will help you understand those side effects.

When you introduce food to an infant too early it comes with health consequences.

A study was done on when newborns were to start being given solid food. It was found that more than half of the infants were introduced to solid food earlier than required.

This came with some side effects which will be discussed below. Some of the side effects of feeding baby food too early include;

  1. Choking

One of the side effects of feeding baby food too early is choking. Giving food to an infant before four months puts the baby at risk of choking.

According to practicing dieticians from The Biting Truth studies, before four months a baby’s mouth has not yet developed the correct eating reflexes. This could therefore put them at risk of choking.

Moreover, before the baby is four months their tongue reflex makes them push their tongue out when one tries to give them something solid.

 

  1. Obesity/Weight gain

Feeding baby food before four months risks the baby being overweight both when a baby and even later in life.

A 2011 study published in Pediatrics looked precisely at the association between the date of solid food introduction and the risk of childhood obesity.

The researchers looked at how introducing solid food early would affect the rate of weight gain in late childhood

  1. Immune function and risk of infection

A baby’s immune system is not fully settled and is prone to illness that can come from solid food or drink.

Adults cannot be affected by solid foods like infants who are at greater risk of infections.

They are advised to only take breast milk because it does not have bacteria or parasites like solid foods.

Solid foods don’t have the antibodies that are needed to protect an infant from catching infections.

  1. Under-nourished

Under nourishment is another of the side effects of feeding baby food too early. Even nutritious solid foods like fruits, vegetables, and meat only have a fraction of breastmilk’s nutrients in the same volume.

Breast milk  has a lot of nutrients in it. An infant cannot take a lot of solid food because their stomach is very small.

A baby should eat food that is full of nutrients to avoid being under-nourished which is very dangerous for a baby.

  1. Low breast milk supply

For a mother to keep having breast milk a baby must breastfeed. Suckling helps the breast to produce milk.

The more the infant breastfeeds the more the milk is produced.

Once you introduce the baby to solid food their breast milk intake reduces to avoid overfeeding them. It is not advisable because this might cause stomach problems due to eating solid food because there is less milk to feed on.

  1. Diarrhea

Feeding babies early food can cause them to have diarrhea. A lot of fiber or fruit juice adds to the baby’s diarrhea.

Infants’ kidneys and digestive tracts are usually in the process of maturing and are at greater risk of infections caused by germs in the food that leads to diarrhea.

Their bowel movement changes immediately after they are introduced to solid foods early. It’s best to feed the baby water and breast milk until the right time and age.

  1. Indigestion

A baby’s saliva does not have the substances needed to digest carbohydrates. It is only until the baby is six months that they develop these substances.

Thus, before the age of six months, it is hard for a baby to digest carbs in solid foods making this another of the side effects of feeding baby food too early.

Spitting up can be a sign of acid reflux in the baby where the food goes out and back into the oesophagus. This happens mostly after eating and is a form of indigestion.

As much as it’s not a very serious problem it is a cause of concern.

  1. Eczema

Several studies show that introducing food early to a baby can cause skin allergies like Eczema.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases gave out new guidelines in 2010 that promote a viewpoint noting that the introduction of solid food should not be delayed beyond 4 to 6 months or taken below 3 months.

  1. Rashes

Food allergies are very common to the baby but might put a toddler at great health risk.

A baby might develop a rash on their butt or mouth after eating solid food like eggs.

Skin rashes can occur in numerous parts of a baby’s body which is very dangerous to the baby.

It can be uncomfortable for the baby and the mother when these rashes appear.

  1. Diabetes

Lastly, one of the other side effects of feeding baby food too early is Diabetes which is mostly caused by weight and food. Feeding a baby early food can mess with their weight and health.

According to several research, giving solid foods too early may raise the chance of the pre-clinical condition leading to type 1 diabetes.

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Diabetes did a study where 16.3% of mothers fed their babies when they were four months and 38.3% started at four and five months.

Some of the babies that were fed food early showed signs of obesity while others were just fine.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the discussion of when a baby should be fed solid food has been there for a long time. Studies and research started six years ago and they are still ongoing.

They establish that it is healthier to start feeding a baby solid food when they turn six months old. who never breast fed or breast fed for less than four months were likely to be introduced to solid foods earlier than those who strictly breastfed for six months.

Mothers’ milk contains all the protective nutrients a baby needs before they are allowed to start taking solid foods. Iron that accumulated in a mother during pregnancy starts to end after six months. It’s then advisable to start giving the baby solid foods like liver which is rich in iron.

Cereals too are important to a baby because they offer fiber which is important for digestion.

Lastly, every mother should make a point of noting the side effects of feeding baby food too early. This way they do not feed their baby solid food early to avoid some of the adverse effects some of which are deadly.

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