British researchers say weaning as early as four months has benefits

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  • Thread starter mugaliens
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In summary, this article suggests that starting to introduce solid foods at 6 months instead of 4 months could reduce the window for introducing new tastes, which could potentially have long-term effects on a child's food preferences and health.
  • #1
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41071734/ns/health" [Broken].

I very strongly disagree. My son is both healthy as a horse, and far more brilliant than I'll ever be. He was breast fed for 18 months.
 
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  • #2
mugaliens said:
I very strongly disagree. My son is both healthy as a horse, and far more brilliant than I'll ever be. He was breast fed for 18 months.

That's an anecdote, not data.
 
  • #3
mugaliens said:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41071734/ns/health" [Broken].

I very strongly disagree. My son is both healthy as a horse, and far more brilliant than I'll ever be. He was breast fed for 18 months.
I hope you mean that his diet was supplemented with breast milk until age 18 months, not that he was only given breastmilk. Babies should have solids introduced into their diets between 4-6 months, with the breast milk or formula continued for awhile.

I'm hoping this article doesn't actually mean to stop supplementing breast milk or formula cold turkey at 4 months of age, that would be unwise, IMO.

Continue feeding your baby breast milk or formula as usual. Then:

Start with baby cereal

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-baby/PR00029
 
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  • #4
mugaliens said:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41071734/ns/health" [Broken].

I very strongly disagree. My son is both healthy as a horse, and far more brilliant than I'll ever be. He was breast fed for 18 months.

Anecdotal the other way; I was bottle fed--Couldn't tell you last time I was sick or took a sick day, Don't know how smart I am, I'd reckon fairly smart :smile:

Breast milk can certainly be important early on for immune function. I don't think the "later in life" evidence is sufficient to place any bets as of yet. What's probably much more important for "long term health" is that you follow your nose when you pick your mate, helping to ensure a nice mix of immune functionality.
 
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  • #5
Another interesting anecdote in response to:

The study also noted that keeping to the six months recommendation could "reduce the window for introducing new tastes," Sky News reported.

"Bitter tastes, in particular, may be important in the later acceptance of green leafy vegetables, which may potentially affect later food preferences with influence on health outcomes such as obesity," the report said, quoting the study

Interestingly I was just talking about this the other day in my clinical reasoning group when we were discussing parents getting their children to eat veggies, that both of my boys love veggies. Specifically broccoli, while I was on break from school we went to a Max and Erma's and my youngest (3, almost 4 years old) got the kids corndog meal with the broccoli side. He ate all the broccoli (non-buttered or salted) and about half the junky corndog.

They were both bottle fed as well so my wife could get back to school and work. We started them off "kind-of" early on baby foods and with both we varied the foods a lot (not just the sweat stuff that babies eat easy).

Here all this time I thought it was my awesome persuasive prowess as a Dad, now come to find out my kinds just might like veggies so much cause we "weaned" them early and introduced them to veggies early on! :)
 

What are the potential benefits of weaning as early as four months?

According to British researchers, early weaning (around four months) has been associated with a reduced risk of food allergies and improved sleep patterns in infants.

Is it safe to wean a baby at four months?

The current recommendation from the World Health Organization is to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of a baby's life. However, the British researchers suggest that early weaning may have some benefits but it is ultimately up to the parents and their healthcare provider to make a decision based on their individual circumstances.

What is the reasoning behind the recommendation to wean at four months?

The researchers believe that introducing solid foods at four months may help the infant's immune system develop and reduce the risk of developing food allergies. It may also help improve their sleeping patterns, as they may be more satisfied with solid foods and sleep for longer stretches of time.

Are there any risks associated with early weaning?

Some studies have shown that early weaning may increase the risk of obesity and other health issues later in life. Additionally, introducing solid foods too early may increase the risk of choking and other digestive issues in infants.

What factors should be considered when deciding whether to wean at four months?

Parents should consider their baby's individual needs and health, as well as their own beliefs and preferences. Consulting with a healthcare provider and following the current recommendations is also important in making this decision.

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