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INFANT WEANING;WHEN TO START:

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For parents this is very important to understand during infant weaning that solids/semi-solids before 6 months is not only the recommendation anymore, rather  it’s actually highly advised to not start as it can be risky for the little fragile immature tummies. So many or actually 90% of the times it is a pediatrician recommending the early introduction of solids,due to many reasons and I would say, shame on them!

Here’s what you need to know:

Nutritionists Role In Infant Weaning:

•Doctors and paediatricians are not nutritionists hence they cant say much about solid introduction and nutritional aspect of food for such little infants younger than 6 months or even older. Its a nutritionist job hence it must be left on them only to advice whats best.

Stay Updated:

•Doctors are required to update themselves and keep up with current “research” but unfortunately they hardly do so especially on child nutritional requirements and infant weaning .

Lactation Consultants:

•Mostly doctors are uneducated or have less information about lactation (which is why we have the belief that we are to “pump and dump” after so many things that do not affect lactation whatsoever)

Problems Encountered During Early Infant Weaning:

1•Introducing solids or even semi solids to your infant aged baby that is before 6 months can result in lifetime issues of gastrointestinal upset, sometimes may be iron deficiency anemia, majority cases of obesity, diabetes, or may be food allergies, mood issues and respiratory illness are few commonly reported problems of early weaning.

2•The cells of a infant’s gut are “open” immature in other words until around 6 months of age

Enzymes Unavailability:

•Baby’s bodies lack an enzyme called pancreatic amylase, the enzyme responsible for breaking, splitting complex starches until the molar teeth sets are fully developed, roughly 12-13 months.

Myths:

1•Feeding your baby and thinking it will help them in many ways actually do not cause them to sleep better, and filling them with infant cereal or formula feed(top feed) just before bed doesn’t “weight their tummies,” rather it actually causes their sugar to crash, inducing restless disturbed sleep.

2•Early introduction scadual of solids for reflux is like band aiding a broken bone and expecting it to heal. The flesh, that’s the external outward appearance might seem to be improved in many cases but in real  the inside, which is what you cannot see and is totally hidden, may lead towards irreparable damage and will not heal appropriately even in later ages.

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International Board Certified Lactation Specialist

If you are being encouraged by a medical professional to introduce solids before the age of 6 months as a part of infant weaning programm or for any reason other than failure to thrive, I urge you to seek a second ,third opinion, especially from renown international board certified lactation specialist and consultant.

Summarized Concept:

6 months is the youngest you should start. The guts and stomach linings aren’t ready before that for solids.. Most nurses and doctors will recommend rice cereals but please remember they aren’t much rich in nutrition. Rice cereals only break down into sugars in babies so they are ideally not the greatest food to start with.Rather do homemade cereals such as oats or talbinah etc.Or even start with vegetable and fruit.. The rule is a new vegetable every 3 days to rule out allergies and preferably at the same time everyday so you can see if there is any Reactions and so forth.Also remember that solids at 6 months on wards is just to introduce babies to different textures and flavors. It holds nutritional value but do not substitute it with milk till the age of 1.Milk provides all their nutrition required them to grow stronger and healthier.

About the author

Javeria Shoaib

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