This is probably the most common misunderstanding of supplementary food addition-start adding supplementary food strictly according to the month card.
A few years ago, pediatric experts in the United States indeed recommended adding complementary foods in about 4 months. But since the end of the 1990s, according to the latest research conclusions, experts have changed their positions. The current position of the American Academy of Pediatrics is: It is recommended that breastfed babies should not start eating solid foods before 6 months. The consistent view of the International Breast Milk Association is that babies from birth to 6 months of age can get all the nutrients they need for growth by relying on exclusive breastfeeding. Any supplementary foods, including water, are not needed and should not be added.
Whether you should add complementary foods is not based on the month card, but whether your baby is ready to receive complementary foods. The International Breast Milk Association advises mothers to observe a few signs of "ready":
1. The baby has the ability to express rejection, that is, when the baby does not want to eat, he closes his mouth and turns his head to tell his mother "I don't want it!" If the baby does not have this ability, you are just trying to say to a baby who cannot resist you. Fill his mouth with what he doesn't need.
2. The baby can sit by himself without support, and his neck can stand upright.
3. The baby's tongue pushing and vomiting reflex disappears, and the baby has the ability to swallow.
4. The baby shows great interest in eating for adults and can reach out and grab the food.
Adding supplementary foods too early can harm your baby's health without any benefit. The most common harms are the following:
1. The baby's immune system is very fragile. Adding solid foods too early can easily cause allergies. When the time is right to add supplementary food, the baby is able to accept it. Otherwise, it may cause the baby to be allergic to certain foods for a lifetime.
2. The baby's digestive system and kidney function are not yet sound. Adding solid foods too early will add unnecessary burdens and bury potential health risks in the future.
3. The nutrition of solid food is far less complete than breast milk. Breast milk is specially made according to the baby's physical needs and contains complete proteins, vitamins, minerals, immune factors and so on. The addition of solid foods will inevitably cause the baby to reduce the intake of breast milk, thereby destroying the nutritional balance.
6 months is not an absolute bottom line. Some premature babies or babies with allergies refuse or cannot accept complementary foods due to physical reasons. They rely solely on breastfeeding for eight or nine months or even longer. They are also well-nourished and grow up steadily. . In fact, until the beginning of the last century, the vast majority of babies were completely breastfed before one year of age.