While it is recommended that babies should be on a liquid diet at least until they turn four months old, researchers found that two in five mothers are giving their babies solid foods before they are four months of age, increasing the risks of allergies and food sensitivities.
The researchers conducted the study, titled Prevalence and Reasons for Introducing Infants Early to Solid Foods: Variations by Milk Feeding Type, in more than 1,300 mothers in the US. The study has been published in the journal Pediatrics.
"The earlier solids are introduced, the more harmful it may be to the child. Babies have rather porous guts, so they've got holes in these guts where foreign proteins can get through, and that can set a child up for a lifetime of allergies, or asthma, atopic disease, eczema, et cetera", Sidney Harper, a nurse with the Fraser Health Authority's Baby Friendly Initiative, said.