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Dangerous effects of Feeding babies too early And when should mothers know to feed their baby solid foods to be able to take care of their baby in the most perfect way. At the stage when breast milk is not enough to satisfy a child’s hunger, that is when the baby has to eat extra food outside, depending on the different development of each child, this stage comes early or late.

However, mothers often wonder when to give babies the most appropriate weaning food, whether to introduce solids early, the harms of early weaning, etc., all of which will be shared in detail in the article below. of, invite everyone to consult.

Although the Department of Health does not recommend introducing solids before 6 months of age, every baby is unique and develops at a different rate. So just watch for common weaning cues and let your baby guide you when to start.

Signs baby wants to eat solids

  • After a full feed, your baby is still crying and asking for more.
  • The baby doesn’t seem to want to wait until the next feed and becomes cranky or sucks.
  • Your baby used to sleep through the night, now he wakes up to feed.
  • Daytime sleep patterns also become erratic, sleep restless, or wake up early after taking a nap.
  • Your baby looks excited when you eat, and seems to want to reach out for the food you’re holding.
  • You should also note that the earliest recommended age for weaning is 17 weeks.

The harm of giving solid foods to babies too early and when to introduce them to babies?

Create a habit when feeding your baby solids

Transitioning to solids is an important milestone for both you and your baby. It is therefore not surprising that some mothers may feel uncertain about when and what to feed their babies. Establishing the habit of feeding at certain times of the day will help your baby get used to the new diet when weaning.

There are no quick and easy rules when it comes to starting solids, but it’s always better to start slowly. Try starting with a solid meal a day to see how things go. Gradually transition to eating two or three solid meals a day. You may find that the more solids your baby eats, the less milk he gets. However, milk is still very important and it should continue to be a part of your baby’s diet until he is at least 12 months old.

Pediatric researchers say that: the optimal time to introduce solid foods to babies is at 4-6 months, when the digestive function of the intestines and the ability of the kidneys are quite complete, ready for eating outside. milk. On the other hand, the need for minerals such as iron, zinc can start to be deficient from about 4 months of age. Therefore, when the baby turns 4 months old, the mother needs to monitor the baby’s weight gain more closely.

Normally by this time your baby will gain about 150g-200g per week. If you find that your baby tends to be a little slow in development, you can start introducing solid foods right away. But if with only breast milk, the baby still grows rapidly, indicating that there is still enough breast milk, you can postpone the feeding time to the 5th or 6th month. If you ask for food, you can try giving your baby some soup, porridge or fruit, etc. from a spoon. This is also the easiest time to train your baby to eat.

Babies from 7-8 months old will find it difficult to learn to eat solid foods because they are so used to sucking milk. The baby will have difficulty accepting foods with a taste and consistency other than milk, not used to eating from a spoon, etc.

On the other hand, especially in the context of our country, early weaning poses a risk that children will be fed foods that are poor in energy, inadequate, and prone to diarrhea and digestive disorders. Avoid introducing solid foods before 4 months of age.

Here is the doctor’s suggestion for a baby’s powder/porridge diet for the first 2 years (combined with snacks + breast milk or formula):

  • 6-7 months: 1 meal of liquid powder about 100-200 ml
  • 8-9 months: 2 meals of solid powder 200 ml.
  • 10-12 months old: 3 meals of solid powder 200 ml – 250 ml
  • 12-24 months: 3 meals of porridge 250-300 ml
  • 24 months onwards can eat with family

For each child, depending on the body, the taste may be different in time and number of meals.

Harms of giving baby solids early

For many reasons, many mothers give their babies powdered food early, usually from 3.5 to 4 months old. Some people mistakenly believe that eating powder early will make the baby grow faster, strong, and plump. Some mothers do not choose to buy ready-to-eat powder, but use porridge and rice water for their children to practice eating, thinking that they are nutritious and easy to digest.

Pediatricians recommend that babies should only be introduced to solid foods when they are 4-6 months old. It is best to ask the doctor directly about when to start solids for your baby. Some babies born prematurely are advised to start solids later.

If weaning is given early (before 4 months of age) whether it is powder or rice water, porridge, the baby is very prone to diarrhea, vomiting, and raw stools. The reason is that from birth, the baby is only used to digesting milk. Weaning is a “strange food” if you get used to it too soon, causing the baby’s immature digestive system to overload, causing digestive disorders.

Babies who eat solids early, though plump, may be malnourished. Eating powder makes the baby full, causing a decrease in appetite, leading to poor feeding. While flour (mostly starch and some other nutrients) cannot meet an abundant source of nutrients for the baby’s development like milk. If suckling poorly, eating a lot of powder easily causes the phenomenon of plumpness, but in fact, the baby is malnourished, rickets due to lack of nutrients. Eating a lot of flour also causes metabolic disorders – increases calcium excretion in the urine, causing rickets.

Some babies are prone to allergies, if introduced to them early, it also increases the risk of allergies in the baby. Accompanied by allergies are abdominal pain and increased incidence of eczema.

The harm of giving solid foods to babies too early and when to introduce them to babies?

Consequences of giving baby solids early

With the desire that their children have enough nutrients to develop, many parents have “tryed” to prepare food for their baby to eat from the time the child is 3-4 months old. It was a mistake on their part and as a result some children were hospitalized with constipation or diarrhea…

Bringing her 5-month-old baby to the Department of Gastroenterology, Children’s Hospital 1, Ho Chi Minh City, for examination, Ms. Xuan from District 11 said that breast milk was not available, fearing that formula milk was not enough, she bought medicine to puree it and feed it. for you. A week after the mother supplemented with nutrition, the baby could not have a bowel movement.

Thuy’s 4-month-old daughter from Tan Phu district was also taken to the hospital because of diarrhea that didn’t go away after almost a week of solid food.

“I feed him potatoes, carrots, and broccoli that are very finely ground and processed very carefully, but I don’t understand why,” the parent said.

At the Nutrition Center of Ho Chi Minh City, many parents take their children to the doctor or call for advice “for some reason, the processed food is hygienic, but the children who are fed solid foods have diarrhea or vomiting”.

Doctor Hoang Le Phuc, Head of Gastroenterology Department, Children’s Hospital 1, said that he often receives similar cases and the common point of the children is that they are all given weaning food by adults early.

“Most parents have the mentality of wanting their children to be strong, fearing that their children will lack nutrients, so they should feed them solid foods without knowing that their baby’s digestive system has not yet fully developed to accept food. This leads to the baby having digestive disorders,” said Doctor Phuc.

According to Doctor Phuc, when nutrition cannot be tolerated, children often have symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Some babies have intermittent crying, which may be caused by colic.

“The right time to introduce solid foods for babies is when they are 6 months old. At this time, the baby’s digestive system is fully functional to receive food. The signs to know that the baby is ready for weaning is that the baby’s tongue pushes the food out, and the baby reflexively rotates his head in the direction of the spoon,” said Doctor Phuc.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Lam, Deputy Director of the Institute of Nutrition, advised that when starting to introduce solid foods to children, parents should give them powdered food, then pureed meats, fish, and green vegetables mixed with a few drops of vegetable oil.

“Children should not eat too much at one time, but gradually increase from 50, 80 ml to 100 ml of solid food solution in each meal,” Ms. Lam said.

Nutrition experts also recommend that, when feeding children with solid foods, parents should monitor the baby’s reactions to prevent food allergies; Monitor stool to know if the baby has digestive disorders or not, thereby re-adjusting the appropriate nutritional components.

When a child shows signs of digestive disorders, it is necessary to take him to the hospital for treatment and advice. Do not constantly change milk because it can make the baby’s digestive disorders worse.

The reason why you should not introduce solid foods to your baby too early

Children who eat supplements too soon are very susceptible to digestive disorders or diarrhea due to infection, poisoning (by contaminated food and water). In addition to this short-term picture, children may face other long-term risks.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 4-6 months. But in fact, there are still some mothers who do not give complementary foods to their children when they are only 2-3 months old. They believe that early powder feeding will make the baby stronger. This view has no scientific basis.

Supplements are usually starches and other things. In order to digest starch, the enzyme amylase is required. This enzyme is very low in the salivary glands and pancreas of 3-month-old children, the activity is very weak, only 10% of that of adults. The early introduction of powder to children will affect the absorption of other nutrients, leading to health risks for children now and in the future. Specifically, babies who start solids early are less likely to breastfeed, and mothers will produce less milk.

Some studies also show that food supplements such as cereals, vegetables, fruits… can affect the absorption of iron in breast milk. As a result, the child becomes anemic due to iron deficiency.

Taking supplements too early also increases the risk of obesity. When changing the diet, children are not used to it, so they do not want to eat, vomiting, digestive disorders … but gradually the body has to adapt. Amylase is secreted when starch and other foods are introduced into the child’s diet. The kidneys are also stimulated to work more, increasing the ability to filter and excrete. When the baby was acclimatized to the complementary diet, the mother actively crammed it, thinking that the more the child ate, the better. Children overeating become a habit, leading to excessive weight gain. Obesity appeared. If left untreated, the disease progresses into adulthood.

Another possible risk is high blood pressure. In breast milk, the sodium content is low, about 15 mg%, enough to meet the needs of the baby. When eating supplements, the amount of sodium put into the body increases many times, especially when the mother has a habit of eating salty foods. This is one of the main causes of high blood pressure. In fact, obesity and hypertension are related.

Taking supplements too soon can also lead to atherosclerosis. Mothers all want to give their children the most nutritious food without knowing that each age has different dietary needs. Diets with too much energy, high in saturated fatty acids are easy to develop atherosclerosis in adulthood.

Babies who are introduced to solid foods early are also at increased risk for food allergies. A study conducted with a group of children from birth to 3 years of age showed that, in children who were exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months and then given appropriate complementary foods, the rate of eczema was very low compared with those who were exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months. group were fed cow’s milk and supplemented too early.

Hopefully, with the above information on when to feed your baby solids and the harmful effects of weaning too early, mothers will take care of their babies in the most appropriate way to help them stay healthy and avoid unwanted dangers. . Wish the children always healthy and comprehensive development every day and always accompany to get more useful information.

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