I’ve just written a post on introducing babies to solid food. It’s been inspired by the recent publication of the EAT study – looking at introducing food before six months and the effect it has on allergies.
It’s a bit long, sorry!
My conclusion is that the science is complicated and conflicted and you have to look beyond allergies. While there’s some evidence that introducing food between four and six months might be best in terms of preventing some allergies and autoimmune diseases, this needs to be balanced with the benefits of six months exclusive breastfeeding. If you formula feed, it’s a bit more complicated as there’s not much science available. Regardless, there are so many other things that impact on allergies, it’s very hard to untangle. Every baby is an individual, but we knew that anyway, right?
I don’t think the UK guidelines will change any time soon, as the science is not strong enough, and if the government say four to six months, they risk slipping back to the very early weaning seen in the 1970s.
When did you introduce solids? Do you think it had any impact on your child? Would you do the same again?
I plan to cover the science of breast feeding and formula feeding, and how solids are introduced (Baby Led Weaning for example) some other time.