BOSTON (CBS4) – A new study finds giving babies solid foods any earlier could have a big impact on their weight.
Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston looked at nearly 900 children and found if food was introduced to bottle fed babies too early, the child could be at increased risk for obesity.
“Formula fed infants were at a six-fold increased risk of developing obesity if they were introduced to solid foods before four months of life,” said Dr. Alanna Levine, Pediatrician and Contributor for Babycenter.com.
The research re-enforces what pediatricians already recommend, but about a quarter of babies in the US are getting solids before they’re four months old. Doctors say the key is to clear up misconceptions since many parents think babies on solids sleep better.
“Children don’t need solid food prior to four months. The breast milk and the formula is really enough for them,” Levine said.
Kristan Bridges breastfed her baby and says she didn’t find any need to introduce foods before four months.
“I just didn’t feel that he needed it. He seemed satisfied,” Bridges said.
She hopes getting him off on the right foot as a baby will keep him fit for life.
Researchers say introducing solids between four and six months doesn’t seem to matter too much with breast-fed babies, but with bottle fed infants the age seems to matter a great deal.