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Infant Information Overload

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I was just reading one of the widely reported articles about the worrisome risk of babies being fed solids too early.  A new CDC report states that infants should be fed solid food at 6 months because giving solids any earlier might put baby at “a greater risk for developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, eczema and celiac disease.” Additionally, giving solids may decrease babies’ ability to get proper nutrition since they will ingest lesser breast milk/formula.  The article I read happened to be from NBC News, but they all reported the same findings— the Centers for Disease Control wants you to feed your baby solid foods beginning at 6 months.

I was just reading one of the widely reported articles about the worrisome risk of babies being fed solids too early.  A new CDC report states that infants should be fed solid food at 6 months because giving solids any earlier might put baby at “a greater risk for developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, eczema and celiac disease.” Additionally, giving solids may decrease babies’ ability to get proper nutrition since they will ingest lesser breast milk/formula.  The article I read happened to be from NBC News, but they all reported the same findings— the Centers for Disease Control wants you to feed your baby solid foods beginning at 6 months.

Fair enough.

Like most online articles, at the end of this piece were suggestions for related information readers might wish to see.   I was interested in the title about new research regarding peanuts, fish and other potential allergens being introduced to babies so I clicked.

This article also from NBC News, describes new research from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, which illustrates that instead of the traditional recommendation of waiting until a child is 2/3 years old to stave off high risk allergy foods, “these foods can be safely given to babies who are as young as 4 to 6 months.”

Let me repeat that.  In a research article, suggested by another research article, on the same news platform, the AAAAI recommends introducing solid foods to your 4 to 6 month old.

So which is it?  Can we feed baby at 4 months now? Or no?  What about preemies whose gestational age is 6 months but their adjusted age is 4 months?  And who wins in this clash of the medical titans; the Centers for Disease Control or the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology? Both of these cite recent research and both are obviously first sources.

This is only one tiny example of the conflicting information that inundates us every day.  And while some may think there’s no big difference between “4 or 6 months,” parents of infants agonize over decisions like this, to say nothing of the daycare providers who struggle to keep up with new recommendations that often go against parent’s wishes.

Parents, it is a brave new world where information is power but information can be crippling.   Besides following our own instincts and erring on the side of caution, we must form relationships with our pediatrician and the nurses at those practices and ask, ask, ask any question we have.  In the end, the input of professionals who know your baby coupled with your own parental instinct are two pretty amazing resources that trump everything else.

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