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Mums giving babies solid foods later:

More mums are giving babies solid foods later in line with expert health advice.
By Motherpedia
Date: April 26 2013
Editor Rating:
baby-feeding

Australian mums have been given a tick of approval when it comes to choosing the right time to give their babies solid foods. 

The University of Queensland'sCentre for Mothers & Babies (QCMB) says there has been a dramatic decrease in the rate of the early introduction of solids, which is in line with current health recommendations. 

Researcher Dr Wendy Brodribb said the results complemented recommendations of the World Health Organisation and the National Health and Medical Research Council that solids should not be given to babies until around six months. 

“Since the recommended time for the introduction of solids in Australia changed in 2003 to being six months, there has been a significant reduction in the proportion of infants given solids by 17 weeks,” she said. 

“Ten years ago, 44% of infants at 17 weeks had been given solids compared with 8.6% in our study.” 

Dr Brodribb said it was pleasing to see these changes, as health professionals agreed other foods and fluids should not be introduced to either breast or formula-fed infants before 17 weeks because of an increased risk of infection, obesity and allergy. 

She said although many Australian women were still introducing solids before the recommended six months of age (56% at five months), this figure was also much lower than in 2001 when 88% of infants had received solids by 26 weeks. 

The study also found a correlation between solids and water. Dr Brodribb said the study found that if babies were given water early in their life, they were more likely to be given solids as well. 

The research, which was published in the Journal of Human Lactation, is based on data from QCMB’s biannual survey of thousands of Queensland mums.

* * *

Read about the latest infant feeding guidelines from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

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