Early Introduction to Solids Helps Babies Sleep
Babies who are introduced to solid foods early have less sleeping issues, a new study has found.
Under current guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatricians, parents are advised to solely breastfeed their baby until about six months before starting complimentary feeding.
However, according to this new study babies do better if solid food is given earlier, alongside breastmilk.
During the research, conducted by experts at King’s College London and St George’s University of London, 1,300 babies, all three months old, were split into two groups: those who would follow a standard regimen of only breast-feeding until six-months-old, and those who would incorporate solid foods along with breast-feeding. Parents recorded details of their babies’ sleep patterns, answering a monthly online questionnaire until their child reached 12 months of age, and then every three months from then until their child turned three years old.
The results? It turns out, the latter group averaged around two hours more sleep per week and there was also a decrease in the number of middle-of-the-night wake-ups.
The authors insisted that improving sleep from an early age would help long term health, reducing risk of obesity and diabetes, while the better babies sleep, the better their parents’ quality of life and mental health.
At Little Foodie Club, we introduce babies from as early as four months to solids with our 21 Days To Solids transitioning plan. However, we always encourage responsive feeding, meaning that parents watch the baby rather than the calendar to ensure their little one is ready for solids.
A baby should be at least four months old and have his or her doubled birth weight before starting solids. Other key signs of readiness include the ability to sit and hold head up unassisted, the ability to keep solid food in mouth and swallow it and not push it out with the tongue.