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At what age should you feed your baby solids?

[font=Georgia, serif]Many parents are told by health care providers and in many baby books to begin feeding solids to their babies from four months. In my studies and experience I have always been told that six months is always best. So I thought I would do some research into the matter.[/font]
[font=Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif][font=Georgia, serif]The world health organization recommends that solids only be introduced from six months of age. Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. After six months they should be fed adequate and safe complementary foods while continuing breast feeding for two years or beyond.[/font][/font]
[font=Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif][font=Georgia, serif]The American Academy of Pediatrics supports this and states that paediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breast-feeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first six months and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infections. During the first six months of age, even in hot climates, water and juice are unnecessary and may introduce contaminants or allergens.[/font][/font]
[font=Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif][font=Georgia, serif]So what does this mean for formula fed babies? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that solids should still only be introduced at 6 months. They do not need water or juice supplementation before 6 months, as is the same as breast fed babies.[/font][/font]
[font=Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif][font=Georgia, serif]In conclusion, no solids, water or juice should be introduced to your baby before 6 months of age, whether they are formula fed or breastfed.[/font][/font]
[font=Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif][font=Georgia, serif]This is supported by the:[/font][/font]
[li][font=Georgia, serif]The Global Strategy of Infant and Young Child Feeding.[/font][/li]

[li][font=Georgia, serif]The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.[/font][/li]

[li][font=Georgia, serif]The American Academy of Family Physicians.[/font][/li]

[li][font=Georgia, serif]The Academy of Breast Feeding Medicine.[/font][/li]

[li][font=Georgia, serif]The United Nations Children’s Fund.[/font][/li]

[li][font=Georgia, serif]The United Kingdom Department of Health.[/font][/li]

[li][font=Georgia, serif]World Health Organisation.[/font][/li]

[li][font=Georgia, serif]American Academy of Pediatrics.[/font][/li]

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[font=Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif][font=Georgia, serif]References:[/font][/font]
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