Babies Given Solid Foods Sooner May Sleep Better, Study Shows

12 Julio, 2018, 04:42 | Author: Earnest Bishop
  • Feeding your baby solids early may help them sleep, study suggests

The World Health Organisation (WHO), the American Academy of Pediatrics and other groups recommend exclusive breastfeeding for an infant's first six months, after which solids can be introduced.

They performed a secondary analysis of the Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) trial, which was originally created to examine the effects of early food introduction on the development of food allergies.

Feeding babies solids from three months improves their sleep, according to a study that contradicts NHS advice.

"We believe the most likely explanation for our findings of improved sleep is that that these babies are less hungry" said Lack, adding that solid foods might mean less regurgitation or greater feelings of being full.

The study by King's College London and St George's, University of London looked at 1303 three-month-olds and divided them into two groups.

One group was encouraged to exclusively breastfeed for around six months.

The findings provide some solid data to back up the long-held belief that feeding infants solid food helps them sleep better, Dr Jae Kim, a neonatologist at of the University of California San Diego and the Radey Children's Hospital of San Diego, told Reuters Health in a phone interview.

The differences between the groups peaked at six months, with the group fed solids early sleeping for a quarter of an hour longer per night (almost two hours longer per week) and waking less frequently - 1.74 times a night rather than twice a night.

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That report knocked away one of the main justifications for delayed introduction of solids, and past year health authorities in the USA changed their guidance by recommending the most at-risk children should be given peanuts as early as four months.

The new data come from the EAT study, which involved 1,303 infants and was created to investigate whether introducing solid foods earlier might help prevent food allergies. Early introduction of solids could cause harm in infants who aren't developmentally ready to chew and swallow, he explained, while starting solids can also lead to earlier weaning, reducing the benefits of breastfeeding.

One group was breastfed for six months while the other was given solid foods in addition to breast milk from the age of three months. "Given that infant sleep directly affects parental quality of life, even a small improvement can have important benefits".

Experts say women should still heed this recommendation, although it is under review.

She said: "These are interesting findings from a large randomised controlled trial". If there is any doubt about what's best for your baby, please seek advice from your doctor or health professional'.

The NHS and World Health Organization now advise to wait until around six months before introducing solid foods, but these guidelines are now under review.

"However, the evidence base for the existing advice on exclusive breastfeeding is over 10 years old, and is now being reviewed in the United Kingdom by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition".

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