thread: New guidelines on introducing solids earlier than 6 months.

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Sep 2008
    Melbourne
    3,300

    New guidelines on introducing solids earlier than 6 months.

    I have heard recently from several different MCHN's that they are now saying to introduce solids earlier than 6 months - there was a mention about research showing risk of allergies can be increased by not introducing solids till later - does anyone know anything about the actual research?

    I was not planning on introducing solids till around 6 months depending on signs that DD is ready, but she is already showing some signs (drooling and eating at bottom lip when we eat and reaching for things) - I am not going to do anything till after our UK trip by which she will be 5 months but would be interested in reading above research or info on it.

    Last edited by wysiwyg; September 22nd, 2009 at 07:53 AM. : Wanted to edit to make title a question but can't.

  2. #2
    Moderator

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.
    6,449

    There are no new guidelines according to the WHO and DHS (who set the standards for the MCHN). What happened is one of the baby food companies held seminars for MCHN with one of their paid experts. The MCHN who attended these seminars have taken it on themselves to start changing the advice they give, they have not been formally advised to do so.

    The allergy research is dubious as introducing solids at 6 months has really not been around that long in the scheme of things (ABA has promoted it for ages though) and even when introduced many mums still started solids before 6 months. So it is really stretching things to connect an increase in allergies to the late starting of solids, the increase in allergies has been going on for a lot longer.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2004
    1,547

    Yeah as far as I know there are no official new guidelines. Talk about confusing though! When I had DS only 6.5 years ago, the recommendation was 4 months, so that's what I did. In hindsight, he wasn't really ready for food at that age, but I was a first time mum and I did what I was told. By the time I had DD only 21 months later, the guideline had changed to 6 months. So my girls have had later introduction of solids than DS. Not that we have noticed a difference with the kids, but we are fortunate enough not to have any history of allergies in our families.

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2008
    In beautiful chaos!
    2,335

    Would it depend on if the child is breastfed or not? Annabelle 1st tried solids at 6months but wasn't 'eating' them really till about 9-10months.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2007
    3,734

    My paed mentioned to try solids anytime b/n 4 and 6 months... whenever DS and I was ready.... he didnt seem to think delaying would increase or decrease allergies significantly...
    My MACH nurse mentioned that they are 'less sure' of the 6 month rule now than when I had DS1 (who is only 2).
    For me, I will watch for signs that he is ready and try something small then... I would prefer to start at 6 months for a few reasons - selfish ones - it is less work not to and we are going oseas around then so i would prefer BM only at that point... but if he is ready earlier i will do it earlier!
    It is a bit confusing - I;d like to see the research too - I dont think it is just a seminar as it is widespread... if anyone finds the researcgh pls post it...
    Also now that I have done it all with DS1 i realiose he wont really be 'eating' for a while so it probably doesnt matter exactly when we start - i wouldnt expects real eating for some time anyway!

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Professional Support Panel

    May 2007
    Warrnambool Vic
    1,476

    Hi,

    No, as the otherhave said, there have been no changes to the guidelines and there is not likely to be any. The important thing from the research seems to be that solids should be started while the baby is still being breastfeed. This seems to play an important part in mediating allergy

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2007
    3,734

    Oh that's interesting Barb... thanks for that....
    I will def still be BF when I intro solids so that is great info for me..

  8. #8
    Moderator

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.
    6,449

    It is a bit confusing - I;d like to see the research too - I dont think it is just a seminar as it is widespread... if anyone finds the researcgh pls post it...
    My gut feeling is that a lot of MCHN's where never happy with the 6 month recommendation and as such will quickly jump to anything that does not support it. Also a lot of it is the "mummy grapevine", all it takes is one mum in one mothers group for the word to spread like wildfire. All it takes is one seed of doubt.

  9. #9
    Life Subscriber

    Jul 2006
    Brisbane
    6,683

    The other thing the study showed was that it's best not delay the high-risk foods for so long. So the recommendation is definitely still to wait until 6 months, but that a variety of foods should be introduced at that time - including nuts, eggs etc (unless there is a known allergy or a very high family risk). For some reason many are interpreting this as it's best to start solids before 6 months, but this is not the case.

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Member

    May 2005
    Canberra
    3,617

    I think it honestly depends on the baby. some babies are are ready to start solids at four months, whilst others may still be refusing them at 7 months

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Member
    Add *TripleJ* on Facebook

    Jan 2009
    Diggers Rest VIC
    2,945

    well DS is 4 months and theres no way hes ready for solids i think he might not for a long time yet so its definately true that all babies are different

  12. #12
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Sep 2008
    Melbourne
    3,300

    Thanks for the info confirming what I thought there is no new information saying earlier than 6 months is beneficial - our MCHN said "it used to be 4 months now it is 6 months and there is some idea about allergies being linked to the delay in solids so why not compromise and go for five months" so not very scientific at all. I am in no rush to start anyway, just like to be informed.

  13. #13
    Life Subscriber

    Jul 2006
    Brisbane
    6,683

    The link she is talking about is about delaying the high-risk foods for so long beyond 6 months - not due to solids being started at 6 months. However, the way this has been marketed to many MCHNs by commercial companies is very misleading.

    Recent studies have also shown that there is no "one" thing that is a magic cure for preventing allergies. It is quite complicated and there are a number of factors which contribute. If it was as simple as "change this one guideline and the allergy rate would instantly fall" it would be great - but it's just not that simple.

  14. #14
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2007
    3,734

    yep MR my paed did mention that i should intro at 4-6 months depending on baby and do one food at a time but rapidly increase so that he is having fruit and veg, meat and dairy, eggs etc farly fast... he is on the watch for allergies with J so we had quite a few long chats about it...
    this was diff to last time when the MACH nurse thought i should wait a while for higher risk foods like dairy and egg.