Father Feeds 2-Month-Old Baby Crushed Bananas: What Do Doctors Say?
He insisted that his own mother fed him the same when he was a baby, and so, it was OK to feed his own newborn crushed bananas....
“Can my 2 month old eat baby food?” It might be a common question, but these days, the answer is a firm “No”, and that babies should only get breastmilk until they are around six months old. However, if you asked your parents, they might say that light solids are fine, based on their own experience (“I gave you solids when you were two months old and nothing happened to you…”).
It can be a really confusing matter – like this case in Thailand.
“Can my 2 month old eat baby food like crushed bananas?”
Mums and dads, we’re sure that you’ve heard or seen that babies younger than six-months-old can be fed foods like pureed fruit. And in some cases, there’s much debate among parents who know better with their older relatives who might insist that feeding solids to babies under six months is okay.
In Thailand recently, a Facebook user showcases this debate. Unfortunately, at the receiving end is always a hapless baby.
The mum continued to explain that doctors only recommend solids once the baby reaches six months old. Before that age, babies must only be breastfeed.
Upon hearing this, her hubby told her to leave his house and go to the doctor’s, instead. He said that if she believed in the doctor, then she should stay with him instead of returning to his house.
It is understood that the mum left with her baby, fearing that her mother-in-law and husband would continue to force-feed her little one with bananas.
Netizens comments flood the mum’s Facebook Post
The Facebook post has since garnered a lot of comments from netizens.
– The mother did the right thing by refusing to feed her baby bananas.
– I’m a nurse and I can confirm that what the mother did was right. Babies only need breastmilk until they are six months old.
– This is happening too often. We should listen to the doctors!
These are just some of the comments concerned netizens left on the post. And they are right to be worried. This is not an isolated incident. Remember the baby who died after his grandmother fed him baby porridge?
Giving babies solids before they are ready for it can be quite harmful. It can lead to a range of health issues, from indigestion to choking.
What medical experts say
According to Dr. Sutha Auraphairoj, a Paediatric Specialist in Thailand, many parents still have conflicting knowledge on feeding their babies from two sources: hospitals (who advise to breastfeed only) and their parent’s or grandparent’s wisdom (solids are fine before six months).
It’s natural for parents to be confused. After all, most mums learn about how to look after their babies from people one generation above them – their parents.
But when it comes to information about when to introduce solids to little ones, it’s best to listen to medical professionals.
In this case, the doctor revealed that bananas are fruits which are indeed rich in nutrients. However, babies below six months old should not eat bananas or other as it can result in life-threatening conditions for young babies.
What the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends to start solids after the baby is at least six months old because their stomach and intestines are not fully developed before that. If you do feed your baby solids or other non-dairy food, they might experience abnormalities like flatulence, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and even food allergies.
The reason being that their intestinal mucosa is still underdeveloped, causing antigens to be secreted into the bloodstream. These antigens are substances that stimulate the body to create antibodies to specifically target it, which leads to allergies in the future.
In relation to this recent case, Dr Sutha says that there are many cases of adults feeding young babies solids like bananas. Sometimes, this even leads to the baby’s death, especially through choking.
Can my 2 month old eat baby food? Here’s what you should know, mums!
Mums, once again we stress that babies younger than 2-months-old should NOT eat solids including crushed bananas, despite what you may hear.
Babies below six-months-old need to be breastfed exclusively until they reach six-months-old. Breastfeeding will meet all newborn baby food intake and nutritional needs.
If you cannot breastfeed for whatever reason, the only other suitable food for your newborn is formula milk (one that is formulated for infants).
An exclusively breastmilk-fed baby will not even need water. And whether on breastmilk or formula, babies do not need solid foods until they are at least six months old.
Unfortunately however, according to a study published in the journal Paediatrics in 2013, many mothers feed solid foods to babies way too early, without knowing the risks.
Of the 1300 mothers who participated in the study, 40% gave solid foods to their babies who were less than six months old. Half of these babies were fed at four months of age, and half of them were introduced solid foods when they were one month old!
“Can my 2 month old eat baby food?” No – here’s why
There are important reasons why mums MUST wait until the baby is six months old before introducing solid foods.
- Solid foods are difficult to swallow and digest. The baby’s digestive system has not developed fully. Therefore, they can’t effectively digest solid foods, even if they are pureed.
- Solid foods are not as nutritious as breastmilk. Solid foods are lower in the specific nutrients an infant needs to grow and thrive.
- Solid foods introduced too early can lead to several health problems, such as allergies and eczema. Researchers have also found an association between introducing solid foods early with chronic diseases such as diabetes and coeliac disease (indigestion due to gluten consumption) as children grow older.
- Babies will only start growing their own teeth once they reach six months old. That will enable to chew their foods easier.
Mums, we hope that this article answers your question, “Can my 2 month old eat baby food?”Share this article with your friends so that more mums and other caregivers of little one understand the dangers of introducing solid foods to babies less than six months of age.
This article answering your question, “Can my 2 month old eat baby food?” originally written in Thai by Tae Puttirak. It was translated by Kevin Wijaya Oey and republished with the permission of theAsianparent Thailand.
References: thairath.co.th, Cleveland Clinic