WASHINGTON D.C. (WUSA9) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics released findings today that show many mothers are prematurely giving their infants solid foods.
It is recommended that infants are not given any solid foods until they are at least four to six months of age. There is great nutritional value in breastfeeding for infants and it is helpful during the developmental stages of infants.
"Prevalence and Reasons for Introducing Infants Early to Solid Foods: Variations by Milk Feeding Type," is the study released today in the April 2013 print issue of Pediatrics.
Researchers gathered data from over 1,000 mothers who introduced solid food to their infants during the first year. Results showed that 40% of mothers were introducing solid food to their children before four months.
While authors reiterate that there are many factors that influence mothers' decisions. It was found that younger mothers who are unmarried and have a lower level of education, were more likely to introduce solid food earlier.
Family and friends who recommend solid foods were cited by mothers as a persuading factor. Also, mothers told researchers that their babies seemed to sleep better after eating solid foods.
Since early introduction of solid foods can put an infant at risk for various chronic diseases, researchers suggest health professionals should periodically discuss feeding recommendations with mothers of infants.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least the first six months of the infant's life.