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Babies fed with solids early sleep longer, wake less frequently
12 July 2018, 03:27 | Rodolfo Wallace
'Babies given solid food sooner sleep better'
Moreover, families of infants who followed the standard introduction of solid food were more likely to report a sleep problem with their children compared to families with earlier food introduction, reported Gideon Lack, MB, BCh, of King's College London, and colleagues in JAMA Pediatrics. Very serious sleep problems, which correlate with maternal quality of life, were reported significantly more often in the SIG versus the EIG group (odds ratio, 1.8).
The researchers from King's College, London, and the University of London admitted it was possible that mothers giving their babies solids may have responded to their questions in a more positive manner, having expected a positive effect, since many parents already believe that the practice encourages better sleep. But the authors noted that the study also included a detailed validated sleep questionnaire that was completed on 15 occasions for the child from 3 months to 3 years.
"Breast milk boosts an infant's immune system and contributes to brain development, so there are also benefits to exclusive breastfeeding for six months", explained Dr. Clare Llewellyn, a lecturer in behavioral science and health at the United Kingdom -based University College London, Newsweek reported.
Lack said a crucial finding is that parents who were asked to exclusively breastfeed had nearly twice the odds of reporting a serious problem with their child's sleep than those who were asked to introduce their babies to solid food early.
"Given that infant sleep directly affects parental quality of life, even a small improvement can have important benefits", says Dr. Michael Perkin, a co-author of the study from St George's, University of London. In one group, the babies were exclusively breastfed until they were six months old. The difference peaked at six months of age, with the early introduction group sleeping an average of almost 17 minutes longer, and persisted after the infants' first birthday.
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It's widely recommended that new mothers breastfeed for the first six months of their infant's life. She suggests maintaining a safe sleep space for baby by using a co-sleeper (which attaches to the parents' bed) so that it's easier for moms to get back to sleep after nursing.
She added, "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". Parsnip, potato, yam, sweet potato, carrot, apple or pear are the example of a healthy food that you can feed it to your baby.
"We expect to see updated recommendations on infant feeding in the not too distant future". The babies were fed a variety, including fruit, vegetables, and grains.
The study on solids was part-funded by the Food Standards Agency, which was also looking at how allergies develop in babies. It can take lots of attempts before your baby will accept a new food or texture.
Current government advice is that mothers should try to exclusively breastfeed until around six months of age. If there is any doubt about what's best for your baby, please seek advice from your doctor or health professional'.
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