LONDON — Feeding solid food earlier and not relying solely on breastfeeding for the first six months might benefit babies, a team of researchers say in a new study.
Waiting to wean a baby could increase the occurrence of food allergies and iron deficiency, the BBC reported, citing the study in the British Medical Journal.
The researchers said weaning could begin as early as four months, instead of the current recommendation of six months adopted by many countries, the BBC report said.
The World Health Organization issued the six months guideline nearly a decade ago, and the research team said this recommendation should stand for mothers in developing nations, as access to clean water and appropriate baby food can be limited.
“When you look at the figures, there are a lot of babies being weaned before six months anyway – and that’s probably the most important thing in terms of hard evidence,” lead researcher Dr. Mary Fewtrell, of the University of London Institute of Child Health, was quoted as saying by the BBC.