As every new parent knows (or is sure to find out), that itty bitty new member of the family can create quite a fuss. But relaxing fussy babies with juice (or foods) before they’re ready isn’t the way to go, according to the American Association of Pediatrics.
The AAP suggests that babies be only breastfed until four months of age, or fed formula if that’s not possible. It thereby recommends that solid foods should not be introduced to the child until after they reach that crucial age threshold.
Parents of fussy babies aren’t often following the rules: a new study published in the journal Pediatrics studied low-income families to measure early infant-feeding routines. Nearly 70 percent of the babies were given at least a little breast milk in their first month, and 20 percent drank breast milk only– but by the third month, only 25 percent of the babes were breastfed, with just five percent getting breastfed exclusively.
Also, nearly 20 percent of the babies had solid foods or juice by their first month; by three months old, 70 percent were being fed something (oftentimes fruit juice or added cereal) in addition to milk or formula. Mothers who indicated their baby to be of the fussy variety were almost twice as likely to feed them solid food early on, compared with moms who indicated their child as calm, cool, and collected.
What’s All The Fuss About?
The fuss is that young babies don’t need solid foods or juice– and those foods offer plenty of unnecessary calories. Infants who ate these foods consumed 100 more calories per day than babes given exclusively formula or breast milk, which can cause babies to be overweight for their age and height. Though sweet fruit juice may hush up a fussy baby, setting up eating habits based on mood-treating sweets isn’t a healthy plan for the long haul.
When looking for ways to soothe a blubbering baby without giving them excess calories or age-inappropriate grub, Daphne Miller, MD, a family practitioner and author of The Jungle Effect: A Doctor Discovers the Healthiest Diets from Around the World–Why They Work and How to Bring Them Home has a couple suggestions.
During breastfeeding, look at your diet: stop eating gas-producing foods such as coffee, cruciferous vegetables, and acidic foods. Oftentimes, staying away from dairy can also help quiet the little princess (or prince), too. Also, try giving your babe a couple of teaspoons of unsweetened chamomile tea, which also might help with the fussy mood. Above all, remember that this is a passing phase, Dr. Miller says.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
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