Babies who eat solid foods earlier sleep better, study finds

12 Juillet, 2018, 04:38 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Feeding your baby solids early may help them sleep, study suggests

Gideon Lack, who is a professor at King's College from London said that the outcome of this study showed that giving solid foods to babies really helps them sleep better.

In the other group, the children were breastfed AND given some solid foods such as peanuts, eggs, and wheat from 16 weeks of age.

A total of 94 per cent (1,225) of them completed the three-year questionnaire, among which 608 from the exclusive breastfeeding group, and 607 from the early introduction of food group.

Babies given solid food plus breast milk from three months sleep better than those who are exclusively breastfed, according to a new study.

National Health Service and National Childhood Trust seem to dispute this claim, with the latter citing a study that found no difference in total sleeping time at 9 months between infants who had solid foods introduced before and after age 6 months.

A new study from British researchers published this week in JAMA Pediatrics supports what caregivers have thought for generations - that some solids in an infant's diet may result in a little more rest for parents.

They also found that families in the standard introduction group were more likely than those in the early introduction group to report a small problem (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.05-1.41) or a very serious problem (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.22-2.61) with their child's sleep.

The researchers' findings were limited to babies' sleep duration, not on what is nutritionally best for babies.

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The NHS Choices website says: "Starting solid food won't make your baby any more likely to sleep through the night".

Co author of the study Dr Michael Perkin, from St George's, University of London, said: "Given that infant sleep directly affects parental quality of life, even a small improvement can have important benefits".

Parents have been told for years to delay introducing solid food, mainly to encourage mothers to continue breastfeeding for as long as possible, but also because scientists thought food introduced earlier could lead to allergies.

Professor Mary Fewtrell of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said: 'These are interesting findings from a large randomised controlled trial.

"We expect to see updated recommendations on infant feeding in the not too distant future".

First foods can include mashed or soft cooked fruits and vegetables such as apple, pear and potato, sweet potato or parsnips.

Despite the official piece of advice, about 75% of mothers gave solid food to their babies before five months - 26% of the babies were waking up at night frequently because of this reason.

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