Mother’s Corner: My baby has completed 5 months; Can I introduce her to solid foods? Expert answers
Most of us have heard from our parents and in-laws that one should start feeding the baby solid foods as early as possible, otherwise the baby will grow up to become a fussy eater. However, when is the right time stay a matter of discussion among many.
Here is what an expert says.
Q1. My baby is 5-month-old. My mother-in-law asks me to start feeding her solid foods. What should I do?
Unless there are some special circumstances, the baby should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months, and then the solid foods will be started. Only in low-birth-weight babies, premature babies, babies who are not putting on weight and when there are situations where there have been feeding difficulties from the mother, then there is a case for introducing *early food weaning. Otherwise, it's always six months. In fact, I quote it as 180 days because when it is said six months, most parents interpret it as after five months, the moment the kid falls into the sixth month, they think that is the right time to start food. So that takes away all possibilities of vagueness and ambiguity.
Q2. Can I give my baby water to drink?
If it is exclusively breastfeeding then no water because every 10 ml of water you give, the baby is going to have 10 ml of less milk from the mother. Introducing water unnecessarily will increase the risk of infection. Breast milk has a good amount of water content. So, the water requirements are taken by the breast milk itself.
Inputs by: Dr Phanibhushan, Consultant- Neonatologist and Pediatrician, Manipal Hospital Yeshwanthpur, Bengaluru.
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