Everyone wants their baby to grow up big and strong, and part of that involves feeding your child the most nutritious diet possible. But, according to CBC, you can go a step further and prevent food allergies in your baby by simply balancing breastfeeding with solid food introduction. Check out the information below to learn more about this important transition period that your child will go through.
Too Much Breastfeeding Might Be a Bad Thing
Breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby, as it is capable of providing vital nourishment at the very beginning of life. Experts have also recognized myriad benefits for both mother and baby when she breastfeeds, so this is definitely something that you should consider doing to help your baby grow in a healthy way.
However, researchers have news about how long you should breastfeed your baby. It turns out that the timing of the introduction of solid foods into your baby’s diet can impact whether or not your baby develops food allergies. In other words, if you want to prevent food allergies in your baby, you might want to avoid long-term breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding, Solid Food, and Food Allergies
After experts analyzed data, they realized that the duration of exclusively breastfeeding a baby could have an impact on the development of food allergies. Basically, babies that didn’t have any issues with food had mothers who breastfed them for 32 weeks, on average. On the other hand, babies that developed food intolerances were, on average, breastfed for 40 weeks. And babies with suspected allergies to certain foods were the ones that were breastfed the longest: almost 46 weeks.
What You Can Do
To help prevent food allergies in your baby, consider introducing your child to solid foods, including those that typically cause allergies, such as peanut butter, earlier. You could continue breastfeeding while you work on introducing solid foods into your baby’s diet, but you don’t want to only breastfeed for too long. Although more research is needed, this may be a step in the right direction towards reducing the occurrence of food sensitivities and allergies in children.
Remember that there’s a lot of conflicting information out there about how long you should breastfeed your baby, so if you are confused at all, it’s best to consult with your doctor to get personalized guidance for you and your child.