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MPASI or complementary foods for breast milk are generally given after the baby is 6 months old. Even so, there are also parents who choose to give their babies complementary foods early. Well, before you decide on this, it's better to first see what the benefits and dangers are, huh
Based on the recommendations of the World He alth Organization (WHO) and the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI), 6 months of age is the most appropriate age to introduce complementary foods to babies. This is because at the age of 6 months, breastfeeding alone is not enough to meet the nutritional and energy needs of the little one.
In addition, at the age of 6 months, ideally the baby will also show signs of being ready to eat, such as being able to sit with assistance, being able to hold his head up, the reflex sticking out his tongue is reduced, interested in watching other people eat, often trying to reach for food, and reflex to open mouth when given food.
Early complementary feeding and its benefits
Although 6 months is the most appropriate age to introduce complementary foods, sometimes babies can also be given complementary foods earlier. Early complementary foods are usually given when the baby is 4 months old. However, remember, Bun, giving MPASI to babies under the age of 4 months is generally not recommended.
This early complementary feeding is usually recommended by doctors to increase the baby's weight which is less than normal. This condition usually occurs when the little one's weight tends not to increase or even less, only by giving breast milk or formula milk.
In addition to increasing baby's weight, a study shows that early breastfeeding and complementary feeding are also beneficial for helping babies sleep longer and soundly at night. This is because the baby's stomach is filled with food before he sleeps, so he doesn't have to wake up to feed every few hours.
That way, Mom and Dad can also feel calmer because they have a longer rest time.
Dangers of Early Complementary Feeding
Although in some conditions early complementary foods can bring benefits, without proper guidance and recommendations from a doctor, giving early complementary foods can actually harm your little one's he alth, you know.
The following are some of the risks and dangers of giving complementary foods too early to babies:
1. Increase the risk of obesity
Some studies say that early complementary feeding can make babies more at risk for obesity, you know, Bun.
The research states that babies who are given complementary foods early can have an increased risk of developing obesity up to 6 times at the age of 3 years, when compared to babies who are not given complementary foods too early.
2. Having indigestion
Giving early complementary foods can also increase the risk of your little one experiencing digestive disorders, such as diarrhea and constipation. This can happen because the digestive tract is not really ready to process solid food.
3. Choking risk
Choking is also one of the dangers of giving complementary foods too early which is important for mothers to be aware of. The reason is, babies who are still too young may not be ready or able to swallow and support their heads properly. This risks causing them to choke when given solid food.
If you still want to give solid food early, try to give it food that is thinner and more liquid in texture, such as filtered porridge or puree (softened food).
4. Increases the risk of allergies
Giving early complementary foods is also considered to increase the baby's risk for developing food allergies, especially in babies who are at high risk for allergies, for example because they have parents or siblings with a history of allergies. However, this still needs to be investigated further.
If given in the right way and according to the doctor's recommendations, the risk of allergies in babies who are given early complementary foods may be reduced.
Well, that's some information about the benefits and risks of giving early MPASI that you need to know. If you want to give early complementary foods to your little one, you should first consult a doctor, yes, Bun.
That way, doctors can give the best recommendations and advice regarding complementary feeding according to the he alth condition of the little one.