The rules about introducing baby food have changed a lot over the years.
Believe it or not, instead of rice cereal, when your baby is ready for solid foods, you can now give her fruits, veggies, meat, or even peanut butter. That’s right, infants can have peanut butter!
In fact, if your baby has eczema, your pediatrician will likely encourage you to introduce peanut butter early, by four to six months, as a way to hopefully avoid peanut allergies later in life.
Why Are We More Careful About Introducing Baby Food Than Giving Vaccines?
Those are some big changes, aren’t they.
Still, a lot of other things stayed the same, including that parents should:
- wait until at least four months, and often until six months, before they think about starting solid foods
- only give one new food at a time
So while there are few restrictions on which foods to give now (still no honey before age 12 months and no choke foods), you still want to introduce one new food every three or four days to watch for a reaction.
Why is that different than for vaccines?
It’s because reactions to foods are more common, especially non-allergic type reactions (diarrhea, gas, and fussiness, etc), but also because there is basically no risk to delaying the introduction of new foods by this slow method.
There is also no real benefit to going much faster. Do you really want to introduce your baby to multiple new foods a day?
In addition to allergies and intolerances, there is another type of reaction you are watching for too – your baby simply not liking the food. For example, if one of your baby’s first foods is an apple, strawberry, beet combo puree and he spits it out at the first taste, how are you going to know which flavor he didn’t like? Isn’t it better to go through all of the single ingredient first foods before mixing them up?
Now if you did the same thing with vaccines, your baby would be getting a shot every four days! And it would leave them unprotected for a lot longer period of time.
Considering that serious vaccine reactions are rare, it is easy to understand that there is no benefit to only giving one vaccine at a time and we recommend that folks stick to the standard immunization schedule.
What to Know About Giving Vaccines and Introducing Baby Food
Although it is like comparing peas with peach mango and oatmeal cereal, stick to your pediatricians advice about vaccines and introducing baby food.
More on Giving Vaccines and Introducing Baby Food
- AAP – Starting Solid Foods
- AAP – When can I start giving my baby peanut butter?
- AAP – Infant Food and Feeding
- Delaying Vaccines Increases Risks—with No Added Benefits
- Study – Timely versus delayed early childhood vaccination and seizures.
- The Problem with Dr. Bob’s Alternative Vaccine Schedule
- Cashing In On Fear: The Danger of Dr. Sears
- Delayed Schedules
- Sears and Gordon: Should Misleading Vaccine Advice Have Professional Consequences?
- Altering the Schedule
- Talking about Vaccines : Countering Dr. Sears
- A comprehensive takedown of Dr. Sears’ The Vaccine Book
- Moms Who Vax: What Middle Ground?
- Finding the Silver Lining in Delayed Vaccination
- Delaying Vaccines Not A Good Idea
- Why Delay Vaccines For Your Child?
- What Is the Harm in Delaying or Spacing out Vaccines?
- An example of how alternate vaccine schedules endanger children
- Getting with the Schedule : Slow-Vax to Pro-Vax
- Is It Safer to Delay MMR Vaccination?
- Delaying measles vaccination may increase risk of seizures
- Inventing your own vaccine schedule? Not a wise idea.
- Guidelines for Clinicians and Patients for Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States
- LEAP – A clinical trial investigating how to best prevent Peanut Allergy.
- Study – Effects of Early Nutritional Interventions on the Development of Atopic Disease in Infants and Children: The Role of Maternal Dietary Restriction, Breastfeeding, Timing of Introduction of Complementary Foods, and Hydrolyzed Formulas
- Researchers: Peanut Allergy Prevention Strategy Resulting from LEAP Study is Nutritionally Safe
- New Study Shows Introducing Peanut Early in Life Prevents Development of Peanut Allergy