Late weaning may increase diabetes risk in babies
Read more on when to introduce solid foods to your baby to decrease risk of diabetes
Breastfeeding is best for babies. It is dubbed as a super food that’s rich in vitamins and minerals that are important in making the baby grow up healthy. While mothers are encouraged to give their children breast milk until they turn 2 years old, introduction of solid food must be done eventually. However, the timeline of this solid food introduction should be monitored since late weaning may increase the risk of diabetes.
Introduction of solids
Most mothers introduce solid foods by the time their babies turn 6 months old. But did you know that this is categorized as late weaning? Studies show that the best time to introduce solid food to babies is when they turn 5 months old. Weaning at 7-8 months is discouraged as late weaning may increase the risk of diabetes.
When kids are 5-6 months old, it is considered as a safe weaning window because babies need to consume a cornucopia of nutrients (found in solids) to hasten and fortify their development. But is there a difference on weaning the baby at 4 months and at 7 months?
Weaning at 4 months or below
If weaned too early, the baby’s kidneys, stomach and immune system can be subjected to too much stress that it can’t handle. Here are other issues that may arise if the baby is weaned too early:
Child obesity is always an issue for babies who were weaned to early. This is because breast milk is extremely digestible and isn’t stored as fat by the body compared to solid baby food. While the added weight gain may look cute, it doesn’t necessary make the baby healthy.
Babies weaned too early from breast milk are likely to suffer from various allergy issues. This is because solid foods and milk formula doesn’t contain natural nutrients that help strengthen a person’s immune system as much as breast milk does.
Weaning at 7 months or later
Studies show that late weaning may increases the risk of diabetes by three-folds. When a baby is weaned at 7 months old or later, the child will also be susceptible to different auto-immune diseases. Moreover, feeding problems may arise and malnutrition may be diagnosed.
Type 1 diabetes
Late weaning may increase the risk of diabetes, especially type 1 diabetes. If a child has type 1 diabetes, the body will be unable to generate insulin. Insulin is an important hormone that’s responsible for maintaining the levels of glucose in the body. Without it, the child’s sugar level will be very high and would need insulin shots to normalize the level. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children include blurred vision, constant exhaustion, consistent weight loss, extreme thirst and several skin infections.
Breast milk wins
While late weaning may increase the risk of diabetes in babies, it is never too late to rectify the issue. If you have introduced your baby to solids by the age of 6 months, do not stop giving breast milk. Continuous feeding of breast milk, either by nursing or by bottle, helps strengthen your baby’s immune system and curbs off obesity too.
What is your take on weaning? Do you agree that late weaning may increase the risk of diabetes in babies? Tell us what you think. For more information on when to introduce solids to your baby, watch the video below: