A study by King’s College London and St George’s University of London has found that babies introduced to solid foods early, slept longer, woke less frequently at night and suffered fewer serious sleep problems, reports Medical Xpress.
Current government advice is that mothers should try to exclusively breastfeed until around six months of age. However, 75% of British mothers introduce solids before five months, with a quarter (26%), citing infant night time waking as influencing their decision.
The current guidance on the NHS choices website state that starting solid foods won’t make babies more likely to sleep through the night. The UK Department of Health and Social Care advises that infants be introduced to solids when they are ready.
The Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) study, which was funded by the Food Standards Agency and the Medical Research Council, took place at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, between January 2008 and August 2015.