A new study out reports many mothers feed their babies solid food earlier than they should. The Journal of Pediatrics surveyed 1,300 mothers finding nearly half of all mothers fed their child solid food before they were four months old. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics babies should be fed nothing but breast milk for the first six months. Pediatric nurse practitioner Vickie Parsons says babies exhibit specific signs that show when they are ready for food. Parsons says, "When you're eating they're looking around and they're interested in your foods they're opening their mouth up wide. Also can you child sit up their own? If you need to prop your child up in the car seat or highchair, they're and they can't hold their head up they just really aren't ready."
Parsons says babies need time to develop the proper gut bacteria to allow them to process solid food safely. Early induction to solid foods has been linked to an increased obesity, diabetes, eczema and celiac disease.