World Health Organization and all the info they have on breastfeeding. LOTS of great things on this page and it’s NOT JUST ABOUT BABIES AND TODDLERS IN THIRD WORLD PARTS OF AFRICA! (pssst…..that’s why they are called the WORLD Health Organization, not the AFRICA Health Organization.)

From the site:

“Q: Up to what age can a baby stay well nourished by just being breastfed?

A: Infants should be exclusively breastfed – i.e. receive only breast milk – for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. “Exclusive breastfeeding” is defined as giving no other food or drink – not even water – except breast milk. It does, however, allow the infant to receive drops and syrups (vitamins, minerals and medicines). Breast milk is the ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; breastfeeding is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers.

WHO recommends that infants start receiving complementary foods at six months (180 days) of age in addition to breast milk. Complementary foods should be given 2–3 times a day between 6–8 months, increasing to three times a day between 9–11 months with one nutritious snack. Between 12–24 months of age, three meals should be given and two additional nutritious snacks can be offered between meals, as desired. These foods should be adequate, meaning that they provide sufficient energy, protein and micronutrients to meet a growing child’s nutritional needs. Foods should be prepared and given in a safe manner to minimize the risk of contamination. Feeding young infants requires active care and stimulation to encourage the child to eat.

The transition from exclusive breastfeeding to full use of family foods is a very vulnerable period. It is the time when many infants become malnourished, contributing significantly to the high prevalence of malnutrition in children under five years of age worldwide. It is essential therefore that infants receive appropriate, adequate and safe complementary foods to ensure the right transition from the breastfeeding period to the full use of family foods.”

I really hate the old wives tale about giving babies younger than 6 months a bottle of really watery formula and rice mixture so they will sleep. Rice turns to sugar. Why would you feed that to a baby you are trying to help to sleep. Further more, ‘sleep-training’? I’ll have something on that soon I am sure, as we are a bedsharing family and sleep is a need not a habit. That’s all I will say about that for now.

There is zero reason a baby younger than 6 months needs anything other than human milk. Sure,Mama, you might be excited to see your babe eat solids for the first time, but trust me, HECK, trust WHO, your baby can wait and so can you. Cherish how little they are. Babies don’t keep. Stop rushing and just cherish. Cherish each moment you have your baby at your breast. They will thank you for it with or without words.

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