Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Overview of Baby’s First Year: What Goes IN

We’ll save “What Comes Out” for a later blog posting—right now I’m too pooped to write about that (ha ha). Pardon me.

So what happens during that magical first year of life—where baby goes from complete reliance on mom’s body during pregnancy to self-feeding by the age of one?

It’s a magical—and sometimes messy—transition! We’re setting baby up for healthy lifetime eating habits during this first year, and One Sassy Doctor has some research for you to back this up!

  1. In the 2011 study Timing of Solid Food Introduction and Risk of Obesity in Preschool-Aged Children by Dr. Susanna Huh, et. Al, 847 children were studied to determine if there was an association between breast feeding, the timing of introduction of solid foods in infancy and obesity at 3 years of age. Children were placed into three categories: those who started solids at less than four months, between 4 and 5 months and after 6 months of age. By the age of 3 years, 75 of the children (9% of total) were obese. Amongst those children who were breast fed, the timing of solid goods was not associated with obesity at the age of three. Amongst those children who were formula-fed, introducing solid foods before the age of four months was associated with a six-fold increase in the odds of obesity at the age of three! (Susanna Y. Huh, Vol. 127 No. 3 March 2011)
  2. In the 2004 study Breast-feeding and Childhood Obesity—A Systematic Review, the relationship between breast-feeding and obesity in childhood was reviewed by compiling nine different studies with over 69,000 participants. Breast feeding was shown to have a dose-dependent relationship with obesity in four of these nine studies (the more mom breast fed, the lower the chances for the child to be obese). Overall, the study concluded that breast-feeding functions as a protective factor for obesity to a small but consistent degree. 
There are many important elements to feeding and nutrition in baby’s first year that will have significant influence on your baby’s future health and happiness. Let’s divide the first year into four stages:

What’s Happening                                                                             Age                           Dr. Jen’s Lingo

Breast Milk or Formula ONLY (Liquid Intake)                         Birth to 5 or 6 months              Only Wet!                                                       
                                                                                               (the later the better!) 

Transition Period: From Liquid Intake to First Foods                     5-6 months                     Wet to Mush!

Initial First Foods with Transitional Cut Down on Liquid Intake     6-9 months                       More Mush!

Three Solid Meals A Day and 24-32 ounces Liquid Intake             9-12 months                    Mostly Mush!

Over the next few posts, I’ll talk about each of these stages. My numero uno tip on healthy eating and healthy lifestyle is modeling good habits yourself: moderation, balance and activity. We’ll get to all of that in more detail in later One Sassy Doctor blog posts, so stay tuned and keep those comments coming on Facebook and Twitter.