Are you starting solids to early ? If so the immaturity of the infant digestive tract can affect the diets of children under two.
An infant’s digestive tract is not completely functional and is susceptible to infection. Anything that goes in your baby’s mouth makes its way into the gastrointestinal tract, which is not yet prepared to fight off bacteria and other pathogens.
In the first six months, the baby’s digestive system will endure enormous changes as it develops the ability to make enzymes to digest food and antibodies to protect itself.
Enzymes in breast milk and the baby’s saliva help to make up for this inadequacy. The oesophageal valve, that controls access to the food into the infant’s stomach, is not developed enough at this stage . This is why babies regularly spit up. These digestive deficiencies, as well as with the immature state of the infant kidney, can put the baby at danger of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and insufficient absorption of nutrients.
In our digestive system there is a layer of mucous which protects the gastrointestinal tract from microbes and other toxins that may be present in food or liquids that the child may consume.
In infants, this protective barrier is immature, and puts the baby at risk of infection. Antibodies in breast milk help protect your baby until his digestive mucosal lining matures and the child increases their capability of producing their own antibodies devolpes.
Disadvantages of introducing solids to early:
• Digestion system is not fully developed yet.
• Immune function and risk of infection, a baby’s immune system is not developed enough it is more likely to get infections which can be introduced through foods and drink.
• Gross motor functions are not ready yet, A factor in eating is learning the process which involves sitting up, taking food from a spoon and resting between mouthfuls.
• Jaw and mouth, the baby’s jaw and mouth have not properly developed and learnt the movements required to swallow food, feeding them solids can be dangerous.
- Over nutrition, feeding the baby solids before six months of age increases the possibility that they will develop problems with overeating, like nutritional disorders like obesity.