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Low-Income Black Mothers Are More Likely To Start “Fussy” Babies On Solid Foods

January 11, 2011: 03:16 AM EST

With U.S. data indicating that black mothers are least likely to delay feeding infants solid food until four months of age, researchers wondered whether mothers begin feeding solid foods (i.e., “complementary feeding” or CF) to “fussy” babies as a soothing technique. The researchers looked at data gathered from more than 200 low-income, first-time black mothers aged 18 to 35 years. Babies were assessed during in-home visits at ages 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 months. They found that early CF was highly prevalent and linked to a mother’s perception of the baby’s temperament: 77 percent of the infants were fed solid foods at three months, 25 percent were fed juice, and only six percent were exclusively breastfed. Maternal obesity and depressive symptoms were other key factors leading to early CF.

Heather Wasser, MPH, RD, et al., " Infants Perceived as “Fussy” Are More Likely to Receive Complementary Foods Before 4 Months", Pediatrics, January 11, 2011, © American Academy of Pediatrics
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