Babies that are exclusively breastfed are better equipped to move to solid foods and may have fewer stomach troubles in their early years.
US scientists have found that a baby’s diet during the first few months of life has a huge influence on the gut bacteria that help digest food and destroy disease causing bugs. These factors, in turn, influence the baby’s ability to move from milk to solid foods and may have longer term health effects.
Babies who are fed only breast milk have a gut flora that seems better prepared for the introduction of solid foods. The transition to solids is much more dramatic for babies that are not exclusively breastfed, a situation that could contribute to more stomach aches and conditions like colic.
This study provides support for recommendations by the World Health Organization and others to breastfeed exclusively during the first six months of life.