Over time, some myths have developed about solid foods for baby. What should you believe?


Starting solids helps the baby sleep longer.

  • Probably not.
  • There’s no evidence that starting solids helps baby sleep any better than he did before. So, do not give solid foods to your baby earlier than 6 months with the hope that he will sleep longer. This practise is not advisable because starting solids too early will have some negative impacts on baby’s digestive systems and affect nutrients absorption. The recommendation is to start solids when baby is about 6 months old.

Babies who are big for their age need solid foods earlier than other babies.

  • Not true.
  • It’s what’s going on inside that counts. Babies are ready for solid foods when their digestive systems are developed enough to cope. This is usually when baby is around 6 months old. However, every baby is different, so if you think your baby is ready, speak to your doctor about it.

Breastfed babies need additional types of milk after 6 months.

  • Not true.
  • Breast milk gives the baby everything there is in other milks, and more. Babies should be started on solid foods after 6 months so that they learn how to eat and begin to replenish their iron stores and other nutrients that are not supplied in sufficient amounts by breast milk. Cow’s milk or infant formula will not be necessary as long as the mother continues breastfeeding the baby.

In order to keep baby safe it’s best to avoid foods that may cause a potential food allergy.

  • Not true.
  • New research recommends that foods considered highly allergenic, such as peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish, should be introduced to baby one at a time, after baby reaches his 6 months mark. This is with the exception of whole cow’s milk, which should be avoided until after baby turns 1. Delaying the introduction of these foods might actually increase the risk of a food allergy. However, more caution is needed if you have a family history of allergies. Always speak to baby’s doctor about it to ensure you can safely feed these foods for your baby.

Baby hates a particular food if he rejects it when it’s first offered.

  • Not true.
  • Research shows that new foods may need to be offered more than 10 times before baby will actually eat it. Whether baby has a true dislike of a certain kind of food can only be determined much later. In the early stages of introducing solids to baby, he will pull all kinds of funny faces as he tries to understand the textures and tastes of these new foods. These funny faces, and even a refusal to open one’s mouth for a feeding, do not necessarily indicate a dislike for a type of food. The idea is to keep trying and not give up.

Baby should drink “baby” juice made by baby food companies

  • Not true.
  • Baby juice is not special, nor is it magical. A better option would be to purchase 100% freshly squeezed juice, or to squeeze your own. Make sure store-bought juices do not contain other ingredients such as added sugar and food additives. Don’t give your baby more than 100ml or ½ cup of fruit juice a day. Too much fruit juice will affect your baby’s appetite during mealtimes, and also lead to excessive calorie intake, tooth cavities, diarrhoea and some digestive problems.

For further information on infant and child nutrition, please refer to

  1. MINISTRY OF HEALTH MALAYSIA (2013) Malaysian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents. Putrajaya: Technical Working Group on Nutritional Guidelines (for National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition).
  2. NUTRITION SOCIETY OF MALAYSIA (2011) Baby’s First Bites. Petaling Jaya: Mother’s Smart Choice.