Why You Should Apply The 4 Day Wait Rule
When your baby is 6 months of age and showing signs and demonstrating that he is ready for introducing solid foods, there are some things you need to keep in mind when first introducing these foods.
First of all, introducing solid foods one at a time, and following the 4-day wait rule is the most important thing to consider. This will ensure that if there is a food reaction that you know which food is the culprit.
There are 2 different types of immune reactions which can be considered allergies or food reactions.
The first if the immediate (IgE) reaction; this reaction can show up as hives, swollen lips, cheek, tongue or throat, or respiratory problems. We usually associate this type of reaction with peanuts or shellfish.
The second type of immune reaction is the delayed sensitivity, or the IgG reaction. These reactions can be delayed for up to 72 hours, hence the reasoning for waiting 4 days between introducing foods.
Delayed Food Reactions Can Present As:
• Coughing, wheezing
• Runny nose
• Eczema, hives, chronic dermatitis
• Chronic ear infections
• Sleep disturbance
• Hyperactivity, behavior problems
• Excessive crying or irritability
• Abdominal discomfort, gas
• Diaper rash
• Nausea or vomiting
These symptoms can be vague so it is important to watch carefully to any new behavior your baby is exhibiting. It is also important to note that food allergies tend to run in families, and these babies should be watched even closer. In families with a history of food allergies, in hoped to minimize food reactions, it is also important to wait until the baby is 6 months before starting solid foods.
How To Apply The 4 Day Wait Rule:
Introduce solid foods one at a time. This means introduction a single food and then monitor for 4 days.
If there is an adverse reaction, monitor for up to 1 week, without testing any other new foods during this week. In order to confirm that the food was actually causing the reaction a re-evaluation needs to be performed. Re-evaluate the food in question after the one week monitoring, and only after the reaction has subsided.
If there is a second reaction, avoidance of this food should be for at least 4-6 weeks before another re-evaluation trial of the offending food.