When can babies have honey?

when can babies have honey

by Lorna White |
Published on

Not only is honey deliciously sweet, it also comes with plenty of heath benefits too. Although, while it's a healthy alternative to sweeter treats, honey is not safe for young babies, so should be avoided until they're over one-year-old.

When can my baby have honey?

It's safe to give your baby honey after their first birthday when baby’s digestive system is mature enough to protect against any bacteria. Before this, there are plenty of safe and healthy foods you can begin to wean your baby with.

Why is honey not safe for young babies?

Honey is on the list of foods that aren't safe for baby because it occasionally contains bacteria that can produce toxins in your baby's intestines. These toxins can lead to infant botulism which is very serious.

Furthermore, it's important to remember that honey is sugar, and too much of it can lead to tooth decay, even after the one year mark. This is just another reason why honey isn't suitable for small baby's and once they are having regular sweeter treats, it's important to make sure you start to thoroughly brush baby's teeth.

What is infant botulism?

According to the NHS, Botulism is a life-threatening illness caused by toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. These toxins attack the nervous system including the nerves, brain and spinal cord and cause paralysis.

The paralysis can spread quickly if it's not treated quickly and can spread to the muscles that control breathing. In around five to ten per cent of cases, this can be fatal.

What are the symptoms of infant botulism?

Every case is different, and while some can show symptoms within a few hours, it can take several days for the toxins to take hold. As a parent, it's important to be aware of the symptoms of infant botulism if you suspect your child might have it.

Initially, some people can experience feelings of nausea, baby tummy troubles such as stomach cramps, vomiting, baby diarrhoea and difficulty with baby constipation.

As it spreads, symptoms can include drooping eyelids, slurred speech, blurred vision, facial muscle weakness, breathing difficulties and trouble swallowing.

In babies, this may also mean they're finding it difficult to feed, have a floppy neck and limbs and have a weak cry.

If you suspect your baby might have infant botulism, call 999 or go to your nearest A&E department. The sooner it is treated the better the outcome.

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