It is something of an old wives’ tale that honey soothes the bawling infant or that it cures infant cough. It is not to say however that honey is safe for little babies of less than one year.
The risk of infant botulism is the reason that new born babies should not be given any honey at least until the time that they turn one year old.
The botulism germ is to be found in soil and dust which may on occasion contaminate honey.
Normally this is not a problem; however for little babies honey should be avoided because their digestive systems are too immature to deal with the germ.
While a more mature digestive system can deal with the germ, in little babies, it can produce a toxin that causes symptoms such as breathing troubles, muscle weakness, constipation, lethargy, feeding difficulties and a weak cry. Usually hospitalization is required though most babies recover fully.
For the first 6 months of life, the baby doesn’t need anything except breast milk or formula. After this, there is really no need to sweeten baby’s solids either; this will prevent baby developing a sweet tooth early in life, as well as prevent tooth decay.