December 28, 2010,
M.F. asks from Redondo Beach, CA on December 26, 2010
5 Month Old Solid Feeding Schedule
I have an almost 5 month old baby boy. My daughter is 3 1/2 and I have forgotten all of the feeding schedules for babies! I breastfeed him about every 3 hours still. I give him rice cereal only at night. He gets very excited when I feed him his solids. I also should add that he is waking up in the middle of the night too. He was sleeping through about a month ago. Should I be feeding him solids three times a day? I know to only give new foods for a week then move on to the next, but that is all my dr. told me. I dont have another dr. appt for a while, so I thought I would post and see what everyone else says. Thanks for your help!
T.K. answers from Honolulu on December 27, 2010
My Dr said it would be okay to feed my daughter rice cereal at 4months, we decided to wait until 6months. At 5 1/2 months she'd be drooling every time we ate!! I felt soo sorry for her so I started her on rice cereal once a day (dinner time) after a week I introduced green peas at dinner time along with her cereal. She'd eat a little less than 1/2 the jar. At 6months she was at 2 feedings per day rice cereal in the AM (mixed w/my b.milk) then her peas & cereal in the PM
She's now 7months and at 3 feedings a day. I am also still b.feeding & have just about the same b/feeding sch'd as you :)
Good Luck Mommy
D.W. answers from Gainesville on December 26, 2010
It is perfectly normal for him to still be waking or start waking at night. Infant sleep is never static. It will change with changes that he experiences like hitting milestones, growth spurts, illness, etc.
I didn't feed either of my breastfed babies solids till they were over 6 months old (heck my daughter was 9 months old before she took to solids) but you want to make sure breastmilk is primary for the entire first year. Solids are really only for practice and not to take the place of nursing in any way. It's really recommended that breastfed babies not have solids until at least the 6 month mark. This has to do with the fact that babies have an "open gut" till about that time meaning what they ingest gets directly into the bloodstream.
I would stick with just 1 x per day at this point.
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P.M. answers from Portland on December 26, 2010
Most medical advice is to wait on solids until at least 6 months. Babies started on cereal grains before then are more likely to develop allergies, because the digestive system isn't mature enough yet. They may also sleep more poorly because of digestive upset and greater hunger.
Basically, you're adding a less-nutritious food, with less protein and fat (both of which take longer to digest and satisfy longer). In spite of the common idea that solids should quench appetites for a longer time, high-carbohydrate cereal is digested quickly. Plus your little man is growing fast right now, which commonly disrupts sleep patterns and causes more night waking for additional feedings.
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L.S. answers from Los Angeles on December 27, 2010
It sounds like you're on the right track - the fact that you're still breastfeeding every 3 hours means that your breast milk is still his primary nutrition source - that's the biggest thing with starting solids. We started also about 5 months on the advice of our ped. With our son (now 3), we tried to get away from rice cereal pretty quickly, just because it isn't very adventurous (taste-wise) OR nutritious. We switched pretty quickly to a multi-grain cereal and an oatmeal (more protein & fiber than rice), and started offering 1 other "taste" at each meal, usually, a few bites of puree'ed veggies or fruit. We waited a week at first before starting a new food, but our son really didn't have any risk signs or problems with any kind of allergies or digestion issues, so we just went for it. We'd try to do about a tablespoon of a new food, and keep trying that food until the jar ran out (about a day). Again, the idea is for him to keep getting the bulk of his nutrition from breastmilk, but to get him used to the idea of new and different tastes and textures, and to start building the mouth & tongue muscles needed for real food down the line.
About the not sleeping through the night... it was our experience (even now) that we have to re-sleep-train periodically, usually due to some disruption in routine, like travel, or illness, or something that throws our schedule & situation off. When he was 6 months old, our pediatrician told us to wait no less than 20 minutes, unless the cry was really urgent, like painful. Since we did Ferber initially to sleep train (so glad!), we try to have our son cry for about 10 minutes before we go fix the issue, even now, though at 3 yrs, usually the cry is pretty urgent when it happens (once every 2 months at most).
I hope this helps!
A.D. answers from Philadelphia on December 26, 2010
Five months is really early for babies to be eating. Breast milk is so much more nutritious than rice cereal - think about what rice does (or doesn't) have!
He's probably waking because he's a baby and every week brings a new change. Growth spurt, a little cold, a milestone on the horizon - you never know what causes it. But feeding won't help.
The one food a week philosophy is old, too. Recent studies show babies who are exposed to more tastes are more open to trying even more tastes.
S.R. answers from Kansas City on December 26, 2010
I would add a cereal feeding in the morning, and in another month or so add some other solids, maybe a fruit mixed with the cereal. Try another kind of cereal, my kids loved the oatmeal, they never took the the rice.
T.H. answers from Kansas City on December 26, 2010
You could probably move to giving him cereal more times during the day. I would just add one more time, do that for a few days or weeks and then add a third. I don't think he'll really need more than that for a few more months when he starts needing less breast milk. He could be waking up b/c he's hungry, but I would think the formula at night would take care of that, but maybe if you feed him more solids during the day that will help. He could just be going through a growth spurt and we waking more frequently, but hopefully he'll get over that! ;)
S.F. answers from San Diego on December 28, 2010
I consulted with a sleep expert and this is the schedule she gave me at that age. Both my babies slept 12hrs/night from 12 weeks on and if he is waking up, he might need more food (food and sleeping go hand in hand).
4/8oz bottles per day . Typically every 4 hours, one at wakeup (6:00am), then 10:00am, then 2:00pm then at bedtime (6:00pm). This will stay the same until they are 1 years old and then start drinking milk. Do not 'up' the amount of formula/breastmilk, 'up' the food intake
4 months - bfast and dinner solid (cereal and/or puree). I did purees first until 6 months and then added cereal (cereal seemed to really constipate my babies).
7-8 months add lunch.
As they get older, start adding finger foods (eggs, avocado, bananas, etc).
I also did one 'type' of food for a week then moved onto a different kind (example, bfast - bananas, dinner - sweet pees for the first week and then another type the second week). This was to just check for any allergy sensitivity.
Good luck! :)
A.F. answers from Stationed Overseas on December 27, 2010
You shouldn't be feeding your 5 month old solids yet. My son recently turned 9 months and we recently got jarred food put on WIC checks for him. For an 8 or 9 month old or older its ok but not a 5 month old, his stomach and digestive track hasn't developed enough for that. Now I can understand if you add a little cereal to his bottles if were to start bottle feeding because I did and my drs said it was fine. But to feed him cereal mixed with I assume breast milk or water is way to early.