20 answers

Advice from Breastfeeding Moms on Cereal/solids?

So, I'm confused about solids. My girls are 5 months. We experimented with cereal yesterday. They both gobbled up 2 TB cereal each, mixed watery with breast milk. But I wondered about what the purpose of cereal really is anyway?? Why is it a first step? Can't they just use their hands and pick up a mushy pear/sweet potato instead, and skip the rice cereal business? I feel like we're forcing it into their mouths with a spoon...even though they seemed to go with it. But what's the point? It's messy.

Also, I didn't notice that they had a drop less time on the boob. Does this change? Does rice cereal lead to less milk consumption? My girls both ate the same if not more yesterday, even though they had 6 TBS of cereal over the course of the day each!

Thanks!!!

1 mom found this helpful

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Infants start out with rice cereal for a few reasons. First, rice cereal unlike the other grains and foods (like fruits and vegetables) is less likely to cause a reaction (which you want to avoid at this age) and is easy on the young digestive system. Also, starting to eat at this age is not so much for nutrition but to get the baby used to solid food and swallowing so at about six+ months when the extra nutrition is needed the baby would have gotten some practice at eating. Don't worry, the time for more fun foods like fruits and vegetables will come soon.

I didn't read everyone's but the other aspect is the bowel movement changes. Breastmilk is gives the mustard runny stuff and the solids firm it up and make more difficult to pass so they need time to have their body get use to it. Too fast can constipate and bloat them. Never fun especially with two. I did the cereal, than veggies than fruit and last meat(real stuff cut little).
I did the solids 3 days than a new one. After establishing several I started mixing them and giving a new one in the morning and an already tried one at niight type thing. If they don't like one keep trying it. They are just like us somedays you want carrots somedays you would rather have peas.
Enjoy it it goes fast!

More Answers

The purpose of rice cereal really depends on who you ask. Neither of my boys ever really ate it or any other baby food. We went right to mushy foods they can pick up with their hands. This is generally called Baby Led Solids or Baby Led Weaning- but basically you start them on soft table foods and let them go from there. It's worked wonderfully for two kids for me! I will warn you though- any food is going to be messy at this age- it's pretty hard to avoid.

As far as solids leading to less breast milk consumption- it's not really going to make much of a difference. At this age solids are more about teaching them about tastes and textures in preparation for real eating than it is about nutrition. Breast milk should still be their primary source of nutrition until at least age 1.

Info on solids for breastfeeding moms: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/solids-how.html

Info on Baby Led Solids:
http://www.babycenter.com.au/baby/startingsolids/babyledw...

I hope this helps! And I must add that I really applaud you for nursing twins!

R.

2 moms found this helpful

I think the whole point of starting with rice cereal is to get babies used to solid foods. It is supposed to be one of the blandest and easiest to digest foods to start with. I don't think it is supposed to make the baby less hungry or anything like that. It's just supposed to introduce them to solid foods.

I didn't read everyone's but the other aspect is the bowel movement changes. Breastmilk is gives the mustard runny stuff and the solids firm it up and make more difficult to pass so they need time to have their body get use to it. Too fast can constipate and bloat them. Never fun especially with two. I did the cereal, than veggies than fruit and last meat(real stuff cut little).
I did the solids 3 days than a new one. After establishing several I started mixing them and giving a new one in the morning and an already tried one at niight type thing. If they don't like one keep trying it. They are just like us somedays you want carrots somedays you would rather have peas.
Enjoy it it goes fast!

Hi P. - Welcome to the messy phase!! Cereal does quite a few things, but one of the biggest things is that it transitions them from liquids (sucking) to solids (chewing), and also they can get used to thicker and thicker textures, which is why at first, it feels like you're forcing into their mouths. They're so used to sucking and need to learn how to chew before attempting toddler food. Also cereal is loaded with minierals that are healthy for your baby girls.
At this point, your girls will probably be cosuming the same amount of milk. I'm sure you know this, but always breastfeed first, and then offer cereal. Breast milk is still vital right now, but when they're this age, they're growing like weeds, and they just need more in their bellies. Since they're downing the cereal, I would take that as a good sign that they are ready for more! My pediatrician recommended to keep feeding my girl until she turned away/didn't open her mouth.
I'd give a quick call to your girls' pediatrician and get some guidance from him/her.

The main use I found for the cereal was just in getting growing babies to sleep through the night. Mixing it into the last bottle feeding at night gives them a bit more substance so that they are less likely to wake hungry during the night, and by giving it in a bottle, you avoid the mess of spoon feeding. Otherwise, you're right; pears, potatoes, Cheerios, all finger foods are great, easier choices for daytime feeding--they have more nutrition. But, to get babies to sleep through the night, especially during a growth spurt, the cereal supplement is a definite help, unless you want to give baby finger food right before bed. The other reason cereal, especially rice cereal, is used as a first step, is that it's usually acceptable to picky eaters who object to trying new flavors or textures. If that's not an issue for your twins, count your blessings and keep doing what you're doing! :)

P.,
I agree w/ the moms about introducing the cereal and veggies and fruits and about how it is to get them use to solids. But bottom line is also that your girls are also only 5 motnhs old. We are introducing solids earlier than ever. It use to be between 6-8 months. Now doctors are introducing solids as early as 2-3 months and babies systems are not ready. You introduce cereal/veggies when you think they are ready. They will cue you. They will show interest in food by leaning into your food or reaching for your food. Babies can go for many months on breastmilk alone. My youngest went 8 months before eating anything but breastmilk and he is my healthiest son - meaning he is hardly ever sick. No need to rush it. You are the mom who knows your children the best!!! The doctors mean well but they are not w/ your kids 24/7 and no 2 kids are alike! Hope this helps. A.

hi P.,
cereal is just easy. it mixes with milk to a nice 'first time' consistency and is bland and babies tend to like it. you can start with fruits or veggies if you'd rather, the only caveat being that fruits are so sweet that it's hard to move 'em to more bland or strong tastes if you begin there.
i'm giggling a little at you expecting a big change in their nursing habits after the first day with a couple of spoonfuls of cereal!
:D
khairete
S.

as far as i know, the cereal give them folic acid and other stuff they need at this point. also, practicing chewing and swallowing with cereal is where they're at developmentally, though you can quickly move to thicker cereal if they can handle the runny stuff. it shouldn't affect at all how much milk they need, since they're getting the majority of their calories from milk.

picking up mushy food would be way more messy and they'd probably not be able to get it into their mouths successfully for a few more months. also they could choke on it at this point. they can practice with "puffs" or "rusks". they need pincer grips to really be good at self-feeding.

if they're good with getting the cereal down, you can start with mushed up veggies. also yogurt.

your ped. should be giving you advice about this stuff. also can check the american assoc. of pediatrics website for advice.

good luck! it's messy for a long time til they can handle the fork and spoon competently!

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