32 answers

Cereal at 4 Months?

I know I should trust my doctors. (maybe), but she told me I can give leiyah now 4 months, rice cereal here and there. like pouring 2 oz of breastmilk. (still b/f) mix in the cereal till it's like cream of wheat....... is this ok. is it too soon, she told me it will get her ready for baby food by 6 months. I dont know. it sounds great, she told me it will help her sleep through the night. which is great. I tried it once with her with only 1 oz and he was fine. took a while becuase she tried to suck it up from the spoon, I am wondering if will confuse her. I will only give her cereal when she is staying with someone else and when she is with me ill b/f . it also helps me save the milk i pump for her i never seem to be able to up enough. I can only pump like 4 oz at a time. and she drinks 5 oz to be happy. Can some one settle my mind. or tell me it really is to early!!!!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

This is one of those things that SO many Mom's, doctors, nutritionists are going to tell you many differant things. I did give both of my kids cereal at 4 months. I don't know that it really helped them sleep anymore, I think that might be a wives tale, or it just didn't work with two of my kids, but it is okay, since you are asking advice! I don't beleive it confuses them at all. They are pretty smart to know what they are going to partake in & what they don't want to have anything to do with. Babies are so much fun. Have fun with it!

1 mom found this helpful

I gave all of my kids a little cereal at night when it became appparent that it would help them sleep better. They were very hungry! I also mixed it with breast milk and it worked wonderful. The only thing I always remind new moms is to hold the baby's head up while feeding a bottle........lessens the chance of ear irritations. Good luck!

It is too soon. A baby's belly is not ready for this till the baby is 6 months old. I also heard it is a choking hazzard.

I delayed solids with my 2nd son and he took to baby food and reg food with no problems.

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I tried feeding my son cereal at 4 months. He didn't take to it but my doctor said to just keep trying. He said that even if he doesn't eat any, he is getting used to the idea of a spoon and other textures. My little one finally started eating at around 6 months. Just try and it she doesn't like it it's no big deal. You're breastfeeding her so she gets everything she needs from that. Cereal is just a bonus at that age.

1 mom found this helpful

This is one of those things that SO many Mom's, doctors, nutritionists are going to tell you many differant things. I did give both of my kids cereal at 4 months. I don't know that it really helped them sleep anymore, I think that might be a wives tale, or it just didn't work with two of my kids, but it is okay, since you are asking advice! I don't beleive it confuses them at all. They are pretty smart to know what they are going to partake in & what they don't want to have anything to do with. Babies are so much fun. Have fun with it!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.,

You've have gotten a lot of good advice and some poor advice. So, I'll keep my advice short: First, congrats on sticking with breastfeeding. Our country is not set up to support mothers in this endeavor, which is a full commitment to be sure. Second, cereal should not be given to babies until around 6 months, until their digestive systems are mature. There is plenty of material to support this (see Dr. Sears). Third, if you give your baby cereal now, it could affect your milk supply, so wait. Fourth, the amount of milk you pump does not necessarily correlate to the amount that baby takes in when breastfeeding. If you want to increase milk supply and have some stored for use later, you have to be diligent and pump after one to two feeds in the morning (when breastmilk is at the height of production).
Keep up the fantastic mothering and good luck!

A.,
Trust your gutt. Do what you are comfortable with. I breastfed one of my daughters until she was 10 months old. We did not implement baby food or rice cereal with her until she was almost 7 mos old. When a baby is breastfed they do not "need" baby food as early as formula fed babies because they get all the nutrients they need from breastmilk. Good luck in your decision!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until 6 months to start solids. However, that is a recommendation for ALL babies, not YOUR baby. I am breastfeeding my 5 month old and I started occasionally giving her cereal at night a couple of weeks ago (it does take forever, but it's pretty fun). My pediatrician said I could start whenever I felt it was right after 4 months. I thought we would try it. If she didn't like it, we would wait and try it again. We started with rice cereal mixed with breastmilk so it tasted normal to her (but there's no reason you can't mix it with water). We moved on to oatmeal and then apples and peas. She is still a little unsure of the flavors of the apples and peas, but she loves the cereal.

She also started sleeping 10-12 hours straight through at night after about a week of cereal at night. She nurses, plays, eats some cereal, takes a bath, reads a few books, then nurses again. She is nursing less frequently, but nurses from both sides each time instead of one side only, so she is getting the same amount of breastmilk in fewer feedings.

I work most weekdays, so I wasn't too upset about getting up at night to feed her, because I liked the snuggle time we had at night. But I was starting to get frustrated at night because she was nursing constantly and seemed to be frustrated and hungry. So we decided to add a meal at this time.

There should be no pressure on you at this point to start solids, but you can for fun if you think your child is ready. Remember that breastmilk should be her main source of nutrition for most of her first year.

COMPLETELY agree with Dori. You totally make enough milk, but a baby is much more efficient about getting it out than a pump. How often do you pump? I think 5 oz is kind of a lot for a breast fed baby in one sitting, personally. The general rule is an ounce per hour. So if you're apart from your baby for 3 hours, you'd expect them to take 3 oz. Not that there can't be variations among babies. I have a 4 month old too and I only pump between 2-3 ounces at a sitting. I don't know your situation, but I only pump occasionally to keep my baby in practice with the bottle.

Some doctors are old school and recommend starting solids at 4 months. The AAP says to wait until 6 months. It's up to you, but I am personally waiting for 6 months as their stomachs are more mature and the risks of allergies and asthma, etc. are less. My little guy also has a dairy sensitivity which makes me feel even more strongly about it. I'm also skipping rice cereal which has no nutritional value. You'll hear anecdotal evidence of people saying their babies sleep through after starting cereals, but there are no studies to support that. When I started solids with my daughter, it didn't make any difference in her sleeping habits. I know some people start their babies on cereal practically from birth, but my opinion is anything before 6 months is a bit early.

If you do decide to continue with solids, just remember to nurse before offering and if someone is taking care of her, to offer the bottle first. Before a year, solids are for practice and you don't want that belly too full for nutritious breast milk.

Congrats on making it so far with breastfeeding! Like your info says, you should be proud!

Your Doctor is Right!!! It will help her feel full and sleep better and be less fussy! I started feeding my son at 3 months. But not as thick as cream of wheat at first. Just add a lrg. tblsp. to each 5oz of your milk and put just a slightly bigger hole in nipple; and adjust as she Needs! Congrats on feeding her the way we are meant to do!!! It takes a strong mom to breast feed and it is truly rewarding!!! God bless you all...
Kathy N.
PS: I started adding peachs first level to my sons bottle with cereal with-in 4-5 months! Apples ect too... He's now a strapping HEALTHY young Marine serving our country!!!

From my expierence babies that are formula fed are good to start rice cereal at 4 months, mainly because there is stuff that is "missing" in formula as well as stuff that is added, that isn't in breast milk. I breast fed my daughter til she was 4 months but had to stop due to a thrush infection that she passed to me making my nipples crack and bleed. And I started her on formula and rice cereal at that time. the Le Lache group suggests that you don't start a breast feeding baby on rice cereal until they are around 6 months, because your breast milk has everything that they need. It is said that rice cereal does fill them up more, hence making it so they dont have to feed as much... and therefore sleep longer. But breast milk is soooo good for babies and gives them all the vitamins and nutrients they need... making it the best thing for babies. I breastfed my son until he was 14 months old. And started him with some rice cereal at 6 months and didn't start gerber 1st foods until he was 8 months. I think really its a personal choice. But its a well known fact that breast milk is the best thing for babies. To me the part that made me wait, is breast milk is about supply and demand... if he was eating rice cereal alot, he would eat less breast milk. so of course the demand would be lower and therefore the supply would lessen (unless you choose to pump when he would normally eat) So when I did start my son on rice cereal I started by only giving him about 2oz of it at dinner time mixing it with breast milk. It seemed to work out great and he did sleep a little better at night and my supply stayed about the same because I pumped a lot for the mixing and kept the rest in the freezer. Again though I think its more a personal choice after 4 months. Hope this helps! Have a great weekend!

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