30 answers

Feeding a 5Mnth Old

I am not sure whether I should be worried or not. I have a 5 mnth of son who is just not into eating solid food yet. I have tried the store brand baby food. I have made the baby food homemade. He just doesn't seem to like it. He also will not eat the rice cereal. I know that he is still little & may "catch on" when is a little older, but it just seems that all the babies that I know at his age are all eating great and love food. He is doing great with his formula(he is 17 1/2 lbs). Am I worrying too much?? He is my first and I want to make sure that I am doing all the right things.

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So What Happened?™

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and reassurance. I feel so much better. Actually he has taken to eating now just this past week--YEAH!! It was like he flipped a switch. He LOVES sweet potatoes. :) I am so glad that I found this site. When you are your own and a first time mom..it is very nice to bounce things off other people. Thanks again to everyone for their support!!!

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My 5 month grandson was not happy with rice cereal either- so we added vegetables to his diet, which he loves and then added fruit. We get in a spoonful of cereal every 2 or 3 bites and it goes down well now. Remember they also have to learn how to swallow at this point, not just sucking. Just keep at it - you may want to mix some veggies or fruit in with the cereal for a new taste sensation. Babies also have very sensitive tastebuds - much more than we as adults - has to get used to things - some more slowly than others. Hang in there! He will be eating you out of house and home soon!

My daughter was breastfed for 2 1/2 months, until I went back to teaching. She easily accepted formula, and then whole milk. She was a very cherub looking healthy baby.
She always knew when I would try to slip in some cereal into her bottle.
She would not eat baby food, even at the age of 1 and I would put it on my plate and try to feed it to her. She wanted the same food I was eating, so I would give her some to gum and later chew, as her teeth came in.
I felt lucky that I did not have to buy/make her baby food.
She is now a beautiful young mother, with a daughter of her own (that I am helping raise), that did not eat baby food either.

Maybe if you try using an infant feeder he might get use to it. You can buy them just about anywhere. My dr told me to try it when my daughter was little and she did eat her food then. She was just used to the bottle and so she took the food out of the infant feeder.

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Too young to worry about this yet.

HI B.,
Babies really do not need anything but formula or nursing until they cut their first tooth. That's God's signal their digestive system is getting more mature. This from a mother of 5, grandmother of 13 & a doc to boot! When you do introduce his first food, wait 2-3 days before you introduce another one to be sure he does not have an allergy to it.

Rice cereal or bananas are good ones to start with.
God bless you & your little one.
Karen

Have you tried using a feeder bottle instead of a spoon? My daughter used one at first.

Ask your pediatrician what he/she thinks, of course. I honestly wouldn't be worried about it that much so long as he's drinking plenty of milk and growing. He's still young

Blessings,
M. S.

He'll do it when he's ready and he's telling you he's not ready. Mine didn't eat real food until closer to 12 months and NEVER would eat baby food although she tried the cereals several times before declining. We just always offered her a soft food to try and sometimes, she would, others, not. She loved baked fresh yams and canned peas, to start, and whole wheat spaghetti noodles.

Make sure to check w/ your pedi/nurse and give him baby vitamins (Polyvisol w/ or w/o iron).

Good luck and relax a bit - they're all a bit different.

Btw, I am a single f/t working mom, too - feel the same about having a child - hardest and absolute best thing I've ever done.

Sometimes it takes kids a while to catch on and realize that solids are worth the effort. Sometimes kids have sensory issues with food, normal and nothing to worry about. All babies are learning to integrate all thier senses at this age, taste, smell, touch, etc. Try letting him play with solid foods, like the rice cereal on his high chiar tray no bowels, etc. and with one of his favorite teething toys, getting him to touch his mouth and play with it in and around his mouth. You can also try massaging him starting at his feet and with firm pressure work up to and around his face and mouth and than try feeding him some solids. Give him another month or two. Talk to your peditrician. If you are really concerned you can ask your doctor to reccomend a speech therapist to help you out. They specialize in feeding. And if he is at day care ask them how they handle feeding. Maybe it is too stressful for him at the center so just have them bottle feed him until you get him used to it at home and slowly work up to solid food at day care/caregiver's house. Good luck!

Dear B.
You have no need to worry. Formula is fine for the first six months and if he is doing well on formula alone, I would leave him be.
Try again in a month's time and he may be more willing to start lapping at some puree's.
All the best
Jewel

Hi B.,

I also have a 5 month old baby, but a girl. She is also just starting to eat baby food. She does not like just anything. Cereal was something she refuses to try until yesterday that I mixed it with apple juice. She ate very little but it was a start. also as far as baby foods, she is very picky and I don't blame her, I have tried the food and some taste nasty. She does love sweet potatoes from the Gerber brand and from the beechnut brand she eats only the sweet peas jar and the carrots one. Try them, I tasted these ones and they are sweet and are the only ones I myself think have a good flavor. I have noticed the beechnut brand are sweeter and more watery than the Gerber brand i figure that is why she prefers them. Try them and Good luck. Let me know if they work for you.

Usually you should start feeding your baby solids about six months, sometimes the ped says you can start with four months already, but it is not a must.

Also it is still practise time for your baby. The food he needs is formula, and now he needs to learn to eat from a spoon starting with cerial almost in liquid running form. Some babies like it right away, some don't like, some need more time to figure it out and some babies are just not ready yet. Then just wait and try it later on again.

If he just doesn't like the taste mix the rice cerial with formula instead of water first and then less formula and more water with the time.

Don't worry, he seems to do fine.

our daughter was not happy about trying foods. just keep offering a little bit. i stuck the cereal in her formula to fill her up and that seemed to start the 'real' food. i don't think they like the texture, flavors, and suddenly having to work a little for their food rather than just sucking it down.

My daughter was breastfed for 2 1/2 months, until I went back to teaching. She easily accepted formula, and then whole milk. She was a very cherub looking healthy baby.
She always knew when I would try to slip in some cereal into her bottle.
She would not eat baby food, even at the age of 1 and I would put it on my plate and try to feed it to her. She wanted the same food I was eating, so I would give her some to gum and later chew, as her teeth came in.
I felt lucky that I did not have to buy/make her baby food.
She is now a beautiful young mother, with a daughter of her own (that I am helping raise), that did not eat baby food either.

Maybe if you try using an infant feeder he might get use to it. You can buy them just about anywhere. My dr told me to try it when my daughter was little and she did eat her food then. She was just used to the bottle and so she took the food out of the infant feeder.

Hi B.. Don't worry too much about it.
it may be that he is just not ready.
Every child is different and while some start at 4months... not all do. Their digestives system will not be fully developed till 4-6 months. All the nutrients that your baby needs for the first 6months are in their milk. If you are breastfeeding - even better. In the meantime there are definitely signs to look for that tell you when a child is ready. 1)If they hold their head up with good controll 2) sit up mostly unsupported 3)opens mouth when seeing a spoon (you will notice that they watch alot before doing this)4)does not spit food out. 5) uses jaw to munch up and down 6)uses whole hand to grasp objects.
Hope this helps.

I wouldnt worry too much about the solid food yet. Babies PRIME source of nutrition for their first year of life is found in their formula. Also, as long as he is gaining you shouldnt have to worry. Does he like rice cereal??

He might still be a bit young for solids (since 6 months is usually the recommended age). Since your son is only 5 months old, I would wait a month and see if he is more interested then. At some point he will be interested in food--even if it's only your food! While I know you want to do everything right, keep in mind that only you know your baby so well, and what might be right for other babies isn't necessarily right for yours, and you should trust your own instincts more to know what is best for your child. Even the guidelines that are offered are just that, meant to guide not order! Your best guides are always your baby and your own gut!

Have you tried mixing just rice or oatmeal cereal with formula and baby fruit? Offer it everyday the same thing It takes a few weeks before they like any one thing. So make sure you pick one thing and continue to offer it only for about 1-2 weeks. Then add something different! Good luck!

My son did not and dose not like his cereral mixed with water. He likes it mixed with formula. I think he prefers oatmeal to rice but that changes too. Some doctors are now saying to wait till they are six months old. If he is holding his head up and can sit in a highchair with out you holding on to him I think that is the test to know if he is ready for foods or not. If he still isnt comfortable or is slumping over in his chair then I would wait. There is nothing wrong with letting you child develop at his own pace. Sounds like he is telling you that he is not ready yet, looks like your seeing that. Call your doctor and ask them for some suggestions and if its ok to hold off on the feeding. Good luck !

I would not worry about even bothering until he is 6 months old or so.

He is at a healthy weight already. I have posted the info from the web below and hope that helps.

I have 14 month old twins and we did not start them on solids until they were able to swallow easily which was around 6 months for them. We never purchased storebought foods though, we just made our own. There are tons of places out there with recipes and ideas for making your own baby food.

Good luck!

Starting your baby on solid foods is the beginning of lifelong eating habits that contribute to his or her overall health. For this reason we have some general guidelines that can help you start your baby out on the right track to a healthy life.

Breast milk or infant formula supplies all of your baby's nutritional needs for at least the first 4 to 6 months of life, so don't be in a rush to start solid baby foods. Starting solids too early can cause your baby to develop food allergies. Your baby's intestinal tract is not as fully developed during the first few months and introducing solids at this time can be too much to handle

Another reason for not giving solid foods earlier than 4 to 6 months is unintentional overfeeding, since younger babies can not offer you signals when they are full, such as turning away or showing disinterest.

A third reason for holding off on solids is your baby's inability to swallow solids correctly before 4 to 6 months of age and this can potentially cause choking. And contrary to the popular myth, starting solids early will not help your child to sleep through the night.

When offering a new type of food, always feed it for several days in a row before starting another new food. This makes it easier to detect food allergies, which can present with diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, hives or a rash. Do not offer mixed ingredient foods until you are sure that the baby isn't allergic to any of the individual ingredients. Also, don't add any seasonings to your baby's foods.

Other practices to avoid are putting your baby down for a nap or sleep with a bottle of formula or juice, as this allows sugar to pool in your baby's mouth and can lead to cavities. Don't feed your baby cow's milk, honey or egg whites until your baby is at least one year of age. Also, do not give carbonated or caffeinated drinks, candy or other foods that your baby may choke on.

Remember, these are general guidelines and the amount and types of food that your baby eats may vary from day to day.

I wouldn't worry about this at all. I have a 4 month old and so far he is still on formula in a bottle. His doctor said at 5-6 months to try feeding him rice cereal mixed with formula from a spoon, but to also continue the formula in a bottle. He said at 6 months to start introducing veggies first, then fruits. One at a time to check for any reactions. My 4 month old is 16 1/2 pounds! Sounds like your little boy is doing fine, and he will start on food when he is ready. Even the doctor told me at 5-6 months mine might mostly spit the rice cereal out and if that happens to put it away for a couple weeks and try again. I would stop worrying so much, your son probably just isn't ready for it yet. Try again in a couple weeks! Good luck!

HI B., I have four kids and my middle two would not eat the baby food. The didn't like the taste at all. You could try making your own baby food. Something they like it better. and if not all you can do is just keep trying to feed him. Hope this helps.
C.

He's not ready. Pure and simple. Not ready. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests waiting until 6 months, despite the fact that most pediatricians give the green light at 4 or 5. He needs a little more time, mama. Put it away for a couple of weeks, and then try again.

My children were/are both breastfed (3 year old DS weaned at 2, and 13 month old DD still nurses all the time), but neither one of them liked solids until 10 and 11 1/2 months, respectively. And I started trying at 7 and 7 1/2 months. They just didn't like it much. Now they are both very healthy eaters.

I believe that formula by itself is just fine for the first 6 months (though it could be a year, I just don't have any experience with formula), and breastmilk is for the first 12. He is still getting his nutrition from the formula, and the food (especially that icky rice cereal) are just experience at first. He's really not missing out if you wait a week or two, or a month even. He may "catch on" next time! I personally would wait until he is 6 months just to make sure he is ready.

They also say it can take many many tries before babies like a food. I would say stop trying for now, and then it may take some trying when he is ready.

And by the way, rice cereal is recommended because of the ease of digesting it. If you hold off until a little later, his digestive system will be more mature, and you don't even have to give the rice cereal.

Good luck! You are doing a great job, mama!

Don't fret, he doesn't have to add solids yet. My 5 1/2 month old daughter doesn't like rice cereal, but she loves oatmeal. Maybe try that. Also keep in mind that it takes children 12 times of being exposed to a food before they know if they like it. It sounds like he is growing fine, so don't worry.

Good Luck,
J.

Yes, Mommy, I think you're worrying too much. The first thing you need to do is get rid of any notion that your child has to do all the same things at the same times as other children. Every child is different. My first child nursed exclusively until he was about 9 months or more because I didn't even know I could be giving him anything else. He's 4.5 now, and perfectly happy and healthy. Don't worry so much - as long as he's not starving and is still growing, there's no need to push him into something he's just not interested in.

You are doing great! He sounds like he is just not quite ready for solids. My little girl is 12 months old and still not really into solids. If she could still exclusively nurse, I think she would be happy with that! But, I just do my part, which is to offer her healthy choices of solid food every day. If she refuses, I don't worry about it and try again later.
He really does not need any solids until he is 6 months old, and then he does not need much. Try again when he turns 6 months old. Some good first foods to try are avocado and sweet potato. Also, if you want to try cereal again, try the Earth's Best whole grain rice cereal mixed with some applesauce or pears. Good luck!!

How long have you persisted in trying to feed your little one? I know when I first started feeding my DD her first foods, she pulled faces and spat it back out, but that was only because she wasn't used to this new flavour, and it took her a few days to learn how to swallow her food properly. All babies are the same, and so I doubt that your son dislikes the food - maybe he just needs to get used to it. But if you're certain that he really doesn't like it, he will be fine just on forumla until he's quite a bit older.

Don't worry, easier said than done I know!

My oldest ate baby food like it was going out of style, he loved it. But my younger one, she is now 5, couldn't stand it. She never ate baby food of any kind, including the tasty ones like fruits. I worried about it too, but my pediatrician reminded me that infants really only need breast milk or formula for their first twelve months.

As long as he is healthy and gaining weight accordingly then there is no cause to worry. You could put the baby food away and then try again in say a month and he may take it.

My daughter never ate it, but around 10 months she went straight to table food. She loved feeding herself and is a great eater today. She doesn't have any problems with textures and eats almost anything. He may skip the baby food stage altogether.

Congratulations on your little one! Babies that come to those who were not sure they would/could ever have one are the most special!

He is still young, I wouldn't worry. Just try it every couple of days. Eventually he will warm up to the idea of a spoon going in his mouth. :-) We started off with rice cereal and I added a little applesauce for flavor. Just a couple of spoons to start off. I didn't push it, and eventually my daughter just started eating. I think of lot of it is just getting used to food coming in a different package. Good luck!

Don't give up, just keep trying. With each new food you introduce, you son will have to aquire a taste for it. Stick with one food only for at least a week before switching to another food.

My daughter and I would add the baby food to the formula and increase the size of the nipple hole of the bottle. I ususally added a little applesauce or fruit to the meat and formula. My grandson is a pretty picky eater..he is getting better now. (Almost 2).

My 5 month grandson was not happy with rice cereal either- so we added vegetables to his diet, which he loves and then added fruit. We get in a spoonful of cereal every 2 or 3 bites and it goes down well now. Remember they also have to learn how to swallow at this point, not just sucking. Just keep at it - you may want to mix some veggies or fruit in with the cereal for a new taste sensation. Babies also have very sensitive tastebuds - much more than we as adults - has to get used to things - some more slowly than others. Hang in there! He will be eating you out of house and home soon!

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