16 answers

Infant Rice Cereal Intolerance

My daughter is 5 months old. Her pedi recommended starting her on rice cereal, then moving on to the others if she tolerates rice well. Ever since she started she has become much fussier, and I noticed yesterday a red eczema like rash on her arms (her 3 yo brother has severe eczema and food allergies--although he always tolerated everything fine when he was an infant). I am unsure what to do now--I have stopped the cereal, and no fussiness today. I was going to wait a week then try it again and see what happens, but if it turns out she is intolerant I'm not sure what the next step is. Do i try the other types of cereals? Do I skip cereal and go right to fruits/veg? Do I hold off on everything and wait until her 6 mo check up? She is currently on formula and is fine, but loves eating off the spoon and definitely seems "ready" to eat solids. I don't want to call her doc because we've been in there several times in the last few weeks because of my son and don't want to go in again unless it's a serious issue. Thought I'd ask your thoughts on here...

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Stop all food except formula until she's at least 6 months old, you can even wait until 8 months and be within the guidelines of what a Pediatrician wants. Many people even wait until a year old and start with finger foods (though pedi will probably give you grief over that). Its up to you though.

I give my oldest rice cereal and she had hard time with pooping so I change her rice cereal to Oatmeal and never had a problem after that.With my two other kids I didn't even try rice cereal and went to oatmeal and they never had problem pooping....Good luck

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Any solids at this stage is really just practice...pratice tasting...practice getting stuff in the mouth...practice keeping stuff in the mouth...and you can practice with anything. Of course, avoid the known allergies that affect her brother, but there are plenty of innocuous things to feed babies. Mashed avocado is actually great at this age and plain, unsweetened yogurt.

Breastmilk or formula should be the primary source of nutrition for the first year. PLENTY of babies don't have anything but for the first year. My daughter was easily 9-10 months before her solid intake made any impact on her breastmilk consumption. We skipped the "cereal" stage altogether. She didn't like it and I found it to be of dubious nutritional benefit.

1 mom found this helpful

I really think 5 months is too young for solids. I can't believe there are pediatricians out there recommending solids that early.

My son is 8 months old and isn't eating solids. We have intro'ed them, but he's not terribly interested. I nurse on demand so I'm not worried.

All babies seem "ready" for solids. You could put rat poison in front of her and she might grab at it as if she wanted to eat it. That's just a developmental skill they have, it doesn't necessarily meant she's ready to eat.

Skip the cereal...it has no nutritional value that she isn't getting from her formula.

We started with avocadoes, banana, sweet potatoes, etc. My 8 month old has tasted peaches, cherries, potatoes, bananas, and apples.

Check out the website http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/

If you eat fairly healthy, whole foods, there is no reason for your baby not to just eat what you eat. And I can guess that none of you are eating rice cereal for dinner! :)

Ignore the pediatrician.

All three of my daughters were allergic to the rice cereal - we noticed the fussiness, the eczema behind the ears and on the scalp, and it also showed up in blood work when they were older. Stop the rice cereal. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just giving her formula until she is a year old - it is what I did with my last daughter, as she was allergic to so many foods as well. Frankly, the formula is so much more nutritious, she will be better off in the long run!
Warning: I had some people make comments about why I wasn't giving her "real food" yet - ignore them! She is a very tall, beautiful, healthy 13 year old girl now! And yes, she still has the food allergies and/or sensitivities.

If you are insistent on trying other cereals, the Barley worked well for my daughters when they were older!

She is rather young to even start cereal in my opinion. She gets complete nutrition from her formula or breast milk. Give her system some time to grow and stop giving her anything else.

My middle son was the same way with rice, around 5/6 months. I would try oatmeal or go on to avocado, banana, pear, etc. You could try rice later (like several months down the road) but you don't necessarily need to.
Hope you find something that works!

I would give oatmeal a try. My oldest had no problem with rice cereal, so I didn't think anything of it when we gave my younger daughter rice cereal. For days she had the worst time pooping. She got very constipated and she would work so hard and cry so hard and barely anything would come out. My doctor told me it was probably the rice cereal stopping her up and to try oatmeal. We moved to oatmeal and she became regular again and we didn't have any more problems.

If it turns out that she is intolerant to the rice cereal, starting with any single grain cereal would be just fine. Good luck!

I give my oldest rice cereal and she had hard time with pooping so I change her rice cereal to Oatmeal and never had a problem after that.With my two other kids I didn't even try rice cereal and went to oatmeal and they never had problem pooping....Good luck

Maybe she just isn't ready for anything yet. She doesn't really need any solids for a year. It doesn't matter what you start her on, just that you give one food at a time for a couple of days and see if there is any reaction. Clearly something is up with the cereal since she cleared up when you stopped it. It's her little system's way oc telling you it's not ready for that yet. No worries. I wouldn't run to the doc. I would keep up the formula, maybe some finger food...little pieces of banana. She has the rest of her life to eat solid food.

My son is 8mths old and he didn't like rice or oatmeat cereals at all so I stopped giving it to him. Nothing says that he must eat cereals. I started him on fruit and bottle then graduated to veggies!!

Good luck!

I didn't start my girls on cereal untill 6 or 7 months, she may be too young still. babies at 5 months don't really need "food". I would not give her fruit or veggies yet.

Hi R.---First, it is not well recognized, but there really are few true food allergies. Most are simply intolerances because of overactive or undeveloped immune systems. I work with many health care practitioners and I can go into that in more detail if you would like.

If she seems hungry and not satisfied with formula, then try another cereal, but call the pediatrician first. I highly recommend starting veggies first, especially the yellow ones. Sometimes they will get a taste for the sweet stuff and not eat the veggies later.

I'm not sure I would jump to a lot of food testing just yet. Give her digestive and immune systems a little time to mature first.

I do have some suggestions for your son's eczema as well. In my work with these health care professionals, I have learned many ways to help balance the immune system so that any allergy is minimized or eliminated altogether. But an optimal diet has a huge role in balancing the immune system. It is my honor to help others learn how to optimize their diet. It's all about prevention and allowing the body to be able to heal itself, as it knows how to do. Please understand that I am not suggesting you eat badly. But our bodies, and our health, is being challenged by so many things these days, plus our food supply does not contain the nutrients they did even a generation ago, likely because of soil depletion and accelerated growing practices.

Good luck and feel free to contact me at any time. I want these babies to be healthy and disease free. Have a great day. D.

Stop all food except formula until she's at least 6 months old, you can even wait until 8 months and be within the guidelines of what a Pediatrician wants. Many people even wait until a year old and start with finger foods (though pedi will probably give you grief over that). Its up to you though.

Rice cereal is a poor 1st solid food, tho peds seem to love it for some crazy reason! I'd try banana, kiwi, yams, avocado, baked potato. With food allergies in your family, be very careful of dairy and wheat especially. Or you could wait awhile.

My son started at 5 months too and was very obviously ready to have solids. Cereal is an easy thing to start them on, but not really necessary. You could just skip it and go straight to the real stuff. I would definitely hold off on anything but formula for a few days right now though, just to monitor her behavior and rash for a few days with no extra stuff in her system. So I think that is a good idea. And you can always call the pediatrician's nurse line and ask them your questions. It saves you a visit for a basic question. I use my nurse line first and only go in if they think it is necessary.

My kids didn't tolerate the rice cereal either. They also broke out in a rash. I only nursed my two younger ones for the first year. Then I introduced veggies and fruit. I just skipped the cereal until they were much older and tolerated it better. It seemed like they did better when they were older. If you were wanting to try it again, I'd wait six weeks. Sometimes an allergy will clear on its own if you keep it out of the diet for six weeks.

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