32 answers

When to Introduce Rice Cereal?

my son just turned 4 months old on the 13th and at his check up the doc said it was ok to start solids (like rice cereal)now..but doesnt that seem early? I primarily breadtfeed but he does get a bottle now and then of pumped breastmilk or formula when I'm at work. He recently increased how much he eats to 5 to 6 oz every 3 or 4 hours and seems satisfied with that. He even sleeps for as much as 8 hours a night without waking up to eat. His weight is fine in the 50%. He is showing some interest in what we are eating but he wants to put everything in his mouth anyway, he has pretty good head control but wouldnt be able to sit in a highchair yet. He just seems so little to be spoon feeding him now. When did you guys start giving your kids solids? Is 6 oz alot for him to be eating in one feeding at this age?

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Some docs recommend rice cerial at 4 months expecially with breastfed babies for the iron, but if you feel it is too young wait until 6 months. Most experts are saying its better to wait. They are now associating some food allergies with starting solids too early. I started my daughter at about 4 1/2 months because she seemed ready to me, and we have no food allergies in the family, but she didn't really get in to it until she was about 6 months.

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I would consider waiting a little longer. You mentioned that you don't think he would be able to sit in a highchair. I think this is one of the "signs" you are supposed to look for before starting cereal. My two older boys did not start cereal until close to six months. Also 6oz. is not too much for one feeding at this time. My youngest, who was also born this past december takes 6oz. regulary.

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I actually started giving my son a very minimal amount of rice cereal at 6wks before going to sleep at night.
This is a bit early, but my son has a blood sugar problem (not diabetic), so I mixed it with his night time bottle.
To start I mixed it like 20% rice cereal to 80% formula. He calmed down at night especially, and I waited until they (I have twins) were 4-5mos when I actually started feeding them breakfast rice cereal in the mornings by spoon full.
Good luck.

More Answers

"Iron supplements
Breast milk contains much less iron than formulas, especially the iron enriched formulas. Actually, this seems to give the baby extra protection against infection, as many bacteria require iron in order to multiply. The iron in breast milk is very well utilized by the baby (about 50 percent is absorbed) while being unavailable to bacteria, and the breastfed full-term baby does not need any additional iron before about six months of age. However, the introduction of iron-containing foods should not be delayed much beyond six months of age.

Adding solid foods
Breastfed babies normally do not require solid foods before six months of age. Indeed, many do not require solid foods until nine months or more of age, if we can judge by their weight gain and iron status. However, there are some babies who will have great difficulty learning to accept solid food if not started before seven to nine months of age.

Because the six-month-old baby will also soon need to have an additional source of iron, it is generally recommended and convenient that solids be introduced around six months of age. Some babies show great interest in grabbing food off your plate by five months, and there is no reason not to allow them to start taking the food and playing with it and putting it in their mouths and eating it.

It has been the habit of physicians to suggest that babies be started first on cereals and then other foods be added. However, the six-month-old is far different from the four-month-old. Many six-month-old babies do not seem to like cereal if it is introduced at this time. Do not push the baby to take it, but offer other foods and perhaps try again when your baby is a little older. But if he refuses, do not worry he will be missing something. There is nothing magic about cereal, and babies do fine without it. Anyhow, your baby may soon be eating bread. The easiest way for the baby to get additional iron is by his eating meat.

There is no good reason why a baby needs to eat or be introduced to only one food per week or why vegetables should be started before fruits. Anyone worried about the sweetness of fruit has not tasted breast milk. The six-month-old can be given almost anything off his parents’ plates that can be mashed with a fork.

Far fewer feeding problems will occur if a relaxed approach to feeding is taken."

I hope you will find it helpful. I copied it from http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/go/index.php/268/suppl...

1 mom found this helpful

I started my son on cereal at about 4 months, because he was constantly hungry. (He has no allergies now at 3.5). If you only mix a little into the breastmilk, so it's kind of a watery texture, it'll still be easy for him to take. My son couldn't sit up (which is suppose to be one of the "signs" you have to start feeding them) but he was always hungry, so we tried it and it worked for him. (I used his vibrator chair to feed him, and sometimes his car seat, so he was sitting up at an angle and it wasn't akward for me to feed him) With my daughter, she wouldn't touch cereal at all, and didn't seem to need any solids until she was about 6 months old. Each child is different. You can try it if you are wanting to, or you can wait if you think it's too early. It's really all about what you want to do for him and what YOU think he needs.

1 mom found this helpful

I must say that I've heard this same question from so many mothers. I had my Pediatrician tell me the same thing. I was thankful that I had support through la leche league website and other informative websites prior to my Pedis opinion/comment. I just gave birth on Monday to my baby girl. I also have a 3 year old and a 22 month old (boys).
It was with my first born that I was told by our pedi to start solids @ 4 months...needless to say I EXCLUSIVELY breastfed until my first born was a year old and he was so fat and plump, you'd swear I was holding cream in my breast:-) My 2nd I started introducing solids @ 8 months, because he was showing sooo much interest in OUR food. My personal opinion is that 4 months is way too early, especially if you are breastfeeding and the baby seems to be gaining weight just fine and is overall in good health. If you havent already, visit the website of La Leche League, they are so supportive of doing exclusive breastfeeding and offer so much info and advice on the topic. I hope this helps. Good luck in what ever you decide. I'm sure either way baby will be just fine. Also remember every child is so different and to always go with your heart and gut (its usually correct). Your baby will usually give cues on what is going on.....its just trying to decipher those cues...LOL.....The journeys of motherhood.....gotta love it! Good luck!
C. Johnson

1 mom found this helpful

you said he eats 5 or 6 oz by choice right, he's not stuffing himself, babies know when they are full and they will stop eating, its not too early to start cereal, because they recommend starting jar food around 6 months. the cereal gets their digestive system ready for more solid food. with my kids, since they weren't ready for a highchair at that age either, i actually sat them in their carseat on the couch to feed them until they could sit up. If he is showing interest in your plate, then he's ready. they can also start some jar foods now like applesauce or pears, stuff thats super easy to digest, i always liked to mix it with the cereal because my kids wouldnt eat it plain.

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arg!!!! I hate doctors who suggest cereal so early. If he has no interest in the cereal and can't even sit up by himself for long enough to be fed, DON'T FEED HIM SOLIDS!!!

When my daughter turned 1, her ped told me that she no longer would get any nutrients from my breast milk. I looked at her and wondered...OK...all of a sudden my breast milk doesn't matter??? I started to give my daughter solids at 6 months (mostly frozen food in a safety feeder or organic brown rice cereal made with breast milk) and she really didn't show much interest beyond grabbing the spoon and painting herself with it. She had minimal solid foods until she was aprox 18 months old and is healthier than all of the kids in her preschool class right now.

So...after all of that, continue to pump, nurse him as often as you can, wait until he is 6 mos to introduce solids to him, and just take it as he dictates. Some kids will be totallyb ready for solids and let you know, others won't, and you will know. Just let your baby lead you and relax!

1 mom found this helpful

Some docs recommend rice cerial at 4 months expecially with breastfed babies for the iron, but if you feel it is too young wait until 6 months. Most experts are saying its better to wait. They are now associating some food allergies with starting solids too early. I started my daughter at about 4 1/2 months because she seemed ready to me, and we have no food allergies in the family, but she didn't really get in to it until she was about 6 months.

1 mom found this helpful

I would (and did) wait until I was ready to give my son ( now 1 yr) solids. 4 mo is early and they don't need it...The old school believed that if you gave them cereal they would sleep longer. I have never found that to be true... I actually gave it to him at 9 months and caught lots of flack from clients that thought he NEEDED "Real food" I am still nursing morning and night because I love it. The bonding and closeness is so much fun and it goes away so fast.... I have a 16 year old and I actually waited a year before I gave her any solids...I was a real rebel back than...heehee Follow you instincts. If Sawyer is gaining and seems happy....wait. The diapers are so much better pre-food :)
Enjoy, you will turn around and he will be running circles around you! G.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.. First off let me just say if you don't think he is ready then don't do it, you do what you think is best. With that being said I started my son on rice cereal at 4 months. But I didn't give it to him as a meal. I would just give him a little bit maybe a couple spoon fulls once or twice a day say about half way between his feedings. What it really helped with was him figuring out how to move the food from the front to the back of his mouth instead of him pushing it back out. Now he is at six months and eating like a pro. I also found that when I started feeding him the rice that he got a little constipated but if you add just a little pear juice or the Gerber 1st foods pears to the rice that everything flows just fine. And yes pears are fine, doctors recomend pear juice for constipation rather than over the counter drugs and let me tell you it works wonders. My little guy was taking 6oz at 4 months its not too much. But does your little guy spit up alot? Thats a good way to tell. If he is spitting up alot after the feeding then reduce it by an oz or 2 but you may have to feed him more often than every four hours. He will let you know. Not every baby is the same. Follow your instincts, even though you are a first time mommy like myself they will never steer you wrong. You know your baby better than anybody else. :) I hope what I have said helps in some way. Goodluck!

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