B.H. asks from Burnsville, MN on November 08, 2008
When to Start Rice Cereal?
Ok things have really changed in last few years. It seems like people are either for early start on rice cereal or extrememly against it.
With my first daughter I started rice cereal at 2-3mos. and had no problems at all.
I'm tempted to start rice cereal with my newborn she's about 6 weeks old but I haven't yet. She was up 4x last night eating and did the same thing the night before. Growth spurt or not she's hungry and formula/breastmilk isn't staying with her very long she woke up every 2 hours. Her usual is waking up every 3-5hours at night. She's about 9lbs. and eating 2-4oz. now. She was premature but you wouldn't know it.
I personally donot agree with doctors waiting til 6mos. to introduce rice cereal.
What do all of you think?
So What Happened?™
I have decided to hold off which is what I orginally planned I just had friends telling me I should and how they did with their babies... What I decided to do instead was bring my baby into my bed and I got the best night sleep ever she only woke up ONCE instead of 4x, so I'll just do that for now on. I did that with my first daughter and didn't want to start another bad habit but hey it's whatever works.
C.M. answers from St. Cloud on November 09, 2008
If she is waking up that often to eat, I would start her on cereal. I know that they do things so different than 30 years ago...but it's not always right in my opinion. I started my daughter on cereal at 11 days because the formula just wasn't enough. She was hungry and I fed her. Each baby is different and a "one size fits all" way of doing things just doesn't cut it with this Grandma of six.
K.B. answers from Minneapolis on November 11, 2008
There are a lot of very valid reasons to wait until 6mos (or later) to introduce solid foods. Especially with a preemie - you need to go by adjusted age (calculate age by due date). At earlier ages, their digestive systems are not developed enough to process complex foods (even rice). Introducing foods too early (or to quickly) can cause a host of problems - reflux, constipation or diarrhea, colic - and also raises the risk of food allergies, ear infections, digestive issues and weight problems. If you don't trust your doctor's opinion on this (or any other) issue, find one you do trust or ask questions about why they have the opinion they do and what their reasons are for any specific recommendation for your child.
C.B. answers from Milwaukee on November 09, 2008
You said she was premature. Hence she really isn't gestationally even at 6 weeks. You sound like you have your mind made up already so I suspect you are really looking for confirmation of your decision, but I would tell you to HOLD OFF! I started my 4 month old daughter on it because she seemed so hungry AND SHE MET ALL THE DEVELOPMENTAL MARKERS TO START FOOD. And as soon as we did her weight gain started to drop off. By 8 months she was down in the 15th percentile. She is a perfectly healthy 3 year old now but it got a little scary in there for a little while. Now I have a 6 week old boy who was not born early, and last night he was up exactly every 3 hours, if not 2 hours and 45 minutes. I am pooped but that is normal for a baby. In a few days he will sleep a little longer again. But he is 13 pounds at 6 weeks. Mine son was bigger at birth than your daugther is now. If you don't believe in waiting until 6 months fine, but you are 3 1/2 months away from that point! I think you are allowing your fatigue to help you make choices in her health. DO you have someone else who could get up with her for one or two feedings each night? I know this isn't what you wanted to hear, but I think you are doing more harm than good if you do start her this early.
R.K. answers from Appleton on November 09, 2008
Savannah is too young to have solid food. When babies are given solids too soon their digestive system isn't ready to handle the solids and although they seem fine as children, as adults they will develop digestive problems and will suffer the rest of their lives.
I breastfed 4 children and I know it is difficult to get up every 2-3 hours with them especially when you have an older child at home. I totally enjoyed getting up with the baby at night, it became our time. The house was quiet, no one disturbed us and often I would snuggle my little one with me on the couch and nurse him/her and we would drift off to sleep together as the baby nursed. It only lasts a few months and it is golden time for you and your baby, enjoy.
L.Y. answers from Wausau on November 08, 2008
Waking up every 2 hours is normal for a six week old. Since she had been sleeping longer before and she has hit the 6wo mark she is probably in a growth spurt. I breastfed exclusively until 6 months with my first and until 5 1/2 months with my second. It's just normal for them to need more breastmilk or formula during the growth spurts and at 6 weeks they are just too little to actually move the food to the back of their mouth to swallow. Don't worry...you won't be waking up every 2 hours forever! It'll just be a little while. In the end, it doesn't matter what everyone on here says...you're her mom. You'll have to decide what is best for her.
A.B. answers from Fargo on November 09, 2008
I waiting until my children were at least 6 months old. I remember trying some rice cereal with my oldest per the "advice" of our families and it didn't help her sleep any better. The reason they say not to start until 4-6 months of age is because of the gag reflex being so strong until then. Do what works for your family and don't worry about what others think. Congrats on your newest little one! How premature was she? My 2nd was 7 weeks early and my 3rd was 6 weeks early.
M.K. answers from Sheboygan on November 09, 2008
The doctors aren't saying to wait on starting cereal for their (the doctors)health. THere is legitimate research indicating that a baby's digestive system is not really able to break it down until 4-6 months. From an anatomy standpoint, they will be better able to manage swallowing if they have better head and upper trunk control (again 4 to 6 months). My mom and MIL also both encourage cereal earlier than is currently recommended "you kids all turned out fine" is their usual response. However, being in developmental pediatrics myself, I have read some of the information and it's pretty straight forward research. You are better off to wait (although I'm sure you will hear many responses of "we started early and things were fine"--but why take that chance, especially with a premie?). Additionally, babies do NOT need any of the nutrition in the cereal--everything they need is in breastmilk and/or formula.
S.S. answers from Madison on November 10, 2008
Doctors are not fools. There is specific research as to why you should wait to feed solids. Even though we were all fed ealier and Grandma's insist it's ok, think about all the other things we were given and did as kids. Would you put your child in the car without a carseat? Most kids in the 60s, 70s and 80s went without. Your little girl is little and may really need eat during the night, BUT, is she really eating or does she often fall asleep a few minutes after nursing/bottle. Maybe it's the only way she knows how to fall back asleep. Hang in there! I'll bet by 9 weeks she's waking up only once or not at all. Trust your doctors advice. There is a reason they go to school for 9+ years after high school!
J.S. answers from Milwaukee on November 09, 2008
You are probably going to get a lot of mixed opinions on this. Here's mine :)
I started my baby girl (now 13 months) on rice cereal once a day (at night time) at 6weeks old. She was just so hungry and formula wasn't doing it for her. She's a perfectly healthy baby and I wouldn't have done things any other way. If I have another baby, I'll probably give rice cereal early again. It just depends on your baby and their needs - no two babies are a like, so a doctor telling you you should wait until 6 months is just insane because they don't live with your baby!
So, my advice to you is to do what you think is best for your baby. We introduced cereal at 6 weeks and it worked perfectly and our daughter is healthy as can be.
Good luck - I hope all goes well :)