39 answers

When to Start Rice Cereal for Breastfed Baby?

My DS is almost 4 months and I am wondering when to start him on rice cereal. The ped said anytime now, but I wondered when other BFing moms started!

What can I do next?

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I started Aiden at 6 months. Some doctors say 4 and some say 6 months so there are less risks for allergies. Aiden is allergy free so far!

I started with rice cereal mixed with a little breast milk (I pumped 1 bottle a week to mix with his cereal) as well as sweet potatoes and pears, but he was really showing all the readiness cues. Don't force him until he is ready and be patient. Try a little tonight after you BF him. If he's receptive to it, continue. If not, wait a few days and try again. The hardest thing to start with was getting it behind the tip of his tongue so it didn't come right back out. Hope this helps.

I am still baffled as to why I keep hearing people say that their dr recommended starting to feed rice cereal at 4 mo. old-

Their digestive systems are NOT ready at this age for solid foods. You should really wait until they are 6 months old or 7 mo even. A good sign is if they can sit well by themselves and have gotten past the reflex that makes their tongue push food out of their mouths with each bite.
Good luck! (and a good rice cereal is by Earth's Best and not only is it all organic, but it is also made with no genetically modified foods (GMO's).

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We started our boy when he was 6 months old, but we skipped the rice cereal until later. It's actually kind of difficult on their systems.
I really wish pediatricians would stop saying 4 months is old enough because the young age has been associated with food allergies. Aside from that, it is already recommended for breastfed babies to not have anything else until at least 6 months old (by the AAP) AND the majority of babies are not even close to ready for solids at 4 months old.
If you're strictly breastfeeding then don't worry. Your baby is getting all he needs from you right now. A couple of months isn't too much or too hard to wait.

1 mom found this helpful

A., for ME, personally, the answer is NEVER EVER EVER EVER! I just do not find ANY reason or benefit to it. I exclusively breast feed my babies until after their first birthday; meaning, I don't prepare meals for them but do allow them to taste food relying only on breast milk to provide their main staple of life. After the first year I just start giving tiny amount of food from each meal we have and gradually increase the size I give them to match their desire and appetite.

Some people, however; are in a hurry to get the baby "off the breast" or have the misconception that there's some need to give solid food for nutrition when in actuality it takes almost a full year before the baby's body can identify,extract, and effectively utilize nutrients from food we give them. The purpose of giving any solid food is for "practice" and/or curiousity sake.

Also, remember growth spurts will cause you're baby to request more breast feeding for a few days each time, this is NOT a sign that he isn't getting enough nutrition from you it is simply him telling your body it's time to step up the production again. 2wks, 6wks, 12wks, around 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months are times to look closely at this particular issue if you're baby is demanding more nursing time. Other times are when they are feeling well; have a cold, teething, ear infections, etc...

If you're committed to using the cereal I'd wait until after your baby has lost the tongue thrust reflex God gave them to protect them from choking on things that don't belong in their mouths...sometime after 5 months or there about. But really, the only thing I see coming from it is stinkier diapers.

1 mom found this helpful

Every baby is different, so really it just depends on the cues your baby is giving you (sitting unassisted, teething, mooching for your food). I have 3 kids and none have been the same. My 1st had no interest in solids until she was 9 months old, also when she finally got her first tooth. My 2nd was about 6 months, and my last started mooching for food at 5 months. Nutritionally, breastmilk alone is sufficient even up to 1 year. The solid foods you offer are more for experimenting and having fun. As far as rice cereal goes, it has always been the first food I try, but none of my babies have ever loved it, even though I used breastmilk to make it. Having tried it myself, it really isn't that great tasting. I usually just ended up using it to add some extra nutrition to other baby foods. If you'd like a good resource, Dr.Sears' The Baby Book is a great read. Hope this helps. The bottom line is: don't stress-out about it. If he likes it, have fun, if not, try again next week and enjoy the fact that you don't have to scrub food stains out of his clothes or pack food for him when you go out!

1 mom found this helpful

I started mine at about four months, and weaned at 6 months when she indicated she was ready. I take the standpoint of trusting my dr. as long as I feel good about it. If you feel good, go ahead.

I am still baffled as to why I keep hearing people say that their dr recommended starting to feed rice cereal at 4 mo. old-

Their digestive systems are NOT ready at this age for solid foods. You should really wait until they are 6 months old or 7 mo even. A good sign is if they can sit well by themselves and have gotten past the reflex that makes their tongue push food out of their mouths with each bite.
Good luck! (and a good rice cereal is by Earth's Best and not only is it all organic, but it is also made with no genetically modified foods (GMO's).

I breastfed all three of mine for the first year and I started rice cereal at 4 months. I made it very weak and watery at first (to get them used to a spoon, mostly) but I only gave one "meal" a day for 2 months or so. Then, when they were allowed some solids at 6 mos, I mixed that in, too. My son is 10 mos now and gets rice cereal for breakfast and a veggie/fruit from a jar for dinner--also he nurses 4 times a day. I think it depends on what you and your baby are comfortable with.

A.,

You are going to get a lot of opinions on this one. I would encourage you to do a little research on your own of the medical literature, so you can come to an informed decision.

There is some persuasive evidence that recommends starting solids between 6 and 8 months of age. The World Health Organization, UNICEF, US Department of Health & Human Services, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Dietetic Association, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, and Health Canada all recommend that baby be exclusively breastfed until 6 months of age. Unfortunately, many pediatricians are not giving their patients' parents information that agrees with the American Academy of Pediatrics. Here are a couple great articles from www.kellymom.com:

1. When is Baby Ready for Solids?
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/solids-when.html
A good article that offers a great overview of what to think about before starting solids. Here are some basic signs of developmental readiness for solid foods:
*Baby can sit up well without support.
*Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue.
*Baby is ready and willing to chew.
*Baby is developing a “pincer” grasp, where he picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. Using the fingers and scraping the food into the palm of the hand (palmar grasp) does not substitute for pincer grasp development.
*Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth.

This article also debunks some popular myths about starting solids, including:
"Baby's weight has reached a 'magic' number to start solids."
"Your baby is big so you need to start solids."
"Your baby is small so you need to start solids."
"There is not enough iron in breastmilk."
"Baby needs solids so he will sleep longer at night."
"If you don't start solids by "x" months, then baby will have problems with solid foods"

2. Why Should I Delay Starting Solids?
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/delay-solids.html
The biggest reason to delay introducing solids past the 6-8 month mark is a family history of allergies. Allergies are running rampant, and the earlier and more often a child is exposed to a food, the more likely s/he is to develop an allergy to it.

3. Will giving formula or solids at night help baby to sleep better?
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/solids-sleep.html
This is an interesting article. Though many moms have stories about baby's sleeping better with solid foods, there is no medical evidence that this is true. No studies have found that babies on solid foods sleep better. In fact, some babies sleep worse because they are not ready for solids, and they get upset tummies. I have to say that neither of my daughters had any change in sleep patterns when we started solids.

I hope these articles help you make a decision that is right for your son. By the way, in regards to baby nursing very often being a sign of solid readiness, that is not necessarily true. Many babies go through a growth spurt near six months of age. They nurse like crazy because breastmilk is a demand-and-supply system. The increased demand bumps up your milk production. It doesn't mean that you can no longer support your baby on breastmilk alone. It just means that your son is ready for you to make more milk for him, so he's letting your body know what he needs.

Best of luck,
S.

I just started a couple weeks ago and my boys are six months. Smooth sailing so far:)

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