4 1/2 Month on Solids

Updated on May 18, 2009
S.G. asks from Fayetteville, NC
23 answers

Hello Moms :)
My son is now 4 1/2 months and our family doctor said that we could start giving him solids by 3 months. well when i asked moms on here, about giving him solids at 3 months, most said to wait it out til he's about 4-5 months. I thought this was a stage where i could start. I have started giving him baby food; a little bit at a time, but when im in school, my father gives him the entire jar of the baby food; so when people see my child, they say he's fat or huge. really he's not that big :( i told my dad to cut down the feeding and just give him a little bit. My dad claims that it's good for him to eat the entire jar, so he's big now and then he'll lose all that weight when he starts to crawl/walk. I absolutely cannot stand people judging my child saying he's fat, or huge. Yes he's big for being almost 5 months, but he's not fat. Anyway, we have just bought him some juice. Baby Gerber, juice; Ex: Pear and Apple juice. There 4 oz bottles. Im wondering where do i start. How much juice should i give him, or should i even be giving him juice, when im starting him on solids. I need help! :( Please, any advice, or help would be wonderful.

Thank you and take care.

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So What Happened?

Hello Moms :)
Thank you so much for your advice. I must say its very hard, with the different opinions. What i did was i started him on juice, 2 oz of the juice, 2 oz of the water .. he likes it actually. of course, it's anything but formula, lol. I havent talked to my dad about the increasing, just because our pediatrician, said it was fine to give him the whole jar of the food, but keep an eye out for any allergic reactions. He also said that, he will probably lose his "baby" fat, once he starts crawling and walking, being more active, i should say. Thank you again, for your response. This site is a great site, to help give information and advice out. Especially, when you need it, about anything.

Take care Moms & God bless :)

Featured Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

I would mix the juice half with water. he really doesn't need it, water is better to start in a sippy cup later. Actually at this point, he really only needs formula and/or breastmilk! Juice on occassion probably is no big deal, but giving it in a bottle is not suggested because of sugar, even with no teeth yet!
Don't worry about his size, if he is hungry he needs to eat! He will slim down when he starts moving! :>)



answers from Philadelphia on

First, I have 4 kids and they all ate solids at different stages. My daughter, now 7 months is eating baby food and still breastfeedig.
I would not start juices until at least a year- this is what will pack on the pounds for a baby. One of my boys was over 9 pounds at birth, and he's still a little chunky but by no means is he fat. I would feed the baby fruit and cereal along with formula or breast milk until a year. Don't worry about what other people say to you- every baby is so different just like adults are. My oldest son is almost 9 and he weighs only 9 pounds more than his 4 yr old brother. I have a long & lean son, a "stocky" son, another thin boy (2yrs old) and my daughter is adorable with her chunky thighs.
Relax, enjoy the baby and don't give him juice yet!!

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answers from Philadelphia on

Good Morning, When it comes to your baby Listen to your Dr. Does your Dr. say he is over weight? In my opinion I see nothing wrong with giving your baby a whole jar of food.Gerber has stage 1 jars which are small. If he's not fussing from being over fed then he should be ok. Even cereal mixed with fruit is good. A full baby is a happy baby. lol I'm not sure if you recieve WIC. But,they would be able to tell you at what stages the baby should be eating jar food. As for ppl judging the baby's weight.Allot of ppl don't think before they speak!They're rude! Just tell them He's healthy! lol Congratulations on your garduation! Good Luck!



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi Selena- First of all congratulations on your decision and on your baby boy. Just wanted to add my 2 cents on this, for what it is worth. I have read a lot on this subject but you will of course want to do your research yourself. I think 6 mths is the earliest a child should be fed solid food, and even later if there is a history of food allergies in your family. I would say start slowly with cereals and easily digested foods that you can prepare like avocado,banana, and other vegetables or fruits that you cook until soft and smush up. As for the juice, I would say don't give him juice at all. Even though it is fruit juice it is really just sugar and therefore emtpy calories. Although at his age I think it is normal and desirable for him to be chubby...you don't want that coming from empty calories but rather breastmilk or formula. No cow milk until 1 year, no strawberries, peanut butter (or any nuts) or honey for a year. Hope this helps, K.



answers from York on

My 5 month old daughter was having problems with constipation, so her dr. told me to give her 4 oz. of prune juice a day, but to split it up maybe 1 or 2 oz. at a time throughout the whole day. make sure he gets his formula/breastmilk first.



answers from York on


Do not worry about people saying that your baby is fat. My son was very big. I am sure people thought that he was fat also. And your father is right. He will loose the weight once he is crawling and walking. My son didn't walk until he was 15 months old because of how big he was.

He is 8 years old now and is stick skinny and very tall.

If your child is hungry feed him and don't worry about what others say about the size of your child. Fat baby's are cute! I know, I had one!



answers from Pittsburgh on

If your peditrician has suggested that he start on solids than I would go with it. Most of the time they will start them on cereal then, other types (fruit and vegies first). As for amount, I would confer with the ped...If you are that concern about the way I would stay away from the juices. The amount of sugar that is in them is not going to help keep the weight down along with other disadvantages to the juice. If looking for variety for drink, water is always a healthy choice.

Thank you for choosing life, I'm sure it was not an easy decision. Good luck with school.


answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi S.~

It's wonderful you are thinking about these things and that you have utilized this wonderful website as a resource to get your questions answered. Definitely keep that up! No better place for advice than from a bunch of other moms!

As for your son's weight issue, you didn't mention his actual size or percentiles, but certainly, I would discuss your concerns with your son's pediatrician. My son was also a BIG baby. He was 9 lbs, 9 oz at birth, in the 90th or above percentiles from birth... so he started off big, and stayed big.

I think an important factor to think about is the ratio of height to weight. If he is in the 40th percentile for height (60 out of 100 children his age are taller than him), but at the 90th percentile for weight (only 10 out of 100 kids are heavier than him), then he might be a little heavy for his height. If his height/weight percentiles are similar, then it is more likely that his weight is proportionate to his height, and not so much a concern from the standpoint that his is heavy... I hope that made sense. :)

But taking that a step further, about the juice... that is something to really think about if your son is already on the bigger side. Juice does have a LOT of sugar and empty calories, and is not necessary in their diet because they should be getting all the nutrients they need from the actual fruit and veggies they eat. I did give my son juice, probably around 1 year... but I have ALWAYS diluted it 50% juice/50% water, and figured I was doing something good by diluting it... I didn't want my son to get used to the taste of full strength juice, and figured he didn't need the extra sugar. I really wasn't even thinking about the calories, but I realize now I should have been... Fast forward 2 years to my son's 3 year check-up. He is now in the 75th percentile for height, and 90th percentile for weight. Now mind you, he is still a big boy in that he looks more like typical 4 year old than a 3 year old, but he is definitely not fat... and that is not me being defensive, he is just not fat. He has long, leaner (but not skinny) legs, and a little tummy, but it's small enough that you can still see his ribs, he's that lean. Well, at age 3, peds begin looking at BMI (body mass index which compares weight to height) to evaluate the potential for kids to develop obesity, and she told me that at my son's height, his weight is too much (39 inches tall, and 39 pounds). She said ideally, he should be at about 37 pounds for his height. She said that at age 3, he should only be on skim milk (we used 2%), and only 4 oz of juice per day (we were at about 12 oz per day - three 8 oz cups per day with 4 oz of juice mixed with 4 oz of water). She said to give him water, and if he doesn't drink it, he isn't thirsty?!?! So we have cut his juice cups back to like 1-2 oz of juice mixed with the rest water, so basically, he is now drinking juice flavored water...

She said those 2 changes should be enough to gradually get his weight where it should be for his 4 year check-up. They didn't recommend a diet or anything, but naturally they suggest eliminating or reducing sugary treats, or high calorie processed foods...

The reason I gave you all those details is just to illustrate what to expect as your big boy grows, and to advise you to think twice before introducing juice to your son. For a bigger boy, it is probably a good idea to use juice VERY SPARINGLY, if at all. I wish someone had told me that!

Best of luck to you and Happy Graduation!



answers from Philadelphia on

You should be proud that he is so chubby-- that means you are doing a good job!! :)



answers from Pittsburgh on

HI S.,
A small amount of rice cereal will probably do for now. As for the juice, remember a little goes a long way and I would dilute it half wit water. You don't want to create a kid who goes around sipping on a juice bottle or sippy cup all day. LOTS of extra calories in juice so I would give it sparingly--no more than a few ounces per day, and dilute it.

As for the weight....the ped can give you info on whether he's too heavy or not. Look for a current height/weight growth chart (I know there's O. in "What to Expect, The First Year") I don't like the idea of restricting the food intake (diet) of a baby if there's not a problem.

As for the input of your father, the neighbors, strangers on the street--get used to it! People LOVE to throw in their two cents and just the close proximity of a baby will bring out EVERYONE's free advice! LOL Take it all with a grain of salt.

The important thing is that you can be easily in touch with an informed and professional opinion on ANY question you may have by just calling the nurse at your pediatrician's office. That's what they're there for, so please, don't hesitate to call them and use them as a resource. The only "stupid" question is an unasked question!

Oh--and congratulations on your upcoming GRADUATION! :-) You go girl!


answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi S.!
You are doing a wonderful job!:)
Food issue aside, I wanted to touch upon the fact that it seems your father is ignoring your wishes of what you want done with your child. I think that warrants a talk. This is YOUR child and YOU make the decisions...you say NO to a whole jar of baby food, that means NO. If your father wants to continue having the priveledge of spending time with your son, he needs to abide by your wishes. I was a teen Mom at 17 and it drove me NUTS when others would attempt to "intervene" due to my age (meanwhile, at the time I was caught up with the latest literature on infant rearing). Any-hoo, you have great advice here, I can't add more to the food issue, but have a heart-to-heart with your Dad. He already brought up his child (you). Now it's YOUR turn to make decision for yours. :)
p.s My dd has never had juice. She is healthy and healthy looking. :)



answers from Harrisburg on

Most of what I have to say has already been said but I just wanted to provide a little extra support as well. My daughter started solids at 4 months and flew through them! By the time she was 10 months old she was off baby food altogether and eating what we ate at meals. She was breastfed as well during that time. She too is/was a big baby. At 2 she weighs 35 pounds. I've heard throughout her entire life comments about how big she is and how much she weighs. But the pediatrician says she's healthy and there's nothing wrong. She loves her fruits and veggies (all food really!) and is constantly on the move. So even if your son doesn't thin out when he starts walking/running don't worry. My husband is a big guy (6 ft 260lb) and I'm tall (5'8" and about 150) so I never expected my kids to be tiny.

As for the food. My son is 6 months old and will eat a jar of stage 2 veggies and half a stage 2 fruit at a sitting AND breastfeed after that. I was always told to feed them as much as they wanted until they showed you cues that they weren't hungry anymore (turn away, spit out the food, etc). They should still get the majority of their nutrition from formula/breastmilk but go off of your child's cues. If you still aren't sure, talk to the doctor, but whatever you decide, make sure your dad respects what you want done with your son! As for juice, I'd hold off on that too for awhile. I give my son a sippy cup to play with and get used to but only put water in it. Good luck!



answers from Philadelphia on

All my children have started on food early. My 2 year old had food at about 2weeks, she was hungry and knew what food was. She was a big girl, but so is her father and she is starting to thin out, As long as the doctors don;t see a massive overwieght issue then let the kid eat if he is hungry,

My 4mnth old son will only take in around 20oz of formula a day, doctors say that is not enough and then he will eat ceral with babby food in it at dinner time. He seems happy.

As for juice, half and half, half water and half juice, they really don't need the juice, or you can use it to mix his ceral with.



answers from Allentown on

Hi S.! Congrats on your son and on taking such great care of him while still going to school. as for him being big all kids are different. My son was off the charts in weight til he was a year old, and at 18 months he is now 75%ile so he has dropped quite a bit since walking. I wouldn't worry about weight at all. As for the food, again all kids are different. My daughter didn't eat solid foods at all til she was over a year old, but my son started at 4.5 months, but at first it was small amounts, but by 6 months he was finishing the whole jar and then I started him on finger foods/mushy table foods. If your son has an interest in food, go for it, but I think you are right in that he should not be getting a full jar yet. Maybe in another month or so, but I would tell your Dad that the Dr. said it is too much if he won't just listen to you. As for juice, my dd never had juice and was very healthy, but my son had some problems with constipation and so I would occasionally give him juice for that. I wouldn't give juice unless he has constipation issues. It really is not necessary and babies should receive the bulk of their nutrition from formula or breast milk for the first year anyway. Again, congrats on your son!!!



answers from Scranton on

If you're concerned abut his weight, skip the juice. He'll get much more nutrition eating a pear, peach, etc. Try fruits that are soft enough to mush with a fork at first. In a few months, you can just cut them into bite sized pieces. As for his weight, ask his pediatrician. Maybe you can take your Dad with you to his next check up and tell the dr about the comments people make to you adn your concerns. That way it will be the dr correcting your Dad, not you, if he recommends feeding your son less.



answers from Philadelphia on


first, I must give you a big pat on the back & congratulate you for such a committed attitude towards your education! And second, commend you for being such a good mom & taking the time to reach out in this virtual community to ask for advice!

What I did w/my son:

bananas, avacados, sweet potatoes

let bananas & avacados ripen til they're very soft (bananas will keep in the fridge without continuing to ripen. Leave them in their skins; the skins turn black, but the fruit itself doesn't continue to ripen in the fridge...)

sweet potatoes: next time you have the oven on for something else, poke a fork several times into the sweet potatoes (sometimes you'll see them in the market as yams - same family, so they're fine too), place directly on oven rack & bake for probably 45 mins or so at 350 degrees. When they're done, you'll easily be able to stick a fork or knife into them. When cool, peel off skins w/your fingers. Make sure you get any bumps out, so your son won't choke. Mash very thoroughly with a fork & spoon feed! He'll love it!

mash with a fork til smooth, and that's it ~ spoon into your son's mouth!

these three are amongst the best/most perfect foods; very, very nutritious.

I wish you all the best!



answers from Philadelphia on

Hey! About an ounce of juice a day is ok. Check iut Gerber's website...they have lots of info and guides and printable charts of what each meal should consist of for babies at different stages. His main source if nutrition should be formula...a minimum of 24 oz a day...baby food should be in addition and a treat...and you are right...he should only have small amounts at first.



answers from Johnstown on

Hi S.,
First and foremost--I applaud you for continuing your education while raising a baby. Second--The advice I got with my 3 girls from our pediatrician was to start the girls on solid food slowly...giving them only a little bit of rice cereal mixed with formula (about a tablespoon) until they got used to eating from a spoon. Then we were to switch from the forumula to pears and apples added with the cearl. We were told to make sure to wait atleast a week before introducing a new food to them incase allergies were to arrise. Juice is very frowned upon until they hit 1 year of age. Even WIC will no longer give juice to babies under 1 year. It used to be given at 6 months, but has since been stretched to 1 year. We were told that when we did give juice that it should be diluted with a 50/50 mix of water, never to be given full strength.



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi I have 2 boys, a 20 mo old & an almost 3 month old. My boys are HUGE! Not fat, but both are in the 90th percentiles. I've decided to take pride in that, you can too. Just think, if he stays big (but not fat), then he will be less likely to be picked on as he grows up.
As for food...I started my first son on rice at 3 months. By 4 months he was eating jar foods. By 5 months he was finishing a stage 1 jar & still wanting more, so I moved him up to stage 2 foods. He quickly moved from stage 2 to 3. By 9 months I was starting him on finger foods. By 12 months he was eating whatever we were eating, just chopped up really small. My second son frequently has painful gas & spits up a lot, so I will probbly wait a little longer before introducing solids to give his digestive system a chance to mature some more. My point? You need to listen to he cues your son is giving you.
Some tips:
1. make sure when you intro a new food, you give that food 3 days in a row & look for allergic reactions. Only intro one new food at a ime.
2. When feeding solids do one spoonful at a time until you son turns his head away from the spoon. (Or trying to pull back & away from the spoon). Turning away is his signal that he is full. Current research suggests that it is best to feed your child until they let you know they are full. Then stop immediately, whether that is half a jar or a jar and a half. this will teach them to listen to their "full" message. Kids who learn this at an early age are less likely to be over weight as they age. So, make sure your Dad isn't over feeding him & that you aren't underfeeding him. I think you will find that both of you need to make adjustments.
3. Nutrition...most of the first year a baby's nutrition comes from his formula. The solid foods he eats are just "practice" for when he is older. So, you don't need variety in the solid foods. Just make sure he stays on formula until he is one. Also, it doesn't matter if there is a solid baby food that your son doesn't like. My oldest hated baby food peas, but now he loves the real ones.
4. I've found the book "What to expect the first year" very helpful you might want to get it.
Good luck.



answers from Harrisburg on

Let me start off my saying that I am an experienced mother of three beautiful children ages 9, 4, and 2.

I think that 3 months is a little early for a full jar of food. Usually at this age, if your child is ready for solids, you start with the basic single-grain cereals. And, you introduce one new food at a time to try to prevent the chance of food allergies. Once your child is eating a sufficient amount of the single-grain cereals, then you move onto stage one baby food, then stage 2, then stage 3 and then table food.

Now, as far as whether or not your son is fat, trust your pediatrician to tell you that. You can always take your son up to the doctor just for a weight check. If your doctor says that your son is heavy for his age, then you need to back off on how much he is eating.

As for the juice, this is the perfect time to start introducing juices, especially high fiber juices. I side-effect of starting solids is that your son's bowel movement will get hard. If you don't introduce the juices to counteract the effects of the solids, your son will have a difficult time with his bowel movements and he could even get constipated.

Good Luck.



answers from Pittsburgh on

If he's having trouble with constipation, juice can definitely help. Otherwise, its not really necessary. I would definitely recommend giving him no more then one of those bottles per day. When my son started on solids, I would usually offer him a sippy cup that was about 2 oz juice diluted with 2 oz water and then just let him drink what he wanted of it with his meal. Juice really is not necessary as part of their diet but this did give him something new to try and helped him learn to use the sippy. Honestly, I didn't start my son on solids until he was 6 months and didn't offer juice until he was around 7 months. The only reason I mention this is because I'm not sure how well a 4 1/2 month old will be able to use a sippy cup. I wouldn't recommend putting juice, even if its diluted, into a bottle for him. The high sugar content can cause tooth problems if they drink it from a bottle because the way babies suck on bottles usually lets the liquid sit in their mouth for longer. If your son is willing to try a sippy, it is good practice and the new taste can be fun for him. Other then that, juice doesn't really offer any nutritional benefit that your son isn't already getting from jarred fruit and veggies (which are also lower in sugar then juice). I guess my bottom line is to try offering small diluted amounts to him in a sippy cup if he seems ready, but just look at it as good practice for him. Don't worry if he only takes a little or doesn't really like it at first, because it is just an added treat and not necessary for him to drink.

Also, definitely trust your doctor and not the opinions of loudmouthed people in regards to your baby's weight. My son was very large for his age but grew out of it once he started walking. Just let your son set his own pace. Babies this age are pretty good about knowing how much food their bodies need.



answers from Williamsport on

way to go! only a few weeks left of your HS career!
i'm glad you are tuning out the comments from others that you percieve to be inaccurate and harmful. it really is best, and most powerful, to learn to laugh at other peoples exaggerations- its probably their own junk.

I believe that it is fine for him to eat plenny.
your dad is right, he will loose it scooting around, and soon running around exploring the world. Remember, it is essential to plan for your boys level of activity to continue into his boyhood. he will need active sports and Lots of exercise for the rest of his life, lest he will be obese. To quote Ceasar Millan, Exercise, Discipline and Affection makes great kids.

best wishes,



answers from Pittsburgh on

I would let him have all the jarred veggies he wants-- they are VERY low calorie compared to formula/breastmilk. At 4.5 months, my son could easily finish a number 2 jar of sweet potatoes-- he's a very big/tall baby and needed the food. The fruits are much higher calorie, so feed them in moderation (no more than 2 jars a day). I would skip juice entirely unless he is constipated-- they are "empty calories" compared to formula or fruits/veggies. Juice also teaches kids a taste for sweet liquids and can very easily lead to soda drinking later on- a huge risk for childhood obesity. And trust me, as he gets older he'll get juice at daycare or church nursery, etc. We save it for an "out of the house" treat because it is too hard to control what they get when someone else is looking after the out of the house. But don't set up the expectation that they get juice at home, at least until he 's a LOT older.

As for his weight, I agree with the rest of the moms-- let your pediatrician be your guide. By now they like the kids to stay in whatever range they are usually in-- if your son is in the 30th or 50th or 75th percentile for weight doesn't really matter-- they just want to see that he isn't either getting a whole lot fatter or skinner. Same goes for height and head circumference. My son is in the 90th percentile for height (only 10 of boys his age are taller than him) and the 75th for weight-- he's just a BIG baby. Lots of people comment on it, and my Mother In Law always sends me articles about preventing childhood obesity, but he's been in the 90th/75th since he was 2 months old and that's just who he is. People mean well, but your doctor knows best (at least about this!)

Good luck! And congrats on finishing high school-- that is a big accomplishment WITHOUT a baby-- you need to pat yourself on the back! Way to go!

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