Advice!?!? My 5 Month Old No Longer Interested in Eating Solids.....

Updated on October 08, 2008
S.G. asks from Warren, NH
27 answers

Hey Moms, I need some advice...So when I took my now 5 month old (will be 6 mths in a week) to his 4 month check up, his pedi. said I could start giving him some rice cereal. So I tried it and he loved it. I only gave it to him at night til he got use to it. I then gave him a little veggies or fruit with it after a couple of weeks. He did fine with all of those too....well about 2wks ago he started shaking his head back and forth and spitting out the rice cereal, so I figured after trying it 3 different times I thought he didnt like it. So I got him some oatmeal cereal...ate for a week fine, now he hates that....and so on...he hates every kind of cereal I have given him. I feel like I am at loss....he will eat the veggies or fruit no problem...so what should I do? Do you think he doesnt want or not ready to eat yet? Is it ok to feed him just the veggies or fruit?....Any advice would be great. He has a 6 month check up in 2wks so I plan on asking his dr. then....but in the mean time do you think I should just stop feeding him solids and just stick with his bottle? (which he eats no problem) Thanks for all your help....S.

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E.C.

answers from Boston on

Wow. You can always get a second opinion. My doctor doesn't recommend starting solids until after 6 months. My understanding is that the earlier you introduce solids, the more likely the child will develop allergies to the food you give them since their digestive systems are not completely developed yet.

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S.W.

answers from Boston on

Neither of my children ate the cereal, and it didn't affect how they eat now, or their nutrition. My youngest didn't really even eat baby food, he went almost straight to table food, so I think giving only the fruits and veggies will be ok.

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R.C.

answers from Boston on

Maybe just hold off for a while on the solids. OUr daughter didn't start solids 'til 6 months (following the advice from our pedi) and she slowly began rice cereal, etc. and was just fine and robust. What's the hurry - there's really no advantage to early solids is there?

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M.B.

answers from Hartford on

Honestly, his eating now is more to get him used to different tastes and textures and how to actually eat something besides breastmilk or formula. He's still getting most of his nutrition from the breastmilk or formula so I wouldn't be too concerned if he isn't all that interested in the cereal. Besides, have you tried the cereal? I wouldn't eat the stuff, hehehehe. The veggies and fruits are just fine for him as long as the bulk of what he's eating is still breastmilk/formula.

M.

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M.B.

answers from Hartford on

Hi S.! With Peds giving all different advise it can be so hard!! We waited till 6mon with our first, turns out he has severe food allergies! Our second was 20lb @ 3months (exclusivley bf) and he wanted more! So we slowly began rice cereal with [email protected]____.com did great. Our newest was [email protected]____.com seemed to want cereal like her brother. She nibbled for 2 weeks and since then has no interest. So I have stopped offering. And she is prefectly happy.
You know your child best. You may want to take a break, then go from there. I think Emi figured what the fuss was all about and is over it for now (smile). Follow his lead. Good Luck!!!!
M.

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N.B.

answers from Boston on

Hi S.,

From my point of view you're lucky. My second child ate "solids" at 6 months for about a day and then never again. He lived off of formula for the first 12 months and then off of milk. He was quite good at clamping his mouth shut anytime a spoon of anything came near his mouth. Cut to the present, he's almost 7, still has a very limited diet, but is healthy as can be. I would have been thrilled if he'd like the fruits and veggies and only said no to the cereals. As long as your pediatrician isn't seeing any developmental issues, I wouldn't worry.

Yes, it is hard to be a stay at home mom (I"m one). As to Liam always wanting your attention, try to create the situation where he's by himself with one or two toys for at least 15 minutes as many times a day as you can to encourage his being ok by himself and learning how to entertain himself.

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D.M.

answers from Boston on

Hi S.,

Well, fruit is solids, so I wouldn't worry for a little while.

The first thing that comes to mind is perhaps he has some allergy
to the cereal? Perhaps he is hypersensitive to grains?

Personally I think five months is too young to be giving solids. I would
have waited until six months, especially delaying the grains until a year actually.

Here is a food introducation list that my natureopath gave to me when my children were little.

I think if you follow it you will have better results. The sooner you introduce grains the more possibility of your child getting food allergies to them, developing gas and intestinal/gut problems.

Best Wishes!
D.

EXPERIENCED MUM
http://web.mac.com/experiencedmum

Prior to 6 months, mother’s milk gives infants all the nutrition they need. Introduction of other foods prior to this time may increase your child’s chances of developing allergies as his/her digestive tract & immune system are too immature. When the time comes, introduce foods beginning at the following months with these precautions in mind:

-The starred (*) foods are especially allergenic in nature.
-Introduce only one food at a time, and only when your child is well.
-Do not try a new food sooner than every third day.
-Pay careful attention to your child’s reaction to these foods for 12 hours after the introduction the first few times.
-Reactions include: colic, irritability, hyperactivity, unusual moodiness, skin rashes, blotchy cheeks, runny nose/congestion, changes in bowel movements.

Keeping a food diary may be helpful.

6 Months

mother’s milk, banana, apples (blended), pear, peach, plum, blueberries (frozen while teething), cherries (pit and smash), grapes (seedless and smash), yam, carrots, beets

9 Months

mother’s milk, papaya, strawberries*, blackberries, apple, nectarine, raisins, peas, squash, zucchini, sweet potato, green beans, millet, quinoa, amaranth, basmati rice, dried peas (except soy), safflower oil, blackstrap molasses

12 Months

(mother’s milk), spinach, kale, chard, broccoli, onion, garlic, potato, parsnips, asparagus, celery, oatmeal, brown rice, barley, soy (tofu, milk), almond butter, sesame butter, soy* & sesame oil, maple syrup, poultry, miso, yeast, kelp, soy milk (diluted or unsweetened)*, goat’s milk, (fresh)

15 Months

cauliflower, tomato*, mushrooms, cabbage, buckwheat, rye, other nut butters (except peanut), honey, barley malt, egg yolk, lamb (no fat), fish (no bones or shellfish*), whole raw milk*, yogurt*

18 Months

pineapple*, orange*, peppers*, corn*, wheat*, corn flour*, peanuts*, corn oil*, eggs*, beef*, pork*, cow’s milk*, cheese

COMPASS FAMILY HEALTH CENTER
Plymouth, MA

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L.L.

answers from Portland on

First, S. dear, every mother in the world was a first time mother, yes? Dont worry and do not castigate yourself so. YOu and baby will be just fine.
Just dont read too many How to Raise the Baby books. Dr. Spock is where all the troubles with child raising started !!! LOL
Your baby is hungry. Not for junk. But for food. Lots of babys are.
They do not like baby food (ever taste most of it? Yuck!!)
A baby anything can eat what his mother eats as adult, IF IT IS MUSHY ENOUGH!!!
When I rescue a baby bird I research what that type of bird eats as an adult, mush it up and feed it to the baby. Babies do fine and I can usually release them in a week or so when their wings strenghthen enough .
SO, your baby can eat yogurt, fruit, even meat ( scrape it off with a serated blade) People veggies...mash them right up. Mashed potatos , even with LITTLE bit of butter or gravy on them. Eggs, soft boiled and mashed too.
Had the same problem with my latest grandson..kept telling his Mum her baby was hungry...finally after a month she believed me and asked her ped. who agreed, some babies get hungry for real food earlier than others. He was four months old when I started feeding him from my plate, five months old when his Mum decided there was a possibility I could be on to something and started feeding him people food.
The child is not overweight, has no digestive problems ect ect.
He was breast fed and nursed a proper length of time.
Remember, baby food as we know it did not always exist. People made baby food by finely mincing people food.
Of course your baby is not ready to wean from the bottle for another year, year and half .
Our baby liked the junior foods when he was about six months old but not all of them. He, like Liam, enjoyed the fruits and veggies.
I would not put him entirely on people food all at once...few bites at supper table with you and Dad. You can even mash up cheerios with a bit of banana and milk. Probably low fat would be best to start.
Anyway, this is what Mother of seven, grandmother of 14 and greatgrammie of one thinks from vast years of experience and baby raising.
Oh, on the other side of the street, I had a friend who had nine children, two sets of twins, the oldest set had been blinded and retarded from too much oxygen in the incubators..that dates me yes? She never fed her babies any food until they were old enough to feed themselves. She said she ate enough good food so they got the benefits and she did not have time to reshovel same spoonful into a baby four or five times. So , she breast fed exclusively for nearly two years, every child. And they were healthy as puppies , every one of them. Humanity did not always have the benefit of foods babies could eat..for thousands of years two was the weaning year. Apparently it worked just fine. We are here, yes?

Best wishes and God bless
Grandmother Lowell

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K.T.

answers from Boston on

My kids are now 2yr and 8yr old. Our DR had us wait til they were 6mo old to start foods. I would make sure he's got the cereal down before moving him onto fruits and veggies. I would start them very slow, one at a time for a couple days. If you already started him, I dont see no turning back now. I would however make sure you are making the cereal thin enough for him to swallow it. I know w / my 2nd child, she had a hard time with that, so I would make it very thin til she got the hang of it. Still stick with mostly his bottle. They dont get much out of the cereal/baby foods at this age cause they dont eat a huge amount of it. Best of Luck and have fun.

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D.D.

answers from Boston on

did you try adding a little fruit to the cereal? I wouldn't worry, maybe just back off from the cereal for a little while.

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C.M.

answers from Boston on

Don't stop giving him solids totally. You said that he likes the fruits and veggies...so stick with that. He may just not like the grainy texture of cereal. Have you tried thickening the creal any to see if he likes that better? Children can be picky eaters...the key is finding the right combination. I could NOT get my daughter to eat the meats when it was time unless I mixed in veggies and fruit with it. Also stop giving it to him for a few weeks and go back to eat to see how he reacts...sometimes it takes a while. Good luck!

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K.J.

answers from Boston on

Hi S.,
More than likely your son just doesn't like the taste of the cereal. Can you blame him... have you tasted that stuff??? LOL... As he explores different fruits and vegetables and gains an appreciation for what he does and doesn't like, he's communicating that to you. It's really amazing to think that even at that age, babies are able to process what they like and don't like and communicate their preferences sometimes even better than adults. He's able to taste the food and send that information to his brain to say this tastes good and that doesn't. And then he remembers the next time he sees it that's the stuff I don't like. Kids are absolutely brilliant. As long as he has a good balance of fruits and veggies, feed him the things he likes. As he continue to develop his taste buds, the blander food will be less appealing to him and that's fine. You're doing great and keep feeding the baby :-).

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L.C.

answers from Springfield on

Hi S., not to worry, he will definatly eat again some day. Meanwhile, try alternating between the different cerials and I always found it helpful to either mix the fruit/vegie into the cerial or put cerial on the spoon and dip it into the fruit/vegie, he will get that taste first and then the cerial will be an afterthought. good luck, pretty soon you will be fondly remembering the days of mixing dried cerial and battling with him to eat different textured solids (meats/pasta etc..) enjoy him!!! L. C.

D.B.

answers from Boston on

Some kids are real sensitive to changes in texture, but others are interested in particular flavors. Try mixing some of the fruit in the cereal, or mixing in a little formula. If his problem is taste, that might help - adding in things he likes. If the problem is texture, try different amounts of water or formula to get a thinner or thicker consistency. My son used to eat baby yogurt and eggs too, mixed in. You want to keep introducing him to new foods so he doesn't become too excessively picky! (Yeah right.... but you can try!)

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L.P.

answers from Lewiston on

Try mixing his cereal with apple juice instead of formula. My guys loved that. Good luck!

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B.W.

answers from Boston on

use 1/2 water and 1/2 juice for the liquid in the cereal. the vitamin C helps them absorb the iron in the cereal better anyway.

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J.M.

answers from Boston on

I bet he just doesn't like the cereal - pretty boring and bland. If he's eating the fruits and veggies, keep practicing with that. There isn't a whole lot of nutrition in the cereal anyway. You could also try mixing the cereal in with the fruit if you would like him to have the extra iron. If your dr. said to try solids and your son has started them and likes them, I would stick withe the fruits and veggies 1 or 2 times per day and not feel guilty about it.

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J.R.

answers from Boston on

Hi S.,

Have you tried to mix the fruit into the cereal mixture? What are you mixing with his cereal formula, water, breast milk? Once he has had the cereal and there is no allergic reaction you can go onto another cereal. The same with the fruits. You can mix in the fruit with the cereal or have both on the spoon at the same time with the fruit on the spoon to be the first to go into his mouth. Hope this helps.

J. R

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G.I.

answers from Hartford on

Maybe in comparison with the fruit and veggies the cereal is just too bland for him. If you still have some of the cereal, try mixing some of the fruits you've already tried him on into it so it has a different flavor every night. After a few days of rice cereal with some fruit mixed in, try a few days of the oatmeal with fruit mixed in. This way it might shake things up a bit for him so to speak. Good luck!

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L.W.

answers from Boston on

I agree with the other Mom's. Try adding fruit to the cereal. I would do a mix of 60% fruit 40% cereal and then add a little formula/breast milk to the consistency that he liked. My son also went through a phase where he just wasn't interested. I still sat him in his chair and tried for a bit but never forced him. It usually helped if someone else tried to feed him as well. But I felt that sticking to the routine let him know we were going to keep working on it. After awhile he got interested in food again. Babies have their own ideas of what is best for them- but they change them just like we do.
It can be frustrating, try to be patient...good luck.

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M.H.

answers from Boston on

Several moms from our playgroup fed their babies solids before they turned six months, either because they were hungry all the time, or their bubs seemed ready for it. You don't have to wait for six months, though there are foods that their digestive system is just not ready for. Rice cereal is fine from 4 months. But it's bland, yuk. I used a mixture of rice cereal, oatmeal and barley. I think the barley gives it a nicer taste. Once she started refusing to eat it (about half way through the meal) I then mixed in some fruit and continued with the meal. Don't feel bad about having him on solids already, every baby is different. But just remember to check what foods their digestive system isn't ready for and stay away from them. Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron is a good book. It gives you guidelines for each food in alphabetical order and when they can be introduced, what to look for when buying them, how to cook, store and freeze them. One more note, introducing new foods should really be done at lunch so if your baby has an allergic reaction, it will be whilst you're around, rather than during the night when they're asleep, Good luck, keep persevering.

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L.D.

answers from Burlington on

We also waited until my daughter was 6 months and we started with mashed banana, sweet potatoes, etc. We did no wheat and no dairy until she was one and 1/2. We did try the rice cereal but she did not like it so we just stuck with the fruits/veggies (so yes it ok to do just do veggies/fruits)

She also at the Gerber Graduate puffs, and when she was a little older, around 11 months, we did soy yogurt.

you could also try Cream of Wheat, you can make it with water, breastmilk, or formula.

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T.E.

answers from Boston on

I had the same trouble when my son first started eating solids. I found part of the problem was that he liked the sweetness of the fruits and veggies and the cereal has no taste. I added a little of his formula to the cereal and once he got tired of that I started adding a little bit of the fruit or veggie, just enough to change its taste. I wouldn't give up on feeding him solids, he might just be a picky eater.

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D.H.

answers from Lewiston on

If he is still eating his veggies and fruits, I would get creative and start making different ones to fill in and have fun with what he likes. There are many great books out there with baby food recipes, too. He may just like those foods better than bland cereal. I believe the one thing cereal does contain is some iron, which he may need, so ask your doctor for some iron tips. As long as he is still nursing or drinking plenty of milk, the fruit and veggies are only extras. I had the best luck with feeding my daughter homemade veggies and fruit I pureed rather than bought brands. They just taste better! As long as it is healthy foods, I wouldn't worry.

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E.C.

answers from Boston on

Have you tried mixing the cereal with the fruit and veggies? I wouldn't give up giving the food. I don't think it really matters if they eat the cereal. I always thought as long as they are eating the veggies I don't care about the cereal. I told the dr my daughter didn't like the rice cereal and she said its gross I wouldn't either. My 6.5 months old daughter wants to eat more table food than baby food. She will refuse to eat the baby food until I give her food she can pick up then will let me feed her inbetween her putting food in her mouth.

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B.L.

answers from Boston on

Another thing you might try, if it's mostly a taste issue, is to add a tiny bit of mild spices to the cereal to give it a little flavor. My kids really enjoyed cinnamon in their cereal, and later a little ginger or nutmeg along with it.

Adding the cereal to the fruits or vegetables also works well.

I wouldn't worry about it all that much at this point -- at 6 months, he's still getting everything he needs from breastmilk or formula.

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T.K.

answers from Boston on

My son did the same thing. Once he started on the fruits, he didn't want something so bland. Try mixing some fruit in with it or get the oatmeal or rice with the fruit in it. My son loves rice w/ apples and the oatmeal w/ mixed fruit.

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