How Do I Get My 4 Mo. Old to like Solids?

Updated on May 16, 2008
S.S. asks from Lees Summit, MO
72 answers

I started my almost 4 month old on solids last week. For the past week I have worked on giving him rice cereal morning and night with a spoon, but today I started 3 times a day. He absolutley hates it and screams and screams. I think it's just the fact that it's a spoon, not a bottle, and there's a foreign object in his mouth he's not sure what to do with. He LOVES his bottle, but when he's hungry he doesn't give me any signals, he just starts screaming. So to get him to eat a few spoonfuls of rice I have had to give him a few ounces of milk first to calm him down. Then just a few spoonfuls of cereal is all he'll stand, and then I give him the rest of the bottle. Even tho I was told to feed him the cereal first, that doesn't work because he starts screaming and then chokes on the cereal. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas on how to get him used to eating solids and having food spooned into his mouth? My mother is telling me to start mixing a little fruit in with it but I realy don't think he cares what it tastes like, he just needs to get used to it. This is a new experience for me so any ideas would be appreciated!

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K.K.

answers from St. Louis on

alright i know this is a little late, but i am kinda going through that right now with my 6 month old. I was just wondering how it was going and to see if you needed any help. I am also a singe mom. I have a 6 month old son.

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C.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Wait I did not start feeding solids until 5 months it might just be too early wait a month and try it again!

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K.G.

answers from St. Louis on

My son, now 15 months, had issues with the spoon at first. He didn't open his mouth enough to get it in, then it was just a struggle.
My husband hit upon a great idea: use a medical syringe (a baby one meant for their mouth). We would load that up with rice cereal or oatmeal (he likes that a lot better), put it in his mouth, and squirt a little in. When we did that, he was able to calm down and eat. It was less steps for him to take, and he could just eat.

Good luck!

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T.K.

answers from Kansas City on

At 4 months your baby may not be ready for solids yet. Most pedi's now days suggest waiting until 6 months to start solids. I have 3 boys (6 years, 14 months, and 8 weeks) I did not start solids until after 6 months and I started with vegie then went to fruit skipping the cereal all together with my oldest two and I do not intend to give my youngest anything til at least 6 months.

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A.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi,
When you decided to start solids, was he acting like he wanted to eat? Our pediatrician specialized in nutrition, and she told us that unless they are acting as if they are interested in our food (watching us as we eat, smacking his lips, grabbing for our food), infants are not ready. Since the window of starting solids is 4-6 months, maybe you should just wait until he seems more interested. I'm sorry if this seems too harsh, since I know it's a relief when they start eating solid foods and they sleep longer, but try and remember that it's their timeline, not ours. :)

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J.L.

answers from Springfield on

As I suspected you have had lots of response to your question. I didn't read them all but I am sure many of them have reassured you that he will eat solid foods when he is ready. This is something that you just cant force on any baby. Let him experience it a little at a time and when he wants he will show more interest. Just thought I would give a little extra support! Just remember he isn't going to starve.

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L.D.

answers from St. Louis on

I had the same thing and my Dr. said don't rush. Stop all together for a couple of days and just introduce it every other day. Mix cereal with formula and fruit for taste. He'll get it. It really is not neccessary for him to eat it for a while anyway. Dr say 6 months to start feeding.

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S.T.

answers from St. Louis on

I would recommend holding off on the solids till he is 6 months. I think that is the recommendation of most peditricians. I have three boys none of which ate solids before 6 months, my oldest really did not acclimate to solids till after 7 months. He may also enjoy just holding the spoon and get used to putting it in his mouth.

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M.K.

answers from St. Louis on

I wonder if your baby just isn't ready yet? My pediatrician told me absolutely NOT to start feeding my baby solids before 6 months, but he was VERY interested in what we were eating starting at 5.5 months so I started him on rice cereal then and he gobbled it up. Evidently one of the most obvious outward signs that a baby is ready to eat solids is he/she is very interested in other people's food, so maybe try again when your baby displays that sign? Even my baby reference books all say 6 months is the ideal time to start feeding a baby solids, whether he/she is exclusively breastfed or drinking formula. Good luck!

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M.T.

answers from St. Joseph on

Your baby may not be ready to spoon feed yet. I'd give him a week or two and try again. You don't want to make his eating experiences "not fun". This could cause problems later in his eating habits. Also, the cereal should be fairly runny, more so than applesauce even. The idea is to get him used to the spoon really, not necessarily the different food. Do you make the cereal with his milk or water...my sons liked it best when i used the formula. I'm not an expert by any means, but I do have four children and believe me, you learn a few things here and there lol! Good luck!

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L.K.

answers from Springfield on

S.-
When I started my daughter on rice,I made it very runny, just a tad thicker than her formula. Also I let her "slurp" it from the spoon by turning the spoon sideways and putting it at her mouth. I SLOWLY made the rice thicker, and now she is a pro eater! Hope this helps!

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L.C.

answers from Topeka on

S.,
Did your doctor tell you that you should start him on solid foods? I am a grandmother of 6, the baby grandson I am around all the time. My daughter's doctor told her not to start till 8 months for solids. I don't normally respond but this one had to be responded too. My 14 month old grandson is still on advanced formula. He eats everything.
Please check with your doctor. The best to you and your baby.

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J.J.

answers from Columbia on

Hey,
I don't know if your have had help on this issue yet, or if your child has started to eat solids fine now. Anyway, what I did with my son when he was about that age was: I mixed some baby food (fruit) into his cereal. He loved to eat his cereal after that, and as far as other solids. We just tried it every couple of days or weeks. But, if he did not eat it, we would just give him the 1st or 2nd stage baby food. Dont' worry if he does not seem to want it right now. He will get used to it. It just takes sometime. If anything try to mix the food with a little more water, formula, or breast milk than you usually do. It is just the texture they have problems with. Need anymore help let me know. My e-mail address is [email protected]____.com

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J.T.

answers from St. Louis on

My 4 month old was the same way. I put her food in the bottle until she was a little older. She was extremely picky. She is now 8 months and didn't like the rice cereal until about a month ago. She acted like she was choking:) I had to put everything in the bottle. I would just mix babyfood with like 4 oz. of formula/breastmilk. With the cereal I would put a couple teaspoons mixed with the formula/breastmilk. She now is not very picky and eats everything! Hope this helps. Maybe he isn't ready. Good luck to you.

D.H.

answers from Kansas City on

If a little bit of juice doesn't work try heating it up some. Four months is young. A few spoonfuls at each meal is fine. You are not feeding your baby the food for nutrition value, but more for learning aspect. Don't fret. Take a break and start again later.

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L.D.

answers from Topeka on

Every ones says something different, but I would stop with the cereal and try again next month or the month after. They grow up fast enough dont rush it. Enjoy feeding the bottle, only.

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E.Y.

answers from Columbia on

I have a four month old...he did the spoon feeding for not even a week and started throwing fits. So I went out and got those cereal bottles...Nuby makes them. They have bigger holes in the nipple so the cereal goes through better and you can make it thicker. THEY ROCK!!!!! Trust me he'll suck it down like there's no tomorrow!!! Also, mine won't take just cereal...sometimes I mix a sprinkle of malted milk in with it or like your mom said, fruit or vegetables. Or you could try the single grain oatmeal. My son likes that way more than the rice cereal. Good luck!

And don't worry...it's not too early! Everyone told me that, but I felt that he needed to. And he's perfectly fine. : ) He started eating solids at almost 3 months. Plus it says on the box...2 months. You're good.

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J.H.

answers from St. Louis on

Don't push it. You have plenty of time. Four to six months is the recommended time. You are on the early side.

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J.P.

answers from Springfield on

Hi S.,
I have raised five kids and it took all of them a while to warm up to cereal. I currently have a four month old who is hot and cold on cereal. It is normal for babies not to like textures at four months. The first thing they do is thrust their tongue's forcing the food out. It is tricky for babies to learn to accept solids and get them to the back of their mouth for swallowing. Being able to do that is both learned behavior and developmental skills. He will get used to it over time. Your mom is right that fruit would make him eat it, because of sweetness. However, if you start that with him, it will be much harder to get him to eat vegetables when the time comes. Also, kids can have more trouble with fruit allergies than cereal and veggies. Because of that, it is important to start veggies a month before fruit. I think you have the right idea about the bottle and then the cereal in between. Also, you only have to feed him about a tablespoon of prepared cereal at a sitting. It sounds like he is doing about that much. You are slowly transitioning him to texture by using the bottle and that is the right thing to do. If he gets frantic, give up for that session and try again later. Don't sweat it, because up until month 6 babies really do get all of the nutrition they need from breast milk or formula. So, it won't hurt him if he is too upset to eat it at a meal. Good luck! J.

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B.R.

answers from Kansas City on

S.,
This may not be what you want to hear, but I think it just takes time. Your baby is not the first and I will venture to say not the last to hate trying new foods. My little guy did the same thing. He only wanted that bottle. It just took time for him to adjust to the idea. I'd say back off a little bit. Just do cereal at dinner (helps to sleep through the night). If he only takes a few bites, tell him how fantastic that was that he did the few bites. Then, don't be suprised if he doesn't want the little gerber jars later on. My little guy didn't want anything to do with any of it. Now, he eats like a champ. Just hang in there and remember that milk was his only food and he just needs time to adjust to the change. Good luck!

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K.R.

answers from Kansas City on

I agree with all the other moms. You could try to make the rice/oatmeal really thin with formula or whatever you mix it with. Maybe the thickness of it bothers him...who knows. I say try thin and work to thicker. Good Luck!

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J.T.

answers from St. Louis on

My daughter has never liked the rice cereal, but when I gave her barley she loved it. I mixed 1 tbs barly with 2 tbs water to get her started. And when she was sitting in her high chair and I was watching I would let her play with a spoon to get her used to it. Hope this helps.

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P.F.

answers from Springfield on

S., try waiting a couple of more months before giving solids. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you start solids at 6 months of age. Most babies are not physically ready at 4 months, once in a while, you see one that is. Babies should be able to sit up on their own, are reaching for your fork or spoon all the time when you eat. Some babies even wait til 7 months. Babies that are not ready for solids have a reflex (called a retrusive reflex) that make their tongue push the solids out to protect their airway, so they don't choke. Back in your mom's day, solids were started really early, sometimes as early as 6 weeks. Now we know better, babies who start solids too early are more likely to have allergies, be obese, ect. So if it were me, I'd just wait a few more months, enjoy that sweet and chubby 4 month old and not fight with him about eating. Congrats on your little guy!!

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D.H.

answers from St. Louis on

S. - don't stress this one. Check with you pediatrian. Most medical opinions today ususally don't even want to introduce solid food until 5 or 6 months of age. Actually food allergies increase the earlier solids are started. If you really want to try solids this early they will only eat a couple of spoonfuls. They have little tummies and can't hold a lot of food. Take it slow - it sounds like he is on schedule

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S.V.

answers from St. Louis on

About me: I'm happily married with two toddlers and babysit two more toddlers, an infant, and a five-yr-old.

Dont force him to eat solids, he obviously isn't ready. You CAN start introducing them at four months, but if he isn't ready, he simply isn't ready. All babies are different and at their own pace.

My advice is to wait a couple weeks and try to introduce it again, but never force it. You will KNOW when they are ready because they will start watching you eat and wanting what you have, then they will never let you eat anything without wanting some! :)

If he hasn't started becoming interested by 6 months, then you might want to talk to your pediatrician, but I'm sure he will catch on in his own time. If you want him to get his cereal that bad, I used to mix some in with my kid's bottles, but not until they were 6 months.

My son started being interested in food by 3 months, but my daughter didn't want anything to do with it until 6 months. Remember that doctor's advice is only advice, but momma knows best. They SAY 4 months because it's an average, but most people are not average ;) good luck and god bless.

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R.E.

answers from St. Louis on

I believe I was told by a nutritionist that it takes somewhere between 8-10 exposures to a food to develop a real taste for a food, no matter how old you are. What matters right now is exposure to the solids. The first few times I tried them with my children they ate very little of it. Give it time and be patient with perhaps 2 bites this time, 3 the next, eventually they do get the desire to eat what is one the spoon.

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C.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Hey S.- Most (good) pediatricians and the American Association of Pediatrics encourage parents to wait until 6 months. I would not push him! Hold off another 2 months and try again. This will help with food allergies as well. The earlier the exposure to allergens the higher the risk for food allergies.

Good luck!
C.

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M.G.

answers from Kansas City on

S., I am a mom and a daycare provider. Every baby is different. They are born with the automatic response to push things out of their mouth other than a nipple. This is something he will grow out of. I would try taking a break for a week or so and then try the cereal again just once a day. If he takes a little great, if not no big deal. He's really on the young side for solid food anyway, there is no rush.

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K.M.

answers from Springfield on

I think that he is a little young to be pushing the whole solid food thing. I would back off until he gets to be a little older. then when you do give it to him make it like soup very thin and runny. they do have feeder bottles that you can get if he needs that extra at night. 3 times a day is just to much for his little system to handle you have to build up to it and that takes time. Talk to his doctor and see if he thinks he even needs it now and then ask them how much.

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S.H.

answers from St. Louis on

Maybe he's not ready yet? There's no health or nutritional reason that you would have to give him solids this early (unless you've been instructed differently by your pediatrician) and if he's stressed, and possibly you're stressed as a result, give yourself and him a break for a month and try again. He may get stressed trying to coordinate the new swallowing required for eating solids and age can make such a difference. Good luck!

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J.B.

answers from Wichita on

S.,
I didn't start both of my chubby kids until 7 mo on solids. It takes awhile for them to get use to something other than the bottle. Most books I've read recommend 4-6mo, the later the better due to food allergies. I'd just wait a month or two and try again. He just may not be ready yet. They get their nutrition from the bottle right now anyway. You want him to like trying new things, not screaming about it. You could also try just giving him the spoon (with no food) to play with after feedings, just to get him use to putting it into his mouth on his own. Good luck! Enjoy them while they are young, because they grow up soooo fast!

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E.M.

answers from Lawrence on

4 months old is still very young to start solids. Our first child had a huge appetite, so we started her at 4 months on rice cereal. With the second one, we waited until she was about 6 months old. You've got time. Just a little taste is probably all he needs right now. Soon he'll love it, and his appetite will grow. Once he can grab things like cherrioes, it'll be a lot easier.
Good luck!

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A.B.

answers from Kansas City on

If he happens to spit the food back out with his tongue he's not ready. As for cereal, have you tried putting it his bottle with his formula to start with then work on feeding him from a spoon. Also, make sure wherever you feed him(i.e high chair, etc.) that he can sit up without falling to one side. If he falls to one side, he's not ready. I'm on WIC with our 3 kids. My youngest is almost 4 months. I've actually started feeding her the rice cereal in her bottle because she seems to be constantly hungry. That little extra cereal has really helped. I did the same with my other two boys. They turned out just fine. Make sure you try the rice cereal or other cereals first before you try solids. My WIC sheet i have says not to start vegetables first, after the cereals, at age5-6 months. If you start the fuit first your baby might not want to eat veges after having all the sweet fruit.

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T.B.

answers from St. Louis on

He might not be ready for solid foods yet. The recommended age is 4-6 months and the World Health Organization says to wait until 6 months (but use your judgement). I have two children and pregnant with the third, I have never given solids until 6 mos, but most of my friends have. When starting on solids, you want to try to feed it to them when they are not starving because this type of eating is a new concept. I always did demand feeding too for bottles (breastfeeding), but my son kind of put himself on a schedule so I could guess about when he was ready to eat. I would too maybe try at the same time every day. I think you are doing a good job, giving your child a little bit of the bottle to calm him down and then trying cereal is a perfectly good option. I personally wouldn't mix with fruit yet because medical experts have shown that there digest track can only handle cereals perferably rice until after the age of 6 mos. He might end up getting a belly ache. My best advice on all topics is listen to your dr., your common sense, a little of what family and friends say, and then make your decision. You son will eventually catch on. He is learning something new, so just be patient with him. Hope this helps. I think you are doing a good job.

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S.T.

answers from St. Louis on

Most babies are not ready to eat solids at four months. From what you are saying it sounds like your baby isn't ready. Is there a rush? Give him a month or two, and try again. It is ok to start with fruits and veggies as first foods. The rice cereal has no nutritional value anyway. Good luck.

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J.G.

answers from Columbia on

How we do this is to mix a little of the cereal into the formula. Start out by making it thin, then gradually add more to it. At 4 months, he is a little to young for a spoon. Keep mixing the cereal in the formula for another month of so and do this only in the evening, this will help him sleep all night if that is a problem. You will probably need to make the holes in the nipples a little larger as you add more cereal. There is also a special bottle for cereal and formula. I'm surprised that your doctor approved cereal. They generally don't like babies to start solids this early. I have found that you have to know your baby. I raised 6 and fed them cereal before the recommended age. Now with 13 grandkids and 1 great-grandchild, I feel pretty much like a pro.

By the time he is six months old he will be eating out of a spoon like a pro. Just don't rush him.

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H.C.

answers from St. Louis on

They make a bottle that is made for eating solids. It has a bottom that pushes up to help push the cereal out. But if the cereal is mixed with enough formula or breast milk, then there shouldn't be a problem getting it out of the bottle. I think maybe the nipple has a larger hole so the cereal can get through. I've seen them at Babies R Us and at Burlington Coat Factory. It might be made by either Gerber or Sassy. They come in a two pack. Maybe he can get used to the new texture using the bottles with the cereal and then you can start trying with the spoon again.

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K.A.

answers from Kansas City on

My son hated the "rice" flavored one,so I tried the oatmeal. he loved it. I think it is something new to him and he isn't use to it, I wouldn't force it on him though.. as he might fight you from here on out about what to eat. Alot of children are picky.. with my daughter who is now 8 years, refused to eat any baby food, we grounded up our food in a blender and gave it to her that way and she loved it.

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A.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Your mom is right add a little applesauce with the cereal and add warm milk. Consider he is four month old, don't force him maybe you think he should be eating more but sound like a smart baby to me. It's not that important now. Take it slow and don't over feed. Fat is not healthy, neither is skinny.
Let the baby eat small portions and don't worry.

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N.R.

answers from St. Louis on

I would stop giving it to him. He may just not be ready. There is now golden rule that says you need to start feeding them cearal at the age of 4 months. Take the cues from him. It just seems like he just isn't ready.
The best for him right now is either breast milk or formula which ever you have choosen.

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J.W.

answers from St. Louis on

My pediatrician gave me the opposite advice. She had me give my daughter(5 months)her entire bottle feeding first then I fed her from the spoon. At first she only would take a few spoonfuls and spit most of that out with her tongue, but she is now getting the hang of it. If I try and feed her the food first, she won't eat it, always bottle first. They are still getting most of their nutrition from the formula still anyway, so it won't hurt to try it. Good luck.

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K.R.

answers from Kansas City on

S., He is only 4 mo old you can wait awhile to introduce solids. Its really ok to just give him formula or breast milk for a year. Wait until he is 5 mo then mix the rice cereal with formula and make it thin. If you really want him to have it for some reason then make it thin and put it in a bottle. Eventually they all learn to eat food. I had the same battle with 2 of my four children. My second son was 11 mo. before he would do anything but breast feed. Then it was rhubarb sauce that he seemed to like best. I am not advocating that you start your baby on rhubarb sauce but to say that his reactions are perfectly normal.

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T.H.

answers from Springfield on

S. have you tried to put the cereal in with the milk and add a little sugar you need to get a differnt nipple so that way he suck the cereal thru it better. I have done this with my kids when they were little. Try mashed potatoes, mac & cheese puree them but not togather. That's all I can think of right know.

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H.H.

answers from Kansas City on

your baby may not be ready for solids yet. 4 months is when you start introducing rice cereal but isn't something you must do. They can also start apple juice but need to start juice in the cup. 4-6 months is a good age to start introducing the sippy cup. Don't put juice in a bottle. IT causes tooth decay.
I gave my babies rice cereal that early and mixed it with apple juice with water or put a tablespoon of fruit baby food or applesauce and mixed it with water. The water helps mix it up better so it's not too thick for them to eat. Most babies will not eat that cereal plain anyway. You can also try mixing your babies formula or breast milk with it.
Also a hint for future with baby food. Don't waste your money on those first meats that smell like dog food. I haven't found a baby yet that will eat those. I have 3 kids and not one of them would eat it. I have a chopper and chopped up their chicken and hamburger with it so they could eat it but at 6 months I just fed them all the vegetables and some of the mixed dinners that the jar shows for 6 month old babies. Older ones have more chunks in them and they can choke so look at the specified age. I still mixed their cereal with fruit even after a year old so they wouldn't only want to eat fruits as they are the best tasting baby foods.

HOpe that helps.

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C.G.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi S.!
Try giving him a few spoonfuls BEFORE he gets hungry for his bottle. When babies get hungry, they want satisfaction RIGHT NOW :) and the cereal doesn't get to their tummy as fast as the milk/formula! When it comes to solids, they have to get used to two things: 1)the texture of the food, 2)learning to push food from the front of their mouth to the back. At this age he is getting his main source of nutrition from his bottle, so don't stress yourself about how much cereal he is actually getting into his stomach. It will just take a little extra time for him to get used to solids. Oh-when you mix the cereal, mix it with whatever goes into his bottle at least until he gets used to the texture. That way he has somewhat of a familiar taste. Good luck!

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A.M.

answers from Wichita on

Sometimes babies aren't rady for solids until they are older. My youngest wasn't ready for solids until she was 6 months old. It also takes them a while before they get the reflex to push food to the back of their mouth to swallow. As for giving him a bottle first, that is good. It takes the egde off of his "starving tummy" so that he will be more accepting of the spoon. Formula or breast milek is the best thing to start cereal feeding with, and start adding 100% juice at about 6 months. If you really want to get him used to solids, there is a special bottle that you mix infant cereal in and feed that, just to get him used to the texture of the cereal, but still having the bottle. I hope that helps.

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A.C.

answers from Kansas City on

Let me just start by saying it is completely up to you about when to start solids, but have you considered that maybe he just isn't ready? I have a large 5 1/2 month old (20 lbs) and he still hasn't taken anything other than breastmilk. I know pediatricians say babies can start at 4 months on solids, but it is recommended by many sources to wait until 6 months. Part of it is for developmental reasons (they haven't stopped the tongue thrust reflex, they can't sit up yet, haven't shown interest in food, etc.) and partly due to possible allergy issues if food is started too early. From everything I've read, in talking to lactation consultants, and even from my pediatrician, babies are fine on just breastmilk or formula until around 6 months. Look at this article if you are interested in reading about it more: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/delay-solids.html

If you chose to delay solids for another couple of months, he may also just enjoy it more, which sounds like a lot of the problem, because he'll be more developmentally ready. Why make starting solids a stressful experience if it doesn't have to be! But as I said earlier, many babies do start at 4 months and do just fine, it's up to you!! Hope this helps!

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A.M.

answers from Topeka on

the now sa not to start feeding a baby solids till 6 mos if they dont like rice try oats or mixed grains

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W.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi S.,

Well I am no expert but I have 4 children myself and I watch 4 more, so here is my advice.

1) try him on oatmeal baby cereal, the rice is not great tasting to babies at all.

2) if he won't take the oatmeal then mix in applesauce or pears or some baby 1st foods fruit.

3) if you aren't already mix the cereal with baby formula.

4) when you go to offer him the baby ceral just out the spoon in his mouth and let him try to suck it off the spoon, as you keep going he will learn to take it off the spoon himself. And then you can feed it to him like normal.

5) keep trying to give him the cereal first and then the bottle just like you are doing. He will gradually get used to it. You see the formula comes out very easily for him, the spoon is foreign and he doesn't know what to do with it.

Oh and be prepared for all the people that are gonna say he isn't ready you should just keep him on formula. Or the people that give you the speech that babies shouldn't have solid foods until they are 6 months and older because of allergies and they will become obese.

So my speech is, you are his mother and YOU know what is best for him. And on another note 2 of my 4 kids were on cereal by the time they were 2 1/2 months old and the 4th one was on cereal and fruit and vegetables at 3 1/2 months. So just go with it and take it slow and don't get frustrated.

Hope this helps you, W.

P.S., you might even try a different baby spoon (different brand) and make sure it is rubber tipped. Oh and whatever the temperature of his formula is when you feed it to him make sure the cereal is the same temperature.

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M.S.

answers from Columbia on

Your mom may be right. There are cereals with fruit in them, you could try that. As far as him not letting you know when he's hungry. What you might want to do is start keeping track when you feed him through out the day, usually they stay pretty close to the same routine every day. That way you'll have a round-a-bout idea when he'll be hungry. I have a 2 yr old son. I use to mix his formula with his cereal. However many tablespoons he get's, with formula to whatever thickness you want. He ate that right down. He'll eventually get use to the taste, this is new for him too. Good luck!!

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R.W.

answers from Springfield on

Hi S..

I can tell you are a good, caring mother and want what is best for your child. That is wonderful. I'm sure he is a cutie.

Be assured, he WILL let you know when he is hungry and breast milk or formula is not enough.

I just did an online search with Google for "baby's first food" and also for "introducing solid foods". I recommend you do the same as there are oodles of articles on the subject available for you to research.

A couple of them are:

www.babycenter.com (do a site search for "introducing solid foods") It has an excellent article.

www.thefunplace.com (click on "parenting" on the left column.
Then go to the bottom of the left column where there is an article on "super baby food". This, too, is excellent!

also www.wholesomebabyfood.com

S., there are even more. Surely you will find the help you need. Do remember, that the longer you can wait before introducing solids, the better it will be for your son. Giving certain foods too early can lead to allergies and other health problems. But you can read all about that in the above resources.

As for myself, the first food my kids had at 5-6 months, was banana (ripe! not green... it's best when it has freckles).

Our kids never had canned or commercial baby food. I bought a baby food grinder and ground up our table food. I had a cookbook called "Baby Food Cookbook". It was so helpful.

When we traveled, it was so easy to feed them at the table. Also, when I cooked, I would grind up or blend leftover potatoes, carrots, meat, etc., and freeze them in ice cube trays. Then I'd have convenient amounts I could warm up for further baby meals.

I could go on and on... but, I won't!

Blessings to you! I hope this was helpful.

R.

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C.G.

answers from Columbia on

It can take several weeks for a little one to get used to eating solids. Especially at 4 months, he may not really be used to swallowing something thicker than liquids. Also, when babies are bottle fed when they are hungry, it is instant gratification because they are constantly sucking. When they are spoon fed, there are pauses in between bites and they do not feel like they are getting the food as quickly. This could be making him mad, like you said. It is still very important that he gets the right amount of formula throughout the day, so maybe you could try feeding him a few bites of cereal in between bottle feedings, like maybe an hour or so after his bottle so that he's not starving, but he gets used to taking bites from a spoon. Hope this helps.

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M.N.

answers from St. Louis on

If he is rejecting solids, his natural instincts are letting you know that he is too young to eat solids. If he is chubby, that means he is healthy with what you already provide him in liquid form. The norm for babes is solid introduction at 6 months. Their bodies are actually not formed enough yet to even digest solids at this point. He will let you know when he is ready. Some children don't even take solids until they are around 8 months. Don't feel like you have to rush him. Remember they grow up too fast as it is.
Now, the next step: if you really insist on giving him a solid and again I encourage, as well as the AAP, to wait until 6 months. Try mixing the cereal into the bottle because at this age, babies do not have the tongue and mouth dexterity to handle the shape of the spoon, they are still trying to manage the suckling sensation of the bottle nipple.
Just choose one nipple and cut the hole a little bigger to allow the cereal introduction, but not too big, to avoid choking. Mixing fruit and cereal would be the third and really last alternative, but at this age introducing multiple foods will ultimately lead to obesity. Again, liquids is really all your lovely bundle of joy truely needs. I recommend The Super Baby Food Book: although Ruth the author is a little excentrict, her nutrition facts are invaluable. Also any book about the first year of your babies life and good nutrition.
Good luck. God speed. M., a retired(child development specialist)--to be a full-time mommy.

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M.B.

answers from Springfield on

It sounds like he is just not ready. Instead of trying so hard and getting frustrated, I would stop trying for a week or 2 and then try again. All babies are different! If you are needing him to eat so that he is satisfied longer, you could add a little of the cereal to his bottle and see how that goes.
You are doing great! Good luck!

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G.A.

answers from Joplin on

S.,
It is not as important at 4 months that your little guy eat three "meals" a day. This is just the time that they can start getting used to putting food in their little mouths. My pediatritian has told me that many little people don't even really start on the solids till 6 months, and that it's perfectly healthy for them to do so. With mine, I started by giving cereal one time a day for several weeks before upping it to twice and later three times. You might also be aware that with the cereal he will probably beging drinking less and may become constipated...we did oatmeal cereal only with our second for this reason and didn't have the same problems :)
Hope this helps!

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T.B.

answers from Topeka on

He may not be ready for solids. "They" say babies can start between four and six months, but the closer to six months the better. Is the cereal to thick? I have found with all of mine that if the consistency is too thick, they choke and do not like it. Fruit is a good idea, applesauce is a good thinner. If worse comes to worse, quit and wait a week and try it again. You can control what he eats, but not when or how much, so pick your battle or you will be wasting precious time and energy.

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J.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Four months is the early end of the time-frame to begin solids. Wait a few weeks or a month and try again. If he's not ready, forcing him will only cause future eating 'issues'.

Good luck!

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K.F.

answers from St. Louis on

My daughters did not eat solids until they were 7 months old. I am surprised your pediatrician has asked you to do this so early. I have read that solids are not usually started until after 6 months. My experience has been that when the baby is ready, it is not a struggle.

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E.Y.

answers from Topeka on

As you know already, you cannot make a baby do anything they don't want to do. If you just started solids, you really should only start with once a day. I started giving my son just the spoon around 10 weeks so he could get used to the spoon being in his mouth. Around 14 weeks I started giving him rice cereal at night. It wasn't until about 5 months that he was having cereal and pureed foods twice a day regualrly.
Don't push it. If your child is screaming when you give him cereal then he probably is telling you he's not ready. Let him be and try again the next day or even the next week. Don't rush him, he'll do everything in his own time and before you know it he'll be sucking down spaghetti like my son! Good luck!

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K.B.

answers from Wichita on

HI S., we started our almost 4 mo old Gr son on cereal couple of weeks ago. We (his mom and dad work so i baby sit Zane and his 3 yr old brother Corbin)bought the jar rice cereal, some have fruit mixed in already which make them taste better. You can also use the dry and mix it with his formula or breast milk.
When our youngest started on solids, 31 YEARS ago :) I found some bottles with a like vacuum seal at the bottom. As the baby would suck on it the bottom would push the food forward through the nipple. If they still make those you could use that and mix the cereal any way you wish. I got to where I put layers of foods in the bottle, his veggies, meats and fruit at the end to cover the meat taste Yucky.

Best of everything to you and your new little guy. It's a learning thing for both of you.

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M.H.

answers from Wichita on

S.,

He may not be ready for solids, or you may need to start him with something else. My son hated cereal, I could only get him to eat it in the bathtub or when he was otherwise engaged. He moved on to veggies and fruits pretty fast, but baby food in general didn't work--he stayed with breastmilk/formula until he was ready to pick up and chew his own food. My niece was the same way. He'll be okay--wait until he's ready.

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G.C.

answers from Springfield on

I'm a single mom to my one-and-only 2 year old, well, 3 in May. I know there are different opinions, but my Pediatrition and the WIC nutritionist recommended waiting 6 months for solids. Said formula or breast milk was sufficient until then. It might be that he is just not ready yet! Do you have the "What to Expect: the First Year" book? It is a great reference for month-by-month advice. I used mine continuously, and now have "What to Expect: the Toddler Years." Love 'em!
If you're a single mom, have you checked out WIC? It is a government sponsored program, Women, Infants & Children, to help provide basic nutrition for up to 5 years. They also have nutrition classes. It has helped me quite a bit.

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C.C.

answers from St. Louis on

make the hole in the nipple a little bigger and then just put the cereal in with the formula - great tip from a pediatrician when my 24 year old baby girl did the same thing. Once they get used to the solid in the mouth, give it a few weeks and then use the spoon......they're just hungry!!

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M.D.

answers from Kansas City on

I had the same problem! I have an almost 7 month-old little girl that was acting like she was ready for solids but HATES cereal! I kno they say to start them on cereal when you're trying solids, but we gave up and started giving her fruits and vegetables and she loves them! If the spoon is a problem, which was also the case with my daughter, try letting them hold it and play with it... you kno 4 month olds love to stick anything they can get their little hands on in their mouth! Hope this helps

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T.Z.

answers from Topeka on

This is something that it seems a lot of mothers struggle with. You hear so many things about when to start solids, as early as six and waiting until 6 months. There are some readiness signs that you can look for to tell you when your son is ready. Trust yourself and your baby to know if you should do solids at this point. Readiness signs that I looked for in my daughter were ability to sit unassisted, loss of the tongue thrust reflex, interest in foods, ability to intentionally move an object to her mouth, and being consistently hungry after eating for more than a couple of weeks(ie. not a growth spurt). The tongue thrust is the reaction of sticking the tounge out whenever something foreign goes into the mouth. It is there to keep babies from choking, but it also keeps them from eating solids because they push them back out of their mouths. If your son truly seems to be ready for solids, try to relax when you feed him. Meals should not become battles. In the beginning with solids, meal may only be a teaspoon or less. It's really mostly learning. It may help to put a very small amount of thick cereal (or whatever food you want to introduce) on his tray and just sit back to see what happens. If he plays with it and smears it everywhere, that's fine. He's learning about it and inevitably his hands will go in his mouth and he will get a taste of it. When he's bored, clean him and move on. Trying to make him eat will only make both of you frustrated. He may also like to have his own spoon to bang around and smear the food with. Also try not to do the solids when he is really hungry. He won't have the patience to learn a new skill then. If he seems upset when you offer solids, I would just put it away and do something else. You can always try again later. As long as he is still taking breastmilk or formula in normal amounts, he'll be fine. It's your call on mixing fruits, or anything else, into the cereal. The reasons for offering only one food at a time are to be able to determine what food might have caused an allergic reaction and to allow the baby time to adjust to a new taste.

Good luck with your cute and chubby little guy. And don't worry if he doesn't eat much. My daughter didn't have much interest in solid foods until she was over a year old.

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K.M.

answers from Topeka on

Rice cereal is very bland, and not all babies like it. That doesn't necessarily mean he isn't ready for solids. Try the oatmeal or barely flake cereal, it might taste better to him.

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R.K.

answers from St. Louis on

My kids are all teenagers now, but I had four of them and every one of them was different when it came to feeding. Being a first time mom, you are probably trying the best you can to do everything "right" and by the book. I learned after two kids that you need to chill out and choose your battles! In my humble opinion your baby is not ready for solid foods yet, even through the books probably say it's time. I think you are absolutely doing the right thing by giving the bottle first. If you were ravonously hungry and you were offered a plate of food that was completely foreign to you, and you had to eat it with chopsticks which you'd never used before - you'd be frustrated too! I think letting your baby get a grip on his hunger with the bottle, then offering the cereal once he's calmed and mostly satisfied is the right thing to do. The last thing you want is for mealtime to become a battlefield. Your baby will soon realize that he has complete control over what he actually eats - you cannot physically MAKE him eat anything! Eating has to be a happy and pleasant experience early on. If it's really the spoon that's bothering him - there are a few things you can do. One is to reduce the spoon feeding to just a few spoonfuls after the bottle - and stop before he gets upset. Tell him he's a good boy every time he takes a bite. Second, you can let him hold the spoon (I'm assuming you're using a baby spoon) and let him play with it and put it in his mouth before he starts eating. Let him know the spoon is a happy thing. Also, make sure you're not shoving food into his mouth. Let him see the spoon and the food and gently touch his lips with it. Let him lick or suck the food off the spoon - or even grab it with his hands. When he gets the idea the yummy food is delivered by this spoon, he'll likely cut to the chase and open his mouth for it. When his little body is actually ready for solid food, the bottle will become less satisfying than the cereal and he'll want the cereal to fill his tummy. I think from a baby's perspective (whose only mission in life is to eat and grow) all hunger is an emergency that must be dealt with immediately! So the baby wants whatever works fastest! Hope that helps!

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C.M.

answers from Kansas City on

I agree that he might just not be ready for it yet. With my first one, I started her on cereal at 4 months because the doctor said that I could and I had heard that was what you were supposed to do. I never could get more then a couple of bites down her and ended up wasteing a lot of cereal. Once she was a little older and I started adding vegies and fruits, she didn't have any problems at all. My second one, I didn't even attempt the cereal until closer to 6 months and she took right to it without any problems at all. If you really feel like he needs the extra food (which he probably doesn't if he is a chubby healthy baby) then you might try giving it to him inbetween the bottles. If he is really hungery when you are trying to give it to him, he will only want what he knows is going to comfort him. So if he is on a 3 hour feeding schedule, try the cereal about an 1 1/2 to 2 hours after he eats so that he is a little hungery but not starving. Once he realized that the cereal will fill up his belly too, he will be fine. It can be frustrating at first but he will get it when he is ready for it. You will learn to follow his cues which will not always be what the books or even the doctors tell you he "should" be doing.

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P.W.

answers from Springfield on

Hi S.,
I've been where you're at. Try adding a little bit of fruit to the cereal. Worked with my 2 kids, and my 3 grand kids. Good luck!

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R.H.

answers from Springfield on

I would say he is not ready to start solids. Many pediatricians suggest waiting until 6 months to start solids. If it were me, I would back off and try it again in a few weeks.

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J.K.

answers from Kansas City on

My suggestion would be to feed him his bottle first. Breastmilk or formula is supposed to make up the majority of their caloric intake for the first year. In fact, babies under 1 year don't need anything else. The main reason solid foods are introduced is so that they get used to eating (i.e. it's practice), so that after they turn 1, they can transition easier to eating more food and drinking less milk. KWIM?

I'd feed him his bottle first, and then try the cereal. If he's still hungry, he'll eat the cereal. If not, then maybe wait a week or two and try again. They need the milk (formula/breastmilk) more than cereal, so I'd make that the priority.

GL! :)

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K.B.

answers from Wichita on

Hi S.! It sounds like your son is telling you he's not ready for solids yet. The most recent research actually suggests holding off 'till 6 months, unless your child is showing signs. Signs that they are ready to look for include; sitting up without support, holding head up, loss of the tongue thrust and use of the pincer grasp. Use your instincts as a mom. Are you starting him because the doctor told you (many doctors have ALL babies on the same calendar) or because YOU FELT he was ready?? You might want to just hold off a little while and try again in a month or two! Good Luck!
K.

p.s. Remember that at the beginning solids are an experiment and a new learning experience for baby. Go slowly only introducig them at one time in the day and work up to twice a day.

Also, cereal has lots of empty carbs and you really can just skip it and start with a mashed up banana, which is way healthier and has lots more readily absorbable nutrients!

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