How Long Before Starting a Baby on Baby Foods

Updated on May 09, 2007
K.H. asks from Shelbyville, KY
19 answers

I have a 15 week old son (Will be 4 months in 2 weeks) and I was wondering how soon can you start a baby on baby food? Is that up to the parents or should we wait till he goes to the doctor?

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So What Happened?

Well, my son just had his four month check up and his doctor actually said we can start him on baby food now. He said we need to start him out with vegetables and to not change foods for two days. I didn't even ask him, he just told us that our son was healthy and he would be just fine feeding him baby food. Thanks for all your input.

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M.W.

answers from Charleston on

With him being right at 4 months you can start with little bit like 3 times a day with a less about in the bottle. Like if he takes 6oz bottle give 2oz baby food and a 3 to 4 oz bottle. That is what i done and my son was aboput 3 1/2 months when i done that.

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E.M.

answers from Louisville on

they keep changing their minds of when they want you to start! but from what i have heard any where between 4-6 months for the cereal and 6 months for baby food, but if babys hungry try giving very watered doen cereal on a spoon and work your way up!

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K.S.

answers from Louisville on

The doctor will tell you not to start your child on solids or even baby food until 6 months, but many babies are just too hungry to wait. I have 2 girls, 4 and 8 mos, and both of them started rice cereal in bottles or in a bowl at about 3 mos, and purees about 4 months. Most women will tell you (and books too) that they are ready for table food or baby food when they can hold their head steady, sit with assistance, and show an interest in table food or watch you eat. The only thing you have to do is be sure to introduce the foods one per week so you can see if they have any reaction or upset stomach, gas, etc from it. Check online for which food to introduce first. Rice is better than oats, and sweet potatoes give lots of gas. Best of luck!

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R.L.

answers from Lexington on

I have a 10 week old, and I just asked my pediatrician last week the same thing and she told me absolutely no food until 4 months! I want so badly to give her some cereal because she acts like she is STARVING and screams everytime I take the bottle out of her mouth...but the Dr. went on to explain about possible obisity and alergy related to starting your child on food to early. Hope this helps. :)
R. L

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J.W.

answers from Evansville on

Our doctor told us to wait until 6 months to start anything. Not only because of the increased risk of allergies, but because they don't need it any earlier, so there is no reason to risk it. So we followed what he said and it worked out great. I don't know what that woman that said it would take years was talking about. We did everything for a week just like the doctor said, and by 8-9 months, she had had all the different types of baby foods and was working towards thicker baby foods and meals. And yes we started the Vegetables first. And the reason is not just because it's not sweet like the vegetables, because our doctor had us start with the sweetest vegetables first(the oranges and yellows), it's beause when you introduce foods, they are getting a taste for differnt foods. And I honestly believe that doing vegetables first is what makes her love vegetables so much today. Really, she will eat green beans and peas like crazy before her meal. She loves them, and carrots, ect..... Why be in a rush unless there is some medical reason. We also started with the cereal introduced to one meal for 3-7 days, and then to another meal and so on, before we started the vegetables. Just some friendly advice. Oh and by the way, she has always slept through the night very well.

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K.W.

answers from South Bend on

Hi I have a baby boy about the same age. He is 17 weeks now. Anyway, If you haven't yet you can prob. give him RICE ceral with some formula in it. Just start out with the plan for a week or so then you can try the one with like banana but keep him on that for a week or so then you can change it up again. they have you do it this way in case there is an alergice reaction to the fruit, you will be able to tell which on has upset his tummy or had a bad reaction to.
As far as reg food like in the jars. I was told to wait until he can at least sit up by himself. Then this will be about the time to do that. But just like before do one food at a time to see if and what doesn't agree with them. I hope this helps at least a little.

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J.F.

answers from Elkhart on

Different doctors will tell you different things, so ultimately it is up to you to sort though all the advice. I started both my sons on cereal around 4 months and fruits and veggies at 6 months. Their appetites seemed ready at that time. Each baby is different and you will have to see how their appetite is. If bottles don't seem to be enough to satisfy and hold them over, then it's a good time to start cereals.
Good luck, and God Bless, J. <><

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E.S.

answers from Indianapolis on

As others have said, the official line from the American Academy of Pediatrics is to wait until your baby has lost the tongue thrust reflex, can hold his head up, can sit, and is over 6 months old.

The first three are easy to assess, and the fourth is kind of arbitrary. Allergies occur when your immune system reacts aggressively to a benign substance. If your first exposure to a substance occurs when your immune system is immature, you're more likely to have an allergic reaction to it. The age at which a baby's immune system is sufficiently mature is unique to each baby, but is typically around 6 months. Of course you can't tell exactly when just by looking at your baby -- but you can consider your family's medical history.

If you or your husband have allergies, it would be sensible to wait until that six month milestone, or even later. If you and your husband can sit in a field of ragweed in the middle of a duststorm while petting an array of dogs and cats, then chances are that four months will be just fine.

Just use your common sense to figure out how ready your baby is. If allergies aren't a concern, and your 4-month-old is sitting up and looking at your plate and trying to get at the contents, then I'd say bring on the solids.

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H.M.

answers from Indianapolis on

I think you will find most people start their babies on solids (usually rice cereal first) somewhere between 4-6 months. Babies do not need the food for nutrition at this age, but it does get them used to more tastes and textures.

The big thing I have to recommend here is to make sure your son is ready. Most babies don't loose the "tongue-thrust" reflex until at least 4 months, some later. This reflex is evidenced by them pushing any food out of their mouth instead of moving it into their mouth to swallow it. Basically, things get very messy when you try to feed him! If he hasn't lost the reflex yet, wait another week or two, then try again. I've just heard so many stories of moms forcing their baby to take solids (going to the extreme of watering down the cereal so much and putting it in a bottle), when really if they waited a few weeks longer their baby would be ready and take it on his own.
Good Luck!

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S.B.

answers from Fort Wayne on

They say that you should start rice at four months and baby food at six months.... but we started Grant on rice at about three months and baby food at about five months... he is not seven months and wants real food..we are waiting a little longer, but I think really it is up to the child...they will let you know....you can't give them solids until their reflex to push everything out of their mouth is gone....but then I say let him/her decide when to take the next step....try something and they will let you know if it is time ...but make sure you start with rice to avoid allergic reactions.....and def bring it up with the doc

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M.S.

answers from Bloomington on

6 months is a good age. Many people say age 4 months is okay, but it's reallly better for the baby to wait until 6 months as it decreases the chances of food allergies etc (of course, so will breastfeeding). I breastfeed my babies, and we tend to start around 6-7mo with tastes of foods and closer to a year they enjoy bites of soft table food, soft fruits and veggies and organic yogurt. http://www.mothering.com/sections/news_bulletins/october2...

Here's a good article that helps you know when YOUR baby is ready for solids. :) Have fun!

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/3/T032000.asp

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B.K.

answers from Lexington on

if he acts like he is ready then i would go ahead and start him on baby food. my son was around that age when i started him on it and he loved it. it just depends on the baby and you.

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T.W.

answers from Fort Wayne on

Hi K.,

Hello my name is T. I am from Wabash Indiana married for almost 3 years and we have three girls of our own. Their ages range from 6, 2, and 1 and my oldest is in kindegarten. I always waited till my daughters were tha age of 6 months before I started then on any cereal or baby food. When I started the baby cereal I went with rice first then oatmeal and then mixed last and it will show on the back how to prepare it too. Once they started liking the cereal we then started baby food next which they loved. I do know you are supposed to start veges first then introduce fruits after they tolerate veges I went with green veges 1st and then usually you get those introduced first too see if any allergic reaction occurs I waited for about 2 weeks. Then I introduced the orange veges next then so on so on. Then once they are eating on that and you know what the baby likes then go into starting the fruits next. Well I hope this was some kind of help to you and goodluck. T. :)

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J.M.

answers from Lafayette on

Hi K.,
As far as the baby food goes it really depends on you. Most pediatricians are still saying at 4 months you can start on baby cereal then move on from there, the pediatric association says its best to wait until 6 months to help prevent allergies from developing. I started my children at 4 months because there are no allergies in our family. However keep in mind that no matter what age you start all babbies have a thrust reflex, so when you feed them they use their tongue and push the food back out it is very messy at first but the reflex eventually goes away. Just keep trying!

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S.L.

answers from Muncie on

The usual guideline is to start at six months. Older advice was to start earlier, but it really isn't necessary until at least six months.

What foods you start with partially depends on whether you're breastfeeding or formula feeding. BF and FF babies start to need different nutrients. At La Leche League, they tell us to skip the cereal, as it isn't necessary. Good first foods are bananas and avocado. But the majority of a baby's nutrients during the first year should come from formula or breastmilk. The goal of feeding solid foods is just to get them used to a variety of tastes; they shouldn't be expected to eat much.

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S.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

Some people will tell you that solids helped their baby sleep through the night. The truth is, there is no evidence that this is true. It seems to be more of a coincedence in timing and stages than it is nutritional. The AAP and the WHO both say you should wait until around 6 months. Formula babies need the iron in cereal but it will make breast babies very constipated. It's better to just start with high-calorie foods such as sweet potatoes and avacado. I have lots of info if you want to make your baby's food. Just email me!
~S.
[email protected]____.com

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J.K.

answers from Lexington on

I think it depends on the situation. My daughter had GERD, we started putting rice cereal in her bottle when she was about 3 months old. This seemed to help with the amount she could keep down. As for regular baby food, we didn't start until she was 6 months old, and we spoke with our pediatrician before doing so. This worked well for my daughter, she did great with the food at 6 months.

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S.M.

answers from Indianapolis on

I haven't read the other responses, but I would wait until 6 mo. Why? B/c the earlier you start the higher the allergy issues and digestive issues. Even peds will say 4 mo. but they don't need to eat food until they are 6 mo. Milk is their main source of nutrition until they are a year old. I made all my baby food. A great book for what to feed them first, why to feed them certain foods, why NOT to feed them certain foods, etc. is "Super Baby Foods" by Ruth Yaron. Also, why go through all the hassle for 2 months when you don't need to?

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S.L.

answers from Indianapolis on

My son was just at 3 months when I started giving him cereal and the baby food came shortly after. He just wouldn't sleep through night, he wasn't full.
Doctors will tell you all sorts of different stuff, introduce one food a week (which would take a couple years if you really think about it)to make sure they don't have allergies to certain foods, cereal at 4 months, no baby food til 6 months, no sweet foods like fruits first, only veggies (which rice cereal is pretty sweet and so is breastmilk so I don't get that, and a lot of veggies that are canned are sweet) blah blah blah. My mom always said "Tell the doctor what he wants to hear and do whatever you want, he's not the one taking care of your kid 24 hours a day". It has proven to be sound advice!
Your the mom and you know best...and if something isn't sitting well with the little one, you will know that too.

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