Need Advice on Feeding Solids to My 5 Month Old Son

Updated on March 08, 2014
M.W. asks from Santee, CA
8 answers

My son is 5 months old and I breast feed. He's still hungry every 2 hours. The longest he will go at night is about 4 hrs. I started giving him a little cereal once a day but he kept wanting more. I ended up giving him about 3 tbsp mixed with breastmilk and at least half a mashed banana. Should I up the feeding solids to twice a day? Just wondering if breastmilk isn't enough?

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So What Happened?

I always breast feed on demand, I have never deprived him of breast milk and have started giving him solids in addition to this between feedings once a day. But won't increase it to two until he is a little older. Thank you to everyone for their input and advice!

More Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

You may not be making enough milk for him. I do not believe that he needs anything for at least a few more months. He should not be needing anything.

You do realize that cereal and baby food has no nutrition right? It is simply for thickening to teach baby to chew and swallow.

It is not for food. For nutrition. Formula and breast milk are the only nutrition a baby gets. That other stuff is basically filler, not nutrition. So please don't feed it to your baby at this young age.

Kids in child care up through school age are not allowed to go over 4 hours without being offered a large snack or a meal. So feeding your baby after 4 hours is totally normal. Not abnormal. Baby's don't sleep all night, they don't go all night without feeding, they might if they're one of those that love to sleep but most baby's don't. They wake up every few hours to eat.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

At 5 months, if he likes the cereal and tolerates it well - he's not having a lot of gas or constipation or fussiness - then sure, you can increase a little.

FYI - I had better luck with oatmeal cereal than rice cereal. The rice was more likely to cause constipation.

I didn't give cereal twice per day at that age, but at 6 months, I found that a pretty big bowl of oatmeal cereal made with breastmilk (I don't remember how much exactly, but I gave him as much as he wanted to eat) right before bed did help one of my kids go longer between feedings at night. You don't want to go too overboard - breastmilk should still be the main source of calories. But one significant feeding of cereal as a bedtime snack to see if it helps him get through the night a little better won't interfere with that too much.

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answers from Chicago on

There is no evidence supporting solids as being more calorie rich then breastfeeding. he wakes because its his habit. Try spacing it out by adding 5 more minutes between feeedings every day. At 4 months, it should be every 4 hours.

it is all about habit.

Feeding him solids is fine if he is interested and ready, but it honestly won't help with the night sleeping ;-) That's a different issue.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would give him cereal maybe twice a day if he's hungry. Babies don't typically overindulge, so they will stop when they are full.

The only thing I'd say not to do is give him the banana. It's sweet and may make it harder for him to like veggies as he gets older. But I'm not sure on kids were (and are) bigger vegetable eaters, but that was just what I was told when my kids were babies.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

Your son maybe going through a growth spurt where he will demand more food so that you produce more milk. He is on the verge of teething and doing all sorts of things.

Four hours is about right if he is on a demand feeding schedule. So you could nurse him just before he goes to sleep and maybe one time during the night. What are you eating in order to fulfill the needs of both bodies?
You may have to eat more calories to help him and for you to produce a better quality of milk.

My daughter was not interested in solids until 8 or 9 months and then only a little bit.

Good luck and don't beat yourself up. Just make sure he takes in more liquid for wet and messy diapers.

the other S.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Many breastfed infants don't start solids at all until 6 months. I started about 5 months for my first baby but I delayed solids until 6 months for my second.

If you are nursing on demand, make sure he is nursing long enough on one side to get the hind milk. At that age, I nursed every 2-3 hours. Sounds like he is going through a growth spurt. At night it was 3-4 hours. My baby that breastfed until he was almost 2 continued to want to nurse at least once at night until he weaned. I know that some pediatricians would say it was habit but I truly think he was hungry because he continued to wake at night and ask for something to eat until he was about 3 and then he began sleeping through.

Does your son go back down after nursing? If so, than put him to bed around 6 or 7pm so that you can nurse again in 4 hours (10 or 11pm) and then go to bed yourself. You will get a nice solid 4 hours of sleep, nurse at 2 or 3 than go back to bed for another 3-4 hours. I found that nursing made me very relaxed and sleepy so that I had no trouble doing this and it was better when I put baby to sleep at 6pm.

Hang in there. Before you know it you won't be nursing and your son will be so grown up he won't want to hold your hand. (Mine is 7 and holding your mom's hand is NOT cool.)



answers from Phoenix on

No, I would not feed solids. You do not want his tiny tummy filled with banana, it just doesn't have the nutrients that breast milk has. Breast milk is very easily digested, so breastfed babies eat more often. At his age, he is likely having a growth spurt and needs more calories. Four hours at night is totally normal for a breastfed baby. Mine didn't sleep through the night completely until after 1 year. The best gauge of your baby's needs are- consistent growth, wet diapers, and poopy diapers. If all is well with those 3, you are producing enough milk, he is getting enough to eat, all is well.
ETA- I started my second one on quinoa (ground a bit in food processor and boiled) instead of manufactured cereal, because it has much more nutritional value than rice cereal, also way cheaper. Rice cereal is kind of a scam :)



answers from Honolulu on

Solids... is NOT as nutritionally dense, as breastmilk.
And it is not a replacement, for breastmilk.
For the 1st year of life, breastmilk or Formula is a nutritional building block, for baby's development. NOT solids.

Your son, is probably having a growth spurt.
Growth spurts occur about, every 3 months.
6 months is approaching. 6 months is a growth spurt in a baby. And it may happen before that.

You need to breastfeed, on demand. Meaning, whenever baby is hungry. Day and night. IF you are producing enough breastmilk, baby should be satisfied. And a baby should nurse until they are done.
When having a growth spurt, the frequency of a baby's feedings, get more frequent. This is normal.
And they need, more. And more often.

Solids at this age, is NOT to fill a baby up. It is just an introduction, to "eating." But they don't "eat" yet, like a toddler. Nor is solids their main, intake. Solids should NOT be their main intake, at this age.
Breastmilk or Formula, is a baby's main, intake.
And nursings should be, BEFORE you give baby solids. Not after.

Your baby can go 4 hours, at night, before a feeding. That is GOOD.
My kids at that age, nursed more often than that. And I nursed them on demand day and night, and they grew like weeds and were very healthy.

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