Rice Cereal or Oatmeal???

Updated on October 13, 2011
K.M. asks from Chicago, IL
19 answers

My 5 month old is becoming very curious about food. I think she's ready to for her first solids!! Our pedi recommended rice cereal but I heard others say their pedi recommended oatmeal first. Does it matter? Also, I would like to buy organic...what is the best brand? Thank you!!

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answers from Savannah on

Rice, oatmeal, and barley are all acceptable first cereals at this age, and It doesn't matter what order you introduce them as long as they are heavily diluted with breastmilk/formula and you wait 3-7 days in between introducing new foods (the days vary depending on who you talk to and personal experiences with food allergies).



answers from Oklahoma City on

At this young of an age you should only do rice cereal. It is very easy for their tummy to digest, oatmeal is harder and won't set as well. But she is still very young and I would wait at least one more month.

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answers from Phoenix on

I don't think it matters. My boys didn't like either one at all, so I didn't get to try different brands. She just might be ready to try the baby food purees. Start with veggies and cereals first, then move to fruits and desserts. :-) I say that because our pedi says that if you start them with the veggies first, then they will eat those better. If you start with the fruits and desserts, then all they'll want is the sweet stuff. But who can blame them? LOL

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answers from Tampa on

I'd wait another month or two so her GI system matures and closes. If she's formula fed tho, it won't matter because foreign bacteria and proteins have already been introduced via the formula.

In either case... rice cereal will constipate, oatmeal is better.

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answers from St. Louis on

My first loved everything we gave him but rice was a little constipating so we switched to oatmeal right away. My second, well we tried oatmeal after 3 weeks of rice because that was what we had in the house, but she had a really rough weekend with tummy troubles that I can only attribute to the oatmeal since nothing else changed.

We started both my kids at 4 months- as per our pedi and waiting for veggies with my first one until almost 6 months. I did mix some banana into his cereal around 5 months, but nothing else really until 6.

I know that some say to not introduce fruits first etc- but with my first we didn't have any problems because he wasn't picky and just ate everything!

Good luck! Don't know about the brands though- our grocery store only had one type of organic and I can't remember the name of it!

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answers from Detroit on

I started with Earth's Best (organic) rice.


answers from Orlando on

I think I alternated oatmeal and rice for my son, and used earths best brand. As far as Other solids I started him on fruits my Ped said it really didn't matter, and he's proof that just because you start with sweets doesnt mean they will crave it! My son will choose carrots or even Brussels sprouts over the sweetest fruit any day. Silly guy, but then again he loves chicken gizzards just like his mommy :)



answers from Missoula on

It doesn't matter, both are pretty gross :)

We started both kids on pureed fruits and veggies. There is no reason you have to start with cereal. I do keep a box of the oatmeal around to add a bit of texture to pureed fruit, but I don't feed it by itself.

If I had to pick one, I would probably go with the oatmeal. In my experience most of the brands are pretty similar. Earth's Best is pretty widely available here so that's what we buy.



answers from Chicago on

None of them. If your baby is showing interest, give him some of what you're eating, or give him a spoon. Most babies "show interest" but don't actually want to eat the food, just play with it. Have you thought of trying baby led solids? Here is a great resource for doing it: http://www.tribalbaby.org/babyLedEating.html



answers from Dallas on

We used oatmeal because rice is constipating and has very little nutritional value, while oatmeal does. The reason rice cereal is typically recommended to be the first food is that its one of the world's least allergenic foods. When I told my pedi that I wanted to do oatmeal instead of rice she asked if we have food allergies in our family. My dad is deathly allergic to peanuts but that's the only one so she said we were most likely fine, and we were! I used Earth's Best - its organic and they make single grain oatmeal to start with, and multigrain for later when he's further along the solids path. Good luck and have fun!


answers from Chicago on

My DD's LOVED oatmeal. It is also thicker and they had some spit up issues. Why don't you try both and see which one they respond best to and go with that one :) Your baby will tell you best not others!!
Good Luck!



answers from Washington DC on

Once DD got oatmeal, she never looked at rice cereal again. I'd go for oatmeal and remember that before 6 mo. (many wait til then, we did), babies are just looking for a taste. It's not really a meal yet. We liked BeechNut.



answers from Minneapolis on

Yes we bought organic, I can't remember the brand. Rice was good for one daughter who tended to have loose stools. Oatmeal was better for another who got constipated on rice.

So, you can choose either as a first food, just beware that rice can constipate some babies.

Mix with either breastmilk or formula, whichever she takes.



answers from New York on

I have mostly heard rice, but it constipated my son really badly, I mean like almost 9 days. So if you do rice, watch out. You can start fruit or veggies then at 6 months. I started rice at then bananas at 5 (also constipating). It's best to wait as long as possible but if your baby is curious and the ped says ok, then have fun! I used Earth's Best but there are many brands out there.


answers from Denver on

rice cereal is supposed to be easy to digest. Oatmeal should be the same. Then you can start mixing the veggies and fruits with the cereal to slowly introduce new foods. We did this with our first and plan on doing the same with the second.


answers from Spokane on

Not sure it matters, but with my youngest we had to use the oatmeal b/c he had horrible constipation issues and our ped said to go with the oatmeal b/c it was higher in fiber.



answers from Chicago on

I would wait until six months. I was a professional nanny for twenty years and some of my families had doctors that were rated the best in the country and they all said six months and starting with fruit is better because it easier to digest. If you want to start now, I would put some formula or breast milk in a bowl and feed her with a spoon. Plus, it will help her get ready for food on a spoon and it won't be so foreign to her. I would organic and I would start with Oatmeal. Earth's Best is great and if you can't find that the next best is Beech-Nut. Just check the label and make sure there is nothing added in the baby food.



answers from Chicago on

I used oatmeal, never used the rice because it can constipate the little one. I never had a problem. The oatmeal is sweeter naturally.


I used oatmeal, never used the rice because it can constipate the little one. I never had a problem. The oatmeal is sweeter naturally.



answers from Charlotte on

I doubt it really matters, K.. Mine said rice cereal was easier on the stomach.

Sometimes it's a moot point though, because some babies don't like rice cereal, and then you'd want to switch to the oatmeal anyway!


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