Starting Solid Food - 5 Months Old

Updated on May 27, 2010
J.W. asks from Phoenixville, PA
12 answers

Hi. I have a 5 month old son who we started on rice cereal a week ago. We are giving it to him at breakfast before giving him his bottle. He seems to eat it pretty well but I noticed that he is only drinking a couple of oz of formula after the cereal and I know that it is crucial that he still gets enough formula as that is where the nutrition is. We were also thinking of letting him try some veggies this weekend. What is the best way to introduce solids? also, is it better to give the cereal / veggie first or the formula first? should we combine the veggie with the cereal or give it as a separate meal (with no cereal)? any thoughts and suggestions would be helpful :) can you also share your feeding schedule if it's working for you....

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answers from New York on

Let him have 1/2 his bottle first. Remember you are putting formula
in his cereal, so that counts. Give him the rest of the bottle after the
cereal. Let him get used to the cereal before you start vegies. Give it
another week or so.

More Answers



answers from New York on

I think you have to look at the full day's worth of formula/ breastmilk. we started rice ceral around this age and added purees pretty soon afterward. When he got to two meals the bottles naturally became the between meal snack. At 10 months old we now do the following (I work full time, so that's why some are bottles and some are nursings)

6am nursing
7am breakfast
9:30 or 10am 7.5 oz bottle of bmilk
12pm lunch
3:30pm 7.5 oz bottle of bmilk
6pm nurse and then dinner
7:30 nurse to sleep

in a day I think he gets about 20-25 oz of bmilk. he has started to get alot hungrier at 3:30 so we have started to give him some fruit around 3:30 along with the bottle.
Good Luck!



answers from New York on

When I started my kids on the cereal, I was simply mixing the cereal with either the breast milk or the formula. That way they got both. I would also be cautious about letting them have too much formula in between meals because that way you let them eat all the time and then wonder why they don't eat as well when you actually expect them to have a meal. Also be very slow at introducing anything new before he gets used to what you have just introduced and don't introduce several things at once because if he develops an allergy to something you will not be able to tell what he is allergic to exactly.



answers from Sacramento on

I started my daughter on cereal at 5 months. She hated rice so we use oatmeal or whole wheat. We either mix the cereal w/ the formula and give it to her by bottle, or we mix the cereal into the formula so she is still getting formula either way. As long as he's getting his formula through out the day, he'll get enough nutrients. We started her on fruits / veggies at the same time. The cereal can be constipating (especially the rice) so having some apples or peaches will keep him regular. Sweet potatoes and squash are the easiest on the tummy. You can also give cereal b4 bedtime. With a fuller tummy he'll sleep longer :-) my girl has a bottle first thing in the morning, then cereal later. Lunch is solids, supper is solids. She gets bottles through out the day and usually before bed. If she is still hungry after solids then I give her a few ounces of formula. She also likes to drink water so u may want to offer your son some water to drink.


answers from Houston on

Yeah definitely formula first, then cereal. At his age, you don't really have to introduce anything but the cereal and you actually don't even have to give cereal but I think it is fine if you want to. I would ask my pediatrician before introducing anything other than cereal before 6 months or so, it takes time for their little digestive systems to develop. All kids are different. I have a four month old and am planning on introducing cereal at about 6 months or so, so there is definitely no rush on introducing veggies. I believe the rule of thumb is always wait 3 days between introducing new things so you can make sure you baby is not allergic to something and if there is an allergy you will be able to identify what is causing it. I started at about 4 months with cereal with my first and he did great, but I didn't do any veggies until 6 months or so. Good luck:)



answers from Dallas on

The formula is the most important right now. Give him his bottle first and then feed him cereal/veggie. The rule of thumb I follow is rice cereal for two weeks, oatmeal for two weeks, mixed cereal (if you choose) for two weeks, and then veggies given in one week intervals.



answers from Lakeland on

Like the other moms said, give him the formula first. Now my son didn't like the plain rice,oatmeal, or wheat cereal. We tried and tried and he just didn't like them. So I started him out on sweet potatoes and added a little rice cereal to it. I did all veggies first, about 5-7 days of the same veggie to make sure of no allergies. We started solids at about 5 months bc our son was literally taking an 8oz bottle every 2-3 kidding. Our pediatrician encouraged us to start him on solids and he's been a healthy, normal weight kid ever since. Good luck!



answers from Indianapolis on

I actually have a different opinion than the other two responses. Our kids got WAY more than the milk recommended each day. They were both super-chunks, and our pediatrician had us move them to solids at 4 months.

First, you can make the cereal with formula so he's getting the benefit of both.

Our son was always a snacker - from day 1, I never nursed him for more than 10 minutes at a time, but he ate much more frequently, so we made sure to feed him on demand and offered snacks of cereal, stage 1 foods, etc in between.

We definitely added fruits and veggies to the cereal. It was so bland, and I figured it helped it taste better. Their tastebuds are really sensitive, and the theory of having to start veggies first because of sweet tastebuds being more dominant is being reversed currently.

Here's what the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests:



answers from Rochester on

The best thing to do is consult your pediatrician. I learned with my first that when starting solid foods, give one or two tablespoons once or twice a day after baby has had formula or breastmilk. Also, do not put rice cereal in bottle as baby should be learning how to eat off a spoon. Try the rice cereal for a week or so, then start introducing other foods, one at a time, for at least 3 days to see if there are any food allergies and what not. Hope this helps.



answers from New York on

We gave our daughter the cereal about a 1/2 hour after she nursed. She liked it. As we introduced a new food, we mixed it in with the cereal, so now all her food is green beans mixed with rice, apple mixed with oatmeal, etc. Apples, bananas and rice are all binding so we try to balance her day so she doesn't get too many binding foods!



answers from Charlotte on




answers from New York on

Hi J.,

I would start with a veggie first - fruits are sweeter, so if you start with them, your son may be less likely to eat the veggies.

Whatever you choose, only introduce one thing at a time, then wait at least a week before something else new. That way you can rule out possible allergies.

My daughter was not a fan of mixing the cereal with anything, but each child is different. It all comes down to trial and error, and always introduce everything, even it is something you don't like.

Gerber has an 800 number, and they are great with answering any feeding questions/concerns you may have.

Good luck and have fun with it,

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