Starting Solids When Rice Cereal Was NOT a Hit

Updated on July 27, 2010
B.C. asks from Chicago, IL
22 answers

Hi Ladies,

My son is just about 6 months old and he is SUPER interested in food. He has been exclusively breast fed except for when we tried rice cereal. We tried around 5 months and it went terribly. He liked the cereal but it made him so gassy that he was up the entire night! I am wondering what other moms have done. Has anyone skipped the cereal and moved straight to mushed veggies and fruits? Should I try the cereal again? I have no idea. The one thing that I am pretty sure of is that he really would like to eat something other than my milk. Thank you so much!

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answers from Chicago on

I neer did cereal nor mush veggies we went straight to food. Gerber hasnt been around since the dawn of time...they got a good scam going on though!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I didn't do cereal with my daughter. Try banana and avocado, then apple and pear. is the best.

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answers from Indianapolis on

It made him gassy because baby's can't digest food until 6 months or later. But really, there's no reason to use cereal if you wait until 6 months - especially if you're still breastfeeding and don't need to provide extra iron!
Babies never need purees, they were concocted to "teach" babies to eat before they were actually ready. At 6 months, you can just mash up scraps of whatever you're eating and let him sit on your lap and pick at what he's interested in!
Don't worry about it so much. I started with sweet potatoes (I put them in the blender with a little breast milk because otherwise they are kinda stringy) and avacado (REALLY high in vitamins and good fats). Bananas are also great.
Breastfeed as much as he wants and just add in solids about 30 minutes after he's nursed so you know he's gotten all the milk he NEEDS and is getting solids just to learn about tastes and textures. He doesn't need solids for another 6 months - right now it's all about exploration, not nutrition :)

NEVER EVER put anything in a bottle. NEVER. There is absolutely no research that supports this practice. Bottles should be nothing but formula or breastmilk and later, water or watered-down juice if you don't want to start a sippy instead. If you baby doesn't like something, move on to the next option and try again tomorrow. Don't force them to eat anything by hiding it in a bottle.

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answers from Indianapolis on

Don't be afraid to ask your pediatrician's advice.

Most of us have a few kids. I have 2, and each responded differently to solids when introduced. Pediatricians have thousands of kids in their practices and have much more experience in dealing with the issue.

When you did the rice cereal, did you mix it with breast milk? Usually rice cereal is recommended because it is so easy on the digestive system.

There's nothing to say you can't do fruits and vegetables. It used to be recommended that you start with veggies so kids didn't develop the preference for the sweet taste of fruits, but that notion has been reconsidered recently.

Here's how the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends solids:

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I did NOT do a lot of rice cereal. I started with a mashed up banana/cereal blend. Try that, or just mash up a plain banana.

And I made all of my son's babyfood for a chart concering what foods at what age are considered "safe."

I made my own mashed/blended black beans, sometimes with chunks of grilled chicken blended in with it too. I'd sautee zuchinni, put that in the miniature blender. It'd be very liquidy, so would add rice cereal to the zuchinni to thicken it up. That's really the only time I'd use rice cereal -- to thicken something up that I made too runny/soupy. Around Thanksgivingtime, lots of pumpkins were on sale (different kinds) so we baked a lot of those and fed that to him all of the fall/winter.

Fav fruits were pears. I made my own pear/apple blend and he loved it. Pears are good for constipation too, as are plums and prunes. Apples are consipating, so tried not to do a 100% apple sauce for my son.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

rice cereal was really binding for both of my kids. So we skipped went straight to sweet potatoes and carrots and peas. It is what it is. I would say this - read a little on protein introduction recommendations. I have a daughter who has lethal nut allergies and they have some initial research that links this type of allergy to protein introduction in early childhood. I don't know how much there is to it but it is worth sticking to the guidelines if it means avoiding food allergies.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Have you ever tasted rice cereal? Bleeeeecccchhhh! Try the oatmeal cereal. Then veggies, then fruit.


answers from Minneapolis on

Baby cereal has zero nutrition, we never used it. We went right to homemade puree ( is a good site to get started with homemade baby food). My boys started solids at 5/6mos, and both were eating table foods by 9mos.



answers from Seattle on

We skipped the crereal and went directly to veggies (we did carrots first). We have no food allergy issues in the family and forgoing the nutrionally empty cereals (they are pretty much empty carbohydrates). Banana, pear and apple are good too. Usually you start with sweeter fruit and veggies since your baby is used to the sweet taste of breastmilk.
There are a lot of old wives tales associated with starting solids, some of which are even propagated by doctors... comparing practices around the world, my sister in Europe was advised against cereal altogether and to start with pureed meats, mild fruits and vegetables as I mentioned above.
Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

Don't bother with the cereal. It's not offering him much nutritional value, and it's a processed food. And, as a breastfed baby, he probably doesn't like the bland flavor as he's used to tasting what you ate through your milk! Great first foods are banana, sweet potato, and avocado. Just smash one up, add a little breastmilk if you want to thin it out, and serve. My son loved these!


answers from Dallas on

We didn't have luck with rice cereal either, so we just went straight to squash and he loved it!



answers from Chicago on

We tried my daughter on rice cereal, around 6 months, but that didn't last long. She had some sort of allergy or intolerance to rice protein that lasted until she was about 1.5 yrs. With our son, we talked with our doctor about skipping the cereals and jumping right to the veggies. He said that was totally fine and many choose to start this way anyway. We haven't started him yet, but we're planning on it in the next few weeks!



answers from Chicago on

My fourth didn't like rice cereal or oatmeal except for the the store bought baby food mixed with fruit. Rice cereal is very constipating. You can try oatmeal. Be sure to add your veggies/fruit slowly so that if he has a reaction to it, you know which food caused it. I disagree with Becky. Cereals don't have zero nutrition! They have fiber, and added nutrients. Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

He might have had gas because 5 months is a little early for some kids, especially with grains. My pediatrician says there's no reason you can't start with fruits or vegetables. Just introduce them one at a time and don't start mixing until you're sure how he handles each one.



answers from Chicago on

I started my son on pureed fruits and veggies first (shortly after his 6 month birthday). After a few weeks I gave him some cereal.

I started him on bananas, pears, sweet potato, if I recall correctly. I actually never did the 'wait three days for a reaction' thing, because my ped said the likelihood of him being allergic was very small. No allergies run in both my husband and my families.

In fact, if there was a reaction it was usually immediate. My son gags and spits up avocado every time I try it on him. Not sure if he has an allergy (doubt it) or just simply hates it. More's the pity - I can eat avo straight out the shell with a little salt. Delish. He had no other reactions to anything. Unless your ped tells you otherwise and you trust him/her, then you should probably go the more traditional route and try new foods only after a waiting period.

Best of luck to you.




answers from Miami on

Hi B.,
We also exclusively bfed til 6 months. We started with "cornflower" cereal which is easier on the digestion system. We then moved to mushy cooked veggies -- sweet potato, pumpkin, potato -- then banana.

HTH. Jilly



answers from Anchorage on

It more than likely made him gassy because it was new. I started cereal at 4 months (a child is ready when they can move the food from the spoon to the back of the mouth and swallow with out gagging, usually around the 4th or 5th month). For any occasional gas I used little tummies, it is non medicated and works like a dream. Really the cereal is to get them used to eating (can make it really thin), and check for allergies. Since he has tried it already, and is older, I would think you would be fine to start with vegis.



answers from Tampa on

when i first started introducing solid foods to my son he wasnt a ceral baby either. he hated it so i mix it in his bottle with formula (in your case breastmilk) and then he ate it that way. then i started mixing the veggie and fruit jars in this bottles with the milk. after he got use to the taste (which he LOVED) i started to fed him with spoons.

Alot of people say not to mix food in bottles but there is nothing wrong with it. even my doc said it was ok, just dont do it for a long time. every child is different and even if there is no reseach for it does not mean that it is wrong. i have alot of friends and family members that did it and it worked out great considering my son didnt want to eat food untill he tried it in the bottle.

Good luck and best wishes!



answers from Chicago on

You have received many messages thus far and I hope that they are helping you. It may not be a good idea to discontinue cereal altogether as infant cereal is fortified with iron, a micronutrient that your baby needs. My ped said to skip rice and go directly to oatmeal or barley as rice is very constipating. We mixed cereal with breast milk (i.e., a familiar flavor). Once we knew he was OK with cereal, we moved on the veggies and fruit. Pureeing your own fruits and veggies is very easy and can save lots of money. You can also tailor the flavors and textures to your baby's liking by making it yourself.
I know that this is a confusing time. You are a pro a breastfeeding and now you have to change things up AGAIN! How dare these little beings want to eat real food?! ;) Do what you think is best for you and your baby. You will find your rhythm and everything will eventually work out.



answers from Chicago on

The only reason people start with rice cereal is because it is the least allergenic food. There is no reason he needs rice cereal. Congrats on exclusively breastfeeding up to this point except for the bit of cereal. It is really all they need. Alot of peds still give out very outdated advice regarding first foods.

At 6 months, as others have said, they don't really need a puree. You can just steam fresh fruits and veggies and give them little pieces. Once you have tried a few things that way then it would be fine to just feed what you are eating (although maybe with less salt or spices) just cooked a little more in some cases. I always started with banana with my kids cause it was easy and familiar to them and nice and soft already. Avocado is another great one. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

My daughter was the same way, so we went straight for the avocado, much more nutritional value and full of good fats for brain development. She is 3 and still loves avocados and does not like cereals, which is fine! Your safe intro foods are avocados, bananas, and sweet potatoes.

Good luck and have fun!

Maternal, Infant and Family Health Educator



answers from Columbus on

We went with sweet potatoes first, then carrots and squash and sweet peas. He loved 'em.

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