When Can Babies Start to Eat Peanut Butter?

Updated on June 07, 2011
S.S. asks from Douglasville, GA
22 answers

Everyone has their own opinion on peanut butter and when to give it. Our pediatrician says 12 months old, but what do you think?

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answers from Phoenix on

My doctor told me once my daughter hit 1 that she could eat everything no except shellfish and nuts. I think she recommended 2 for those foods. If you really want to start early, I know a couple who gave peanut butter to their kid for the first time in the parking lot of the emergency room! Sounds silly, but it gave them peace of mind. Apparently, if a person has an allergic reaction to a food, the reaction is fairly immediate.

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answers from New York on

I have heard 2 most commonly. My kids have no apparent allergies and none in the family and got a tiny taste of peanuts between 18 and 24 months. Once I had seen each one had no reaction I didn't have to be crazy careful anymore. I wouldn't give a baby or young toddler much peanut butter or other nut spread since it can be hard to manage without a full set of teeth and a chunk/blob of peanut butter could pose a choking hazard. But my 2 year old likes peanut butter spread thinly on crackers or apples.

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answers from Dallas on

I would wait until closer to age two or three. I breastfed and ate lots of peanut butter myself, and my son was fine. My sister was over at my house and was eating a pb&j sandwich one day. She didn't know to not give a baby a taste of peanut butter (he was probably 10 months), and she did before I could stop her. It was a TINY taste. His face started swelling and he got raspy breathing and it freaked me out! I didn't expect a peanut allergy since there is no history at all. We gave him benedryl immediately and the ped told us to come in asap. We have no history of peanut allergy (often peanut allergy also means shellfish allergy, which our son also has). And, I was solely breastfeeding and he never reacted to any in my milk. If you do it at 12 months, just be sure to have benedryl nearby just in case in the off chance he is allergic. I think most people do 12 months. It's made me a bit paranoid now when it comes to peanuts!

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answers from Washington DC on

This is a hard question to answer. I just was at my 9 month well visit and my pediatrician said, go ahead and try stuff just watch them. It doesn't matter what age they are going to be allergic to it, if they are, they are, if they aren't, they arent...
With that said, I'm not jumping up and down to have my daughter eat PB, strawberries or shellfish, but I'm also not going to freak out about everything in her food. I'm sure we all watch our children for reactions, just keep doing that, and don't introduce more than one thing at a time.

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answers from Missoula on

According to my awesome pediatrician the latest research actually suggests that you may be doing more harm than good by delaying exposure to foods that are common allergens like strawberries and peanuts. Early exposure doesn't appear ton cause allergies and may even help to prevent them We were advised to "open the cupboards and have fun" when it came time for solid foods.. We gave our son pb around 8 or 9 months.

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answers from Lincoln on

Sunbutter is so delicious!! I waited till age two, and it turned out my first was severely allergic to peanuts, I think it would be easier to deal with an allergy with an older child who can kind of tell you how they feel. My second was almost 4 (because we were nervous) when he had his first peanut and he was fine, he loves them. I think you should trust your instincts and your ped.

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answers from Chicago on

This is an ever-changing topic. With my first (9 yrs ago) my pediatrician said at age 2. With my second, it was age 3. With my youngest, they recommended not until age 4. He's 21 months old and I have actually let him try a small amount because my other two were not allergic. He did fine. He didn't like it, so I haven't tried giving it to him again.

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answers from Bakersfield on

My sweet nephew was allergic to barley when he was 1, but now at almost 3, not allergic. I think that you should wait until 1.5 to two years old before giving nuts, etc. Their little bodies are adjusting to so many things, and like one mommy said, if they can communicate to you what they are feeling, it's easier to treat. I say, if you are nervous, and your baby is at an age where you think they should be able to eat it, then sit in the parking lot of an emergency room. It's not silly- it's prudent planning, just to be safe. =) And I think I might do that!

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answers from Sacramento on

Our ped said to wait until baby was 2 years old for peanut butter and honey.
If they allergic, it is much easier for the child if they are a toddler and not an infant.
They can tell you what they are feeling and you can explain what is wrong.
Less scary. :)

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answers from Sacramento on

I didnt give my son peanut butter until 12 months, I guess just bc his pediatrician advised against it... But I eat peanut butter regularly, and I would think if it doesnt harm them coming through breastmilk, they probably wont have an allergy to it...

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Peanut butter is like eating super glue to a small child. If you do introduce it make sure it is VERY VERY VERY thinly spread on. It is a VERY big choke hazard for small children.



answers from Chicago on

from what I understand not before the age of 2 because of the high rate of allergies.


answers from Chicago on

I gave it to my son at 12 mos. My DD is 10mons and I'm not going to wait much longer.
We have no family history of food allergies - which is really the reason that you wait with all of this stuff.



answers from San Diego on

My pediatrician said 2. I waited until 2 with my first. I fed my 2nd pb around 18 mos. I read in multiple places that if food allergies don't run in family, you can give it sooner. It can be hard to swallow, so just little bits at a time.



answers from New York on

Just be sure to spead it thin if you are feeding to a 1 year old or less. It can be a choking hazard.

I think if there is a peanut allergy or sensitivity in your family then you should wait for 2+.



answers from Orlando on

Follow your doctors advice and wait until 12months. My doctor suggested until my daughter is 3 because she was lactose intolerant and had some allergy issues with milk early on. Same with shellfish and any kind of nut not just peanuts. She's 2 1/2 now so we're almost there, even if your family doesn't have any history of allergy I would wait until after 12months.


answers from Hartford on

Peanut butter is a high risk allergen and it's also high risk choking hazard. The AAP recommends 2 years old. Same for nuts. Same for honey.



answers from Seattle on

The rules have changed fairly recently. With my first, it was wait until she's 2 years old. With the second, there were no guidelines (on any food) since there is no history of food allergies in the family. That said, it can be a choking hazard, so don't be giving the little ones big spoonfuls of the stuff! And, if my pediatrician said to wait until they are 12 months, that is what I'd do.

The issue with honey is completely different and has nothing to do with food allergies. Honey can contain botulism, and it can be dangerous for infants. You should wait until they are 1 yo before giving them raw honey.



answers from Boston on

They should be at least 2 even later if there is history of allergies but since you could give her an alternative like sunbutter


answers from Dallas on

NO earlier than age 2.



answers from Atlanta on

Our pediatrician told us 2 years, and some allergists were trying to push for 3 years of age.
Of course, my sis-in-law wasn't aware, and gave our little one peanut butter. I think he was about between a year and 1½ years at that time.
Luckily, he hasn't had any allergies at all. But, a LOT of poor babies have allergies these days. I would wait as long as you can for her sake.

Good luck and God bless!



answers from Chicago on

Hi i was just reading ur responses for this question and something that caught my eye was MandA M. was that she said there is no allergic history in her family, that does not mean her kids will not have it and i say this out of experience my 9 month old was tested for allergies and he came out positive on peanuts soybean egg white and milk my point is no one absolutely no one in my family is allergic to none of this stuff and boom look at that my poor baby suffers all this allregies that dont let his face clear up it lasts clear for like 3 days the most but other than that its always with break ups :(

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