When Can I Start Introducing Some Solid Food to My Baby?

Updated on April 11, 2013
E.B. asks from Napa, CA
19 answers

Hi, my mother in law gave me a box of pureed veggies in kiddie jars and I wonder how soon can I start feeding my baby boy (who is a little over three months old) solid food? The reason I am asking is because he has been eating a LOT. He is always hungry it seems. Even at 1.5 month he was already eating 6 ounces of formula with rice cereal. Now that he is 14 pounds he has been sucking down 8-14 ounces no problem. We have been doing cluster feedings often these days, and some times his appetite is regular other times its sporadic. I have been reading some stuff online to get an answer, some moms say 4 months is the earliest you can introduce solid foods to your baby, is this true or should I wait until he starts teething?

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So What Happened?

Thank you ladies for your input, I have talked to his pediatrician about infusing rice cereal with his formula before doing so. My husband has gas issues when he was a baby and still does today. So of course my son is also very gassy as well. That is why I put rice cereal in his formula to help and sooth his stomach (its more like 1tsp of rice cereal per every 3 ounces). I do occasionally give him some water as well to just help things moving. Of course every baby is different therefore what works for one baby doesn't work for others. Infusing rice cereal has been part of his formula for over a month and 1/2 now, and I do not follow everything that I read from books cause they are just guidelines for babies in general. But I will with hold the solid food until his doctor says its okay.

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answers from Detroit on

6 months at the earliest. I have found countless articles in the last week alone about how starting earlier can set them up for problems down the road.

So, I would wait until the 6 month birthday with an iron-fortified cereal. My kids didn't each much of anything besides breastmilk before 12 months. They had little interest. I did push the iron cereal for iron, but other stuff, it was hit or miss. Mostly a miss, and a mess. :)

They should not get rice cereal before 6 months, and never in a bottle.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

6 months is the guideline.
It's not just about what he "could do" it's about his system being developed enough to process solids.
If put the good away for a few more months.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Oklahoma City on

He's starving because you're taking away from his nutrition by feeding him cereal. It is sitting in his tummy and digesting totally slowly. He's not near old enough.

Formula is made to be TOTAL nutrition until the child is 1 year old. They don't NEED any other foods. Baby food is flavored goo, not food. It is meant to be used to teach them to chew and swallow, not feed them. So don't do this to your child.

He needs his formula first and as much as you can give him. He needs the vitamins and nutrients in it, not flavored goo that has nothing in it he needs.

At 6 months you can start introducing dry cereals mixed very very very runny so he can get used to the texture. It's still not for FOOD, it's to teach him to accept different textures and to chew and swallow. When he's around 8-9 months old you can have him eating a few bites of baby food after he's had his bottle. He needs those nutrients in the formula first each and every time. It is full nutrition. Baby food is flavored goo and has nothing in it to feed your child.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Unless your Dr. explicitly told you to put your kid on rice cereal, take him OFF. Some babies with reflux need this, but other then that it's BAD. Not only is there a huge choking hazard with rice cereal in bottles, it's bad for their stomachs. It can cause a rice allergy. He can't digest properly so young. He's been in the world less then 2 months, and you have him eating FOOD!!! Slow down, there is no rush.

Please, consult your pediatrician about this. The guidelines say 6 months for ANY solids, and rice cereal is a solid. I would think your pediatrician would advise you to stop what you are doing, and start asking these questions, before you take action.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

No solids until 6 months of age including cereal. And never put cereal in your babys bottle. This is the current/most updated recommendation.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Rice cereal is considered solid food, even when mixed with formula or milk to be "liquid."

The AAP recommends you don't start before 6 months of age. Their previous recommendation was 4-6 months of age, and most pediatricians will still say that's fine as long as you don't have food allergies in your family history. You shouldn't ever feed solid food (including rice cereal) before four months. So no matter what, you've already started way too early.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

if he was eating rice cereal at 1.5 months you have ALREADY started him on solids.

This is not healthy. At. All.

Breast milk or formula is the primary source of nutrition for the 1st YEAR. Beginning at 6 months OR SO you can introduce solids AFTER b'milk or formula so that you baby can get used to textures and swallowing. This will give your baby an ability to build up tolerance and to get his digestive system ready for "real" food.

When you introduce foods, you should wait 4-5 days between EACH new food so that you ensure your baby doesn't have any allergies to the new food.

Your son should get NO nutrition from solids. ALL nutrition should be from b'milk or solids until around a year. If you start feeding him solids and pull back on b'milk or formula you are doing something that is NOT NUTRITIOUS for your son.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

What does your pediatrician say? Most of them don't recommend solids until 4 to 6 months, including rice cereal. Healthy babies only need breast milk or formula for the first 12 months. Everything else is just practice.
And yes, growing babies ARE always hungry, and the formula is a lot healthier and better for him than the baby food is.
Keep giving him bottles and talk to the doctor about the rest.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Green Bay on

Babies have a reflex where their tongue pushes out when anything is put into their mouth. It is part of the sucking reflex. Generally, moms who try to feed their young babies will complain that baby "just spits out the food'...Baby isn't spitting it out because they don't like it, it simply is the way their mouth works at their young age. It takes a while for baby's mouth, tongue, and throat muscles to work in cooperation to take something put into their mouth and be able to push it with their tongue to the back of their throat in order to swallow. It is all part of the sucking reflex and baby's mouth needs to mature before solids are started.

Our dr. recommended waiting until our son was "solidly able to sit up" before we started solids. We started them around 6 months.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Have you discussed his appetite with the doctor?

Do you mean that he will drink 14 ounces in one sitting? And you cluster feed with a bottle?

I wonder if he's crying for another reason and you think it's hunger so you give him a bottle. There's a real danger here of setting up your baby for obesity later on. He should be on a feeding schedule. Only breastfed babies are clustered. The reason is that the breastmilk is thin and easily digestible, and usually this is for little tiny babies whose stomachs can only hold a little bit at a time. Your baby is not a newborn anymore and isn't nursing. His formula should hold him.

Talk to the doctor about this issue. Talk about what crying might be for OTHER than being hungry.

Teething has NOTHING to do with starting solid food. Your ped will tell you when. Guidelines used to be 4 months - now they are usually at 6 months. And you start with rice cereal, which you have already been doing. The reason to wait is to ward off food allergies. The reason to start with rice cereal is because it's usually not an allergy causing food. When you do start, you give a little bit (not a whole jar) and only one new one per week.

Don't stuff your baby with food. Food at this age is just so he can learn textures and tastes. NOT for filling him up and not for nutrition. He needs the formula exclusively for nutrition.

I really think you need to be talking to the doctor about how you are feeding this baby.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Teething has nothing to do with introducing solids (the foods you're giving him AREN'T actually solid... he doesn't need teeth, he needs a more mature gut).

Wait until he's between 4 and 6 months to think about introducing solids.

Unless your pediatrician has given you instructions to give baby rice cereal, you should stop now and hold off until he's old enough to really digest it. He's very young to already be eating rice cereal unless he has a digestive issue like reflux and needs it in order to keep down his formula.

If you stop the rice cereal, you may find that he feeds more normally on the formula since his little system isn't trying to deal with the rice which it doesn't need and can't use.


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

unless your dr told you to put rice in his bottle you need to stop. no solids including rice until 6 months. It's empty calories. No nutritional value at all.
three months is a growth spurt month so you're going to see lots of eating.
all nutrition for the first year comes from breastmilk or formula. solid food before a year is just for texture and practice for real food. mine ate jar food all of like 2 months, after their first taste of table food it was all over.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

The most recent research says 6 months before ANY food is offered. I understand your dilemma, if a baby seems hungry. But more breastmilk or formula is what you should give if he is not at least 6 months old.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


6 months at the absolute earliest.

9 months is reasonable.

10-11 months is when you really start transitioning from bottles.

Up to a year old, all - ALL - of their nutrition comes from bm or formula. "Solid food" is just to get them used to eating food. It mainly just goes through their system and doesn't really add much nutritional benefit.

And please go to the library and check the child rearing section - tons of good books that lay out timelines, what to expect, etc.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I was told to wait til 6mo. or later, 9 mo for meat.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Our doctor told us we could try any time between 4-6 months. We did 4 months with all 3 of our babies and had no issues. Some people worry that introducing solids too soon can cause allergies, but our kids have no allergies that we know of. The official word from the American Academy of Pediatrics is no sooner than 6 mos.

Edited to Add (ETA): If we had any kind of family history of allergies, I wouldn't have started at 4 mos--I would have waited til 6 mos.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

4 - 6 mos depending on the interest of the child. My son was ready at 4 mos and he was just fine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

i would have to say wait until he's 6 months old. baby's only need breast milk and/or formula for the 1st 6 months exclusively and a little bit of water would not hurt, since formula fed baby tends to constipate. but there are some who introduce solids as early as 4months.i introduced solid to my daughter when she turned 6 months, and i only allow her to drink my milk, water and 2 ounces of prune juice coz her vowel movement is not regular. i dont like the idea of juice coz they're just plain sugar, so i would advice you to check on that too.in the end it will still be your call. goodluck!


answers from San Francisco on

Rice cereal is considered a solid food, and shouldn't be given to babies due to its non-nutritional value. Cereal is NOT a necessity in a baby's diet, and your baby will give you cues when he's ready for solids. Eating frequently is NOT an indication, and from the sounds of how much he's eating, I think overfeeding is an issue here. http://www.kellymom.com/store/freehandouts/bottle_feeding...

Babies do not suck just because they're hungry, especially at 3 months. What other cues is he giving that he's hungry? http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/bf-basics/hunger-cues/ is a good site for learning your baby's cues. Many parents think babies only cry when they're hungry, so crying shouldn't be used to determine hunger. Babies will always give earlier cues.

If your baby has gas issues, it could be the formula he's eating, or from overfeeding or it could just be normal. Babies are very gassy, and it's a good thing. It tells you that his digestive system is working and learning to do what it needs to do.

And you should never give a baby under 6 months water. There's a danger of water intoxication because breast milk and formula are mostly water.

It's fine to not follow everything that you read in books, but there are some basics that every parents NEEDS to follow based on research regarding the health and digestive development of your baby. No solids before 4-6 months is proven based on the digestive maturity of ALL babies.

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