when is a good time to start giving an infant baby food?

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Lynsey - posted on 12/15/2010

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Yikes! Things sure have changed! The dr. says 5 to 6 months... You hear older women saying that if you put cereal in an infant bottle and feed your baby at night he will sleep longer (a full tummy) we NOW know that this is way too soon because the baby cannot digest the baby cereal before 4 months of age... Something to definitely consider. My mom was one to suggest cereal in a bottle of pumped breastmilk... but my dr. said no no no! I am glad I asked before I just relied on advice that I wasnt sure about! Good luck to you!

[deleted account]

my son just turned 5 months i have been feeding him rice,barley cereal,also orange veggies(beginners baby food)now hes eating fruit he has had no problems he loves to eat,so i say go for it little bit at a time..always start with cereal then orange veggies first,thats what i been told...good luck!

Laura - posted on 12/20/2010

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The best thing you can do is discuss this with your pediatriacian or family doctor. As you can see by the posts, there are many different responses as to when it is best to start a baby on solids. You can even find different opinions among doctors, too, though most will recommend (key word there!) that you start around 6 months. That is a recommendation based on statistical averages though. Much of this depends on how your own child reacts to and displays hunger. On average babies are good to start at 6 months, but as many posts show, some babies are very hungry at 3-4 months old and want more substance while others are content with just bottles/breasts well after that. Pay attention to the hunger signals from your baby--is your infant requiring more bottles to satisfy hunger needs? Is your baby beginning to watch you when you eat? Does your baby get excited when s/he sees you with food you eat? Does your baby making chewing actions with his/her mouth rather than sucking actions? These can be subtle signs that your baby is hungry for more than just formula/breast milk.

If you choose to start your baby on solids, begin with rice cereal as it is the easiest on little digestive systems. While some folks mix a small amount into the formula and feed with a bottle, I strongly recommend (that key word again) against doing that for 2 main reasons: First, the cereal can damage the nipples of the bottle, changing the shape of the hole, and second, the "solid" food can pose a greater choking risk because it is "sucked" rather than gummed/chewed. Those are two different actions that a baby uses when eating with sucking coming naturally (instinctive) and "chewing" becoming a learned skill as they grow and develop. As with all skills that are learned, some learn early while others take a little longer. With that in mind, simply mix a little formula and cereal together and spoon feed your baby. This is where knowing your baby and its behavior comes in when making these types of decisions.

After starting rice cereal for a few weeks to a month, you can add oat cereal. Use these two for a while before adding a fruit or veggie. Generally it is best to try new foods one at a time so that you can watch for any reactions like allergies. You will also be able to learn pretty quickly what tastes your baby doesn't like and simply won't eat! I learned very early on that my daughter did NOT like peas! She's 12 now and STILL won't eat them! : ) You can consider making your own food rather than buying it, too. Make sure that if you do this the fruits and veggies are thuroughly cooked and pureed very fine. I do not recommend adding anything to the food other than a bit of cooking water to thin it. No salt or sugar needed! You can make batches of a fruit or veggie and freeze the puree in ice cube trays. When frozen, place the cubes in a labeled freezer bag. Two cubes of frozen puree is about 1 oz of food. Take the cubes out and thaw in a microwave (do not cook on high!) and you have baby's dinner. This is what I did with my daughter and to this day she loves veggies that other kids won't touch. One other word of caution about homemade food (or jarred foods)--as mentioned previously start with orange foods and work up to green veggies. The green stuff can make babies painfully gassy! You can even mix a fruit (or veggie) with a bit of cereal for a different taste and texture. Just make sure that the resulting food is thinned enough with a liquid (formula/breast milk/water) to avoid choking hazards. Hope this helps and Bon Apetite!

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I never gave our kids baby food but instead made my own. I started when the bottle was not enough to make them full.

My daughter was 8 lbs when she was born and ate real food at 8 months, my son was 10 lbs and started eating real food at 6 months.

They wanted a bottle all the time and it never made them full so I started them on cereal with karro syrup so they would be full and not get constipated.

For the record, they are both healthy and successful in their lives with no health problems at all.

Nicole - posted on 12/17/2010

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I think it's totally up to you! When your baby's sleep habits start changing at night time (sleeping fewer hours in a row) it could be because they aren't full enough, you could start giving rice cereal with the dinner time bottle or feed. Also, a good indication that your baby is ready is when they start showing an interest in your food.

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Sindisiwe - posted on 06/26/2014

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If you are feeding your baby for the first time, how many times a day should you feed her or him?

Nataliya - posted on 12/20/2010

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When baby is ready. You can try either at 4, or 6v month, but it's usually up to them. You'll see when a baby is interested in solid food. I was offering food to my girl from my plate and she liked some things. Well, she skipped all baby food (except for carrot) and eats what I eat. I never push or force, I hope she'll develops good eating habits, because eat healthy food.

Momof1 - posted on 12/20/2010

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I've heard/read between 4 and 6 months. My ped. said we could start at 4 months. We waited until he was six months. You also have to wait until your baby shows signs of being ready to eat. Bryce was showing the signs at 5 months, but, like I said, we waited until 6 months.

Hope - posted on 12/19/2010

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Check with your baby's pediatrician. Another good site for info is BabyCenter.com .Usually rice cereal starts after 6 months as the first thing baby eats.

Kellie - posted on 12/19/2010

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Hiya Liz Dean, i start givin my baby the mulipa baby food at 3 and a half months as he was a hungary baby, he was on sma hungry baby 8 oz bottles every 3 hours then one day he was gettin hungry every 2 hours, he was startin to sleep for me at night from 11 being his last feed till 6 bein his first, wen he started wanting bottles every two hours it was tru the night aswell i was like a zombie walkin round after two days of this, so i gave him breakfast at 11 and a 4oz bottle then at 2 id give him an 8 oz bottle then at 5 give him a lil bit of more mulipa 2 spponfuls at the most, then at 8 give him some rusk made with sma milk and an 7oz bottle, most times at 8 he'd only have 3oz and have the other 4 at 11 and slepp tru till 6 and have another 8oz bottle:) it was great he's 9 months now and gettin breakfast lunch dinner and tea with to milk bottles and sleepin from 7 - 7 for me :) plus on the good side he'l try anything for me :)

Jolene - posted on 12/19/2010

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my pediatrition said i could start at 3 and a half months because he believed she was ready and she was.

Petrina - posted on 12/18/2010

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i just started my daughter on food and she is 4 months. id say just follow what your pediatrician is telling you to do with your baby.

Carin - posted on 12/18/2010

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Well, My mid-wife suggested I put half a teaspoon of RICE cereal in my son's formula on top of regular formula dose, not adding any extra water. He's only 75 days old today. He's been on Rice Cereal and Formula combo for almost 3 weeks now. It has helped me emensely with his crying and being able to sleep through the night. You don't want to start actual baby food until 5 to 6 months. But nobody ever tells you when you can start Rice Cereal in the milk... You can do it as early as two weeks after birth but only recommended by a doctor. At one month, You CAN mix the two with no questions asked. Don't put in too much (more than 1/2 teaspoon for 4 oz.). Your baby will spit it up and be fussy. Expect poops to be more solid... I call them meatballs, lol... Doctor's have wives tales too, btw. So be investigative and don't be afraid to ask the hard questions. My mid-wife is always thrown for a loop when I see her... It's the army, I get to keep her as the doctor, yays! I am more comfortable with having her to go to as I have seen her since I first found out I was pregnant. It's nice not to switch doctor's. Anyways, I look up things constantly online and in books. Also, My sister is into holistic medicines a lot since babies younger than 2 years cannot have medicines. Certain herbs are not harmful to babies. Germany practices a lot of herbal medicines with infants younger than 2 years of age, so my mid-wife has told me. Unfortuneately, the FDIC wants to keep it quite in the United States because they don't get to make money off of the medicine they have now and hospital visits... USA loves its money. (I'm from here, btw). So my mid-wife tells me about stuff she has learned that isn't "allowed" but hasn't been proven to not work but HAS been proven to work in Europe. They are far more advanced in the field of medicine, she says. So that is where I would start searching for your information. Anything you find, bring it up to your doctor and if need be, they may need to research it before they come back with an answer. However, MOST doctor's all ready know but are bound by law to not recommend such things but also say if you want to do it, it can't hurt but they are not recommending you do it because it could come back on them... Basically implying that it's your choice, they agree but cannot legally say so while at work but at home is a different story. In fact, Most doctor's don't use regular medicines for themselves, they use holistic medicine because its pure and concentrate always works faster anyways, right??? So skip the harmful "If you take this, these symptoms might occur..." mombo jumbo.
If you drink or ever have drank alcohol, you will understand this example.
Hangover. What cures it best? A tylenol and water? Or Spicy Hot V8 Juice? Most will reply Spicy Hot V8 Juice. All it is, is veggies.
So why can't something as simple as Lavender calm a baby just by smelling Lavender? It can, and it can calm you as well. Thats why you find it bath salts for relaxation. So try that as well if your baby is crying a lot. I wouldn't suggest it if it didn't work. Or Meltatonin, which is a chemical our body naturally produces to sleep. Give baby a little spray and poof... 20 minutes (average) with a full belly, clean diaper and soft lit room will have baby sleeping like a baby!!! Matthias loves it. And guess what, No overdose scare because they will poop it out if you accidentally give them too much. I've never had that problem. I'm not a doctor or anything of that sort. I'm not even into the holistic medicine myself. But I do believe in what works.
So, If your baby needs something a little more than just pure formula, I suggest go ahead and add in 1/2 teaspoon of RICE cereal. Don't be afraid to try things. What works for your baby might not work for someone else's baby or lifestyle choice. You won't know until you try. If you don't feel right about it, then you probably shouldn't do it or you should at least as a doctor first. That's what I do. Don't let people scare you!!!
My son, like I said, Sleeps through the night. Eats every 3-4 hours and sometimes longer (during the night when he sleeps) First thing in the morning though, he is a starving marvin, lol...
Also, You might be asking this question because your baby might be chewing (playing) with the nipple. That is a normal function. Babies learn over time how to chew to prepare for food. It could be teething. But may be awhile before the teeth poke through. Or it could be that he/she are on the wrong stage. Stages are done by mouth movement. Common mistake for bottle feeding mother's is to not watch the mouth movement and keep the poor little tike on a stage one when they should be on a stage 2. Its like sucking through a coffee straw. They will be sucking for dear life, just to eat!!!

Kelly - posted on 12/18/2010

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I started my son on baby food at 3 and a half months, i only started putting baby rice in his bottles at first though. He was a real greedy baby though, he would wake up every 1-2 hours wanting food, and if i was lucky he would wake up every 2-3 hours, i was warn out! Especially being a single parent, so once he was nearly old enough i started putting baby rice in his bottles, and when he was 4 months old, i started him on baby food.

I think that the research which says don't start your baby on baby food until they are 6 months old is a mith tbh. My son is perfectly healthy. Aslong as you think your baby is ready for food, you should go for it.

My mam and dad started me on baby food at 2 and a half months, and i'm still here perfectly healthy and fine! :)

Elicia - posted on 12/17/2010

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we had to start my son on baby food real early. he was not getting enough to eat. he was 2 months when we started him on watered down baby food and slowly decreased the water. our doctor told us that as long as your child is not gagging on the food then they will be fine.

Lorraine - posted on 12/17/2010

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My experience is that my son was born premature and he ate baby food early but I had to learn what type he love because he wouldnt eat at all if he didn't like it but 4 -6 months sound perfect to start baby food but alway try to see if your baby can chew for harder food if your baby can't he will let you know is your bond and your love that counts! you will be fine!=)

Candace - posted on 12/17/2010

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My son's pediatrician starts at six months but if the baby shows signs of being ready and aren't getting full from the milk she'll start them at four months. My son waited until six months

Liz - posted on 12/17/2010

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Personally I would say around 6 months. Some babies are ready a little earlier, my older son had his first solid food at 4.5 months as he was obviously not getting everything he needed from his milk. I wonder if that was because he was premature, as another friend of mine started her little one early as well, and she had the same situation!.

Lydia - posted on 12/17/2010

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6 months

don't rush for solids... alone the poop is worth to wait longer.

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All Babies are different and you have to learn to read the signs for when they are ready for solid foods. Some babies are ready at four months and some arent. Personally i dont like the giving of solids to make baby sleep through the night, I dont even think it works to be honest but you'd be surprised how many people do it.

Kandy - posted on 12/16/2010

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My sons pediatrician said about 6 months. We ended up having to put cereal in his bottle when he was a month and a half old. If we didn't his diagnosed reflux would act up and he would spit up 3/4 if not all of his bottle. We were given specific instructions once the cereal was introduced. Once he was on the cereal and reacting well with it, we started having issues with how much he was eating. So our pediatrician told us to try and start him on a fruit (no peaches or citrus the acid is too much for their tummies). But the best advice is 6 months. If you start earlier then there is also an increased risk for your child to develop allergies. Good Luck with everything.

Lise - posted on 12/15/2010

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Lyndsey, good to hear your doc said 6 months. Mine did, too, but what I hear from other moms is 4-6 months. I don't understand the rush for solids...

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