When should I introduce food to my little one's diet?

Joanna - posted on 02/02/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )

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My little girl is just over 4 months old. I'm getting a lot of pressure from my mom to start introducing food to her diet. I think she's a bit young for that, but how do I know when she is ready? Any advice?

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Kimberly - posted on 02/04/2010

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My son started on solids at about 6 months I started him with fruits and veggies first as its recomended( by the lelache legue and also by our family doctor) to be easier on there digestive system then grains.. You can save a lot of money and ensure they are getting whole foods by making your own even cereal is really easy to make... all you need is a blender, for rice cereal just buy brown rice grind into a flour and cook as directed added breastmilk or formula to thin it out, its like that with all grains to make infant cereal... there is a great website that I used as a guidline for introducing solids..wholesomehomemadebabyfood.com
good luck and have fun with solids its an amazing time and sometimes a little scary if alergies run in the family...

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Hi! I have a 16 month old daughter! I started her on cereal's at about 5 months and slowly worked my way through those, then moved on to veggies and fruits introducing them individually 3 days at a time to ensure that she didn't have an allergic reaction to any of them.......my husband had a lot of allergies to food as a child so I was concerned goin into it! There's no rush and like Bridget, I found babycenter.com helpful as well, WITH EVERYTHING! Just remember......they're only guidelines and recommendations; trust ur mommy instinct! You'll do what works for you and your family!

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Robin - posted on 02/05/2010

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My son is about 4 1/2 mths old and we tried rice cereal for the 1st time approx. 2 weeks ago - he wasn't all that interested so I waited another week before we tried it again. I also read that you need to put the spoon straight into their mouth and in the center of the tongue - not on the side as I was doing before and he just pushed it out. A friend recommended adding some fruit to the cereal so we tried a little mashed banana in the cereal and he was all over it! Was opening his mouth anxiously awaiting another spoon full. I am just giving him 2 tbsp. total each morn for breakfast.

Amy - posted on 02/05/2010

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i started my little girl on farx at 3 months but if you think it is time to bring food into her diet then try a little farx and if she is not ready it will just go straght though her

Eleanor Mae - posted on 02/04/2010

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i think 4 months old is okay to start food with her diet. You will know if she is ready if she starts to put her fingers on her mouth and drooling and also if she starts to pick her fingers as her food rather than her milk

Gerri - posted on 02/04/2010

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Do what you feels is best. I started quite early and he did fine and is growing well. His Dad started him and my baby has sleep through the night since 2 weeks of age. He is 7 months old now and eating modified table food. By the way, your baby will also tell you when they are ready. If she doesn't eat it, she is not ready.

Joanna - posted on 02/04/2010

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Thank you so much for all of the responses! It's interesting to hear about all of the different ages of babies taking rice cereal/ real food. All of this is very helpful! (thank you for the websites, too). I think I'm going to start her on rice cereal soon and slowly work our way up to pureed foods. Thanks again for all of the advice/opinions - very helpful and reassuring!

Emma - posted on 02/04/2010

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I introduced solids to Amelia when she was seventeen weeks. I knew that she was ready because she was able to hold a spoon and get it directly into her own mouth, she also stared at my husband and me when we ate and opened and closed her mouth as though she was eating. After two weeks on baby rice or porridge she is now eating anything you give her (she is five months old).

We had a time when she gained a huge amount of weight in a short time and the health visitors made me feel like such a terrible mum but then two weeks later she only gained two ounces and is back on track.

Follow your own instincts and don't be influenced by health visitors or books etc. Every mum I know who introduced a variety of solids early on have non-fussy children with healthy appetites and not one of them is overweight.

Hayley - posted on 02/04/2010

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my daughter is now nearly 6 months when she was 2 months i started to put her on solids every second day when she was 4 months i put her on solids 2 times a day and she is no longer on newborn formula she is on progress the step 2 i think it is better to introduce it as early as possible but no matter what anybody says it ur decision

Rikki - posted on 02/04/2010

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my son is the same age and i reciently got some info from my health care nurse it says you should wait till they are 6 months old and ways to tell when your baby is redy for food are 1-baby makes a chewing motion when seeing u eat food 2-baby trys to grab at spoon when you are eating (guess you can only tell if u have bubby on your knee when u eat lol ) 3-baby watches you eat and follows with his/her eyes and turning head while you are putting food from plate to your mouth 4-when baby is not satisfied with milk allown and seems hungary all the time( also says to up formula or breast feeds untill 6 months of age) but all these things are just guide lines and only you can decide when its time if bubby is happy with milk for now id keep to that and save yourself the mess lol my son is doing all of these things but im still going to try stick it out till atleast 5-5 and a half months but thats just me :)

Sarah - posted on 02/03/2010

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well, i know they are suggesting to wait till 6 months. (in Hamilton, ON anyways) I started my little guy when he was 4 and a half months. I felt like i was depriving him of food, lol. He would watch us eat very closely, and make chewing motions. It was getting to the point where he was holding his teething toy like a cookie and taking bites, it was hilloarious! he would look at it, and take another bite. So I felt like it was definately time to try rice cereal, He absolutely loved it and still loves it. just more of it, and he is always wanting more. But i want to make sure he is still getting enough breastmilk. We were thinking of trying him on green beans in a couple of weeks, giving him a month with just the cereal. I know he will take it no problem now, but i just want to take it slow. If she is not showing any of the signs, -not satisfied with milk-opening mouth to a spoon, ect. then i would wait.

Daina - posted on 02/03/2010

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Hi Joanna! I started my son on oatmeal cereal at 4 months old (that was three weeks ago). Since then we have introduced (3-4 days apart to make sure there were no allergic reactions) applesauce, bananas, green beans, sweet potatoes, carrots and pears and he took them all extremely well (we use the Stage 18 packs from Beech-Nut and Gerber - the dr said we could also puree). The doctor said it was fine and that we would know if he was not ready (we were given the same info as Bridget said in her post). If you are comfortable, I say give it a try. If it does not work out, give it some time and try again. Good luck!

Kim - posted on 02/03/2010

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I started mine at 7/7.5 months. 4 months is too young. Current guidelines are different from when "we" were little. Hold off until at least 6 months or longer. Research and studies have led to new guidelines these days and they may be different later but you should follow the newest ones.

We also follow Baby Led Weaning.

Beth - posted on 02/03/2010

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current aap says the earliest should ontro is 6 months nothiung before then

shes ready when her instincts tell her to swallow and not spit it out
your mm is going off what she did not current guidlines early diabetes and obesity linked to solids and juices before 6 months

Kelly - posted on 02/03/2010

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I know lots of people say not to introduce anything until they are 6 months but when my son was 3 months we started introducing very dilute rice cereal from a spoon. I felt like i couldn't keep up with his feedings and he wasn't getting enough breastmilk from me. At the time we started supplementing formula as well. He took to the cereal within a week and by 4 months we started him on veggies. Be very careful though, their little tummies are sensitive and your baby may take up to 2 weeks to become adjusted to the change in poops after you introduce anything. My little guy didn't become constipated but his poops firmed up and he went longer periods between poops until he adjusted. At 6 months now he is eating cereal, veggies, fruits, little puffs, teething biscuits, etc.

Vicki - posted on 02/03/2010

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No worries Paula - I'm a bit of an evangelist for it now, so simple and easy!

Paula - posted on 02/03/2010

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Interesting Vicki, I like the baby-led-weaning, makes total sense. I never heard of this before so thanks for the tip.

Vicki - posted on 02/03/2010

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I stuck with the WHO recommendations of 6 months. Ignore the baby food marketers who tell you 4 months! We are doing baby led weaning www.baby-led.com. He's 7 months now, trying lots of food no trouble at all.

MOMMBY Mom - posted on 02/02/2010

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Based on what I read for the first 6 months babies should be entirely breastfed or formula fed and even once babies start eating solid food, they still get most of their nutrients from breast milk or formula. That being said, many people start introducing baby cereal between 4 - 6 months.

What are some signs the baby is ready to start solids? According to Dr. Greene,

•Baby still hungry after drinking (8-10 breast feedings or 32 ounces of formula in a day)
•Baby can lift and support her own head
•Baby weighs at least 13 pounds and has doubled her birth weight
•Baby has overcome the strong tongue-thrust reflex they are born with

For more information about Introducing Baby Food, please refer to this link: http://mommby.com/Food/Infants_Toddlers/...

Don't forget to check with your baby's doctor as well. Also, get that camera ready...the first food pictures are the best.

Daniele - posted on 02/02/2010

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It is recommended that solids wait until 6 months because babies do not have the necessary enzymes to digest food. Rice cereal can be started at 6 months. Wait 2 weeks then try a vegetable. Once you have her on vegetables, you can try a new one every 3 days. I would wait until she likes and tolerates at least 3 vegetables before brining in fruit. Of course, my daughter never would take fruit. she still hates it.



The signs of food readiness include: interest in your food, able to sit up stably and unassisted, able to pick up small objects with fingers - pincer grip, tongue thrust reflex gone, and doubling of the birth weight.



If she has all of the above signs of readiness, you can discuss adding cereal to her diet. But, it's a personal choice. If she's acting hungry, she may just need a little more breastmilk or formula. I would add that before adding food until 6 months.



Good luck!!

Kathy - posted on 02/02/2010

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Use your instincts not your moms, remember every baby is different and develops at their own pace. My Dr said when she started med school it was 4 months, when she finished it was 6 months, so to use those as a guideline. She said that when I felt my daughter was ready to start with rice cereal and make in runny, only slightly thicker than a soup because the baby has to learn to swallow something thats not liquid, then gradually make it thicker. Fay-Lynne loves it!! At first wasn't sure about the texture but loves it now. The Dr also said after rice to go to oatmeal then mixed cereal, then veggies before fruit because some babies don't like veggies when they get fruit first and that meat should be the last thing to give them.

Paula - posted on 02/02/2010

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Current WHO guidelines recommend breastfeeding for 6 mths exclusively, or formula as second best. Babies digestive systems are too immature much earlier to handle different types of foods, evidenced by bloating, pain, diarrhoea or constipation. Baby rice is a good start, then pureed veg. Fruit is very sweet and should be mixed with veg. Juice should also be diluted. Good luck with the transition.

Mary - posted on 02/02/2010

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I gave my daughter rice cereal in her bottles at 2 months, then starting feeding her fruit at 3 months. She was drinking 42 oz of formula a day and was getting bloated and had other stomach issues. If you don't have any problems the guideline is 4-6 months. Really at this age cereal and food have no nutritional value compaired to formula, so there's no problem with you waiting if you want to!

Bridget - posted on 02/02/2010

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Well I just started my LO on baby rice 2 weeks ago he is also 4 months old. And I asked my doctor and he said as long theyve got good neck muscles and head control and their tongue lost that baby reflex it has forgot the actual name. You can always give it a try with the rice and youll know if shes not ready not. Me and my son are still working on some days hes does really good others not so good. But they normally say to start anywhere between 4-6months of age. heres a link I read when I was trying to figure it out...

http://www.babycenter.com/0_introducing-...

Hope that maybe helps a bit

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