Starting Cereal...need advice

Katie - posted on 11/06/2008 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I'm not sure why I can't quite wrap my head around how to start solids. My son is 5 and half months and exclusively breastfed. We're going to try cereal this weekend. My questions are, how do I choose a time, should I breastfeed before or after the feeding and how often should I try (once a day, twice a day, once every other day?). It's my understanding that BF sessions won't lessen until 8-10 months when solids should be offered first? Then I'm wondering how do I know what BF sessions to eliminate...?

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Holly - posted on 11/10/2008

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Here's my experience. The more baby food you feed your child the less he will breastfeed...at least at that age. Breastfeeding is actually enough until your child needs more calories. My daughter is 8 months old today and is still exclusively breastfeeding. We tried some solids when she was six months old but she had excessive gas, bloating, and crankiness so we decided to take a break. She has still been growing and gaining weight with about 7 feedings in a 24 hour period. I gave her some oatmeal today for the first time today (1 tsp. mixed with breastmilk). We'll see how that goes. We basically going to take it real slow. I'll be following her cues. If we still have problems with solids being digestively comfortable we'll continue to wait.

Alyssa - posted on 11/10/2008

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look for Earth's Best organic baby cereals and foods at Whole Foods, Target, Safeway, and Sunflower (if you have 'em).

Angela - posted on 11/08/2008

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In RI our local supermarkets have the organic foods too. So does babies r us.

[deleted account]

In Australia Heins makes an organic vanilla custard (like farex) we just get it from our local supermarkets.



BE careful with organic as it depends on the company and country to how 'organic' it actually is.. food especially for babys have to be made to the strictist of guidelines so i remcommend getting a few diff packs and seeing which works better with your little one

Sally - posted on 11/07/2008

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I just started my 6 mo old daughter on cereal, bananas, and sweet potatoes in the last few weeks. For now, breastfeeding is still mealtime and baby food is a mid morning or afternoon snack. We're on the every-other-day or so schedule, just so I can keep an eye on whether she's getting constipated (starting solids caused constipation issues with both of my boys). I agree with what others have said about following baby's cues - and trust your mommy instincts, you know your kid best!

Katie - posted on 11/07/2008

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Anyone know where I can get organic rice cereal or any brands? I looked at our local Whole Foods but they didn't have any rice cereal - just mixed grain.

Joanie - posted on 11/07/2008

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I also recommend mixing rice cereal with breast milk. Stick with just that for a week or two to make sure it doesn't upset his stomach too much. Don't give very much for the first little while and make it really runny. I heard that if you give him cereal in the evenings, it might help them sleep a little better at night. Who knows, though. I wouldn't eliminate a BF session just yet. When he's a bit older, you can do that if you need to be away from him or something, but I would still use breast milk to mix the cereal, if possible.

Mercedes - posted on 11/07/2008

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I also highly recommend the organic, whole grain cereals when you start them! After all, he's had the best start so far!

Melissa - posted on 11/07/2008

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If your baby is content with breast feeding then go with that. Your baby will let you know when he is ready to eat solids. Some signs could be that he wants to nurse more or is fussy 30 min or so after he is done, waking up at night etc. What ever you do go with organic food. You can make your own it is so easy. Williams Sonnoma sells a baby food maker that is made of Non toxic plastics. Another option is the Kid co food mill, or the just use a blender. There a lot of cook books out there for making your babies food also. As far as when to feed solids goes this is my schedule. My son wakes up I nurse him first then I feed him solids, down for morning nap, wakes up, nurse at 11:30, lunch at 12:00. Down for afternoon nap, wake up nurse around 4:30, dinner at 5:30, nurse around 7:30 time for bed. Hope this helps you.

Angela - posted on 11/07/2008

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my pediatrician practially ordered me to start solids this month as I was overwhelmed. We started with 1tbsp of cereal and 1 oz of breast milk and 1/2 of baby food. We started with pears. My baby had some constipation issues due to reflux meds so pears were great. we are now at 1.5 tbsp of cereal and half a container of baby food and its working well. Its even fun.

Laurie - posted on 11/07/2008

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Katie, Be prepared for a huge mess although it is very funny the first few times as he gets used to the texture and taste. I started my son on rice cereal at about 5 mths. He was a big boy, was drinking me dry and still hungry. He flatly refused formula so I decided to try cereal. That went over very well. I started with a teaspoon of powdered rice and three teaspoons of breastmilk and worked my way up from there. I found that he was still drinking about 1200 ml of breast milk a day (I tend to pump then feed it to him in a bottle most of the time) but also addding the cereal on top of that to increase his overall consumption of food. It was several weeks before I was feeding him solids more than once a day however. He also started on rice krispies fairly early as he loves to pick them up and feed himself. At almost eleven months he will eat half to three quarters of a cup of dry powdered cereal plus milk to the right consistency (fairly thick) at one meal plus a whole apple or peach which I put through the blender. He will eat small chunks of fruit but it is very slow going so I feed him the easy stuff first with a spoon then let him eat/play with chunks of fruit such as strawberries while I am cleaning up. One word of warning - rice and oatmeal went over well but barley caused massive gas and he was up most of the night screaming so you may want to avoid barley for a while.

As for which feedings to eliminate - I didn't - I gradually added more cereal and let him breast feed to completion afterwards. If he was really hungry I gave him some milk first and cereal afterwards as he had no patience for cereal if he was hungry to the point of fussiness.

Katie - posted on 11/07/2008

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Thanks everyone! Yes he is definitely interested - he reaches for our food if he's close enough and if he's not he just watches us intently an opens and closes his mouth (heehee, like a baby bird). Our doctor said 6 months for cereal and 7 months for veggies then fruit then meat. He said we could start a little before 6 months with the rice cereal just as practice. I'm not ready to wean, I'd just like to try it because I think he is interested. We have a busy weekend so we think we're going to wait until next weekend or during the week when we can give it our undivided attention.

Angie - posted on 11/07/2008

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Your baby is your best clue, my yongest crawled out of my arms in an attment to reach for table food. If you are concerned about iron level the dr can do a quick blood test.

Stephanie - posted on 11/07/2008

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I started my daughter on cereal at 4 months. We did it at night between two feedings. Then at 6 months we started to add fruits and veggies in. I didn't go to two feedings until she was 7 months old. Now she eats 3-5 times a day at almost 11 months (plus nurses on demand about 3-4 times during the day, about 3 times at night, and gets one sippy of water/watered-down juice a day). Your baby will probably let you know how they feel about the solids and what feeding they no longer need. Just be willing to be flexible!
Oh, and if you don't want to do cereal, I read that avocado is another good first food. My daughter loved it when I did eventually give it to her.

[deleted account]

well you still have a couple more weeks yet. They recommend solids at 6 months because the stored iron and zink in a babys body is geting low and the breast milk does not supply enough zink/iron for development so delaying solids past 6 months you can make your bubby sick.



As for how to do it.

until a bub is 9 -10 months you always offer the breast first. Its a babys main source of fluid and nutrients. So feed your little one then wait an hour before offering solids and then nurse the normal feed next time you normally would. As at this stage it shouldnt replace any feeds and if it starts to replace feeds then its a good indication they are getting to much



They recommend rice cereal to bein as it has the iron/zink they need. Start with one tablespoon of dry mixed with your breastmilk to a thin consistancy. When starting any new foods do it when you think is the best time the most quiet and when you think your bub will respond the best.... i was always taught in the monring as they have had a full nights sleep and respond better to it.



At first they may not like it but if you mix it with your milk the yare more likely to like it as it tastes more to what they are use to.. make it very watery and make sure there is no lumps in it.



Keep them on this one a day for a week or so and then introduce another meal in a week or 2 and then the 3rd in another week or 2.



Once they are on 3 times a day then start to introduce fruit and vegies. Make sure you try one new food every few days as if they have any issues you know what its from.

Mary - posted on 11/06/2008

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Hi Katie,

I always just followed my babies' cues and things just sort of worked out. #1 You dont' HAVE to start solids just yet, babies can thrive on just breastmilk up to a year old and beyond, but if you want to, cereal is a good start. #2 The most important thing about starting solids is to only introduce 1 new food a week. Then if baby has a reaction you know exactly what caused it. #3 Breastfeeding is so awsome because it takes the complicated right out of solids. You know he is getting the perfect food from you, and it is ALL that he needs to be fat and healthy. So really, feeding solids is just play time for awhile! Do it when you feel like it, or if he is clamoring for food when you eat, do it when he feels like it.

I usually would start with once a day at a convenient time of day for me. Not a busy stressed time, you know, a relaxing time of day. If he really likes it and you would like to cut down your nursing a bit, you can work your way up to twice a day, then three times a day, remembering to introduce just one new food per week (if you start with rice cereal, dont' give him oatmeal til week 2, then you can still alternate with rice etc. cause its not a new food). Just remember, the more you feed him, the less he needs to nurse, so make sure that is what you want to have happen, and then just nurse him when he's hungry! At first you might not even notice a decreased number of nursings. He will probably only eat a couple of teaspoons of cereal per time at first. oh, and it is better to offer solids after he's nursed, but not necessarily immediately after. Its just that if they are hungry starving they dont' have the patience to wait for solids to get to their tummy and that makes them upset. So if he's real hungry nurse him, and he'll be more patient and willing to "play" at eating.

Good luck!

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