When to start Rice Cereal or Jar Food?

Valerie - posted on 03/30/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I was wondering if it is too early to start my son with the rice cereal every day. I tried it with him a few weeks ago and seemed to like it and enjoy it but then when he had his 4 month check up a few days ago our pediatrician said not to start until 5 months for rice cereal and at least 6 months for jar food. He eats 7 oz every 3 1/2 to 4 hours but sleeps through the night 8-9 hours and doesn't wake to eat. So nto sure if he just is not hungry enough to start the food that is why the pediatrician sounded like she wanted me to wait because she said until he is eating 8 oz every few hours and still hungry. He is growing fine was 15 lbs 10 oz and 25.5 inches so I am not worried there. Just wondering what everyone else thinks or what your pediatricians said about it. Seems every one else's babies this age are eating rice or jar food and he is not???

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Quoting Casey:



Hi, my baby was born on the 17th and is eating solids now! I started her on rice cereal two days before she was 4 months old and then we started night feeds of baby custard a week later and then lunch was added a week after that! it depends on the baby and the mother but my daughter is thriving on eating solids!!! Good luck with your decisions





Me to, my baby girl was born the 20th and she is doing awesome with solids

Raven - posted on 04/07/2009

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Yeah, I have heard a lot about starting veggies first too because they have found that infants develop their sweet tooth right at this age so steering clear of all fruits and sweet drinks is best until they have had all the veggies that they can. We talked to our pedi and she suggested no juices at ALL until after 1 year and no fruits until my daughter was 9 months old. That being said... we tried bananas anyway because I bought some on accident and didn;t want them to go to waste and my daughter hated them.... so really it is to each their own.

Hillary - posted on 04/07/2009

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I've also heard starting anywhere between 4-6 months, and I brought this up to our pedi. at my daughter's 4-month visit.  He said to start the rice cereal and if she likes it, feed her just that for a 2-3 weeks.  Then, after the 2-3 weeks I could start veggies or fruits (I am going to start with veggies first).  He said to give her one veggie for 2-3 days to make sure she does ok with it, and then introduce another one.  After I've introduced the veggies and if she does well on them all, to go on to fruits.  I've also talked with a GI specialist since my daughter has reflux.  I asked her if I should start cereal at 4 or 6 months and she said 4 months is absolutely fine.  It really ends up being a personal choice and also how your baby is eating/acting now. 

[deleted account]

it sounds like ur bubs got a few more weeks yet u lucky thing. My girl started eating at 4.5 mths because she was eating a full bottle (250mls) every 3hrs and not sleeping properly of a night, where she used to sleep 10-14hrs. My eldest started when she was 6mths. Each knows their own baby, but i would recommend not before 4mths as they say the babies stomach isnt mature and u can trigger allergies, also dont wait too long after (like starting at 8 mths) coz u may find it very difficult to get the baby off the milk and onto food.

Jennifer - posted on 04/06/2009

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oh and i forgot to mention. If your son doesnt like ceral plain, then try mixing some applesauce in with it.  it helps with the taste.

Jennifer - posted on 04/06/2009

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My doctor said to start my daughter on 1st foods and ceral when she went to her 4 month check-up.  She has been on it every day and she loves it.  her stomach is still adjusting.  She is also eating 6 ounces with each feeding.  She enjoys it and the doc said it was ok to do, so i am doing it.  The websites and books say to start between 4 and 6 months.  So i guess it is up to you.  They said that if your little one is starting to look at your food and looks like they want your food, then it is prolly safe to start.  I recomend either Gerbers 1st foods or Beechnut firt foods.  In fruits and veggies only.  Hope this helps.  :)

Raven - posted on 04/06/2009

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Wow!! I have never fed my daughter 8oz in one sitting and she will be 5 months old on the 16th. She is also on home made rice cereal, carrots, peas and sweet potato. She tried the bananas but gagged on them and promptly spit them out.... so no sweets for her for a while. lol

Stacey - posted on 04/06/2009

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My son has been on rice cereal for about 3 weeks now. I breastfeed him and he was eating every 1.5 to 2 hours day and night but now he is eating every 3 hours or so. I feed him rice at lunch and dinner but just 2 tbls each feeding. I plan on starting jar food when he hits 6 months (May 3).



The last week he is also staring to sleep a little longer. He's been waking up to eat only 2 some times 3 times a night.

Alaina Ganote - posted on 04/02/2009

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Went to my pediatrician for a 4 month check up. She said he could start if he was interested in it but I didn't have to start it until he was 6 months. He is a breastfeed baby and she said he would be getting enough nurtition from the breastmilk. I think it's fine to start them when you think they are comfortable with it. If he is eating it ok and having a normal stool and you don't see him struggling with it and you feel like giving it to him, go for it.

Lisa - posted on 04/02/2009

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Yes, most people seem to say wait until 6 months, however, a lot also seem to say from 4 months. I tried some rice cereal with my baby when she was 4.5 months as she became very interested in my food and watched me closely (following the sppon/fork from the bowl to my mouth with her eyes) whenever I was eating and tried to grab the spoon / fork out of my hand and I had been told that these were signs that babies are ready for solids as well as them having good head and neck control. I thought I would just try and see what my baby did - she absolutely loves the rice cereal and smiles and laughs whenever I feed it to her and tries to hold the spoon herself, we are now moving onto vegies. I feel she is a lot more content since we started on the solids and I think from her reaction to it she was ready. I think you know your own baby and if you feel he / she is ready for solids a bit before 6 months then give it a try and see how they react.

Katherine - posted on 04/01/2009

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Due to the immaturity of their digestive system the current recommendation is to wait until 6 months before you progress from milk.  Our pediatrician is absolutely against doing anything prior to 6 months.  But with my first son we were told 4 months...guidelines and recommendations are always changing :)

Sharon - posted on 04/01/2009

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I started Jaelyn on rice cereal at 4 months (she's 5 months now - as of today, Apr 1st!). At first, she didn't really know what to do with it, but she caught on quick. I now give about 3 tbsp twice a day. I started with rice and, after a week, tried her on oatmeal. About a week ago, I offered her some barley, and she seems to like it, too. So, she's on 3 different kinds of baby cereal. I'm going to wait another month before I introduce fruits and veg. Oh, and other than the cereal, she's BFing.



FYI, I was a little worried about what the cereal would do to her bowel movements, but she's been fine. The, um, colour and texture's changed a little, though! lol

Alison - posted on 04/01/2009

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It's true that most pediatricians nowadays recommend waiting until 6 months to start on solids...including cereal and jarred baby food.

At my son's 4 month appointment, our pediatrician suggested waiting until 6 months. But then a few minutes later when she had us describe his eating and sleeping habits, she changed her mind. Our son who had been sleeping through the night and waking only once to eat had suddenly began waking up every 3 hours again to eat. During the day he was also eating 5 ounces every 2 to 3 hours. So she told us to be giving him a bottle every 4 to 5 hours and make it around 6-8 oz., and she said we could give him one serving of rice cereal and one serving of a fruit or veggie daily. But I'd definitely check it out with your doc.

Most important thing to remember is when you start solids to introduce a new food every 3-5 days, so you can watch for any allergies.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/01/2009

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Valerie, my baby was 15lbs 11oz and 25.5 inches at her checkup. She drinks 5-6 oz every 3-4 hours. If your baby is sleeping through the night, he will do his 'catch up' eating during the day. Apparently they should be drinking about 32oz. My baby had her 4month checkup a week after she turned 4 months, and the pediatrician said to start her on rice cereal. Of course she was so disgusted with it for a few days, but now she finishes the entire bowl. She just started eating rice cereal 2x a day as of MOnday. Our pediatrician is awesome and she has her on the following schedule...week 1: rice cereal in the a.m., week 2: rice cereal in the a.m. and p.m., week 3: rice cereal in the a.m. and a jar (whatever she'll actually eat) of orange veggies in the p.m., week 4: rice cereal in the a.m. and a jar of green veggies in the p.m., week 5: rice cereal in the a.m. and fruit in the p.m. and so on. At about 5 1/2 months she said to give her rice cereal and fruit in the a.m., veggies in the afternoon, and p.m. She still drinks bottles in between because of course rice cereal doesn't seem to fill her up that much.

Kristi - posted on 03/31/2009

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Ahhh ... DROOL!! We change Wes's outfits and bibs at least 3 times a day because he soaks himself. !!! EEEK

Casey - posted on 03/31/2009

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Hi, my baby was born on the 17th and is eating solids now! I started her on rice cereal two days before she was 4 months old and then we started night feeds of baby custard a week later and then lunch was added a week after that! it depends on the baby and the mother but my daughter is thriving on eating solids!!! Good luck with your decisions

Danielle - posted on 03/30/2009

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I am trying to wait until 6 months because their little digestive systems really need to have until then to complete. But I am going to check with ped next week, The tounge reflex is almost gone and DD is starting to teethe. Ahhhh drool and worse drool stool. :)

Linda - posted on 03/30/2009

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i have been feeling the same way people keep turning there noses up at me lately cause i dont have my baby on solids yet but i have done some research on it and every resent study i can find says that says a child not only does not need any thing other than milk till 6 months but there digestive systems are not mature enough to handle it till 6 months, your baby might seem fine but ya dont know how hard there little tummys might be working in there to digest it all and also they it can trigger on allergies due to the inmaturity of there tummys, thats just what i have read hope it so im happy to wait the extra 2 month if he dont need it, hope that helps you.

Amy - posted on 03/30/2009

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Everyone has different opinions on this! But I do hear the "6 month" comment quite frequently. My doctor says to guage it by my baby's hunger level. If I notice that he still seems to be hungry even with big milk/formula feeds every few hours then she said to start cereal before 6 months if I want. So far my baby has been ok being topped up with formula and no rice cereal. Another thing to take into account is that apparently babies have a reflex to push food out of their mouths and if this tongue thrust is there then apparently your baby is not ready for solids. This is what a nurse recently told me. I don't know though. So I am waiting for his hunger cues or 6 months, whichever comes first!

Kristi - posted on 03/30/2009

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Just two days ago we started to try rice cereal ... our son doesn't love it yet ... doesn't really get that he should swallow the food ... hmmm. We will keep trying though, he isn't against the spoon in his mouth - just doesn't get the eating part.



My son isn't eating 8 ounces every 3 hours ... he's still mostly just taking 4-6 ounces a feeding, at least he was before today ... today it's been more like 6-8 every 3ish hours, might be a growth spurt, might be what's going to happen all the time, who knows??  We are going to keep trying the cereal though!



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