When should I start to feed my child rice or oatmeal?

Laura - posted on 05/15/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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When should I start to feed my daughter rice or oatmeal. We are going to the doctor's office on Monday and I am going to ask then, but wanted to know what other moms did and how old their baby was when they did get to eat it? Thanks

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Tracy - posted on 05/19/2010

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I started my son at 3 1/2 months.. and only gave just enough to fill that void.. He was like an empty pit....(this hasn't changed 25 yrs later).so My mom suggested it.. and after 10 kids of her own, I felt I could give it a try.. "considering kids don't come out with instructions".....LOL My daughter was about 5 months ..

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DeAnn - posted on 03/23/2013

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting solid foods at 6 months of age. The reasons developmental specialists recommend waiting until a child is 6 months of age include;
Infants do not produce enzymes to break down proteins found in solid foods, this is why rice cereal is recommended for first solid feeds. Rice cereal had a milder form of protein and is easier for infants to digest.

Infants may not have strong enough head and neck control until they are 6 months of age. To avoid choking on solid foods (which should never be given in a bottle), head and neck strength must be developed.

Many think that feeding solids to an infant will help the infant sleep longer at night. Longer sleep periods, according to research, is actually related to neurological development, which influences sleep cycles. After 4 months of age an infant's sleep cycle includes deep sleep which increases with age and allows for longer overall nighttime sleep. Feeding solids to promote longer sleep periods is a myth.

The true reason children begin solids at 6 months is because this is the developmental window that children will accept the introduction of new textures and tastes. As children approach 9-10 months of age they begin demonstrating increasing independence and refusal of new textures and favors becomes daily behavior.

Remember, a number of skills develop with feeding. Acceptance of new experiences, flavors and textures, practice moving mouth and tongue muscles in different ways than feeding at the breast or bottle provide, and with that, the development of speech. Learning to take food off from the spoon, licking the lips and chin to remove any food that has dropped out of the mouth, eye-hand coordination and interacting with a caregiver (who needs to serve as a coach and support person during feeds) all promote amazing skills, development and attachment!

Lately, until your infant reaches one year of age the majority of nutrition still needs to come from the breast milk or formula.

In partnership,

DeAnn Davies, MS, CLC
Director, Healthy Steps for Young Children
Medical Education for Pediatricians in residency

Jenny - posted on 03/22/2013

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i think it comes down to what or how you were raised i have done so much research and everything is different in every state and if you have on older doc you will get different ways to do things a newer doc will say the older one is wrong so for me 3 months and up but you should not wait no 8 months before feeding your kid and if he cant eat the get him checked out

Kathy - posted on 05/27/2010

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Depends on the baby...but NEVER before 3 months under any circumstance. We used rice cereal only from 3 - 5 months in two of our kids. another one ate at around 4 months and started wanting to eat everything. and one, who was prone to getting sick, only had breast milk till 6 months. Trust your best judgement after you research some trusted books and websites. Feeding before 3 months greatly increases sickness and chances of allergies.

Paula - posted on 05/26/2010

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I started my daughter at 3 months, but my son is now 3 months and not at all interested. I woud say like everyone else said. 4 to 6 and when they're ready

Laura - posted on 05/18/2010

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5 1/2 mths - we had a boy though. It depends on the baby - is she showing signs of interest, etc.

Nicola - posted on 05/17/2010

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Baby rice can be started between 4 1/2 months and 6 months depending on when your baby is ready to start solids. I don't know about oatmeal but I would say it would be the same and baby cerial which they can have from 9 months.

Jessica - posted on 05/17/2010

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Most pediatricians will say between 4-6 months. It also depends on your child and if they show interest. My daughter was very interested in table food and started eating rice cereal at 4 months. She took to it right away and weaned herself at about 10 1/2 months.

[deleted account]

Hi Laura,
We started our kids at 6 months. We always started with Rice cereal. I know my friend had a baby lately and the doctor started Rice cereal with him at four months. So I would say between 4-6 months old. It is always an exciting time yet sad for me because everything from then on goes so fast with all the first. Good luck to you.

Liane - posted on 05/15/2010

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Most pediatricians now recommend waiting until at least 6 months before offering single grain cereals to avoid allergies and intolerences. All three of my kids absolutely wouldn't touch it until they were almost 7 months (I tried repeatedly but they had no interest). Your baby will show signs of being ready for food so pay attention to his/her signals. Remember, food for fun before they're one! Even if your baby does start showing signs of readiness they should still be receiving their calories/fat (nutrition) from breastmilk or formula.

Nicci - posted on 05/15/2010

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Between 4 to 6 months due to the babies digestve system not being mature enough before that. Formula and breastmilk have all the nutrients your baby needs as cereal does not.

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