whats the best age to give a baby cereal
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Stifler's - posted on 05/08/2012
Babies are NOT typically introduced to cereal and fruit at 2-3 months!! Recommendations are 4-6 months they have been for a long time. It's more like 6 months now but I believe there are signs of readiness like sitting up and losing the tongue thrust. Unless your kid has severe reflux there's no reason for cereal in their bottle either.
Sherri - posted on 05/05/2012
Well Terrie you are very fortunate and this is what the experts have to say on the subject.
Many new parents are told to add infant cereal to their formula-fed baby's bottles to help them sleep longer at night. This idea might seem logical; after all, cereal is heavier than formula. It makes sense that formula would keep the baby full longer, making them sleep better. This idea, however, has been proven in studies to be false, and adding cereal to your baby's formula could be dangerous to his or her health!
Please Note: There are some cases when cereal may be advised to be added to formula for specific health concerns, such as reflux, however, this should only be done under the close supervision of the child's physician.
Babies should not receive any types of solids prior to six months of age; cereal included. Babies who are given foods other than breast milk or formula prior to six months of age are much more likely to suffer from allergies later in life than babies who were not.
Cereal added to formula packs more calories into the bottle than would typically be present. These calories offer very little nutritional benefit, as cereal is not very nutritious. These calories are then converted into fat and packed onto your baby's body. If done often enough, this could lead your child to be overweight or gain weight too quickly; a problem that can last into childhood and even adulthood.
Babies are not meant to have solids prior to six months and babies who do, are more likely to suffer from digestive issues than babies who do not. These issues can include upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and other unpleasant issues.
Some babies have an under-developed sucking reflex. For these babies, they're at an even greater risk of choking and aspirating on the contents of their bottle. Even for babies whose sucking reflex is well-developed, this is still a risk and can be quite dangerous.
Believe it or not, but your baby waking throughout the night may be protecting him or her from SIDS; Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This frequent waking is believed to prevent your baby from falling into too-deep of a sleep, as well as stimulate movement which prevents overheating; another factor that can lead to SIDS.
Teesha - posted on 05/05/2012
Some of the replies on here! You need to look at real scientific research- asking a general forum like this will get you a lot of bad misinformed advice. When a baby leans forward for the spoon with their tongue COMPLETELY tucked INTO their mouth they are ready for solid foods. Before that tongue thrust reflex is gone they are not ready. It is a biological reflex that helps the baby to spit out anything that goes into their mouth that should not be there or they can choke or aspirate the cereal. There is no reason to rush into solid foods- food is for fun until they are one. Best of luck.
Laura - posted on 05/05/2012
babies' tummies are not ready for solids before 6 months. Cereal can be hard on them even after 6 months and have you tasted the stuff??? It is truly awful!!! Mashed banana or avocado is are great beginning foods and easy on tummies.
Nicole - posted on 05/10/2012
never before 4 months and only that early at the recommendation of the dr. It is not safe to add the cereal to the formula (that is "old school") as the baby cannot handle the swallowing and could choke. If they can't eat it off of a spoon they shouldn't be getting it. If you feel that the little one isn't getting enough nutrition speak with your dr. about what step to take next.
Kkrjrpleggett - posted on 05/10/2012
Giving cereal in addition to regular feedings, not in place of, increases the Calorie intake, and as we all know, increased calories leads to weight gain if the person cannot work off those additional calories. A 2 month old baby cannot work off those calories. Hence being put on cereal for gaining weight.
Kkrjrpleggett - posted on 05/09/2012
I've noticed not many people have said, and I have once, but I'm saying it again. Ask the Pediatrician! S/He know's a lot more about babies than any one of us. My sister's pediatrician told her to start her son at 2 months on cereal because he was a slow gainer. My son goes to the same Pediatrician and she said 4-6 months would be fine for him since he was growing well. The "Recommendations" that are Standard, do not always apply to every baby in every situation. ASK YOUR PEDIATRICIAN!
Kelli - posted on 05/08/2012
My first boy was almost 12lbs so I did put cereal in his formula. He will be six in June and is perfectly fine. My second was almost 11lbs and has acid reflux so his dr said to put cereal in his formula. He has been doing great and no choking. I would ask your dr.
Laura - posted on 05/08/2012
usually starting at 6 months - though, some doctors say 4 or 5 months is ok if the baby is hitting all his/her milestones, acting hungier, watching you eat, reaching for food, holding head up well without support, can sit well supported etc... really depends on the development of the baby. I was told by the nurses that until 6 months of age, babies do not have the proper enzymes in their stomach to properly digest food and thats 1 of the main reasons to hold off until 6 months. We started our daughter on rice cereal at 4 months, added a couple veg/fruit at 5 months (of course, 1 at a time - waiting several day in between starting a new one) but her main source of food is still breastmilk/formula. Her cereal is 1 or 2 tbsp in the morning, and evening, and now with a little bit of veg and fruit is just to get her used to food - its fun.
Louise - posted on 05/08/2012
5 TO 6 MTHS before that their disgestive system is not developed enough to break down the emzymes or whatever and all it does is develped fat cells that will be very hard for them to lose as they get older. That is what my family doctor told me. I have heard some doctors suggest 4 mths but i always remembered what i was told and followed it. My kids never had a problem with weight ever in their life. They are both still in good shape and within the parameters of the weight they are suppose to carry for the height and age.
Jenny - posted on 05/08/2012
Lots of debate over this one! We gave our eldest cereal at 6 weeks and he had a lot of trouble - turned out he had major sensitivities to milk and the resulting two years after (until we discovered the truth) led to a blown out eardrum due to repetitive ear infections, bottles of danergous steriod creams for eczema, and a lifelong allergy to penicillin because of taking so much of it! We held our daughter off of anything but breast milk (bottle is the same) until 6 months and she was the fattest and healthest of all three of our kids, eventhough she too developed the same sensitivity to milk as her older brother. You see, the early signs were so vague - body rash (oh it's just cradle cap, oh babies gets so many rashes for all kinds of different reasons), ear infections (they pick up so much from everyone who hold them!), etc - that it's hard to tell it's a food sensitivity. The pediatric allergist advised us to wait until six months to start any table food or otherwise. This may have been because of our family history, maybe he tells everyone that. I hear a LOT about the earlier the solids are introduced, the more problems there can be (from other Moms). Babies don't really need "table foods" until 5-6 months but as it's always said - check with your Doctor's recommendation, a Health Unit, even a maternity ward in a hospital will gve you advice! Good luck with that Grandbaby!
Rebecca - posted on 05/08/2012
I know I started my oldest around 4 mos and added cereal to the formula in the bottle although they say you are not supposed to. It did keep him sleeping through the night. He is now a healthy 16 year old. Ask the pediatrician just in case. Every child is different.
Kristi - posted on 05/07/2012
you don't have to ever give them cereal - best thing is to be breastfed only until 6 to 8 months and then introduce softened, steamed veggies and other real pureed or mashed foods when they are ready to take it. When they start taking food off your plate, they are ready! Babies weren't really designed to eat cereal and grains until much later. Baby cereal is a marketing gimmick sold to make companies money. Babies don't need it and don't benefit from it. xoxo
Robyn - posted on 05/07/2012
Well the recommendation is between 4-6 months but that all depends on how she's eating it. You'll know they're ready to eat solids when they lean into the spoon and can swallow without pushing food out of their mouth with their tongues. My oldest was 4 months old when he started eating solids. My middle was 3 months, but that was because she had bad reflux and the doctor recommended that I put rice cereal in her bottle. My youngest is 4 months old and I give her no more than 3 baby spoonfuls of vegetables or fruit a day. Cereal isn't that great for them (hard on their digestive systems). Hope that helps!
Personally, I tried the rice cereal in a bottle when my daughter was 3 months old, worst mistake ever, she got a horrible stomach ache because their bodies really aren't ready to digest that yet. My youngest I gave cereal at 6 months and she could handle it, but it still tended to bind her up, so I stopped it all together. Honestly I don't think you need to give baby cereal at all, my daughter did fine with regular toasted oats at 8 months when we switched to baby led weaning. Just think of all food as practice until they're about a year old, before that breast milk and formula have all that they require.
Mandy - posted on 05/07/2012
I live in south africa and the general consensus is 4 - 6 months based on a few things: they can hold their own head up, have doubled their birth weight and can push up on lying on their tummies. I started my youngest at 3 and a half months on the paeditricians advice due to her severe reflux. Also at two months she probably still has the reflex action that her tongue wil push solids out her mouth. She is too young at the moment. And I agree with the other moms - never put rice cereal in the bottle - they can aspirate it into their lungs!!!
Margarita - posted on 05/07/2012
Short answer is 4 to 6 months. Six is better from a digestive standpoint, but some kids are "socially" ready earlier than that, so you can start at 4 months if she starts showing signs: trying to reach for your plate/a spoon, making eating faces when you eat, etc. You dilute it with enough formula or breast milk to make it soupy. Between that and the size of baby spoons you will be lucky if you get more than a teaspoon's worth in her, during the first few weeks, but it will be good practice for her and she'll probably enjoy it. If she's not sitting up yet, you can see if her high chair reclines. If it doesn't, you can use a Bumbo or a Bebe Pod or a Boppy pillow. You can also try using her Exersaucer, bouncy seat, swing, or car seat.
As for the whole adding cereal to her bottle sooner than that, it's up to you, but I wouldn't bother. I know some folks (including a good friend of mine) swear that will help their babies sleep longer, but there's no evidence to suggest that it does. I know that my daughter actually started sleeping less around the same time I started feeding her the cereal (about 4.5 months), but I think it had more to do with the fact that a) she was teething and b) I had to stop swaddling her 'cause she was turning in her sleep and both her ped and I were worried she'd be unable to turn herself back while swaddled. Personally I think both cases (my friend whose kid started sleeping better and my kid who stopped sleeping as well as she had) are more a case of coincidence than the cereal having any influence. Good luck!
Aimee - posted on 05/06/2012
Started all 3 of mine at 4 months. Just make sure your arent cutting out any of her formula feedings for the cereal. If they are drinking and not getting full from the formula I would speak with the pedi and go from there. But I will also say I did put it in my sons bottle at night starting at 2 months but you dont put that much in there, and my nieces pedi had us put it in hers due to swallowing issues she had to have everything thickend.
Whitney - posted on 05/06/2012
I started my daughter at 2 1/2 months. I added very little to the bottle to make it thicker due to the fact that my daughter was throwing up all the time no matter what formula she was on. I found that making it a lil thicker helped some. If u go off of the baby being able to hold there own head up for an extended period of time, my daughter was doing that in her 1 month photos. My daughters always been really strong. I blame it on the pistachios I craved.
Kathleen - posted on 05/06/2012
There's a lot of opinion on both sides of the argument . . .I always say err on the side of caution! Babies aren't really meant to sleep through the night. Great when they do, but if they don't --- well they have small stomachs and fast metabolism. I worked for a chiropractor/holistic nutritionist for several years and her advice on the situation was this -- no solids before 6 months and even then, skip the cereal. A lot of kids, more than in the past it seems, have more food allergies than ever and - this dr. said - a lot of it stems back to feeding cereal too early. A lot of places in the world don't give their kids anything but breast milk/formula until they are 12 months old. I started all 4 of my kids at 6 months on veggies and fruits (and if you cook the fresh or fresh frozen stuff and blend it up - they get a great idea of the taste of real fruits and veggies). my 12, 7, 5, and 3 yr olds will eat almost anything at all. Good luck and at the end of the day, don't choose out of frustration (trying to get the baby to sleep through the night) and don't feel pressured. Follow your heart.
Dove - posted on 05/06/2012
I've already responded to this, but feel the need to respond again.
I started my oldest on cereal at 3 months. It worked out very well. None of my kids have any food allergies. They are all 'beanpoles' with no digestive issues whatsoever. BUT... it is not recommended to start solids that early and while I did it once, I wouldn't do it again and I would never advise it. Yes, your baby could turn out like my oldest with no issues whatsoever, but what if that didn't happen? What if by starting solids early they end up with a lifetime of problems? I would not want that on my conscience if someone started their baby early on solids because I told them that my kid was fine with it. Not worth the risk when breast milk or formula can and does satisfy many, many, many kids until 6 months and beyond. Early solids (under most circumstances) simply are not needed.
Sarah - posted on 05/06/2012
I'm just curious why some Moms get so defensive when people state current recommendations and it wasn't what they did for their babies? Maybe 8, 10 years ago you were recommended to start at 4 months or give cereal in a bottle. That's not what is recommended anymore. Maybe your kids were fine, but that doesn't mean every kid was fine! That's why the current recommendations have come about because SOME kids did get allergies, SOME kids did have bowel disorders, SOME kids did aspirate the cereal in a bottle and get pneumonia. No one ever said EVERY kid did, they said SOME kids did. No one said you were a bad parent, so stop taking things so damn personally!
Jenn - posted on 05/06/2012
I exclusively breastfed my babies until six months when they showed signs of interest and readiness. Cereal is pretty worthless. I just started with one mashed up solid at a time to let my babies explore the texture, taste and experience . Nutrition still comes primarily from breastmilk or formula before age 1. To avoid allergies, foods must be introduced at the right time in baby's development as well as one food at a time to watch for reaction. Babies go through growth spurts so there will be many times their milk intake seems to increase dramatically. That doesn't mean they need food or cereal.
Nykee - posted on 05/06/2012
Talk to your pediatrician, but mine told me to start rice cereal at 4 months for all three of my children (three different pediatricians, since we move a lot...), and baby food (veggies first) at 5. Another friend's daughter had reflux really badly, and she has been giving her cereal since she was very young at the advice of a pediatrician.
If she's a "normal" baby, at two months, I'd stick with just formula unless there's a reflux problem... I'd wait until 4 months to add rice cereal. Their bodies have trouble digesting different things at that age.
Good luck :)
Nina - posted on 05/06/2012
My kids do not have ANY allergies, they are not over weight they were and are perfectly fine after having cereal before 6 months. You can't classify all babies in the same category. That said I never put it in a bottle. 6 months is a "recommendation" do what you fell is best only a parent knows what is best for their child.
Terrie - posted on 05/05/2012
You know, y'all say it is a health risk (cereal ) in the bottle but I did it with my son and he is perfectly fine. I know lots of people who did it with their children. My son does not have all the issues people talk about, he is certainly not over weight or under weight. It depends on the child and really she should be having this discussion with her doctor.
Lisa - posted on 05/05/2012
My doctor told me to feed my oldest son cereal at 1 month. He was 9 lbs 10 ozs at birth & was 10 pounds at 2 weeks. They usually recommend giving cereal when the baby is either 10 lbs or 3 months. We mixed the cereal in a bottle with breast milk & used a nipple that was for an older child so he cld suck it out well. He loved it & never choked. He was also given stage 1 foods @ 3 months for 2-3 weeks & then we moved on to stage 2 & he was eating 2 full jars at almost every meal.
Nina - posted on 05/05/2012
Only a parent and dr can make a decision like that. Every baby is different. My kids had cereal around 2months ONLY because they were over 9lbs at birth and were drinking 8+oz of formula every 3hrs. This was a decision made between myself and their dr. Who knows my next baby might not eat like the first 2 and not need anything extra. You can really take advice from people that don't know what kind of baby your granddaughter and her eatting habits.
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