Am I feeding my 5 month old enough and properly?

Carla - posted on 10/13/2011 ( 201 moms have responded )

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My daughter is just shy of 5 months. She eats a 6ox bottle mixed with rice cereal just about every 3 hours. I give her 6 oz of formula and 2 tbls of cereal. Is this enough for her? I also introduce strictly cereal to her out of a spoon at least once a day. Does this seem to be enough? Should I start giving her baby food yet?

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Darci - posted on 10/17/2011

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You should ask your pediatrician what he recommends. Although I think 6 ounces every 3 hours is plenty. Unless your baby is crying and still acting hungry. Babies don't usually over eat like some adults might. They eat when they are hungry and eat till they are full. Also the pediatrician recommends introducing the rice cereal between 4-5 months and with a spoon is good because one of the main purposes of the rice cereal is to get your baby use to learning how to eat out of a spoon. The pediatrician recommends introducing the pureed baby foods at 6 months no sooner although a lot of people get excited about it and give their baby baby food sooner then 6 months. They recommend 6 months though because of possible food allergies. Its wise to wait. When you start your baby out on baby food at 6 months you start with only vegetables and fruits. Then later introduce the chicken and dinner type baby foods.
My son just turned 6 months and eats about every 4 hours and eats about 3-4 ounces and gets baby food twice a day. When he first wakes up he gets his bottle/breast then about an hour later i give him oatmeal mixed with a fruit. then he doesnt get baby food again till about dinner time around 530 or so and then he gets some veggies. The two times of the day that he gets baby food he is only eating about 1/4 to half a jar of baby food.
Hope that was helpful for you

Kate CP - posted on 10/17/2011

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The problem with starting cereal first is that it's empty calories and is overly processed. So yes, it's "easy" on a baby's tummy because it's basically already been digested. It has no flavor, an odd texture, and it's not a normal evolutionary food.

If you can't eat it without processing it you probably shouldn't be eating it. That means corn, wheat, soy, and any other odd "food" out there that requires processing shouldn't be on a kid's plate...or yours.

Suzy - posted on 10/17/2011

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Are any of these answers from a Dr? Ask your pediatrician. He can tell you what your baby is ready for. Each child is different.

Mary Kay - posted on 10/17/2011

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Responding to Lisa -

Since published research results are often conflicting, it is often hard to determine what is best. Again, following your instincts and your pediatrician's advice is best. And while there is no evidence that introducing proteins will be harmful, single-grain cereals are still recommended by most experts. Personally, I like to get my info from the Mayo Clinic. Here is a partial direct quote from their website: "Start with baby cereal. Mix 1 tablespoon of a single-grain, iron-fortified baby cereal with 4 to 5 tablespoons of breast milk or formula. Many parents start with rice cereal. Even if the cereal barely thickens the liquid, resist the temptation to serve it from a bottle so they learn to use the spoon. Instead, help your baby sit upright and offer the cereal with a small spoon once or twice a day. Once your baby gets the hang of swallowing runny cereal, mix it with less liquid. For variety, you might offer single-grain oatmeal or barley cereals. Keep in mind that some babies eat cereal with gusto right from the start. Others are less enthusiastic. Be patient and keep trying. Once your baby masters cereal, gradually introduce pureed meat, vegetables and fruits one at a time. "

Anna - posted on 10/17/2011

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I agree with Kate. The first solid food that I gave my baby was a banana, followed by rice cereal, followed by sweet potato, then apples. He's 17 months now and, boy, does he love his veggies.

Kate CP - posted on 10/17/2011

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It's an old wives' tale that if you start fruit before veggies they won't eat veggies. Babies like sweet foods because breast milk (or formula) is very sweet. Starting fruit first may help them transition to solids easier but it won't affect whether or not they like vegetables.

Minnie - posted on 10/17/2011

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Mary Kay, you're behind the times. Rice cereal isn't easy to digest. Why do you believe it is?



Where do we get this stuff? Oh, I don't know, research, perhaps...

Genevieve - posted on 10/17/2011

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If she spits up it might be because she eats too much then. My son a projectile vomiting for almost 4 months until I discovered he was getting to much breastmilk (holly was ever an eater!!!). Again you can go with trial and error, you can try reducing a little and see if she is still happy and content.

Janet - posted on 10/17/2011

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You've obviously gotten a lot of feedback already on a super charged issue. I just want to say that I hate it when people said I fed by child cereal in a bottle and they turned out fine. I am glad that it worked out well for you, but that doesn't mean it isn't a risk. The OP asked for feedback. If she didn't want advice, she wouldn't have put it out there. She wants to know what is best for her child. What is best is to stop putting cereal in a bottle before something bad does happen. I'm glad it's been fine until now, but it is best to stop before it has unhealthy consequences.

Christine - posted on 10/17/2011

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I never do cereal in a bottle either. I have a 6 month old and we started him on food at 4 months. At this point he has had most baby food. If she is ready then i would start feeding her. I started with just one "meal" a day and now do two a day. I can't comment about milk consumption because I am breastfeeding.

Susan - posted on 10/17/2011

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former peds nurse here, no need for the ceral in the bottle. without it she may start to eat 8oz. ceral by spoon twice a day is great. soo you will be adding veggies. make sure she really is hungry when your feeding and it's not something else. when you make up her cereal you can add formula to it, if she is stll intersted you can feed more. i'm a big believer in self led. good luck.

Anna - posted on 10/17/2011

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This is more than enough. Most updated medical research indicates waiting to introduce solids until 6 mo.

BEVERLY - posted on 10/17/2011

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I AM A GRANDMOM OF 7,MY OLDEST IS 24YRS SO I HAVE BEEN AROUND KIDS, NO SHE SHOULD BE EATING MORE IF HER SYSTEM CAN HANDLE IT,TRY STRAIN BABY FOOD APPLESAUSE, OR CARROTS ALITTLE WILL NOT HURT, ,IKNOW BABY GET HUNGRY ..

Carla - posted on 10/17/2011

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I fed her about a third of a banana and a 4oz bottle and she started pushing the bottle away at the end of it so there's the sign she's full! :)

Carla - posted on 10/17/2011

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So thanks again ladies. I'm considering making my own fruits and vegies for her. Avocados, bananas, apples, and then I'll get the organic sweet potatoes and other stuff for her. I was told I can store it all by freezer. I'm so excited now that she's at this stage! It's fun! Plus, for only working with the spoon for a week or two she is doing so well!

Stacey - posted on 10/17/2011

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As I used my pediatrician as a guide, I always followed my instinct. Both my kids started cereal when they were 3 months old. If your daughter is doing fine eating it off of a spoon and not gagging, than start to thicken it up. If you are going to do that, than I wouldn't add it to the bottle anymore. In the beginning, I used to feed cereal in the morning with fruit and then just cereal at night before bed. Then a bottle right after both instances. I would for sure introduce food. Make sure you wait a few days before introducing something new to make sure there are no allergies. By the time my kids were 7 months old, they were eating everything we ate - except for the veggies, all baby food was gone. Good luck and follow your instincts. You seem to be on the right track!

Carla - posted on 10/17/2011

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Would me smashing a banana up really well be Okay to feed her? Obviously not a whOle banana but wouldn't that be like making my own baby food?

Donna - posted on 10/17/2011

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Hi Carla... my 2nd daughter is 7months old and eats very well. Don't worry about what everyone says, your daughter will tell you when she's full and it sounds as though she should be getting more than enough. If she wasn't, she would still be cranky or not sleeping well. Sounds like you're covered there! I do agree that it sounds like a lot of cereal in the bottle. I never did cereal in the bottle and honestly, just not necessary. Stop giving it in the bottle and just mix a couple tablespoons in water or formula. Then get a stage one fruit and mix some of that in! She'll go nuts! Either way, you'll figure it out and be just fine. Congrats on being a first time mom, you'll be great!

Carla - posted on 10/17/2011

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Mary Kay ur response Was almost identical to my dr when I showed him some of my responses I've received lol

Mary Kay - posted on 10/16/2011

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You are certainly getting lots of advice, much of it conflicting! First of all, if your daughter is thriving....gaining weight as her pediatrician says is appropriate, is sleeping well, her bowel movements are fairly regular and not hard, and she is generally healthy, then you are obviously doing just fine with your instincts and your pediatrician's advice. Always defer to the recommendations from your own baby's doctor when you are not certain about who to listen to or what to believe. Your baby is unique. The rest of us are giving our opinions based on our own experiences and beliefs.
Eating solids is just fun and practice? No cereal in bottles because it might be aspirated (fyi:so might the liquids) or cause obesity? Start with liver and egg yolks instead of practically-liquified easy-to-digest rice cereal? Really? Where do you all get this stuff?

Jane - posted on 10/16/2011

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I never used cereal or any baby food until 6 months with both of mine but I nursed them on demand so I'm not sure how it works with formula but as long as she is doing fine on her doctor check ups, I would not worry too much.

Torri - posted on 10/16/2011

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Don't feel bad about giving cereal in the bottle either. My doctor actually told me to because of my daughters reflux. They say it's a choking hazard but my daughter was on it at 6 weeks old and did just fine!

Torri - posted on 10/16/2011

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She is getting plenty! My daughter never reached 8oz she only made it to 6oz. I think at 5 months my daughter was just reaching 4 oz. If she isn't fussy in between meals she is fine! She will tell you when she's hungry.

Gilda Marie - posted on 10/16/2011

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Oh, in addition to what I just posted yes keeping her on the formula is fine. We kept my 18 month old grandaughter on formula until she was 12 month.s

Gilda Marie - posted on 10/16/2011

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My thought is creal is the best nuturional food. I am a granmother of a 3 year old and an 18 month old. The 18 month old was pretty young when we put her in a high chair and starting feeding her cereal by hand in a bowl. For some time she wanted to be independent and have her own bowl and spoon. So I let her do that with only a little cereal in her bowl and I have my own bowl and spoon and I let her feed herself and I feed her at the same time. I don't remember how soon she started eating the other baby foods but check with your doctor. My 18 month old is eating her baby food and table food alreay. I hope this helps.

Lisa - posted on 10/16/2011

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Yes, formula is important for the first year; HOWEVER, if a baby is very high on the percentiles for height and weight, formula may not be enough. My son was drinking 36-40oz at 3.5 months. When I talked to my doctor he insisted I supplement food so that he would only drink 32oz a day. On the other hand, my doctor encouraged me to wait until well after 6 months with my daughter because she wasn't always making it to 24oz a day. Talk to your doctor-every baby is different-some may need solids to sleep, to reduce reflux; some should wait so they can get the most out of the formula they can get down.

RoxAnne - posted on 10/16/2011

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Is she hungry? Does she suck on her fingers? Does she try to grab food while you're holding her at the table? Also - is she gaining weight? If she is gaining weight, you're probably doing fine, and so is she. Rice cereal is first, then barley, then oats, then wheat. Then fruits, then veggies, then meats. If she acts satisfied, she is. If she acts hungry, she is. Watch her and see what her body language is telling you. And, don't stress out! :)

Melissa - posted on 10/16/2011

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cereal never in bottles, my doctor did recomend cereals first with my son, however he was a reflux baby and refused it so ended up switching him to jar foods at 4 1/2 months he was ready for it- EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT with development for introdcution of foods most start in 4-6 months. i do want to tell you the more you introduce a variety off foods 6-12 months the better off you are because my daughter is a very fussy eatter, she doesn't like anything, there was conflicts in deciding what she ate6-12 months and now she is very picky with what she eats, so introduce a variety of textures and flavors so your baby isn't picky! However get the cereal spoon fed ONLY!

Shima - posted on 10/16/2011

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My son will be 6 months next week & I have started him on solids. I feed him cereal from a spoon not from the bottle. That's very similar to the saying of never give your baby juice from a bottle. This is my 3rd child & I started them all on solids around 5 months old. Gerber has a feeding guide that u can follow but always listen to your baby. They do tell u when they are hungry. U may also want to continue burping her after she finishes her bottles to prevent the vomiting.

Sharon - posted on 10/16/2011

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It is up to you & the doctor but at 5 months they should be eating cereal from a spoon, Not in a bottle. Usually by six months introduce vegtables and start introducing the sippy cup.

Carley - posted on 10/16/2011

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You should only start weaning a baby when they start waking up during the night, after they've been sleeping through it for a long period. Also if I was you, i'd get a book about weaning, there is some really good ones out, with recipes in etc.... My baby was on 8oz of formula at 5 months, no solids until 6 months.

Genevieve - posted on 10/16/2011

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In Canada the recommendation is to not start giving solid food until at least 6 months. Their digestive system is not ready for it, and some studies have shown it increased the risk of food allergies... Again this is a give and take and you should follow your instinct. But I also don't think cereal in milk is a good idea, for the same reason the first lady said in the comments. I do think once a day of rice cereal should be ok, if you child is wanting it, otherwise I would say just increase the milk intake if you feel she is hungry.

Kandy - posted on 10/16/2011

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Breastmilk or formula should be the primary source of nutrition for children until the age of 1. Both of my children were breastfed and they never ate baby cereal or baby food ever. I was told when the child is old enough to sit up without support have them sit at the table for family dinners. When they are ready for solid foods they let you know by showing an interest in what you are eating by grabbing at your food or plate. It was at that time that I gave them soft foods from my plate (veggies and fruits). This was between the ages of 6 to 8 months old. And I never had a problem with their diets or food allergies. My daughter is following suit with her own daughter who is now 10 months old, is breastfed and only eats real food. She also has refused to eat baby food or cereal and her health is just fine.

Cynthia - posted on 10/16/2011

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She is getting enough, wait till she is six months for baby food or get advice from your Doctor.

Meg - posted on 10/16/2011

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Are you putting cereal in the bottle of formula? Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you wrote. Just in case, I wanted to pass along that my doctor once told me to never put cereal in the bottle. This can make your baby very sick. I can't remember the reasoning, but it had something to do with the baby not being able to digest the solids like that.

Diane - posted on 10/16/2011

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I used to give my son cereal on a spoon once a day for a week or two, then switched to oatmeal, when he was 4 months old. Cereal is very binding and can make baby uncomfortable. He liked the oatmeal better anyway. Then I tried baby food, but one food per week and kept a diary to see if he was allergic to it. He had eczema to I had to do it that way. I believe I tried apple first. Thanks

[deleted account]

Well Carla first how much does she weigh and second you should be feeding her on a daily schedule and when she's hungry by now not hourly. Feed her breakfast Cereal from a spoon never the bottle unless she has had a sudden drop in weight, then see the doctor. Back on track Cearl with fruit of her liking, peaches not oranges to sharp. Then a bath and bottle and she is ready for a morning nap. Lunch . two veggies possiable meat if she can tollerate every baby is different. then Dinner. Two veggies and a fruit or dessert. And she doesn't have to eat all of it and in between give her a bottle when she wants. Babies know when they want something you just have to learn thier signals. I believe by 9 months my daughter only took four bottles a day and she never finished a whole bottle. As far as how much cearl to let her eat by spoon in the morning mix more than enough even if it looks like you couldn't eat it and feed her she will let you know when she has had enough.Good luck.

Bonnie - posted on 10/16/2011

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Cereal in the bottle is a choking hazard, but honestly, if you are feeding her cereal using a spoon once a day, why not just strictly feed her cereal from a spoon whenever you give her cereal.

[deleted account]

For a 4-7 month old the recommended USDA meal pattern is as follows: Breakfast, 4-8 oz formula, 0-3 T cereal; Lunch and supper, 4-8 oz formula, 0-3 T cereal, 0-3 T fruit or vegetable or both; Snacks (2), 4-6 oz formula. Cereal should always be served on a spoon, not mixed with formula.

Dee - posted on 10/16/2011

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I had two separate drs suggest adding a little bit of cereal to her bottle. I never used more than a tbsp my friends drs have suggested the same. You ask 5 different drs you'll probably get at least three different answers. Follow your judgement if you think she's ready for more try some solids if not don't. I didn't give my DD solids till 7 mths other than cereal which I eventually gave her by a spoon instead of bottle. If you really wanna be sure ask your Ped...

[deleted account]

Liver makes a lot of sense because its high in iron which is very important to babies. I cannot find any articles or studies that say liver is bad for a first food.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/15/2011

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I just wouldn't eat liver or feed it to my kids. Yuck!

Catherine - posted on 10/15/2011

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If you have questions I would ask your doctor. Ours said no cereal in the bottles, cereal by spoon at 4 months and stage 1 baby food at 6 months. He recommend this for our first 3 1\2 years ago and now for our 6 month old. Every child is different but it is something our doctor discussed with us.

[deleted account]

@Emily, I just googled "Feeding liver to infants" and "Should infants eat liver" and "Dangers of infants eating liver" and every single page that comes up actually recommends it. Am I googling the wrong thing?

Melinda - posted on 10/15/2011

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Im just another opinion but I have to put cereal in one of my twin boys bottles because he spits up so much. Each Dr. even specialist we have seen has said to do so.

Katina - posted on 10/15/2011

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DON"T put cereal in a bottle.. Try giving her the cereal mixed with some milk then the balance of a 6 oz bottle. Once she's usto the cereal I'd Start with vegetable THEN the fruits..Just remember the color of the food can affect the color of the poop so don't be alarmed when you feed her peas when she poops GREEN!!.. Or Orange with carrots.. Try the same food for a week to look for allergic reactions.. Or add a little to the cereal.. Who said we can't have vegetable for breakfast too!! Some have said that when you give the fruit first then the vegetable that they don't like them cause they rather have the sweeter stuff.. I made alot of my own baby food.. I had twins and found it' was more cost effective.. i'd cook in just water.. Put in food processor with a little of the breast milk or the water if needed.Spoon into ice cube trays and freeze them.. when frozen pop then out put in zip lock bag with what and date.. I'd just take out one or two cubes the night before put in a container to thaw.. Zap a few seconds to warm.. and if to thick you can alway add formula or water to it..

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