Is yogurt safe for a baby?

Corrin - posted on 12/05/2011 ( 130 moms have responded )

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My son is 4 1/2 months old....the doctor wants us to start him on cereal, which is working out just fine, but I want to introduce new foods, like yogurt. I'm just not sure if it's too early for things like that.

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Connie - posted on 12/14/2011

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I can't help weighing in on this one. I usually don't when there are 93 responses before me, but REALLY?!!! I'm addressing this in general Corrin, so excuse my wandering all over the subject. My answer to you is, I'd wait until 6 months on yogurt and instead try avocado and sweet potato. I explain below.



The new guidelines, back to approving solids be introduced as early as 4 months, are based on research that indicates holding off foods, especially on "allergen" foods has not done anything to lower the risk of children being allergic. The recommendation is to introduce any food, except honey and peanut products, if there is no family history of that allergy, with great caution. For instance introduce strawberries at home on a Saturday morning rather than at daycare and watch the child closely all day.



Food introduction must be based on the individual child's needs. Many infants don't need food until the 6 month mark, but some DO need some additional heft in their stomachs starting around 4-5 months. Not for the nutrition, but for the fullness. Who wants to be hungry, even if you don't need the nutrients at 3 am simply because your walnut sized stomach is now empty because the milk went right through?



The reason children are not allowed cows MILK before the age of one is that the enzymes and proteins are too harsh for young digestions. HOWEVER, these are broken down in ANY HEATING PROCESS. Which is why cheeses, yogurt and other heat processed dairy products can be given around 6 months.



The tongue is the last muscle to fully develop in the human being. It is necessary for clear speech and proper eating. Beginning to feed babies at 4 months is not necessarily to provide nutrition, it is to help them develop the skill of EATING, which takes time, by building the tongue muscle and allowing them to learn to move food properly to the back of their mouths. They usually will develop this ability well by 6 months, when they should begin gaining a good portion of their nutrition through solid food. However, breast milk, preferred, or formula is still considered a main component of their diet. The USDA guidelines for childcare REQUIRE that as of 7 months infants are provided 3 meals and a snack of a mix of breast milk/formula, proteins (including yogurt & cheese), fruit, veggies and bread products.



Children who are breastfed readily take to new foods, as their diets have already varied in tastes drastically by the time they go to solids. Formula fed infants are so used to a very bland same-o diet, that they often have a much harder time adjusting to new tastes and textures. Research shows that any food a child tastes a minimum of a dozen times by the age of 2, even if they don't like it, they can learn to like as adults. If you miss introducing within that 2 year window, you may end up with that child that only eats mac and cheese or chicken fingers, and will continue to have a very restricted taste preference and diet into adult hood, with the potential for malnurishment and obesity.



Introducing cereal first is a good idea simply because it's texture can be manipulated to the consistency that's right for the individual infant to manipulate with their tongue as they learn to eat. By mixing it with formula or breast milk, the child is still getting that nutrition while learning, and gaining the iron that so many babies are deficient in receiving through other means and it tastes like what they are used to drinking.



Babies have a natural affinity for sweetness. By introducing vegetables first, they can gain a liking for them prior to being given the option of fruit, which they should naturally gravitate to and like better. Avocado is shown to be the absolutely best food for a baby's brain development, as the fats in it are easily processed and used there. Sweet potatoes are a super food. They naturally have a complete pack of nutrients. If you serve no other foods than avocado and sweet potato, your baby will still be at an advantage. I always recommend that these be introduced as the first vegetables, and served often the first year. Children have absolutely no need for any sugar or salt. Those are learned tastes. Sweetness can be obtained through natural means, like adding fruit purees of foods once those fruits have been introduced. Fruit juices are simply too concentrated in citric acids for young digestive systems. (Citric acid is the same stuff that removes paint! It can be that harsh.) It is now recommend that all juice be held off until age 4. Children of any age should only receive water and milk-type products to drink.



And don't forget spices and herbs. They need to be introduced at the same rate of 3-5 day intervals between. These also need to be monitored, for instance most "cinnamon" is NOT true cinnamon and can be an allergen, but most are perfectly fine to introduce.



I have one year olds in my care that eat Thai, Cajun, hot salsa, curries, etc. because they have been introduced early on to such a variety of flavors and textures. Palates are created, not born. If indigenous children can learn to like mashed grub worms, and Norwegian child can learn to like lutefisk, believe me, there is nothing in our western diet a child cannot LEARN to like unless they are genetically predisposed, like with cilantro. It is a gift that we give our children. A love of nutritious, flavorful foods that lead to healthy eating habits for a lifetime. It all begins with that first spoon full.

Kate CP - posted on 12/05/2011

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Well, 4 1/2 months is awfully young for solids. If he's sitting up supported or unsupported, is showing interest in your food, and has lost the tongue thrust reflex then yes, he's ready for solids. Cereal isn't the best first food, however. Yogurt's great, though! :)

Ianina - posted on 12/16/2011

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@Samantha..let mt quote you
"this is veering off-topic, I realize, but I was speaking figuratively when I said "law"...do a google search and you'll find that "cow's milk should be introduced at 1 year," and some sites even recommended mixing it with breast milk to "ease" your baby into it! I think if you have breast milk, then there is no need to introduce another animal's milk.
I don't like the idea of formula feeding, but if you have to do it then I think introducing a wider variety of foods as early as possible is better for developing baby's palate. This is just what I think though"

Girl, not trying to be mean, but you are so wrong in so many levels...

If you don't like the idea for formula feeding, is ok...I really hope you have the milk supply for your kid. God forbid you don't otherwise you will have a formula fed baby.

Introducing solids earlier because of formula feeding...really? Even if you give your baby breastmilk or formula, they still are ready for solids at around 6 months, give it or take 1 month...you can try and give them as many diff things as you would like, but you can only introduce a new food every week or so, and since your baby it is a human been, it is a good chance that he/she may not like what you are trying to feed them.

There is absolutly nothing wrong with giving yoghurt to a +6 month baby. Cows milk is the "same" as breast milk...the cow only produces milk when she is pregnant or just had the baby, and since she is also a mammal like us, there is little to no difference between cows and humans milk.

http://bmb.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/...

Sherri - posted on 12/12/2011

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Because April some kids such as my older one was intaking way too much formula a day 56ozs by 12wks so he was put on solids by his doctor to slow the amt of calories he was intaking in a day.

My middle one screamed non stop literally all day by 4mo's until we started him on cereal because breastmilk was just not enough for him any longer.

So really you have to deal with when to start solids by an individual child to individual child basis. Some truly need solids by 4mo's and some may not need solids till almost a year. Every child is soooo different.

Apryl - posted on 12/11/2011

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I am baffled as to why you need to add MORE food to his diet. If he's a "tank" and is eating enough then I wouldn't try to teach him to stuff himself. You are setting him up for a lifetime of struggling with obesity. Babies don't need solid foods until they are about a year. Anything given prior is just so they can learn to enjoy the flavors and textures and to teach them to appreciate good healthy foods. Please do some research on raising a healthy baby and proper nutrition. He's such a young little guy, it's ok if he's not stuffed at every meal and yes, he will still wake up in the middle of the night because hes a baby. Waking up to feed your child is part of parenthood. His bloodsugar levels need to be leveled out by having a feeding in the night.

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[deleted account]

On topic: We skipped the cereal step altogether. We introduced banana as a first food at 5 months becasue my son was ready for it. I did not introduce the baby yogurt until he was closer to 9-10 months. By then my son was already intoduced to some fruit & veggie.

Iridescent - posted on 12/16/2011

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The problem with actual milk products and cheese are simply the sheer amount of whey and casein within them, plus the lactose to protein ratio is completely wrong for humans. Human milk was made for human babies. Cow's milk was not. There is a ton of research showing cows milk simply does not belong in the human diet at all, but standards are set because of $$$.

Iridescent - posted on 12/16/2011

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Just for everyone saying "no milk based items before X age" - FORMULA is milk based. And if milk based is not tolerated, they try soy. They hydrolyzed MILK. Then elemental.

Yogurt is considered "safe" in most cases as long as it's argh the word the word the method that breaks down the proteins, but I cannot think of the word. You cannot just buy yogurt off the shelf and feed it like that safely, although many people do exactly that not knowing any better. I can't find the word. Anyway, whey and casein are the milk protein components of milk. Both are in regular baby formula, and actually it comes through when you breastfeed as well if dairy is in your diet. If your baby tolerates it fine, yogurt should not be a problem. Next possible problem is lactose, but since the bacteria in yogurt break down the lactose so lactase is not required in the child's gut, it's often a moot point and the child is often fine with it, even when they cannot tolerate milk or breastmilk due to lactose. Yogurt is pretty amazing stuff.

Merry - posted on 12/16/2011

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Anyone can always hit 'options' above the original poster's picture and below the title and choose to 'unsubscribe' then you won't get notifications anymore!

Merry - posted on 12/16/2011

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Well I don't mean you can't drink milk I just mean we don't 'need' it. We can be perfectly healthy without drinking cows milk. But it is a cheap easy way to get calcium and vit D.

Sherri - posted on 12/16/2011

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I need to drink milk and I am also an adult and weaned. However, different needs for different people. However we are a family that goes through 3-5 gallons of milk a week.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/16/2011

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Then why not pay for the Organic milk? When I lived in the US the store I bought my milk from didn't use hormones on their cows.

Merry - posted on 12/16/2011

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No Megan I'm definetly not vegan! I love meat and cheeses and yogurt and ice cream. I don't drink milk because i hate the taste and i aviod myfamily drinking it in excess because of the antibiotics in it along with other things.
I think Americans over obsess with the cow products, but I do eat some.

[deleted account]

YES it is safe - ask your doctor!! As for those that are anti-formula! I breastfed my first (who is now 13 years!) for 14 months and i breastfed my son (who is 14 months) for 3 months! I couldn't do it any longer because my nipples became infected!! I sure hope this doesn't happen to you or you just may be finding yourself at the Grocery store buying Formula!! BTW - Both my kids are very very healthy! And i would recommend changing to formula by 6 months - if you want any time for YOURSELF!!

[deleted account]

UUUG ROORR UG AAHH



yogurt good for babies' yummy brain development... uh, i mean healthy



raaaaaaarr UUURRRG ROOOOR

Yvette - posted on 12/15/2011

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Breastmilk has the antibodies which help to build up a babys immune system a little quicker than a formula would but that does not mean that formula is any less healthy. carnation milk has less bacteria and live cultures than that of homogenized milk or 2% or yogurt. the cultures are all different. all of my children have been and still are healthy as horses so to speak. my own mother gave me carnation milk mixed with water and cereal when she was weaning me off of breastmilk. i wanted to nurse but unfortunately was unable to due to domestic abuse in my home from the fathers so i did what felt to me like the next best thing and i went to the carnation milk, formula and cereal as they got older and as i said before my kids were all on solid food by 6 months - blended mind you but still solid. i am afraid that with so many posts this will get confusing for the mother..... do what you feel is right for your baby hun and may god bless you and your family.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/15/2011

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Completely different stuff.



Laura, are you vegan or something because you keep dissing the dairy products.

Merry - posted on 12/15/2011

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But breastmilk is live active cultures and bacteria, aren't babies designed to digest living foods?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/15/2011

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I'd hold off on anything with bacteria or live and active cultures until a year. That said Stoney brook farms does (or did) sell a line of yogurt called 'Yo baby' for babies and toddlers.

And if you don't like the idea of formula feeding fine then don't use it. But saying you're anti formula brings up a lot of other stuff.

Merry - posted on 12/15/2011

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So what's the verdict, yogurt, good or bad for babies between 6-12 months!???

Samantha - posted on 12/15/2011

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this is veering off-topic, I realize, but I was speaking figuratively when I said "law"...do a google search and you'll find that "cow's milk should be introduced at 1 year," and some sites even recommended mixing it with breast milk to "ease" your baby into it! I think if you have breast milk, then there is no need to introduce another animal's milk.
I don't like the idea of formula feeding, but if you have to do it then I think introducing a wider variety of foods as early as possible is better for developing baby's palate. This is just what I think though.

Yvette - posted on 12/15/2011

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i need to say this - not to cause issues but there have been a number of comments about breastfeeding being the best and that this poor mother should do that before anything but may i remind some of you - and you will know who you are, that breastfeeding is not necessarily an option for many women no matter how much they may yearn to do that. just because you are pregnant and have a baby does not mean that you are able to nurse for various reasons. stress diminishes the milk supply, as does genetics. please stop insisting that breastfeeding is the only and best way. perhaps this young mother is not able to do that. all you are doing is making her feel bad about herself and a failure as a new mom and that is just wrong. all babies are different and i honestly feel that the best thing a mother can do is follow her babys directions. if the baby is ready then try - slowly of course- to introduce nutrional foods - blend what you eat and see if the baby is ok with it. not all children have digestive systems that develop at the same time. teeth don't make hide nor tail of a difference. they don't need teeth for baby food so why would they need to wait until they get teeth for other foods. if blended properly there is no fear. good luck and please ladies - consider the other mothers when posting things such as the issue around breastfeeding. we are supposed to be here to support not ridicule.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/15/2011

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Pretty much and I don't like that. You can say I don't agree with your choice, but you aren't harming your child. But you can't really say: do want you want you know best. But you aren't doing your best and you don't know best since you don't breastfeed.

Samantha, never heard of that law. Of course I'm not vegan, not anti formula, and not jarred baby food. So perhaps I'm not as informed?

Samantha - posted on 12/15/2011

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I'm reading up for my little bun in the oven, I agree with do what you feel is best and he/she is ready for, and just a bit at a time. I personally love plain, unsweetened yogurt, sweet potatoes and avocadoes! So if I'm eating any of said foods and my lil 4-5-6 month old wants in, I'm not adverse to letting them try a bit! (I'm totally pro bfing, blw, anti-formula, jarred baby food, etc.)

I totally don't get the whole cow milk thing. I mean, I love milk and my husband does too, we could easily go through a gallon in a week, but there's like this law that we have to introduce cows milk to babies.....weaning them off the best milk they could get! I'm against it.

Jodi - posted on 12/14/2011

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You know what? She was just a bit hypocritical as well :\

Post one:
"Trust yourself and know that what YOU do for YOUR baby is perfect =)"

Post two:
"By the way..everyone saying do this with formula and do that with formula..if you're really interested in doing what's best for your babies..why aren't you breastfeeding"

Decipher:
Trust yourself and know that what YOU do for YOUR baby is perfect..... but only if you breastfed.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/14/2011

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Yeah once in a while we do. It happens. Hell I agree with Harper on some things.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/14/2011

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Amazingly Jodi I agree with you that was rather horrid to say.

On topic, don't do yogurt until over a year because it has active bacteria in it. Do fruits and veggies around 5 months. Right now you're really just going for texture.

Jodi - posted on 12/14/2011

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"By the way..everyone saying do this with formula and do that with formula..if you're really interested in doing what's best for your babies..why aren't you breastfeeding?????"

Yay, way to make out that formula feeding mums aren't interested in doing the best for their kids. That was a bit rude really, not to mention irrelevant and off topic.

Merry - posted on 12/14/2011

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yogurt is all sorts of ickiness. you dont even know which cow it came from!

Janet - posted on 12/14/2011

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Yogurt is milk based which you are not supposed to give to your child under 10 months old because it upsets their stomach. My mother-in-law had giving it to my daughter on three seperate occasions and she was up at night in pain. Her digestive system just wasn't ready for it.
I suggest Apple Sauce be your next food choice.

Stifler's - posted on 12/14/2011

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My 6 month olds have no teeth, it's a widely known fact that you're supposed to offer solids from 6 months.

Sherri - posted on 12/14/2011

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Thank you Roxanne it was Robin and I hate when people assume things. Robin that is such inaccurate information and not even sure where you could have possibly heard such a thing. So are you not going to feed a one year old because they have no teeth and yes many one year olds don't.

Roxanne - posted on 12/14/2011

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Someone said no solids untill baby has teeth - well, some babies are born with teeth, and others dont have them untill a year old. I have a friend whos 3 month old got teeth, and a friend whos 10 month old hasnt, so how is that information relevant at all?
Just read the labels on the food, it says what to give at what age, and the baby yogurt is fine, just try giving the fruit (like strawberries, or peaches) that its blended with, before the yogurt, that way you know which is causing a reaction, if he gets one. My son loves yo-baby since he was 6 months old.

Heather - posted on 12/14/2011

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By the way..everyone saying do this with formula and do that with formula..if you're really interested in doing what's best for your babies..why aren't you breastfeeding????? If your baby can handle formula, they can definitly handle milk and yogurt!!!

Heather - posted on 12/14/2011

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OK..I will respond to a post before I read the other responses. This time I only read a few becuz everyone seems to have the same idea. Look..ideas about what to do change all the time..no matter what its about. As a mother, it is up to you what to do with your baby. I trusted my intuition..even when I was being told "Don't do that"..I did what I felt was best. You know what? There were times that the doctors commented on what a great job I was doing. Trust yourself and know that what YOU do for YOUR baby is perfect =)

Yvette - posted on 12/14/2011

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yogurt carries alot of bacteria which is new to a young babies system....i have 4 children and with everyone i gave them some carnation milk mixed with their formula in the morning and then for the afternoon i would mix some cereal with their formula. just before bed i would use about 2 ounces of carnation milk which is a filler. when they turned 5 months i started with vegetable which i blended and i continued putting the cereal in their formulas but i stopped the carnation milk. by the time they were 6 months old they were drinking 2% milk and eating soft boiled eggs, blended vegetables and blended chicken. i did not introduce yogurt until they were a year old but that is only because of the bacteria content - their immune systems and digestive system is more capable of accepting it at that age. you can also add fruits but only ones with very little acid when they are young. hope this helps.

Heather - posted on 12/14/2011

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Its not too early to start introducing new foods to your baby..this is actually the perfect age to do that. Personally, I skipped the baby ceriel and went straight to food with both of my children when they were 4 months old. Yogurt is really good for a baby..it helps fight the things that cause diaper rash and yeast infections. While you're introducing foods to your baby remember this..if you don't like it they won't either. I did this before they had these things to make homemade baby food. What I did was take whatever we were having for dinner and put it in the blender. This way my children were eating the same food we were..we were eating together as a family. I decided to do it this way becuz I tried the baby food while feeing my firstborn one day..and it was gross..I could see why he didn't want it. That was the last time I ever got baby food. My children are healthy and have a love and appreciation of food. They also know how to eat properly..eat til your satisfied not til you're stuffed or your food is gone. Good luck on this next stage in your baby's life..love & hugs doll =)

Kate CP - posted on 12/14/2011

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"Yogurt is different from a glass of milk, yes. But it still contains cows milk protein that can cause stomach upset, gas pains, diarrhea, and future milk allergies. It is best to wait until 9 months or older."

Formula is milk based.

Syuda - posted on 12/14/2011

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Why do some of the moms on here want to make a debate about 'information' as well as their opinions? We live in America and opinions are everywhere. People are going to take whatever info they need and leave the rest. No need to get all bent out of shape about what's good for the baby and what isnt. Ultimately the mother who originally asked this question will have to make her own decision anyway. Come on mamas, lighten up! ; -)

Robin - posted on 12/14/2011

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do NOT give a baby under a year old milk products. Firstly, until babies have teeth they should not be eating. They do not have the enzymes necessary for digestion. Then when they do start eating, fruits should be the very first thing introduced (baby food pureed). Then maybe some cereal with some formula mixed in. But cereal is usually way too heavy for such a young baby. I would start with fruits. Forget the yogurt till after he turnes a year old or so.

Alexandra - posted on 12/13/2011

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I was also told no milk products until one year old. we also started with solids at 4 months, just as the pediatrician said, because the baby was ready for it (hunger clues...) we started with rice cereal and it worked for all the three babies we have. yogurt, we wouldn't give before turning one.

Sara - posted on 12/13/2011

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I started both my girls on solids at 4 months. We started with veggies, then added fruits in the 5th month, and cereal not till the 6th month. Some info my Dr gave me at my daughter's 4 month check up said yogurt could be given, but when I asked her about it specifically she acted dumb founded , had to read the paper for herself, then said well, formula is milk based so if you are formula feeding you should be ok. I didn't feel like she was really on board witht heides so Ijust started yogurt (she is 8 months old now). I am running out of foods to give her so she is starting finger foods now!

Gloria - posted on 12/13/2011

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Things have sure changed. I always started my babies on rice cereal then came veggies introducing one at a time given for at least a week before something new...then fruits last..No milk products at all..found out by giving first born a bite of an egg..next thing I know we are off to the hospital...allergic reaction and she couldn't breathe....Best advice...follow doctor orders and no one else...

Kylie - posted on 12/13/2011

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Please don't listen to these mums that say to young I have 6 children and I started feeding them at 3 months and they turned out fine if anything it settled my sons reflux feed your baby let him dig in but little bits at a time

Saesha - posted on 12/13/2011

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Yogurt is different from a glass of milk, yes. But it still contains cows milk protein that can cause stomach upset, gas pains, diarrhea, and future milk allergies. It is best to wait until 9 months or older.

Erica - posted on 12/13/2011

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Yogurt is milk based to no its too early for him. Just keep with the cereal and you can also use the baby oatmeal too. And if he doesn't really care for it, it is ok to add just a LITTLE bit of sugar for flavor.

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