When can I start giving my 5week old son porage?

Alicia - posted on 09/14/2009 ( 38 moms have responded )

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I do take multivitamins every day end eat well, but sometimes it looks like my breastmilk is not nutritious enough for my young one. He wakes more often and cries for more although I know he is getting enough as he should be for his age

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Heather - posted on 09/14/2009

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Quoting Jessica:

I would start around 4 or 5 months. Try nursing him longer. Or pumping your milk and really seeing how much he is drinking.



How much u pump is no indication of how much the baby is getting.  The baby is much more efficient @ getting milk then your pump is!!



Give NO SOLIDS until atleast 6 months.



from www.kellymom.com



 



Health experts and breastfeeding experts agree that it's best to wait until your baby is around six months old before offering solid foods. There has been a large amount of research on this in the recent past, and most health organizations have updated their recommendations to agree with current research. Unfortunately, many health care providers are not up to date in what they're telling parents, and many, many books are not up to date.



The following organizations recommend that all babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or any other foods) for the first 6 months of life (not the first 4-6 months):

























Most babies will become developmentally and physiologically ready to eat solids by 6-9 months of age. For some babies, delaying solids longer than six months can be a good thing; for example, some doctors may recommend delaying solids for 12 months if there is a family history of allergies.



Reasons for delaying solids


Although some of the reasons listed here assume that your baby is breastfed or fed breastmilk only, experts recommend that solids be delayed for formula fed babies also.





Delaying solids gives baby greater protection from illness.
Although babies continue to receive many immunities from breastmilk for as long as they nurse, the greatest immunity occurs while a baby is exclusively breastfed. Breastmilk contains ).

 





Delaying solids gives baby's digestive system time to mature.
If solids are started before a baby's system is ready to handle them, they are poorly digested and may cause unpleasant reactions (digestive upset, gas, constipation, etc.). Protein digestion is incomplete in infancy. Gastric acid and pepsin are secreted at birth and increase toward adult values over the following 3 to 4 months. The pancreatic enzyme amylase does not reach adequate levels for digestion of starches until around 6 months, and carbohydrate enzymes such as maltase, isomaltase, and sucrase do not reach adult levels until around 7 months. Young infants also have low levels of lipase and bile salts, so fat digestion does not reach adult levels until 6-9 months.


 





Delaying solids decreases the risk of food allergies.
It is well documented that prolonged exclusive breastfeeding results in a lower incidence of food allergies (see for more on this subject.


 





Delaying solids helps to protect baby from iron-deficiency anemia.
The introduction of iron supplements and iron-fortified foods, particularly during the first six months, reduces the efficiency of baby's iron absorption. Healthy, full-term infants who are breastfed exclusively for periods of 6-9 months have been shown to maintain normal hemoglobin values and normal iron stores. In one study (Pisacane, 1995), the researchers concluded that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 7 months (and were not give iron supplements or iron-fortified cereals) had significantly higher hemoglobin levels at one year than breastfed babies who received solid foods earlier than seven months. The researchers found no cases of anemia within the first year in babies breastfed exclusively for seven months and concluded that breastfeeding exclusively for seven months reduces the risk of anemia. See for more information.


Delaying solids helps to protect baby from future obesity.
The early introduction of solids is associated with increased body fat and weight in childhood. (for example, see )

 





Delaying solids helps mom to maintain her milk supply.
Studies have shown that for a young baby solids replace milk in a baby's diet - they do not add to baby's total intake. The more solids that baby eats, the less milk he takes from mom, and less milk taken from mom means less milk production. Babies who eat lots of solids or who start solids early tend to wean prematurely.

 





Delaying solids helps to space babies.
Breastfeeding is most effective in when your baby is exclusively breastfed and all of his nutritional and sucking needs are satisfied at the breast.

 





Delaying solids makes starting solids easier.
Babies who start solids later can feed themselves and are not as likely to have allergic reactions to foods.

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38 Comments

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Valerie - posted on 09/17/2009

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He is still too young to give him something to eat but have you tried to subsidise one breast feed about tea/supper time with some formula milk, i found this helped and they still took the breast okay

Adrian - posted on 09/17/2009

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I would wait till your baby is 6 months old. That's how old my son was when he started. Your baby should be getting everything he needs from your breastmilk. Remember babies digest breastmilk a lot faster than formula. That's why they are hungry more often.

Shirley - posted on 09/16/2009

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Breast milk is more than enough for your son, he may be gowing through a growth spurt. You will find beast fed and bottle fed babies require more frequent feeding every now and again and this is because they are having a growth spurt and are a little more hungry and also like the comfort as it can be a little painful for some. Your breasts will compensate and produce more milk during this time ( it works as a supply and demand thing) If you feel that it is too much for you to feed so often incorperate a bottle or 2 of formula. This will keep him fuller for longer. You don't start solids till 5-6 months and even then it is only once a day and such a small amount for a while that it doesn't make much of a difference to their appetite anyway.

[deleted account]

As a RN I will tell you what is recommended. Exclusively breast/bottle feed for the first 6 months- that is all they need. Breastmilk naturally changes to suit your babies needs ( it has more water in the summer and more fat in the winter). It truely is the best thing for babes. The color changes of breastmilk are completely normal, so if it looks differernt from yesterday that is okay! When they are 6 months slowly introduce RICE cereal (less likely to produce a allergic reaction). NEVER ever put the cereal in the bottle as this is a choking hazzard. Introduce veggies first. Sometimes if you do fruits, they like the sweet taste and then don't want to eat meat or veggies. When introducing fruits, do so 3-5 days apart especially with the berries to help you in detecting if there are allergies. If you are ever unsure, contact your local health centre, they have lots of information, and suggestions of how to start feeding. Wishing you the best of luck

Alicia - posted on 09/16/2009

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Quoting Tabatha:

I felt the same way with my 4 week old. When they hit their growth spurt they just want to eat like crazy. You CAN make it through on breastmilk alone, but you will be nursing much more often for a while. It may be painful and exhausting, but if you are committed to exclusivly breastfeeding, it's possible.
However, in my case, the committment to breastfeeding was so exhausting that I felt that I was so stessed that I couldn't take care of myself properly, and if you are not taking care of yourself, you will not be able to take as good of care of baby. I started supplementing with formula, and I feel great! My stress level has gone down so much, and the baby is just as happy, and is putting on weight nicely. The choice is all your own, just don't let extremely avid breastfeeding supporters make you feel guilty about supplementing if you choose to do so. It doesn't mean you love your baby any less or that you are any worse of a mother... it took me a long time to understand that. You have to do what works for YOU and YOUR baby. Trust yourself.



thank you so much for the hint. i tried it since ysterday and it seems to be working well for me and my little one. i wnted to scream when he started crying alot but now i realized that he was just hungry more often. i have also noticed that he drinks alot more during the day and sleeps well at night about 8 to 9 hours and that is wonderful



NJOY YOUR DAY



Alicia Snyman



Republic of South Africa

Alicia - posted on 09/16/2009

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thank you so much very helpful hint and i feel the same. been trying it since ysterday and seems to be working good for me aswell

Kristin - posted on 09/16/2009

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Try not to supplement if possible,the more he eats the more you make!! If he is gaining weight then he if fine. Adding porridge this early is not good for his tummy. Breast fed babies are fed more often because it is the right food for them!!

Cynthia - posted on 09/16/2009

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at 5 weeks your infant will nurse every 3 hours or so. Growth spurts happen at 3 weeks, 6 weeks and 3month where the baby needs to increase your milk supply and will nurse like a crazy person for about 14 hours. Your body will increase the milk production and then baby usually settles back to the every 3h time frame. Don't confuse with hunger with desire to suck. if it has been only 2 hours and doesn't seem to be a growth spurt then try other methods first such as changing diaper, burping, swing. If it is at night, keep that feeding very businesslike. don't coo and talk to them otherwise the social butterfly will think it's good to be awake at night. Most babies at 5 weeks do not hasve a digestive system ready to handle cereal. You could end up with a very gassy, unhappy baby.

Penny - posted on 09/16/2009

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If you are concerned with your child not getting enough, call your doctor's nurse, that is why they are there, to help you care for your child and to make sure they are healthy, and no question is a stupid question. But i would hold off until your doctor has you start feeding solids and they will help you get started. Remember breast milk is watery looking, it does not resemble milk or formula in the least. Just make sure you are eating healthy and drinking lots of water, what ever you eat, drink or inhale (cigarette smoke, paint fumes, cleaning chemicals, ect) your child is getting it too.

Lisa - posted on 09/15/2009

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Breast milk is all that is need for you little one, I breatfeed all 3 of mine and did not start solids till 5 months. Some little ones need to eat more and cry more then others. Do not compare your baby to other we are all different try a soother this may help him. His little body can't handle solids yet it will not help him sleep it may make his belly hurt. As long as he is growing fine and your ped. thinks your son is fine I am sure he is if you are still worried talk with his doctor :)

[deleted account]

My opinion is: No solids before six months of age. Breast fed babies are supposed to be frequent feeders, breast milk is very easily digested which is why they are hungry more often than formula fed babies. If you are worried then you should see your Doctor.

Angie - posted on 09/14/2009

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i gave 5 of my children oats at 4 months. just be sure that he is also getting a good amount of milk or formula each day on top of the cereal

Louise - posted on 09/14/2009

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Your baby does not need any solids until 6 months although you can try him on some baby rice or cerial at around 17 weeks if you think he is still hungry after taking his feed, but i would not try this before 17 weeks as his digestive system is not mature enough to handle solids. Breastmilk is perfectly formed for your little one and you can be fest assured it is nutritious enough and perfect for him. Breastfed babies tend to wake more during the night than bottle fed ones as formula tends to fill babies for longer than breastmilk, you could try topping him up with 1 or 2 oz of formula on his last feed to see if he will take a longer stretch of sleep if he will take the bottle that is, but generally he will take from you as much as he needs and no more no less thats the beauty of breastfeeding and at 5 weeks he wont be gulping down 6 or 7 oz at a time, if hes gaining the correct amount of weight then just relax and enjoy him, good luck.

Belinda - posted on 09/14/2009

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Hey

My obstatrician and paediatrician both said 3 months is a very safe stage to start farrex mixed with your breastmilk in a sml portion, then to start more normal portions at 4 months, introducing more solidslike puree fruits etc from 4-5 months on if they are extremely hungry. they say 6 months as a guidline but if bubs hungry then theur hungry! ;0)

Beth - posted on 09/14/2009

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Quoting CAROL:

i have three kids and when i brought mine home from the hospital i began giving my kids cereal a week after they came home. you just make it creamy .it helps them my kids are 20, 19, and 12 and my mom did the same for me and i'm 50 so it doesn't hurt at all hope this helps you.



This has been the thinking for a long time - my grandma felt there was no problem starting solids early like this - so against my mum's better judgement - she pushed my mum to start me on solids this early also for the reason that all the mothers before her did and she did too and secondly so that I wouldn't wake my great grannies up who were visiting from overseas.  She also had my mum wake me up to do a middle of the night feeding.



 



Research has shown that babies that are fed this way have greater difficulty with weigth issues and have a greater chance of developing allergies, asthma or eczema if any one of the three is in your family history. I have now have allergies, asthma and psoriasis [similar to eczema] and developed all later in life after the age of 13



 



So really think about giving your baby anything other than your breast milk or formula and don't give anything other than these two until at least 4mths old and then only on your pedia / dr. recommendation.  It's really best to wait till 6 months old to give them the best possible chance to avoid any food complications, etc.

Beth - posted on 09/14/2009

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Check with your doctor. Minimum is 4 months old. Most people wait till the baby is 6 months - ESPECIALLY if there is a history of ALLERGIES [food or to inhaled items, psoriasis/eczema or asthma] in the family.



If he is feeding more he is incresing your supply as he is likely going thru a growth spurt or he's nodding off to sleep before finishing his dinner.

I found that if I didn't keep my DD from nodding off during her feeding we were up alot.

Chris - posted on 09/14/2009

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do NOT feed your 5 weeks old any solids. their stomachs can NOT digest solids yet. your breat milk is the best thing in the world for him right now. he is waking more often to eat because he is a growing boy and you can only produce only so much milk in a given period. you can literaly breast feed until your next baby is born, my sister in law did it twice she was nursing for 5 years straignt. talk to your peditrician before adding ANY solids to your baby's diet.

Jocelyn - posted on 09/14/2009

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Quoting Heather:



Quoting Jessica:

I would start around 4 or 5 months. Try nursing him longer. Or pumping your milk and really seeing how much he is drinking.






How much u pump is no indication of how much the baby is getting.  The baby is much more efficient @ getting milk then your pump is!!





I think she meant if you pump and put it in a bottle then you can see how much the baby is actually drinking in one sitting.

Tabatha - posted on 09/14/2009

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I felt the same way with my 4 week old. When they hit their growth spurt they just want to eat like crazy. You CAN make it through on breastmilk alone, but you will be nursing much more often for a while. It may be painful and exhausting, but if you are committed to exclusivly breastfeeding, it's possible.

However, in my case, the committment to breastfeeding was so exhausting that I felt that I was so stessed that I couldn't take care of myself properly, and if you are not taking care of yourself, you will not be able to take as good of care of baby. I started supplementing with formula, and I feel great! My stress level has gone down so much, and the baby is just as happy, and is putting on weight nicely. The choice is all your own, just don't let extremely avid breastfeeding supporters make you feel guilty about supplementing if you choose to do so. It doesn't mean you love your baby any less or that you are any worse of a mother... it took me a long time to understand that. You have to do what works for YOU and YOUR baby. Trust yourself.

Michelle - posted on 09/14/2009

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He is probably going through a groeth spurt which wants to make him eat more, his tummy is not ready for anything more than breast milk. My daughter fed every hour to every 2 hours, 4 hours a night until she was 4 months old. I just fed her whenever she cried. She slept in bed with me and she just used to latch herself on and i hardly noticed. I never lost any sleep this way. Its totally normal for a breastfed baby to feed like this, i found that my daughter didnt always drink when she was latched on. It was more of a confort thing for her so i introduced a pacifier at 6 weeks and this helped save my sanity abit.

[deleted account]

Babies don't need solids that early, and it can be harmful in some cases. I'd say you should hold off until 6 months. However, what you describe with baby nursing so often is completely normal. There's no reason to worry about it. He's only 5 weeks and is still learning how to eat efficiently. He may be going through a growth spurt as well. The only way you can know if you're feeding him too little is if he's not gaining weight or not producing enough wet/dirty diapers. Otherwise, he's doing just fine. The best thing you can do is to keep putting him to the breast when he's hungry. 5 weeks is still so young - but in another week or two you will definitely see him start to sleep longer and space him feedings more. You don't need to add anything to his diet for that to happen.

Maureen Liv - posted on 09/14/2009

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yeah i would hold off for a bit, have you tired baby rice??
it tends to fill them up. :)

Marisa - posted on 09/14/2009

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If he's putting on weight you should be all good nutrition-wise on the breast even if it does feel like you're constantly feeding with him. I'm with the growth spurt mum above. It does take a bit of stamina but you're giving him a great start in life! Good work! I'd try & hold off on the solids for 4-5mths as his digestive system is still developing

Heather - posted on 09/14/2009

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Quoting Erika:

i started giving my daughter who was only had breast milk at 6 weeks a lil bit of rice cereal in a bottle with breast milk and a lil warm water... but b carefully and do it in the early part of the day so that if they get an upset tummy its hopefully gone by bed time and you both can sleep!!



Do not do this!! It's a CHOKING HAZARD, ur pedi will agree!!

Kathryn - posted on 09/14/2009

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Hes probably going through a growth spirt. My baby had those all the time. He will settle down. try pumpin breast milk when hes not feeding as it can help generate more milk. The first times you pump you may not get alot of milk this doesnt mean thats the only milk hes getting though. Id wait untill atleast 4 months before giving him porage, well baby rice or pablum. Try giving him a bottle at night if you are happy to do that. The more milk he needs and the more he nurses the more milk will come through

Katrina - posted on 09/14/2009

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why would you want tooo!!?? Milk is all they need at that age. they have growth sperts that sometimes they want or need more for a short time but food shouldnt be givin till atleast month 5. Besides there tummy cant do anythign with the food but pass it though.

Amanda - posted on 09/14/2009

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I didnt start my son till closer to six months bc he had sensitivities. but 4 months is usually the soonest. My daughter just turned 5 months we just started with her. I would also mention that your baby could be waking up more if he/she is going through a growth spurt.

Francesca - posted on 09/14/2009

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I breastfed my 5 month old son for 3 months and was worried that he wasn't getting enough milk, so I pumped that way I could see how many ounces he was eating. After 21/2 months I started supplementing with formula and that seemed to help. Chances are, your son is going through a growth spurt and will most likely want to eat more. There were times I felt like all I did all day was nurse. And your body will produce enough milk to make sure he's getting everything he needs. I didn't start cereal until my son could eat solids though, that way it will be easier to ween him from a bottle.

Erika - posted on 09/14/2009

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i started giving my daughter who was only had breast milk at 6 weeks a lil bit of rice cereal in a bottle with breast milk and a lil warm water... but b carefully and do it in the early part of the day so that if they get an upset tummy its hopefully gone by bed time and you both can sleep!!

CAROL - posted on 09/14/2009

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i have three kids and when i brought mine home from the hospital i began giving my kids cereal a week after they came home. you just make it creamy .it helps them my kids are 20, 19, and 12 and my mom did the same for me and i'm 50 so it doesn't hurt at all hope this helps you.

Michelle - posted on 09/14/2009

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that depends on u really i started 2 of mine on ceral at 3 months not much but i did add in their milk

Gaylene - posted on 09/14/2009

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As long as you are taking your vitamins and eating good he should be getting what he needs. If you feel that you cannot keep up with his hunger, you could add a little bit of rice cereal in some formula in a bottle, a table spoon or so in 4 oz. Why porage? I don't think his tummy will tolerate that. The cereal needs to be creamyand fairly free flowing. The night feeding 10 pm - 12 am is when you should do it. 5 weeks seems a bit early. Need to be careful because he may not tolerate it since he is breast fed. Breast milk has all it needs, even tho it doesn't look like it.

Amber - posted on 09/14/2009

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Breastfed babies do not need anything other than breastmilk until they are 6months old. Many moms choose to start cereal around 4 months but there is really no need for it. Giving cereal does not make you baby sleep longer. Some babies just need to eat more often than others. My daughter is 6 months and just started solids and she still breastfeeds every 2 hours.

[deleted account]

I would start around 4 or 5 months. Try nursing him longer. Or pumping your milk and really seeing how much he is drinking.

Michelle - posted on 09/14/2009

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You should wait until closer to 3-4 months before you give him cereal. My daughter was 4 months old the first time she had rice cereal. Don't put it in his bottle, a baby is ready for cereal when they can hold their own head up. Breastmilk or formula is where you child should be getting most of his calories, there is not enough in the cereal to help him with his weight and etc. All the cereal will do is fill up his little tummy, and it does not always make your child sleep longer. He could be going through a growth spurt. You should let him decide when he eats and how much for right now. Good luck:o)

Jocelyn - posted on 09/14/2009

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i wouldn't give porridge just yet, oats seem a bit big/sticky for a baby to eat. a completely breastfed baby should be getting enough from just the breastmilk, but you could try supplementing with a formula if you are still worried.

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