When can I start spoon feeding?

Kali - posted on 12/26/2010 ( 194 moms have responded )

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My son will be 4 months on January 13. I was wondering when I should start feeding him cereal from a spoon.

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Callie - posted on 12/26/2010

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The official recommendations says you can start solids at 4 months. Our Pediatrician suggested 6 months. If you're breastfeeding it's recommended to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. Just because they say you CAN start solids at 4 months doesn't mean you MUST start solids at 4 months. Listen to your little man, he'll let you know. When he's ready for solids he'll start showing interest in your food (like reaching for your food) and sitting up.
As for what foods, introduce one food wait a few days (for allergic reaction) then introduce another. Introducing Veggies before Fruit doesn't matter. Babies naturally are drawn towards sweeter foods because breast milk (and formula) are sweet. Just introduce a variety. Sometimes it take 10 times before a baby will accept a new food. Remember that milk is the main source of nutrition till 1. "Food before 1 is just for fun."

Callie - posted on 12/27/2010

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I skipped baby cereal all together. The stuff they sell in the stores has very little nutritional value (they're made out of enriched grains). Our pedi said the only real reason to give it is for the iron. But my daughter takes a vitamin D supplement with iron in it. Not to mention that there are many foods high in iron. Personally I chose to started my daughter on avocados. This is also what my pedi started her own son on. Instead of giving my daughter baby cereal I gave her whole grain cereals like oatmeal.

Lea-Andra - posted on 01/03/2011

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Actually the OFFICIAL recommendation by the World Health Organization is feeding solids at 6 months. Because a baby's digestive system is then fully formed to handle solids. Before that can cause issues. I waited until 6 months and waited for my daughter to be very interested in what we were eating. We actually started a few days before her 6 month birthday as she was trying to grab at our utensils as it went to our mouth and wanted what we had.
We started with rice cereal although it has no nutrition in it really we made that decision to just start with that. Then we went to sweet potatoes etc. We did a whole week of one item then switched as it takes 3 days for an allergy to appear. We ended up reducing to 4 days as my daughter got bored of the same food everyday.

Cereal should not be put in a bottle to feed, the only requirement for feeding before 6 months is breastmilk or formula. A lot of parents when formula feeding complain of their child being very hungry. When you breastfeed you can't tell how much they are getting, they just eat and that's that, when going through a growth spurt they nurse more. When formula feeding you can see it and calculate it and you have to pay for the food and see them going through it fast so a lot of parents panic and think their child needs cereal in their bottle, that's not so. Also a lot of parents slip cereal into the bottle at night to aid sleeping through the night. Babies are not supposed to necessarily sleep through the night, they wake because they are hungry and some parents try to mess with a baby's natural cycle.

Just my opinion.

Megan - posted on 01/03/2011

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Rice is not easy to digest!!!! Babies do not have amylase enzyme to digest starches until 6 months old at the earliest, they can't not digest fats until 6 to 9 months of age. Basic AP. There is a right and wrong way, feeding children foods they can not digest is not healthy it can destroy their gut function. Doctors get ZERO nutritional training, they are simply repeating what baby food companies pay them to say. It is not physiological normal for babies to sleep through the night before 2, babies are suppose to wake up at night and eat because they grow so much during the first year.

Jeany - posted on 12/30/2010

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You could skip the spoon feeding until he is old enoug to hold the spoon himself, and use the "Baby-Led Weaning approach - so that he remains in control of how what and how much he eats, so he can stay in tune with his own hunger and know when he is full. See http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/s... and http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/s...
Starting solids creates lots of extra work for mum, so wait as long as possible.

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I agree with most of the comments here with regards to sitting up properly and a keen observation of your own eating habits etc.... however for the purposes of allergies and any issues with digestion.... follow the step by step orders of cereals and introduce small amounts of fruits and veggies just in case there is an issue with digestion. There is nothing like an all nighter of a baby who is dealing with some massive tummy cramps. Watch for gag reflexes in terms of food consistency... some things just may have to be runnier at the beginning despite being messy. Good luck and remember to use your own "mom instincts"

Marylu - posted on 01/03/2011

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Fruit is not a good idea. The cereal is great if your spoon feeding it. However, fruit is a sweet and introducing it in cereal or first prevents a baby from eating veggies and meats which are more important. The rule of thumb is fruit is a dessert while their babies. Fresh fruit is much better once they can chew.

Nancy - posted on 01/03/2011

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if breastfeeding, after 6 mos is good, unless baby is not sleeping regular, if he is waking several times during the night he may need a little something in the evening,
please don't make the mistake of putting cereal in the bottle, not good for baby, when baby is ready, the spoon works.

Dot - posted on 01/03/2011

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I made not have a newborn but i have raised a lot of babies My daughter was 4 days old & very hungry Doctor asked if I wanted to be a good Mom or a Modern Mom I said a good 1 of course he said then listen to me I did & learned many old ways which are tried & true So with all that said If you feel comfortable using a very soft & small baby spoon then mix up a tablespoonful of rice cereal with some breast milk or formula to a little paste like consistance & try to give it to your baby Remember the rule when giving your child something new try it for 3 days without introducing any other new thing & watch for any type of reaction This may also help your child sleep better Hope this was of some help to you

Renee - posted on 01/03/2011

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I stated mine at 3-4 months giving them veggies and fruit at the same time. I would put the veggie on first, then a little of the fruit at the tip of the spoon so that they would eat more of the veggie. Surprisingly neither grew up eating or wanting a lot of sweets. I would have it around but they showed no interest so I quit buying sweets.

Karon - posted on 01/03/2011

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I started both of my boys at 3 months, they were starving. Many peds say 4-6 mos. but I am a nurse and say it depends on your child. If formula or breast milk isn't keeping them satified start them on rice cereal it is easiest to digest. Both of my boys are grown and have no problems with food. They are 25 and 22

Anna - posted on 01/03/2011

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my lil gal just turned four mths and lastnight we actually started feeding her rice cereal mixed with just a touch of mashed fruit .. we started because we had tried increasing her oz of milk and she was throwing up but 4oz wasnt keeping her satisfied long..so my aunt told me to try a little bit of cereal and we did and she loved it and actually slept through the night!! :)

Allie-jo - posted on 01/03/2011

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There is no rush or set age your baby will let u know each child is differant my daughter was about 6 to 7 months when I started with cereal but she was a premie so it was like she was only 4 months but she was ready she ould just stare at us when we were eating and she would try and get our food we started her slow but se just keep wanting more she is almost 1 now and would much rather eat from a spoon then take a bottle. Give it a try your baby wil let u know and even if they don't want it yet thats ok as my son who is 9 now didn't want food from a spoon until he was way over 1 yrs old he was happy with the bottle. Good luck

Heather - posted on 01/03/2011

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This is something that varies from one pediatrician to another. When my 8 year old was a baby, we introduced cereal into his bottle at 3 months. That is what the Dr ordered for his excessive hunger issue. The poor kid was not filling up and that's just how a lot of babies are!! Then, we introduced baby food at exactly 4 months. I have a 6 week old and I have already been told (by our new pediatrician) that she does not recommend cereal until 4 months and baby food at 6 months. However, I am mom and I know that even at 6 weeks, he is not getting full on mommy's milk so I will probably introduce cereal AND baby food at 4 months again. The reason for this changing is because they fear it's too early and can introduce food allergies too young. Good luck!

Robyn - posted on 01/03/2011

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Ms./Mrs. Cali Cole,

My son Owen was born in May of '08. Unfortunately, breastfeeding WAS NOT for me. Even when I pumped it was unbelievably painful. The colostrum (excused spelling), which you probably know, is the most healthy thing for a newborn and comes out in the milk during the first 2 to 3 weeks of breastfeeding. I toughed it out for a month and then weened him onto formula.
Although Owen was born small and I had unexpected complications in my pregnancy (emergency c-section and others) he thrived unbelievably well and grew much, MUCH faster than the doctor had anticipated. He lost no weight at his first check up at two weeks (he gained 12 oz) and at his one month check up my pediatrician said that he was progressing excellently (he gained another 10 oz). That being said I asked her about switching to formula because breastfeeding was so painful for me. She gave me the go ahead and I did a lot of research and picked Similac as his formula.
When we went back at his three month appointment to get some vaccinations and I asked her the same question your asking. My pediatrician told me that the rule of thumb was to start infants on rice cereal whenever she or he cuts their first tooth.
My son Owen cut his first tooth around 5 months, but I probably would have started him at 6 months at the latest (which my doctor also said, whether the infant has teeth or not, just make it a little more watery) using a rubber spoon.
This is just what I did, and it has worked out fairly well for me. Owen is now 2 and a 1/2 and is eating Gerber graduates and even regular food.
I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
~Robyn J. Runner

Marylu - posted on 01/03/2011

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I have 5 kids and 4 of them started about 3 mos, however my middle child started at 9 weeks because he was always wanting to eat. I was nursing every 2 hours and that didn't seem like enough, so I started spoon feeding him rice cereal at 9 weeks. It was a life saver. None of my kids have any food allergies either. The norm would be to start at 3mos, with rice cereal then change the grain. After a month you would start on veggies. Once you've gone through all the veggies, you can add fruit as a dessert. It takes alot of time but much worth teaching them. The tongue reflex will go away the more work with your baby. I remember when I had my first I was 22 and not so sure but WIC was a real lifesaver with tips.

Jessi - posted on 01/03/2011

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Stop putting your money into the baby food companies' pockets. That includes all those products for making your own purees. They're 100% NOT necessary:

www.babyledweaning.com

Lisa - posted on 01/03/2011

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Whenever you little one is showing signs of interest. My daughter Audrina started rice cereal closer to 4 months 3 weeks. She is seven months old today and is eating all second foods, rice husks, and Gerber puffs. I also have a fresh food feeder for her to enjoy fresh fruits and cooked veggies. Audrina was way too curious from the start to ever delay solids. But to each his own. You will know when your baby is ready.

Angela - posted on 01/03/2011

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According to Gerber, you can start with level 1 when they can sit supported with blankets & pillows. I would start with something simple, like taking your finger and rubbing it around the top of a bananna after you've started it, then letting your baby suck on your finger. My daughter is 3 1/2 months and loves just getting a taste of something new. We aren't starting her with the spoon until at 4 months at the earliest.

Colleen - posted on 01/03/2011

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When you think he is ready,no one else knows that better then you. If you feel he is ready then do it, trust me you will know.

Michelle - posted on 01/03/2011

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I started my son on rice cereal at just 2 weeks old. I gave him about a teaspoon full mixed with my breast milk and fed it to him with a spoon once in the morning when he woke up and once in the evening before bedtime. He never had any problems with it.

Magen - posted on 01/03/2011

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The AAP says not before 6mos, but really, he doesn't NEED anything but breast milk or formula until a year. So I always just wait until they show interest in food to start, with my older two it was closer to 9mos, other wise they just nursed. We will wait until Ian starts showing interest as well.

Krissi - posted on 01/03/2011

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I started spoon feeding both my boys at 4 weeks old. Start with a tablespoon of rice cereal in the morning then a bottle. Then do the same at dinner time. It works wonders for their sleeping habits too. Gradually change the grain (oatmeal, etc..) then once they are able to tolerate cereal you should introduce fruits and then meats within a month or two.

Ashleigh - posted on 01/03/2011

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I started my son on the cereal at 3 1/2 months he's now almost 5 months and he see's the spoon, he's still a little top heavy so he doesn't sit up on his own quite yet, but they say when he can see the spoon and try grabbing for it they're ready for food. So far he eats sweet potatoes and squash. I also mix a little bit of the cereal with it to give it some texture.

Heather - posted on 01/03/2011

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I started spoon feeding my son at 4 months and is 10 months now and is doing wonderful

Joan - posted on 01/03/2011

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Well, I am a grandmother, soon to be ggrandmother. We started spoon feeding at about 3 mos. But that did not mean they no longer suckled. From bottle or breast. Our kids grew up just fine. And they slept thru the night. If they were bottle fed they were also on cow's milk by then...Curious what new modern mothers have to say about this topic.



Now that I think about it, we put the grands on cereal much younger and they have been fine...The doc said, hey you are the one who is getting up with him, use your good judgment. Giving the child a tad of cereal at bedtime, sure beat his projectile vomiting when trying to satisfy him with more milk. And he began sleeping thru the night

Renee - posted on 01/03/2011

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Wow.. i did it all wrong.. my kids were all eating rice cereal before they were a month old.. and spoon fed at that time... my kids are all grown and left the coop so to speak.

Gina - posted on 01/03/2011

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awesome Abby. I forgot to mention that i did the sam with my 3 because it was cheaper and a lot healthier . We knew what was going into the food. Have a great day

Valarie - posted on 01/03/2011

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my son's doctor told me that at 3months i could start my son on fruits vegetables and cereal and my son took to it all very good and then my sons doctor said at 4months i could start juice and he is doing great with all of it...

Holly - posted on 01/03/2011

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we started both our kids at 4mons the cereal from the spoon..that is what is said by the doc....if u leave it longer the are not really gettin enough 2 eat & really need it..that is why they start the stuff off at begginer because they need it sooner then the 6mons...same with the baby food..begginer mine were eattin the vegs at 4.5mons....there very runny so easy 4 them 2 eat!

Abby - posted on 01/03/2011

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I had heard that they can eat when they lose the "tongue reflex" - pushing things out of their mouth with their tongue (i.e. if your baby pushes the food out, he's not ready). I started feeding my son rice cereal at 3 months (actually, a couple weeks before the 3 month point) because he was so interested in food; bananas were introduced at about the same time. Then came homemade baby food - pureed carrots, green beans, peas, squash....and I must say that my boy (now 20 months) will eat anything. He even likes food that my DH and I don't like. Plus, I don't have to make him special meals...he just eats what we eat!

Gina - posted on 01/03/2011

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Good Morning Kali
I was wondering if you meant baby cereal like pablums. I started feeding my 3 that at 2-4 months. My Doctor than told me only a table spoon of it and gradually. If you are talking about our cereals. I started mine on cream of wheat , just add a little more milk/formula your choice.I didn't start this until they were all about 8 months. I hope this helps you and a late congratulations on your beautiful baby. Happy new year to you both
Gina

Ruth - posted on 01/03/2011

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I think it depends development of your son. All babies reach milestones at different times. My son is16 weeks today. I have decided to hold off a little longer. He has doubled his birth weight, he seems interested in what we are doing when we eat, but he isn't able to sit without support. Once he is sitting, I will start him on solids. I am skipping cereal altogether. I'm starting him on avocado. They are a good source of vitamins K, B6, C, folate and fiber. It also has more potassium than bananas, and is loaded with monounsaturated fat. That is said to be great for heart health.

Katie - posted on 01/03/2011

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You can start feeding cereal from a spoon between 4 and 6 months, and Gerber's stages start at "supported sitter", so look for that image on their cereal. It's got about 25% of the vitamins he needs per serving, so if he doesn't like such a plain taste, it's good to mix into green beans or other Stage 1 veggies (then introduce meats in the jars, THEN fruits!)



If you notice he is starting to act hungrier more often and milk/formula isn't quite cutting it, you'll probably notice - it's him telling you he's ready! Start with once a day, and remember - milk/formula is where he gets all his nutrition so don't substitute this meal for another - add it!!! Good luck!

Toni - posted on 01/03/2011

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I started spoon feeding all three of my boys at 4 months. They all ate commercial baby food, and they are all fine. They say start with veggies, then fruits and so on. Also, no meats until like 9 months, but you can ask your dr, and he/she will put you on the right path for you and your baby.

Sherri - posted on 01/03/2011

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Why is spoon feeding bad? I did it with ALL my kids yes it takes longer who cares. I still fed them all messy foods until they were much older too. Who wants to deal with cleaning up a mess not me. Actually still feed the 2yr olds I watch yogurt, pudding, spaghetti etc. will not let them do it themselves. Uck I hate messy hands, faces and ruined clothes. Because if their clothing gets a stain goes in the trash will never put it on them again.

My middle son was STARVING by 4mo's Sara and he was BF until that point. It just wasn't enough he would cry, cry and cry because he just wasn't getting enough anymore. The minute he started on cereal at 4mo's that all went away and he stopped screaming all the time. Then by 5 months he was eating 3 meals a day and *Gasp* it was cereal mixed with jar baby food. Actually never knew a baby that wasn't fed baby cereal or jar baby food. Guess what they all survived can you imagine.

Sara - posted on 01/03/2011

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One of my thoughts is this.....spoon feeding takes extra time to do. It is not like breast/bottle feeding which you have to do. The other thing is, I haven't heard (and maybe it does happen) that BF babies act "hungry" after eating like bottle fed babies do. So if you are exclusively BFing then it is unlikely your LO needs anything else since your milk changes as they grow to give all they need! However, bottle fed babies may need more iron, calories, etc. as formula does not change to their growing needs. Just a thought......

Linda - posted on 01/03/2011

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Let your baby decide and never, I repeat, NEVER feed your child commercial food of any kind. Get a baby cookbook and make your own. There's all kind of hidden harmful stuff in any commercial foods and will lead to problems later on. Present convenience will lead to medical and health problems later on. Commercial foods are made for shelf life, convenience and profit, not for the health of the growing body. Many of the additives cause the auto-immune problems so prevalent today, not to mention the refined foods causing addiction and obesity. Don't believe the advertising. If they can afford the advertising costs, don't put it in your child's mouth. I'm 57 and have 7 "kids" and know of what I speak. Homemade and don't be in a hurry.

Wanda - posted on 01/03/2011

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Your doctor will tell you alot of things. And experts change their minds every few years. Use your instincts. Feeding them rice cereal earlier DOES NOT hard the baby in any way. They tell you to wait for the solid foods because babies don't need the extra calories. Well, when you have a baby whose height & weight is in the 97th percentile, you can't exactly go by what the charts say for the average baby. I started my daughter on cereal at 2 months, with a spoon. And she immediately caught on to eating with a spoon. She does not get constipated nor does the cereal harm her in anyway. Listen to what people have to say, but decide for yourself what is best for you and your child. The experts are going to go to the extreme with everything just like when we were pregnant. For instance, they told us not to eat lunch meat or sushi when pregnant. Well, I did!! And my child is perfect. It's all about moderation and being smart about it. The information that is out there for new parents has to be idiot proof.

Sara - posted on 01/03/2011

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You can make your own baby cereal.....finely blend dry brown rice, oatmeal etc. in your blender then cook it as you normally would (remember it will cook faster) Store in fridge for 2-3 days. It is extra work but at least you KNOW what is in it if you decide to give cereal and want it to be as healthy as possible. (I am not sure if you can freeze it or not, but you could try and see if it keeps it's consistency.)

Alyssa Rallo - posted on 01/03/2011

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I nursed my son's until they weened themselves. The first one i had a lot of pressure to feed food and started much to my chagrin at 6 months. My second born child, I skipped baby food completely! It's totally an industry and not necessary. Whole foods at the table as a social thing is best, he or she can try asparagus, whatever you are eating that is not a SIMPLE Carb. That's what gets them into terrible eating habits quickly, food that the body craves because it turns to sugar. Rather than whole foods. It's so simple and it works. I have three very healthy, very tall, thin sons, 20, 15, and 6. And they don't eat a lot of simple carbs or junk. They don't feel deprived because they were never addicted to sugar or foods that become sugar. If you are nursing they will be healthier if you put off thinking about food except trial and error until 1 years old. In this day and age that sounds drastic, but it's not, and it does not affect their growth in any negative way, only helps them not be fat, sugar craving eaters.

Gretchen - posted on 01/03/2011

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I am a mom of 4 children and all my kids started between 3 and 4 months with cereal from a spoon.

Carrie - posted on 01/03/2011

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I gave my oldest cereal at 4 weeks in a bottle. he was hungry and the dr told me to feed him. He was 8 weeks old when i first gave him fruit. but my daughter was 3 months before she had solids. talk to your dr. every child is different and every situation is different. there is no right or wrong.

Elise - posted on 01/03/2011

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Babies tend to thrust their tongues until about 4 months old, so if you try spoon feeding before then, not much will go down. Once the tongue thrusting slows, spoon feeding gets easier. Of course, ask your pediatrician to be sure, and only start one food at a time in order to watch out for food allergies.

Leanne - posted on 01/03/2011

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i started my son on rice cereal when he was 4 months , he hated it tho so i mixed it with some fruit , then i just started fruit , but he still gets cereal in the morning , for afternoon he get half a jar of veg and half of fruit , and at supper he gets , meat with spagetti stuff like that , but my sons 7 months now so he can eat alot more stuff

Kendra - posted on 01/03/2011

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I haven't read all the replies but I wanted to say (if it hasn't already been said) that if you are BF, you should wait until 6 months to introduce anything other than breastmilk. AND, baby does NOT need anything besides breastmilk until 12 months. BF babies have open (virgin) gut (intestines) and should not receive food other than breastmilk for 6 months (when the intestines mature and close) so that food particles do not enter the blood stream through the holes in the intestines. This can cause allergies along with a host of other problems. If you are FF, then your baby no longer has virgin gut because formula is not made to pass through without harming anything like breastmilk is. The antibodies in breastmilk are supposed to pass through in the first 6 months.

Erica - posted on 01/03/2011

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if you start him on cereal dont forget the applesauce or diluted juice or it will constipate him

Jeany - posted on 01/03/2011

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You will know when your baby is ready to eat table food - when he reaches out, picks some up off your plate and puts ii into his mouth! Until then, stick with what nature provides to nourish babies - human milk.

Karen - posted on 01/03/2011

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Hi Kali. I'm Karen..You must be new mother.. I can tell because most new mother now days go by a book.. Meaning they just don't use there own judgement.. Kali straight up.. If you feel it is time to start feeding your child with a spoon. Then by God do it.. All I will tell you is the following.. Make sure the cereal is not to thick.. You want it thin for the child throat is not use to a firm item going down it. You want it thin but not as then has water. Feed the child this form for about 2days or so and then little by little thicken it up. Honestly feeding of a spoon is not the thing. It the thickness of the item going into the child's mouth and down the throat.. Look at it this away.. If an adult is placed in a coma.. and this adult in this coma is feed for 3 weeks by a tube.. Now this person comes out of the coma. You might thing heck give them food. solid food like a warm bowl of Oatmeal or Spaghetti and meat balls. So you but a bowl of Oatmeal if front of them and a spoon.. Now they know how to operate a spoon. ( after all they are adults) But they have trouble swallowing.. Why..because the throat has not be stretch out... Therefore the person in the coma has to be put on thin food like liquid. until the throat can be come accostume (?sp) I hope that explains.. So mother use your mother wit.. I started feeding my children by spoon at 4 weeks old.. Yes 4 weeks.. They are now. 33, 31, 29, 27, All served in the US Armed Forces.. Nothing wrong with them at all. And I'm also the grandmother of 4.. and the to older ones along with their wonderful mother lives with me.. My oldest grandson. has a pig never full when he was a baby.. So at the age of 2 weeks I start to feed him rice cereal and by the age of 2mos he was eating table food.. Yes Table food.. THAT I GRIND UP FOR HIM.. he is now 8 years of age. little over 3 feet tall and no he is not over weight at all he is 35lbs.. Well Kali that my advice.. I'll tell you like I do my daughter.. God gave you all the things to make you a great mother.. just use them.. use what is in your head.. Stop doubting yourself
Always
Ms. Karen

Marla - posted on 01/03/2011

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Pediatricians usually suggest that you don't start solids until your baby is six months old, but if your child seems not to be getting enough milk and you think that it is not enough you can start solids and you start with Rice Cereal because it's easier to digest. If you star with a spoon start with small amounts because he doesn't know yet when he is full and you don't want to over feed him. Then the next step is feeding him applesauce. You should start with one food or fruit per week because you need to make sure that he is not allergic to any food or fruit and you feed him half of the small bottle of baby food to begin with. You can gradually increase the amount of food and fruit you give. You can give a teaspoon of baby prune juice if he is constipated. You still have to give him milk everyday at least 4-6 bottles and you can give a little water. Pediatricians say juice can be given after a year and don't forget to clean his gums or teeth becuase you don't want cavities. You should always talk to your doctor but you know your baby better and you can when he's ready.

Shannon_nedza - posted on 01/03/2011

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We are doing baby led solids - no spoon feeding. With my older dd she didn't really start eating much until about 10 months. She didn't even have 3 meals a day until closer to 2. My dd2 is 7.5 months and is still just breastfed. I think it is much safer to wait.

Stifler's - posted on 01/03/2011

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I just don't know what all the rush to start solids is? Like they don't need solids until 6 months why does everyone want to get them on cereal at 4 months and all this?

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