When do you start your baby on rice cereal?

Andrea - posted on 12/16/2008 ( 107 moms have responded )

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My son is 3 months old and formula just does not seem to be filling him. When is a good time to start him on rice cereal? I have heard 3, 4 and 6 months.

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Tracie - posted on 12/19/2008

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Everyone has their thoughts and opinions. Every pediatrician is different. Every baby is different! I know I will have several tell me I am bad, but my first, received oatmeal cereal at her feeding before bed after 3 weeks and was sleeping for about 5-6 hours at night. My second was taking oatmeal cereal by the end of her first week before bed and was sleeping 5 hours at night within 2 nights and 6 hours by the end of her 3rd week. I put a small amount in bowl and mixed with formula. They got 2 or 3 bites, just enough. My mother did this with all 4 of us kids and we are all grown with kids and none of us has had any health issues. My two are 11 and 8 and no health issues. My sister, 3 boys with girl on way, oldest 5 youngest 18 months, no issues. Brother two girls one is 3 and the other 9 months, no issues. We all started all of them within the first month a few bites before bed. My Grandmother was a NICU nurse for years and agreed with all of this as well. Too much is read and put into all the books. We believe what we read and never ask for all the research behind it, we just believe it. As a mother, get advice from others. Find out what they did and then choose what is best for you. I always started mine sooner. Some say if you give fruits first, they won't eat vegetables. I never had a problem. Both of my daughters are completely different children and there have been absolutely no problems. So, out of us 4, my 2 girls, my 5 nieces and nephews none have had any problems. This does not include my other family members who have done the same. Good luck and be the Mom and do what is best for your child! You will make the right decision because you know your child better than anyone else!

Debbie - posted on 12/20/2008

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MY DEAR,,,,I HAVE HAD 4 CHILDEN AND NOW HAVE 4 GRAND KIDS,,EACH ONE STARTED AT DIFFERENT TIMES,,,ONE KNOW YOUR CHILD BETTER,,,IF YOU SEE AND FEEL YOUR CHILD NEEDS IT,,,THEN GIVE IT ,,,,JUST A LITTLE AT A TIME AND MAKE IT RUNNING,,ONE SPOON FUL IN AM,,,TO SEE IF THE CHILD IS OK WITH IT,,,,,,THEN GIVE IT AT NIGHT TOO,,,IF YOUR CHILD ISNT SLEEPING THE NIGHT ,,,,THIS MAY HELP HIM OR HER SLEEP LONGER AT NIGHT,,,,HOPE THIS HELPS,,,,

Brandi - posted on 12/18/2008

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I agree with you Amanda. I too posted before and have been reading. Both of my sons had/have cereal in the bottle and I do not see a problem with it either. Every baby is different and for some babies formula is not enough. If your baby needs it and your pediatrician supports it, then give them cereal. I also agree with Karen that everyone has their own opinion and those of us that are trying some old school or different from what the experts say should not be put down for doing what works. We need to remember this is to help each other and everyone should feel free to express their opinion, but should not be criticizing others for what they are doing.

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Tina - posted on 12/19/2008

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I started at 4 months with my son. He is a big boy and I thought it would be a good time to start. I started out once a day in the morning.

ECheryllynne - posted on 12/19/2008

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I have two children and both needed help filling up. I gave both of them rice in their milk at 3 months. I called the doc office and let them know and asked if this is the right thing. The doc told me that you are the childs mother and you will know the best thing for you child. So I did give them rice and this helped them feel full and be better while feeding.

Gina - posted on 12/19/2008

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I had no idea this was such a heated debate....I just started my son on cereal a week and a half ago, both by spoon and a little in his nighttime bottle....and he is doing well. I started this because breast milk and formula were not enough. Mom's really do know best when you have your child's best interest in mind.

Lesley - posted on 12/19/2008

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All the pediatricians and Health visitors have to follow government guidelines and have to inform us but the person or people who know their children best are the parents, listen to your own instincts there is no harm in trying your child on baby rice or cereal as long as you use 4 month food believe me I know. A friend of mine waited to put her son on solids and he is the sicklyest child I know, but his brother again she waited, and he is completely healthy. I do not see a connection between weaning early and food allergies. I was weaned late and was allergic to strawberries, liver, licorice, do you want me to carry on. The only thing I can't eat now is liver.

Victoria - posted on 12/18/2008

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Whoever the official pediatric people are say that you start cereal as soon as he can sit up with some support and hold his head up. i started putting cereal in my son's bottle at about 2 or 3 months to help him sleep at night.

Amanda - posted on 12/18/2008

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I posted before and as I have been reading everyone keeps saying that it is bad to put cereal in a bottle. My question to that is how my son had oatmeal cereal in every bottle from the age of 4 weeks and he is 3 years old now and is perfectly healthy! They say that their tummies aren't ready for that but he has never had a problem since. They say 4-6 months for cereal or food but a baby tells you when they are getting ready. My cousin had a baby 36 hours after my son was born and he couldn't eat things at 9 months old that my son had been eating since 6 months. Every baby is different and learns how to eat differently and when to do so.

Karen - posted on 12/18/2008

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I am with Kylee from Australia. If your baby is hungry feed him. We have talked about this at work and all us old fashioned mothers I think is what we would be called on here gave our children cereal early and none of us have children with food allergies. Now every time you turn around there is another kid with food allergies. I don't understand why so many people don't see a connection there. Both my guys got cereal very watery off of a spoon at 2 months. They are 16 and 13, tall, slim and healthy.

On another note. My nephew was checked for allergies and it turns out that he is allergic to peanut butter. My sister never saw any relationship to his behaviour to eating peanut butter. Now that she knows she does, but the doctor told her that because he had always had it that he has built up a resistance to it.

So to everyone, if you choose to listen to your doctor that is totally your choice. But for those of us that do things the old fashioned way, don't put us down. Somehow all of us managed to grow up before all this research was done.

Good Luck Andrea. You certainly have a lot of opinions to chose from.

Alixandria - posted on 12/18/2008

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I started my little girl on rice cereal when she was 3 months and mostly to get her to sleep a little better because the frormula was not filling her up. I would just give it to her about a hour before bed or bottle and it worked great my best advice is not to feed it to them when they are starving because they wont take it!

Pamela - posted on 12/18/2008

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My daughter is 4 months old and I started her on rice cereal 3 weeks ago. She was a big baby when she was born and neither breast milk or formula were filling her. Go with your 'mothers instinct' and if you think hes still hungry, then chances are, he is! Each baby is different

Marian - posted on 12/18/2008

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When my son was 2 months old. I began putting rice in his 10 pm bottle. I was a military mom who needed to get some sleep. Once I started adding the rice to his formula or breastmilk he began sleeping through the night. Once I was sure his little stomach could tolerate the cereal, I began adding it in a few more times during the day.

Robin - posted on 12/18/2008

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My son started eating his cereal at about 3 months. It depends on the individual chil and how they are growing. I talked to my doctor because I felt my son was to young but he said that if the child is growing fast that just breast milk (or formula) is not enough and they need a small amout of cereal. I started making my own baby food with my food processor and he was eating that at 5 months. I still nursed till he was 1 year old.

Lesley - posted on 12/18/2008

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Just to add I do not agree with putting rice or cereal in the bottles, if a baby is ready for solids then they are ready to take them off of the spoon 99% of the time

Lesley - posted on 12/18/2008

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Anyone who can breastfeed excusivley for 6 months I take my hat off to, I didn't produce enough milk for my first 2 children (anyone who says that every mother can produce enough milk should talk to the midwives that I have had and one of them did an advanced course in breastfeeding, they agreed as I was only producing 2oz over a whole day when expressing, even with my baby next to me). When I had my 3rd child who is 6 months I was producing enough milk but there was not enough hind milk (the thick nutritious milk) my son lost over a pound in weight in the first week of bringing him home. I then started him on formula as he couldn't have the mixture of breast and formula (starting him on just formula was the recommendation of the hospital paediatrition) the mixture made him very sick indeed. After we started him on formula he had reflux, but was an extremely hungary baby. At 8 weeks he was having 15oz every hour during the day and every 2 hours at night the longer this went on the worse the reflux became, let alone the lack of sleep issue. So we put him on baby rice mixed with his formula (we did change his formula several times and this had no impact on his reflux). Anyone who says that a babies digestive system is damaged or have problems by weaning too early obviously has got a baby who doesn't need to be weaned early. All I did was sit in the chair and feed all day long he screamed if I had to go to the toilet and then wound himself up so much he would throw up and we would have to start again. All of mine were early weaners and there is absolutely nothing wrong with their digestive tracts in fact their schools can't believe the little time they have off of school, my son had 2 days from the whole of the last academic year and my daughter half a day. I do not feel as though I have done anything wrong by my children by giving them solids early. I would have done wrong if all I gave them was formula milk, and I would do it all over again. The Health Visitor has also said that we need to start giving our son finger food early (this was at 5 and a half months as he was starting to chew any food that was put in his mouth) and she is definately not OUTDATED. I believe that if a child needs solids early then their body will handle them, and I stick by that whatever's said.

Heather - posted on 12/17/2008

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I started my little boy at 3 months and he did just fine. I mixed it with gerber baby juice in the mornings and then his formula at night before bed. It helps them stay fuller longer at night so you can get some much needed rest. But all kids are different. Enjoy your boy and he will let you know if he wants it or not. :)

Mariam - posted on 12/17/2008

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Well i statted feeding my girl at the age of 4 months... It is absulutely safe and normal...but however, do watch out for some constipation.

Tracey - posted on 12/17/2008

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I've started my youngest at 4 mths old and the others when they were 1-2 mths old. I started when I knew they were drinking more than what they needed and was looking for more. My older kids are now teens and never had food allergies or digestive issues. My 4 mth old is in the 95% in height and weight and is now totally into solids. Her pediatrician (is NOT outdated) actually said to start her on table food at 6 mths. I say follow your gut instincts as you're the only one to know when your baby is truly ready.

User - posted on 12/17/2008

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It's best to wait until 6 months but many people start earlier than that. My son is 5 months and we haven't given him anything other than breastmilk so far.

Julie - posted on 12/17/2008

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My son was one month old! He has a cleft. It took him a while to eat. He was ALWAYS hungry. At one month my mother told me to give him the rice cereal! His doctor didn't try to stop me. He was just so hungry I it didn't hurt him at all. He was VERY satisfied after!!

Jackie - posted on 12/17/2008

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I started my daughter at about 4 months old, i gave her just rice cereal for like a week and then i added some veggies or fruit to it, the first time make it kinda runny

Jennifer - posted on 12/17/2008

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well i was told by my doctor to start feeding at three depending on the weight... i have a 5 months old little girl and i started feeding her it was 3 months but her weight was 13lbs

[deleted account]

I started my baby at 3 months on rice. He had no problems with constipation. He is now 5 1/2 months and is eating oatmeal, barley, vegetables and fruit. He also showed signs of being ready. Most babies will not have the tongue thing down to push the food back. He did. He was ready. At his 4 month doctor appointment she had no problem with he eating cereals. She bumped him up to 3x's a day. Like most moms on here you know your child. You do what you feel is best for your child. If mom and dad have any food allergies it would be best to wait and talk to your doctor.

Kylee - posted on 12/17/2008

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There was a segment on one of the morning shows here in Australia today saying that new research shows that delaying the introduction to solids untill babies are 6 months old can actually cause food allergies. 4 months is the ideal age.

Kerri - posted on 12/17/2008

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My pediatrician told me that it was best to wait until between 4 and 6 months for breastfed babies. I tried to start my daughter at about 5 months, but she wasn't interested. We waited a month and tried again with better results. Every baby is different...

Deborah - posted on 12/17/2008

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I agree with Sandra...When the infant can sit on your lap or in a highchair and physically pick up a piece of food and put it in his/her mouth THEN they are ready for solid food...



Yeah most doctors DO say 4 months or whatever..But they are sponsored by baby food and formula companies..and all they want is your MONEY!!! There is NO value to rice cereal..It is nothing but a nasty filler for the child..It is a myth that doctors spread about helping a baby sleep through the night...These are the same doctors that won't get a simple growth chart for BREASTFED babies and instead when they fall off their "curve" they freak and push formula on a perfectly healthy infant..So I do NOT trust a doctor on an issue like this...Yes they did go to school..But they are also paid by formula and baby food companies...



For the first 12 months of life the main source of food SHOULD be and IS formula or breastmilk...solids(including rice cereal) are just practice before 1...



If the baby is hungry..up the ounces of formula or up the frequency of breastfeedings...

Jody - posted on 12/17/2008

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OK after reading all the posts I am even more confused. My daughter just turned 4 months and she is such a big girl, she weighs 20 lbs and is 28 inches long. I have noticed recently the formula is nto cutting it and wanted to start food but my ND recommends starting with vegies but I don't think that is until 6 months, she is already on a homemade rice based formula due to a milk protein intolerance so I do not want to give her rice cereal, if I need to start something maybe I will try barley or oatmeal> so confused bcuz ND are of the belief that it is better to start with vegies- right now with the lack of sleep I can;t make a decision to do anything right now but keep up with her demands of formula. I would have loved to continue breastfeeding but I had to change some meds and they were not safe for baby..

Kerry - posted on 12/17/2008

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That is absolutely not true. Just because one book says wait doesn't mean that's the say all. MOST Dr's say 4 months is ok but you CAN wait longer if your baby doesn't seem ready. That is just insulting to say if our pediatritian doesn't agree with your 6 month mark then they are using outdated information.



OP...listen to your Dr.



Kerry

Sandra - posted on 12/17/2008

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I have to add the links, because I keep reading "it won't hurt". Well, YES it can:



http://www.askdrsears.com/html/3/T032000...



Why take the chance? Baby needs the nutrients from breastmilk or formula, why rush something that isn't recommended anymore, except by pediatricians that haven't received any updated information for a decade. Solids should NOT be given before closer to six months. This is a medical fact. Baby's intestines are NOT ready for anything yet. Good luck, and keep that baby healthy.

Tricia - posted on 12/17/2008

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Hello Andrea, my name is Tricia...I'm a single mother of two!If i can remember i think u can start them on rice cereal at that age...It won't harm anything just try.My kids are 14yrs.and10yrs old so it's been awhile....

Trysh - posted on 12/17/2008

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My kids hated rice ceral so i started them on weetbix and they loved it and was very filling

Sandra - posted on 12/17/2008

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Never. None of my four were ever offered it - it's bland, tastes like the box, and not nutritionally valid for them It can inhibit iron absorption, and cause gas/reflux It really needs pulled from the shelves.



Your baby is not physically ready (this is a medical fact, not an opinion) for anything other than formula or breastmilk until closer to six months old At that point, start him on what the rest of the family eats, finger foods



Skip the cereal It's awful.

User - posted on 12/17/2008

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Also...I thought I'd add to my above comment - the Dr. Sears book that I mentioned (The Baby Book) also has a great chart telling you when to introduce all types of food and the best order in which to do it. It's really useful!

User - posted on 12/17/2008

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My son is 5 months now and I haven't started him on rice cereal yet. I'm a really big fan of Dr. Sears (he and his wife write a bunch of books), and in "The Baby Book" they don't recommend starting any solids until at least 6 months. Of course, to each their own - and I don't know what I'd do if my son weren't getting full from breastmilk. But since he is, I'm following Dr. Sears' advice and waiting until at least 6 months (due to food allergy reasons) and for the baby's cues that he's ready - specifically, his first tooth is coming in, his tongue thrust response to foreign objects in his mouth has diminished, and most importantly, he's showing interest in food by trying to grab it (and not just grabbing the spoon/fork). That's just some extra info to consider. I hope it might be helpful!

Pamela - posted on 12/17/2008

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I started my third baby on cereal @ two months...but never start with Rice Cereal...it binds them up. Start with One bottle at night with a little Oatmeal cereal and a spoon of fruit. Make sure you use a tri-cut nipple or use a regular nipple and take a sterlized needle and make the whole large enough for the cereal to pass through. Careful not to make to to fast flowing though. If it is, throw away the nipple and start again. Takes a couple of tries to get it right. He will be more content and give you peace of mind at night...trust me! But, make sure you burp em' reallllly well and keep him elevated a bit the first couple of times in his crib. I use a pillow that is not to fluffy.Good Luck, hope it works out for you.

p.d from NY

Kerry - posted on 12/17/2008

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My Dr was all adamant crazy not to start him til 4 mo and to just give him more and more milk until then cuz we had the same thing with him eating a ton! During growth spurts he would eat ALOT but then stablilize. Trust me starting the rice cereal isn't all that great. It gave my son bad gas(and it has no taste) so we went straight to 1st level fruits and veggies. Now we do oatmeal instead of rice cereal. What is nice is to mix it with fruit and heat it up a little and serve it warm for breakfast.



Hope that helps!

Kerry

Sarah - posted on 12/17/2008

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A good indicator is if your baby is really watching you eat and looking like he would like some put into his mouth they also need to look like they can swallow a thicker consistency. I started my first at 3 months and my twins at aobut 2 1/2 as it was hard to keep them satisfied i first put it in a fast flow teet bottle for a week then moved to the bowl. The biggest problem was they did not fancy the taste so i slowly added pureed sweet potato. Have fun what a great time.

Gemma - posted on 12/17/2008

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start them when u feel ur baby is ready cow and gate premuim is a good milk ur baby mite not take to baby rice its a bit bland maybe half of a quarter of rusk my baby like the fruity cereals best it says from 4 months on most shop bought foods but u no ur baby best my oldest was about 2 months hope this helps ya a little

Jennifer - posted on 12/17/2008

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I'm reading this mass hysteria of posts and so many different things come out of everyone. I try not to tell people what's right and wrong, I just know that when my son was 4.5 months old and I asked his dr if I could start him on food, she was NOT happy with me. She said there's no reason for babies to start food earlier than 5 months, and that putting cereal in bottles is plain wrong. But again, that is what they told me for my kids, who knows what everyone else hears.. I just know my 2.5 month old daughter is strictly breastfed, has had 1 or 2 bottles of formula, and is fine with that too. I don't plan on giving her anything till at least 5 months, even though I'm sure she'd take it now. I just think it's strange that so many doctors say so many different things.

[deleted account]

The experts say that you should not feed your baby with cereal before he's 6 months old, because his kidneys and digestive system aren't mature enough to handle cereal and the risk of allergies is increased.

Nihal - posted on 12/17/2008

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after he finishes the 4th month and starts the 5th month ..that would be more safe for him than starting giving him food earlier than that...u should start by giving him a half teaspoon and than increase it gradualy till he can take a full meal

User - posted on 12/17/2008

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I'm an RN- please don't put the cereal in a bottle! Not a good idea... and you don't want them to have solids until at least 4 months due to "gut closure" their membranes in their intestines allow bacteria to migrate from their gut to the rest of their bodies, so it risks making them sick.

Also, constipation is a big issue. We actually start kids on veggies b/c rice will back them up severely. But because he's still 3 months, try giving him about 6 oz of formula at a time... and it's totally normal for a growing baby to eat several times a day. You may want to make sure he's getting his sucking reflex met, which doesn't happen on a bottle. There's a correlation between early starting on solids/overfeeding with formula in infants and obesity b/c they can't regulate their hunger as well as when they're breastfed.

Tricia - posted on 12/17/2008

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Just make sure that the nipple on the bottle flows easy with the rice cereal. You may have to cut the opening just slightly to make eating easier. Just be careful not to cut it too much, you don't want them choking.

Tabitha - posted on 12/17/2008

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I believe in doing what your mommy instinct says to do. They say not to introduce b efore 6 mothns cause their digestive tract is sensitive. But.... My daughter had problems with reflux. We were told to put cereal in every bottle. That was from 2 weeks on. My son was on ceral at 5 weeks.He would drink 9 ozs of formula every hour. So if he is showing you signs of hunger, YOU do what YOU feel your son needs.. I hope this was helpful..

Kelly - posted on 12/17/2008

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whatever advice you get, make sure you check everything w/ your pediatrician first!

Tara - posted on 12/17/2008

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6 Months! No sooner because their little digestive sysytem cant handle it before that and by giving it too early you can cause a number of health issues. Hes a baby and hes growing so he will eat a lot. I know my daughter ate a ton and my mom tried to push cereal on her..Needless to say i did my homework and it's not a good idea. plus it does not make them sleep longer contrary to what older people may say. It can often cause discomfort because they cant yet digest it and it can in reality make them sleep less. Just keep in mind they are constantly doing research and the new age is said to be 6 months..no sooner!!!!! Most started earlier but thats being proven to be a horrible mistake.

[deleted account]

Every baby is different. They SAY 4-6 months because that is when MOST babies are ready. As with any rule, there are exceptions. Some babies are ready sooner than the norm, some later. I was a 2 month old cereal baby, so it is not surprising my daughter was as well. She was rolling over at 4 weeks and holding her head up at 2 months. I also am very lucky that she has been and still is, one of the best eaters probablky EVER. Read everything everyone wrote, take it all with a grain of salt, and do what feels right. YOU are the mommy - you know best!

Ann - posted on 12/17/2008

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I started at about 4 1/2 months because my girl wasnt sleeping as well as she had been. I also started with about a tsp in her bottle and gradually increased it to be sure she didnt have any problems with it. I think the key is just to start slow.

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