How do I know if my baby is ready for cereal??

Melissa - posted on 03/08/2009 ( 22 moms have responded )

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How do I know if my baby is ready for cereal?? She is a little over 4 months. She is waking up alot in the night to eat which is not like her and she seems to be "chewing" alot. I dont want to start her on it until I know that she is ready. I talked to my doctor about it and she said if she can wait until 6 months then she should, but I dont think she can last that long. When did you guys start your babies on cereal?

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Kasey - posted on 03/09/2009

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My baby has been having cereal in her bottle since she was only a few weeks old because of acid reflux, so it will definitely not hurt anything to give her cereal if she seems hungry for something more than milk.

Leah - posted on 03/09/2009

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My daughter is just over 4 months, and we actually started her on rice cereal a few weeks ago. We started it because she was starting to fuss a lot and never seemed satisfied after eating, plus she was waking up at night to eat again. Our doctor wanted us to wait as well, until we brought her in for a weight check and it turned out her rate of growth had stalled. Abigail is also a pretty gassy baby and would spit up a lot. The cereal has definitely helped to settle her stomach, and she sleeps much better now as well. She's a happier baby in general, and doesn't seem to always be wanting more after feedings.

We started with Earth's Best Organic Rice Cereal. We just put it in a bowl and use a spoon - it takes a little longer, but our doctor and family all said that putting in in a bottle was the worst way to do it because 1. cutting the holes in the bottle nipples would cause the nipple to tear, 2. I breastfeed, so she only has bottles when I'm not home, and I didn't want to have to make a bottle specifically for rice when I was nursing, and 3. most importantly - everyone said that putting it right in the bottle would confuse her and cause issues when it was time to start weaning her off bottles and transitioning to spoon/fork feeding full time.

Just go with your instincts - if your baby isn't ready, you can always stop and try again later.

Sian - posted on 03/09/2009

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Hi Melissa, I have two boys, aged 5 and 2, when I had the eldest I was told to start weaning at 4 months but when I had the youngest they said not until 6 months- so I've come to the conclusion that the Doctors and Health Visitors don't really know when to start weaning either!!! Both of my boys were big as babies- being born weighing over 10lbs and I started giving them really runny Rusks at about 8 weeks old, as they had started waking up during the night again because they were hungry. My Health Visitor didn't approve so I didn't tell her that I hadn't listened to her advice and was still doing it- my sleep was much more important than listening to her!! I only used to give it them once a day at first- at around tea time and then they'd have their bed time bottle and it worked- they started sleeping between 10 and 12 hours a night. The only advice I would give to you is when you first start trying your baby on cereal, give it to her in the morning. That way, if she's not ready for it and it upsets her stomach you'll have a grumpy child during the day rather than at night when you're trying to sleep!

Jennifer - posted on 03/08/2009

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I started giving my son cereal at 3.5 months.He was doing the same thing as your daughter.waking up alot,and fussing to eat in the middle of the night,and smacking his lips.Boy what a difference it made!That was when he finally started sleeping regular.Also, my sons ped said 4 months was a good time to start him on the cereal.Hope this helped!

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Alicia - posted on 03/10/2009

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My son was about 4 months and my daughter was about 3 months. I asked my doctor if I was giving cereal to my daughter to early and he said no. I mix the cereal with juice to give it some extra flavor!

Stevie - posted on 03/10/2009

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your daughter is ready!!! my son started eating cereal at 3 months but some advise dont give her any fruits or anything like that just the rice cereal to start out with. some sites you can go to that can help you find out when to start feeding your children what and when are a good place to go but when you do start her just do (to start out with) 2 tbs of the cereal and read the box but i honestly think that since your daughter is chewing she is totally ready to eat  and just have a blast with it and feed her around her bed time also good luck and i hope i helped you out

Angela - posted on 03/09/2009

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Hi, My son was having a tsp of baby rice ceral in his bottle at 4wks old he was a very good eater it took about 2wks for him lto get used to it and now he will sleep through the night. We have also started giving him a little ceral mixed with pureed apple or pear ( he is 3mths old) and he sleeps so much better during the day and night. hope it helps .But remember every baby is different

Chloe - posted on 03/09/2009

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 when I had my 1st son I was told at 4 months to start feeding and with my 2nd I was told 6 months but with both my boys ....they started eating at 3 months and they were much happier and started to sleep through the night.......I think it's more personal opinion but if you are feeling she needs something more she more then likely does...who would know better then you....and if she starts to grump more, doesn't neccessarly mean she's not ready but she needs something milder on the tummy..........can be a whole lot of things.....every baby is different, but it won't hurt her.....Hoped it helped some!

[deleted account]

She could be going through a growth spurt and that is why she is waking a lot to eat. I would try and wait as long as you can until she is closer to 6 months. It isn't recommended to start babies on solids much before then. How does she feed during the day? Are you breastfeeding? It could be she has become a 'snacker', feeding frequently but not taking in enough hindmilk per feeding. If this is the case, try extending the time between daytime feedings and see if she eats for longer periods of time. If you are breastfeeding and she only feeds for a few minutes, she might not be getting to the richer hindmilk which is more filling. At this age she should be able to go at least 3 hours between feeds, but probably closer to 4. If she can eat more efficiently during the day and stock up on calories, she should be so hungry at night.

Good luck!

Julie - posted on 03/09/2009

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i havent started mine on cereal yet ive tried simple things such as cow n gate solids, these are from four months onwards i wud recommend them as my baby loves her food too! Now at 8 months she has started to eat vegetables,ice creamand bake beans, i know try her on weetabixs. Weetabixs is good as you can milk with the baby milk! :) or try adding rusk with there baby milk! hope it helps

Cindy - posted on 03/09/2009

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Hi. I know some people will want to stone me for this but I starte dmy eldest on cereal at six weeks. The milk he was drinking just did not seem to satisfy him. He was much more content after he started on cereals. I started my daughter just before four months and the reason for this is that she was sitting on lap while I was eating my oatmeal and she biting for my spoon. She was also happier after she started on solids. And alss threw up less. None of my children has any food allergies.

Stacey - posted on 03/09/2009

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i started puttin baby rice in mi son bottle wen he was a month ld and it did him gd.

Silvana - posted on 03/08/2009

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i started mine at 4mths as she was drinking milk every 4hours and 8oz every time

Amie - posted on 03/08/2009

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Mine all started between 4-5 months. Their big kids though and were eating so many bottles it was getting ridiculous. So their doctor and public health nurse agreed it was ok to start. Just make it really watery at first so it's easier for your little one to adjust to it or you'll be dealing with a constipated baby who will scream it's head off from trying to poo. =(

Jennifer - posted on 03/08/2009

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Hi. Jack didn't have cereal until he was 5 months old (almost 6).. for the most part he was pretty satisfied with his bottles. Once I started noticing they weren't holding him off as long and he was watching me when I would eat, I started the cereal. Every baby is different though. Good luck!

Lauren - posted on 03/08/2009

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i was told by my doctor the other day to start my four month old within the next two months. she said if you wait till 6 months they will grow an opinion and you will have a fussy eater. i started my oldest daughter at 3.5 months because she was doing what you described. my four month old i will probably start within the week because she is doing the samething your daughter is doing. no matter what you decide it will be perfect.

Katie - posted on 03/08/2009

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I started my son on solids (cereal and avocado within 4 days of each other, still his favorite) at 5.5 months. She could just be going through a growth spurt or she might be feeling her teeth (even though she probably has a while before you will see them). There is a lot of reasons babies wake up at night and I really like the techniques in The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley to help them sleep better.

If you try a few spoonfuls of cereal and she pushes against the spoon and spits it out, she's absolutely not ready. It takes a minute for them to get used to getting fed, though, and I used my finger the first time to test it out. If she plays with it a bit, swallows it, and doesn't seem to have a problem then you can add it to her diet.
Also, if she can't sit up in a high chair or infant seat then she's probably not ready.

I really like the website www.wholesomebabyfood.com for good advice on the whens and whats of baby food, and it also has easy recipes and ideas if you want to make your own (I do and it's really not a big deal, a couple of hours a month, and much healthier). I did some research on foods before choosing what I fed my son and I ended up starting with regular organic oats instead of infant rice cereal. I just emptied the whole can into a blender and made it powder, then cook it in small amounts every few days or add it to my purees before freezing. I chose oats over rice because they don't cause constipation and are more nutritious, even though they have a slightly higher risk of causing an allergic reaction.

Jamie - posted on 03/08/2009

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At 3 months I started putting alittle cereal in her milk. It seemed to help so I then started giving her cereal before bed time. It seemed to help. My son, well, he never ate cereal or baby food, He doesnt like anything babyfood texture to this day he wont eat mashed potatoes or yougurt. First thing he ever ate, he was sitting on my moms lap at dinner and she was eating a t-bone steak and he reached over picked up the bone and started chewing. And hes been on solid food every since.

Miranda - posted on 03/08/2009

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Melissa, I started my son on cereal in his bottle at age 2 1/2 months. And slowly increased it from then on. If your daughter eats 6oz or so I would slowly add it into her bottle(2 tsp or so at first) and then work your way up. My pediatrican recommended that we start Preston on it ,to help him sleep at the night and to help him stay more statisfied between feeding.  We are currently doing 1 tsp of cereal per oz of formula. I am so happy we started when we did!! Every child is different and doctors all say different things. I guess you just have to do what you think is best. TRIAL AND ERROR, noone knows your child more than you!!

Anna - posted on 03/08/2009

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Olivia started around 4 months. She was trying to grab at the food I was eating and would start screaming when we ate something in front of her. My doc said to try it and she loved it.

Erica - posted on 03/08/2009

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Well, Shelby was doing the same thing and the doc said start her on cereal. I did and it actually made her sleep worse. She really wasn't ready until a few weeks ago, she'll be 6 months on Friday. Every baby is different. I've heard of babies going on cereal and instantly sleeping through the night.

[deleted account]

My two boys were two months when they started having cereal. I didnt buy the store stuff I just gave them half a weetbix with their formula. My boys were 4.8kgs born so they needed the extra food. My daughter was smaller born but she was still eating cereal at 4 months. It sounds like your daughter is ready and once she eats enough during the day they tend to sleep all night. My daughter is 7 months and eating 3 solid meals a day and sleeping 12-13 hours a night.

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