When do you start your baby on cereal?

Erin - posted on 01/24/2011 ( 61 moms have responded )

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So I just had a little girl January 12th. My oldest is 7 and I remember per his doctor (who was very old fashioned) starting him on cereal at 2 weeks. I was 18 then so I really had little to no worries about anything. Now that I am older I am more concerned with every little thing. When do you start your babies on cereal? Do you follow the doctor or follow family traditions?

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Sarah - posted on 01/27/2011

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My doctor said that 4 months is the youngest you should start them on cereal because before then their tummy is too immature to handle the cereal and they won't get any nutrients out of it!

Heidi - posted on 01/26/2011

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My youngest is 4 months old tomorrow and I started him on cereal about 2 weeks ago. He was eating 6-8 ounces every 2 hours and I started giving him the cereal because he didn't seem like he was full. My oldest, now 5 years, I started adding cereal to his formula when he was a month old. I fed him cereal when he was about 5 months old. They both loved it. I even started adding baby apple sauce to it and my baby goes crazy for it. I know that you should start with veggies, but it's my baby and as long as I teach him to eat veggies, he will be alright. Good luck to you and your baby:)

PS: I only give him cereal once a day. Some may give their baby's more. But, he is satisified with that and before bed he eats an 8 ounce bottle and sleeps through the night:) ♥

Carolyn - posted on 01/24/2011

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2 weeks old is far too young. If you find she is a little hungry, feed more often. Babies stomachs at that age until about 5 months are at best , the size of a golf ball.

also remember, at 2 weeks, a babies digestif system has only been working for just that 2 weeks. putting something like cereal can really interfere with how that system is going to continue to develop and mature.

you will read alot of people who say " i did it at 3 weeks, i did it at 10 weeks.. and my baby is fine " well some people get lucky, and just that lucky. I can promise you that for as many people who got lucky not having any issues starting that early, there are just as many who have had issues starting that early.

Just because you drove home drunk and didnt die or kill anyone else on the way home this time, doesnt mean everyone else can drink and drive without hurting people. same principal.

best to hold off till atleast the minimum age. There is always a reason there are instructions and guidelines on boxes, released by organizations etc.

you are not going to hurt your baby by waiting, but you can hurt her by rushing things :)

Sarh - posted on 01/24/2011

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With both of my children I started them on cereal at about a month old. I started my daughter because she was a big baby and my breast milk was just not cutting it for her. I started my son because he had reflux and the pediatrician continued to dismiss it so I took matters into my own hands.

Please, NO cereal or anything added to bottles!! I spoon fed it to both at that young of an age and they got the hang of it pretty quick.

I obviously don't follow what doctors say all the time.



Sarah, my daughter is a big 5yr old (she'll be 5 on Wednesday), but she was born big. She is not over weight and has ALWAYS been smart. It didn't affect her. I'm not saying it may not have affected any other babies. But everyone kept saying that she would have diabetes or be over weight and she is neither! She is tall and skinny and no diabetes. My son is 7m now and is 20lbs and 27in.

Sarah - posted on 01/24/2011

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Cereal is at 4-6 months baby food at 6 months. starting cereal too early can cause your baby to not get the right nutrients he/she needs for physical and mental growth. Breastmilk or formula has more nutrients and fat in it then the cereal does. Just like if we eat something like a candy bar we then are left not wanting that fruit or veggie that nutrionally we should be eating. When a baby is a newborn their tummies are small and not developed enough for cereal. Since those tummies are small babies should be eating about every 1-3 hrs anywhere from 2-4 ounces a feeding. Breastfed babies are going to eat closer to that 1-2 hrs. where as formula fed babies tend to eat closer to that 2-3 hrs.

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Erin - posted on 02/17/2011

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I didnt follow either advice. I breastfed until my daughter showed an interest in other food. Most doctors these days say 6 months is an "average safe age" but each kid develops differently. Some are ready at a month old, some dont want to even look at cereal until a year old!
they say 6 months because their digestive systems are very sensitive before then, and still maturing. They can process the foods, but it may cause discomfort or not absorb as well as it should. Thats "may", not will. Start your baby on cereal when you think they are ready. I tested every once in a while, since a box of rice cereal powder stuff (eww) was like 3 dollars. I would mix up a tiny bit, see if she wanted some, if she didnt, no big deal!
I started doing that when she was 4 months because my milk dried up, and I had to switch to formula anyway.

Rachel - posted on 02/05/2011

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I started my daughter at 7 weeks with a teaspoon of unflavoured farex mixed up very runny with my breast milk. You could hardly tell there was farex in it. By 10 weeks she would have 1 teaspoon of farex mixed up very runny. She is now 7 months old and eats anything. And has no health problems.

Kayla - posted on 02/04/2011

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i go by "when they are ready, but not before 6 months" my middle girl wasn't ready till almost 8 months *we tried every week and she couldn't do it* my youngest was ready at 6 months

Jessica - posted on 02/04/2011

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He was born with a stomach condition and could not hold just milk after ferrying him every hour through the day by the night the doctor dr said to give him cereal in the milk. Some kids do needs it. And its not just empty calories because some cereals come with dha which its essential

[deleted account]

Ok i dont go by what the doctors say because every child is different and they go by a general rule of thumb. First NEVER add cereal to the bottle its a chocking hazard. I started giving my daughter rice cereal from a spoon when she was 6 weeks old. i started with a very tiny amount on the spoon (smaller than half a pea) and i would only give about a teaspoon in one sitting. then we worked our way up from there.

Cassie - posted on 02/04/2011

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They don't need to sleep through the night, ur just stretching his belly and rice cereal just makes them feel full with empty calories and basically no nutrients. Milk had everything they need up until 6 months, the may want it more but hey they r only little once, just enjoy it and feed them whenever!

Jessica - posted on 02/04/2011

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My son would not sleep through the night at all, I started peting cereal in his bottle at 3 1/2 , months. This made a big difference

Cassie - posted on 02/03/2011

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U don't need u start on Rice cereal either, I started my dd on avacoda at 5 mnths 3 weeks and she's never once been constipated or had an allergy.. Now at 9.5 mnths she eats all frut n veggies..

[deleted account]

wow 2 weeks! Here in Manitoba the guide is 6mths for solids and you can start on meat or cereal (for the iron)and every few days start something new once you know there is no allergies to things including fruits or veg. The most recent research here is that you can start everything including nuts and seafood at 6mths (unless there is a allergie history in the family). My kids pedi is old school and says juice at 2mths, solids at 4mths, 3 square meals at 6mths so I definatly do not follow her advice but that of the Canada Food guide, the W.H.O. and our rural municapalities nutritionist.

Amanda - posted on 02/01/2011

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i do what I think feels right to me...my son was really hungary all the tim so I started him on cereal at three months and I started my daughter at two months...they are fine and its whatever feels right...

Kayla - posted on 01/31/2011

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If you want to be by the book and do everything they way people who write books think is right then around 4-6 months however if you are one of those people who understand all babies are different and have different needs than it all depends on your child. When my son was 2 months old he just was not satisfied with just a bottle so I went to my pediatrician and asked what to do. She suggested to try cereal and told me not to worry about what the dieticians that write the books think about. There are some babies that are premature and have to go home from the hospital on rice cereal because it is more gentle on thier underdeveloped tummies. I hope this helped even a little. When I had my first I was the type that worried about doing everything perfect and not being judged by other moms.

Amanda - posted on 01/31/2011

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Both my kids starts between 5-6 weeks. It didn't bother neither one of them. If you have WIC though you won't get cereal until your baby is six months.

Maria - posted on 01/31/2011

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I go by doc and what the baby needs... they find that if you start kids younger then 4 months in cereal that they tend to be at risk for food allergies. I have 3 kids each started cereal at different times. My youngest was about 4months, my middle was 3 months (and had all sorts of food allergies) and now my baby will be starting today for the 6 months. I have been told by the doc that you really need to go by your baby ... if they are between 4-6 months and the Breast (or bottle w/e you do) alone is not sanctifying them any more then start cereal. 2 weeks is way to early to give cereal first they cant hold their own heads up right (choking hazard) and their stomachs are just not ready for food yet

Brittney - posted on 01/31/2011

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Oh try single grain rice rice first, it's the easiest on their tummys. My YDD hates rice so I had to switch to oatmeal. She is 10 months and still eats it every morning!

Brittney - posted on 01/31/2011

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Usually between 4-6 months. if your baby has problems and spits uo a lot you can put a little in her bottles to thicken it uo so she can keep it down better.

Alicia - posted on 01/30/2011

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I started both my boys {the oldest is almost 3 and the youngest is 4mo} on cereal at 2 months, thats when the milk was no longer enough. Then the dr told me this month to start spoon feeding him twice a day, and its been keeping him rather full throughout the day

April - posted on 01/30/2011

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i started my seven month old on cereal at three months old . the milk don't get them full

Cyndel - posted on 01/28/2011

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I breast fed my son only until he was no longer satisfied with just breast milk. that was at 6 months old. It took me a week to get him to start taking cereal then he did fine. I plan on doing the same thing with the baby I'm prego with now. Waiting until the baby is no longer satisfied with just breast milk.
If you using formula or your breast milk is weaker then some, this may be earlier then 6 months, a lot of moms who use formula start cereal around 4 months.
I would wait until the baby acts unsatisfied with whatever you are feeding her

Melina - posted on 01/28/2011

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Don't start with barley or oat with out researching first. those cereals put my 1st child in the hospital for malnutrition at 7 mo. her digestive system wasn't fully developed yet. Barley Oat wheat soy oranges green grapes and there are more bothersome to the digestive tract. There are other moms that I know that haven't had a problem however I felt that you just may want to know. I'd research 1st.

Melina - posted on 01/28/2011

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Little babies tummies can not handle cereal at such a young age.. the new research proves that you should not start babies on foods until 6 mo. Did you not get information when you left the hospital from your Dr. I got a huge package about massage, swaddling, nursing, feeding and schedules the do's and don'ts. One reason why you wait is because their immune system is not fully developed at that age and it helps to prevent allergies. Call the health Unit for more information. I suggest that you use up to date strategies then old ones that have been proven wrong.

Amy - posted on 01/28/2011

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I have 3 angels and they all started cereal at different times. it really depends on your baby and when she is ready for it. my youngest is 3months and he has been on cereal bottles for about 2 weeks because he was eating almost 14oz of formula at a feeding.

Tyneshia - posted on 01/28/2011

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Don't allow fear to determine anything with ur family. Do what u thin is best

[deleted account]

Holly my son was a 9 pounder too and eating baby food at 5 months...bigger babies are generally hungrier babies

Holly - posted on 01/27/2011

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My son was born at 9lbs 12oz and had acid reflux really bad at 2 mths he was put on 1 TBSP of cereal in a bottle with 4oz of formula per drs orders it helped alot hes now 3 mths old eating 6oz of formula wit 1 tbsp of cereal and hes 15lbs if i leave him on formula hes gonna get huge drs thinkn by 4-5 mths we will be on baby food just depends on the situation and baby!

Wanda - posted on 01/27/2011

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first food should be introduced at 4 to 5 months, u will know when to start ass the baby will to hungry for the milk to satisfy. start with sieved fruid such as cooked apples and soaked dried apricots, baby rice and other ceriels should not be introduced until 6 months as they can make baby costipated :)

Laressa - posted on 01/27/2011

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I started my daughter on cereal around 4 months because she was so jealous of us eating and begged so hard to eat from a spoon too. That would be my cue, I think when children are ready for a new stage they make themselves known. My doc didn't like that I started her on cereal that soon because she was so small for her age and was concerned she was getting the nutrition she needed. I continued, because it seemed so important to her, just gave smaller amounts and made sure it was rice cereal so it was easier to digest. I agree it might be ideal to wait 6 months but I'd rather go by my child's cue's. My daughter is a year and a half now and very advanced for her age and still petite! Frankly I don't think the cereal earlier than recommended set her back mentally at all, and she is very healthy too. Never been on any kind of medication yet, except the odd Tylenol etc for teething.

Crystal - posted on 01/26/2011

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everyone always has there own opinions and ways they do things. My son is 8.5 months old now and eats baby food like crazy 3 times a day..he loves it.. i first started him on cereal at 4 months. just little bit everyday and he seemed to love it. i mean my mom said i was eating everything by the time i was 8 months old and i am not feeding my 8 month old everything. every baby is different! congratualtions on your bundle of joy! :)

Barb - posted on 01/26/2011

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2 weeks old really? What the doctors reasoning for 2 weeks? I had her on cereal just before 5 month like a couple week before she 5 months old. She was hungry all the time and not sleeping through the night with just a bottle or even if I gave her one in the night she was still hungry very soon after.

Annick - posted on 01/26/2011

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i started my son on cereal at 6 months.... i actually started him on chicken and other iron rich foods before introducing cereal. this is what is now recommended. i'm really anal about everyone and fallow everything to the letter... sometimes it's a downfall!! lol

Nicole - posted on 01/25/2011

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my son was 4 months the first time but he didnt like it much.. he really caught on the end of his 5th month

Katy - posted on 01/25/2011

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I started my son on cereal at 4 months, went to baby food around 5 and had him eating regular food by 6-7. He is a great eater and I highly advise starting early, but I dont think 2 weeks is correct. :( I think 4 months is the earliest time to start...

Lacye - posted on 01/25/2011

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Try to start as close to 4 months as you can. I started my daughter on cereal at about 4 months because that is what the doctor told me. However, the doctors say not to put the cereal in the bottle, well I did. It never bothered her and it was pretty much the only way she would take it.

Sarah - posted on 01/25/2011

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Accoding to everything I read the general pediatric concences right now seems to be about 6 months or upon doctor's reccomendations.

I have a friend, he and all three of his brothers started cereal just weeks after birth. Now as grown men they all have digestion problems and weight issues.

Jasmin - posted on 01/25/2011

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I started her on cereal at a couple weeks old one bottle a night. Not too much thougj Just a teaspoon or so

[deleted account]

Sarah - I must of had a super content baby he only ate every 4-5 hours on formula.mind you he was always a month early because the amount for his age was never enough for him

[deleted account]

my son was ready at 4 months old formula was no longer enough for him so we started him on rice cereal he's had no problems and has a really good appetite

September - posted on 01/25/2011

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We started our son on rice cereal at 6 months per his pediatrician’s advice.

Shawnda - posted on 01/25/2011

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well docs now say that its bad to start so early on cereal because it can clog the digestive track i started mine at 3 months because he wasnt fully satisfied with the bottle

Heather - posted on 01/25/2011

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I started spoon feeding my son cerea at 3 months he then started solids at 4 months. You do what you feel is right for you and your baby. Everyone raises their child different and if life was ment to be followed as it is reccomended/ written in some book the world would be perfect. Every baby is different as is every parent.

Rebecca - posted on 01/25/2011

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Four months or when they can sit up without their head slunched over all the time. DO Not try to feed your child cereal before then. Their digestive systems aren't ready for it. And I suggest you spoon feed only. I'm highly against putting it in the bottle. I believe it's out of pure laziness that people do that.

Sarh - posted on 01/25/2011

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Oh, and if/when you do start cereal, give the bottle or breast FIRST and then try some cereal. Do not decrease the amount of formula or breast milk baby is getting! It should never substitute babies milk!! If baby drinks like a 1/2oz less or something that is fine, but I know people who will give their little baby cereal or jarred food instead of formula a couple times a day and then wonder why baby is constipated or not gaining weight.
Also, be careful because rice cereal is a constipating food. If you want to start with a cereal start with barley or oat... something high in fiber! Or you can skip cereal all together and start with green veggies or "P" fruits (fruits starting with P). I started my son on purees early as well.. he was about 2m old, he has not had any allergies so far!

For those who like to stuff "recommendations" down peoples throats, don't bother! I know what is "recommended" and it is just that! A RECOMMENDATION! Not a MUST FOLLOW! I have done research on early solids and all of that. I know the "risks", but it works for my babies. Thanks anyways. :)

Courtney - posted on 01/24/2011

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I've never put cereal in a bottle. I never used bottles. I breast fed, and they were on sippy cups at 5mos old They've always eaten from a spoon.
I agree that cereal from a bottle is a choking hazard. Bottles are meant to imitate breasts, and the ONLY thing that should EVER go in them is breastmilk of formula. .

Bonnie - posted on 01/24/2011

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It is a known fact that babies don't need anything other than breast milk or formula for the first 6 months of their lives. It is up to you if you feel your baby is ready before that mark though. Just don't put cereal in a bottle as it is a choking hazard.

Courtney - posted on 01/24/2011

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By the way, my kids sat up without support at 4mos, and sat with support by 2mos...walked by 9 mos and are all completely potty trained. I guess the rice cereal really slowed them down.

Bonnie - posted on 01/24/2011

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The recommendation is around 6 months for rice cereal. I started both my boys on rice cereal at 5 months. They seemed ready for it and my doctor said their weight was okay. Usually if your baby seems interested in food and shows chewing motions, they are likely ready.

Courtney - posted on 01/24/2011

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My kids are 6, 5, and 1. They are extremely healthy, thriving, and very rarely sick. And I did what their doctor said. They never once choked on ANYTHING, much less rice. My 6 yr old's doctor is the one that told me to give it to him because of special dietary needs. I don't believe YOU are his doctor, but thank you very much for your in put.

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