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How do I get my 3 month old to eat cereal?

Asia - posted on 04/08/2010 ( 50 moms have responded )

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My Son is turning 3 months, and the dr. wants him to start baby cereal. I tried today for the first time, he doesn't like it thin & soupy, he liked it thicker but he wont swallow it, i tried putting it in his bottle (thinner) & on a spoon (thicker) but neither really worked.

& how often should i be giving it to him? i dont want to put it in every bottle if thats the only way to get him to eat it, HELP!

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Nicole - posted on 04/08/2010

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Not to argue with the advice of doctor, but if a baby is refusing solids, he is not ready for solids. And putting cereal in a bottle is a choking hazard. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend no solid foods before 6 months old. Why is his doctor recommending cereal so early and before he is ready?

Melisa - posted on 04/08/2010

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I also just need to say to Jessica Rozek -- Your post made me extremely worried. Now I know each mother needs to raise their babes as they will but when I read that you force feed him cereal at 2 weeks by shoving a bottle immediately in his mouth so he is forced to swallow my heart really skipped a beat out of sadness. Just because your mother did it doesn't mean that by you doing it your babe is immune to the risks! And not to mention choking! At 2 weeks a baby will eat every hour, that's jsut what they do... cluster feeding.

Alecia - posted on 04/09/2010

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my daughter started on cereal at about 2 months old. i did put it in a bottle at first because i didnt know any better at the time. but soon after i gave it to her thick enough to be on a spoon. she didnt have the whole eating thing down the very first time, but she did swallow it. if ur baby is not swallowing it and is refusing it, he is not ready. Pediatricians DONT always know best. ur baby's actions will tell u what u need to know when it comes to food. if ur son is staying full just drinking, then he is fine. i wouldnt push it

Amber - posted on 04/08/2010

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I thought that only babies with reflux that have trouble keeping down thin liquids are supposed to take cereal that early. My son's dr. definatelly didn't recommend it that early. As far as giving a 2 week old baby cereal because they are still hungry 2 week old babies are supposed to be hungry all the time my son ate every 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 2 weeks old. And dr.'s don't always know what is best if baby is not ready for solids then he is not ready each child is different.

Francesca - posted on 04/08/2010

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He sounds way too young to be starting cereal. I mean most books, Le Letch, World Health Organization and the Pediatrics Societies don't recommend starting solid unitl 6 monts.

Is there a reason he suggested starting so early?

He doesn't sound ready for solids. I would consider a second oppinion.

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Stephanie - posted on 04/09/2010

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it could be your sons way of telling you he is not ready. there is no magic number when to start solids. Babies will be ready at their own pace. dont worry about it. 3 months is still very early to begin solids so you have nothing to worry about. try again in a week, and if he still doesnt want it, try again the next week. no point in forcing your baby something he doesnt want. that just makes him... and you unhappy.

Tiffany - posted on 04/09/2010

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try to mix it with fruits- it helps alot soupy or thick. my kids where all the same way. goodluck!

Crystal-ann - posted on 04/09/2010

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well you know your son best and if he is getting frustrated and cranky at you trying to give him solids go with what you think would be best for him he may not want to try food today i think it also depends what mood the babys in good luck

Brooke - posted on 04/09/2010

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I really don't think babies should be eating ANY solid foods at 3 months old!! Number one, if you are breastfeeding, your supply will probably drop, as baby will be filling up on cereal, and therefore, nursing less!! Number two, at 3 months old, babies usually still have their 'tongue-thrust reflex' which is a mechanism designed to keep foreign things out of baby's throat. My pediatrician told me to feed my baby cereal starting at 4 months old and I really thought that was too early! I started her at 5 months with cereal, and even thought that was pushing it, as she really didn't seem that interested!! YOU know your baby the best and YOU will know when he is ready!! Don't worry about a timetable, if your baby is healthy, he will eat when he is hungry! Good luck to the both of you!! =)

[deleted account]

Many doctors don't recommend feeding solids to babies until they are 6 months old. Their little immune systems are not developed enough to handle the food and can develop allergies when given solid foods too early. I was also told by one of my pediatricians not to put cereal in a bottle because the baby can choke on it. Babies will take food from a spoon when they are ready. If they are refusing, it is too soon! They have to develop the skill to pull the food off the spoon and to swallow it. Right now, at 3 months he probably only knows how to suck.

Sometimes you have to go against what your doctor said...their opinions are valuable but they are practicing on hundreds and sometimes thousands of children who are all different! As a mom you know your child best and you CAN know what is best for your child (sometimes that is contrary to what doc says).

Alysha - posted on 04/09/2010

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Try sweet potato, my daughter had to start solids early too and wouldn't take cereal, but loved veggies. It had less sugar than fruit and is packed with nutrients.

Kristen - posted on 04/09/2010

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I agree that it may be a bit too soon, however, when your child is ready try mixing it with a stage one fruit. Both of my kids ate it right up when I mixed it with applesauce or pears. You can even sneak in some stage 1 prunes when your child gets a little backed up and fussy.

[deleted account]

Like others have said, every child is different... unless there is a specific reason (eg. reflux, not putting on weight, showing a strong interest in eating, etc.), I would go with everyone else in saying 'get a second opinion' and that there months is very young.
My son started eating at three months and took to it straight away, this was after: (1) he was mimicing us with mouth movements at eating times and was mouthing everything in sight, (2) I did all my own research, considering factors such as WHO recommendations and allergy risks, and (3) I discussed it with Plunket. From day one he was guzzling down the food (although he hated the cereal, he only ever liked the baby fruit or baby vege).
But (unless there is a reason for it), if your child is refusing the foods then that's probably a sign that they're not ready for it.

Sharee - posted on 04/09/2010

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There are also researches done that have proved a higher link in childhood diabetes when solids are introduced earlier than 4 months old! If you breastfeed, try boosting your milk supply rather than feeding cereal. My 3 month old was eating constantly a week and a half ago, now is going 4-4 1/2 hours!
Rice is the recommended first food with breastmilk or formula because they break down the quickest and easiest in digestion. Also, if your baby is gassy or spits up alot, solids will increase it! my little guy does (even tho he weighs 15 lbs already), and I'm not planning on starting solids until 6 months unless he starts starving and waking back up at night(He sleeps 11 hours at night)!
I agree with others- get a second opinion, especially a Pediatrician!

Tisha - posted on 04/09/2010

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My daughters dr recommended the cereal (only rice) in her bottle, with her formula like maybe 1-2 teaspoons which help her gerd :) It was the only thing that I gave her before the 6motnh mark. I also did this with my son (they are now daughter 3 and son 2) And they eat great! lol

Carrie - posted on 04/09/2010

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I started my son at 3 months. It was a challenge because he would spit it out. We only feed him cereal at the beginning for breakfast and then we moved to lunch also and then dinner all about a week or two apart. You can try to mash up some bananas or a jar of another fruit. Good luck.

Katy - posted on 04/09/2010

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I am not doubting your doctor, but... well actually I am. Most babies are not ready for any sort of solid at 3 months, even if it is watered down rice cereal. If he is not able to swallow it or is just spitting it back out, he isnt ready to be eating it and you should stick to formula or breast milk until around 5 months or so, which is the average time most babies are recommended to start eating thicker food. At 3 months that would be really hard on his tummy... :(

Shelly - posted on 04/09/2010

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I'd just get a second opinion from a diff. dr. There is no reason for an infant to be on cereal.

Antonellia - posted on 04/09/2010

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maybe you should try introducing it little by little into their bottle use a faster flowing nipple, my sons only take it if it is in their bottle but you may need to get him accustomed to solid food. try putting just one scoop to an eight once bottle of milk until he is accustomed or maybe they just does not like rice cereal. i waited till my sons could use the five cereals.

Rebecca - posted on 04/09/2010

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Just a question.....Is the Doc. saying this because bub's not putting on much weight??? If that is the problem then try SMA formula-as it has more fatty proteins in it and keeps baby fuller for longer....I had a preemie baby who was born at 1055grams and Breastfed right up to his corrected age of 12months....however-He was having problems putting on weight when I changed him over to formula.......I tried them all-then discovered SMA.......Although it is one of the cheapest brands of formula-the doctor reccomended it to me and from then on he started putting on the weight....Regarding Newborn babies right through to atleast 9+months, babies do wake up and want a feed every hour or so......It is cluster feeding aswell as comfort feeding :) I'm hoping that you find this info helpful and good luck......Only you know what your baby needs......I have to say that it isn't always a good idea to stick to baby books-as every baby is different.....There is no manual for raising/feeding your baby.....But be very careful when introducing solids......have them as runny as possible when first commencing! :)

Amy - posted on 04/09/2010

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I don't think it is really that crucial at three months...neither of my children were taking it then either, they know what they want and your son will when he is ready. Both of my children turned out fine :) but my daughter didn't take it that early and my son never wanted it, ever. Breastmilk of their formula is plenty for their little bellies at 3 months old.

Rebecca - posted on 04/09/2010

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Though I do agree with the other mum's in stating that 3months is VERY early to start bub on Cereal.... :/

Rebecca - posted on 04/09/2010

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Just an idea......Try putting something sweet in it - such as Bananna or Sultana's.....(NOT honey-as it can cause infant botulism and shouldn't be given to bub's till' they are atleast 12months).....

Jessica - posted on 04/09/2010

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at 3 months he probably cant swollow it when its thicker (my daughter couldnt until she was 5.5 months). it sounds like your baby is telling you he is not physically ready to eat cereal dispite what your doctor says...

Krissy - posted on 04/09/2010

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my baby is almost 3 1/2 months and i already started her on cereal, i tryed the spoon and she didnt want it, they dont want it when they dont really know what to do with it, i tryed the spoon for like a week and she would only eat like 1 spoonfull so i tryed a feeder bottle its made for 3 month olds to teach them how to eat cereal, its really cool, i never heard of it before, but i could only find it at burlington coat factory, but it teaches them to eat it from a little bottle then there is a spoon atachment that goes on the bottle and then there is another bottle that comes with it that teaches them to hold a sippie cup, i havent tryed the cup yet but i really like it.

Jamie - posted on 04/09/2010

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I started my baby girl on oatmeal at 4 months. I didn't make it soupy, but not too thick either. I fed her from a spoon as I wanted her to really understand how to eat instead of just sucking through the bottle nipple. I found that how far I inserted the spoon in her mouth determined whether or not she would push the cereal back out. She really took to it right away once she figured out she was eating and I wasn't just randomly sticking a weird object in her mouth. Good luck! :D

Jesica - posted on 04/09/2010

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The doc. probably thinks he's not eating enough. Because he's or she is too young for cereal (I started mine at 4mo) I would just feed milk to him or her more often until their 4 months

Candice - posted on 04/09/2010

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I was totally against giving my son any rice cereal/ Farex at his age and was shocked to hear other mum's doing it on here so young but I've had my mother in law over for a week and she encouraged me to try it as she fed all her 4 children from 3 months and theyre all healthy and fine now, as with myself, my mother fed me at 3 months and I've never had an allergy or any other problems due to this. I was skeptical about giving him anything till about 5-6months but bought some Farex today anyway with encouragement from the mother in law and tried him on some tonight (one tbsp mixed with 3 tbsp of formula) and he took to it quite well. He was swallowing it well and opening his mouth and sucking on the spoon. My son can sit up pretty well and can lift his head very well when on his tummy so I felt quite confident in that he could swallow ok. I think I will only try it for his feed before bed then a bottle because he is starting to wake up throughout the nights very hungry after about 7 weeks of sleeping 10-12hrs a night in one go. He is 3 Months 1 week and 2 days old. He is the weight of a 6 month old going by the books (well 8kg) and I can see he is developing very quickly and well. I still feel a bit funny feeding him this early as he is still only my little baby boy but we'll see how we go.

Nedell - posted on 04/09/2010

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I really think it depends on the child. my daughter started on cereal at 4 months & i mix fruits with it, she loves it! i still breast feed but she wants food. i really think it depends on the baby.. not everything you read in books are true and it dosent apply to ALL children.. everyone is different.

[deleted account]

It is a new thing for them & just like anything else practice makes perfect. I started feeding my baby girl rice cereal at 4.5 mo just once a day. It was so cute to see her trying to figure out what to do with all that mushy stuff. The next week i tried stage 1 baby food (carrots), she is doing much better every day.

Melisa - posted on 04/08/2010

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Asia -- At 3 months a baby's digestive system is still developing and most are not quite ready for solids. They are designed to survive on breastmilk (or formula) alone for the first 6 months. In some cases -- If baby can sit up unassisted and is showing an interest in food I have heard it is fine. Cereal/solids only take up the extra tummy space that nutrient packed breastmilk or formula has in it. (compare formula label to rice ceareal label for nutritional value). Just remember during a growth spurt they may seem hungry for milk all the time, but that is normal.

Your baby spitting it out is actually his tongue-thrust reflex which doesn't usually dissapear until 4 months, just another sign that he's not ready.

If you do choose to feed him, make sure you are feeding him his milk first so that he is getting enough of what he needs -- so that the cereal is only practice.

Angela - posted on 04/08/2010

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I agree that every baby is different but you have to listen to your babies cues. There are so many factors to consider before introducing food in to your wee ones digestive system:

Motor Skills and Development

* Age is not the only factor for deciding if your baby is ready for solid food. To learn how to eat safely, your baby should also have the proper motor skills.[1] Your baby should ready for solid food if he:

1. Can hold his head up.
2. Can also turn his head (so he can indicate when he's eaten enough).
3. Is able to sit up when supported.
4. Has the ability to pick up small objects.
5. No longer has tongue reflex (also known as "extrusion reflex"), which causes babies to spit out anything solid.
6. Is able to make chewing motions: after all, if he can't chew, he won't do well with solids!

This is the number one list to look at. Then you have to look at why your doctor recommended starting so early. Did you do the research on his/her reasoning??? You definately should. Trying to force food into your bubs body cannot be healthy.

Just remember a couple of things. It is not recommended to give a formula fed baby solid food before four months of age and it is definitely not recommended to give a breastfed baby solids before six months of age (you can go 9 months even before introducing solids for a breastfed baby).

And just one more thing.... If the reason is because your bub is wanting to eat more frequently... remember that babies go through growth spurts where they require frequent feeding to help them through these times. And these growth spurts typically happen every three months. This frequent feeding is called cluster feeding and is perfectly normal.

And just to note (and I hate doing this by the way but....) You should never give a baby cereal/pablum/oatmeal when they are two weeks old because you want them to go longer between feedings. Babies that are two weeks old need to eat every hour to two hours from the start of one feeding to the beginning of the next.

Oh and just one more thing... remember that a babies sole source of nutrition for the first year of life should be that from their formula or breast milk. Any food given is just practice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brandi - posted on 04/08/2010

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usually when they are pushing the spoon/food out their mouth they aren't ready for solids yet. my daughter, i tried giving her cereal at about a little over 3 months, and she did wonderful...she's 3.5 months now, and she does great at eating her cereal from the spoon. i just did it when she turned 3 months, just to see how she'd do. and to my amazement she did great. didnt push the spoon out or anything.
like most of everyone said, drs usually dont recommend starting solids until they are between 4-6monhts old. u have to go by what ur baby tells you, u can tells you. if they push the spoon out, and doesnt swallow her food, and spits that out, they are not ready. try it again in bout a month or so and keep doin that until they are ready.
oh...my daughter likes her cereal not too soupy, but not too thick. i use the extra scoop from one of her formula cans, measure bout a full scoop to a half of a scoop and mix a little bit of formula in at a time til it is the right consistency for her.
i hope this helps.

Emily - posted on 04/08/2010

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i think i agree with most of them on here...i think i would give it a lil bit longer. give it another month or so and see from there...and sometimes it does take a while for a baby to start to take the solid foods. it takes patience...and yea you will have a messy baby sometimes...lol they roll it all around their mouths and lips...normal for some of it to come back out. like i said just give it a lil time and try again and dont give up when he keeps spitting it out...hope that helps some :)

Leanne - posted on 04/08/2010

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My doctor told me to start introducing solids to him at 2 months and the way the doctor told me to start feeding my son was to introduce the spoon, so every night I would spoon feed his formula to him (because it was a known taste and texture to him) then around 5 to 7 days I added a teaspoon of cereal to 3 tablespoon of formula for 1 night. Then for the next 5 to 7 days I would just feed him the formula, then for 2 nights I would add 1 teaspoons of cereal to 3 tablespoons of formula, then 3 to 5 days just formula. Keep adjusting until he finally just on cereal. It took me almost 1 months to get him right on the cereal. Hopefully that helps you introducing cereal. It helped me and my son!!

Ayrjia - posted on 04/08/2010

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I will just echo that you should do your research... If your child is refusing food it may be too early. If baby is still pushing the food out they are not ready, forcing your child to eat solids too early can do more harm than good. Food allergies are a serious issue and most people don't even know their child is having them because the signs are so subtle.

Good luck and listen to your baby...they will tell you what they are ready for and when they are ready.

DawnaRae - posted on 04/08/2010

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i waited till my son was 4 months and i mixed a lil bit of baby food in it with formula enough that it was runny, thats the only way he would eat it.

Jessica - posted on 04/08/2010

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but if you do end up feeding your baby cereal, do it by spoon. not bottle. that way it won't be a choking hazard.

Jessica - posted on 04/08/2010

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no offense but if your doctor is recommending solids before 6 months, he is an idiot. do the research and find out for yourself... delaying solids is very beneficial!

Jessica - posted on 04/08/2010

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Wow, your Dr told you to give him cereal at 3 months? That is really too young for most babies to start on cereal or solid foods at all- every thing I've ever read says not to introduce that until 4-6 months. From reading other peoples' posts it sounds like SOME babies do ok with it earlier- but the fact that your son doesn't want it/isn't doing well with it sounds like its too soon for him. I seriously doubt he NEEDS to have cereal at this point- he should be getting plenty from breastmilk or formula. My advice would be stop trying to give it to him and hold off another month or more, then try again.

Jessi - posted on 04/08/2010

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to amber: like i said it all depends on the child. my brothers & i were fed cereal by 2wks & on whole milk by 6mos. now as for my friends daughter, she was satisfied w/ formula, she only at every 4hrs until my friend was fed up & made her eat solids.
to asia: you need to do what YOU feel is right.

Meagan - posted on 04/08/2010

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be careful because if your baby is having a hard time eating solids and you keep pushing it he will totally not want anything to do with them, as did my baby that i tried feeding cerial to early, feeding have been a struggle now since then and he is 1 now. and still refused to be spoon fed and is very picky of the textures of is food because he would have such a hard time swallowing when he was younger. You would think he would forget but i guess thats not the case. I would recommend waiting till 6 months even tho its so exciting to step up to the next step of feedings but if there not ready it can be not so fun for them.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/08/2010

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wow this is really one topic i loved getting into when my daughter was at ur childs age. she ws fussy too when it wsa time to eat and when i tryed i saw i was only making a mess and most of her food she was wearing. i than out of nowhere deceided to use a syringe because i knew how the medicince would always stay in her mouth. once i tryed using this tool i saw she was eating more foods. than from oatmeal at 6-9 months i gave her a taste of stage 1 baby foods.i would recommend feeding her a small portion of oatmeal once a day no more than u would give her in a bottle. just to make sure she eats all her food and her tummy is geting full food and not full of gas. with a small portion of this he should be cool with his bottles and just a pinch of oats in his bottles should do otherwise he will want more milk .wow the memories..i love this...god bless and good luck with ur baby boy.

Jennifer - posted on 04/08/2010

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that just simply means that he is not ready to be eating cereal ...babys start eating solids at different times ..so no worries ...besides ..most doc dont recommend until atleast 4 months ...at least they do where i am ...do dont worry about the ceral just yet

Jessi - posted on 04/08/2010

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now as for it being to early...i would say it all depends on the child. by 2wks my son was waking up every hr to be fed which is when i made the desicion to move to cereals & then foods & a friend of mine didn't start her daughter out until 6mos.
if your son is non-stop eating then you need to teach him to swallow because he isn't satisfied w/ just formula/milk.

Jessi - posted on 04/08/2010

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my son was about 2wks when i started him on cereal. like your son he did not care for the soupy texture so i had to make it thicker. my mom taught me a little trick when my son would be fussy...shove in a spoonful & then shove in the bottle or nuk right after. sucking on the bottle or nuk will force him to swallow.

Asia - posted on 04/08/2010

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i put 1 tbsp. of cereal in 2oz. and tried feeding it with a spoon first, then put the nipple on it but it was too thick so i didnt even feed him it then, i shouldve specified that more. The dr. said to start him on baby rice cereal now and baby food at 4 mths. I dont want to keep him on it if it is going to be too early, which it seems like thats the case. But i wanted to try other methods before giving up and trying later.

Sha-Don - posted on 04/08/2010

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I didnt start my daughter on cereal until she was about 5 months old. Babies are alot better at swallowing at that age. I would mix a little bit of apple sauce with the cereal. she loved it like that. then gradually made it a little thicker. try other friuts and veggies too..

Katarina - posted on 04/08/2010

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Most babies at 3 months aren't ready to eat solid foods yet, even cereal. The fact that he isn't swallowing clearly shows that. His reflexes just aren't there yet. I'd get a 2nd opinion.Good Luck

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