Rice Cereal- when to start?

Katy - posted on 08/12/2010 ( 114 moms have responded )

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My son is going to be 4 months old in a few weeks and I was considering starting him on some rice cereal. Some people have told me to wait until 6 months though. Just wondering at what age you started your baby on the rice cereal and if it worked well for you. Thank you!!

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Amy - posted on 08/14/2010

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It's dangerous to mix cereal into a newborn's bottle. It poses a choking hazard & can also contribute to low weight gain and failure to thrive. Breastmilk - or if that is not available, formula - are the most nutrient dense foods an infant can have. Babies have extremely small stomachs and it is normal for a newborn to wake every hour or two to feed. Filling their small stomachs with starchy but not particularly nutritious food in order to get them to sleep is not a good practice.

Angela - posted on 08/12/2010

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My daughter is 10 1/2 months old and she was exclusively breast fed until she was 7 1/2 months old. I never fed her rice cereal because I don't agree with its nutritional benefits for babies. I make all of her food myself and her first taste of food was Avocados due to the fact that they are Natures most nutritious fruit! :)

I am not against other people giving their children cereal I just didn't want to give mine any... I believe that their should be no rush in feeding solids to a baby... It is really "just for fun until their one" after all! Their main source of nutrition up until the age of one comes from breast milk/formula....

Good luck with the cereal... If you are interested in making your own homemade cereal instead of buying the refined stuff that comes from the store you should check out this website...

http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/

Good luck Momma!!!

Angela - posted on 08/18/2010

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I had to start my son on cereal at 2.5 months. He was, and still is, really big for his age and the formula just wouldn't keep him satisfied. I asked my doctor and she still wanted me to wait til 6 months but he was screaming with hunger after only an hour and I knew we'd never make it that long. So I put him on cereal. It didn't harm him at all and he was a lot happier, and slept better. If your son is hungry all the time, I definitely recommend starting the cereal earlier. As long as you start off slow, small portions maybe once a day to begin with, it gives their system a chance to get used to it and they are fine. My sister has done the same thing with her little girl when she turned 4 or 5 months.

Teesha - posted on 08/18/2010

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I keep reading these posts and over and over again they are saying that a newborn-4 month old was wanting to eat every 2-3 hours. . . because they are supposed to! Especially breast fed babies because breast milk is so easily digestible. They should not be sleeping through the night until they are around 4-6 months old depending on their weight and metabolic standing. My pediatrician said that as long as I am breast feeding she won't need solid food for nutrition until over a year old- solids are pretty much for fun. Best of luck in whatever you choose.

Rachel - posted on 08/18/2010

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There is no magic age, it all has to do with when your baby shows signs of readiness. The signs are :
Showing interest in food (keep in mind that wanting to grab your food isn't really interest, babies want to grab and chew everything)
Good head support
The ability to sit unassisted
Loss of the tongue thrust reflex
An established pattern of good weight gain

Until your baby meets ALL of the above criteria, hold off on solids. if breastmilk or formula isn't satisfying, nurse more or add another ounce to the bottle. BM/formula is higher in calories and nutrients than solids anyway.

Starting too early not only increases the risk of digestive issues and diabetes, it's also a choking hazard and it puts a big strain on the kidneys.

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114 Comments

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Jacqueline - posted on 08/18/2010

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i started my daughter on rice cearl at 4 months i only started off with a little so she could get used to it

Angela - posted on 08/18/2010

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i listened to my baby's doctor and she said 6 months. even though i was anxious to start her early.. i dont think its good for their tummies yet. (:

Candice - posted on 08/18/2010

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My Daughter started eating cereal at 4 months. Her doctor said she was ready cause she would chew it and not spit it out. As long as formula or breastfeeding is main source of food it should be no problem.

Kayla - posted on 08/18/2010

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i started my son on rice cereal at 3 months, and he loves it. hes now 4 months, and cant get enough if it. we're gonna be starting vegetables in the next 2 weeks. thats what his doc told me to do :)

Jody - posted on 08/18/2010

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I tried with my first child around 4 mos and she wasn't interested so I waited until 5 mos, my third child however was past rice cereal and onto foods by four months. It really depends on your child, they will let you know when they want to eat.

Sunel - posted on 08/18/2010

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Well i dont believe what People say, in the old days they didnt have specialists that said you should start at six months, i started my twins, which is now almost 9 months old, on maize, at the age of 2 months which helped them sleep better at night, coz they woke up every 2 hours for breast feeding, i gave them in the night for 2 weeks and then started givving them in the morning also for two weeks, after that i started intriducing, pumpkin, squash and sweet potato and potato, and they are fine have no problems or allergies, or blocked stomaches. they are not over weight, coz they are not on formula. i put sugar and butter in the maize, i also didnt give them 1 teaspoon of maize, i gave as much as what they wanted. their bodies are naturally made to tell them when it is enough, and surely they will spit it out the first few times, but then they will get the hang of the eating process, he will surely let u know if he doesnt want it,

[deleted account]

I started giving my son oatmeal when he was barely 4 months old, and it worked well. In Sweden we don't give our babies cereal, but it doesn't really matter, either it works or it doesn't. Just try it out. My son sleeps better after eating oatmeal. He's 6 months now, and has oatmeal morning and evening, and baby food for lunch.

Emma - posted on 08/18/2010

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I started my daughter at 3 months because milk on its own wasnt filling her up and the pediatrician suggested i start her on rice cereal. u can start most babies on basic solids from 4 months as long as it it very runny with no lumps

Jereca - posted on 08/17/2010

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i waited to my son got six months you should wait because of obitey and food allegy

Christina - posted on 08/17/2010

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I started my baby on cereal at 4 months after the ok from his doctor. However, you can wait until 6 months. It's up to you & how well he takes it. My baby (thankfully) has done great w/ solids.

Kelly - posted on 08/17/2010

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U are going to be judged no matter wat u decide. BUT i think some people can be way harsh and judgemental,its not up to U to judge people, how and wat they feed their child is their choice ok so we may not all agree on wats right and wats wrong, as for mixing it with a bottle being a SIDS risk, WAT THE, the packet tells you to mix it in the bottle,seriously people get a life,if u cant breastfeed then so WAT, some people cant,i for one couldnt breastfeed my son for longer then 5 1/2 months and was totally devestated byt the fact, then you have people like YVONNE going around criticising people and making them feel liek a bad mother becasue they cant,well love its not that simple!!! Im soo sick of people judging other people and trying to tell them wat is the best for them and THEIR child, its ok to give advice and suggestions and share ur own experiences BUT you have NO right to JUDGE or tell people wat to do. Im sorry everyone but people who do that really irritate me!!!!!!!!!!!

Christina - posted on 08/17/2010

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i started to rice-bottle feed only in the morning and at night using 2 tablespoons of rice and 6 ounces of formula. and i used a fast flow nipple. her doctor said she was ready for it. she is now 4 months and eats oatmeal/rice by a spoon, baby fruits and her bottles

Alyssa - posted on 08/17/2010

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my d told me four months was okay i started at 31/2 months my daughter hold her head sturdy and always wants what im eating which she obviously can have. She eat the new gerber rice and or oatmeal with dha and probiotics. Whatever u give her try for five days to check for allegies. im breast feeding so all her cereal gets mixed with mommys milk =). She hardly makes a mess and leaves the bowl bare! Remember every child is different try what u fell works best for yours as long as it does no harm!

Ashton - posted on 08/17/2010

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my daughter started eating baby food at two months and it worked good for my husband and me she gets full faster but we also give her a bottle to in the morning we give her a bottle in the afternoon and t we give her baby food about two or three ounces and then we give her baby bottle don't let any make your decisions about your kids for you if you want to do it the go ahead it won't hurt him at all my daughter is now almost 6 months and is 14 pounds and healthy

Julie - posted on 08/17/2010

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Well I know every child is different but our doctor and i decided to start my daughter on rice cereal at 4 months. It was partly because she was not a huge fan of the formula and because of that she was very petite and always teetering on and off the charts so they were trying to get her put on some weight

[deleted account]

I started my daughter on rice cereal when she was 2 months because she was just a hungry baby. Some people will say that's not good for them but in all reality, we're the only culture these days that doesn't start them on it right away. All others begin rice cereal from day 1...

Heather - posted on 08/17/2010

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I started my baby at 4 months. I think it just depends on when you want to start the cereal. I used a cereal nipple at first until she got used to a spoon and now my baby is 6 1/2 months and loves spoons :)

Nikki - posted on 08/17/2010

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my baby started rice cereal in his bottle when he was 5 weeks old then eating it from a spoon when he was 4 months but didnt like it by its self! hope this helps

Amanda - posted on 08/17/2010

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I started mine on rice cereal pretty much at exactly 4 months. At his check up the doc gave me tips and told me how to start it. He's still getting used to the spoon (almost 5 months now) but i pretty much want to start other foods soon so i started him right when i knew i could. He is formnula fed though. I've heard a little that formula fed babies should be started earlier and breat fed babies can wait. So i would wait until his 4 month and see what his doc says! Good luck Katy!

Alecia - posted on 08/17/2010

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@Yvonne Hightshoe thats fine u want to help educate mothers. i feel the same when it comes to ERF....but u say things that generalize. i didnt read a whole lot of comments that said they did it just so their baby would sleep longer. i sure didnt do it for that reason. i did because my daughter was tiny and we didnt have the easiest time BF. and even now at 11 mnths, though she eats stage 3 foods and table foods, my daughter weighs 18 lbs and is very healthy. just because we started our children on food "early" without a true medical condition, doesnt mean we did it to be selfish. we made the best choice for our kids. and if my next one didnt take to food like my daughter, then he/she wouldnt start em as early. my daughter just happens to be independent and has weaned herself from her bottle. so im just asking that u dnt generalize.

Jennifer - posted on 08/17/2010

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If you put to much cereal in a bottle and it's to thick of course the child would choke, but if it's a choking hazard why do NICU's do it and why do docs tell you to use it to thicken formula if baby has reflux? It's not dangerous.

Jennifer - posted on 08/17/2010

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I started my second child on cereal at 2 months and my 3rd was premature and he was put on ceral at a month to thicken his bottles and it did not hurt him one bit. If you feel your baby is still hungry then I would try. Just make it runny and see how the baby does.

[deleted account]

My son was just under four months when we started weaning him (advised by the hospital) Due to his reflux he lost a lot of weight because he was vomiting most of his bottles back and they wanted to see if something thicker would stay down, he continued to vomit thicker foods for a few weeks and then it just settled down and stopped altogether.



I think giving babies little bits of rice cereals, rusks etc is a good idea, even if it's just once a day.

Maggie - posted on 08/17/2010

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If you think your child is ready then he is ready. If he is eyeing off your food, trying to grab your food, chewing as you eat they are all signs he wants to try. We started our son at 3 months. He's been on table foods since 6 months. Turns out he's has a very active metabolism. Local doc said its way too early. paediatrics said if I think he needs it give it too him. You just have to remember babies don't process foods the same way as adults, its just for practise and he will still need regular milk feeds as this is where majority of his nutrients come from up until he is about a year. Having said that my partner was weaned onto table foods at2 months and drink cows milk.

Remember you know your child better than anyone.

Lindsay - posted on 08/17/2010

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You should wait until 6 months or so as that is what is recommended by health professionals. I waited with my daughter and she is very healthy! And like Angela, I started my daughter on avocados and agree that homemade food is the way to go! Much healthier and more economical.

Joyce - posted on 08/17/2010

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okay I have 3 kids and I started all 3 of them when they were 3 weeks old in their bottle to get them to let you sleep a little longer at night, it doesn't harm them, just introduce them to it a little bit at a time..then when they're about 3 months i start to spoon feed them...hey, it worked for me and all my kids are beautifully healthy

Andrea - posted on 08/17/2010

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i started ati about 5 months. my son was a big baby and milk just wasn't filling him up. so we started cereal. the key is to make it kind runny so they can swallow it really easily.

Maggi - posted on 08/17/2010

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I started to give my little guy it around four months since he was eating alot of formula. My doctor said it was fine and to start him on veggies and friuts which I now mix into the rice cereal. I have seen with my won little guy that it helps to keep him asleep through the night and keeps him fuller which means that we play alot longer instead of just eating. Hope this helps!

Erin - posted on 08/17/2010

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Unless your ped dr tells you to, infants should not be getting solid food before 4-6 nonths. They just don't have the muscle control in the mouth. Your baby is ready when s/he starts sticking their tongue out. One new thing everyweek to make sure that they don't have allergies. Baby food is SO EASY to make. Just cook it, withOUT season or butter, and puree it in the blender, add water or breast milk to loosen it up. My kids ate everything from bananas to cauliflower to zucchini that way. Dish in to small portions (some have suggested ice trays and thaw as needed) and that way you have a variety. My first daughter was breastfed thru 9 months with a couple of solid meals a day. At that point she bit me, but because I was such a cow, she had breastmilk through a yr. From day one she nursed about every 4 hrs, increading obviously as she got older. She is right on track for height, and fell of the chart (the bottom mind you) for weight. She is now 5 and weighs 35 lbs. She is extremely intelligent and very healthy. My second daughter only nursed through 6 months when both she stopped wanting to and I quit producing. I still had some more to last her through about 8 months. I did the same thing for food for her, she is now 2.5 weighing 25 lbs and sharp as a tack.

Just my success stories, take it or leave it

Sarah - posted on 08/17/2010

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i started my son on baby rice around 3months he wasnt as hungry with that as extra

Mary - posted on 08/17/2010

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My daughter is now nearly 19 months old and I started her on baby rice at 5 months as the Health Visitors advised me that she should be eating well by 6 months and that you are allowed to give them solids from 4 months, although not advised to do so unless they are not satisfied with just milk, so I thought I would start in the middle to get her used to solids before 6 months which I think was a good choice and will do the same again but only if it works for your child. They are all different...good luck xx

Karina - posted on 08/17/2010

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Well my daughter's 4 1/2 months old and I just started her on rice cereal. She's doing fine. Just make sure to feed your baby one thing at a time. You can start off with rice cereal for a week and so on and so forth that way if he gets a bad reaction to it you won't get confused as to what it might have been.

Angel - posted on 08/17/2010

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@Yvonne Hightshoe Before you start to criticize ppl you should know all the facts. Like i said before every child is different so don't judge us parents that started the cereal early. My younger child was a premie and was given the cereal in the nicu after they tried the feeding tube and her milk wouldn't stay down. I protested the feeding tube and the cereal but it WAS the best solution for my kid. Am I still that bad parent for letting her doctor start her on cereal 2 weeks after she was born? I don't think so and now she is a happy healthy 3 year old that eats well.

Jamie - posted on 08/17/2010

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@Yvonne. I agree with Alecia Derouin. You need to refrain from attacking people. You don't know anything about my son, so you have no right saying that I'm not a good parent for giving him cereal when he was a month old. I'm only 21 and instead of going out and partying, for my birthday, I stayed home and struggled to breastfeed my newborn. He didn't take to it and lost a lot of weight. He didn't start gaining it back until I switched to formula, and then it was very slow. He started to gain it back quicker when he started eating cereal. And guess what? He's still a little under weight. I've had long, intense discussions with a therapist about SIDS. did you know it's a breathing problem? That's all that's really known about it. Everything else doctors keep on bouncing back and forth on. A couple years ago, sleeping on their back caused SIDS, and now it's sleeping on their stomachs. Doctors don't know everything. A good mother generally knows how to take care of their baby. Mine is happy and healthy. You shouldn't act like you know exactly what's good for all babies. Especially considering you didn't know that when you first start a baby on babyfood, you need to color code it. Start out with greens because it's easiest to digest. That's also how to find out if they have a food allergy. The therapist taught me that.

I'm not going to check on this again. I don't like getting upset because somebody is saying that I don't know how to take care of my son.

Brittany - posted on 08/17/2010

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Rice cereal is generally what you begin with..because its so thin... A lot of people use it as early as a month..adding some to the bottle in the eve to help their baby sleep longer.. for babies that wake up several times.. or are collicky..just to make their tummys a little fuller. 4 months is a great age to start!! That's when I began with both of my girls.

Angela - posted on 08/17/2010

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my baby is almost 5 months ( born march 21st) and we started her on rice for babies and she is doing great.

Cherelle - posted on 08/17/2010

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my son started eating very early at around 3 months old and he took to it straight away now he loves eating n hes not fussy one bit. hes now on finger foods and even eats broccoli his favourite finger food atm is mango. try him on a little bit at first and if he eats it and it doesnt upset his tummy he shud be fine to start. x

Alecia - posted on 08/17/2010

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@Yvonne Hightshoe u shouldnt attack ppl. u dnt know my situation or anyone else's. i breastfed my daughter as much and as long as possible, but she was so tiny she had trouble. so we used BM, formula, and cereal when we felt the time was right.she NEVER got a bottle in bed (mostly BF, so i dnt see where SIDs comes in to play). and in a way it is a personal choice....but ur baby ultimately makes that desicion. my daughter is 11 mnths old and about 18 lbs. not overwieght at all. we feed her healthy foods and drinks. she is very active, happy and never had a prblm with food, including constipation. watch how u say things, cuz ppl tend to no be receptive of advice when u basically say someone is a bad parent. food is not a "huge" issue and shouldnt be argued about

Sarah - posted on 08/17/2010

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We started at about 5 months. She had been showing interest in food for quite some time. I had a long discussion with her doc about starting solids and both of us decided it would be okay to at 4 months. I waited a month to see if her feeding schedule would slow down (she was eating every 2 1/2-3 hours day and night) after going from every 3 1/2-4 and sleeping through the night. She eats wonderfully from a spoon, and wants to help. True, until a year, it's just for fun, but it's also so they can develope tastes for a wide variety of foods too. We give her two tablespoons cereal mixed w/ 1 oz of breastmilk. Use your best judgment. If you feel baby isn't ready, there's no rush!

Hilary - posted on 08/17/2010

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I started my son with rice cereal around 4 months because he was showing the signs that he was ready. Costin is now 18 months old and he is a healthy/active kid. :)

Victoria - posted on 08/17/2010

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My son is going on 8 months and I started him on formula, cereal, and jar food at 3 months. He also started sleeping through the night. I hope this is helpful.

Victoria - posted on 08/17/2010

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My son is going on 8 months and I started him on formula, cereal, and jar food at 3 months. He also started sleeping through the night. I hope this is helpful.

Rachell - posted on 08/17/2010

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Hi Katy, I started my son on rice cereals and mashed up fruit and veg when he was 10 weeks old. I know this seems really early but I think it depends on your child, Brandon had already went up to the maximum on his bottles but he took to weaning really well and it never did him any harm in the end :D just go with your own gut instinct on this one if he isnt ready for it he will soon let you know but it all comes down to perseverance with weaning so if he doesnt take to it at first just keep trying, good luck x

Amy - posted on 08/17/2010

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you can start at 4mo if you want, just start off with it pretty thin and with a spoon. I started my son on rice cereal when he was 4mo and you want to start off with just a little but make sure he drinks a bottle or whatever too.

Kelsey - posted on 08/17/2010

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I started my son at 2 months on doctors order. I cant imagine wating til 6 months to give a baby rice cereal. My son was eating biter biscuts and jarred food at 6 months. Iv learned that as mom you will know when its time to start him on new foods. If you feel he's ready then chances are he is.

Melody - posted on 08/17/2010

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The fact that you're asking this question, Katy, demonstrates that you are a consciencous mom concerned about good nutrition for your precious little one. Good for you!!! Angela and Jennifer have the right idea! Babies don't have what's called "gut closer" till they turn 6 months old...so, that means their gut is more permeable until then and more likely to develop sensitivities to foods. This is true whether their breast or artificial baby milk fed. Mashed ripe banana or avacado....or baked sweet potato are great first foods because their high in nutrition. Best not to add any sugar, salt, butter or other seasonings to baby's food, too. Rice cereal....there's probably more nutrition in the box it comes in! (tongue in cheek) Good luck and Happy Mothering! : )

Alyssa - posted on 08/17/2010

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I started my daughter on cereal at 4 months. She is now 8 months and doing great. At her 4 month check up the doctor thought she was already eating cereal. When I told him she wasn't he said she could have rice cereal and then gradually add fruits and veggies. She never really liked just cereal when we mixed it with formula, but she loves it with juice or baby food. Now she eats a jar of baby food mixed with cereal in the morning and the evening. Around lunch time we feed her baby yogurt.You're his mom and whatever you feel is good for your baby is what you should do.

[deleted account]

if you are breast feeding and its working great for your baby by staying full and happy, go with that. I started both my daughters at 4 months bc I wasnt able to nurse after 3 months, for some reason I just dont produce enough milk. so I needed a supplement and that worled great

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