When can you start cereal?

Brittany - posted on 08/21/2009 ( 19 moms have responded )

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My son is 7 weeks old and I wanted to know if this is too young to start him on cereal at night. Im trying to get him to sleep through the night but I heard not to start them on cereal until at least 4 months. Any advice?

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Liz - posted on 08/24/2009

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I agree with the mothers that tell you that you're the mother. Everyone is different including doctors. If you ask 10 doctors you will get a different answer from most of them. My son slept through the night at 4 weeks old on his own. I had him sleeping on his back well doing that he woke up every 2-3 hours..I put him on his belly and he slept through the night. Oh and the cereal thing..do what you think is best for YOUR child. My son was about 6 weeks when I started him on cereal and my daughter was about 8 weeks just a little bit in the bottle will do wonders..If a full bottle (7- 8 oz) doesn't satisfiy them and they are hungry and hour or so later then it's time for cereal. Hope this helps...

Laura - posted on 08/24/2009

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My son's pediatrician kept telling us to wait until he was 6 months old. I thought that was a bit ridiculous and just plain old textbook information that he told everyone. Finally, my husband and I decided that our son was actually pretty big for his age and that his waking every two hours to nurse was really wearing on me. I slowly introduced rice cereal at his bedtime nursing session. What do you know - he slept through the night.

Vickie - posted on 08/24/2009

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Some children do not sleep through the night til they are up to 12 weeks of age. The final decision has to be yours, the reason they say to wait is to avoid the risk of the child developing allergies and because most babies can not fully process the cereal at a young age. I would give him a couple more weeks then start to work it in a little at a time to see if it helps (and start with rice since that has the least amount of allergies and is the easiest for them to process). Every baby is different, it may just be that he is taking a little longer, have you tried just uping the milk right before bed? If he is on formula add a little extra formula to the mix to make it a little thicker for him before trying the cereal, if he is breastfed then it is very normal for the child to not sleep through the night til they are closer to 3 months, since breastmilk changes for the babies needs at the age they are at. Hope this helps. God Bless and Good Luck!

Brittany - posted on 08/22/2009

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My son is already 13 lbs...still doesnt sleep through the night...thanks for the advice about the cereal though...Ill wait.

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Lydia - posted on 08/25/2009

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Hang in there it .... I waited to my doctor recommended to start. I know that you are sleep deprive ....Trust me I know, but for these months we need to think about them. I try to take a nap during the day while he nap. And in my case it was more difficult since Ian was colic and he will cry after feeding. But day he slept 5 hrs thru the night...I believe he was 5 months. .....When in doubt as his doctor.

Kate CP - posted on 08/25/2009

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Quoting Jeanne:

My childs doctor knows and he is just fine with it. He told me that he and his wife did this with all three of their children. And his wife is a doctor as well. I trust my doctor with all my heart so if he was ok with it then I am. I said that because my doctor told me that most other doctors would have a fit if you told them that.

Basically if you want to give you child cereal then do it. You are the parent and you can figure out what is hurting your child and what is not.

Trust yourself because you will know when its not right.


Okay, I can understand that. But to tell some one to purposefully avoid medical advice is...well...not a good idea in my opinion. No matter what happens both mom, baby and doctor should all be in agreement. 

Jeanne - posted on 08/25/2009

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My childs doctor knows and he is just fine with it. He told me that he and his wife did this with all three of their children. And his wife is a doctor as well. I trust my doctor with all my heart so if he was ok with it then I am. I said that because my doctor told me that most other doctors would have a fit if you told them that.



Basically if you want to give you child cereal then do it. You are the parent and you can figure out what is hurting your child and what is not.



Trust yourself because you will know when its not right.

Chris - posted on 08/25/2009

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I have 4 kids, and we're pregnant w/ #5, and every pediatrician I have had says not to start til 4 months. Even at that time, they may not even want it, but don't start too early despite what lots of other people have done, maybe even my mom I think, not sure though, because babies systems aren't ready for all of that yet.

Rachel - posted on 08/24/2009

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I agree with the fact that in the end, you are the mom, and you make the final decision. buuuttt I also agree with alot of other threads here that are basically telling you to use common sense on when to start feeding your infant cereal and thats when their little stomachs can digest it and handle it, (every baby is different, thats why docs will tell you to start testing at about 4 months)not just because you want the baby to sleep thru the night....
I'd imagine the feeling that baby would be experiencing if he ate that young, would be equivalent to the feeling you get after eating a 6 pound steak right b4 bed or something..LOL!!..Yes. I'm sure it would put you down for the night, buuttt your intestines sure would be clogged up for a couple of days!! how do you think that poor baby feels after that?
I would DEFINITELY wait..if you're worried about the sleep schedule..try a diff approach..more time consuming but safe for the baby..feeding your baby every 3 hours in the beginning usually works..along with a schedule to gradually work your baby towards the sleeping at night, staying up during the day routine that you want..
there are tons of example online..babycenter.com is perfect place to find the schedule that fits your needs I think..

Kate CP - posted on 08/24/2009

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Quoting Jeanne:

I put my son on cereal at about 4 weeks. My mother-in-law told me to do that and it works great. He is 2 months old and he sleeps at least 5 hours in a row at night.

I give him 2 to 3 tablespoons depending on how much formula I give him with his last bottle before I put him down for the night.

Don't tell your doctor that you are doing this because he/she will not approve.


There is a reason why doctor's don't approve, you know: it's not good for 4 week old babies to be eating cardboard, err...rice cereal. To purposefully NOT tell your doctor something like that is irresponseble. If you know your doctor doesn't approve...maybe you shouldn't be doing it???

Jeanne - posted on 08/24/2009

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I put my son on cereal at about 4 weeks. My mother-in-law told me to do that and it works great. He is 2 months old and he sleeps at least 5 hours in a row at night.



I give him 2 to 3 tablespoons depending on how much formula I give him with his last bottle before I put him down for the night.



Don't tell your doctor that you are doing this because he/she will not approve.

[deleted account]

Babies should ONLY have rice on a spoon, and NOT in a bottle! Most babies stomach's are not developed enough to digest food until around 4 months. A good indicator is when they can fully support their head. Also, there is little nutrition in rice and it's not going to 'fill' baby up so you can sleep longer. The stomach is tiny and needs to eat frequently. Don't deprive your child of breastmilk or formula for rice. They will eat soon enough! And they will sleep through the night usually after hitting about 10-11 pounds!

[deleted account]

We just talked about this in my breastfeeding support group and she said that their tummies are not ready to digest food until they are at least 4 months. I would wait. I know you want more sleep because I was there not that long ago, but things will get easier. I plan on waiting until 6 months to start solid foods because we're doing great on just breastmilk.

[deleted account]

Depends on the weight of the baby and their nutritional needs. Most pediatricians recommend rice cereal no earlier than 4 months.

Kate CP - posted on 08/21/2009

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Babies are ready to try solids when:
They can sit unsupported (Bumbo seats don't count)
The can grasp items in their palm
They show interest in grown-up food

I think 7 weeks is *way* too early. Babies that young typically don't sleep through the night. Many will wake up several times a night to eat. They will also go through growth spurts where they seem to be waking more frequently. It's because they need more calories per feeding but I wouldn't add solids yet. Also...rice cereal is nutritionally bankrupt. It doesn't have any nutrients, tastes like cardboard, and has a tendency to constipate babies. When your son is ready for solids I would suggest starting with fruit like banana or even sweet potato.

Berniece - posted on 08/21/2009

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Hey remember first your the mom! But i would probly wait its dif for all babies but some have a hard time digesting so early and then youll end up with a blocked up gassy baby wich is alot worse! My oldest had trouble with it the 2 youngers started at about 3 months. If your baby is dry fed and has been loved on its okay to let them cry and eventualy he wont cry every time he wakes up. No baby ever got hurt from crying back to sleep alone! hope i helped

Nicole - posted on 08/21/2009

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Well, I started giving my son a tablespoon of rice cereal at five weeks because he was not sleeping well at night. After giving it to him. he slept for about 5 hours straight at night. I did it up until about a week ago because a homeopathic doctor told me that it could cause him to have food allergies. But, he still sleeps five hours straight at night even off of the cereal. Doctors recommend you wait until four months, but my sisters started giving it to their babies when they were about seven weeks old and they sleep very well at night. They started with just a teaspoon in their bottle and gradually increased it 1/2 of a teaspoon every couple weeks. It can cause some babies to be a little constipated. My mother would just a TINY bit of Karo Syrup in the milk and it would cause the bowels to soften. Do not add a lot because then their poops will be really runny. You can repeat as needed! Ultimately, it is your decision! because after all you are his mother and you know what's best for him because you know him better than anyone. If you do give it to him start with just a teaspoon in his milk but watch for signs of stomach discomfort. My son is eight weeks old and he was absolutely fine. My mother has five children and she did it for all of us. Be mindful that all babies are different so keep a watchful eye on how many times he poops a day and whether or not he is grunting because this could mean he is constipated. I hope I was helpful!

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