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Thread: Introducing Cereal, is vomiting bad?

  1. #1

    Default Introducing Cereal, is vomiting bad?

    My little one is very interested in big people food and her pediatrician at her last well check said it was time to start her on occasional cereal so that her iron supply does not deplete.
    Considering both sides of our family have issues with low iron I agreed to try cereal. I was told oatmeal is an easier one to begin with and I liked the idea because it naturally contains iron without needing to be additionally fortified.
    I have given her one baby spoonful (not a whole tsp) mixed with 3 baby spoonfuls of my expressed milk twice now. Both times she vomited everything she had to eat prior to the cereal.
    Her father's family has some digestive issues with wheat, so I don't know if that explains the vomiting or if vomiting during the introduction of cereal is normal until their systems get used to it.
    We decided to gi ahead and switch to rice just to be safe, but I want to give her a few days before trying it so I can make sure it she is not still upset by the oatmeal.

    I am a first time momma that ebf and feeds on demand. She typically eats every 2-3 hours during the day starting around 5am, she goes to bed around 10pm but wakes once around 1am for a night feeding. She never vomited before I introduced cereal and she has not vomited since I stopped the rice cereal two days ago.

    What is normal for introducing cereal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Central FL

    Default Re: Introducing Cereal, is vomiting bad?

    How old is baby?

    I recommend the book Baby Led Weaning.

    Vomiting is a sign that either baby is not ready for solid foods yet OR an allergy or sensitivity to something. Or illness.
    If Iron is a big concern, then you might ask about Iron supplements or Iron drops since most babies are going to be slow with solids early on.

    If there is wheat or gluten issues in the family, probably best to avoid the wheat and oat cereals at least for a time and check again at a later date with Dr being informed.

    If Baby is ready for finger foods, there are better choices of foods for Iron. My LO has been eating prunes and meatballs since 6 months. (beware, cereal can be constipating.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Introducing Cereal, is vomiting bad?

    If baby is less than 6 months, no need for solids no matter how interested she is in big people food. Give her a spoon and bowl to play with while you eat- that will be enough to satisfy her until 6 months. If you're concerned about iron, give her some baby vitamins, and after 6 months feed her some iron-rich solids (e.g. meats, fish, beans, spinach). No need for cereal, which is basically empty calories and, as the PP said, can be constipating.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Introducing Cereal, is vomiting bad?

    If your baby is truly iron deficient and cannot get it from her diet, then she can have iron supplements.
    Not only does breastmilk contain the right amount of iron for most infants to be getting, Babies are typically born with a good store of iron, UNLESS (sometimes) the cord was cut too early at birth robbing baby of lots of blood cells. Even then there is no reason to think baby is low in iron, barring evidence or tests indicating baby is actually low in iron.

    Generally there is no reason to start a baby with cereal of any kind. When a baby is truly ready for solids, baby can pretty much eat anything.

    For a very detailed (and readable) discussion about myths and facts about what to introduce when, I suggest the book My Child Won't Eat. Get the latest edition as there are newer studies examined. One that may interest you due to the wheat sensitivities in your husbands family looked at gluten introduction timing and later sensitivities and is interesting.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Louisville, Kentucky

    Default Re: Introducing Cereal, is vomiting bad?

    There is an easy toe-prick test that can be done to determine baby's iron levels, and if they are sufficient. As previous posters have mentioned, if baby is younger than six months, there is no reason to believe iron deficiency to be the case just as a blanket statement; if you and pediatrician remain concerned, due to family history or babe's behaviour or growth, etc, then the I hope that the test has been done to confirm this concern, or to set fears at ease. This test has results immediately, and does not need to be sent to a lab. If it happens to be your situation, we payed out of pocket for this test, and at least in our part of Ohio, it was $69.

    ((Personal anecdote, for what it's worth: I requested this test at our six month, just out of personal preference (wanted to pursue baby-led-solids route, and wanted to be able to do so in a low-stress way for me), and will likely have the test performed again at nine months, because my daughter too throws up frequently with solids (I didn't do cereal; she has this reaction with self-fed foods regardless of texture, though the throwing up is decreasing with time; her iron at 6 months was sufficient, but on the lower end of the spectrum), and is not too thrilled with them yet. With that knowledge, we'll do drops or not in addition to just focusing on iron-rich foods. All of that is just our own experience, for what it's worth. For her, I get the sense that the throwing up is more just a very strong and enthusiastic gag reflex, like, 'hey! I am super skeptical of this non-breastmilk thing sliding down my throat! better not take any chances!', than an allergy.))

    The AAP rec's that all babies' iron be tested at 12 months.

    For a discussion of iron, cereals, solids, etc, I highly recommend the blog "Science of Mom" (http://www.scienceofmom.com/). She is a PhD (I think in nutrition? can't recall), but also a breastfeeding mom. The link below is to her "best of" page, and you will see relevant articles in the categories of infant/toddler nutrition, and breastfeeding:


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Northern Virginia

    Default Re: Introducing Cereal, is vomiting bad?

    Wow, what a great blog. There was one topic that my unscientific knowledge of nutrition always thought was missing from one "controversial" topic, as always seems to be the case with every food study I read. But she seems to validate what I suspected and was told by a macrobiotic nutritionist. Won't mention it here lest it start a debate!

    But since the OP didn't mention child's age, I would agree that testing is key. If your baby is truly of solids age, and is vomiting from the cereal, try veggies and/or fruit to start. Don't obsess about the iron yet if you're just starting out. Then you can try homemade grains down the road and see if there is the same reaction. If you need some advice on preparing them, you can PM me. As a vegetarian I had read and was told by pediatricians that iron might be an issue once we started solids -- boy were we wrong. My daughter's levels were always high. I started with banana and avocado, but moved on to vegetables and fruits for a while. Then later vegetables mixed with a grain (usually quinoa or millet) -- none of which she will eat now, BTW, at 3! We kept all dairy and eggs out of her diet until around 1, although egg yolks might be a good food once baby can handle them. She never has had cow's milk to drink (just occasional yogurt and cheese) which helps with iron levels. We stayed away from nightshades or acidic foods (potatoes, eggplant, spinach, chard, tomatoes, etc.) until after 1, also. If you have low iron in the family, make sure you are taking your iron supplements!
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

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