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Thread: Rice cereal Ok before 6 months old??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Rice cereal Ok before 6 months old??

    When is it ok to give your baby just some rice cereal before giving her any other solids?? I hear so many different things, not to give ANYTHING before 6 months and than I hear its ok to give them cereal before like at 5 months or so.
    I just want to know everyones opinion or if anyone did any research or what? We don't have problems with food allergies in either one of our families, and is cereal really a big deal to give them??

    My baby is 3 months old now, but I"m just trying to prepare for the future!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Rice cereal Ok before 6 months old??

    Hi! I'm sure you will have a lot of other mom's along shortly to add great information/advice/opinions. By introducing *any* food other than breastmilk early you are potentially replacing your *PERFECT* nutrition (breastmilk) with an inferior one.

    The AAP recommends not starting solids until at least 6 months.

    See:

    Why Delay Solids?Solid food: Wait a Bit
    When should my baby start solids?
    Is my baby ready for solid foods?
    How do we get started with solids?
    What if my 4-5 month old seems ready for solids?
    Solid food: Best Delayed

    The following organizations recommend that all babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or any other foods) for the first 6 months of life (not the first 4-6 months): World Health Organization, UNICEF, US Department of Health & Human Services, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Dietetic Association, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Health Canada

    The second source above (Solids: Wait a bit) states:

    "Even one exposure to a formula or cereal causes changes in a young baby's body, and can trigger allergies that might have been avoided. Young babies have very low levels of an enzyme important to starch digestion, so early cereal may be filling, but it isn't effective food. Early fruits or vegetables can interfere with iron absorption. And studies indicate that babies sleep through the night when they're ready, not when they start solids. Is your baby gaining poorly? Supplementing a low milk supply can make your supply even lower. If weight gain is a concern, call a breastfeeding specialist for help in keeping your baby well-fed and nursing.

    The older guidelines that recommend starting solids "at 4 to 6 months" include formula-fed babies and those few breastfed infants whose growth is truly faltering. For the baby who is doing well on breastmilk alone, early solids may replace a complete, well-digested food with an incomplete, poorly digested one, and can lead to obesity, allergies, and even anemia. There are good reasons to wait until about 6 months, especially if there are allergies in the family."

    Good luck with your little one and when your baby is ready to start trying foods, have fun and follow her/his cues. Check out this thread for more info for when you do actually start solids ... http://lalecheleague.org/vbulletin/s...6178#post36178

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    14

    Default Re: Rice cereal Ok before 6 months old??

    paint-the-moon has given you some excellent advice and links, which I just wanted to second, really. You see a lot of infant food promoted as being suitable from 4-6 months. In short, this is because companies want to sell more baby food - not because it benefits babies in any way.

    I wish I had waited longer to give my daughter solids. She started them 10 days before she turned 6 months, because I thought she was hungry. In hindsight, she was teething, and not ready for solids at all. She ended up with painful constipation from the banana - and this is the only time in her two years of life that she's been constipated. Rice cereal can have a similar effect. It's well worth waiting, you just have to have faith in yourself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Rice cereal Ok before 6 months old??

    You don't HAVE to give cereal at all. There's no reason to start with cereal, really. We skipped it nearly entirely. DS did not like it. Would not eat it. But if I provided something he could feed to himself (or attempt to feed himself) he loved it.

    A lot of moms love feeding cereal, but I'm not one of them. It's messy. And besides, once you start feeding any sort of solids, their stool really stinks, and like saraswithi says, they can get constipated. Why deal with that any earlier than you have to?
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Rice cereal Ok before 6 months old??

    Quote Originally Posted by IansMommy
    You don't HAVE to give cereal at all. There's no reason to start with cereal, really. We skipped it nearly entirely. DS did not like it. Would not eat it. But if I provided something he could feed to himself (or attempt to feed himself) he loved it.
    Oh, absolutely! My daughter is two, and never had commercial rice cereal. She began on banana, then avocado, slowly followed by other fruits and homemade vegetable purees. When I did start her on cereal, I made her porridges with quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat to name a few - with water, as my brother had a dairy intolerance and I didn't want to tempt fate.
    She's now very independent and doesn't appreciate anything I cook, and prefers most vegetables raw. Dinner last night was apple and cheese, cubed, and a large, raw field mushroom -as per her request! Oh, and breastmilk of course.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Brandon, FL
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    Default Re: Rice cereal Ok before 6 months old??

    When I took my boys in for their 4 month check up their doctor suggested we start rice cereal anywhere between 4 and 6 months. She said it would be good to get a little extra iron in their diet. They started it a little after 4 months. We've had no problems. I have just started giving them homemade foods now at 7 months. They love it, but still favor breastfeeding.
    SAHW to C and SAHM to my identical boys J & A born 1/7/06 & my little girl K born 8/21/08.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: Rice cereal Ok before 6 months old??

    I skipped the cereal with my second baby. You can get better sources of iron in vegetables and they're better absorbed by the body. Avocado is a great fist food when you're ready to start.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    14

    Default Re: Rice cereal Ok before 6 months old??

    Quote Originally Posted by colsus13
    When I took my boys in for their 4 month check up their doctor suggested we start rice cereal anywhere between 4 and 6 months. She said it would be good to get a little extra iron in their diet.
    That advice is commonly given out by doctors, even though organisations like the World Health Organisation now recommend solids from 6 months.
    Kelly Mom has a good page on iron and the breastfed infant:

    Is Iron Supplementation Necessary?

    Rice cereal contains extra iron for formula fed babies who are at risk of iron deficiency, both through the chance of micro-bleeding in a compromised intestine, and the fact that iron isn't as easily absorbed from formula as it is from breastmilk.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    86

    Default Re: Rice cereal Ok before 6 months old??

    i don't think anyone here is going to tell you it's "ok"
    on the other hand, i doubt babies have an internal clock, that alarms inside them the second they turn 6 months old and makes solids ok, kwim?
    i heard the Dr on the mom show say "there are lots of right ways to feed your baby and only a few REALLY wrong ways." that pearl has stuck with me, and i apply it to more than just feeding.
    on that note, ds started solids at about 5 months

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Brandon, FL
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    108

    Default Re: Rice cereal Ok before 6 months old??

    At the time the doctor told me that a little extra iron was good for my babies I happened to be in the military and pumping while at work. With my twins, I just couldn't pump enough for them....even when pumping every 2-3 hours. So my boys were getting mostly breastmilk, but some formula while I was at work. I have done so much research on pumping, breastfeeding and supplementing since then, I know now that they probably would have been just fine without the cereal. Whenever they are hungry, I always nurse them first...cereal and foods come after we nurse.
    SAHW to C and SAHM to my identical boys J & A born 1/7/06 & my little girl K born 8/21/08.

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