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Too early to start rice cereal?

I have an 11 week old daughter who is exclusively breast fed. For the last 3 weeks she has been eating every hour. At first I thought it may be a growth spurt- but I am suprised at how often she still demands to be fed. She is able to hold her head up very well and weighs almost 15 lbs. I am thinking about introducing very diluted rice cereal as an attempt to satiate her for longer times. Any comments or personal experience with starting rice cereal so early are welcome and appreciated. Thank you!

- I do know that she may reject the rice cereal. If this is the case I will not force her to start eating it- just so you all know. :) Thanks again!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:39 PM on May. 21, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (10)
  • I didn't start my son on rice cereal until he was 4 months. The dr told me to. I think it would probably be ok, just spoon feed and mix with water or expressed milk to form a thin paste. My son is allergic to rice cereal and can only tolerate oatmeal. Double check with the dr to be sure!

    Answer by ArmyWifeAshlie at 4:47 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • Yes-way too early even for a formula fed baby. She IS probably going through a growth spurt- DD did that for approximately her first three months. When a baby nurses frequently they are signaling your body to increase production. That is a good thing. Nurse on demand; this too shall pass. Also, when we started DD on solids, we tried the rice cereal. It constipated her a lot. When you do start solids (and for bf babies the recommendation is six months) it would be better to start with mashed avocado or sweet potatoes, which are easier, better tasting, and better for her. The main things to look for in readiness for solids are :ability to sit unsupported and loss of the tounge extrusion reflex. Until one year, breastmilk or formula need to come before any solids are given; solids are for practice eating, nothing more.

    Answer by preacherskid at 4:51 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • Your pediatrician will let you know when she's phyisically ready to start having baby foods introduced into her diet. It's best to wait until she can sit up with assistance before trying to feed her with a spoon.

    Answer by HotMama330 at 5:01 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • My doctor started my son at 4 months. I have read though that they recommend waiting till 6 months. I would say its definately too early...Your lillte one probubly still has the tongue thrust reflex at that age and when they have that they arent ready to eat.

    Answer by carsonsmommytam at 5:08 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • She's normal. If you try to satiate her with filler she will take in fewer calories and you will just create gas and constipation. She doesn't have the gut maturity to digest solids. Babies that small nurse a lot. She is building your supply. This is growth sput time and growth spurts happen often in the first 4 months. Just don't switch her mid feed. let her have the breast as often as she wants. She is fine and this will pass.

    6 months is the recommended minimum for breastfed babies. Babies are designed to reject solids (tongue thrust) for a reason.

    Answer by amileegirl at 5:32 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • Cereal can actually make her want to eat MORE. Carbs have that effect. And cereal can negatively impact your supply; if she nurses less you will make less.

    Also be aware that there's a risk of tummy upset and constipation.

    Cereal can also disrupt sleep.

    The recommendation for a breastfed baby is six months before introducing any solids. She is completely normal; they do this at times and that's when you know everything IS working.

    So. Time for you to take a look at the possible risks: supply reduction, constipation, MORE hunger, less sleep, tummy upset...versus the possible reward...maybe eating less often.

    Only you can decide how the balance weighs out,.

    Answer by gdiamante at 5:45 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • I personally started my oldest daughter on rice cereal when she was only about a month old because she stayed hungry all the time. It didn't hurt her at all. The doctor didn't want me to do it until she was four months old, but for no other reason than that she said it may have limited the amount of breastmilk she was getting because she wouldn't nurse as often. I used a cereal feeder, which is basically just a bottle and started out using breastmilk and mixing a little cereal in with it, not enough to make it more than thick liquid. It worked well, didn't effect her wanting to nurse, just space out the nursing a little more. Another bonus was she didn't have as much of a problem with gas once she started the cereal. I just had my second daughter last month and if I feel like she needs something a little more then she'll be given cereal too.

    Answer by mrsherron at 10:03 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • FYI growth spurts happen at approximately 3 days, 6 days, 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 9 weeks, 12 weeks (3months), 6 months, 9 months etc.

    To prepare for the spurt the baby will be seemingly ravenous and want to eat non stop. This suckling maddness builds supply for the coming feeding frenzy. THEN there is the feeding frenzy. THEN the morning you wake up and find that the outfit you put on two days ago doesn't fit anymore and you are engorged and the baby isn't interested in your over-milked plight. The baby seems to be perma-affixed to the breast. Normal. What happens when people give cereal is that they think its the cereal that makes a difference, when it is really just the natural ebb and flow of a growing baby. Rice cereal just makes rice cereal poop -- it doesn't do anything beneficial.

    Answer by amileegirl at 11:24 PM on May. 21, 2010

  • Cereal too soon can interfere with sleep patterns and fill your child with calories that should be breastmilk. It can also cause a whole host of medical issues later in life, into adulthood.

    From a nutritional standpoint, you need never to feed your baby cereal. Read up on nutrition; your doctor is not a nutritionist, she/he is a treater of diseases. are two great places to start your journey.


    Answer by rkoloms at 9:36 AM on May. 22, 2010

  • It's recommended by the Academy of Pediatrics to not start solids until 6 months. A baby's digestive system is not ready for solids until then. All they need nutrition wise is breast milk or formula. That being said, the most popular first food is cereals (rice or oatmeal). What most people don't realize is how difficult it is for a baby's system to digest the starches in cereals...they can better digest cereal closer to 9 month old. Before then they have an open gut. A better first food is Pears. They are very gentle on baby's stomach and so full of fiber.

    Don't start solids yet simply b/c your baby seems hungry all the time. They are supposed to be hungry all the time. They pretty much grow non-stop until their first birthday. Just suck it up and do what's best for your baby. Trust me, I know it's hard and tiresome. I've got a 4 month old who is finally going longer between feedings.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:01 AM on May. 22, 2010

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