When to start giving baby solids?

I've read that now most doctors are saying that instead of going by physical age to determine when to give a baby solids, that you should go by developmental age. When a baby can sit supported, then you should start them on cereal and "First foods". My son is three months old and can sit supported, he even pulls himself up into a sitting position(he can maintain it for about five seconds) BUT I thought you were supposed to wait until 4 months to start with the cereal and baby food. Should I start giving my son some cereal or should I wait another month? I do have a call in to his doctor and should be hearing from them this afternoon. Just wanted to hear some other mothers' opinions.



This has information on "supported sitter"

15 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    No... it's too early for him to have cereal! Here's something I found on Babycenter.

    Starting cereal this early in her life isn't a good idea. Despite her weight and the amount she is consuming, her gastrointestinal tract is still immature, and introducing another foreign protein in cereal can predispose her to allergies later on.

    At this stage of her physical development, formula is still the only food a formula-fed infant should get. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months with gradual introduction of solid foods in the second six months for a breastfed baby, and introduction of solid foods between 4 and 6 months for a formula-fed infant.

    Some of the signs that your baby is ready for solids are an ability to sit fairly well in a high chair as well as take food off a spoon and transfer it to the back of her mouth. This means the disappearance of the tongue-thrust reflex (where the baby pushes most of the food put into her mouth down her chin with her tongue). The final signal is an interest in food.

    With your baby eating so frequently, I can imagine you are thinking she simply isn't being satisfied by the amount of formula she is getting. If she is taking 4 ounces every one to two hours around the clock, she's eating a lot! . If she is spitting up a lot or having diarrhea, she may not really be absorbing all that food. Or if you are mixing powdered formula with too much water, she may be drinking more of it in order to get the calories she needs.

    On the other hand, a baby who weighs 12 pounds — which, at her age, is between the 75th and 90th percentiles for weight — needs to eat about 32 ounces of formula a day, give or take a bit, to continue gaining weight. And formula-fed babies also seem to go through growth spurts, at around 2, 3, and 6 months, when they may take more formula for a period of time and then go back to a more "normal" intake.

    It might be helpful to determine whether she is really hungry all those times she is eating. Check the hole in the nipple — is it too big? Is she drinking too fast, and not getting the amount of sucking time she needs? Feeds should take about 20 minutes with lots of hugging and snuggling with Mom or Dad. This helps satisfy both her nutritional and nurturing needs. Will she take a pacifier or suck on her thumb or fingers instead of taking a bottle? Can you distract her from her bottle by playing with her or doing something else? Are you, perhaps, encouraging her to finish the bottle instead of taking it away once she indicates she is no longer interested by pushing it away or biting on the nipple?

    When you do start solid foods, start gradually, allowing your baby's GI tract to adjust to each new food before starting another. Rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula is generally baby's first solid food. Then wait a few days and try something else, such as a green vegetable. After a few more days, you can introduce another cereal such as oatmeal, or another vegetable or a fruit. This way, if your baby has a reaction to anything, you will know right away what it is. While which foods you start first is not terribly important, the usual progression is cereals, vegetables, fruits, and then meats. Foods considered potentially allergenic, such as cows' milk, eggs, wheat, and fish, should not be started until the baby is closer to a year old.

  • 1 decade ago

    You should really wait at least another month, if not till he's 6 months (Do talk to your Dr.) One of the main reasons babies start on rice cereal early is because they are not satisfied with the amount of breastmilk/ formula they are getting and are maxing out on the amount they should get in a 24 hour period. If that happens, then lots of times, if the baby is developmentally ready, then the Dr, may recommend starting the baby on cereal to help them last longer between feedings.

    But if you're baby is feeding well, then you shouldn't start him on cereal just because he is developmentally ready. As mentioned in other answers, his stomach and digestive tract is probably not mature yet to handle the food. And there is also the allergy factor as well. So if he's thriving as it is, there is no need to rush into cereals. Try to wait till 5-6 months. Good luck!

  • My youngest started eating real solids at around 4-5 months. Not baby food. She wouldn't touch the stuff. We gave her stuff easy to gum. Like mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. Anything really.....as long as it was soft. She is now 2 1/2, and weighs about 27 lbs. She is not fat, and is a very healthy eater. I think with a high metabolism.

    I would say that you should go by developmental age. You and baby will know when he is ready. And what he is ready for.

    Good luck.

    Source(s): Personal experience.
  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I would still wait until 4 months. Even though he looks ready on the outside, his digestive system is still not ready to handle cereals. If you start your baby too early, there is a risk of tummy troubles, constipation, and food allergies. Just wait a little while longer =)

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  • Kris L
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Since your son is 'developing' physically ahead of schedule, I think you should start him on 'solid food' now ... but do so VERY SLOWLY ... start by adding a little 'baby cereal' to his bottle of formula or water, and see how he 'tolerates' that both in his 'urinary and bowel movements' and also his 'attention span' and his 'activity level' ... make the cereal thicker over the next week or two, and WATCH HIM to make sure he doesn't 'falter' ... some babies start sleeping much longer and deeper but become more active when they're awake (that is GOOD) but others start sleeping more lightly and seem 'sluggish' when awake (that is BAD) ... and be sure that he's eating at least 3 different kinds of cereal before you start him on 'vegetables' ... and it's BEST if you use FRESH vegies and 'puree' them yourself with NO SALT because even the so-called 'salt free' baby foods do have salt added to them.

    Source(s): I'm a mom and raised four kids (all grown now, and two -so far- grandkids) and each of them got their first 'solid food' at a different age, because they are each 'developmentally' different.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes you are supposed to go by physical development, but not before 6 months. Also two camps on this, however nowhere have I read a milestone that says "sit supported" they all say UNSUPPORTED:


    Signs that indicate baby is developmentally ready for solids include:

    * Baby can sit up well without support.

    * Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue.

    * Baby is ready and willing to chew.

    * Baby is developing a “pincer” grasp, where he picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. Using the fingers and scraping the food into the palm of the hand (palmar grasp) does not substitute for pincer grasp development.

    * Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth


    Your baby is starting to get ready for solids when:

    * he is about four months old

    * he becomes more sociable, playing and holding "conversations" with you during a nursing session

    * he has a growth spurt and nurses more frequently for a while

    * he imitates the chewing motions you make whilst eating -- he is practicing!

    You will know that he is really ready to start solids when:

    * he is about six months old

    * he can sit up without any support

    * he continues to be hungry despite more frequent nursing which is unrelated to illness or teething

    * he has lost the tongue-thrusting reflex and does not push solids out of his mouth

    * he can pick up things with his finger and thumb (pincer grasp)

    The other school of thought is a baby is not ready until they can feed themselves normal food. This is the rule I went by, and from the other moms I know this method results in less picky eaters in the long term because toddlers don't suddenly have to be taught that food has texture, all the food they have had had texture.

    "Babies who are ready for solids can usually feed themselves. Mothers often report that they knew their babies were ready when they picked up food from a plate, chewed it, swallowed it, and wanted more."


    Guidelines for implementing a baby-led approach to the introduction of solid food


    "This approach to introducing solids offers a baby the opportunity to discover what other food has to offer as part of finding out about the world around him. It utilises his desire to explore and experiment, and to mimic the activities of others. Allowing the baby to set the pace of each meal, and maintaining an emphasis on play and exploration rather than on eating, enables the transition to solid food to take place as naturally as possible. This is because it appears that what motivates babies to make this transition is curiosity, not hunger."

  • 1 decade ago

    Generally the accepted rule of thumb is 4-6 months old, depending on the child and the doctor's philosophy.

    Source(s): 10+ years of working in pediatrics
  • 1 decade ago

    Check out this website: http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/infant/startingsoli...

    Starting solids can be anywhere from 4 to 6 months based on several factors. Before 4 months is too early because of increased threat of choking and unintentional over feeding.

  • Maudie
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Betsy is correct. It's not just developmental age...you have to consider their digestive systems as well. In fact, I'd say that's more important. Just because he can sit up supported, etc does not mean his little tummy can handle anything more than formula or breastmilk.


  • 1 decade ago

    i started my baby on cereal at four months, i started feed him table food at seven months and he is still taking cereal,formula and table food now at ten months. He did fine with the feedings.

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