After your baby is doing well eating rice cereal for a while, you will likely want to try other baby foods.
Although there are no absolute rules on how to do this, some general guidelines include that you:
- not be in a big rush to start other baby foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and meats, since you have started rice cereal on the early range of normal (4 to 6 months).
- start other foods once your baby isn't satisfied just eating cereal, for example, she is already eating 3 or 4 tablespoons of cereal once or twice a day and still seems hungry.
- wait 2 or 3 days in between starting new foods, such as carrots, peas, or peaches, so that you will recognize symptoms of a food allergy or intolerance, such as diarrhea, gas, vomiting, or skin rashes.
- after your baby is tolerating an iron-fortified rice cereal for a few weeks or months, you can then try oatmeal, barley, wheat, and then mixed cereal, in that order.
- experts usually advise adding a vegetable to your baby's diet, before you start fruits, just because your baby might prefer the sweeter taste of fruits if you start them first.
- slowly work your way up to 4 ounces of baby food three times a day, in addition to 24 to 36 ounces of breast milk or formula. Unfortunately, how much your baby eats at each age varies quite a bit, so you will have to play it by ear a little to figure out how much to feed your baby. For example, a sample menu for a baby might include nursing 7 times a day and just eating 2 ounces of cereal once a day, while another might be nursing 8 times a day and eating 4 ounces of cereal for breakfast, 2 ounces of veggies and fruit for lunch, and 2 ounces of veggies and meat for dinner.
Also, remember that many babies don't start any baby food until they are 6 or 7 months old, so don't be discouraged if your baby doesn't seem ready for solids yet.