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Your Baby Week Six

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Updated April 09, 2014

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Starting Baby Cereal
You should usually wait to start your baby on cereal until they are at least four to six months old.

You should usually wait to start your baby on cereal until they are at least four to six months old.

Photo © Vincent Iannelli, MD
Parents often look forward to the day that they can start feeding their baby cereal.

That often leads them to start baby cereal a little too early and before the generally accepted guidelines of four to six months. Most of these parents would agree that six weeks is too early to start cereal though.

However, some parents who start their baby on cereal at this age.

Why?

Some think it will help their baby sleep through the night. And others likely feel that their babies simply aren't getting satisfied with only drinking formula.

Don't rush into starting your baby on cereal or other baby foods now though. Young infants aren't developmentally ready for baby food yet, as they can't sit with support and hold their head steady very well. They will also likely just thrust their tongue out if you attempt to put a spoon of baby cereal in their mouth.

That leaves parents to put the cereal in a bottle if they want to feed their baby cereal at this age, which is generally discouraged by pediatricians.

If your baby is drinking more than about 40 ounces of formula a day, isn't sleeping as well as you think he should, or has another issue that you think would be fixed by starting him on cereal, then talk to your pediatrician first.

In addition to not usually being helpful, starting cereal too early may put your baby at risk for food allergies.

Cereal and Reflux

Adding cereal to a bottle of baby formula is sometimes recommended for babies with reflux. You do this by adding one tablespoon of rice cereal for every ounce or two of formula your baby drinks. The added cereal makes the formula thicker, so that it might stay down a little better.

Two baby formulas are available that may help kids with reflux so that you don't have to add cereal on your own. These include Enfamil AR and Similac Sensitive RS.

Related Video
Homemade Baby Food: Cereal

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