Doesn't time fly? It seemed like only yesterday your newborn baby was a wailing, wrinkly, magical little being. Now they've grown, and fed, and burped, and pooped, and gurgled, and done all sorts of things. And yes, you videoed and photographed and Facebooked and Instagrammed and Tweeted and maybe even Snapchatted the whole journey. You’re not the only one!
There’s been lots of firsts; first burp, first gassy grin, first grip on your finger that made your heart melt into soft jelly. And maybe, just maybe, you’re ready for another first? You could be starting to notice that your ever-growing progeny is hungry?
A pretty natural progression from breastmilk and formula is the step up to solids. And one of the very first solids that is good to introduce is baby cereals, along with some mild mushy fruits and veggies. Baby cereals are great because it is not a dramatic change in taste for your baby. It’s gentle on the tummy, fills them up more, and is considered a safe place to start on solids.
Babies all develop at different rates so there's no firm milestone for when you're ready to start offering your little one baby cereal in a bottle. Pediatricians certainly don't recommend anything but breastmilk or formula prior to 4 months. And truth be told, they try to get you to hold out until your baby is 6 months old. This milestone seems to shift back and forth depending on what country you live in, your baby’s growth and what the current medical trend is. But, as a parent, you will have a great feel for when your baby is ready, and you can consult your pediatrician to confirm it. Ones your baby is old enough to start on solids, check out our very informative blog post on how to get started.
Ok so nothing else prior to 4 months. Got it. Although, as with everything in life, there are exceptions. For example ,if your baby suffers from reflux. In that case they made need a special formula or some added cereals to help them deal with the nasty tummy acids.
A general rule of thumb is that you can add cereal to your baby's bottle between 4-6 months. Consult with your pediatrician, make sure your baby has reached their growth milestones and listen to your great parenting instinct to tell you when your baby is showing signs of hunger that milk doesn't satisfy.
So, here we go, you've decided to add cereal to your baby's night time bottle but maybe you're wondering when can you give a baby rice cereal? Morning, day, night? Every meal? The answer is no. To start, it's recommended that you start with the night feed. This is when you and baby need more sleep! So it's a great time for baby to feel more full.
Most rice cereals have instructions on how to mix them. Normally you would add 1 tablespoon of rice cereal to every 4 tablespoons (60ml) of formula or breast milk. You'll find that the consistency is thicker, so, depending on your bottle teat, you might need to enlarge the hole a bit.
Even more fun is to feed your baby with a spoon. It's messy, it's sticky, and you'll all need a wash after, but it's so fun and your baby will be learning a new skill. Eating! And pretty soon they'll be ready to tackle the motor skills of feeding themselves with a spoon. This is hilarious and get your camera ready as the first few attempts might see them poke themselves in the cheek or drop the cereal and mash their hands into it. The more creative bubs will even do some finger painting with their food.
It's good to introduce another food at the same time like mashed banana. Not only for the balanced diet, but also for the interesting flavors and the fun of seeing their expressions when they taste it.
Make sure you watch out for allergy reactions. We don't want to alarm you, but it is possible and best to identify early. Giving cereal too early, when your baby is too young can actually cause allergies to develop. So please consult with your pediatrician if you have any concerns.
We have some cereal based formulas on our website that you might consider if you're ready for this step. Organic Holle Cereals are made from simple ingredients by the leading organic formula brand in the world. All of Holle's cereals are 100% organic and produced on biodynamic farms.
And enjoy! The fun feeding, the extra sleep, and this great big step in your baby's development.
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