Most women who have very young babies are wary about when to start giving the child cereals. It depends on not just your baby’s age and weight and but also many other things. Some babies may be ready for cereals in 3 months, while some may take a little longer. Usually, doctors recommend that one can start giving the baby cereals between 4-6 months. Whatever you do, don’t rush your baby into having cereals just because he/she is four months old. Here are a few signs to watch out for to determine whether your baby is ready for cereals.
- The baby holds his/her head steady and sits with support
- Tries to reach out for food and shows interest
- Opens mouth when he/she sees food
- No longer thrusts the tongue out during feeding. Food stays in the mouth and the baby swallows it
The Best Time
Babies can be given cereals when they are between four to six months. Usually, this is the time when the automatic thrusting of the tongue stops and the baby starts to show interest in food. Begin by giving the cereal once a day. Don’t switch the cereals too often and wait for a few days before introducing new food. Very gradually increase the volume of the cereal given or you may start giving it twice a day, the best options being morning and evening.
The First Bites
When introducing baby cereal for the first time, make sure the consistency is thin and runny. Mix the cereal with breast milk to make it thin. Cereals that are made out of rice, barley or oatmeal cereals are best if they are ground finely. Don’t use cow’s milk or baby formula without consulting your doctor. The baby should be seated on a chair or a baby seat that has straps to strap-on if you feel the baby may fall. Use a small spoon to feel the baby. At first, he/she may take small and messy bites and may play with the food inside the mouth. But that is how they learn to eat!