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Is it good or bad? are there any alternatives to the prepackaged stuff they sell at the supermarket? (isn't that stuff GM?) some of you on this board have said you skipped cereal did you give your babe something else besides BM?<br><br>
Everyone (IRL) seems obsessed that we start him on cereal but I say he's way too little and our pedi agrees (people have actually been suggesting it since he was around 2 mo! sheesh) what's the big deal with cereal anyway? do people just give it to babies early to get them to sleep through the night?
 

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There are a couple of different views on cereal... I think the most popular one here on MDC would be to skip it. You can start your baby on something like mashed banana, avacado, or sweet potatoes. You also have the option of making your own baby cereal, by grinding up some oats or brown rice. Here's some more info.:<br><a href="http://www.drjaygordon.com/faqs/cereal.htm" target="_blank">http://www.drjaygordon.com/faqs/cereal.htm</a><br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/first-foods.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/so...rst-foods.html</a><br>
HTH.
 

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Hi,<br>
There is a WONDERFUL book caleed Super Baby Food by Ruth Yarin. I found out about it with my daughter and have used it off and on. She is basically vegetarian(i'm not, used to be for a long time)but the wisdom of baby feeding in her book is priceless. She teaches how to grind your own grains and such for making cereal, and it is so easy! Pre-packaged stuff is crap and pretty devoid of most nutrients the origional grain had.It could very well be GM, have tons of pesticides, etc.Hope this helps. Like I said- it is really easy to make batches of cereal thatlasts for a few days- or you can even freeze it. She also goes over the making of other foods like fruits and veggies. She explains just about any question you might have about infant feeding. She also uses lots of ground nuts and such for protien and has fun recipes for when they get older. I got my book on Half.com.<br><br>
I started my daughter on some cereal at about 5 1/2 months because she was so active. She was at the point of nursing ALL day and still not being statisfied. I would go with that- start them on solids when they seem to need extra energy other than breastmilk.No rush. Those people pushing you don't have to do theactual feeding and planning of making the food!<br>
Good Luck!<br>
Leila
 

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We didn't really give our son much cereal. There is really no reason to start giving your baby any kind of food early. They say that babies do not need anything besides bm until they are 1 yo. We did not give our son anything to eat at all until he was nine months old and even then it was just plain regular rice. He was probably 11 mo before we really started feeding him on a regular basis. So many people were pressuring us to give him cereal before bed and he will sleep all night which is completely untrue (I did try it one time and he slept worse than ever). As an alternative to packaged cereal people have told me to just put some plain rice in a food processor and blend with a little bm. You could probably do the same with oatmeal.
 

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Also cereal is constipating. Single grain ones like rice are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, so I think this is part of the reason they are suggested as a first food. I remember my dh was so anxious for dd to become 6 months so he could feed her, and he did, but she didn't get into solids until about 9 months when she could pick up cheerios and fruit chunks herself.<br><br>
Is your baby sitting unsupported?<br>
Is he showing interest in eating (as opposed to just wanting to play with it or the spoon)<br>
Does he always seem to be hungry? (though this could relate to development or growth)<br>
Is he at least 6 months?<br><br>
If you answer yes to this, it would be no problem to mash up some sweet potato or avacado (or my dd really liked Gerber butternut squash) and try it. If he has trouble pooping, or it looks just like when it went in coming out, it might be best to back off for a little while later.
 

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We skipped baby cereals. When DS was ready, he had fruit as a first food. I have given him regular oatmeal mixed with BM, which he seemed to like.<br><br>
BTW, solids do not help babies sleep through the night. If so, I wouldn't have been up half the night last night...lol.
 

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I've seen lots of great threads here about starting solids. Try a search for "starting solids" maybe? "DaryLLL" always has wonderful wisdom on the subject. I think she even wrote in one post that babies can't fully digest grains until 18 months. Cereal is a holdover from the old days. It was thought that babies needed the iron. Actually, they don't. They get plenty of iron from BM. The iron in cereal actually constipates them and is not bioavailable like the iron in BM. Babies don't need any solids at all until 6 months. THe new ad campaign is pushing this one - they are now saying to breastfeed exclusively until 6 months. Kellymom.com has great info on solids too.<br><br>
We never did cereal. Went straight to yams. DD didn't take to solids until 10 months or so. I kept trying, but in retrospect, wish I hadn't even tried until 9 months or so. There was just no need. She still doesn't do a lot of grains - except oat o's. I wish I knew how to link to the threads I've seen. I hope you are able to pull them up through a search.<br><br>
HTH!
 

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There's no need to give your baby cereal or any "baby food" at all. Mashed and pureed foods are really only necessary if your baby is formula fed. If he is breastfed, he's getting all the nutrients he needs until he is able to feed himself finger foods (by finger foods, I mean soft ripe fruits, soft cooked veggies, rice cakes, etc). Babies who are on formula need nurtrients from other foods before they are able to feed themselves (formula doesn't change to meet a growing baby's needs) so need to be fed liquified foods. That's why they exist and are mass produced.<br><br>
My advice is to wait until your little one can pick up bits of soft food himself, then worry about solids. Solid food is just for fun and practice until a year or so.<br><br>
peace, Beth
 

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We were trying to make our own cereal, and our doctor pressured us into getting organic baby rice cereal. (because of the added iron.) Though it was non-GMO, organic, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"> it was hard to get the baby to eat it (we added cooked fruit or sweet potatoes) and it made his poops hard and extremely, scarily stinky. So I decided that we would take our chances and just stop feeding him cereal, and when we tested for anemia at 9 months--no anemia, not a bit.<br><br>
Because I was working outside the home and expressing breastmilk, I was very eager for my son to start solids. (It is nervewracking to try to produce enough breastmilk when you are at work. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> )We started at the 6 month mark. He very very gradually got interested in eating. His favorite first food was cooked sweet potato. If I had not been working, I think I might have waited longer to introduce solids.<br><br>
At 16 months, my son is a stellar eater. He eats many foods. In the grains group, he eats bread (white and whole wheat) rice (brown or white) and noodles (whole grain or refined flour). He got a lot more interested in grains when they were served to him as finger foods he could eat himself.<br><br>
We gave him organic puffed rice as a finger food at 8 or 9 months, and then later the O cereal. I would say that the dry cereal was a good thing to feed him, except that I now think we gave him too much of that stuff and not enough of the higher-calorie food between 9 and 12 months. So if I have a second child, I will introduce those finger foods but also feed other things.
 

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i thought of trying cereal with my first child. i bought some, tasted it, and threw the crap away before ever giving her some. it was like eating newspaper, not something i wished my child to taste. i've always gone with avocado or banana as a first food.<br>
dd #1 ate her first solids around 6 1/2 months<br>
dd#2 started around 8 1/2 months<br>
ds#1 exclusively nursing for now (about 5 months) but don't plan on starting solids any time soon.
 

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I didn't give dd cereal and will not give it to ds. (he will be 4 months on the 20th)<br>
I just go right on to food when they are ready. no cereal. I don't see a need to take that step first, when they're ready, I give them homemade babyfood (I don't like the jarred and never bought it with dd)
 

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My babe has been on cereal since he was 4 weeks (he's 4 months) BUT only as a solution for his reflux.<br><br>
My older son was NEVER on cereal. He had problems digesting iron and nothing passed his lips until he was 8 months old and he starting in on mashed veggies that we were eating. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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We get some free from WIC or I'd never touch the stuff for DD. As it is, I'll probably put it in multigrain pancake mix (w/ other grains she's already had for the flour). She can eat pieces of pancake as fingerfoods.
 

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Just wanted to add that cereal is important for the iron it contains. Even though we've been giving my DD a bit of cereal every day, we just found out that she's slightly anemic. (She's 11 months old.)<br><br>
Iron is so important. <a href="http://www.umich.edu/news/index.html?Releases/2004/May04/r050104a" target="_blank">This recent study</a> by U of M shows the danger of serious (not slight) iron deficiency in infants. Apparently, they found that infants who suffered iron deficiency were still scoring lower on cognitive and motor tests than their peers as <i>teens</i>.<br><br>
If you decide not to give cereal, make sure to talk to your doctor about alternate ways of making sure your baby gets enough iron.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jeyer</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Just wanted to add that cereal is important for the iron it contains. Even though we've been giving my DD a bit of cereal every day, we just found out that she's slightly anemic. (She's 11 months old.)</div>
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Actually, I think there are much better sources of iron than cereal. DaryLLL, where are you? She says it so eloquently and will have sources to back this up. As I said before, the iron in cereal is constipating and is not easily digested by babies. Therefore, all the extra iron you think they are getting isn't being processed by their little bodies.<br><br>
IMO, after breastmilk, meat would be a better source of iron, as would soy products, egg yolks, beans, spinach, and blackstrap molasses. We NEVER did cereal, and NEVER will - my dd is not even near anemic. I would not assume cereal or an iron supplement from a ped would "fix" anemia. It may just constipate and make matters worse. Any solids or extra iron you are giving your baby can impede their absorption of the iron from your breastmilk - the best iron source there is.<br><br>
Wasn't it a formula company that did the outdated study supposedly proving that babies need extra iron after 6 months? Can anybody help me out with links either to threads or the internet? Or, maybe, just maybe, DaryLLL, are you out there?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MamaE</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">IMO, after breastmilk, meat would be a better source of iron, as would soy products, egg yolks, beans, spinach, and blackstrap molasses.</div>
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Very true, there are better sources. But not all of them are suitable for babies, especially ones just starting out on solids.<br><br>
Our DD was exclusively breastfed until almost six months, at which point we introduced solids. She still nurses several times a day. For solids she has been getting a variety of fruits and veggies, plus chicken and turkey almost daily, but we were only giving her a small amount of cereal before the iron test.<br><br>
And still, she was slightly anemic. We have actually started giving her an iron supplement twice a week, in addition to bumping up her cereal intake.<br><br>
As for constipation, our DD definitely doesn't have that problem! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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jeyer..<br><br>
check out the link that sarahmae1 posted toward the top of this thread.. I believe its the Dr jay gordon one. He says that ANY solids will decrease the absorption of iron from breastmilk.. which is the most bioavailable form of iron for babes..so by feeding a baby any solids could interfer with thier ability to absorb the iron in your bm.<br><br>
I have also always heard (and practiced!) exclusive bf for 1 year..<br>
Anyone else with more info??
 

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Yep, I already read that Dr. Jay article, BAU3.<br><br>
EBF for a year just isn't for everybody. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Back to the OT, I'm certainly not saying a baby *has* to have cereal. Just to make sure the iron question is properly considered and talked over with your doctor.
 

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I've been following this thread with interest, b/c I was pressured at our last well-baby check to start the iron fortified cerea, but I don't want too... now, does ANY solids really mean ANY solids? So far, in her life, by my choice her hers, my 6.5 mo dd has had, cardboard, paper (her choice, my bad mommy moments <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: ), a TASTE of banana, pear and chicken (we're talking smidgens here), and has gnawed on apple and carrots, but not really eaten any. Is this amount of solids enough to interfere with iron absorption?<br><br>
We really want to take it slow here, but I don't want to cause her to get anemic by not giving her enough solids with iron but interfering with iron absorption from the little tastes of things. Yet I find it really hard to believe that just these little tastes would be a problem- isn't it likely that even though babies were exclusively breastfed in the past for 1+ years they got little tastes of things along the way?
 

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Jen, it wasn't my intention to offend you...<br><br>
just thought from what you were saying that would be of interest to you.sorry.
 
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