Monday, November 8, 2010

If At First You Don't Succeed...

Try, try again!

About a month ago, on our tiny girl's 5 month birthday, we gave her rice cereal for the first time. She did a great job with the mechanics of opening her mouth for the spoon and swallowing the cereal. After that night though, it was all downhill. She grew increasingly less tolerant of being spoon fed and I was dumping increasingly larger quantities of pumped milk. At the end of about 2 weeks, she would just look at me when I put the spoon up to her mouth and if I was able to trick her into opening up, she would just sit there with the cereal on her tongue and her mouth wide open. Sometimes she'd babble or blow bubbles sending the cereal flying back in my face. Eventually she was waving her arms and turning her face away when I'd try to feed her. I decided it was time for a break.

I waited two and a half weeks hoping she would kind of forget about that experience and start fresh. When I introduced the rice cereal again, it was received with the same arm-waving and head-turning + squirming and screeching to make the point extra clear. This baby was not going to eat rice cereal. I decided to try oatmeal instead and her first go at it is what you see above. I won't call it a smashing success. I think she was more excited for the spoon than the cereal. But there was no arm waving or head turning, or screeching and squirming. And best of all, she finished the whole bowl without any complaints! I remain cautiously optimistic.

Have any of you had struggles getting your baby to start solids? Any ideas or solutions? I really don't want feeding time to get a bad wrap with her and become a struggle for the long haul.


  1. My suggestion for starting solids? Don't! 5 months is young for a breastfed baby anyway, and going straight to table food is great if they'll do it. Lucy was a strict cereal and stage 1 girl, and I found her to have the most BFing issues later on. Molly didn't do cereal and if I remember correctly, she didn't do many pureed foods either. I think she finally started eating table food around 8 months? Just sort of started grabbing at things when she was ready. My suggestion is to let Carsen take the lead. She's ready when she starts trying to swipe food off your plate. If she's happy just nursing for now, pretend the cereal never happened. She's a little thing. I'd let her go to anywhere between 6&8 months before I really started to try things. I think the new "rule" is 6 months for exclusive nursers anyway, when it comes to starting cereal. I'd also mix it with bananas or applesauce if you're going to keep trying. Baby cereal is NASTY! They also say that oatmeal is more preferable for breastfed babies, taste wise. Who knows why...I think a few spoons of bananas will be the closest to the tastes she's already used to! If food allergies don't really run in the family and you and Josh can eat most things, just let her have fun and try things as she seems interested. I love that stage!

  2. I completely agree with the previous post. Let the baby take the lead. If she's content with breast feeding right now then just continue on that. As for the cereal I would always mix it with a fruit as well, it was better received that way. I started George on baby food at about 5 months and by 9 months we had serious breast feeding issues. He was my fourth and the only one who took to food with no issue but also the only one who weaned himself from the breast (at 9 months!) If she seems hungrier during times of the day when you feel she should be full on milk, then sure try some cereal! We used to do 1 bowl a day at dinner, and that seemed to help them sleep through the night too. Just follow your gut, and let Carsen lead the way!

  3. Thanks girls! She was definitely showing signs of readiness- grabbing at my food, making eating motions with her mouth when she saw me eating, etc. So far we are 2 for 2 with the oatmeal, so I'm hoping that's it! if not my next step will be to try some foods and just skip the cereal.


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