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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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Families: Nebraska's Future

Baby's First Year

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Baby's First Year of Life -

Programs are available throughout Nebraska to help meet the needs of families and children


Feeding the Four Month Old Baby Cereal

4 & 5 Months


It is recommended to start feeding babies between the months of 4-6. Most professionals recommend starting solids at 6 months. When parent, pediatrician and baby decide it’s a good time to start solid foods, begin with a single ingredient food.

Before starting solid foods your baby should be able to sit upright with minimal support, push food from the front of their mouth to the back of their mouth using their tongue, and open their mouth as a spoon full of food approaches. Does baby sit well with support? Hold his head up without wobbling? These are some signs that a 4 to 6 month-old baby is ready to start eating solid foods. Every baby is an individual and will develop at their own pace.

It is important to know that breast milk and/or formula will remain the baby’s primary source of nutrition until they are one year old.

Most doctors recommend starting with rice cereal. It's fortified with iron and not likely to cause food allergies. Mix a tablespoon of cereal with breast milk or formula, until the mixture is smooth and about as thick as cream. Introduce one new food for 2-4 days in a row before introducing a new food to identify possible allergies.

Pick a time when baby is hungry, but not starving. It may help to give him some breast milk or formula first and then try a little bit of cereal. Remember that baby’s stomachs are very small so they will not stretch very much. Stop feeding when baby turns his head away, is no longer interested or is easily distracted.

Use a small spoon that is narrow and put cereal in a little at a time. Baby's tongue may push the food back out. Be patient -- it takes time to learn how to chew and to swallow. Using a bib will cut down on the mess. Start with small amounts. Do not use an infant feeder, syringe or bottle to feed solid foods. These can cause choking. They don't help baby learn to eat from a spoon, and they can cause overeating.

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension NuFacts

This resource was updated April 2008.






Photo Credit - Vicki Jedlicka


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