QOD: What kind of cereal should I give my infant at first?

Rice cereal is a good first choice, but any single-ingredient baby cereal is a good place to start. And be patient! Many babies are confused at first by the idea of eating solid food.

Many parents choose to start with rice cereal, although it’s not mandatory. Any single-ingredient baby cereal is probably just fine.

Start by mixing a tablespoon of cereal in a bowl with breast milk, formula, or water until the mixture is very soupy. Place your baby in a comfortable, secure location. Don’t be alarmed if your child has no idea what to make of this soupy stuff. Some babies are naturals when it comes to eating, and some will spit out everything you offer.

If your baby refuses food, they might not be ready to start this process. In that case, spend 5-10 minutes trying and then call it a day. Feeding is intended to be enjoyable for baby, so if it’s not working out, give it a break and try again in a week or so.

Remember, at this young age feeding is about development and not nutrition. Your infant is still getting all the nutrition he or she needs from breast milk or formula.

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, December 2018

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