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Starting solid foods is an exciting time for you and your baby. Your baby is probably ready to start on solids at 4 to 6 months, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The exact date depends on your baby's development and every baby is different. The jury is out as to whether it's necessary to start your baby on rice cereal or other foods first, but rice cereal has certain advantages as a baby's first food. Rice cereal formulated for infants is fortified with iron, an important nutrient for babies. Many brands of rice cereals are also fortified with vitamins in the amounts babies need. Rice cereal is easy to fix and you can adjust its thickness to suit your baby. It is also inexpensive
Set your baby in his feeding seat or high chair and fasten him in securely, making sure his back is well supported. You will appreciate not having to worry about supporting him as you try to feed him.
Place a bib on your baby, or be prepared to change her clothing after the meal. Even if she doesn't eat a lot, there will be a mess.
Put 1 tbsp. of dried rice cereal in a bowl and mix it with 5 tbsp. of breast milk, formula or water. This will make a very runny rice cereal. Your baby is just learning to swallow solids, so you'll want to start him out slowly. The first time you feed your baby rice cereal, he will probably not take very much.
Spoon up a small amount, using a spoon small enough to fit partway in her mouth. Infant plastic spoons or infant spoons with a rubber tip work great. You may be tempted to use a bottle for this runny rice cereal, but use a spoon. The idea is not just to get solids inside your baby, but to teach your baby how to eat.
Keep eye contact with your baby as you gently touch the spoon to his mouth. If he opens up and takes the food, great. If he doesn't, that's fine. Offer the food again, and keep smiling or playing with your baby. The idea is to show the baby this is a fun, new activity. Expect a mess and don't expect him to eat much.
Discard the uneaten mixed rice cereal--do not store it for later, even in the refrigerator or freezer.
Start thickening up the cereal more and more by reducing the amount of liquid you mix with it. Do this only after your baby consistently eats rice cereal in its runny form.
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