A common question among many new moms is “when to start giving rice cereal to baby?” Although some parents have claimed that a little rice cereal or baby oatmeal in their baby’s bottle have helped their newborn sleep better, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly encourages moms to only introduce these solid foods when their baby is between four and six months of age. When your baby is younger than four months, he/she should only be fed breast milk or formula as both are much more nutritious for babies at this age. As your baby’s body starts to develop, he/she will be able to easily digest solid food. Before your infant reaches four months of age, you should know the main differences between baby oatmeal and rice cereal.
What’s the Difference Between Baby Oatmeal and Rice Cereal?
One product that is relatively easy for babies to transition from breast milk or formula to solid foods is rice cereal. Many moms raved about this type of baby food because it’s gluten-free and unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. A great way to enhance the taste of rice cereal is to mix formula (make life easier with a formula dispenser) or breast milk in each serving. If you are searching for a solid food to improve your baby’s digestive health, consider trying brown rice cereal as the product contains a lot of fiber. In most cases, white rice cereal doesn’t offer as much fiber content, so your baby’s digestion system may not improve if you use this product. Since rice cereal can lack nutritional value and may even contain small amounts of arsenic, most experts believe that moms should only feed this solid food to her infant less than five times a week.
If allergies are not a concern for your infant, your baby will love the slightly nutty flavor of baby oatmeal. Not only does this iron-fortified food taste amazing, but it’s also an excellent source of plant-based antioxidants and fiber. While iron-fortified baby oatmeal can promote optimal brain development and a proper nervous system, the antioxidants in this product can help encourage any cancer cells to die and protect cells from destructive free radicals. By the unlikely chance that your baby does not enjoy the taste of this healthy food, you can toss some dried raspberries or banana in his/her bowl. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, baby oatmeal is one of the best food choices for young infants.
Some Tips on Introducing the Rice Cereal or Baby Oatmeal
If your baby is four to six months old, it’s time to get started with one of these cereals. After introducing one of the cereals, make sure that you wait a few days to see if there are any allergic reactions. Offering one single grain cereal at a time provides you with the opportunity to identify the source of any potential sensitivities. During this trial and error phase, it’s a great idea to mix the rice cereal and baby oatmeal with formula or breast milk to create a thin consistency that your baby can easily swallow, as seen in this video: