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A Guide to the New Rules of Parenting: Why Babies Can't Sleep on Their Stomach and More

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baby eating solid food

Infant Cereal


What's Out: Adding cereal to an infant's bottle or diet to help her gain weight or feel full longer between feedings

What's In: Feeding an infant a strictly liquid diet of breast milk or infant formula until age 6 months, unless otherwise directed by the baby's pediatrician

Why? The practice of adding cereal to a baby's bottle has been around for decades, but today's pediatricians advise against it because it can lead to overfeeding your tot. The AAP says that babies instinctively know how much breast milk or formula to consume by liquid volume, and it's easy for them to "overdose" on calories when you switch them to solid foods too soon. Feeding cereal to infants before baby reaches 4 to 6 months can also lead to food allergies, digestive issues, and even gagging or inhaling food into their lungs. Doctors generally say that babies are ready to eat cereal and other solid foods when they're ready to take food from a spoon — usually around age 6 months.

Next: Baby Powder

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