A mom on twitter asked me about how to introduce solids to an infant with reflux. So here are my thoughts….
When to start? It most often recommended to start at 6 months, although some pediatricians will recommend as early as 4 months. Sometimes pediatricians may recommend putting baby cereal in your baby’s bottle to help with reflux. This has not been shown to be effective and some babies are actually sensitive to rice or oatmeal cereal causing gas, bloating, or constipation, which will further contribute to their discomfort.
How do you know they’re ready? Your baby can sit up with support, can hold his/her head steady when sitting and shows interest in your food. It is often recommended to start with cereal. However, there is no reason not to start with fruits or vegetables. Try introducing one new food every 4 – 7 days. Look for signs of food sensitivity or intolerance, such as eczema, increased fussiness, rash, diarrhea or constipation; or signs of a food allergy, such as hives, swelling or difficulty breathing.
If your baby seems not to like a food – don’t give up! On average it takes introducing a new food 10 times for a baby to get used to it. Remember to have fun with them- babies learn through play!
Finally, I wouldn’t expect all babies to eat large quantities. Most babies with reflux and children with reflux will eat small, frequent meals. My five-year still does!
For more information: