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When I can introduce diluted rice cereal into my son’s diet? Is it true that if your baby is fed rice cereal, he/she will sleep longer, because their tummy is full?”
It’s not true that introducing solid foods will help a baby sleep longer. Being able to digest solid foods and sleeping for longer stretches at night are both developmental milestones that your baby will reach when his digestive tract and brain are ready. Pediatricians usually recommend starting solids at around six months, with breast milk (or if necessary, formula) as the primary source of nutrition for baby’s first year. Here are the four big signs that your son is ready for solids:
- he can sit up on his own unsupported,
- he doesn’t push food out of his mouth with his tongue
- he can pick up food or other objects between his thumb and forefinger, and
- he seems interested in food that other people are eating.
As for sleeping in longer stretches, that will happen as his digestive tract is able to absorb nutrients from solids, which keeps him from waking up hungry. While some babies sleep through the night as soon as four months or so, it takes most babies until at least 6 months (if not 8 or 10) to start sleeping through the night on a regular basis. Hang in there!
Want to know more about baby sleep? Check out our Great Expectations: Baby Sleep Guide!