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Solid Food Setbacks

By EmilyBMalone |

I'm not so sure about this...

We’ve been doing solids for two weeks now, and I was so excited that we finally bit the bullet and got started.  The first week, I gave Cullen a mixture of oatmeal cereal and breast milk, which he seemed to love.  I was thrilled that we were off to a good start.

Last week we had a small setback.  I heard a strange noise coming through the baby monitor, and rushed up to find Cullen throwing up in his crib.  It scared both of us to death.  But he had no fever, his spirits seemed fine, and the next day he was back to normal.  We figured it was a stomach bug or perhaps too much food (solids plus milk after).  Then we had a second setback this morning…

I was eating my oatmeal for breakfast and Cullen seemed particularly grabby and interested.  I decided to mix up a little oatmeal for him so that we could eat together.  He opened wide and seemed to love it, just like he did before.  Shortly after he went down for another nap, and slept for a little over an hour.

When he woke up, he started coughing – something he doesn’t usually do very much.  It was a different cough, and he had a funny look on his face.  The next thing I knew, he was throwing up big globs of oatmeal cereal all over himself, and me.  Yikes.

Looking back, I’m not sure what I was thinking, but I decided that his stomach was probaby empty after throwing up the oatmeal, so I let him nurse.  He gulped down the milk like he always does, but the minute I sat him up in my lap he projectile vomited every ounce all over both of us. It was disgusting and pretty scary.

I called his pediatrician, who was surprised to hear he seems to be having an allergic reaction to oatmeal, as it’s typically such a low allergen food.  We talked about next steps for solids, and she said to scrap oatmeal from the options at this point, and move onto fruits and veggies.  Hopefully, we’re not looking at a gluten intolerance or something similar, but for now it’s too soon to tell.

I was so hesitant and overwhelmed by solids to begin with, and knowing that the food is making him sick definitely isn’t easing my fears.  Poor little guy.  Hope we get him to keep something down soon!

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About EmilyBMalone

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EmilyBMalone

Emily Malone shares her adventures in cooking and parenting on her personal blog, Daily Garnish. Read bio and latest posts → Read Emily's latest posts →

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14 thoughts on “Solid Food Setbacks

  1. Betsy partridge says:

    My daughter did the same thing with barley cereal! We tried one weekend, she got sick…thought it was a bug. Tried again the next weekend and almost identical results. She was always a spotty baby but happy so we had no concerns. Come to find out…my favorite go to snack was granola bars (I was eating 2-3 a day) and barley is one of the first five ingredients. She is now 8 months and we have started introducing breads and waffles with malted barley in them (usually in the flour), so far so good. We will wait to introduce granolas and straight up barley until she can tell us if her belly hurts!

  2. Betsy partridge says:

    My daughter did the same thing with barley cereal! We tried one weekend, she got sick…thought it was a bug. Tried again the next weekend and almost identical results. She was always a spitty baby but happy so we had no concerns. Come to find out…my favorite go to snack was granola bars (I was eating 2-3 a day) and barley is one of the first five ingredients. She is now 8 months and we have started introducing breads and waffles with malted barley in them (usually in the flour), so far so good. We will wait to introduce granolas and straight up barley until she can tell us if her belly hurts!

    1. EmilyBMalone says:

      Betsy that is so interesting. So do you think your granola bar consumption was affecting how she tolerated it? I also eat a LOT of granola bars, as well as oatmeal…

  3. Alyssa says:

    My son was allergic to oatmeal too. We just did rice cereal for a while, then tried a different brand of oatmeal a while later and he was fine. I think he was just a bit immature for it at that point.
    Good luck! I hope it gets better soon! Nothing worse than a breastmilk puke… It seems to never end :(

  4. Meagan says:

    Ok… I seriously doubt this is what’s happening to you, but my son had identical reactions to both rice cereal and oatmeal. We were freaking out for about two weeks, and FINALLY figured out that it wasn’t the cereal… It was my milk. No, not nursing, the pumped milk, mixed with rice cereal or oatmeal. I THINK what happened is I’d got out of the habit of sterilizing the pump because I didn’t really think it was necessary, I just washed it normally in the dishwasher. The ealier attemps went fine, so evidently nothing icky formed until later. I’m still not 100% sure that it was my milk, but my son doesn’t have any issues with foods now.

    Oh, btw… Nursing when he’s vomiting isn’t stupid at all. Gross, yes, but even if he keeps it down for just a few minutes he’ll absorb some, and you have to keep trying to keep him hydrated. :-/

  5. Betsy partridge says:

    I think that for us she just wasn’t mature enough to handle the barley. And I’m a little scared to offer it again! Being told that I just have to wait and see what happens (aka watch her vomit) doesn’t really excite be that much. She was never upset or seemed in pain, just would vomit A LOT!

  6. Adrianne says:

    This is interesting. I hope Cullen is not allergic to oatmeal. I decided to skip rice cereal or any other grains as a first food and went straight to vegetables, followed by fruits. Now that we’ve established a solid relationship with solids, I decided I should probably give my daughter a grain of some sort. I went with oatmeal because it seemed easiest to make on my own. I mixed it with apples, which she LOVES! She took two bites and then flat out refused to eat any more. She made the worst face ever and started gagging a little bit. She absolutely hated it. I wasn’t expecting this reaction as she’s eaten everything else with no problems at all (homemade green beans, peas, sweet potato, acorn squash, butternut squash, avocado, banana, apples, pears, blueberries).

    I think grains in general can be harder on the tummy, so skipping to fruits and veggies might be the best option (as your pedi said). I just commented on your other post about making baby food too, but maybe bake up some sweet potatoes for Cullen to try first. Super easy, no pureeing necessary and I bet Cullen will love them! Good luck!

  7. Cassandra Watson says:

    I haven’t started solids yet (soon) so I don’t have an experiences to share. But I know we are going to start with millet and then brown rice (both are gluten free). At 10 months, we may introduce amaranth (also gluten free) depending on how the others go. I have no allergies and neither does my husband but it seems like allergies are getting so common these days. I will probably hold off on oats and barley until he’s older. I’ll also wait on quinoa (I love it but it does contain gluten like oats and barley).

    I have to agree with Alyssa…breastmilk spit up never ends!!! We had a big experience with that recently. I think the puddle on the floor had to be at least a foot in diameter.

  8. Jude Strib says:

    Oh no! That’s awful! And so disheartening.

  9. Bridget says:

    How scary. My son didn’t like oatmeal, etc. so we skipped it and went right to veggies. No problems for us doing that way. We started veggies a little after 4 months and I waited till 6 months to start fruits.

  10. Noelle says:

    I thought one was nto supposed to start oatmeal with such young babies. I would think it is because the body cannot tolerate it yet. Sensitive guts.

  11. Lara Molettiere says:

    I don’t agree with grains being a first food at all. They are really difficult for baby to digest. Try mashing up avocado with breast milk. Babies digestive systems don’t produce enough of the enzymes needed to digest the complex carbs in grains and that is why so many develop reflux or have allergic type reactions to cereals and certain formulas. Good luck!

  12. Elle says:

    I just wanted to add that my 8 month old son had the stomach flu over Easter. I never would have thought it was the stomach flu, until my husband and I both got hit with it the next day. It was just so strange because the only indication I had of him being sick was throwing up when I fed him food. He threw up during breakfast on Saturday but I didn’t think much of it, until he threw up at lunch as well. I figured his stomach must be upset so I stopped giving him solids, only breastmilk. I think it might have been on Sunday when I tried letting him have some Cherrios. He ate one and threw up, so I kept doing only breastmilk for a while. Even after I had slowly re-introduced bland solids and he seemed to be doing fine, he threw up during dinner a couple days later, and he also threw up in our bed (fun) in the middle of the night after nursing. Sorry for all the details, but I just wanted to share my experience in case Cullen maybe just has a stomach bug and not an allergy. Of course you already consulted your pediatrician, so she would obviously know better!

  13. Joanne Roxas says:

    My almost 6 month old son also had a bad reaction with oatmeal. He developed a rash on his chest, belly, back after 2 days of eating it. Maybe the gluten is a little hard on their immature digestive system. My daughter had similar symptoms but i retried oatmeal after 9 months and she did just fine

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