We started feeding our daughter solids at about 6-7 months I think. We tried at 5 months, and she just was not ready.
We also elected to do oatmeal cereal over rice cereal because it's a little sweeter and acts as a natural laxative. The rice cereal sometimes causes constipation.
Try infant oatmeal mixed with either plain breast milk or formula. Hold off on the fruits and do it gradually. How often you give it depends on how hungry your little one is. We never added it to bottles, just as an "additional" meal before the bottle...a little in the morning when she/he is really hungry and before bed...whenever baby is calm and truly hungry.
And be prepared for a mess!
my son started rice cereal at 2months, he had reflux and would spit up or vomit if he ate just the formula because it was too much liquid, and he would be hungry just an hour later even with a 6 or 8 oz bottle. he started teething at 7weeks. he has always been very active, using a jumparoo at just 1 1/2months. we started putting one or two scoops of cereal in his formula at 2 months and also started spoon feeding him around the same time. hes been on the cereal for a month now and is doing great! he almost never spits up at all, and if he does its a very small regular amount, and only when he has just a bottle. he gets rice cereal mixed with formula, water, or apple juice at least 1-2 times a day.
there were two reasons for starting the cereal so young, 1 is for the reflux, which drastically helped, and 2 is because he is growing so fast, he is 95% for height and only 70-75% for weight. hes over 2 1/2 feet tall already and has doubled his birth weight.
but in every bottle of formula he has atleast one or two scoops of rice cereal to help with the reflux and it works so wonderfully.
usually he eats about 2-4 scoops of cereal (measured powdered before mixing it) per serving.
hes now starting regular baby food and has had squash so far (tried it on halloween and he LOVED it)
it really depends on each baby as to if they are ready for cereal or other foods. some babies are ready early, some are right on the average time, and others dont start solids until after the average baby is ready. some key things to look for are leaning toward a spoon when you hold it up, turning there head when they are full (not finishing a bottle if they dont need to) instead of just falling asleep when they get full, being able to sit up without falling to the side (like on a couch or chair), and needing to eat larger amounts more frequently. babies have ways to let you know when they are ready. (my son started grabbing food from our plates if he was on our laps, and we would have to take it away before he tried to put it in his mouth. he would even grab the whole plate an bring it closer if he couldn't reach the food but could reach the plate.)
__________________ Andrew skyler born on 8/11/10... 8lbs 9oz 21" long
This rule of thumb should help you out.... When a baby can sit up by his or herself without much help/extra support, they are ready for rice cereal. NEVER give baby cereal by bottle. Cereal can be made using formula, water, or breastmilk. If you are breastfeeding, its best to express breastmilk because it is sweeter than formula and water. Cereal should be given once a day for the first month, and given right after a regular feeding so that baby doesn't get full just off of cereal in the first month. With all this being said...every baby varies. If you are breastfeeding, you could go up to almost a year without the need for cereal. It all depends on if your baby is showing signs that she is still very hungry after regular feedings. Good luck!.