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Baby Allergic To Rice Cereal?

by Kim Nice

We decided to use Thanksgiving to start our 4 1/2 month old on cereal.. She loved it (or the game of it) and then became fussy (nap time), so I took her upstairs to change her and breast feed her and put her down (our routine).

When I unzipped her sleeper, waiting for me was a nice rash all over her torso. Next day the rash was still there and the Doctor said no cereal till 6 months… and maybe never!!!

I am a little frustrated because Barrett is a healthy eater and solids would help me not feel like a milk cow. The Doctor said we could let the hives go away and try one more time (I also ate pumpkin night before this) to make sure rice is the culprit.

I have been scanning the web for rice cereal reactions and nothing!

I guess more to be told after the 2nd try….

Read about the alternatives to rice cereal as a first food for baby

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Baby allergic to rice cereal

Responses from our readers...

rice cereal allergy
by: greg 

We started feeding our baby boy cereal at about 4 months old.

The first one we tried was a Gerber rice cereal and like many others here, he got a red rash all over his neck, chest and face.

We tried wheat and barley cereals, purée as well. No reactions to any of those.

We wait till our 6 month check up to see what the doctors said and they suggested trying rice cereal again.

Sure enough, he got a rash or hives all over the same areas.

No other foods have caused any type of reaction.

He is now nearly 7 months old and we want to try either rice cereal again or maybe some actual type of rice purée to eliminate rice as the culprit but we are very nervous about doing so.

Look into Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome
by: Mom 

Moms, if your baby is having reactions to rice cereal I encourage you to look into Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES).

“Classic” FPIES symptoms are extreme vomiting starting 1-4 hours afteringestion of the offending food. The vomiting can lead to severe dehydration and shock.

My child was diagnosed at age 6 months. Rice is a common trigger food, but any food protein can cause this result if your child is sensitive.

Organic Rice cereal is better for babies tummies
by: Anonymous

I was told not to do just any rice cereal. It has a lot of additives and can upset a baby's stomach.

Organic rice cereal is packed with iron, vitamin B and all kinds of vitamins and is great for sensitive tummies.

So far so good.

You gotta remember if this is the first food they're trying. Their stomachs are not used to anything but breast milk or formula.

They have sensitive stomachs. That’s why it’s better to use organic. No additives, or harmful ingredients.

Vomiting and hives
by: Anonymous

We started my daughter on rice cereal when she was 4.5 months old. No problems at first, but after about 2 weeks she vomited everything in her system 2 hours after eating. We thought she had a stomach bug.

A few days later, she ate rice cereal and after 2 hours was sick again.

To rule out bad breast milk (we weren’t sure if we used the same milk) we tried again, but with oatmeal. 2 hours later we had a sick baby…again.

At her 6 month check up the doctor said I could try cereal again. I waited until she was almost 8 months. New box of rice cereal, and she got sick 2 hours after eating it.

To be sure it wasn’t something else in the cereal, we tried a rice teething biscuit. 2 hours later, you guessed it, vomiting.

I took her to the doctor because she had what I thought were either dry skin, or some kind of a rash. Turns out they were hives. Neither my husband or I have any food allergies, so we are new to all of this.

We were told by the doctor that we could try barley cereal if we wanted to, but that she doesn’t need cereal. We have had good luck with fruits and veggies so far, which is great.

After her hives are gone for a week we will try meat. It’s frustrating to see your child miserable, but at least we have some answers.

Make sure you read labels. A lot of jar baby foods have rice, as do puffs and other first finger foods you buy. I’m lucky enough to have the time to make my own baby food, but I know others are not.

Good luck!

by: amanda

I fed my son rice cereal at probably 3 months and I never thought it could have been the rice, his skin would get so bad but I was told it was just ezcema.

Finally  we found out he is allergic to eggs, peanuts, and fish and a list of animals, I also think he may be allergic to meats. The doctor thinks he may have an intolerance to pork and/or beef but is not allergic to them.

It makes me wonder if the rice caused all of this, since I did it so early.

My other son now is 3 months and I feel like I should give him something at night with his milk.  I bought oatmeal but I feel like I should just give him extra formula before bed instead.

Rice allergy
by: Anonymous

I also tried rice cereal as my son’s first food at four months old. He also broke out in hives all over his body, primarily on his torso. They didn’t seem painful or itchy to him, but they were still little red spots all over.

I stopped rice cereal immediately and talked to his doctor, he suggested I use oatmeal.

He had no negative reaction to the oatmeal, but I wasn’t 100% sure it was the rice cereal so I tried it again at six months. He once again, broke out in hives. He has not had any rice since then.

My doctor and I are both hoping it’s an allergy he will grow out of.

In the meantime, there are a lot of grains you can use, rather than rice, including quinoa, barley, amaranth, and millet. Many of these are sold at natural food stores if not your normal grocery store.

Glad to have found this site
by: Anonymous

My six month old daughter vomits (no rash, though) after both the Gerber rice cereal and oatmeal and we’ve tried to give them since she was 4 months old.

I started making my own purees and she has no problem with those.

Forget the rice cereal
by: Anonymous

I am on my 5th baby and this is the first baby who actually liked the rice cereal and now she has a rash (small bumps) all over her face, torso and even her hands.

With my other 4, I just made my own baby food with fruits and veggies and never had this problem. I should know better – there are some weird ingredients in the rice cereal. Fresh is always better than processed for babies and adults.

So, I say skip the packaged

Baby cereal hives
by: sue

My baby started rice cereal at 5 months and the next day she developed hives all over her torso, neck, chin and upper back.

I took her to the doctor and she said to give her .5ml of Benadryl and to stop the rice cereal.

At her 6 month checkup, another doctor saw my baby and told me she needed to eat baby cereal for the iron even though my daughter is exclusively breastfed. She said to try oatmeal, but again my baby developed hives. The doctor said its unlikely she has an allergy because baby cereal is hypoallergenic.

Apparently she is wrong.

I tried barley and there’s no reaction but my baby refuses to eat it. I thought since time passed, as she is now 9 months, maybe I could try oatmeal again. I gave her EARTHS BEST pear apple oatmeal and this morning she has hives. All along one arm, shoulder and cheek.

Finally I know I am not alone and our doctor is misinformed.

Allergic to rice cereal
by: Anonymous 

Forget the cereal and go to fruits and veggies. Make sure they are puréed enough (thinned enough) depending on your little ones age.

I had to skip these as well as we had an allergy called FPIES.

My little boy
by: Victoria

My son is 5 1/2 months and I was giving him the wheat cereal and the original. He started having this really bad rash, then it would go away after I didn't give it to him.

Then when I did, he had it again and it was causing him to have these horrible sores and they started to bleed. I’ve stopped and it hasn't happened since. 

i suspect my baby is Allergic to rice cereal
by: Anonymous

My little one is in foster care and was started on rice cereal at 4 1/2 months, then she came down with a yeast infection from pooping (so they thought) and nothing is working for it.

She was moved to a new foster home and the rice cereal has been upped and now the rash is going all over her body and the doctors don’t know what is causing it.

So they are changing everything that is touching her skin - even trying to bath her in just water and nothing is working and I told the foster to stop the cereal to see what happens.

I don’t know what else to do or to try, but she was fine before she started

Daughter was the same way
by: andrea

When my daughter was 6 months old, she had three terrible reactions to rice cereal (vomiting to the point of hospitalization). It was definitely the additives in the cereal and not the rice itself.

Now she is 2.5 years and at about 2 years, we found out she has allergies to all nuts, including peanuts, dairy and eggs.

At the time, the doctors really never believed me when I said her vomiting was from the cereal until it continued to happen. Looking back, and knowing what I know now, it was definitely the cereal additives.

6 month baby boy allergic to gerber rice and oat cereal
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem, my 6 month old baby boy develops redness, rashes, and bumps which disappear after feeding with both Gerber rice cereal and oat cereal.

I tried feeding him with plain mashed boiled rice to see if it was the rice that caused the redness and rash but he was fine.

I would conclude its the additives and ingredients that goes with the rice cereal is what’s causing the reaction, NOT THE RICE. We are Asians, and rice is our staple food.

Baby with Rice allergy
by: Kaely

First, I’m so happy to find a site with other babies like my son, who had a terrible outbreak of hives after eating rice cereal.

In our case the rice cereal was organic and did not have any extras added so it was certainly a reaction to rice.

He was 6 months when we introduced it, so I would really warn against introducing it again as our pediatrician warned against it. We are introducing everything with extreme caution as we move forward.

He’s 9 months now and we are about to start quinoa which is an awesome alternative to rice. Our oldest son likes it too so that’s a bonus! Just wanted to add my experience as well!

Rash from rice cereal
by: Jenny

When reading about allergies or food sensitivities to rice cereal, I found articles about other babies throwing up after eating (which has become a diagnosed condition).

My son’s symptoms were similar to yours – no throwing up, but rash all over the torso. The longer I fed him the rice (as I was told that rice allergies were very rare) the more fussy and irritable he became. It interfered with his sleep and his mood.

Once I stopped the rice cereal, the rash cleared up and he returned to being a pleasant baby.

reaction to rice cereal
by: Mary, ABQ 

Thank God, there are other parents that are experiencing the same situation.

My son turned 6 months and I started him on Rice Cereal and he started vomiting at the beginning but I thought I over fed him.

So the next day, I fed him rice cereal again….same thing. he started vomiting.

I stopped feeding him the rice cereal for a couple of days he was fine . Then, I fed the rice cereal again, and this time is was diarrhea. I stopped feeding the rice cereal.

I'm going to switch over to oatmeal and test that now.

VERY allergic to Rice Flour
by: Anonymous

I wish I had seen an article like this 8 years ago when my daughter was a baby.

I started her on rice cereal at about 5 months. She was fine the first few times, then one day started vomiting non- stop after eating. I took her to the ER and they said it was a virus.

The next time I gave her the rice cereal, the same thing happened. I looked all over the internet and couldn’t find anything about allergies to rice flour – everything said that it was very safe.

A few times, my husband accidentally gave her baby food with rice flour in it and she threw up almost instantly.

8 years later, she can eat rice and rice flour, but is allergic to peanuts and all tree nuts.

Rice cereal caused severe eczema flare up!
by: rita

My 4 month old son, who is solely breast fed, was introduced to Rice Cereal (Gerber Brand) last week (Ped.recommended).

I mixed it in a bottle with the breastmilk, to thicken the milk to hopefully help with his acid reflux.

WELL, it helped the acid, but caused my babies eczema to flare up and become red and inflamed! It was HORRIBLE!!!

While being examined by his GI for his acid, the GI was so concerned about his skin that he made him an emergency derm/allergist appt! Come to find out the rice has soybean in the ingredients!

I stopped giving it to him about 4 days ago and the red inflammation is gone! What are these food industries doing to our kids!!!

Same problem.
by: Anonymous

My son had the same problem as a baby. Anything with rice flour in it made him throw up.

I went with oatmeal and all was well.

He did outgrow it for a while but it started again when he was 3. He is now 4 and cannot even have a bite of something with rice flour in it, or he gets a belly ache. I read everything and make sure I pack all his snacks to make sure he does not have anything he should not.

Good luck, it does get easier.

My poor grand-daughter who’s allergic to both kinds of grain
by: Anonymous

My grand-daughter is only 10 mths old and when she was 6 mths my daughter and I decided to start her on rice cereal.

Guess what – as soon as 2 hrs. were up she would vomit until she had nothing left and then for 3 days she would have very bad diarrhea. Then she would be alright again.

Told her doctor and he said to wait a few more months, so we did. This time her doctor suggested we try oatmeal cereal and see if she has the same reaction.

You guessed it – she had the same symptoms, only this time we watched her get sicker.

by: Jessika

I just fed my 4 month old baby rice cereal today and she seemed to enjoy it so much! She was herself for most of the day, happy as a clam. Then when I went to bathe her before bed her torso and underneath her chin and her neck were COVERED IN HIVES!

I’m mortified!! I feel like this is all my fault and I did something horribly wrong... they do tell most people to wait until 6 months before trying any solids! Some babies do good right away and some don’t I guess….I’m going to wait until she is 6 months old before I try the rice cereal again….hopefully it will be okay

Thanks Guys
by: Anonymous

I took your advice and gave her some mashed up banana’s today and guess what - no hives :)

I guess I will be fruit/veg. purees until I see that pediatrician in October! Thanks for all your advice!

by alicia: 

My little one just had breast milk and formula until we started baby foods. According to my ped he said that was fine. We then started her with fruits and then veggies. She ate those with no problems.

Steer clear of casserole baby foods as they usually have some type of filler to make them thicker (rice flour, wheat flour) also the ones with meat had these same ingredients. We just read labels and stay away from grains.

Also most baby cookies or treats had these ingredients as well. I found that my little one could have corn so we stocked up on the little Crunchies Snacks.

my experiences
by: lana 

I’m soo glad and so sorry to hear that so many moms are going through the same thing that I have been going through lately.

My son is 4 months old and I also have a teenage daughter. My son is a very big eater and is always hungry, I took him to the doctor’s a few weeks ago and told him about my son being so hungry and he said that it was OK to start him on rice cereal.

Things seemed to be going fine and my son was very happy.

Then I started noticing what looked like mosquito bites all over his face, ears, head, and shoulders. So I went out and bought mosquito netting to hang around his crib, and re washed all his bedding.

The bites seemed to clear up but I also hadn’t given him any cereal for a few days.

I then took my son to the doctor for his 4 month needles a few days ago and the doctor said that I could start my son on baby food.

So I started mixing his rice cereal with a little bit of fruit for breakfast and WHAM his poor little face is covered in what looks like mosquito bites again. I’m sure it’s the rice cereal.

I don’t know what’s causing this in our babies. I’m wondering if it isn’t the rice itself but the chemicals and pesticides they put in it?

10 years later
by: maureen

I was looking this up because my grandson reacts the same way to rice cereal and my daughter who is 10 years old had the same problem but more severe.

She would have to go to the hospital because she would vomit so much she would dehydrate, later to find out that her intestines would spasm causing blockage due to the reaction.

She did finally grow out of it I'm still wondering “WHY” but no answer yet. Nice to know that she isn’t the only one 10 years later.

problems with rice flour
by: Jo

Well we accidentally tried mangos and had the same reaction as with rice. After looking at the ingredients we noticed it had rice flour. My guess is that it was used as a thickening agent.

So we are definitely going to stay away from rice flour and wheat flour.

hope this helps
by: marina

I want others to know that my baby girl did exactly the same thing any time she has rice/flour products.

It started at 6 months when we first started feeding her rice cereal, she was strictly breastfed, and and sure enough two hours later she projectile vomited ALL of it out for every fifteen minutes. Our doctor advised us to wait a few months and try again .

We did try 2 months later and same issue. Two hours on the dot.

So we avoided it until now (10 months) and by accident gave her the sweet potato puffs- which we didn’t think would upset her allergy and just like the other times, she reacted with violent throwing up until it was out of her system. Main ingredient was rice flour.

But I do want to add she never had any other symptoms, just the vomiting. Hopes this helps others!

Rice cereal=vomit!
by: Anonymous

I waited until 6 mos. to feed my baby rice cereal. The first several times there were no problems.

A week ago I fed her, and a couple hours later she’ threw up a ton. I didn’t know her little tummy could hold that much. Every fifteen minutes or so, she would throw up more, until there was nothing left. Then she dry heaved a lot.

After a good nights rest though, she was just fine. I didn’t know what the issue was.

Well, I fed her rice cereal again today, for the first time since the incident, and, you guessed it. Vomiting and dry heaving. I always thought rice cereal was supposed to be safe.

I’m glad I found this though, so I can see that others have dealt with the same issue, and so I know that it isn’t food poisoning or something, but an actual allergy.

Allergy to cereal
by: erika

My daughter was breastfed only until 4 mths when we tried Gerber rice cereal mixed in her bottle. 2 hrs afterwards she started vomiting projectile style until there was nothing left except bile then dry heaving. She was very clammy, lethargic, eyes rolling back in her little head, and had diarrhea.

We called into the after hours clinic and were informed to give Pedialite through the night. After sleeping it off 3-5 hrs she was back to normal.

We thought maybe we overfed her and maybe she just wasn't ready for it and she seemed OK so we went on without the cereal.

At 5 mths we decided to try again and got the same reaction and decided no more rice cereal.

At 6 mths we decided to try oatmeal cereal mixed in her fruit. Given the past I made sure to measure how much I was giving her and it was 1 tablespoon. I put her down for a nap and again 2 hrs in she woke with the same symptoms. After a trip to doctor again they advised no grains.

All has been well. She eats all baby fruits and veggies with no problems until today. We tried mangos and you guessed it. I looked at the ingredient list and it showed rice flour. At this point we are staying away from grains and all four products. Especially rice flour.

I posted this as I’m sure I’m not the only one with this problem. If anyone has had the same issues and has found out what the problem is I would love to hear you out.

Rice cereal and rice flour allergies
by: maria

My daughter gave us a very hard time at the beginning. She got sick at 3 weeks old. She had fever and we took her to the hospital. They did every kind of test to see why she had fever at this early age and all her tests came back normal. She had diarrhea too, so we had to stay in the hospital for a week till they stopped her diarrhea.

So they tried every thing and it didn’t work so they said they were going to try rice cereal in her formula to make it thicker so she can stop having diarrhea and it did settle down a little bit.

So we got to go home. We gave her rice cereal in every bottle she gets and a week later she got really sick. She had diarrhea and threw up all the time and she was pale, so we went back to the hospital.

They said it was a stomach virus so we stayed there another 10 days till she felt better and they said stop the rice cereal, so we did.

We went home and a week later she got really sick again so we went back to the children's hospital and they kept trying different kinds of formulas till they found this very special formula.

Its called Pregestimil and it did work for her, she did very well with it. She stopped having soft stools and she never threw up on it and they allowed us to go home. We were so glad we had found something because we were really tired of it and very worried.

So at 4 months old her doctor said I should start feeding her rice cereal. I gave her a little bit and then put her to sleep. An hour later I went to check on her and I found out she threw up all over. I was really worried that she’s sick again so I waited a little bit and she’s started getting pale and having diarrhea.

So I called her GI doctor and she said stop the rice cereal for now and give her Pedialyte for tonight till she stops the diarrhea. So I did and by the morning she was fine, so I knew that she had allergies to rice cereal.

When she was 6 months I gave her regular rice that I cooked at home and had the same reaction so I knew she can’t have any kind of rice. Once I fed her baby food that had rice flour in it and she had the same reaction.

So I never feed her anything that has rice or rice flour in it and now she’s one and I’m not really sure if she’s going to take the regular milk not the special formula. I’m scared to try it.

I’m going to see what the doctor says about it. I hope she can take it or otherwise she’ll have to stay on formula for a little longer…

My baby has Rice Flour allergy
by: Jenncat

Oh my gosh, Ke ke, my 10 month old daughter has the same reaction with anything with rice flour in it.

We have had allergy testing done and it said she wasn’t allergic to rice. But I know something in the rice flour itself is making her very sick. She vomits massively, gets really pale and lethargic…it is quite scary.

This started when she was around 5 months, and we have had about 5 incidences since. (It took us a couple of tries to figure out it was rice flour, then a couple more times to realize that there was a lot of rice flour in A LOT of baby foods).

I am currently searching the web and talking to anybody I can to figure just what is in the rice flour that would cause this reaction. She also has other allergies. (Has been tested twice)…. Wheat (low and getting better), milk (low and getting better), peanuts (not getting better), egg (getting worse), and the mystery rice flour ingredient.

It makes it very hard to find things to feed her. Almost every allergy free product has rice flour in it. 

Rice cereal allergy
by: Shirley

My baby will be 6 months on the 28 of December. He is indeed allergic to rice cereal.

The first thing I gave him was rice cereal and did not think of any allergic reactions. That evening, his cheeks were covered in a horrible rash. It was raised and painful looking. I blamed it on the fleece blanket he was holding, so I kept giving him the cereal and the rash got worse and took forever to go away.

I still did not think he was allergic. I introduced peaches and indeed he is allergic to those, same reaction as the rice cereal. Still not knowing about the rice, after his face cleared from the peaches, I gave him the cereal and he had the same reaction.

Like I said he is almost 6 months, so the other day I bought those graduate puffs that dissolve in their mouths and the first ingredient is rice flour, so I just gave it a try and what do you know, he is allergic to those as well. He got the rash and his eyes got red and swollen and very watery.

So for now he has bananas and sweet potatoes, but is showing interest in our food, so I know he wants to try other baby foods, but seems to be allergic to everything.

Reacting to Rice Cerael
by: Kelly

Hi, I am a first time mother and I first fed my son Domanic at about 4 months of age.

I started with the rice cereal that comes as free samples in the mail from Nestle. Domanic had the same reaction as everyone else. It was painful for him.

The rash went away after a couple of days. I waited a couple of weeks and tried again. I reread the instructions on the package for preparing the cereal. It said to add water, I added the cerea to Domanics bottle at bedtime first. I now mix it with water and it seems to be fine with him now.

He has had problems in the past with Enfamil, a type of formula, it was too rich for him. He was allergic to it.

I am very careful now to make sure I mix everything by the instructions and to not over add anything to make it too strong and he seems to be fine.

Your baby might be having the same reactions Domanic has. Maybe your little one is sensitive. With breastfeeding you are giving your baby the best choice so there's no telling if the cereal might be too strong like it was for Domanic at first.

I would just try again and see if there is any reaction. When I tried again I started with only feeding a couple of spoons once a day and then so on if no rash occurred. Good luck!Kelly

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