Starting Baby Food Part 4: The Four Day Rule

Have you heard of the Four Day Rule? It is a simple way to test if Baby has an allergic reaction or digestive issue from a certain food. You simply introduce one food at a time every four days. For example, if you introduce bananas on Monday, then wait until Friday to introduce the next food. 

If you have a family history of food allergies, this may be a good option for you. Following a slow pattern of introducing solid foods will help you more easily pinpoint reactions that a new food may cause. Allergic reactions typically will occur within the first 24 hours. Digestive issues with new foods, like diarrhea or constipationmay take longer to appear.

It may be a good idea to introduce new foods in the morning or early afternoon. This will enable you to deal with any adverse reactions when your pediatrician is in office (no one likes an ER bill). If an adverse reaction occur during the morning/early afternoon, it will cause the least amount of disruption in baby’s routine.

When your baby is between 9 and 10 months of age, you will have introduced many new foods and will have a good idea about what foods may have caused reactions. At this stage, paying less attention to the Four Day Rule is common. As you loosen up the Four Day Rule, it is still important to pay attention to the new foods you offer your little one, especially certain foods that do pose an allergy risk. If your family has a history of food allergies or intolerances, you may want to follow the Four Day Rule until your baby is at least 12 months old. As always, you should consult your baby’s pediatrician.

You may be asking yourself how you're going to track these foods. We have your back, mama! You can download our free tracking sheet. Hang it on the fridge to keep track of what days Baby is eating which foods. If you have twins, you can write their names on the top to keep the sheets straight. Happy tracking, mama!

Read Starting Baby Food Part 5: The Must Haves