Kyle started sleeping through the night at 3-1/2 months, the first night that we moved him into his own room (Why didn't we do this sooner?!?!) However, by the time he was 5-months old, he started waking in the middle of the night again, and no matter what we did, we couldn't soothe him back to sleep and decided that he must be hungry. The moderator from my parents' support group had warned that once our babies start to sleep through the night, we shouldn't back step and start feeding them again if they wake. So after the first night of feeding him, we decided that maybe it was time to start the cereal.
When we saw Kyle's doctor at 4 months, she had recommended holding off on the cereal until 6 months, however, we didn't think this was possible, with a big baby who was very hungry. We had played around with the cereal a little bit, but after Thanksgiving and the middle-of-the-night episode, we stepped it up to much more of a serious business.
I initially followed the directions on the rice cereal box for baby's "first meal", and tried to spoon some into Kyle, but the mixture was SO runny, basically it was still just milk. Over the next few days, I quickly ramped it up to something more substantial that I could actually keep on the spoon, and Kyle had no problems with the consistency. After rice cereal for a week, we moved on to barley cereal, and then on to oatmeal. I thought Kyle would like a little variety, but once he had had the oatmeal, there was no going back. The best thing that I could do was to mix in a little of the rice or barley with a lot of the oatmeal.
When we saw Kyle's doctor again at his 6-month check-up, I told her that we had had to start cereal because his/our sleep was suffering, but that all he really liked now was the oatmeal - could we start mixed grain? Because we had no family history of wheat allergy, and he'd managed everything else well, she gave us the go ahead - with the standard warning to wait a few days for any adverse reaction.
The first month of cereal, Kyle was ecstatic, with a "MMMMMM" for each mouthful we gave him, as if to say "Why didn't you give me this stuff earlier?!?"