Explain why a 7 wk old shouldnt have rice cereal in formula? J/W??

Belinda - posted on 09/24/2009 ( 34 moms have responded )

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I have heard from a few people that they all believe that giving a child less then 3 months rice cereal is a horrible thing to do... but none really know WHY it is so horrible. So explain why please if you know! Thanks!

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Tina - posted on 09/26/2009

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I have read on this site a lot of mums claming that it helped their child with reflux. I have three children, my third is lactose intolerent and had extremely bad reflux. Under no circumstances would i have ever given him and kind of food other than breast milk if i could have. But in his case i have had to put him on lactose intolerent formula and ride it out. Do not give food for your own gain. It's selfish in my opinion.

Jackie - posted on 09/24/2009

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Those are both good responses but they left something out. At 7 weeks old and under 3 months old a child can't use a spoon. Mother nature has done this intentionally to protect the child. A baby that size will automatically push out any solid foods from their mouth because they aren't ready to eat and mother nature is preventing them from chocking. Did you know that chocking on food/toys is the most common cause of pneumonia in babies? So much so when my 10 month old was admitted to the ER the very first question they asked me was "Has he choked on any food or anything else in the last 2 weeks?" We don't add cereal to bottles for the same reason.. its too thick and the baby can choke on the formula or on the nipple because usually you have to make a larger hole which in turn puts the nipple at risk for breaking.

Darlisha - posted on 09/27/2009

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I heard that all a baby should drink is milk/formula, but my grandmother gave all of her children rice cereal and they are all ok. (she has 7 kids) and all of her grandchildren were done the same way. i did the same thing to my son. I didn't and don't feed it to him on a regular basis, but I do give it to him. My grandma said "he'll be going through the enfamil way to fast, add cereal and watch how full he gets?. He's getting his daily intake and my son went to his checkups and he was fine and he still is. he's 2 and a half months now. I think it's a personal decision

Mel - posted on 09/25/2009

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with rice cereal in the bottle its fine its used alot, and was used alot in the old days. it helps reflux babies hold down their feeds, and helps a child sleep longer. some believe it to be a choking hazard hence the reason they say not to do it, but theres no baby's died from it yet. 3 months is a good time to start solids( my daughters dieticians put her on solids at 3 months) but you dont even have to start with rice cereal. it really is just bland, little nutritional value and tastes horrible, not to mention the fact that it causes constipation. I would personally only put rice cereal in my childs bottle if there was a reason eg help them sleep better, help them hold down their feeds

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Jen - posted on 09/28/2009

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Their intestines are too immature to digest anything more than breast milk or formula, and they get all the nutrients they need from the milk anyway

Val - posted on 09/27/2009

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Because it can upset there tummy if you start babies on solids to early..I started my son at 7wks because he was always hungry and very unsettled wen it came feed time..Once he had some baby rice in his bottle he slept like a baby. Hope that helped

Sharonda - posted on 09/27/2009

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I asked my doctor this and was told when my baby was this age that there digestive system is not ready for the cereal yet. It may cause constipation because it is to thick. It helps them sleep in the beginnig because they feel full. In the end you will have to give something for the stomach pain. Ask your pediatrician to c what they say though.

Donna - posted on 09/26/2009

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I wouldn't give your baby rice cereal just yet, i would wait until at least 6 months ( if you can) My baby is 6 1/2 months and i didn't even give him rice cereal i started on fruit and vegies. He still drinks a bottle every 3 hours. And if a remeber correctly he was feeding alot at 7 weeks too esp when he was having a growth spurt! But he does need the nutrician from your milk and your milk only or fomula.

Nikki - posted on 09/26/2009

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I put rice cereal in my daughters bottle starting when she was 2 months old she was eating every hour on the hour and spitting up as well. the doctor told me to put some in her bottle to see how she would do. it worked great she slept longer and didnt spit up as much. Its only a choking hazard if you put to much in there so like Heather said only put a little in there til they get older. It worked great for mine but its always different for everyone

Heather - posted on 09/26/2009

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I can tell you what my doctor said but keep in mind I gave it to my daughter at a month old and she's slept great since then. He told me that the baby's esophogus is so small that it's hard for the thickness of it to go down. So essentially it can be a choking hazard for them. I just put a little in the bottle until she got older so it wouldn't be that thick

Amanda - posted on 09/25/2009

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my health nurse told me that in small babies cereal takes up room in their stomachs that they need for milk, she also told me that there was no problem when i started my baby girl on cereal at 3 months because she was a good size and weight. You do need either solid food or formula on or before 6 months because that is when the baby's iron stores usually run out

Trisha - posted on 09/25/2009

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Quoting Belinda:

Explain why a 7 wk old shouldnt have rice cereal in formula? J/W??

I have heard from a few people that they all believe that giving a child less then 3 months rice cereal is a horrible thing to do... but none really know WHY it is so horrible. So explain why please if you know! Thanks!



well ive heard 4 mths i dont think they are developed enough to swallow it without choking it would be to thick for them thats why they make nipples different sizes

Christina - posted on 09/25/2009

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i can say my son is 5 weeks old and was eating 4 ounces an hour! the doctor recommended i put rice cereal in his bottle to help him stay full, he is doing very well with it and has decreased his gas and spitting up also. It has worked wonders for us.

Soky - posted on 09/25/2009

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WE gave our daughter rice cereal when she was 3 months old. Shes been doing fine with it. We couldn't give it to her at 7 weeks because that would be too soon. Plus she was breastfeed anyways so we didnt want to mix her up with rice cereal and breast milk

[deleted account]

First of all babies at 7 weeks old aren't old enough to digest anything other than breast milk or formula..also it can cause ear infections as well as choking..I wouldn't give any solids in a bottle for this reason..and also because of allergies and just to be ont he safe side have never started ANY solid foon until 6 months..

Amber - posted on 09/25/2009

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ok here is my opinion i started my daughter on small amounts of rice cereal at 8 days old because formula and breastmilk were not satisifing her because all she wanted was to eat then she would puke because it was to much in her stomach. and i did give it to her on a spoon and she did absolutely fine babies are more than capable of handling spoon feedings as young as you want to teach them. i stress i only gave her around 2 teaspoons before bed at night but it was enough to satisify her so that she didn't make herself sick wanted too much formula and breastmilk. she is now 9 months old and is absolutely fine not over weight or anything. ya breastmilk and formula are the best thing for the baby but there are cases and times when it is just not enough to fill them up so that they are satisified. that is my opinion you are there mothers and you know your baby so you will know what will work and what wont!!

Robin - posted on 09/25/2009

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they say to start foods when they can hold their head up on their own, from the pediatricians office, that is a good rule of thumb,

Just out of curiosity WHY DO YOU WANT to start your baby THIS SOON???

Siobhan - posted on 09/25/2009

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i have to agree with chantelle, what is your reason for wanting to add cereal to your little mans bottle? (hes super cute by the way). if its because you feel he's not sleeping enough then that proberbly normal, his stomachs tiny and he just cannot hold a large volume of feed so has to feed more often. if you feel that hes feeding too often then it may be that he's going through a growth spurt and this will only last a couple of days then he'll sleep heavily for a day or so. you'll also prob see his weight shoot up too.

hope this helps but please, please, please seek your paediatricians advice! plus if his bilirubin is slightly higher then i belive that formula feeds are prefered to promote regular bowel motions to excrete it.

Chantelle - posted on 09/24/2009

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I totally agree with everyones responses, people have offered you very helpful advice. I am a little surprised though as to why on earth would you want to do that in the first place to a 7 week old baby???

Janelle - posted on 09/24/2009

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I've heard that the digestive track is'nt formed as well at this young of an age.

If its possible to wait you will be less likely to have food alergies. Hang in there!

Denyel - posted on 09/24/2009

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The big reason is it is not needed. Unless there is a medical condition (and cereal is prescribed by your doctor) babies do not need anything other than breaskmilk or formula for at least the first 6 months. Rice cereal has very little nutritional value especially in very young children. It's basically there as a filler and it fills up their stomachs with empty calories rather than the breastmilk/formula they truly need.

Naomi - posted on 09/24/2009

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Their digestive systems are not able to handle "solid" foods at such a young age. The are designed to live on milk. (formula, breastmilk) Try to think back to the age before bottles and such... they could only have breastmilk to survive and we haven't evolved past that. I can really cause problems if you start too early.

SheriAnn - posted on 09/24/2009

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One reason is their digestive system is not ready to handle cereal.Yes you can but in moderation.and it doesnt have to be "rice cereal" my daughter was on cereal since she was like 3weeks old.she has reflux other then that i do not recommmend it at all! and she didnt get it in her bottle.it was in a cereal bottle only.they do make cereal bottles and you can get em almost anywhere.i wouldnt put it in their regual formula bottle.if you ask me it its just being lazy.but thats me.

Iysha - posted on 09/24/2009

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I agree with all of the above and I also think that Just the fact that Peatricians say not to, should be reason enough.

[deleted account]

Quoting Julie:

Yes, agree with PP about these facts. Just to add to this--breastmilk and formula are nutritionally far, FAR superior to any table food you might offer/add. If you add in cereal, etc, you are compromising the amount of nutritionally-superior milk that the baby's body still requires exclusively. In other words, replacing a superior food with an "inferior" filler. Yes, there are good things in the cereal, but nothing that an infant that young requires.
The formula and baby food companies started propagating the idea that babies should be sleeping through the night many years ago, thus making parents feel compelled to add more food/cereal/etc to the feedings of infants too young to digest these foods, under the assumption that this will make a baby sleep more. Sometimes it does, of course. But at what cost? Given the research now available, I would stick with waiting for cereals and solids until at least 6 months of age. Good luck!! :)


VERY well put Julie. Glad I didn't have to write it all myself. =) 



And Belinda, I know you are not a baby, but would you want to eat any kind of food through a straw??? It's basically the same concept for a baby. It doesn't make them sleep longer and to risk them choking? Just don't do it. They need formula or breastmilk for the entire first year. I am not advocating just that, but don't put cereal in a bottle. Food is meant for a fork or spoon and a 7 week old will do nothing but spit it out. A baby is ready to eat when they are a supported sitter with good head control. Good Luck.

Sara - posted on 09/24/2009

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What can happen if solids are started too early?



-A greater chance of developing food allergies

-Poor growth if the solid food replaces breast milk or formula

-Loose bowel actions or diarrhoea if baby cannot digest the food.

Julie - posted on 09/24/2009

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Yes, agree with PP about these facts. Just to add to this--breastmilk and formula are nutritionally far, FAR superior to any table food you might offer/add. If you add in cereal, etc, you are compromising the amount of nutritionally-superior milk that the baby's body still requires exclusively. In other words, replacing a superior food with an "inferior" filler. Yes, there are good things in the cereal, but nothing that an infant that young requires.
The formula and baby food companies started propagating the idea that babies should be sleeping through the night many years ago, thus making parents feel compelled to add more food/cereal/etc to the feedings of infants too young to digest these foods, under the assumption that this will make a baby sleep more. Sometimes it does, of course. But at what cost? Given the research now available, I would stick with waiting for cereals and solids until at least 6 months of age. Good luck!! :)

Jo - posted on 09/24/2009

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A 7wk old? isnt that abit young for any sort of food? they say ur child shuld be 6months now when started on any solids, due to new reserch on the development of babies, their bodies arnt ready for solids untill then especially not at 7wks old! they wuldnt even be able to digest anything at that age.

Lauren - posted on 09/24/2009

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You shouldn't give your child any food intil they are at least 4months old as there digestive systems are not fully developed and giving them food may make them ill. If you feel like you need to give your child food before then you should consult your doctor first.

Dina - posted on 09/24/2009

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The best nutritional food your baby needs is the breast milk/formula, it gives him all the nutritional elements his tiny body needs to grow.

At 3 months they are still very young with tiny stomach, so by giving him rice cereal, you are filling his tiny stomach with it, and he won't have enough appetite for his daily intake of Milk...and the last thing you wanna do is decreasing the amout of milk he takes.

but at 6 mnths, babies need athor nutritional elements in addition to those present in milk, so that's why it's preferrable to start the cereal at this stage.

Dina - posted on 09/24/2009

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The best nutritional food your baby needs is the breast milk/formula, it gives him all the nutritional elements his tiny body needs to grow.

At 3 months they are still very young with tiny stomach, so by giving him rice cereal, you are filling his tiny stomach with it, and he won't have enough appetite for his daily intake of Milk...and the last thing you wanna do is decreasing the amout of milk he takes.

but at 6 mnths, babies need athor nutritional elements in addition to those present in milk, so that's why it's preferrable to start the cereal at this stage.

Sammy - posted on 09/24/2009

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A baby that young does not have a digestive system mature enough to digest rice cereal or anything else other than breast milk/formula.

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