at what age to you start putting rice cereal in babies milk.

Janet - posted on 02/07/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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my son is 11 weeks now and only sleep about 3 hours at a time. can i put cereal in his milk without having bad side effects

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Emily - posted on 02/08/2009

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As one of the other moms mentioned, cereal is not really for extra nutrition as much as for the extra iron needed for a FORMULA fed baby. Breastfed babies absorb the iron in breastmilk much better than from formula or cereal... so for a breastfed baby cereal is not even needed. I only used cereal with my first, who was formula fed from 4 1/2 months on. My second and third babies started solids between 6-8 months and went straight to table foods.

I also agree that at only 11 weeks a baby SHOULD be waking every 2-4 hours to eat. Definitely check out the "No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. She has some great information about realistic sleeping expectations for little ones, and tips on making sure that all baby's physical needs are met before expecting them to sleep through the night. In my experience, as long as babies have a good routine and are able to self-soothe (which Pantley has some great tips on how to teach them without the crying), and all their physical needs are met (right temperature, no teething pain, in good health, etc), then babies will sleep through the night when they are physically able to. Some babies will accept sleeping on an empty stomach, some won't. My first and second babies did not sleep through the night until they were 6 months old (even though my first was formula fed and was eating cereal around 4 1/2 months, it did not help her sleep through the night... instead it affected her digestion and kept her up MORE often). My third baby was a dream and started sleeping a 5 hour stretch followed by a 7 hour stretch (so 12 hours from 7pm-7am with one feeding around midnight) when she was only 8 weeks old. She continued this pattern until she started teething at 4 months... then everything shifted again.

I think it's mostly important for you to find ways to sleep with your baby during the day, so you can get the rest you need. And seriously consider co-sleeping... it is by far the best way for everyone in our house to get the rest they need.

Gillian - posted on 02/08/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:



No, absolutely not! You have remember your baby's digestive system is still developing. He will not be able to withstand heavy foods like that.






I'm experiencing the same thing with my daugther who is 2 months and 2 weeks. Everyone has told me to put cereal in her bottle, but I know it's too much on her tummy at this time.  I don't sleep much at night either and I understand how you may feel and know exactly what you are going through, but it will take time to get your son to sleep through the night. When T'kai came home from the hospital, she slept way too much for me, and I was nervous because I felt she had to eat every 2 hours like they told me in the hospital. But other mothers told me, to let her sleep she'll awaken when she's hungry. There were times when I listened, but I always felt she needed to be up, so I could play with her and of course to make sure she was alright. Besides, it was very difficult to wake her. She wanted to sleep. Try to keep your son up during the day. Play with him, read to him, and take him outside...it works. I did that, and she slept through the night for a week. Now she's back to waking up at the crack of dawn (4am) and sleeping at mindnight and 1am. She fights sleep a lot.





If baby is jaundice and sleepie (yellow skin) then they recommend waking baby for health reasons but never wake a sleeping baby for any other reason lol at 11 weeks a baby should have awake period of roughly 1.3hour to 2 hours tops and then a nap

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Sarah - posted on 11/30/2010

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you don't unless they have a medical problem and the Dr has prescribed it. Cereal should only be given by spoon,not in a bottle.

Amanda - posted on 02/10/2009

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I'm a twin also, my mother seperated us in different beds at around 6 months, because we were actually waking eachother up during the night with our movements. I dont know if you are ready to seperate them (such a shame to do to twins :0( ).

Lisa - posted on 02/10/2009

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One baby has 2 bottom teeth in and it looks like we are in the clear for any other teeth at this point. They are sharing a crib. Lastnight they went to bed a 7 after eating veggies and cereal and I pumped milk, so Jack had 8oz and Claire had about 6oz. They were both at 12, Claire at 2,330,6am. Jack 12,4, 8am.

Amanda - posted on 02/09/2009

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Quoting Lisa:

Cereal in a bottle is a choking hazard. There is also a connection between SIDS and an early introduction (prior to 4months of age) of solids. If your goal is to "fill the baby up" so he will sleep through the night, be prepared for your milk supply to decrease. I thought my twins would sleep through the night once they started solids @ 6months, they actually are getting up more frequently, about 4 times a night. Anyone have any suggestions regarding that? I've ruled out growth spurts since it have been going on for about 4 weeks. So the theory of cereal helping a baby sleep is only a myth.



Are they teething? Do they sleep together (In the same bed)?

Lisa - posted on 02/09/2009

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Cereal in a bottle is a choking hazard. There is also a connection between SIDS and an early introduction (prior to 4months of age) of solids. If your goal is to "fill the baby up" so he will sleep through the night, be prepared for your milk supply to decrease. I thought my twins would sleep through the night once they started solids @ 6months, they actually are getting up more frequently, about 4 times a night. Anyone have any suggestions regarding that? I've ruled out growth spurts since it have been going on for about 4 weeks. So the theory of cereal helping a baby sleep is only a myth.

Melinda - posted on 02/09/2009

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DON'T put cereal in the bottle.  Between 4-6 months you can start the baby on solid food but they should be spoon fed.  Putting it in the bottle leads to obesity and all other problems.  They need the socialization of sitting at a table with the family or just mom and the spoon eating helps them develop the muscles for speech as well as the eating they will do their whole lives. Babies digestive system also can handle for more solid than milk until at least 4 months and it is just a myth the babies will sleep through the night if you start them on solids. My son started sleeping through the night around 5 months and started solids at 6 of course he stopped sleeping through the night at 8 month when separation anxiety kicked in but that is a whole other problem.

Janet - posted on 02/08/2009

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thanks everyone for your quick responses and advice. I really appreciate everyone's point of view. this has always been a hot topic.

Jennifer - posted on 02/08/2009

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No, absolutely not! You have remember your baby's digestive system is still developing. He will not be able to withstand heavy foods like that.



I'm experiencing the same thing with my daugther who is 2 months and 2 weeks. Everyone has told me to put cereal in her bottle, but I know it's too much on her tummy at this time.  I don't sleep much at night either and I understand how you may feel and know exactly what you are going through, but it will take time to get your son to sleep through the night. When T'kai came home from the hospital, she slept way too much for me, and I was nervous because I felt she had to eat every 2 hours like they told me in the hospital. But other mothers told me, to let her sleep she'll awaken when she's hungry. There were times when I listened, but I always felt she needed to be up, so I could play with her and of course to make sure she was alright. Besides, it was very difficult to wake her. She wanted to sleep. Try to keep your son up during the day. Play with him, read to him, and take him outside...it works. I did that, and she slept through the night for a week. Now she's back to waking up at the crack of dawn (4am) and sleeping at mindnight and 1am. She fights sleep a lot.

Tina - posted on 02/07/2009

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Putting cereal in his milk will not necessarily help him sleep. I had many older moms tell me that it would but after asking moms that were in the midst of infancy I learned that some babies did not sleep well no matter what the feeding regimen.
I strictly breast fed to 6 months and he has slept for 5 hour stretches since he was 3 months old (they don't need cereal to sleep). Make sure you do your research before you make any decisions. Older moms have a lot of insight and can give great advice but many health recomendations have changed since they had babies and they've changed for good reason.

[deleted account]

From Diabetes Journal, http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/cgi...



"These data indicate that early exposure to cow's milk and solid foods may be associated with increased risk of IDDM."



Insulin dependent diabetes. I am all for more sleep for mom and babe, but this is not a risk I am willing to take.



From the Journal of American Medicine ( as reported at medical news today http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles...):



"Norris said it might be that introducing solid food too soon induces the production of antibodies that destroy insulin-producing cells in the pancreas."



 

Melissa - posted on 02/07/2009

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Quoting janet:




thank you Gillian and Melissa, I really appreciate your help and all the information. My family all thinks its okay to add a little cereal in his milk but i was just a little nervous and wanted to get others opinion. I did put cereal in my other son's milk when he was 1 month old because he had reflux and that helped hold the milk down. His 12 now and I havent seen in side effects that i know. I'm going to wait until 4 months. Is that when I introduce baby foods as well?






Yes it is the same age (4-6 MONTHS) for introducing solids.  They say to do the rice and cereal first and then do other smooth solids but some sources say you can do it simultaneously. 

Cortney - posted on 02/07/2009

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I started her on it to help with spit-up. She was spitting up a lot and the cereal really helps with it. I don't have sleeping issues with her. And yes my doctor knows. I told him at her two month check-up that I had begun giving her cereal and he said that was just fine. It fills her up more and she is much happier. Every baby is different, you have to go by what works for you. What might work for one baby won't always work for another one.

Amanda - posted on 02/07/2009

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Cereal in a bottle WILL NOT help a baby sleep longer, this is an old wives tale that needs to end with our generation of children. Over feeding babies lead to over weight children and adults. Also putting cereal in a bottle is a choking hazard, cereal should only be feed with a spoon at any age, never in a bottle.  I agree with Katie at 11 weeks a child should be still waking up every 2-4 hours for a feeding! The point of cereal is not for more calories but more iron intake at 6-7 months.

Katie - posted on 02/07/2009

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http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids...

This explains the side effects.

Even though my son was born two months early I started him on some cereal at 5.5 months because I started menstruating and my supply dipped for a few days. Plus, he was sitting up in his chair and watching us eat. He's 6 months now and he eats 1-2 times a day, about a tablespoon or two of homemade oatmeal and fruit or veggies.

He still only sleeps for two hours at a time, though, so we're about to try The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley because it's gotten such good reviews. I think at 11 weeks, though, he should still be fed regularly 24 hours a day. I know that some babies sleep through the night by then but it's the exception not the rule.

Janet - posted on 02/07/2009

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Quoting Gillian:

Thanks for being way more articulate in your response thats thy kind of stuff i was trying to write but its late so I sould go to bed lol



thank you Gillian and Melissa, I really appreciate your help and all the information. My family all thinks its okay to add a little cereal in his milk but i was just a little nervous and wanted to get others opinion. I did put cereal in my other son's milk when he was 1 month old because he had reflux and that helped hold the milk down. His 12 now and I havent seen in side effects that i know. I'm going to wait until 4 months. Is that when I introduce baby foods as well?

[deleted account]

Let your baby be your barometer! Recent studies show there is no link between introducing solids early and food allergies. If she's happier with a little cereal mixed in with your breastmilk, why not give it to her? My 3 month old just started on rice cereal mixed with a generous amount of breast milk and is sleeping much better. She had shown  a lot of interest in our own food as we ate and would cry when she could smell food cooking. She also loves sweet potato puree, so she gets a little of that too.

Melissa - posted on 02/07/2009

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Here are some bullet points I found online...

The larger opening in the nipple can overwhelm the baby and cause choking.



It may interfere with the infant's ability to learn to eat from a spoon.



It may cause overfeeding. Because bottle-feeding is faster than spoon-feeding, infants may not have that "full" feeling until after they "drink" too much cereal.



It may lower nutritional intake. Providing too much cereal and not enough formula or breast milk leads to a lowered nutritional intake.



There is no compelling evidence to indicate that feeding cereal will help a baby sleep through the night.



I am sure it is frustrating not getting much sleep. I am about to have a baby myself so I can appreciate your situation. I am also glad you cared enough about your baby to ask about the effects before just doing it even though it might seem like any easy solution. It use to be commonly done... I know I have seen it myself. Doctors are saying they believe it is one of the contributing factors to the epidemic of childhood obesity we are experiencing now. It is hard to say if that is true or not. We all have to do what we think is best for our children. I am just providing you with the information you asked for, in the end you have to decide. :)

Gillian - posted on 02/07/2009

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Thanks for being way more articulate in your response thats thy kind of stuff i was trying to write but its late so I sould go to bed lol

Melissa - posted on 02/07/2009

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I have read that the American Academy of Pediatrics says you should not put cereal in a babies bottle unless directed to do so by your doctor (it is used in this way to treat GERD in infants and my niece who is special needs has been given it for this reason). You can mix cereal with breast milk or formula and feed it with a spoon but they don't want you to do it until they are 4-6 months. Some people advocate waiting until six months to introduct solids because the risks of allergy development is lower. I would talk to your baby doctor and read some articles on introducing solids to infants. There are a ton of them online on medical websites and also sites that sell baby food like Gerber, Beechnut..some even have charts. Good luck!

Gillian - posted on 02/07/2009

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Well stick with your dr's then, I know its hard Ive had 3, its not just said because they feel like it. There are many reasons why the say to hold of the main 1 is so babies systemare ready to cope, major organs like the kidneys can be damaged if your start too early. Obesity is being linked to starting too early try and hold back just a bit longer please not easy I know but your child will be grateful in the long run good luck

Gillian - posted on 02/07/2009

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Quoting Cortney:



I've been putting cereal in my daughters bottles and it has not been hurting her at all. She actually seems quite a bit happier with it. I breastfeed so I just mix the cereal in with expressed milk. She is only 2 and a half months old.





Was this on Dr's recomendations? have you actaully read any guide lines on this 2 and half months is too early unless theres a special reason!!!!!

Gillian - posted on 02/07/2009

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Try and wait a bit longer the guide lines are there for a very good reason, 3 hours is good I only ever got 2 hours 4 months is the earliest I would start using rice ceral.

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