Cereal in babies bottles???

Lisamarie - posted on 03/09/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )

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I live in England, before joining COM I had never heard of putting baby cereal in bottles to help them sleep longer but as I looked through the threads I noticed a lot of mums giving people this advice so I did a little research (only via google) and found a few alarming things about it;



"Many parents have been adding cereal to their babies bottles with the hopes that baby will sleep better through the night or because they feel the baby is not getting enough to eat.



If you've heard the statements, "Add cereal to your babies bottle and he'll sleep for 5 hours" or "If your baby constantly wants to nurse or seems hungry, add cereal to the bottle," know that those are myths and not facts.



Your baby gets enough nutrition from breast milk or formula for the first 6 months of life. In fact, many medical experts agree that introducing cereal before 4 months of age can cause food allergies. Additionally, adding cereal to your babies bottle is a bad idea. Period.



Experts like Dr. Alan Greene, M.D. believe that the sucking and swallowing actions are not fully coordinated in some children, which can lead to pulmonary problems because they can inhale small amounts of rice cereal in their lungs.



What other dangers are there with adding cereal to a babies bottle? For one thing, your child could very well be on the road to obesity. The extra calories in the cereal itself is enough to teach your child to overeat. When your child is at least 4 months of age, it is more suitable to introduce cereal by feeding your baby with a spoon. Not only does this teach them to learn to eat from a spoon, but it also allows them to rest in between and it helps the baby learn the proper way to eat.



Well, what about your mother, and your grandmother, and your sister, and all those people who swear that adding cereal to a babies bottle will help them sleep and stay satisfied longer? Dr. Alan Greene, M.D. states, "I suspect the reason is that kids do fall asleep a bit more quickly, and some babies may even go a bit longer between feedings. There is no scientific evidence, though, to support the claim that cereal in the bottle will help an infant increase total sleep or decrease crying."'



The American Academy of Pediatrics also advises against feeding a baby cereal from a bottle. The only time feeding a baby cereal in a bottle is when your Pediatrician recommends it to help with reflux.



Obesity. Food Allergies. Pulmonary problems. Bad eating habits. Those are all enough reasons to steer away from giving your baby a bottle of cereal. You may be happy you did."



The main thing that concerned me was the choking hazard and the fact that it can infiltrate into our babies lungs! I also found this bit of info:

"What you've heard: It's okay to put infant cereal in your baby's bottle

The truth: It's not advised except in rare instances, such as when a baby has severe reflux and isn't getting enough calories to grow. "We're not talking about mildly spitty or gassy babies," says Jennifer Shu, M.D., coauthor of Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed With Insight, Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup (out August 2007 at aap.org). Even in the tough cases, first check with your doctor about other options, such as supplementing with extra formula or trying medication, like antacids.



"Babies know how much they need to drink based on volume, so upping the calories in the bottle can cause them to overfeed and become overweight," says Dr. Shu.



As for giving infant cereal at bedtime to help your baby sleep longer, studies show that it doesn't work. Bottom line: If your baby's old enough to digest solids (between 4 and 6 months), she should be getting them from a spoon."



I would like to know your opinions on this, whether you agree or disagree, I posted these articles on a few communities and got some negative feedback and I would just like to know if you have found any evidence that goes against this. Also why do you feel the way you do on the subject??

Thank you ladies! :)

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Erin - posted on 03/10/2010

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Right this is just ridiculous. This thread will be locked and all offending posts will be deleted.
If people actually have some valid points to discuss on this topic please contact a mod and we will consider.

~Jennifer - posted on 03/09/2010

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Right, Krista - I did do it after asking his doctor - which is why I stated that in the first place.



I don't believe either that I advocated other people doing the same thing - I simply stated my experience with having used cereal and why. (kind of the whole point of being on a forum to share our experiences, right?)



I guess that the reason I get so incensed over these 'research' and 'new findings' threads can be broken down to one simple theory. ( and this does not reflect my feelings toward any specific person, whether in this forum, on this site, or in the 'real world' - just 'generalities' here):



ie: People say, "OMG you can't add that to the bottle it's been deemed a choking hazard, it's going to make them fat, it's going to give them allergies it's going to tear the space time continuum".......whatever.....something BAD will happen.

ok, fine - there have been idiots that don't know what to add, don't know how much - don't ask a doctor - don't pay attention to their kid and just hand them a bottle and walk away. I think that those warnings are FOR the aforementioned 'idiots'......you know, the ones whom without some of the advances we've made and warnings that are issued, would probably kill themselves or someone else for lack of COMMON SENSE.



Tylenol recall - perfect example. Some idiot didn't know how to read a dosing sheet and OD'd their kid......now none of us are 'allowed' to give our infants Tylenol according to the 'new findings'. Now we have a new generation of infants that are denied a time tested remedy because some fools can't read dosage instructions. Thanks idiots.



I just think that more often than not, many of these 'new findings' are better classified as 'cover your ass' lawsuit disclaimers for idiots with no common sense, rather than some major medical breakthrough.

Sharon - posted on 03/09/2010

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I fed all my kids baby cereal when they couldn't seem to get full. I didn't keep track of the dates or the time.



This fucking horseshit about babies inhaling their food and getting pneumonia and whatever else.. good fucking god.



They don't inhale their damn formula why the fuck would they inhale their cereal/formula?

Iris - posted on 03/09/2010

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Ok, enough with the personal attacks. Lets stick to the topic please.

Cassie - posted on 03/09/2010

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How about we try to get back on topic...


I don't agree with cereal in a baby's bottle. IMO, if a baby is hungry, the baby needs to be fed. Adding cereal to a baby's bottle, while not only dangerous, fills the baby up on empty calories with almost zero nutritional value. I've been there with a baby who woke up every hour through the night if not quicker to eat but I never considered giving her a bottle with cereal added.

I understand that some formulas have created this but formula companies are out there simply to make money. They aren't looking out for mommy or babies best interests. They figure that lots of moms are sleep deprived so if they offer a formula that can "help baby sleep longer," they will make more money.

In most cases, I doubt that adding cereal to a bottle will really hurt a baby but I believe that giving them empty, pointless calories just to fill them up isn't the way to handle the situation.

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26 Comments

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Lisamarie - posted on 03/10/2010

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Thanks for the replies. I personally don't think anyone can say that children aren't effected by this, just because it didn't effect your child doesn't mean another child won't and vice versa, I stated in my OP that these things "Could" / "Can" happen, not that they will happen! I appreciate everyones advice and thank you for sharing your stories.

Krista - posted on 03/09/2010

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Yeah, this is seriously tiresome. I like a good argument, IF it's on-topic. But this is just about who shit on whose cornflakes.

Johnny - posted on 03/09/2010

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My mom held me on her lap instead of putting me in a car seat. I wouldn't do that just because it worked for my mom. I read the current research and make the best choice for my daughter based on what we know 'at this point and time' and what her specific needs are.

Grow up, all of you!

Lea - posted on 03/09/2010

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Everyone please read this- I also had a problem keeping my son full and happy. He had to be fed every hour on the hour during the day and every 2-3 hours at night. When he was about a month old, I started supplementing with formula later in the day - topping him off with formula after breastfeeding. He didn't weigh much so I let him have as much as he would drink. That helped him sleep 3-5 hours at night. After a month of doing that, when he was about 3 months old, he started getting upset everyday in the evening. Breastmilk and formula did not satisfy him anymore. At my wits end, after ruling out other things (colic is supposed to let up at 3 months old, not start) I tried giving him a little rice cereal diluted with breastmilk fed with a baby SPOON. He chomped on the spoon and ate hungrily as I fed him. I couldn't believe he knew what to do but he did. I started feeding him rice cereal every evening with a SPOON and checked with his doc who said it was fine. SO I guess what I am trying to say is, if your baby is hungry and ready for rice cereal, they will be able to eat it from a spoon. I don't see why you would put it in a bottle. HOWEVER - hasn't anyone seen the Infamil Restfull formula?? When it came out I said to myself how ironic, now they come out with it after I don't need it anymore. If you want your baby to sleep longer, why not try that? Look for it.

Lindsay - posted on 03/09/2010

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Did I ever add cereal to my kids' bottles? no. Did me mom add it to mine and my brothers'? yes. It goes along with the many things that were once very common practice but are no longer. It, like everything else, will change a hundred times before we get to be grandparents. Then we will be the idiots our kids will be talking about on forums like this that can't believe we let our babies sleep on their backs or whatever else. I think there are times when adding the cereal can be useful, but I also think that falls under talking to the pediatrician and making sure you are mixing it correctly and using it for the right purposes. Had my kids given me a reason for needing something more, I very likely would have consulted their doctor about this being a good option. Since they didn't, it was never an issue.

[deleted account]

P.S. Ur analogy between tylenol and the info about cereal in bottles is ridiculous......one has nothing to do with another! No one is telling you that you CAN'T put cereal in ur babies bottle.....it's just info informing you of any/all risks so you can make an informed decision!

Sarah - posted on 03/09/2010

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I'd never heard of putting cereal in the bottle. So i never did it with either of mine.

I did you hungry baby milk though. I didn't think it had cereal in it though, so far as a knew one was whey based ("normal" formula) and one is Casein based (hungry baby formula).
I could be wrong! lol, maybe Casein is cereal! :)

Rosie - posted on 03/09/2010

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i did it with my first child to help sleep through the night, he's 10, based on advice i heard from a friend. i tried it, it worked. hadn't heard anything different by the time my second child came along, he's 5, so i tried it with him, it didn't work. with my third child, tried it didn't work so we discontinued, but that one was on the advice of his dr for weight gain and help with his throwing up.

i don't really see what the big deal is, i've never heard that having a fat baby means they're going to be fat later on in life, cause if that's the case then everybody i know would have horribly obese children. choking-i guess i don't see how they couldn't choke on regular formula as well-i'm not saying that kids havn't choked, but should we stop giving formula altogether because your kid can choke? i tend to agree with jenn on this. i think it's more of a cover their ass disclaimer for people that can't figure things out on their own.

Kelly - posted on 03/09/2010

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With my first daughter, I never thought about adding cereal to her bottles, and never did. My second daughter is now almost 5 months old, and her first 3 months she had a huge problem spitting up after she ate. That formula is DEFINATELY more expensive than the regular formula, and the only thing in it is rice starch to thicken it up. I added rice cereal to thicken the normal formula a little and it worked the same. Now that she doesn't spit up anymore, (more than normal that is) I no longer add cereal to her bottles. No, I didn't clear this through her pediatrician first, and no one gave me advise. I am just not willing to pay extra for formula when a box of cereal is under $2. My daughter's last check up was fine, and she is right in line weight wise for her age.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/09/2010

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Thanks Cynthia, just curious, honestly no judgement, did anyone advise you to do so? A relative, friend, health proffesional? Thank you. :)

Cynthia - posted on 03/09/2010

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I fed all three of my babies cereal before bed when they were infants. They are now 8,7, and 6 years old now - perfectly healthy and slept like.... well, BABIES!!

Lisamarie - posted on 03/09/2010

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Krista, you answered that really well. And I should have specified the info a bit more clearly. Thank you. And my apologies for coming across as negative, after reading back comments I realised the way they may have come across, hard to do via keyboard. It was stated in the starting thread unless advised by your health professional. :)

Krista - posted on 03/09/2010

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There's a difference though, Jenn. You did this on the advice of your pediatrician, and because your kid was hungry, and I'm guessing the pediatrician guided you on the proper amount to add.

But some moms just do it because they want their kid to sleep more, so they add cereal to the bottle, and then of course it's too thick for the nipple, so they make the hole bigger, which can potentially lead to bits of nipple breaking off. And sometimes they make the hole too large, which can make the baby choke.

It's one of those things that for the MOST part (and I should have specified that in my earlier post -- my apologies), is unnecessary and outdated. There are exceptions -- your case being one of them.

~Jennifer - posted on 03/09/2010

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..........yeah, well, the lecture is unnecessary - I wasn't replying directly to you - just 'you' in general. (that's what those little ' ' things around 'you' mean......... if YOU [and yes, now I mean you] read it properly.)



.....and again - hungry baby formula is simply formula with added rice starch - so really, there's no difference between what I could have bought, and what I was fully CAPABLE of making myself



=/

Lisamarie - posted on 03/09/2010

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@Jenn, I never once in this thread have TOLD anyone how to raise their children, if you actually take time to read it properly you will see that I was asking people opinions on the subject. And FYI, I am fully aware that medical advice changes and would NEVER advise my children to do something that was potentially dangerous with their children. (even if I did it with my children) The world moves on and doctors and researchers are finding new things out every day! I'm not sure where you live but my 3 yr old daughter was put on hungry baby formula ay 4 months and it cost EXACTLY the same price as the 1st stage formula, so how it was more cost effective to buy regular formula and cereal is beyond me.

@All, thanks for the responces, I really am only trying to gain information and do not want to knock anyone for doing whatever they are doing. :)

~Jennifer - posted on 03/09/2010

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Well, I did it.

I asked my kid's pediatrician about the formulas made for hungrier babies due to the amount my son was taking in, and he flat out said to me "All that is is formula with rice starch added to it, and you can do that yourself by adding rice to his bottles; there's no need to pay more for formula when it's something you can make yourself."

SO - yep, 'cereal' in the bottles.....

Not to sleep longer, not because I needed 'to sleep' - just b/c he was eating more.



Do I have a fat 5 year old?

Nope.

Vegetarian by his choice - none of the rest of us are.

Did his sister get cereal too?

You're damn skippy she did. Right about the same age as I had started it with him.



Food allergies?

Nope, none. (and you can add "they both had peanut butter by 7 months" to the list of 'no food allergies here')



People can throw all the studies in the world at you, but the fact remains that some things work for some kids - maybe not yours, but it did for mine.

In about 20 years, all the studies people throw at you now will be defunct as well. Medical progress isn't going to stop in 2010.

........SO, when you're a grandmother, and you tell your child how 'you' raised them, and what worked for you and make your 'suggestions'......and they laugh at you and tell you that 'medical research supports '________________'" and that you "don't know what you're talking about" - just smile and remember all the research studies and 'warnings' you gave people when you had a young child and knew 'everything'............way back when.





=)

Jodi - posted on 03/09/2010

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LOL, Krista, its not just a "grandma did it" thing - seriously, it was still advice I received 12 years ago :)

Jodi - posted on 03/09/2010

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I think the problem is that this is outdated advice. I know it sounds shocking, but it was suggested to me by my local community health nurse (who we used to see for our regular check ups with our babies) back when my son was a baby, when he was about 4 months and starving hungry. He is now 12, so it was a long time ago, but back then, it was actually standard advice (I am in Australia).

My daughter is 5 and I never did it with her, because research shows otherwise now, and times have changed. I think we have to go with the more recent research. There are many ways in which things have changed since I had my son, and I am more than open to reviewing new research and schools of thought.

But I just wanted to shed light on why some mothers may recommend it (I NEVER do) - it is more than likely that they have older children, or it was advised to them by someone with older children, and they are uninformed about new research, or deliberately choosing to ignore it.

Krista - posted on 03/09/2010

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I also agree that it's a bad idea and dangerous, and advise against it any time the topic comes up. Unfortunately, it's one of those "my grandma did it" parenting tricks that never seems to die. I think all we can do is continue to provide that info from the AAP, but try not to insult those who do think cereal in bottles is good -- nobody changes their mind from being browbeaten (a lesson that I still have yet to really learn.)

[deleted account]

I personally never did this. Actually, my son first tried cereal at 5 months and hated it. So we skipped completely over the cereal stage. But I do agree that if a baby is old enough to have cereal, it should be from a spoon. I never heard of cereal in the bottle either until I started posting on mom forums.

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