Cereal in the bottle

Cristina - posted on 01/01/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Camden will be 4 months in 4 days, and it is so obvious that he is ready for rice cereal. He can sit up with just a pillow behind him and the few times I have tried to feed him cereal with a spoon, he doesn't puth of it out of his mouth (meaning the reflex is gone) and he "chews" and swallows it. And I can tell he needs something more to eat than just formula, because after several weeks of sleeping from 9-5, he has suddenly started waking up at 2 for a bottle and the paci doesn't sooth him back to sleep. So I have started educating myself by reading about introducing solids, and every single thing I read says "Don't put cereal in the bottle", but they never say why. Does anyone know the reason for this?

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Daneen - posted on 01/08/2012

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My daughter is 13 weeks and she has been eating 7 oz every 3-4 hours. I called my ped. and he said it was ok to put 1 T. of rice cereal in her bottle of with the 7 oz. of formula. I went up a nipple size to a 3 in Dr. Browns and she's been doing great and sleeping through the night from 8pm-7am. I also do the cereal in the bottle in the morning but during the day just formula. My doc also told me that she def isnt ready to get spoon fed this early. I think it's all trial and error and you have to try things to see if they work and if your baby is ready.

Cheri - posted on 12/19/2011

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there are theories about choking, but it depends on how much rice you put in, the thickness and the size of the nipple's hole. You can get an Infa-Feeder @ Walmart that's made specifically for you to feed the baby solids with (used a lot in sn kids). I put cereal in ALL my baby's bottles because I introduced at 2 weeks for older 2 and 4 weeks for my twins (because they were preemies, I waited a couple extra weeks and we found it worked well for my sons reflux) Dawn- You don't know a darn thing you are talking about #1, about anyone. You have NO IDEA that why someone would put cereal in a bottle has NOTHING to do with laziness and to imply that is ludicrous. You know nothing of anyone's family background. In Germany, you introduced solids EARLY and babies at 2 weeks didn't eat off spoons. Seriously, before you go spouting off trash, think about other cultures and have a little sensitivity. YOU DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING. I promise.

Im a mom of 4, daycare provider/Nanny for over 10 years and not one child ever choked in my care from me putting the cereal in a bottle. They are all alive, well and very healthy.

Mary - posted on 01/01/2009

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I've heard it is more of a learning/relational thing. They need to learn that solids come from the spoon and not from the bottle. Also, cereal isn't made to be put in the bottle. And they are used to eating the whole bottle so they will, but it can overstuff them if cereal is in it.

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Sarah - posted on 01/03/2012

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I realize this is an old post, but hopefully this will help someone else. The answer is because it's a choking hazard. The bottle will deposit the cereal too far back in their mouth for them to be able to swallow it properly and it could actually go into their lung(s). When you put food into your mouth, you put it in the front and work it with your tongue to the back and prepare to swallow, this doesn't happen when you put formula into a bottle. Put it on a spoon. Just a side note, and not to judge anyone, but current recommendations are to wait until 6 months old to introduce solid foods, this isn't necessarily due to the baby's sitting/grabbing abilities but due to the maturity of their digestive system. Talk to your doctor before you start solids with any infant. Good luck!

Dawn - posted on 12/18/2011

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In order for the cereal to go thru the nipple it has to be enlarged..Which causes the flow to be faster and the liquid going down his throat is thick..Could cause choking..Cereal should be fed on a spoon to teach them to swallow solids correctly..Many people do this and I truly believe this definitely a NO NO..Just because some people do it..Doesn't make to good for them..I have heard of grandmas telling the parents to put sugar in the bottle too..Are they NUTS?? I would say yes..My opinion is that the people that put cereal in bottles are just to lazy to sit and feed there child with a spoon..They would rather risk the child choking then spend the time to use a spoon..Again just My Opinion..Grandmother of 3 and a nanny of infants for many yrs..Hope this helps

Tracey - posted on 12/17/2011

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Babies don't have the right enzymes to digest grains until after age one, and for some not until age two. Meat is the best first food. The APA now recommends this.

Jill - posted on 06/20/2011

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We actually skipped the cereal and went right to the stage one foods. My son and daughter hated cereal but ate readily with the 'real' food.

Denise - posted on 06/20/2011

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My daughter at 1 week old had cereal in her bottle, and my son who is 14 now had it in his bottle at day 3, because he wanted 4 oz of formula every hour, when he had the cereal he was every 4 hours, and now only weighs 110 lbs, and my daughter at 2 1/2 weighs 24 lbs.

Crystal - posted on 01/31/2011

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at 4months you dont need to put it in a bottle you can spoon feed it to him just make it realy thin both my girls were eating ceral from a spoon at 3 1/2 months i would just give it to him that way either before or after bottle which evewr you prefer

Audrey - posted on 01/07/2009

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cristina thank you for the recommendation and advice. she loved the cereal but got frustrated with the spoon so i guess it just takes awhile and i will keep tryingi'm going to look for that cereal tomorrow. thanks again.

Amy - posted on 01/07/2009

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I agree on its different between docs. Our ped has been with us for 10y now so she knows my family very well. It makes a differenance how well the doc knows u and ur child also.

Cristina - posted on 01/07/2009

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Ali- It all depends on the doctor. My ped is a mom of 3 in her 30s, so she is very laid back, which is why I like her so much. And you will know if your daughter needs more than what she is getting. I have heard though that boys need food earlier because they grow rapidly--they usually triple their birth weight by six months.



Audrey- Gerber makes a "Rice and Apple" combo that Camden did VERY well with. It's just slightly sweeter and he starts wiggling when he sees me mixing it!!! After he does well with that for a few weeks, we are going to add "Oatmeal with Banana" in the mornings, and like Tamara said, the doctor told me that that may make him go #2 less often and to not be concerned about it. The best thing I have learned in this whole introducing solids thing is to make sure you feed your baby cereal when they are well rested, in a good mood, and not STARVING. I usually do it right in between his 1 pm and 4 pm bottles. Because if you try it, and they are sleepy or hungry, it will not go well, and you may mistake that for them not being ready. It's really just trial and lots of error!!!

Amy - posted on 01/07/2009

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I have a 3m old daughter that was born preturm that had very bad aicd rex problems. The doc told me to put cereal in her bottle so she didnt spit up as much. It has worked so well. I wish i would have known to do that with my other 4 kids.

Ali - posted on 01/07/2009

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Wow, so doctors are saying it's not too early for cereal? I always heard and read 6 months before anything besides formula. Well, I just might have to see. Kenidee(9/19) does pretty good right now with sleeping through the night but if that changes, I might have to try the cereal.

[deleted account]

They can choke. My son is 3 months old and our doctor said we can start him off with cereal at night and in the morning. We mix one table spoon with 2 table spoons of his milk and feed it to him with a spoon. My nurse said it's good not to use bottle too because they can get dependent on the bottle and be too lazy to use spoon.

Audrey - posted on 01/07/2009

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thank you so much!! I will copy and save this so I can start doing this. She always has her mouth open when we eat and watches us sooo closely I feel horrible. It will be nice to let her eat too. lol!

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Audrey, the only Stage 1 fruits I have seen are applesauce and bananas.  Bananas turn the poop dark color so don't freak out if you see that cause I sure did!  Just make sure you are  balancing out fruits and veggies (avoid green veggies at first) because there is conflicting info that if you only give them sweet fruits it may be harder to get them to take veggies.  There are carrots and squash available in Stage 1 as well as green veggies but all my research conducted I've found alot of sites saying the greens are harder to process and even found a doctor that said if they get an upset stomach and are on solids to cut back to just the 4 I've mentioned; squash, carrots, applesauce and bananas, and of course rice cereal.  Just think about when we are sick the dr. prescribes a BRAT diet; bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. 



My little man was gassier on every formula we gave him but the rice cereal doesn't make him really gassy.  It depends on the baby.  I heard that rice cereal also causes constipation worse than the other grains but we haven't seen any problems with that either.  If you do run into that problem some fruit or a little fruit juice should help.  Ultimately, you should ask your pediatrician but sometimes "Mom knows best".  If she doesn't want to take a spoon yet try adding a little cereal to the bottle but as Cristina and I have mentioned you will either want to cut back on ounces of formula or monitor closely to make sure she isn't overeating and getting too many calories.  I had to cut back ounces but Cristina's little one stops when he is full (lucky duck I feel like I'm starving my guy sometimes!!).  If you have any questions about our progression with cereal and solids feel free to message me!  Good Luck!!

Audrey - posted on 01/06/2009

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i was told they could have problems with gas, but i'm so sure my 3 1/2 mo is ready. she watches me eat and she starts drooling and eating her fists until i give her a bottle and she eats about 36 oz a day. i think i'm gonna try it again. what kind of fruit is ok at first?

Cristina - posted on 01/06/2009

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Our 4 month appointment is next week, but I had just heard so many people say they had started putting cereal in the bottle at 3 months. That's why I was curious about it. And he has already been on the formula with added rice starch because he has acid reflux, which is 10 times thicker than regular formula. So you are right Tamara, I don't notice much difference in adding a spoonful of cereal, except that he can't eat as much at that feeding. Therefore, I am not too concerned with "liquid calories", he seems to be regulating his calories on his own.

Laura - posted on 01/06/2009

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I think I read somewhere that they were just concerned about babies over eating and getting too many calories since it is "liquid calories."  But that is all I can remember-have you asked your pedo?

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How can they choke on it if the formula is still runny?  I have been questioning this for quite some time.  I've been adding cereal for a month, and everytime I shake up that bottle and look at it I question this.  The formula doesn't look much different...a little cereal doesn't make that much of a difference...just gives it a little thickness that tides the baby over but it's still so very runny!!  And by just adding a little rice cereal how is that different from the formula with the added rice starch.  Because we tried that once and it seemed even thicker than what we are currently doing!  It is not a righteous answer to say it should not be put in a bottle because they can choke.  That would depend on how much cereal you put in it.

Angelica - posted on 01/05/2009

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Cereal should not be put in a bottle becuase they can choke on it also so they can learn to eat from a spoon so when they start foods in a couple more months

Cristina - posted on 01/04/2009

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I have been adding the cereal to the bottle the last few nights now, and he has been sleeping about an hour longer than normal, and seems a little less "starving" for that first bottle in the morning. And he has been eating rice cereal with apples in the afternoon with no problems. That makes sense that babies need to learn that solids come from a spoon and not a bottle, but he doesn't seem to be having any issues with the spoon. Thanks so much everyone for the help!!!!!

Ali - posted on 01/04/2009

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I know that some bottles have nipples made specifically for cereal. Dr. Browns, which is what I use, has a nipple called "Y" cut. That's exactly what it's for. You can see if your bottle brand might have a special nipple to help.

Renee - posted on 01/02/2009

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We have added stage one solids to my daughter's diet and she absolutely loves it. Our pediatrician told us that if your child is eating more than 32 oz in formula in a day, they aren't getting much nutritional value, so we added some solids to her diet. So far there has been no problem to get her to eat from the spoon, so that's why I add rice cereal to the bottle and I do the same thing to the nipple as Tamara. Good Luck!

[deleted account]

I've been doing the "old fashioned" cereal in the bottle since the day my guy turned 3 months old. He was eating over 40 ounces of formula a day. I reduced his formula intake to 6 oz with 1 tablespoon of rice cereal instead of 7-8 oz of formula that he was taking. I just took my slow flow nipples and using a sharp knife put an "X" where the hole is. Just a little one and just enough to let the cereal come through. Squeeze the nipple tip to make sure you are not going too big. The reasoning behind why you should not do it is as Mary Wilson said, they want baby to learn solids come from a spoon, they can overeat and get too many calories, (both which can cause weight issues and early diabetes), there is a chocking possibility if baby doesn't swallow it as well...the list goes on and on! But as they say, Mom knows best! I would feed him from a spoon during the day, and a bottle with cereal in it before bed. It sounds like he is ready to start on some stage 1 solids soon too! How fun! Our pediatrician says 4-6 months and it sounds like your little one has already mastered eating from a spoon :)

Cristina - posted on 01/02/2009

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Do you use a diiferent bottle for the cereal then? How do you get it to come out of the nipple?

Renee - posted on 01/01/2009

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My daughter was born on 9/3. I have been feeding her cereal for a couple weeks now. Recently I have started to put the cereal in her first and last bottle of the day. She absolutely loves it. Not really sure why they say not to do it, but it hasn't caused any problems for her. Hope this helps!

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