Putting baby cereal in bottles can be dangerous!!

Lisamarie - posted on 03/08/2010 ( 163 moms have responded )

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Hi, this is some information about putting cereal in your babies bottles. I live in England and had never heard of this and it amazed me to see the amount of people that do it on COM so I did a bit of research and this is what I found. Hope the information helps and you think twice about adding cereal to your babies bottles. :)



"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."



Edited to add: Hey ladies, thank you for ALL your posts, they were all helpful whether you agree or disagree. I just wanted to say repeat that I have never heard of this before and have researched the pro's and the cons and I have already seen a LOT of women suggesting it and pointing out the reasons why you should use it so I thought I'd educate some women on things that COULD happen.

I am in no way trying to disrespect ANY parent for their choices and know that we all do what it best for OUR child. Also, I'd like to clarify that it does state in the article that it is "ok" to put cereal in bottles when recommended by a doctor or other health professional. :)

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Rachael - posted on 03/08/2010

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Based on all the "scientific research" that is new, It is amazing that we ever made it to adulthood hood! Lets look at things rationally shall we... A tablespoon or 2 of rice cereal in a bottle does not lead to childhood obesity...parents that let their child eat bad things and then let the tv and video games baby-sit their children do! Letting kids eat some dirt or play with other kids without sanitizing everything they touch will actually help them stay healthier because they will actually build immunity to basic viruses...Spanking is not a crime it is an effective punishment for bad behavior...giving all the kids trophys even when they lose does not build self esteem, it keeps our kids from learning how to be gracious winners, good losers and involved in healthy compitetion...

There is a reason why we adults do not like the new generation that is coming up after us...we have no one to blame but ourselves. We need to take responsibility to teach our children how to be responsible, moral and kind people that contribute to society and live a life where the world does not revolve around them!

[deleted account]

I don't think the article or anyone else is implying that children will absolutely be obese......it just states that it MAY lead to obesity! Like everything else in life; things work for some and not others......no harm in educating ourselves to POSSIBLE risks.....it's still ur decision in the end!

Kelly - posted on 03/12/2010

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I know somebody who was giving their newborn cereal in the bottle and it messed up her son's digestive system! he was in pain from the gas building up!

Miranda - posted on 03/09/2010

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I am glad that you researched this just as I have looked into this when I was pregnant with my first born. And I am extremely happy to know that you added the part about extreme cases such as reflux.When my daughter was born she was really healthy except for her having reflux. She had it bad enough that she even would quit breathing at night from choking on the formula coming up. We tried everything. Her docter is a great pediatrician and she was put on 2 different types of medication and they even switched her formula several times. She only drank 4 ounces of milk at a feeding until she was over 6mths old because of how severe her refulx was. My pediatrician did advise me to add a teaspoon of cereal to her milk from the time she was about 2mths old. This was because the thicker consistency didnt come up as much or as easily. Of course this was after we had tried several formulas and medicines. She wasnt getting all of the nutrients she needed and wasnt getting enough of the fomula because so much was coming up. But my pediatrician did not recommend this until we had exhausted all options and she didnt tell me to do it to get her to sleep better. I am glad that I did put cereal in her bottle because she was finally able to hold down more milk. I do believe that we need to research any advice given to us as mothers because our kids cant research what is best for them. I am now pregnant with my second child and I hope with all my heart we do not have to go through reflux with this one. If we do I know what will work and if not then I will wait to start feeding cereal to him/her until she is older. Thought this is my opinion. Everyone is entitled to there own opinion and what worked for me and mine may not be what is right for everyone.

Robyn - posted on 03/15/2010

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Actually Rebecca, I was told that you do wake babies up in the night to make sure they feed again. It is our culture that has us misguided into thinking that babies are supposed to sleep through the night from day one. Through the night is only supposed to be a 5 hour stretch and that isn't until they are so many months old. We are supposed to make sure they are each 8-12 times a day (including night). We are misguided into think that a baby should eat so much at each feeding. When in reality, it should not be based on quantity but by when your baby says he/she is full. Babies also go through spurts of eat more than usual for a short time because they are going through a growth spurt. It is okay to feed your baby more when they need it. I just don't think that is has to be cereal. That is my opinion. I had some of my husband's family telling me to try it in the bottle. Their reason was that my son would sleep better, but I didn't feel right doing that. I did start my first son on cereal at 4 months because I was pressured to and later realized that it didn't help him sleep any better. With my second son I tries to start cereal at 5 months but he wouldn't take anything solid until he was 6 months. My first son was sleeping through the night (5 hour stretch) by two weeks. But my second son was about 8 months before he started sleeping through the night. By nine months he was sleeping 11 hours at night. Everyone needs to stop being so defensive about this subject. Some of us are getting bashed for giving our opinions. We can't learn from each other if we are not open to listen or if we don't want other's opinions.

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163 Comments

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Lisamarie - posted on 03/18/2010

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Thanks Sara, I think people have taken it too personally and started getting defensive, a few people said it should be locked but why lock a conversation that is giving people advice, I'm nothurting anybody or harming anyones child by giving this advice. I'm so glad people are still agreeing with me and some are thanking me and at least i know I'm helping someone! :)

Sara - posted on 03/18/2010

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Hi LisaMarie,

Not sure if you're even still following this. I tried to read all the posts but then it got to be so much attacking that I gave up. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing some info for moms that might not know about the reasons "why not".

I cringe every time I read/hear someone say that "my mom did it and I'm still alive..." etc. Yes, luckily you are alive. But we've learned a lot in the past 30 years and now we know better. We're constantly learning, and sometimes doctors change their recommendations, but I'd still want to do what's best (and safest) for my child. My mom jokes about my sister and me... When I was switching from breast to cows milk, they recommended whole milk. Then when my sister was at that age (2 years later) her pediatrician told her to use skim milk "Babies don't need all that fat". Now doctors recommend whole milk because the fat actually helps the brain develop. So we're constantly learning. And that should be a good thing. I hate to think that an educated mom would knowingly put her child at risk. 40 years ago a car seat was an unusual thing. Now it's required - because we've learned how dangerous it is to go without.

Thanks again for sharing the info. Sorry this seems to have sunken into a fight over extremes...

Amy - posted on 03/18/2010

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I have 5 kids and I started putting cereal in their bottles when the turned 3 months. I only put one formula scoop of cereal for an 8oz bottle and I only did it for one bottle a day. When they got to 4 months I began feeding them with a spoon, only a few bites at a time. None of my kids are or were ever obese or even above the weight preference for their age. My youngest, who is now 2 1/2yrs has severe GURD. He was on medication and I was told to use the cereal in his bottles since he was 2 months old. I think more parents and doctors should go off of experience instead of research. I can guarantee that this Dr. Green didn't do an experiment with babies and cereal in formula to get these results. My kids had an old fashioned doctor who based most of is decisions on his experience with all his patients. I never once had a bad outcome with any of the options I chose to use from the information and opinions he gave. Like I said, he based all his decisions on the results and experiences he had with other patients. I think that there is no clear cut way to parent and that all parents should do what they feels is right for them and their families. Some decisions will pay off and some may not. Everything doesn't always work out the way we expect. I can say that if I thought the chances of my child choking on cereal through he bottle was high enough, I would not have given it to them. But as with most decisions parents make, especially medical ones, there is always the possibility of a negative outcome.

Jessica - posted on 03/17/2010

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This whole conversation of cereal thing is getting old. People have a right to their own opionion, every mom knows whats best for their own child. If a parent decides to give their child cereal that's their choice. Maybe just maybe there's a reason why they do it. Judgeing a parent of doing so is just not right. Noone should put judgement on any parent because noone knows their situation better than that parent themself. Has nothing to do about knowledge or living in the streets as someone said. It has to do what a parents chooses to do with their child. That's their buisness.

Toni - posted on 03/17/2010

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Thank you! I'm a first time mom and some people (family) would tell me what to do and sometimes I take there advice, just because they have been there.So thank you for sharing that with us.

Jessica - posted on 03/17/2010

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You know everyone has their own opionion on this whole cereal conversation. I personally listen to my childrens's Doctor. Kids doctors knows what they are doing when they ask parents to do this or don't do this, it's because they went to school to school to study everything about babies and children and so on. My first child had severe acid reflux problems, her doctor suggested a lil cereal, she is now five and and alive and healthy. My last baby who had the same problem, the doctor suggested I put a lil cereal in her bottle, she's alive and fine and healthy, and 9 months old. So it all depends on what a mother thinks is best for her child even if it's different from other parents.So parents do what you think or your doctor thinks is best for your child and don't worry about what other's say because what works for one won't work for others. Parents know their child. So putting others down just because people don't agree with you is silly and immature.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/17/2010

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I was breastfed, my daughter was bottlefed, there was a 1Ib difference between our weights at birth and she has pretty much followed my weight when I was that age. :)

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Virginia... I gave my son formula from birth until after he turned 1 and my doctor approved me giving him whole milk. He wasn't fat at all, he was actually long and lean and still is. I think it's normal for babies to be 'chunky' and I don't think it just depends on what they're being fed and for how long but also the genes of the parents.

[deleted account]

Virginia: It's a proven fact that breastfed babies are less likely to be overweight.......that doesn't mean that formula fed babies are gonna be ' fatter ' though......but I do believe adding cereal to that formula does definitely increase their chances!

When you say that you gave ur babies milk early; what does that mean? How early is early?

Virginia - posted on 03/16/2010

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I also gave my babies milk early and their completly healthy, and am I the only one thats ever noticed that the babies that live off formula alone for 6 months are fatter?

Rebecca - posted on 03/16/2010

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That is fine Robyn but I did not start feeding my child to make her sleep I fed her because she was hungry and refused the bottle after 1 or 2 of a morning. She also has more than what is the average amount of feeds during the day and sleeps through she is healthy and she is growing and developing at a speed that is more than satisfactory for her age so I don't feel that I need to wake a sleeping baby, UNLESS she is sick and really needs extra fluid or has not had anywhere near enough bottles to keep her going and yes everyone is getting defensive because of not only the cereal in the bottle but people who don't know everybody's situation saying about b/f and how it should be the only way to feed a baby and basically that because there has been research done then this is the only way to raise and feed a baby. Everyone is entitled to their opinion yes this is true but that is it, their opinion don't make others feel less because they do this and don't do that, what works for this one may not work for the next but in the end it is up to the mother of the baby and they should not feel pressured into doing ANYTHING that they don't feel is right whether or not the next person does.Each circumstance is different as is every baby...

[deleted account]

This isn't gonna come to an end anytime soon Lisamarie! I got ur back girl.....mad props on the information! Who cares if people don't get it! IGNORANCE IS BLISS!

[deleted account]

I agree 100%! There are other ways to helping your baby fall asleep faster and staying asleep longer. If your baby is hungry then feed them. My doctor had also told us not to start cereal too early because they could develop food allergies.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/15/2010

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No they didn't have carseats but have you ever asked yourself why we have to have a car seat now? (In England, you are not allowed to leave the hospital without one) Because it's safer. Every mother has the right to do whatever they want with their child but when it comes to safety and life or death I think EVERYONE should want to hear some of the things that COULD happen. Like so many people have said already, just because you (general you) weren't affected by it or your child wasn't, that doesn't automatically mean someone else will be fine too!

IMO, I am giving people advice that is not going to harm anyone and their are people out there giving advice that could POTENTIALLY harm their child. What is so wrong in my OP that has made people so annoyed by the subject?

Danielle - posted on 03/15/2010

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i agree with rachel too... quit worrying got to remember they didnt even have car seats back in the day!

Amber - posted on 03/15/2010

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I actually know about htis one. My 6 month old ended up getting pnemonia because i put cereal in her bottle. And the only reason i did this is because her dr told me to. She already had a breathing problem and the doc said if i put cereal in her bottle, she would not gurgle and cough so much. His advice led us straight to the hospital. I will never put cereal in her bottle again.

[deleted account]

Things have definitely changed......it's one thing to give children the ' good fats ' from things like avacado for example but to suggest pizza, milkshakes and greasy cheeseburgers seems strange to me......good for ur mom! I would have said NO too!

Rona - posted on 03/15/2010

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Hey Dana Makara, I wanted to remark on your post about obesity in the U.S. I myself have a high metabolism, so does my mom. So when my baby sister was born (1990) the docs all said "she's under weight" suggesting to my mom to give her fatty foods, with high calories; pizzas milk shakes, greesy cheesburgers, etc. My mom was appalled that a DOCTOR would suggest this! I mean no wonder we have obese children. Pick up your history books.... go ask great great grandmaw. Everybody, of course, is made differently.... but history does not show obesity when our country first got started. People were just a lot healtheir, no if and or buts about.... how did we manage to get where we are now? Altho living in the deep south, (South Mississippi) we just love to eat! Ha! Especially greese! I guess this doctor was going by statistics too...

Kryss - posted on 03/15/2010

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I didnt take it as an attack.. i do not raise my son nor have i raised my son based on wht any other mothers did or thought...but obesity is around the world, and the thing is in this disccusion i dont get why ppl have to use !!!!! when they are typing something out .. for me its like this...each and every mom do their best to raise their child..and ya know if you feed your baby by a doctors orders who is a doctor then there shouldnt be a problem in the first place...and when you put in baby cereal in the bottle have enough sense of how to do it correctly if you dont agree then just dont use the cereal but....my son is ten and hes not obeses and i was with him hours after he had the cereal...i just dont get some moms acting as they have here...i mean did any one tell them how to raise their kids????

[deleted account]

Statistically it is in the ' great ' USA!........other cultures don't have nearly as many obese people.......I'm not tryin to insult you because ur from the US, it's a known fact! Obesity is on the rise in America! I guess that includes us up here in Canada too! It wasn't a personal attack on Americans.....

Kryss - posted on 03/15/2010

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My son had cereal in his baby yrs hes 10...he never has become obese hes underwiegt i agree there alot of over weight ppl but its just not in the great USA

[deleted account]

Who's deleting them? You know this post is extremely long?......I had to click at the bottom of the thread just to get to the next page of comments......maybe urs is somewhere Kryss?

Kryss - posted on 03/15/2010

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well someone didnt like my post it was deleted lol too funny and well i said my peace so...my last reply is this mom your own kids and dont get mad or upset bc others dont do it like you...and im sure this one will be deleted to so... like my opinion is gonna matter:P

Danielle - posted on 03/15/2010

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I think this cov should just be locked! I think everyone has said enough about it! We should just move on from this and to more positive covs.

Kryss - posted on 03/15/2010

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My sons pediatrician told me to for my son and i dont see anything wrong as long as its portioned correctly...as it has been said .. as a mom do wht is best for YOUR child...:)

Kryss - posted on 03/15/2010

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I am from Georgia and ya know i get moms who say or wanna give advice bc they read some article on some doc who has tested things on OTHER babys not mine...and they take it as bible.. i am not here to tick any off but let me tell you something i didnt give my son cereal in his milk to make him sleep but to give him more to eat the milk didnt seem to do it and as far as ...making them obese well my kid is under weight for a ten yr old...ya know bottom line is this we are all moms ...we do as we see fit for our children who are eitheir of us to say wht is wrong bc lets face it..wht ppl do in england ppl may not do in georgia or vice versa...lets just be the best moms we can and when we read articles be wise in wht...is being read...:)

Danielle - posted on 03/15/2010

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i can't believe people actually put like cereal consistency rice in their baby's bottle????what the heck is going through their minds???just give them rice cereal in a bowl if that's what your going to do

Kryss - posted on 03/15/2010

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I am from Georgia and ya know i get moms who say or wanna give advice bc they read some article on some doc who has tested things on OTHER babys not mine...and they take it as bible.. i am not here to tick any off but let me tell you something i didnt give my son cereal in his milk to make him sleep but to give him more to eat the milk didnt seem to do it and as far as ...making them obese well my kid is under weight for a ten yr old...ya know bottom line is this we are all moms ...we do as we see fit for our children who are eitheir of us to say wht is wrong bc lets face it..wht ppl do in england ppl may not do in georgia or vice versa...lets just be the best moms we can and when we read articles be wise in wht...is being read...:)

[deleted account]

Exactly Sarah, in the original post Lisamarie was just curious and wanted to offer everyone access to something she had come across and get their EDUCATED opinions.......she never told anyone what they had to do OR that what they did was wrong! Seems to me like it's the mother's that DID put cereal in their babies bottles that are getting defensive and rather than just stating their experiences and facts as to why they did what they did they're insulting everyone else who enjoys doing a lil' research! WHAT'S WRONG WITH DOIN A LIL' RESEARCH PEOPLE? Doesn't mean you don't make the decision for ur family at the end of the day......doesn't mean you CAN'T put cereal in ur babies bottles.......she just offered you some information......GET OVER IT!

Sarah - posted on 03/15/2010

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i think everyone just needs to let everyone be a mother and by saying that i mean let them do there won thing with their own children!

If you want to or dont want to put cereal in the bottle or feed it to your baby by spoon so be it!

Just try and be safe and keep a good eye on your baby while drinking/eating!

♥ =)

Lisamarie - posted on 03/15/2010

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Hannah G, hey, I posted the OP and I'm from the UK and I'd never heard of this before, we are recommended to start solids at 6 months or 4 for hungrier babies. My mum and grandmother never did this and they too had never heard of it. I don't know what part of the UK doctors are giving out this advice because I have never come across it.

My sisters boyfriend works for the NHS (free national health service) in our area and when I told him about this he said it was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard and trust me, he's heard a lot!

Krystal, my son was prescribed Gaviscon too after he was diagnosed with reflux. It used to really scare me because my son would stop breathing during feeding and after feeding before he vomited and it got to the stage where I was terrified to feed him. His meds started working in a couple of days and he was off them after 4 weeks and the reflux was gone! :)

Lisa - posted on 03/15/2010

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Hannah,

This was my second daughter & after seeing how her older sister ate, and reacted to eating, I knew something was wrong w/ her young sister. I knew my daughter has acid reflux w. the fact that she would turn blue b/c she she was afraid to swallow every time after eating. I would burp her, and still sit her up for at least an hr after eating, and it would still bother her..When I took her to the Dr, he recommended that I switch her formula, after that she still did it. I took her to the walk in to find out what was wrong w. my child. They performed a barrium swallow which showed the reflux. As a mother w/ a daughter who to this day still has problems w. reflux, I am sure that other moms didn't just assume it was reflux that in fact it was a medical professional who looked into it. That's how we knew it was acid reflux.

Rebecca - posted on 03/14/2010

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I would just like to add that if a mother is breast feeding and has a poor diet themselves the baby will lack in nutrients from that or at the very least the mother will be that exhausted that she won't be able to look after her baby anyway so therefor it would be better for the baby to be on formula..

Rebecca - posted on 03/14/2010

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I just have to say that I have formula fed all 3 of my kids. First of all I had twins and when they were born I got that engorged with milk that the tiny little things could not get anything and then by the time I got rid of that there was nothing left so formula it was or let them starve. Then by the time my son was 6wks old he was so hungry but would not take his bottle, so eventually I decided that because he needed something in his belly I would give him some cereal (in his bottle), and he was a totally different baby, he was content and has been ever since. He is now 9 going on 10 and has no problems with any food allergies and he is certainly far from being fat. I have not long had another baby who has been sleeping through since she was 2 wks old who started doing the same with her feeds (also bottle fed as I didn't have milk to feed her either) so I gave her cereal in her bottles as well, not every one and I also gave her more feeds per day as she sleeps through I never had her on any sort of schedule if she was hungry I fed her even if it meant that I was feeding her every hr if she wants it she gets it. But if you up the amount of feeds a baby has and they r still hungry and refuse to drink a bottle do you let that baby starve? Well I never..



So I agree with Danielle, Hannah and Robyn don't judge people especially about feeding when you don't know why it is that women feed their baby formula and even if there is no reason what so ever who gives you the right to say good mum or bad mum, and there may also be other reasons to feed a baby cereal not just to get them to sleep through. I gave it to my babies for other reasons NOT to get them to sleep through I didn't have to they were doing that anyway. Was I supposed to WAKE THEM UP to feed them I don't think so. I would just like to add that none of my children have been overweight they all have been in the underweight side of things from birth compared to the average but all have been as healthy as ever...



IF THEY CAN INHALE DISSOLVED RICE CEREAL THAT MEANS THEY CAN INHALE MILK AND DROWN. If you think about it inhaling cereal in a bottle when it dissolves makes no sense to me but this is only my opinion

Lisa - posted on 03/14/2010

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complete bs. im sorry but how is a baby going to inhale DISOLVED cereal into their lungs? if they breath in cereal then formula is going right along with it. a few extra calories a day is not going to result in obesity. thats just dumb. i've never understood why ppl are against this and havnt heard any reason that holds any value.

Nikki - posted on 03/14/2010

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it just amazes me that people think that it is ok for a newborn to have cereal at all let alone in a bottle! newborns are supposed to eat EVERY 3 to 4 hours not 5,6 or 7 hours! my daughter's dr told me to put it in her bottle to help with hiccups, as a newborn,i refussed never put it in my daughters bottle, i fed it to her with a spoon she was 3 and 1/2 months! and if there is NO medical reason to put it in the bottle, personally i think it's a little laziness that has some people putting it in bottles!

Paula - posted on 03/14/2010

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my pediatrician told me to put ceral in my sons bottle . he's not over weight. hes never had any problems. it actually helped him stop spitting up so much

[deleted account]

Exactly, even the cereal and bottle companies advise you NOT to do it.......they don't wanna be held liable if something happens BECAUSE SOMETHING COULD HAPPEN! Good luck to all you ladies!

Allison - posted on 03/14/2010

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Great info! I have been told by friends that it is okay to do this.. I always read lables and know that it says on either the cereal or bottle packaging to NOT put cereal into bottles.

Danielle - posted on 03/14/2010

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My whole take on the solids thing is this. I dont believe fruits and veggies should be given before 6 months if the child even needs them. You shouldnt introduce solids if the child ISNT looking for more after a feeding. But if a feeding doesnt seem like its enough for the baby then I can see at 6+ months starting with breakfast for a few weeks then lunch and dinner if needed. I dont think theres anything wrong with spoon feeding a child a little rice or oatmeal cereal around 4 months but just ONCE a day until they are around 6 months. Every doctor is different and says different things. I say do whats best for your child and if the doctor is fine with what your doing then stay with it!

Krystal - posted on 03/14/2010

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i forgot to put in that they reccommend solids at 6 months but can be given as early as 4 months :)

Krystal - posted on 03/14/2010

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yea they are very different, here the ealiest the doctors reccommend solids is 4 months old. but some doctor here do dissagree with the cereal in the bottle though. my stepbrother and his girlfriend live in london and when her son was 2 months her doctor told her not to give him cereal in his bottle but he was on solids at 4 months because he was a big baby at birth and was very hungry and because of his acid reflux not much formula would stay down untill the gaviscon was perscribed, he was 10lb 7oz at birth. :)

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