Cereal in Bottle... What Do You Think?

Veronica - posted on 01/05/2010 ( 261 moms have responded )

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I have been seeing a lot of moms on here recommending to put cereal in baby's bottle to help sleep, hold baby over, etc. and when doing research on it I found that it is often low-income, rural, or young mothers that do it most often because they either can't afford good medical care or are often getting incorrect advice from their grandmothers/mothers. "I did it and you/your mom is just fine." It IS shown to cause higher rates of obesity and often happens in addition to early feeding solids, often as early as 2 weeks! How do you feel about this and how do you react when someone gives/gave you this advice??? I don't want to seem callus when telling someone it is old information when they seem so sure it works and wont hurt. There are even doctors who are behind on their research who still think this is OK. How are we to change this old wives tale? (Please give constructive answers and don't make this a parenting-bash. I know there are plenty of babies that were raised this way that seem fine. I also realize a lot of moms who don't fit the low-income, young, and rural profile do this so I am not attacking anyone's choices, just trying to raise awareness.)

Thanks... Mommy to a happy, breastfed 7 month old.

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Kelly - posted on 01/07/2010

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As an oral health educator my concern here would be dental decay! The majority of cereals are very high in sugar and drinking anything 'sugary' from a bottle is well documented as causing high caries (decay) known as bottle rot or bottle caries.

Patience - posted on 01/06/2010

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I have never given my son baby cereal... Grains are the hardest thing on a developing digestive system. I don't know about the obesity thing, but I know that constipation/GI issues have been common with moms that I've talked to... To each their own, but I just couldn't do it. We started with orange veggies after 6 months old since that is the easiest on their little systems... good luck!

Jane - posted on 01/06/2010

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If new borns were meant to have cereal then our boobs would produce it.

Coleen - posted on 01/06/2010

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i would like to add to all those professionals who have worked or are working or 'studying' with children/mums on feeding habits,I dont know what studies are done or even how the studies are proven or practiced, I would like to know in your studies which gender comes up trumps, I can almost guarantee a majority of them are little boys.Having 4 children over 16 years of REAL hands on experience,I only had to do this for my son. A majority of people throughout this board and beyond who have experienced the same situation mainly have boys..so are we all wrong or mystically genetically connected. I have 3 girls and 1 boy and his growth spurts are structured so differently compared to my girls. My son is 15 and taller than me, I am only 168 cm tall but he is growing fast. Growing upwards not outwards. My generation were not obese so old wives tales must have some method to their madness.This generation is the problem and if I can instill any of my mother/grandmother's techniques into their lives then I will.I strongly encourage fresh fruits and vegetables,lots of water and to keep active and have done from an early age with my children.There are also other medical reasons for obesity. My son never choked,coughed,spewed during this method,he bought up his wind normally,was never constipated and was always content.So maybe in the future when you complete your studies,or are in the industry of assisting mums with unsettled babies and wondering why they are always asking why modern techniques didnt or havent worked,remember that this method has worked for generations and there are alot of mums who are not sleep deprived and thriving with their healthy happy children............

September - posted on 01/05/2010

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Unless it's for medical reasons, I say baby cereal should be given to a child on a spoon.

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Veronica - posted on 01/09/2010

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After reading through all these posts I want to say I never imagined I would get so many responses or that it would be such an upsetting issue for so many. Thank you for all those who gave heartfelt answers and to those of you that weren't so nice, I'm sorry if I offended anyone or made you feel like I was attacking your parenting skills. I would never want to make a mother feel like her choices weren't right.

That said I don't think I would feed my children cereal in a bottle. Not unless it was a last resort for extreme GERD. This is what Dr. Sears says about sleep aids:

"Nightwaking has survival benefits. In the first few months, babies' needs are the highest, but their ability to communicate their needs is the lowest. Suppose a baby slept deeply most of the night. Some basic needs would go unfulfilled. Tiny babies have tiny tummies, and mother's milk is digested very rapidly. If a baby's stimulus for hunger could not easily arouse her, this would not be good for baby's survival. If baby's nose was stuffed and she could not breathe, or was cold and needed warmth, and her sleep state was so deep that she could not communicate her needs, her survival would be jeopardized...

Encouraging a baby to sleep too deeply, too soon, may not be in the best survival or developmental interest of the baby. This is why new parents, vulnerable to sleep trainers' claims of getting their baby to sleep through the night, should not feel pressured to get their baby to sleep too long, too deeply, too soon."

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070200...

I hope this post helped some mothers. It certainly made me more aware of what is happening "out there". Thanks for your responses.

Hannah-May - posted on 01/09/2010

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i think cereal is made to fill a baby up if you put it in a bottle you need to water it right down and it wont do the same job

[deleted account]

I have great insurance, and my child is now 6. He is 48 inches tall and weighs 50#. I pumped breast milk and added cereal to his bedtime bottle from 6 weeks on. He has been sleeping thru the night since he was 2 weeks old. I asked my doctor, and he said do what you want to do. My son was ALWAYS in the 90%-100% in weight and in height. He is not a picky eater, and he loves fruit. I weaned him at 10 months. I never gave him formula, always breastmilk.

Mandy - posted on 01/09/2010

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My pediatrician actually recommended it to us since my daughter was spitting up so much at that point.

Nicola - posted on 01/09/2010

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I did this with my oldest (now 21) and stopped after a week or so bvecause I really do not think it made a difference to how she slept.

Linda - posted on 01/09/2010

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I gave cereal in a bottle and spoonfuls of cereal when all three of my sons were hungry. All three are not obese and are very close to 22 BMI. My youngest is actually thin for his age. He is actually 19 BMI. My kids did not constantly eat, only when i knew they were hungry. My kids didn't and still don't always snack in between meals. that's where obesity can happen. Too much eating and not enough activity. Kepp'em active

Susanna - posted on 01/09/2010

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I never needed to do it, but if my son hadn't started sleeping through the night as soon as he did, I may have considered it...and I don't fit the above "stereotype". When you are sleep deprived, you get crazy and desperate. Some people can handle it, and some people can't. I'm in the "I can't handle sleep deprivation" category which is why I always had it in the back of my mind.

[deleted account]

To be honest, I did this for all of my children, hoping it would work (I have poor sleepers). It didn't. They are also very skinny children. I won't agree or disagree with it, I think that it just happens to work for some kids and not others. The bigger problem is sending them to bed with a bottle and the tooth decay it could cause.

Hope this has been helpful!

Christi - posted on 01/09/2010

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Well I did it will all three of my kids and they are not over weight. I think the reason the children are over weight is because some of these mothers just give it to them all the time. My kids would get cereal out of a bowl in the morning if they were old enough but i would give them about 4oz of cereal right before bed in a bottle to help them sleep longer. I waited till they were a month though. There is nothing worng with it as long as you don't wver do it.

Jennifer - posted on 01/09/2010

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Older women told me to do the same thing, but with each of my children I talked to the pediatrician and was told not to do it. I can't remember why but I remember after the doctor explained it to me I was satisfied and ready to wait until the recommended age. :)

Anna - posted on 01/09/2010

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I tried to breastfeed my daughter and she would not suck hard enough after 1 and 1/2 weeks of puttting her to breast. Finally, I had to pump and put it in a bottle with a stage 2 nipple because she wouldn't suck hard enough to get it out of a stage 1 nipple. I put rice cereal in the milk (only at bedtime) so she and I could sleep through the night (midnight to 6 am) I don't remember the ratio on the cereal, but I do know it was not very much and it fit through the nipple. I fed her like that for 6 months before my milk dried up, and she did not get any other solid foods, or any other liquid besides breast milk and formula when I didn't produce enough. She did have some stomach issues, but they stopped as soon as I switched her formula to one that didn't have iron added. My daughter never choked, and she is 6 years old now and skinny as rail with no allergies or ashthma.

I also spoon fed my son cereal with breast milk. Again, it was very, very little and you couldn't tell by sight or consistency(sp?) that it had any cereal added. It was very messy, but he never choked or had stomach issues and he also slept through the night (midnight to 6am) He also has no allergies and no asthma and is thin.

Annette - posted on 01/09/2010

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i did it with my oldest child i started at 2 weeks old. she couldnt get enough formula. i was at 8oz bottles every 2 hours which was insane! as soon as i started putting a little cereal in her bottle she didnt act like she was starving every 2 hours. and she didnt have any problems with her weight. when you said your not trying to attack anyones choices you shouldnt have put anything thing about being low income rural or young mothers thats offensive. if someone gives you that advice and you dont feel confortable with it, say thank you i keep it in mind. that way you dont offend any one.

[deleted account]

Just to note that there are now thicker formulas on the markest to hungirer and/or unsettled babies, well at least here in New Zealand we have this avaliable to us. It maybe worth the idea for parents to look into this before making the choice to put infant cereal into babies botles. The risk that it could damage their organs jsut does not seem worth a full night sleep.

Janelle - posted on 01/09/2010

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to veronica, i think that what u said about those that are more likely to do this was horrible of u say really, because i'm sure even though u tried to recover it and say you weren't trying to attack, but nevertheless i put rice single grain cereal in my daughter's bottle since she was 3mths old, and it wasn't because i couldn't afford it, or young or didn't have good medical care, yes i do live in a rural area, but that really didn't have any standing on why i started doing this, my daughter was just not getting full enough with formula! And i didn't think that her drinking tons of formula everyday was too good for her, seriously she was wanting more food like every hour!, and it seemed all of that formula was hurting her tummy & giving her tons of gas! So, i had asked my family and friends for advice and they all gave me the same resolution! Since i had started putting rice cereal in her bottle she eats every 3-4 hours a day! She is very healthy, 24lb 7 mth old, her height is 27inch so she is just perfect, i think that obiesety is from there later years on, and how the parents are feeding them and eating aswell, it's also in the genes! Oh for the first 3mths i breastfed her and couldn't handle it anymore b/c she needed so much! But you know Veronica that is my opinion, and thank you for letting me share my thoughts on this subject.

Barbara - posted on 01/09/2010

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One comment only and it's pretty simple. If you are putting cereal in the bottle it's time to get rid of the bottle!

Nicole - posted on 01/09/2010

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i have 3 childeren 3,2, and 2 months. they have been breastfed and the youngest is still being breastfed. My 2 oldest were eating cereal at about 2-3 months and eating solids at about 3-4 months. They are all right on with weight and size. they are energetic and playful. I believe that if you start feeding your childeren cereal and food early then you should interact with them more so that they learn how to use their new found "energy" from the extra food and sleep.

Regina - posted on 01/09/2010

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I think it will fill your babys tummy better,and a better nights sleep for you and your baby!

Sharon - posted on 01/09/2010

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Well I do not know I did not want to give mine cereal in the milk and at that time we were low income. My mother in law did while watching them and my girls are not obesit. I made sure they ate healthy but now they do not. If the parent does it you just have to make sure I believe as your child grow that you feed healthy foods and not let them eat when you know they are not hungry small or big

Shantel - posted on 01/09/2010

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I did listen to my mom and my mother in law but not everyone does. I didnt put cereal in my daughters bottle but i did start giving it to her at the middle of her 3rd month at night right before bed, just a little at a time with her bottle.. just so she could get used to solids before I introduce id as a lunch time meal or brought in actual fruits and veggies.. I do understand what your saying about introducing cereal too young. 2 weeks thats waaay to early in my opinion.your baby will let you know when they need more then just a bottle.. dont rush it if you dont feel it necessary...

Shantel - posted on 01/09/2010

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I did listen to my mom and my mother in law but not everyone does. I didnt put cereal in my daughters bottle but i did start giving it to her at the middle of her 3rd month at night right before bed, just a little at a time with her bottle.. just so she could get used to solids before I introduce id as a lunch time meal or brought in actual fruits and veggies.. I do understand what your saying about introducing cereal too young. 2 weeks thats waaay to early in my opinion.your baby will let you know when they need more then just a bottle.. dont rush it if you dont feel it necessary...

Karen - posted on 01/09/2010

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i gave all 3 of my children cereal in their bottles at my moms advice and it did make them sleep better and 2 of my children are stick thin and my daughter is about 30 pounds over weight do to a thyroid problem so i dont think that it is a bad thing !!!

Josephine - posted on 01/09/2010

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well I did with my son because he was constantly hungry no matter how much or how often I fed him. But I feed my daughter cereal in her bottle becaue she spits up a lot and it was recommended. There is a formula that has it already added and it's for spit up enfamil a.r. the a.r. is added rice. Hope this helps.

Tara - posted on 01/09/2010

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I say to each parent it is up to them. A matter of choice because no matter what you say someone says different

Tracy - posted on 01/09/2010

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I have a happy and healthy breast fed 8 month old (and 4 yr old) and I have friends who have happy and healthy bottle fed babies. I believe that just as every grown person is different so are babies. It has been my experience that you must go with your own instinct. I have used the cereal with one of my own children and have witnessed it used with my nephew and other friends children. It did seem to help to get them to sleep better and we have yet to see one obesity problem in any of these cases. The oldest child is now 10yr old and was started on cereal in a bottle at 6wks of age. In the case of a mother suffering from severe sleep deprevation I would recommend trying the cereal, but I am not a doctor!...just a mom. Let your conscious be your guide and God Bless.

Brenda - posted on 01/09/2010

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As a 58 year old mom I've seen this done sometimes over the years. My nephew was a miserable little boy until his mom did this against what was the 'norm' and he became a verrryyy happy little boy that began sleeping all night. Listen to advise from everyone but do what works for you and your baby.

Betty - posted on 01/09/2010

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I definitely put cereal inside of my baby's bottle... I don't add it to the consistency of me spoon feeding her cereal though... I think that THAT is the misconception.... I add about one teaspoon to every ounce... I work and go to school, so I really don't have the luxury of being able to care for my daughter as some of you do... but when my daughter is waking me up every two hours a night to eat, I'm gonna continue putting cereal in her bottle... It doesn't make me a bad mother or it's not because I "can't afford medical care" (i don't know what the hell that has to do with anything). I feel like, although you don't intend to bash anyone, you are bashing. Whether or not you decide to put cereal in a baby's bottle is subject to you and if that is your choice, then don't impose it on others. And not to sound rude, but the Doctors you're getting your advice from don't know what they're doing. I lost faith in doctors when i took my daughter at # weeks old to her pediatrician because I knew something was wrong with her, but he kept sending us back home. I found out a week later when she ALMOST DIED on the way to the hospital that she had SVT. Be careful of knowing the difference between medical facts and plain old "Mother's Intuition"... Mommy knows best! Especially Experienced ones.

Helen - posted on 01/09/2010

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My oldest child is now 51. I have raised 6 children. There is 18 years between the first and last child. Even in that amount of time doctors had different ideas of how to feed an infant. With all but the last child they recommended cereal to be started at 6 weeks by spoon not bottle. I breast fed the first 5 for 3 months and started cereal at the recommended 6 weeks. When my last child came along 18 years later, the doctor recommended no solids until one year because they felt it increased the chances of food allergies. I held off for 6 months before starting solds. I nursed her for 18 months.

None of my children were ever over weight as children or adults. And neiither recommendation killed any of them. I think you have to teach them the value of sensible nutrition. I was a stay at home mother and had the time to make nutritional meal. We snacked little and very seldom had fast food. My recommendations to young mothers is follow your doctors order but, also, use your commen sense. With the economy the way it is today almost all families have to have 2 working parents to make ends meet. Mom doesn't always have the time to shop and cook the way I did but that just means you have to make wise choices at the store and try to make wholesome nutritional choices for your family. If you do not know anything about nutrition get help. There is plenty of information out there that you can get from doctors offices, etc. The really important thing is love them and enjoy them everyday of ther lives because they grow up fast and you can't get those childhood years back. Good health and best wishes to all

Tonya - posted on 01/09/2010

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i never put it in their bottle because i was told they could choke, with my 1st child my mother in law tried to have me do that and i never did i started her on cereal early but i made it in a bowl and fed her with a spoon, it did help her sleep better but in the bottle there could be clumps and clog the nipple. just like she tried to have me give her potatoes and a whole bunch of other stuff, she used to say i did it for my kids. well that was 20 something years ago, times change, but i guess to each is own. you have to follow your gut instinct.

Cheryl - posted on 01/09/2010

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I gave cereal to my son who is now 13 and is skinny as a rail. Therefore, I do not believe in the "wives tale" that it will make them overweight. It did however help him get full at night and he did sleep longer. I was not a low-income, rural or young mother (33 at the time) and based my decision on the multitude of mother's who swore by it. Yes, I got the same advice from doctors not to because of the digestion of it and weighed it against all the Doctor Mom's of the World who know their children better than any Peditrician. Do whatever is comfortable for you and your child.

Penelope (Penny) - posted on 01/09/2010

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If your baby is feeding so well during the day, she should be getting enough nutrition not to need a night feed of cereal. You know your baby best .

Kathy - posted on 01/09/2010

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My daughter is now 29 yrs old and just fine. At 4 1/2 weeks I started putting ceral in her milk, it was a small amount but it worked. She was a big eater while I was pregrent. I had to talk B12 shots and eat liver once a week. She weighed 9 lbs and taken 2 week early by c-section. She does not have a eating problem. As she got older she loved vegt. & fruits. To this day she is not a big meat eater. Every child is different, do what you feel is right for your little one. And yes, my Dr. got mad at me, but she cryed 24/7. And it stopped when I added the cereal. She was my second child. My son started cereal at 5 mos. So ever body has different need.

Jo - posted on 01/09/2010

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I think you need to do what you feel is approriate for the time at hand.

Everything should always be done in moderation to prevent an unbalance in the system. As for getting advice that you don't want to use.......
Thank the person for their opinion and tell them you will keep their suggestion in mind.

If you decide to do it ...you do it, if you choose not to take their advice atleast you "kept it in mind"

Jamie - posted on 01/09/2010

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Well, I am far from low income, and my husband and I are very educated and I put cereal in both my sons bottles at 8 weeks old. It helped them feel full and they were able to sleep through the night. They saw their pediatrician often when they were small and she did not tell me not to do this. When I started doing it, I only put a teaspoon or two and then gradually increased it. Now they are older, my oldest son is in elementary school and he is very, very thin. He is not overweight at all, he happens to be the smallest child in his class. My other son is not overweight either. You have to do what feels right to you. Every child is different. Take all advice with a grain of salt and follow your gut instinct. It is usually right. Good luck to you.

Kimberly - posted on 01/09/2010

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My sister was on cereal before she even left the hospital. Now, mind you, this was the early 70s, but, research has also found that most of the "old wives tales" are indeed correct and have worked for centuries.(like herbal medicines) Yes we live in a more enlightened age, but, the more research that is done, it has proved that Grandma had the right idea. Every Mommy has to sort out many generations of advice, and raising awareness is never a bad thing, but feeding is an individual choice, just like spanking and discipline

Stephanie - posted on 01/09/2010

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no , my oldest son was 3weeks old and was eating every hour on the hour i was walking into walls . my mom had told me to get him some cereal and she told me how to mix it up . he was three weeks old and ate it by spoon. they spit it out at first till they get used to it . but he did fine with being spoon fed. he is now 12 . i fed my other three children cereal by spoon also . i just don't think putting it in their bottle is safe. well that's my thought.:)

Debbie - posted on 01/09/2010

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Ceral in the bottlie is a good idea for some really hungry babies. I did it and my children are fine. Neither one is heavy or obese. As a matter of fact they are quite slim. Some babies need more than just liquid. Of course it depends on the child. I wouldn't do it when the child is very young. Wait until the child is older and their stomach can hold food - at least a few months. Also put very little cereal in to start - almost non existent. You don't want to make the bottle solid. Just remember each child is different and tolerates things differently. It may help one baby to sleep better and make another baby irritable.

Lisa - posted on 01/09/2010

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Whether a child is breast fed or bottle fed usually when they reach 6 to 9 months old they begin to become cranky, not quite satisfied with milk. It is alright to at first put baby cereal in their bottle, give a good shake and give it to the baby. Some mothers may go astray by strictly giving their baby cereal in the bottle. Starting a baby on baby cereal is good to start with the bottle, to familiarize baby with the taste of food. When baby becomes around 7 to 9 months old, start weening off mixing baby cereal in the bottle and actually mixing a small portion of baby cereal in a bowl and feeding baby.

[deleted account]

Here is my 2 cents on your questions. I raised 4 children without sleeping problems at night. I exclusively breastfed them until they were several months old before introducing rice cereal. I would have waited longer one was 4 months ( my first and the doctors said it was important as a souce of iron) the others I waited until 6-7 months monitoring them for signs of anemia (low iron). How ever my daughter is a pediatric gastroenterologist (specializes in poblems of the gut) and she says there is validitiy to using rice cereal in milk to slow down the movement of the gut which would lead to filling fuller longer. It helps babies with reflux keep the milk in their stomach because it is heavier.

Danielle - posted on 01/09/2010

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My premature son would not keep any breast milk or formula down. As soon as he ate it all came back up. Once the doctor had us put the cereal in his bottle he kept some of the milk down. Brayden is now 3 1/2 and only 35lbs far from being obese and as tall as his 4 year old brother.

Caridad - posted on 01/09/2010

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I had my daughter 29 years ago at that time I had a pediatrician who thought that giving babies cereal at that early stage would make them obese. I had no choice but to return to work after 6 wks and was not getting any rest because of the frequent nightly feedings. At 4 wks I gave her a baby spoonful of rice cereal on her last evening bottle, she slept the whole night. The next day I changed pediatricians because I didn't want to go against the doctors's wish. My daughter has always been thin, I really believe that obesity does not occur because you feed a baby to make them feel comfortable enough to sleep through the night. This happens when parents do not care enough to tell the kids not you cannot have anymore and stick to it.

Deena - posted on 01/09/2010

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I did this with both my children (now 24 and 14), neither of them are overweight and it really did help.

Gina - posted on 01/09/2010

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I am a mother of 4, 48 years old and was neither low income nor rural when my oldest 3 were babies. Yes I put cereal in their bottles and it had nothing to do with medical care. My husband was in the military and I worked at a major aerospace company. I did it because I was a working mother who needed rest and getting up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours for feedings was not allowing me to get that rest. It is all in the amount of cereal you put in the bottle. I used just a small amount. Not even enough that would be considered a meal serving if just giving cereal alone. just enough to barely thicken the milk maybe a teaspoon or 2. My children were "plump" but healthy and happy as babies and of course as they became active and were outside playing they thinned out. I personally don't feel our children today are obese because of cereal in a bottle but because of lack of physical activity (but that's another post :-) ).... hope this helps

Val - posted on 01/09/2010

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Why Ladies are you trying to rush your Babies to the next stage so quickly... enjoy them as they grow soon enought.

Val - posted on 01/09/2010

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I am a Mum from way back but have grandchildren who have just been born... things have changed since my day.. but we were told never, never to add cereal to a feed.. the baby cannot cope with that. at the time midwife and health visitor were taught that it might lead to cot death!!!! for two or three disturbed months of sleep, is it worth it..putting your child a risk in any way.



as you will tell I am

Val - posted on 01/09/2010

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I am a Mum from way back but have grandchildren who have just been born... things have changed since my day.. but we were told never, never to add cereal to a feed.. the baby cannot cope with that. at the time midwife and health visitor were taught that it might lead to cot death!!!! for two or three disturbed months of sleep, is it worth it..putting your child a risk in any way.



as you will tell I am

Watts - posted on 01/08/2010

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as a mother of 2 and a grandmother of 4 i totally disagree with this ......... it contributes to obesity in some children ......... and not only does it take bonding time away from you and your baby but prolongs teaching it how to eat from a spoon :)

[deleted account]

Wow reading all of these, its very contrversial. I breastreed until my milk dried up at 6 months and the formula fed and on solids at 5 months. I think that babies who wake to be fed during the night need to be fed during the night, thats jsut something to as parents hae to make the sacrifice for. My son didnt sleep a full until 7 and a half months old i slowly gave up the night time bottle and he now does a full 12 hours. New research has shown cereal in bottle and food offered earlier than 4moths not only has NO nurtional value to your wee one but also can put too much strain on the kindneys and liver and cause internal problems and set them up toward adulthood obesitiy. I wouldnt recommend it. :)

User - posted on 01/08/2010

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our pediatrician said that its not really necessary to put it in the bottle because their formula has all the nutrition that the baby could need, although it does keep them full longer because their stomachs digest it slower which is a true and proven fact which in turn helps them sleep longer, what i do is feed her about a fourth of a cup of cereal at night with a spoon to get her use to eating solids and then about ten minuets later ill give her the regular nightly bottle as well, my daughter is four months old now and it tides her over usually until about 4 to 5am and then i give her another small bottle, then when she wakes up in the morning i give her some more cereal with a spoon, and she is in the 50th percentile for weight. shes not over weight at all and i am a young mother, i think its rather judgmental for the "low-in come young mother" to be the poster child of this method, i also think its completely false, because a lot of mothers do this, not only low income, young ones. Also i dont think giving a baby cereal before they're ready for it is right either, id say no before four months because theres really no need for it.

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