Starting baby on rice cereal?

Sarah - posted on 06/14/2010 ( 101 moms have responded )

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At what age is it ok to start your baby on rice cereal? My son is almost 4 months old and he still only sleeps about 3 or 4 hours a night. My Mom suggested starting him on a little rice cereal before bed but I'm thinking that he might be a little too young.

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Cassie - posted on 06/21/2010

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my mom suggested this to me when my 1st son was 2 weeks old, I thought she was crazy, but it worked my baby started sleeping through the night almost immediately! what I didnt realize is baby formula is like the consistency of water, it only fills them for awile, oatmeal and rice stick. ps I bought a bigger size nipple and I also used a feeder bottle some. My oldest is 8yrs now and very happy and healthy.

Liz - posted on 06/16/2010

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You're right in thinking he's too young.



6 months at the earliest, unless your doctor says different. And only from a spoon.







Here are 5 reasons why it's bad to put rice cereal in your babies bottles.



#1. You can cause your child's allergies. . .



While no one agrees completely on what it is that actually causes allergies, we do have enough research to see certain connections. One, very well documented connection to serious allergies is when a baby has been exposed to the allergen too early. Putting cereal in your baby's bottle, even rice cereal, can cause allergies.



#2. Choking hazard



Some infants do not fully have their swallowing reflex fully developed at birth. Sucking cereal from a bottle can cause a choking hazard. Babies have actually died this way.



#3. Digestive Issues



There is a connection between babies who have solids too early and digestive problems in adolescence and adult life. The fact of the matter is that baby tummies are designed to take in breastmilk. When you can't breastfeed, there's formula which mimics breastmilk. Baby tummies are not designed to take in solids, and it's not surprising that they malfunction when forced to do what they're not designed to do.



#4. Obesity



One key factor in obesity is infant feeding. Infants are born with a self regulatory ability to take in only what they need. By feeding on demand and following a baby's cues, you are essentially helping them form habits of eating when hungry and eating until they feel full. This sets them up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. But when you add cereal to a bottle, it bypasses their system and essentially they take in more calories than they need.



#5. It Doesn't Work!!!



There is no scientific evidence to support the notion that baby's sleep better with cereal in their bottles. The truth is, babies are designed to wake frequently at night. Dealing with sleep deprivation is part of the parenting package.

Katie - posted on 06/16/2010

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I personally would never start my children on cereal before they were at least six months old. Until then they are breastfed only. The earliest my pediatrician said it was okay to was four months. Before then their digestive systems aren't ready for it at all. But he also said the only real reason to do that is calories. If your child is having trouble with their weight to add cereal to pack it on. But other than that there's no real reason to. I was in fact told by several doctors that I didn't even need to start my Son at six months if I didn't want to. Since he was growing just great and was getting everything that he needed from my breast milk. What your Mother was talking about sounds suspiciously like one of the things they used to say to try to get Mothers to use formula instead of breastfeeding. Since it takes longer to digest, they said that it will help the baby sleep through the night better. But the truth is all it does is take longer to digest! Lol. Good luck with whatever you decide. I can understand how you feel. My Son still takes a late night/early morning feeding and he is six months old now.

Rebecca - posted on 06/15/2010

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Look for signs to start cereal, interest in food, chewing motion... If he's ready there is no harm in a little on a spoon. Remember to make it really runny. Try giving it during the day for the "allergy watch" and then once you know he's fine use it right before bed. In all honesty though, i didn't find it helped make my kids sleep any different, some say it made a difference though. And NEVER put cereal in a bottle UNLESS advised by a Dr and it would only be advised if your child had sever reflux. It is a major choking hazard. Food should be given off a spoon not through a bottle.

Good luck

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Carly - posted on 06/21/2010

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Plenty of people start around two months earlier than whats recommended for weaning (6months is reccomended) and that's because only until a few years ago they put tha age upto 6 months as it was usually 4 months! Your baby will be fine, if he needs more he needs more! Just introduce it slowly and ensure that the cereal is well mixed with his milk! It will make the proccess easier!

Madge Mae - posted on 06/21/2010

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it is ok to start feeding your baby a cereal at that age..
but if you want your child to have a tight sleep at night try to give him/her a warm milk!!!!
it may help to have long sleep at night...

Anna - posted on 06/20/2010

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We started with rice cereal at 5 months, and my son just plain hated the stuff (can't say I blame him, it tastes like cardboard). I moved on after a week and a half to applesauce, which he absolutely loves. I had tried the cereal at 4 months, but he wasn't terribly interested in it. If your baby seems eager to learn how to eat, you can probably start, but the idea that it makes babies sleep longer is largely a myth. Your little one should start going longer at night (probably going down to just one night feeding) very soon between wakings. My son went down to two feedings about 3-4 hours apart by 4 months and then down to one feeding around 3-4 in the morning soon after that.

Kasey - posted on 06/20/2010

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my so was 11weeks when i tryed him on cereal and also baby food its not to soon if your child want to take it if he does feed him untill he wants no more if he does not have intrest try a few more times like out some on his lip so he kan lick and taste them try him again if he really dont want it then hes not ready for it but you have to keep trying not just try a few times and give up its they will have to try it a few times befor he willing to take it good luck

Nicole - posted on 06/20/2010

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We started our son at 4 mo at the doctors encouragement to help him sleep at night. She said nothing else until 6 mo though.

Mikayla - posted on 06/20/2010

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He should be alright. if hes that close to being 4 months then its ok. My son turned 4 months not to long ago and his peds doctor said it was fine to do so. otherwise just wait till you go to his 4 month check up and talk to his doctor. If you make the cereal pretty thin and not thick hell be alright.

[deleted account]

I started my son on rice cereal when he was 4 1/2 months old. It made him constipated so at 5 months we started on veggies. He's doing great now. I'm still nursing him as much as I was before he just does 1 small jars of organic fruits or veggies, 3x's a day now at 5 1/2 months.
The thing though is that starting him on solids didn't make him sleep any better at night like everyone said it would. Are you breastfeeding or using formula? Just because the only thing that has helped a bit, is not allowing myself to have any caffeine after noon everyday. But it's still not great. I'm hoping he grows out of it soon.

Jennifer - posted on 06/20/2010

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A babies digestive system is very delicate and introducing solids too early can be detrimental. Here is a good article on helping you figure out if you child is ready. http://www.babycenter.com/0_introducing-... It is hard I had to remind myself that it's not about my excitement starting our son on solids it's about what is best for him. Breast milk or Formula is their main source of nutrition until 1 year any food before that is mainly to teach them how to eat. In Canada they don't recommend starting solids until at least 6 months and sometimes longer. I think the World Health Organization recommends BF until 2 years. There's some food for thought ;)

Brandi - posted on 06/20/2010

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i waited until my son was 4 months. he started sleeping through the night then

Elysia - posted on 06/19/2010

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the suggested age is 6months, but i started my son at 4months as he was hungry and needed more than just breast milk. I spoke to my child health nurse and did it under her supervision just for my own piece of mind, he handled it fine by 6months he was gumming a vegemite sandwich

Meghan - posted on 06/19/2010

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my son has been on rice cereal since he was 2 weeks old... he isnt over weight although he is a big boy.. but then again at 7 months he is 29 inches long and 23 pounds.. he was 8pounds 4 oz when he was born... the dr told me to add the cereal because his formula wouldnt stay down... he has slept through the night since i brought him home

Sara - posted on 06/19/2010

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You can start your baby on rice at four moths. Your baby will let you know when they are ready to start. e.g. they will start drooling eating their hands and so forth.

Good luck.

Mallory - posted on 06/19/2010

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I started my son on rice cereal when he was about the same age as your son, and he did just fine. Just mix it with his formula or breastmilk...I usually mix the cereal with my son's favorite fruit or veggie from the jar, too (it helps the flavor)...but I would say just give it a try; if he doesn't seem to have a problem, I wouldn't stress over the age thing.

Michelle - posted on 06/19/2010

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i started all of mine at about 3-4 months but in the mornings not the evenings i wouldnt give it in the evening

Krista - posted on 06/19/2010

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i just started giving it to my 4 month old. i mix it in his bottle and only give him it once a day. but it really doesnt make him sleep longer periods. Today i started feeding it to him in a spoon, but he didnt like it that way lol

Kathryn - posted on 06/19/2010

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My Dr. said any time between 4 and 6 months is fine... Depending on what they seem to need. Something to consider also is a visit to www.sleepsense.net. My friends and I split on this program and every single one of us has babies who sleep 12 hours through the night plus 2, 2-hour naps each day! It has been a god-send... even for me who has twins!

Lauren - posted on 06/19/2010

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i started my son on ceral and baby food at 2 months old! he was fine with it! he is now 4 months old and startin to drink out of a sippy cup with his milk! i say do what you want you are MOM and its YOUR BABY no one elses!

Kiri - posted on 06/19/2010

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my baby was 3 weeks old when i started giving him cereal. mix it lightly at first just to give a little substance to his bottle and then thicken it as he gets older. PS rice DEFINATLY helps my son sleep. he is 8 weeks old and sleeps about 7 hours at a time over night

[deleted account]

Feeding them rice cereal doesn't make them sleep longer. I really think that's an old wives tale. You can apparently start them on rice cereal at 4 months. We had a horrible sleeper (up every 1.5 to 2 hours) and rice cereal did absolutely nothing for him. Don't start it until you're ready.

Kate - posted on 06/19/2010

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Babies don't digest grains well until 18 - 24 months. Sleeping 3 - 4 hour stretches is completely normal for this age. My son (11 months) still wakes every 2 - 3 hours. That is unusual but he truly needs to eat at least once per night (he is a really, really light sleeper and everything bothers him). My daughter needed to eat at night until at least 6 months and then on and off for a long time. She's almost 2 and a half now and she still goes through growth spurts where she wakes requesting a snack and 3 or 4 am. If your baby actually sleeps through the night consistently before age 4 or 5, they are in the minority!

Samantha - posted on 06/19/2010

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that will just take time lol lol you can always put half a rusk in his last bottle too x

Sarah - posted on 06/19/2010

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Thank you all for your replies!

I did end up trying him on it, and it has helped with him sleeping SO MUCH! He used to go to sleep around 9 or 10 and wake up again at midnight or 1 and wake up after that anywhere from 3:30 to 6:00. Now, while he still wakes back up around midnight, he's sleeping till 7:00am! It's awesome! Now I just need to find a way to eliminate him waking up at midnight :-)

Samantha - posted on 06/19/2010

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they recomemed weening your child at 4mouth but each baby is diffrent my two girls started at 3months well kaci my younest just comin up 3 months has started, i stared with 2 teaspoons of rusks for breakfast 2tsp fruit baby yog lunch and then rusk at dinner and still gave milk your son will either eat it or not he will let you no if hes ready when he starts eating the whole 2tsp then make alittle more and drop an oz from his milk hope this helps

Stephanie - posted on 06/19/2010

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I would say definitely to young at 4 months. The rice cereal won't help him sleep through the night and could cause digestive problems. The AAP now says to strict to only breastmilk or formula for the first six months. Every baby is different as far as sleeping for the night. Michael will be a year next week and still doesn't STTN, not even most of the time

Corrie - posted on 06/18/2010

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my daughter is 9weeks old and at her 8week check up the dr told me to put her on cereal... so i think it is fine whenever.. i dont think it helps her sleep but it helps her belly with the acid reflux... but i got lucky my baby has been sleeping through the night since she was 2 weeks!! good luck to ya hun

Dawn - posted on 06/18/2010

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I started both of my kids on baby food not rice or oatmeal at 2-3 months. They hated the rice and oatmeal. but stage on foods made them very happy. They were just little piggies and formula wasnt satisfying them.

Ashley - posted on 06/18/2010

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I started my daughter on rice cereal at a little over 3 months old. She has done great with it.

Michelle - posted on 06/18/2010

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no hes not,i started my daughtrer on rice cereal,when she was just about 4 months...it sure dose help...

Sheila Sudlow - posted on 06/18/2010

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is he unsettled your baby will let you know when the time is right this particular time is a good time to start first weaning trials but not before 4 months,or do you feel underpressure from family,

Crystall - posted on 06/18/2010

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My daughter started about 2 days ago and she is 4 months and 3 weeks old. Doctor said she is big for her age she weights 15 pounds.

Katie - posted on 06/18/2010

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I started mine at 2 month but she was born 9lbs and grew to 13 pds fast, so the dr said it was ok to start with small amounts, I just mixed mine with juice at first because the juice is alot thinner then the milk to make sure I didnt get her stomach all backed up!!

Karen - posted on 06/18/2010

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i started my daughter at 3 months and shes was fine n my little boy is now 3months n iv started him aswell u no ur self wen ur child is redi so do wot u think is best!!!midwifes docs etc all tell u different n onli u no ur child best!!

Chelsea - posted on 06/18/2010

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I had to start my daughter on rice cereal in her bottle at 2 months because she has really bad reflex. She started sleeping through the night at 3 months once she started to get full. I would feed her rice cereal an hour before she went to bed. She slept about 10 hours through the night

Shaundra - posted on 06/18/2010

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My son was born six weeks early and when he came home from the hospital I started putting a little bit in his bottle. He only stayed in the hospital for 4 days after he was born, but I was trying to help him get his weight up and he never had any problems. Just make sure not to give too much.

Teigha - posted on 06/18/2010

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My doctor gave me the go ahead for rice cereal once or twice a day at 4 months. I was always told to put rice cereal in the bottle before bedtime to make baby sleep longer. I tried it and my son woke up sooner than normal. Good luck!

Sara - posted on 06/18/2010

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My doctor told us it was o.k. to start our daughter on cereal at 4 months. However it is not recommended (our doctor said absolutely do not) feed them cereal out of a bottle. It will take a week or so for them to learn to eat the cereal off of a spoon, but they will learn.

On a side note we were also told to stop feeding her throughout the night at 4 months, our doctor said she didn't need the night feedings and the only reason she was still waking up was out of habbit. He gave us a few suggestions on how to condition her to sleep through the night, we modified them but they worked and now she goes to bed at 9 and sleeps to 8:30 am almost every night.

Here is what we did:

Elizabeth takes a pacifier only to sleep so at first when she would wake up we would go into her room and give her the pacifier, not taking her out of her bed unless she was screaming, if she was screaming we would rock her but never take her out of her room or turn the lights back on. After about a week of doing this we rarely had to rock her and moved on to phase 2. Phase two included letting her stew for about 5 min before we went in, this was very difficult at first, but after a few days she actually started putting herself back to sleep before the 5 min was up, and if we did have to go in it was almost always just to give her a pacifier. Starting week three she was sleeping from 9-6:30 and this just kept getting later and later, and we never had to do the listen to her cry it out method (which i am just not cut out for).

Marisa - posted on 06/18/2010

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My son is 4 1/2 years old and he started rice cereal in a bottle at 7 weeks. I did this because I had to have a full nights sleep since I had no help with the baby. Now I have a two week old daughter and I plan to start rice cereal and breast milk around the same time. Her pediatrician said that is was fine, it is important for you as a parent to get rest so you can take care of your family and not feel like a dead person.

Miranda - posted on 06/18/2010

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We started Ariya just before 3 months but we were a bit over zealous at first. She had a really hard time passing it thru the old digestive system & was backed up for a couple of days. we are now starting her back on it for one bottle a day (mixing with my breast milk) but only 1/2 a teaspoon so we can have a slower start to getting her body used to it.

I'll keep everyone posted on how she does the second time around!

Maria - posted on 06/18/2010

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I was very set on NOT starting my daughter on cereal and baby food until she was 6 months, however he pediatrician said that she was ready for cereal if I wanted to have her try it and it wouldn't be to early in her developement to try. I have to say she "loved" it! By the 2nd spoon full she was opening up her mouth as wide as she could and since then she now has cereal for breakfast! And she is eating baby food and is loving it! No weird faces or straight refusals to anything! She is also drinking apple juice everyday! I believe that its part what your doctor says and the other part is your baby. My main reason for starting cereal at 4 months was because my daughter was going through so much formula and not receiving enough out of it, so in essence, she was ready.and now I watch her in take so she doesn't try to over eat and she does an awesome job! I hope that this story helps ease your mind a little bit more. And one last thing my daughter enjoyed the "oatmel " flavored cereal, and don't forget u can add some powder formula to the cereal to make it a bit more desireable to your child...best of luck to you and your son.

Tiffany - posted on 06/18/2010

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It really all depends on the child his self not really his age. I started my daughter on rice cereal when she was 3 months old. She has slept threw the night ever since, she is two and a half now. But I have talked to some moms that said that their child didn't do so well on it that young. But being a first time mom is really about alot of trail and error. 9 times out of 10 mommy always knows best. So just go with your gut. And if you do try it and he doesn't do so well on it all you have to do is go back to what you were doing before. Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 06/18/2010

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i started my daughter on rice cereal when she was 6 weeks and she loves it..been sleeping all night since

Krystal - posted on 06/18/2010

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I tried starting our daughter on rice when she was 3 going on 4 mths and she got a minor stomach reaction to it. The doctors NURSE told me i shouldn't have started her on it since her stomach wasn't ready but when i asked the doctor he said that Elexis ( our daughter ) would let us know when she was ready and to not listen to his nurse. So we waited a little bit longer and tried it again when she was about 5 mths. She was fine then. We figured out she got diarrhea from it the first time cause her stomach wasn't used to it and was still a little sensitive. Shes going to be 8 mths now and she is perfectly fine for everything ( wheat, barley, and even a little oatmeal ) Some doctors will tell you to wait till there 6 mths to start them on rice just so they don't develop a food allergy. But honestly the kids will tell you when there ready and definitely there body will let you know. If all else fails ask your doctor what he thinks just in case.

Stephaine - posted on 06/17/2010

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I started my son on oatmeal cereal (personal choice,rice can cause constipation) at 4 months and he was fine. I wouldnt recommend putting it in a bottle, my pediatrician told me it can put excess weight on him. Just talk with you doctor and see what he/she thinks. Hope this helped.

Kayla - posted on 06/17/2010

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My daughter was about a week before turning 4 months before I introduced rice cereal (1 tbs of rice to 4 tbs of formula) and a week later I started spoon feeding her and she's only eating about a spoonful or so at a time. She was eating over 40oz of formula a day and stopped sleeping through the night and would wake up from hunger and go right back to bed after her bottle. Every baby is different and you want to make sure you don't start them too early because it can cause problems with the digestion and they are more prone to food allergies. They say 4-6 months to start introducing and signs that they are ready is if they are eating excessively (my pediatrician said over 40oz is excessive). If they grab for your food is another sign. If anything I would talk to your pediatrician about it to get a professional opinion. If anything if you don't feel completely comfortable with it yet, then I'd wait on it. Initially feeding them the rice cereal is not really for nutritional value, the main source is still going to be formula or breast milk. My daughter still isn't sleeping through the night like she used to but she is starting to sleep a little longer as time goes on.

Tiffany - posted on 06/17/2010

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I started my daughter on Barley cereal when she was 3 months old because she would only sleep 2-3 hours at a time at night and it worked well for me. I would not give my child rice cereal because it would, most likely, constipate. Definatetly try the barley cereal first to see, then try the rice.

Naisha - posted on 06/17/2010

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i have always started my two boys on rice cereal when they were 3 months mixed in their bottles...i use different kinds such as rice with apple, rice with mixed fruits for dinner...and banana with oatmeal in the morning

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