Cereal for toddler?

Susan - posted on 01/11/2013 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My baby is 17 months old. She's never been a big eater of solids. She's very curious and will taste anything and definitely wants bites of everything we eat etc but has never eaten significant enough amounts for nutrition since day one of solids introduction.

My question is to do with the fact that she's been waking up at night quite regularly (never slept through the night consistently either) and the past week or so especially wants milk each time. She hasn't had milk at night since before she was one. It doesn't seem like a growth spurt either because she reacts slightly differently to those and they're usually not so long. She also has gas (each time she wakes she squims and farts a lot before settling back in). So what I'm wondering is if there's any point putting cereal into her night bottle?

My cousins paed (she has a daughter a couple months older) had asked her to put a couple of spoons of cream into the night feed which worked for them but I'm slightly worried about the fat. Maybe I'm just being paranoid?

Any thoughts?

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Sarah - posted on 01/12/2013

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I would try to get rid of the bottles and do sippy cups. She might be not wanting to eat the food so much because she prefers the bottle more. At 17 months they should be doing about 3 glasses of milk a day and then the rest is food and water. Sometimes kids will fill up on liquids and not eat the solids. You don't want them to starve, but at the same time you don't want to start bad habits. What I would do is offer the food first before doing a liquid. Sometimes when we are hungry we will eat what is in front of us, but if we have already put something into our tummies (even if we are not full) we will then not eat what is in front of us...we become more choosy. Instead of doing a bottle with cereal in it before bed I would do some cheerios and a sippy cup with either milk or water.

It is always a hard transition going from bottles and baby food to sippys and table food. Their eating and drinking may go down, they may not eat a balance diet each meal, and some days they may not eat much of anything. But they survive and learn. Some of it is a learning process for them. My daughter is 19 months and what I make for the family is also what is served for her to eat. Sometimes she eats more then you think her little body has room for and other times she takes a couple bites and is done. I don't make a different meal for her (unless it is something she physically can't eat).

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Susan - posted on 01/22/2013

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Hi Melissa! It's so annoying isn't it? Mines gone back to not eating now because she's having her canines come out. Even the couple of mouthfuls she would have, have dwindled to nothing. Like purses lips and flatly refuses. Oh well!

Melissa - posted on 01/22/2013

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OMG- I am soooo glad to read this question and answers. These are the exact same issues I am having with my 15 month old. I want her to eat but sometimes she just will not. I am hoping that with her starting daycare now she will see other children and immulate them. But I absolutley feel your concerns, and am sooo glad to hear everyones answers, as they all helped me too.

Cecilia - posted on 01/12/2013

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well if you might be thinking its the lactose why not try buying soy milks? Some are absolutely delicious lol. Honestly my favorite flavor (and my daughter's, ) is almond milk. It is costly. I will warn you on that part. But try it our and see if it helps the gas go away.

If she doesn't like baby cereals any more, what I would do is home make some smoothies. all you need is milk, fruit and yogurt. If you freeze the fruit it makes it the icy consistence you think of with a smoothie, although it is not needed. Or maybe just try adding some yogurt into her milk and see if that helps fill her up.

With similac as far as i know only two of theirs don't have lactose. One of course is prosobee, the other i think is alimentum. It could simply be that she has a very slight reaction but because of the increase of milk as she gets bigger, it's causing an issue.

You know what, my doctor also told me to cut the milk down. I didn't listen either. I'd rather her drink milk than starve all day and be dehydrated. Maybe i was wrong for it but I just did what i thought was best. Do what you think is best.

Susan - posted on 01/12/2013

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Thanks Cecelia! Tried cereal as a food before. She used to eat a small amount at about 8 months or so but now won't eat the oatmeal type ones at all. She does have gown up cereal for breakfast like the whole grain Cheerios and Special K etc. also likes crackers and break sticks and cheese and yogurt plus we give her a little of whatever we eat as well at each meal to keep the habit of eating at mealtimes going. She'll taste anything but rarely eats more than 3-4 mouthfuls of anything.

The formula I use is Similac (the concentrate that's mixed with water) we've been using this for a while and she's never had a problem. That's what makes me think its the cows milk that could be causing the gas along with possible acidity from an empty stomach. I think I'll make my peace with the cream. I just worried coz this wasn't our docs idea he thinks I should cut the milk so she'll eat food and it'll all be good and that the milk for sustenance isn't ideal for tummies. I just can't bring myself to cut her off and I don't want to create negative food associations by forcing the issue (she's been struggling with teething and I do believe she will eat well once they're out)

She's a healthy little active girl it's just the wake ups are bothering me more than her :). So trying options.

Cecilia - posted on 01/12/2013

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If it were me, i would try to give her a few spoons of cereal (or a few bites of a baby food fruit)before bed time. Try it on a spoon first. If you choose to put it in the bottle, you need to get new nipples. They require larger holes because of the thickness. At first you would only need a medium flow nipple as you should not be making it very thick at all. Hopefully this helps her sleep. Some will tell you to never put cereal into a bottle. I asked my doctor and he said its fine as long as you stay with the baby and adjust the thickness according to them.

I was wondering what type of formula you used. Maybe the milk is causing gas because of a lactose intolerance.

Don't worry about fat content, as mentioned before, fat is needed by that age for brain formation. If she was eating table food and then you add something else in, evaluate how much they are already taken in.

Susan - posted on 01/12/2013

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Thanks Gigi. The main issue is prob milk we've been giving her cows milk along with formula. When we tried doing the total switch, she has the worst constipation and so the doctors having us mix it in a little at a time. He says a little gas is fine. She's not in pain just wakes up and since she's never gone to sleep her self I guess calls for us to help her back.

My theory is also that she's hungry. She was a reflux baby and never could take a large amount at a time. So even now her bedtime bottle is about 5oz. And considering she doesn't eat much, it's prob not enough. She wasn't waking for milk before. Now she is so thinking of things I can do.

Anyone done the cereal?

Gigi - posted on 01/12/2013

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Why are you worried about the fat? Young toddlers need lots of fat in their diets. But if I would put anything in her milk it would be in the bottle she gets before sleep. At 17 months, she doesn't need to eat during the night.
I think you should look into the reason why she has gas every night. If she wakes up because of it, something is off. Look into what she eats during the day and try to find out what is causing it, because she shouldn't have gas that cause her discomfort that often.

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