40 answers

Formula Feeding and Cereal

I have a 3 and a half month old infant who in one feeding can eat up to 6-8 oz of formula, we tried to give her cereal but she didn't really want it, but does anyone have any suggestion on how to get her to eat it?

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Thank you all for your advise. I think I am going to wait until She has her 4 month appt. and I will talk with the ped. more. Thanks again.
J. S.

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J.,

My family doctor told me not to feed my infant solid food until she was 4 to 6 months old. I don't think you should worry about it yet.

She's much too young for cereal, you should wait until at least 6 months to even try that. Giving anythingn except breast milk or formula before 6 months can set them up for food allergies and/or sensitivities later in life, their little digestive systems just can't handle it! Just keep giving her the breast milk or formula on demand.

You can try mixing it in with the formula--thats what we did with both of mine around that age. I don't think we even attempted spoon feeding till 4 1/2 months with my daughter and 6 months with my son. I don't think at 3 1/2 months they are develpoed enough to be able to eat solid foods. Good luck

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she seems a bit young for rice cereal. i don't think her tongue reflex would be developed to eat cereal. however, many people from older generations swear by a little bit of cereal mixed in with the bottle. you may have to puncture the nipple so that the thicker liquid cna flow thru. i don't think you need to start rice cereal until 4-6 months.
she'll know when she is ready for it...

A 3 1/2 month old is too young for cereal. She will still have the tongue thrust & her system is not set up to deal with solids. I think you should try making her more formula with each feeding. She may be going through a growth spurt.

She's much too young for cereal, you should wait until at least 6 months to even try that. Giving anythingn except breast milk or formula before 6 months can set them up for food allergies and/or sensitivities later in life, their little digestive systems just can't handle it! Just keep giving her the breast milk or formula on demand.

First of all, I am wondering why you want to add cereal now. 6-8 oz of formula is not that much, really. Why not just continue formula, and feed her as much as she desires? I recommend adding cereal to the bottle this early if baby is waking several times a night obviously hungry, but otherwise I would not introduce any additional foods until baby shows interest in trying what you are eating, or has reached about 5-6 months, depending on weight.

I know they say not to put cereal in the bottle. But the first time I gave it to my daughter I put it in the bottle. I did that for a week or so then tried the spoon feeding thing and she seemed to take to it really well. Just a thought! Good luck!! Hope things get better!

doctors recommend starting rice at 4 months so 3.5 months is fine. my son (now 6 months) hated plain rice so we mixed applesauce in with it to give it more taste. the dr told us at our next visit that if he doesn't like it then we could just give him applesauce if he'll take it that way better. the rice stage isn't important at all it's just to help your child get an understanding of spoon feeding but if she doesn't like it skipping to regular foods is no biggie.

Dear J.,
I am a paraprofessional in a healthcare field and have a lot of really great mentors. All my sources tell me that if you start a baby on cereal sooner than six months of age, you set him/her up for developing allergies later in their childhood.
I would definitely suggest you wait! Hope taht helps!
Blessings!
J. F.

Hi there... I have a 21 month old son and a 4 month old baby girl... they both would take 6 to 8 onces also... My baby girl already weighs almost 18lbs... she is a big girl... she was getting up every two hours for a bottle and I was giving it to her... My dr. suggested having one last bottle at night and call it a night. He said that any baby that is that big and eating that much at a time isn't going hungry she is just taking the food as a habit and a comfort. I also told him I was feeding her cereal and she was gobbling it right up and he said it was really to early for that. Studies show that feeding to early can result in obesity... anyway... I listened to him and she will wake up one time 2 hours later after her last bottle and cry a little but then will go back to sleep through the night!!! so... I know the situations are different.. but, this info really worked for me!! Good Luck!!!

She is too young for cereal. If her growth curve is normal she may just need 6-8oz at a feeding or you may have to give her more frequent feedings of smaller amounts. Talk to your daughter's doctor. New recommendations is not to start cereal until 6 months. If cost is an issue for the formula look into warehouse clubs and switch to a powder formula. Both are cheaper than buying it at babies r us or the grocery store. Good luck.

Your baby is a little young for solids. Take a break from introducing solids and try again in a month of so if she seems ready. Try picking up a copy of Super Baby Foods. The book has a great chapter about picking up the cues that your child is ready to eat solids (she can sit up in a highchair, she has neck control and can turn her head away when she's done, she seems interested when she sees others eating, etc...), and it also has a great index of which food to introduce at what age and their nutritional values.

Do NOT mix cereal into your baby's bottle. Every doctor I've talked to and book I read cautioned us not to do this. Baby's are born with the ability to know when they have had enough to eat. Adding cereal to a bottle drastically raises the calorie content and screws with that "I'm full" instinct. Statistically, babies who are fed cereal through a bottle tend to have excessive weight gain both as children and later in life.

I'm just agreeing with pretty much everyone else. She's too young for cereal, and doesn't need it. It making her sleep longer is really an old wive's tale, and it's not good for her digestive tract at this age (so far the only thing it does is makes her more likely to have food allergies, or so the studies seem to indicate).
So, your little one just knows it's not the right food for her :)

She'll eat when she's ready....don't worry!

Hi Jodi,

To be honest with you, she is really not ready for food or cereal yet. Doctors advise to start cereal at 4 to 5 months and food after the age of 6 months. If you are adamant about giving it to her though, I highly reccommend putting the cereal in her bottle. My now 7 month old would not eat anything off of the spoon for a while because she couldn't figure out how to move her tongue. We simply started putting the cereal and food in her bottle with her formula. She loves it. Make sure to get the nipple that has a hole a size bigger than normal so that all the food comes out and she's not stuck with the food not coming out. Try everyday with the spoon because she will eventually get the hang of it.

The reason she didn't seem to want it was because she's not ready for it. If she's eating that much at once it's because she needs it. Try again in a couple of months.

She shouldn't be ready for cereal yet. Her digestive system isn't ready. Talk to your pediatrician about it. Older people (grandparents who know everything about children...) all say that you should put cereal in their bottle to get them to sleep. (Some babies don't sleep no matter what you do. I have a couple little ones who fall into that catagory and a couple who don't.) And some little ones just take a lot at feeding time. Check with your ped if the weight gain and everything else is in check. Good Luck!

My oldest did that as a newborn but I purposelly didn't feed her until 6 months because of allergies (to prevent them). I did not even try to feed her before 4 months though because that is the national recomendation. NEither one of my girls was even ready to eat that early so after trying once i just kept giving them thier bottle untl they were ready for food

Hi J.! I am B. Deck and I have 5 children. The boys are 14,10, and 8. The girls are 4 and 2. Several of my children did not care for cereal. Your baby just may not like it. Have you tasted it? It is so yucky! I wouldn't worry about it? I put two of mine on baby applesauce at three months, because they just refused to eat the cereal. I would go ahead and try the applesauce first and then try the cereal again in a month or so. A lot of pediatricians probably would disagree with me, but all 5 of my children have turned out great!

B. Deck

Try mixing it thicker or thinner. My son wouldn't eat it unless it was THICK!!!! My daughter liked it a bit runny. He had to start cereal at 2 weeks because he was eating every 2 hours and would take 8 oz and want more!

Another option would be to put a little in his bottle and either use a "cereal nipple" or cut an "x" in a regular one.

Definitely talk to your pediatrician before you try to give your 3 month old ceral. Typically that is too young to start ceral. If she is very hungry, you may need to feed her formula more frequently throughout the day. Also might try moving to a nipple with a larger opening if she seems distracted or frustrated while drinking her bottle.

The baby doesn't need cereal at this age; that's why she isn't eating it (her little tongue/mouth doesn't know how to handle it or swallow it yet.) Sometimes babies will continue to suck on a bottle (or breast) because they simply like sucking rather than that they are hungry. So, if she's eating her 6-8 ounces and the recommended amount of ounces for her daily nutrients then she should be fine. Baby cereal at an early age (prior to 5 months) can be harmful to their digestive system so unless your pediatrician recommends it I would wait. Good things come to those that wait!

I would not recommend cereal until she is at least 5 months old or more. My oldest son used to go through 8-9 oz of formula per feeding very early on also. It's perfectly fine. If you have any concerns I would definitely talk with her pediatrician. Good luck to you!

K. - sahm of 2 boys, 5 and 2

I would talk to your pediatrician but I wouldn't force any food. Babies don't need food until they are about 6 months old. Anything they eat before that is just to get used to having food in their mouths, exploration, etc. It's not for nutritional value. Studies have shown that if you give a baby cereal too early it can lead to early onset of diabetes.

Hi J.,

There is no need to push food on your baby at this time.

Formula is great until 6 months or more.

Don't worry.

Call the Chilren's Hospital of the King's Daughter and talk to the Nutritionist to get more precise information.

Good luck, D.

Wait three months and try again. Infants this young have a reflex that forces foreign objects out of their mouths. My bet is that when you put a spoonful of cereal in her mouth, she just pushes it out with her tongue, right? If that's the case, and truly, even if it's not, wait a few months and try again. The recommendation from the Academy of Pediatrics is to start with single grain cereal (usually rice) at 4-6 months old. Solids aren't necessary until 6 months of age, when you start slowing down the fluid intake. Until then, breastmilk (or formula) is plenty of nutrition. A really good book with all this information is What to Expect the First Year. I found this to be an extremely useful resource. You can find it at any bookstore, but also at a place like Kid to Kid... a used clothes/toys store.

In fact, I have a copy I'm finished with... I live in Centreville... if you'd like to meet somewhere, I'd be happy to give it to you.

You can try mixing it in with the formula--thats what we did with both of mine around that age. I don't think we even attempted spoon feeding till 4 1/2 months with my daughter and 6 months with my son. I don't think at 3 1/2 months they are develpoed enough to be able to eat solid foods. Good luck

I hope this helps. I have an 8 month old daugther and we waited until she was 6 months old to start her on any food. If your infant can sleep through the night they really don't need food until then. Putting cereal in the bottle is really bad for them as well. That is just my opinion though. My daughter also did not like the rice cereal so we got the jar foods and mixed it in that. Our pediatrician said that is perfectly fine. Just becareful feeding her jar food too early, she could develop allergies that way. Good Luck!

Wow she is a big eater. If she doesnt want cereal, dont bother. Give her a bottle and call it a day. HOw often does she eat? And also look at how much she eats during the whole day. I'd personally put cereal on hold at this young age. I didnt start foods until about 6months....was no need for it. You can always wait a couple of weeks and offer cereal again. If you really feel the need for her to eat cereal for whatever reason then you can always try a teaspoon of applesauce or pears mixed w/ it to make it more appealing. I'd skip bananas at first as they are super sweet and babies tend to get "addicted" to that fruit and not want anything else. GL.

Everything I've read about this says not to start solids until 4-6 months. Their digestive systems just aren't ready to deal with anything but milk. I know a lot of people who do give cereal earlier, but I'm not sure it's a good idea. Plus, young babies have a tongue-thrust reflux to prevent them from choking on "foreign materials" and that is why they reject the spoon and spit out the cereal. I say wait until she's ready. Putting cereal in the bottle is a choking hazard. Good luck!

Hi J.,
6-8 ounces of formula in one feeding isn't really a huge amount, it actually sounds pretty normal. Is it that she's eating that amount more often than every 3 to 4 hours? Is there a reason you're trying to get her on cereal so soon? I would check with your pediatrician before starting solids because there are many health problems associated with feeding solids too early!! Plus, babies don't really need solid food until 6 months (unless a health problem requires it), so why start the added expense of food so soon :)
Good luck!

Have you consulted your pediatrician about this? At my daughter's four month check up, the pediatrician said she was not quite ready for solids(cereals, pureed fruits and veggies) after performing a few tests on her. Reason why I'm asking is the pediatrician looks for physical and developmental signs that your baby is showing before approving them of solids. Typically, your baby my push up her head when on her tummy, reach out for your food, stare(or follow you with her eyes) at you when you are eating, and sit up or pull up her head with support. I started my daughter two weeks shy of her 6 month check up. I understand that every child develops at a different pace. She may not be ready just yet. Hope this helps.

Take care.

I would not recommend giving her the cereal if she his not ready to take it. Discuss this with your pediatrician.

I have raised 5 children of my own and am now caring for a nine month old for a friend. With my children and this one when his desire increased for a more satisfying meal came about we bought cross cut nipples (which are sold in stores) and mixed the cereal with the milk ,be careful not to get the mixture too thick as the poor child won't be able to suck it out of the bottle . I have found when a child is ready to be spoon fed meals it will be much easier than now , as for now their sucking instinct over rules the "spoon". GOOD LUCK.

Early feeding of cereal (before 4-6 months) has been linked to development of type 2 diabetes. Babies don't make the digestive enzyme (amylase) to break down grains, so wait for signs of readiness, rather than trying to cover up the taste/texture.

It's too early for cereal for your baby. 4-6 months is when you start. Watch for your baby trying to grab your food, utensils, etc. Most importantly the sticking out of the tongue reflex has to be gone for the baby to take down the food. Your baby sounds like a great and normal formula eater. Don't worry about solid food yet. It'll come soon enough.

3.5 months is a bit young for trying to feed cereal. Check with your pediatrician, but for our 4 kids we were told to watch for readiness signs, like the baby stops thrusting her tongue out, and reaches for your food, also she can hold her head up when sitting supported in a high chair. This typically happens between 4 and 6 months of age. If your baby is still showing signs that she's hungry after her formula, ask your pediatrician what they say about feeding cereal; they may recommend just using a tiny bit in the bottle to thicken the formula. It may just be that she needs more formula, or just needs to eat more frequently. Good luck!

she will eat the cereal in her own time. don't force her, they grow up too fast as it is.

J.,

My family doctor told me not to feed my infant solid food until she was 4 to 6 months old. I don't think you should worry about it yet.

Mix up a 6 oz bottle of formula and add a HALF of a scoop of the rice cereal into the bottle. Shake it up really good & let her acclimate to it that way. It's probably not the flavor but the texture she doesn't like. So try one half of a scoop in 6 ounces of formula for a week or two once or twice a day. Don't overload her little tummy because rice is more solid than milk/formula. If all goes well increase the amount of rice in the formula a half a scoop per week until you get to a thicker consistency and can switch to a spoon.

Both of my girls were pre-mature so we were told not to give them rice or any kind of cereal until they were around 9 months old (6 months adjusted). It was great because it filled them up more, they didn't need to 'drink' as much and it satisfied their hunger for a longer period of time. Just be warned that giving them a higher calorie food may get the growth spurts going into high gear and she may start getting fussy for food more often again, sleeping more and having BIG poops! It's a give and take. :)

Your baby probably isn't ready for solids yet. Most peds say not to start solids (even cereal) until 6 mos. That's when I started with my son (who is breastfed). Some babies will start cereal as young as 4 mos, but I think 3 1/2 months is probably way too early. I would try again in a few weeks and then wait up to 6 mos.if you can. There is lots of info on kellymom.com about why it's good to wait until 6 mos (this is when their digestive tract is most developed to receive solids). Also, their tongue reflex has not developed to swallow solids as well before then. The muscles used to suck (a bottle or breast) are very different than what is used to swallow solids, so the mechanics of their mouth/tongue need to be ready for that, too. I really wouldn't push it if your child does not seem ready. Good luck! -A., mom to Gus, 7 mos.

Hey Jodi,

I am a mother of 3 children, ages 7,4, and 5 months old. If you try a spoonful of baby food applesauce or pears that may help sweeten the taste. Plus, you have to remember she is still a little young for cereal right now and may take some time to transistion to it because it is something new to her. I would give her formula for now until she is 4 months old. Remember to give her the same fruit for about 3 days to make sure that she is not allergic to it. I hope I have helped you. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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