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Putting Cereal in Bottle for Nighttime Feeding?

My 6 month old daughter has always been a great sleeper; will sleep through the entire night without waking up. However, within the last couple of weeks, she has been waking up, usually around 2am or 3am wanting to either be fed, changed or rocked. My husband and I have been complying with her and getting up to tend to her. I now know that we shouldn’t do that and we have started the cry it out method to get her used to putting herself to sleep.

My question is in regards to putting cereal in her bottle for her night/bedtime feeding. A lot of people that I talk to say to put a little bit of cereal in her bottle to help hold her off until she wakes up in the morning. What have you moms done in the past? She is currently eating 32 oz of formula a day. Her last feeding is 7 oz. If I do add cereal to the bottle, how much should I add to a 7oz bottle? I’m afraid that she will choke on it. Any advice that you can give, I would greatly appreciate it!

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Doesn't necessarily work. We did that and she continued the same behavior. She is probably teething and drinking a bottle is soothing to her. They normally go through the night time waking again at this age. And just when you think they are sleeping through the night again... boom, they start waking up again.

You should not put cereal in her bottle. It is absolutely not recommended. If you must, feed her cereal by spoon prior to sleeping. I was just reading in a parenting mag about new sleep research. Sleeping for longer periods has to do with her brain development and varies by child. Here is an interesting article about how babies sleep: http://www.breastfeedingbasics.com/html/night_waking.shtml.

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We started putting cereal in the bottles at 3-4 months. They actually make a "cereal bottle" with a wider nipple, or you can just cut the nipple (not a lot, just a little) to let the cereal out easier. It works like a charm.

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There is no reason to ignore your baby's needs. You are the parent and you should be taking care of them if they need you. Crying it out will only create distance that will show up as they age and become even more distant.

2 moms found this helpful

Don't let your baby cry it out! Give her the attention she needs to grow into a healthy & well adjusted child. Even if it's a bit of cuddle time, she's telling you she needs something. It's okay to get up with her, it won't spoil her or turn her into a "bad" sleeper. She's telling you she needs you; whatever the reason, she needs you. Tooth, hunger, wet diaper, scary shadow, bad dream, misses momma...whatever. Answer her cries so that she builds trust and learns that sleep is a safe, warm place; not a scary, lonely place.

1 mom found this helpful

I think 6 months is really young to be sleeping through the night. Babies will experience a growth spurt at about this age. If she is waking she probably needs to eat. I don't know any babies who were not waking at least once a night to eat at this age. I know you need sleep but this will pass with time. I would not add cereal to a bottle. She is old enough to eat some with a spoon. You could do this and then top her off with a bottle.
You said "I know we shouldn't do that" in regards to comforting her in the night. That is nothing to feel guilty about. That just teaches her that you will be there if she needs you. Don't decide not to go to her just because Dr. Spock says not to. Follow your mommy's instinct. I would give her a chance to cry but if it escalates and she doesn't calm down quickly it can actually cause damage to her brain. If she settles down then you know she didn't have an immediate need.
No baby was ever damaged because they got to much attention, cuddles and love. Get them while you can. These moments go by way to fast.

1 mom found this helpful

I also have a 6 month old and I tried the cereal in the bottle at night. For some reason it made my daughter hungrier and she would wake up earlier for another bottle. For her morning bottle we add cereal and have also introduced baby food (with doctor approval)
As far as sleeping through the night, this is what we did starting at 5 months. On the first night I put her in her crib. She cried and I put her paci in her mouth patted her tummy and said night, night. I did this for 15 minute intervals. Finally at 2 am she was asleep. I thought this will never work. Then to my surprise the next night I put her in her crib and she slept through the whole night and we haven't had any major issues since. It's probably different for every baby, I've only had one so I wouldn't say I am an expert.

She is waking up hungry for sure!!!!!!! She is old enough to feed her with a spoon. Good Luck!

My son is 6 months and I have been putting cereal in his bottles since he was about 2 months to help him sleep better. At this point she should be eating cereal and stage 1 baby foods anyway so putting cereal in a bottle shouldnt be a big deal for her. When I do this for my son I use one formula size scoop of cereal to a 8 ounce bottle (7oz formula and 1oz water). If you are still concerned about it being to much for her start with just a little bit and increase it as you get more comfortable.

I too would just go ahead and start spoon feeding her. Most start out with rice but I have always started with oatmeal. My 4 month old now eats oatmeal for breakfast and rice for dinner. When we take out the cereal she will eat every 2 hours and acts like she is starving to death so how you have made it this long without cereal amazes me. No doubt she is waking up because she is hungry.

Hi K.,
Since she's 6 months old, she could be needing something more substantial before dinner, as you're thinking. However, I think I've read in multiple sources that putting cereal in a bottle is NOT recommended (but can't remember why).

You should try to feed her some cereal before bedtime from a bowl/spoon, since she's 6 months old. I always started with a breast or bottle feeding, so that I knew my baby boy was first getting all of the nutrients from milk or formula and then would follow up with solids (at 5 months of age we started him on some rice cereal and then later added vegetable baby food and/or different cereals like oatmeal, which has more fiber and would keep him full longer). At about 6 months, we also started giving him Cheerios (which he still loves at 22 mos), once his pincer grasp was evident (and after he'd already been eating rice cereal, and other solids for awhile).

Something you may also want to consider is that there's something else wrong. If she's always been a good sleeper and suddenly something has changed...it is probably not hunger (although she'll happily take a feeding from you when she's upset, because it is comforting to her).

I can only speak from my own experience, but for my baby, teething was an issue at that age. Is your daughter doing a lot more drooling than normal and seems to be chewing on everything, like her fingers?

I found that giving Connor a little Motrin Infant Drops when he was cranky and teething, holding/rocking him for only a minute, and then patting his back to get him back to sleep, really did the trick (we found that Motrin works much better than Tylenol for pain, while Tylenol is a better fever reducer). We only had to do that for a few nights to get him through the worst of it (until the next time, of course), which is good b/c I try to use the Motrin/Tylenol veeeeery rarely. And, I think rubbing him on his back and not actually holding/rocking him back to sleep helped him to be at least partly self-soothing.

I'm just not sure that I could do the crying out method. Of course, Connor was always a good sleeper and seemed to only go through periods of pain and unrest, so I wouldn't have felt right.

Only you can know what's best in your baby girl's situation.

I hope this helps!

Best of luck to you!
D.

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