J.B. asks from Elburn, IL on April 04, 2009
Rice Cereal in Formula, What Is Too Early?
I have had several people suggest putting rice cereal in my 7 week old's bottle to sleep thru the night. To be honest I have done it a couple of times but put such a small amount I don't think it made a difference. Does anyone have any experience with this and do you think she is too young?
M.P. answers from Chicago on April 04, 2009
Bottles are for milk, not food. Your baby is WAY too young for food. 6 months minimum for cereal, if not older for some babies. A 7 week old is not supposed to sleep through the night. He or she needs to eat round the clock and needs comfort round the clock too. Take care of your baby the very best you can and know that eventually you will get some
T.T. answers from Chicago on April 04, 2009
When my oldest, now 13, was 6 weeks old the dr. told me to try it. Not because of sleeping, wasn't thinking he would at that point. He was nursing and getting formula, and it just wasn't enough. Since, dr.'s have changed their minds. They feel it's better to hold out 'til the 4-6 month window because of allergies. I nursed the other 2 only, then when they turned 6 months tried them with food. My middle guy loved it, younger one hated it, he went straight to pureed regular food, usually mexican~ loved beans and rice! Go figure. I guess my point is, I'd hold off for now unless dr. says to, and just enjoy as much as you can snuggling them all night long! Before you know it, they'll be 13 and upset if you wake them before noon!
M.R. answers from Chicago on April 04, 2009
What does your pediatrician have to say about this?
I'm going to bet your pediatrician would advise you not to do this. Most pediatricians do not recommend any solids until 4 months at the earliest. Why? Their digestive systems just aren't mature enough to handle it and introducing solids prematurely could potentially lead to food allergies or other issues.
Some babies are not neurologically ready to sleep through the night at 7 weeks, especially one that is colicky (I think you mentioned that in your other post). Just be patient and know that the day will come when your baby will sleep through the night!
T.O. answers from Chicago on April 04, 2009
Our ped. told us to put rice cereal in or 5 week old's bottle...not to help him sleep through the night, but b/c he was drinking so much formula. She also suggested we do it with #2 b/c he was constantly spitting up (reflux) and the rice cereal would thicken the formula a little...he was 8 weeks. Neither of my children have any digestive problems or food allergies that we know of. We just had #3...I will only put rice cereal in her bottle if needed...not just to try to get her to sleep longer at night. When we added the rice cereal it DID NOT increase the amount of time my boys were sleeping at night.
J.C. answers from Chicago on April 04, 2009
Let your new baby be an infant. They are suppose to wake up at night she is only 7 weeks. You will be very lucky if she starts sleeping thru the night when she is 6 months. She shouldnt be eating cereal yet til at least 4 months. Maybe look at the bedside bottle warmers, etc.
Before you know it she will be sleeping through the night & then when she is 2 she will start waking up at night again, in other words it will always be something & you are not alone. Best of luck.
C.G. answers from Chicago on April 04, 2009
It's really not recommended that infants be given any foods- especially in a bottle. There is no evidence that having rice cereal helps babies sleep longer. In fact at 7 weeks your baby is really too young to sleep through the night. Although some babies will do it on their own, it isn't really biologically appropriate for most kids. Babies have a small stomach and they have to eat frequently to get adequate calories. I would say to talk with your baby's health care provider but sadly there are some out there who would tell you to do it. Check out the website www.askdrsears.com for information- I usually find it pretty accurate and informative.
C.B. answers from Chicago on April 04, 2009
We were told to put 1 tsp per 4 oz formula in our 12 week old's bottles to help with his spitting up. I did curb the spitting up (only minorly), but did not make him sleep longer. At 7 weeks, he wasn't eating 4 oz yet -- I was nursing & I think he was only eating about 2 - 3 oz at a time at that point. A lot of babies don't sleep through the night until they are around 6 months or so. Our son slept through the night basically from about 9 weeks on. Once we started solids, I could tell when we needed to increase what he was eating because he would be up again in the middle of the night.
K.R. answers from Chicago on April 04, 2009
I'm sure you'll get plenty of posts about people who did this and had no problems ...and had it work wonders....but there is a reason food should not be introduced until AT LEAST six months...a newborn's digestive system is not mature enough to handle solids...even rice cereal...any good research you will find will tell you that and back it up with proof...introducing solids too soon can lead to food allergies and major digestive problems...the sleeping through the night is not proven to be linked to solids or rice in the bottle...also at seven weeks, your child may not be ready to sleep through the night...while it is true that some babies sleep through the night as early as 4-6 weeks some may need that middle of the night nourishment for quite some time still...so please skip the cereal for now...research it yourself if you don't believe me...i know it is tempting to try it get a little sleep but hang in there...your baby will be sleeping soon...