70 answers

Will Cereal Help My Baby Sleep at Night?

My son is 3 1/2 months old and WAS sleeping through the night (7 hours at a stretch) before waking to eat. For the past few weeks he has been up every 2-3 hours to nurse at night. I know he's technically too young for cereal, but we tried it anyway. Before bedtime, I gave him rice cereal mixed with breast milk by spoon and he ate it up! He couldn't get enough of it. He slept better for a few nights but now he is back to waking up around the clock again. He is such a big boy and I am wondering if it would help to feed him another meal of cereal during the day? Or should I just give cereal up completely until he is a little older? I've heard that around this age babies hit a growth spurt and just want to nurse more often. We have no problems nursing. I just really think he is not getting full. My daughter did not eat food until she was 1 year old so this is very new to me. She never seemed to need food this young. And we definitely tried starting at 4 months. I should restate that I know 3 1/2 months seems a bit young. And as a family we eat very well. I am well aware of the current obesity rate in children and would never force food on my child. He just seems so hungry! Help!

What can I do next?

More Answers

Hi N.,

I started putting cereal in my daughter's bottle at 2 months old. Then, I began to spoon feed her one-grain rice cereal at 3 months old. Now, I mix it with applesauce and other fruits at 5 months old. She is not fat and my other children are not fat. My 7-yr old son weighs 50 lbs and my 13-yr old daughter is 5'9 and weighs 130. I did the same with them. I asked my doctor this time around what he thought and he said that there are so many mixed views and disputes on this. He said that if the baby is hungry, feed her. If it helps her sleep, that is great. Do not engorge her or anything, but feel her limits. She is now in the middle percentile of her weight group, and doing just fine. No two babies are alike. I hated the thought of my baby being hungry because of what some people thought or "doctors". I consider the obesity problem, but I still feed my baby. Hope this helped a little.


2 moms found this helpful

I have 4 children of my own and have NEVER listened to what the doctors say to do. My oldest is 17 and my youngest is 3! When the oldest was born I was living at home with my mom and dad. My mother said feed her when she's hungry and I did. My daughter is now 5'11" and is thin. If your son is telling you his hungry by his actions, FEED HIM! What do you think your grandmother did for your parents? What do you think your great-grandmother did for her children? If it worked then, it should apply now. There is a lot of wisdom in older mothers. Sometimes they know better than the doctors do. Ask an older friend, parent, grandparent what they think. I'd bet money on them telling you to feed that boy!
Also, give him a bottle of water! Yes, WATER! It helps with the constipation. If he doesn't like it, put a little sugar in it. Gerber use to make a water nipple but I'm not sure if they do now. Try to get him to drink at least 2oz. of water each time you feed him.

As far as putting his food in a bottle, my mom would call that lazy. I never did but it works for some. If he's eating well from a spoon (of course it's messy) just keep it up.

Good luck and remember to listen to what your children tell you (some may not be able to talk but actions are what you look for) I was blinded by what i thought was a caring friend and almost lost my children because of it. Listen to your children!

1 mom found this helpful

I am sure I will get slapped down for suggesting this, but you might want try supplementing with formula at night. That was the only way I could get my horribly colicky baby to settle at night. Formula is more filling than breastmilk, and as soon as I started the nighttime bottle, his sleeping got better. I am not saying stop breastfeeding! Just that supplementing might help. :)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi I know your not suppose to feed children under the age of 6months any food because of the high food allergies that they can develop. I would try nursing when he is hungry, I know with my daughter, it felt like she was attached all the time. I chose to add a bottle of formula here and there to see if that would help her. It did, she slept all night after that and didn't nurse as often like she was doing. But I stayed away from the food until at least 6months.

1 mom found this helpful

Are you nursing or formula feeding? I found that my kids slept beter with formula. With my son, I had to stop nuring so I could have a mammogram (I was already 1 yr overdue. I was scheduled to have it when I found out I was pregnant). I had to give my milk time to dry up before the mammogram.

With my daughter, I did not make enough to satisfy her. At first I would nurse her, give her a bottle of formula, and then pump to try and increase my milk supp;y. By the time I was done, it was time to start all over. Finally, I started giving her formula only (no nursing) in the middle of the night (otherwise, I would fall asleep in the rocking chair nursing her). She slept so well, I started gradually weaning her off the breast until she was formula only.

I don't think 3 months is too early for cereal. Both my kids started on it around 3-4 months. The pediatrician said I would know when it was time because they would stop sleeping through the night, etc. Thjey still spit out a lot at first but every little bit helped.

1 mom found this helpful

Heck yes!! Give him cereal. My daughter started at that age too. She is by no means fat. Tall and skinny Like her daddy. She was eating table food at 9 months. Every kid is different. Listen to your baby and don't let others tell you what is "best" for your baby!!! ONLY A MOTHER KNOWS WHAT IS BEST FOR HER BABY!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Due to reflux issues, our doctor adviced mixing breastmilk with rice cereal in a bottle, 1 Tablespoon cereal per ounce of breastmilk. He was only 2 months old then. He more often slept through a feeding. Sometimes he still woke up within 2 hours; we attributed that to growth spurt.
Yesterday, he had his 4 month check-up and he can now eat cereal with a spoon and a thicker consistancy, 1 Tablesoon cereal to 3 tablespoons milk. The doctor said to start with one meal a day and work up to 3 a day. So we tried it last night. He loved it!
your son is only 2 weeks away from being 4 months, i would think that is close enough, if he is acting ready.

I have an almost 3 month old and was informed by my pediatrician at his 2 month check up to start feeding him rice cereal at night at 3 months then by 4 months 3 times a day and that I could switch to oatmeal cereal if I wanted. This would hold him longer than the rice. I also did this with my 4 year old and never had any problems with him and he was started on baby food at 6 months per the pediatrician. I would go ahead and feed it to him, you need as much sleep as possible. I can't wait to try and get mine to sleep through the night!

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.