March 10, 2008,
N.M. asks from Nashville, TN on March 05, 2008
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!
A.L. answers from Charlotte on March 06, 2008
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
P.S. answers from Greensboro on March 06, 2008
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
D.P. answers from Raleigh on March 05, 2008
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
T.W. answers from Knoxville on March 06, 2008
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
T. answers from Chattanooga on March 05, 2008
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
J.F. answers from Louisville on March 06, 2008
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
G.S. answers from Louisville on March 06, 2008
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.
H.R. answers from Greensboro on March 06, 2008
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!
E.H. answers from Greensboro on March 06, 2008
All my friend's started feeding their kids infant cereal at 2 months!! And they swore it helped their babies sleep through the nite; and none of them are overweight!! Me personally, i didn't start feeding mine till they were 5 months, and i never had issues with sleep. I think he's just going through a growth spurt, and the extra nursing should do fine. I found that with my first son a 4 oz bottle of formula before bed helped him sleep longer at nite starting at 2 months, and a 6 oz bottle at 6 months after dinner. My second son didn't like formula and was soley breastfed and he had his periods of needing that extra feedings at nite, around 3 months, 6 months and 8 months. But in between he would sleep through most of the nite; going to bed at 9, waking at 4, and sleeping till 7 the next morning. Every baby is different; so my advice may not be helpful. He's your child and if you really feel he needs that extra bowl during the day, by all means, do it. But i'd see if he'll take a bottle of formula instead, that could be much more beneficial than the cereal. Good luck!
V.G. answers from Clarksville on March 06, 2008
I fed my babies cereal as soon as they seemed to need it, around three months old. None of them are over weight, in fact, they are right on the 50th percentile. If your baby can make his mouth move to process the cereal without choking and can turn his head away when he has had enough, he is ready. You don't have to feed him very much cereal at one sitting. My advice would be to feed him cereal when you want him to nap and when you want him to go to bed. it is also best to be as consistant as possible in the times you lay him down. I fed breast milk on demand, but cereal only at nap and bed times when they first started. And every child is different so try not to drive yourself crazy comparing their timelines. You know your baby best and if he seems like he needs food to you, you are probably right.
M.W. answers from Huntington on March 08, 2008
Breastmilk is the most perfect food for your baby. Wanting to nurse more frequently at night is, as you commented, a sign of a growth spurt. Feeding him cereal may keep him from waking as often during the night, but is just replacing good nutrition (breastmilk) with an inferior product, which thought it does have some nutritional value, has more "empty calories" than breastmilk. Also, their poop looses that sweet smell and gets rather nasty after introducing other foods, I wouldn't want to smell that any sooner than necessary! Plus, you are forgetting that the nighttime feedings help delay your return of fertility and therefore menses, I wouldn't wish that back any sooner than necessary either? Cherish your nursing time as much as possible, they grow so fast!
M. CPM, momo of 7, grandma of 11
R.B. answers from Raleigh on March 06, 2008
This is a phase that babies go through about this age. I began to feed all 3 of my kids(11,8,& 6) cereal about this time. It doesn't hurt them, (unless they have an allergic reaction of some sort) and does help them sleep a little longer. He will most likely go through this phase again around 9 months old.
And, honey don't worry about the obesity rate at this stage. My son was 8 lbs when he was born, and continued to be a "big" boy until he was about 2. Now, I have to buy him slim pants!
Good Luck and God Bless!
K.G. answers from Asheville on March 05, 2008
Maybe he is going through a growth spurt? I would continue nursing as much as he wants - this will up your supply too and it will even out. It won't last forever. Great job mama!
Here is a GREAT site that addresses this:
D.S. answers from Raleigh on March 06, 2008
Hey N.! I would call your pediatrician before you start feeding him cereal on a regular basis. I think it is because babies are so suseptable to getting allergies. I also know that friends of mine have said that boys ate much more than girls, you might try supplimenting a bottle for the night time feeding. I never had a boy, but all my friends who did said that they could not produce enough milk for them. Just a few thoughts. I wish you the best.
A.D. answers from Charlotte on March 06, 2008
What does his doctor say? I gave my son cereal at a month old and his doctor was fine with it. I gave him 1 tablespoon before bedtime and he slept most of the night. I could not give him rice it made him constipated, I used oatmeal. I would not worry about force feeding your child he will not eat when he is full. It sounds like he is a bigger eater than your daughter was. Do you think you are producing enough milk? If not ask your doctor if there is something you can do to help you.
J.S. answers from Wilmington on March 06, 2008
If your baby is able to sit with support, has good head control, opens his mouth when the spoon approaches, and is able to swallow the food by bringing his tongue to the roof of his mouth, rather than pushing the food out with his tongue then he is developmentally ready for cereal.
Of course, always use a spoon. That way he can tell you when he has had enough. Never put cereal in a bottle! That can lead to over feeding. Begin with 1 to 2 Tb. of cereal mixed with breastmilk to make it a "soupy" consistency. This shouldn't add excessive calories. Begin with rice cereal which is the least likely cereal grain to cause an allergic reaction. Keep your baby on rice cereal for at least a week before beginning any other cereal grain such as barley or oatmeal.
M.T. answers from Honolulu on March 06, 2008
I did that for a while. I could tell a little bit but it wasn't enough for me to leave her on there when it made her constipated. I went back to total breast feeding.
N.D. answers from Jackson on March 05, 2008
I didn't nurse either of my boys, but around that age I started putting rice cereal in their bed time bottles, they both would wake after about 4 hours and I would fix them another bottle with cereal and they would sleep for another 3-4 hours. Do you ever pump and fix him a bottle?
B.P. answers from Asheville on March 06, 2008
Yes, you are right he probably is going through a growth spurt. Seems a little young to be feeding anything but breastmilk. Although, I was pleased to read that you were mixing it with your breastmilk. Have you considered co-sleeping?? He'd be able to nurse on demand, and you'd get much more rest. My son was quite the avid nurser, where as my daughter didn't seem to need as much..
A.K. answers from Raleigh on March 05, 2008
My son is 2 1/2 yo now and he had cereal for the first time at 3 months because he wasn't napping more than 45 minutes at a time during the day and and I was going crazy from his need to nurse every 2 hours with less than an hour break between the ending and start times. My mom suggested the cereal saying that when she had me and my siblings, the doctor had them adding cereal to the formula at 2-4 weeks old. It never hurt any of us. The cereal really helped and we doubled the time of our 2 daily naps and would sleep from about 11 pm to 6 am without waking. We still had the nursing issue when he was awake and I now believe I wasn't producing enough milk for him. My lactation consultant recommended that we start adding at least one bottle of formula a day (a great bonding time for Dad in the morning and a chance for me to get much needed sleep) and that I force him to go 3 hours between feedings and pump the milk to feed him with a bottle so i would know how much he was getting. By 6 months, he had weaned himself from nursing, and he never took more than 6 oz of milk from a bottle. At 4 months he started waking up at night again and we soon discovered he was cutting his first 2 teeth. Check out the gums for swelling, you may be going thru that too!
S.W. answers from Chattanooga on March 06, 2008
I definately would give him more, but give it when he wakes up at nite. I to had this problem and was told not to do it, but believe me she slept more and was a happier baby in the am.
S.O. answers from Nashville on March 06, 2008
Well, our pediatrician had us start our now 14-month-old baby girl on rice cereal at 3 months in an effort to help her acid reflux. (Didn't really help much with the reflux, but her digestive system was totally fine handling the cereal.) I think that the cereal sort of "sticks" with them longer - maybe it's not digested as quickly so they aren't quite so hungry so soon, but I don't think that it makes THAT big of a difference. FYI, starting food so early hasn't made our daughter chubby; she's quite tall and slim (in the 90th percentile for height, and in the 60th for weight).
If your son really seems to want the cereal feedings, you're not pushing it on him, and he's getting all the milk he wants and needs, I can't see how an extra feeding of cereal could hurt him. Your pediatrician will let you know if she has concerns about your son putting on weight too quickly, so I don't think that you need to worry about an obesity problem that it doesn't sound like you're having.
As far as the cereal helping him sleep through the night, I don't think that it makes much of a difference. It may have just been totally coincidental that he slept for a few nights. You're the mom, though, and you know your son better than anyone, so experiment a bit and then do what you feel works best. Take care!
M.F. answers from Memphis on March 05, 2008
I had the same issue with my daughter and my son. We started them on a little bit of rice cereal in their bottle. This practice was pediatrician recommended to both my mother and my husband's mother when we were growing up. It isn't forcing it on them.
We didn't give them alot. Not even a full serving, just a little bit to give them some substance to hold them all night. Worked like a charm.
E.G. answers from Clarksville on March 05, 2008
I'm glad you are a mom who knows better than to put it in a bottle! THat is a selfish thing to do to "Force" food as you say for the sake of a few hours sleep. At least you did it right and tried it with b-milk and a spoon. glad he took to it. THat said =)yes he is a little young, but if he is actually able to swallow it and his tummy isn't getting upset, no extra gas or bloating or weird poop, it's probably ok. But it still has nothing to do with his sleeping. I think you are right, it's probably a growth spurt and he's just hungry. Have you thought about supplementing formula or pumping milk for bottle so you can take a break of actual feedings?
M.B. answers from Elkhart on March 06, 2008
Your local WIC office who has nutritionists will tell you that cereal is given to babies by them at their 4 month old birthday. I personally gave my babies cereal (rice) before 4 months. Just a teaspoon at a time. Have to remember babies stomachs are not fully developed and that they have to be able to digest what we give them. You are nursing so that will increase the appetite as time goes on and baby gets bigger. Hope this helps. Your doctors office will be able to assist as well. I would give also my baby a bath and then feed at night....out like a light...smile.
R.B. answers from Raleigh on March 07, 2008
Yes giving cereal to your baby will be fine and elp him sleep, i have 2 boys and 1 girl (2,4,6) - i started the first one at 2 months, you can spoon it or dilute it down in a free flow bottle- it worked good for me
L.C. answers from Wilmington on March 06, 2008
I gave all 3 of my babies cereal before it was time, and it did help them sleep through the night. I would mix it very thin with their formula and feed it to them with a bottle. I had to make the hole of the nipple a little larger so that the mixture would go through it.
All 3 of my girls acted like they were so hungry when they were that age, and the cereal seemed to make the difference. They had no side effects or problems.
A.B. answers from Charlotte on March 06, 2008
oh my goodness, no, no, no!! I know that is the big myth amongst desperate, sleep deprived mommies, but cereal at 3 1/2 months is not good for their digestive system just yet. He may be just in the middle of a growth spurt, or he likes the comfort of his mommy. Are you nursing him to sleep? If so that maybe why he's waking up again, he's not sure how to put himself back to sleep. Give him time, he'll figure it out. Work on putting him down awake or at least drowsy. I would highly suggest reading The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. I LOVED it and it did wonders for me since my daughter was such a pain to get to go and stay asleep!! I applied the same technique for my son now, and he was sleeping 10-12 hours by 4 1/2-5 months. There are all kinds of people drs. and books/websites that say you can start feeding food at 4 months, but you're just increasing the chance of food allergies. There is no need to feed before 6 months, I promise! My little boy was 18 lbs at 4 months and I didn't feed him until he was 6 months old and he did fine. Enjoy your time with just him and you. If you're worried that he is not "getting enough" then look into going to a lactation specialist, and they can weigh him before he eats, then he eats, then they weigh him again and will see how much he took in. The older he gets your milk will change, it will get "fatter" in content so he doesn't have to take in as much. Not sure where you live, but their are places around Charlotte that can help with the weighing and seeing how much he takes in. I went to the Lactation Center by CMC Pineville, across from the hospital, any Lactation center can help. Also when the time comes to eat solids, try out this website, I LOVE IT!! www.wholesomebabyfood.com I make all my little guys food, it's fun and easy. I hope that helps.
C.P. answers from Nashville on March 06, 2008
I would not start to feed him this young. He can develop an allergy to the rice and the oats. If you thinkhe is hungry try giving him som formula at night to see how that helps.
R.R. answers from Raleigh on March 06, 2008
He is probally going through a growth spurt. My almost 5 month old is just breast fed and he goes for several nights sometime a week sleeping all night, then he wakes up once or twice and goes back to sleeping all night. Maybe this will help.
S.M. answers from Raleigh on March 06, 2008
Supposedly this is an old wife's tale. Studies show that babies do not sleep better by eating cereal. Also if your child has any allergies this won't help!!
The only other advice I have is just keep nursing nursing nursing! The more you nurse the more milk you will make and also the milk your body make changes with the age of your baby and maybe with his growth spurt you are at that point.
L.O. answers from Charlotte on March 06, 2008
Both my boys were big--10 lbs or more when they came home from the hospital and they never slowed down...so I dealt with my fair share of growth spurts and there were days I felt like a dairy cow, seemingly nursing non-stop. I think that if you can get through the next few weeks you'll probably find that he's gotten into a more reasonable routine, including reducing late night meals.
How far apart is he on the height/weight percentiles? Has he shot up on the height track in the last few weeks? Do you feel that he is emptying each breast before his last feeding and when he wakes does he eat fully, or enough to 'top off' and go back to sleep? Do you have a lactation consultant that you like/trust? I'd share more specifics with her and listen to what advice she has to offer as well.
T.F. answers from Nashville on March 06, 2008
any good doctor will tell you if your child is hungry feed them. I have 4 children and they all were on cereal by 1 month. 2 of my children ate cereal when they were 2 weeks old. i myself was given cereal at the hospital after i was born. the book doctors say no to cereal, but like i said a good doctor will tell you, if their hungry feed them, this doesn't lead to obesity for all my children are thin. but they all eat like horses and always have. but giving your baby cereal is fine and you could even try the oatmeal just thin it out more, so its easier to swallow, but oatmeal lasts longer as we all know.
S.S. answers from Lexington on March 05, 2008
i dont think that the cereal will hurt at this age. my son was taking bottles with cereal in them about that age because of reflux. just remember that your baby is the only one who really knows what he needs. he is probably waking for a reason, either he is hungry do to a growth spurt, or he is needing more loves and mommy time. if he is growing, and truly hungry, giving him cereal will decrease the calories he is getting, and thats not good. you want him to get every thing that he needs. also, babies who are not given any solid foods until after six months are less likely to have food allergies, or be obese latter in life. i know you are tired, but 3 1/2 months is early to be sleeping through the night consistently. i think you should just nurse and realize that one day you will be begging your teenagers to just get out of the bed and not sleep so much.
S.U. answers from Raleigh on March 05, 2008
my opinion is, probably will help overall sleep patterns for his tummy to be full. I've always heard 4 mos is when you should start solids (if that's what runny rice baby cereal is!), but if he's at 3.5 months and enjoys it and is developed enough to be able to eat it, then give that boy some food LOL. You could even up it to 2-3 times/day to keep him more satisfied, as long as he's getting his nutrition still through plenty of breastmilk. I personally never put cereal in any of my kids bottles, just seemed kind of unnecessary and alot of docs will advise against it due to choking hazards (?). Your judgement is the best gauge though... good luck!
K.T. answers from Wilmington on March 06, 2008
I starting giving my son rice cereal in his bottle when he was about 2 months old. It was the only thing that would keep him satisfied. I know some peds would tell you not to do this but if he is otherwise healthy and growing strong. Make him happy and get some sleep.
J.S. answers from Charlotte on March 06, 2008
My pediatrician told me absolutely NO solid food until my son was at least 4 months old, and he'd prefer if I waited until 6 months. It is perfectly normal for breast-fed babies to eat about every 3 hours. Personally, I would recommend calling the doctor on this one.
C.D. answers from Nashville on March 06, 2008
You sweet boy is right at a "growth spurt" period. When mine were at this age, it seemed like they wanted to eat constantly! My rule? Feed a hungry baby. This baby time is so fleeting; enjoy those quiet moments when it's just the two of you. My DS is thirty seven years old now, and I'd give anything to have "one of those nights" back.
Do speak with your doctor about the cereal; it seems that early introduction of solids can lead to allergies later.
Best of luck; let us know what happens.
K.M. answers from Memphis on March 06, 2008
I don't think it won't hurt any to give him another meal of cereal during the day. I have two children a 6-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter. They both have been sleeping through the night since they were 4 months and 6 months respectively. I started feeding each around 4 months old, 2 servings (morning and night)of rice with their milk and neither to this day have a weight issue. They are both very good eaters and to this day still sleep through the night. They go to bed at 8:00 pm and wake up each morning between 6:30 and 7:00. Go ahead and try it I don't think it will harm him and if he still wakes up ready to eat then I advise you to contact your doctor.
R.P. answers from Raleigh on March 06, 2008
My son was 10.4 lbs when he was born. I know about big boys. He loved his breast milk! I highly recommend that you nurse him without the additional cereal. When babies go through a growth spurt they will eat more which will actually increase your milk supply for him. If he gets cereal, then you won't produce enough milk for him and it can actually lead into losing your milk. Trust that your baby knows when he's hungry, trust your body to produce enough for him, and enjoy side-line nursing while you sleep! I know that's how I survived the first 9 months. He is a very healthy, normal 2 year old now and he doesn't have any issues with weight. He started eating solids by 7 months - we continued to nurse until he was 22 months.
Hope this helps,
L.L. answers from Charlotte on March 06, 2008
Hang in there!!!! I have a 5 year old, a 3 year old, and a 6 month old. Usually around this time babies go through a growth period. Waking up 2-3-4-5 and even 6 times during the night was NOT uncommon for my 3 year old boy. It was hard because my 5 year old was the "book perfect" little girl, sleeping through the night at 8 weeks. I thought WHAT is going on, do I have enough milk, is he eating enough. If he is gaining weight that is a good sign that he is getting enough. You don't have to worry about a baby having later-in-life obesity problems sue to over-nursing. There is a lot of development going on right now in your precious little boy. If you have a good scale weigh him before and after feedings to see how much milk he is getting. I would do this to put your mind at ease. And, if he isn't getting enough than you can do from there. I wouldn't recommend feeding him solids this early (even though ALL of our parents and grandparents did this and we are all fine). Make sure you are getting enough water to drink. And you make even want to feel his gums or watch to see if he is drooling or showing signs of teething. He may just need some natural teething gel! Check with your ped. before giving him anything of corse.:)
J.T. answers from Nashville on March 05, 2008
Yes cereal will help your baby sleep through the night. My lil girl was on cereal @ 3 months of age. Her cousin is also on cereal and he is 3 wks. old. If your baby still seems hungry then yes you can give him cereal during the day. At 4 months of age babys start on bayfood any ways. My lil girl eats cereal in the a.m.,babyfood @ daycare ____@____.com will go through a growth spurt around this age. Then around 6-7 months there weight starts to slow down.
L.L. answers from Austin on March 05, 2008
I ran into this with my daughter at age 3 weeks. She was not on the breast, but every 3 hours like clock work she was hungry. I even tried thru the day to lengthen it out but to no avail. Against the dr.'s orders, once again, I followed my gut and fed her some cereal. Although I went with oats instead of rice, because we were already having a time with constipation and rice cereal is constipating. I bought one of the cereal bottles. It did work and lengthened the time out to about 4 1/2 hours at night. In 3 weeks, she was really having a time with constipation then, and the dr had suggested everything. I knew this was not normal, and nothing was working. The day she was 6 weeks old, I tried her on whole milk that night along with her cereal. I had also read that babies needed the fat in whole milk for their brain cells, so I never considered 2% or skim milk at all. I threw caution to the wind on everything I had read or was told, but with an open mind, that it might not work either, so I might have to change to something else or go back to formula. But what were we raised on, there wasn't any formula when I was a baby. We had already tried all the formulas down to Soy. For the first time that baby ate, went to sleep and slept 9 hours. I finally woke her up myself, scared I had done the wrong thing. She was happy as a lark though, and hungry again. I again gave her whole milk and she had no problem with it at all, her bowels finally moved normal for the first time also since she had been born, she was much more peaceful, no belly ache, no fussing or anything. 3 days later she had a 6 week checkup. I waited to see what the dr was going to say, and he told me she looked fantastic, what ever I was doing to keep it up. I then told him what I was doing, and he didn't like it at all. I said, well I saw such a change in her I'm not going back. She was sleeping all night long, no more suppositories to get her bowels to move, no more crying with the belly ache and having to give her mylicon drops for that, she was happy and healthy! So he insisted I give her daily baby liquid vitamins along with the milk, which was no problem to me at all. At 8 weeks I started her on fruits, one at a time for a couple of weeks watching for a reaction, she had nothing but pleasure. LOL I then proceeded onto vegetables and so forth as we went. By the time she was 1 yr old she was eating off the table just about everything. I know this is not the "norm" for most babies, and dr.'s do not recommend it, and neither do I. But it worked for MY baby, and she thrived on it. She was always so active and once she started to walk, there was never a worry about obesity or overfeeding with her. I tell you this to say, sometimes we just have to do what is right for ours, not what is the norm! Try different things and see what works for yours. I'm beginning to see from my posts on here that nothing I did seemed to be the "norm",,,LOL People will think I was a horrible mother! So I'm not saying to do what I did, but I have a healthy and beautiful young lady for a child now.
J.H. answers from Clarksville on March 06, 2008
I am mother of two boys 9 and 11months. Both of them were eating cereal in their milk at least 2-3 times a day... During the morning hours i just added a little ( didn't measure it, just so long as it wasn't paste). If your son is eating it by spoon at this age, then i am thinking he needs it more than once a day. you've tested him on it and he accepts the cereal test. So feed the poor little guy consistantly with the cereal. At four months my boys were starting the stage one food. They good and solid with no complications.. I hope this helps.
S.W. answers from Jacksonville on March 06, 2008
Hi N.. I am a mother of 4 children and all mine started eating cereal before 4 months. My oldest started eating it at 2 months. The first three were breast fed but the last was early and i dried up before she was able to start nursing. (thats another story) Any way Their doctor told me that all babies' digestive system devolopes at different paces. If your son is 3 1/2 months and he is tolorating the cereal try giving it to him for breakfast and lunch. I use to mix my kids cereal with a little baby fruit. It helps feel them up a little more. If you bath your son at night, feed him the cereal before. if that doesn't help try after bath. There are a varity of cereals you can try also. Another thing you should look at is how much sleep does he get during the day? I know that every child is different, and I had so switch from breast feeding only during the day and formula at night. If you are worried about obesity then talk to your sons doctor. I am sure he/she can tell you whats best for you son. hope this helps and best of luck. -S. W.
L.L. answers from Louisville on March 06, 2008
I started both my children on cereal at around 2 months old so that they would sleep through the night. There is nothing with cereal at 3 1/2 months old. My doctors always told me that I could start them at 3 months, but I start early. lol...
B.D. answers from Nashville on March 06, 2008
The normal age to start your baby on cereal is 4 mo. close enough if you ask me. the only problem with that is they get hungrier. It will also depleet your breast milk if you're not careful...that stuff is supply and demand.
R.H. answers from Fayetteville on March 06, 2008
Your body will produce what needs. Just keep nursing. Unfortunately you will have to keep getting up and giving him what he needs, but it will pass. My son always slept like that, from the moment he was born. I just slept with him and kept popping in the breast whenever he needed it. It was tiring, but I knew it would not last forever. I did not start him on cereal (rice) until he was 5 months.
Good Luck and God Bless,
B.D. answers from Asheville on March 06, 2008
N. no it would not hurt to give your baby a little cereal at night in his bottle just make sure it is not very thick because you are just starting this.if you are giving him four ounces of formula or breast milk add 2oz.more to help with the ceareal and nake sure it is coming out the bottle . if it is not make a tiny star cut on the nipple of the bottle and see he gets it that way and mark that bottle cereal bottle.
You might also try cutting one of his naps out a day so he is a little more tired at night.
This information is being given to you from a med grad stdudent ,mother of 7 and grandmother of 5.
I hope this helps you
L.M. answers from Knoxville on March 06, 2008
Just a couple things come to mind ~ you should discuss this with your Dr. ~ which you probably have, but just don't say so in your story line. The other is, maybe your breast milk does not contain the nutrients that your growing baby needs at this juncture ~ just a thought.
M.T. answers from Greensboro on March 06, 2008
Yes, adding a little cereal to his diet at night will help both of you sleep. My son is 11 years old and I started adding cereal to his diet when he was a month. He is now a healthy,strong and active child. I know childhood obesity does exist but like you said, your family does eat healthy. Trust me I understand your concerns just make sure he keeps eating healthy(as he gets older) and make sure he stays active. I have my son in a different sport every season mainly because he is the only child but also because these video games can make kids lazy. Good luck and don't worry I know he will grow up to be a healthy and strong little boy.
S.S. answers from Wilmington on March 07, 2008
My son was gaining 3 ounces a day just nursing!!! I HAD to start him on food at 4 months. My daughters did not need solids until much later. Every baby is different with different needs and metabolism. I would go with cereal and let your doctor know. My son went on to play football and is now into Brazilian jujitsu. He is now my "svelte" child (6'2" 249#) while my girls have become overweight.
M.T. answers from Raleigh on March 06, 2008
You're right, 3 1/2 months is too young for cereal. What does your pediatrician recommend? I would consider supplementing with a bottle of formula if your baby seems to need more food than nursing provides, but I would definitely stop giving him cereal until he's six months.
Don't forget that it's still quite normal for babies your son's age to NOT sleep through the night. And your baby might not really be hungry at night, just taking what you offer. You could have a sleep problem, not a food problem. Check out Healty Sleep Habits Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth--a great, insightful book.
M.D. answers from Louisville on March 06, 2008
Yes it will. After 6 weeks I put a small amount of cereal in my kids bottles. They did great with it. However doctors are against it. But then again you are the mom and you do know best. Good luck!!
M.E. answers from Lexington on March 05, 2008
babies sleep patterns are very irratic at this age and he is probably going through a growth spurt. instead of giving him the cereal with a spoon, why don't you try thickening up his bottle with it. he may get a little more of into his tummy that way and be more satisfied. you may have to buy a special "cereal bottle". i think they have them at babie r us, or you could just widen the whole in the nipple a little with a knife.
K.L. answers from Myrtle Beach on March 06, 2008
No...it's a old wifes tale. Your baby is also too young for solids. Be careful if people tell you that it's OK, it's always best to talk to your dr and see what he/she recommends.
J.G. answers from Greensboro on March 06, 2008
I have a 5 1/2 year old girl, 4 year old boy, and 2 year old boy. My experience has been that boys are hungry ALL THE TIME! My daughter slept through the night at 4 months, but neither of the boys slept through the night until after they were a year old. They were just hungrier, and woke up more often. If your instinct is to feed your son, and he likes eating it, I say GO FOR IT!
D.M. answers from Memphis on March 06, 2008
I know you may think that 3 1/2 is early but if he is still hungry that much at night you probably do need to start him on cereal. I had to start my son on it at 2 months because he was eating too much milk. I just explained to my pediatrician how much he was eating and he told me to use cereal in his bottle. I would suggest you just speak to your pediatrician about it and then maybe you will feel more comfortable about using it. Hope this helps.
M.T. answers from Huntington on March 06, 2008
I would give him a bottle of cereal before bed it helps I have two kids and plus work at a daycare. Just mix the cereal with the breast milk.
S.T. answers from Charleston on March 10, 2008
I had this same issue with my son, now 1 yr. They do have growth spurts at this age, but it should last about a week only. The problem is that once he is used to getting up a couple of times a night to nurse, it is hard to get him to sleep through the night again. He is probably not really hungry, he just needs to break the habit. It is normal to have growth spurts that need one extra feeding at night for a short while (less than a week). But, after that time, you have to try to let him cry it out and put himself back to sleep at night. I added rice cereal at this same age and it definitely helped. But if he is breast-fed only (as mine was) it can cause some hard stools. I started mixing it with prunes to prevent this. Also, if you are nursing too often, he won't get enough in the feeding to be full until the next. Try not going any less that 3 hours between feedings, and only once in the middle of the night (only for a growth spurt). Have you tried pumping to make sure your milk supply is sufficient? I noticed that if I tried to watch my diet (even backing down on carbs only) my milk would decrease. I hope this helps!
R.C. answers from Raleigh on March 06, 2008
My goodness, cereal sure worked for my little guy. I felt so bad about it because I was trying to wait until 6 months for solid foods and it turns out he was waking up because he was starving. It has been a few weeks and the only time he wakes up now is when he has a potty blow-out or stuffy nose.
V.C. answers from Wheeling on March 06, 2008
I'm a mother of 4 (girl 31, son 28, son 22, and 'baby girl' 19 yrs old) and a grandmother of 3 (oldest daughter has all 3).
In the 'old school' (late '70's), we were told to start cereal and juices at SIX WEEKS! And they didn't tell us to introduce one new item at a time for a week, each (this would've been helpful with one child who had a pretty severe 'breaking out' reaction to something -- even after utilizing several specialists --pediatricians, skin specialists, etc -- we never did really distinguish WHAT).
Anyway, I know that boys pee more often (and probably more quantity) than girls do, so they probably innately have the need to eat/drink more from the beginning. Also a baby's weight makes a big difference. If your daughter was petite and your son is robust, you have a bigger demand right there (or two, if considering gender).
I'm sure you know that the more they nurse, the more milk you'll produce, so just let him nurse as much as he wants to and you'll soon be 'bursting at the seams', so-to-speak! LOL
Having given all my 4 kids juice AND cereal from 6 weeks on with only the one allergic problem, I'd suggest you feed the little tyke whatever he needs as long as his mainstay is breast milk and you are eating enough to keep up the calories and nutrients to sustain both of you adequately!
As adults, only one of the 4 is overweight, and he was the biggest to start out with (and I had hyperemesis --severe vomiting -- so badly early on in the pregnancy with him that I had to be hospitalized. Maybe that early starvation made him incessantly hungry or something. Who knows?)
Happy mothering, and God bless!
T.S. answers from Lexington on March 05, 2008
Hi N....My daughter was like this and at 4 months we tried cereal with breast milk.....she took it for about a week and then stopped eating it.....so we didn't have much luck....She ended up waking every two hours a night (and eating during the day) until at one I made her stop....I don't think she was more hungry.....she just liked to be secure and nursing made her feel that.....Maybe, who knows for sure.....I think as long as your little one is growing and happy, and you can tolerate it, let him nurse.....He will stop, they don't nurse forever.....
Good luck. sorry if this wasn't very helpful.
A.M. answers from Charlotte on March 06, 2008
Do not know if it will really help with the sleep or not. I waited until 6 months with my son and I had a hard time getting him to eat. My daughter I started a about 4 months and she has always been a great eater. I to breastfeed mine. You may want to try increasing you liquid intake to help with your milk supply. Make sure he is emptying on side completely before offering the other side so he is getting the hind milk which has all the calories.
R.J. answers from Raleigh on March 06, 2008
NO! No. No cereal. Your breastmilk is designed to give him exactly what he needs to grow. Any cereal you give him is filling his stomach and taking away space he'd have for breastmilk-- the equivalent of eating junk before dinner. The reason he started waking up is because he's growing. When babies go through growth spurts, their sleep/wake cycles change and they get hungrier. But if you don't let him nurse, your body won't know to increase the milk supply to meet his new needs, and then of course he wouldn't be getting full-- so in some ways, by giving him cereal, you're causing the problem now. His sleep/wake cycle will vary as he grows. That's normal. Let your body do what it's designed to do. Also, by giving him cereal SO INCREDIBLY YOUNG, you are really increasing his likelihood of having food allergies. Truthfully, if he is breastfeeding exclusively, he doesn't even need cereal until about 9 months or so. Don't rush it. You'll have a healthier baby. Hang in there-- your dedication to breastfeeding will benefit him for his whole life.
I.N. answers from Raleigh on March 05, 2008
3 1/2 months should be fine. I wouldn't worry about giving him cereal unless he seems to have a bad reaction to it.
M.G. answers from Nashville on March 07, 2008
N. i started both my son and my youngest daughter on cereal at 3 months. Just because they never seemed to get enough from formula. If hes doing well the one cereal feeding and you feel he needs more then try giving him some earlier in the day. If for some reason my daughter doesnt get one of her feedings of baby food she doesnt sleep well at all. Sometimes in the morning shes just too tired and we have to wait a couple hours. But your the mom follow your gut. My son was 32 pounds at 9 months. He had reflux and had to have cereal in his formula to help keep it down. Now hes 6 and is 48 pounds. Dont be too worried about obesity. Remeber as they get older youll control excercise time and snacks tooo. It will all work out. Besides once they get to walking all that weight seems to burn off. Your doing whats best for your baby. Worrying yourself will make things worse.
Also are you stressed about other things? I know with my 6 mo old if im stressed about something she seems to wake up alot. He might be more sensitive to your feeling than you are aware right now. Good luck
R.V. answers from Raleigh on March 06, 2008
I should first say that I'm a new mom, so I don't have a lot of experience. I can only speak from the perspective of a mom of a 4 month old. I am also breastfeeding and experienced the same bliss of sleeping 7-8 hours and then back to waking every 3 hours around his third month. Luckily the waking every 3 hours only last 2 weeks. We have gone 7 straight nights of making it through the night w/out a feeding. He slept from 9:30pm-7am last night w/out waking. It just seemed to be a growth spurt. Good luck!
P.B. answers from Raleigh on March 06, 2008
My son is 8 weeks old and I give him cereal (by dr. orders for reflux) every bottle. He gets one tbsp of cereal per ounce of milk and it does not help him sleep any better.
I worried so much about not giving my dd cereal until 4 mths but the dr. told me to give it my ds so I guess it isn't bad for them. Introducing solids like fruits and veggies can lead to allergies but I never heard that about cereal. Just to put your mind at ease.
K.A. answers from Hickory on March 06, 2008
You might just need to supplement with formula. My sister has a two month old that she nurses and supplements with formula. It's completely normal. Her son likes to eat. He probably drinks two to three 6 oz bottles on top of nursing. Hope this helps.