Cereal in Bottle for 6 Week Old

Updated on December 01, 2010
A.U. asks from Allen Park, MI
19 answers

Our Pediatrician suspects that my almost 6 week old has "silent reflux" .. She is very very fussy with crazy crying spells all day. Today when I had my oldest there i showed her a video of how my 6 week old cries, how intense and she says that she wants to try putting her on Zantac and thickening her formula with rice cereal. She is already on Alimentum since 1 week old because she wasn't digesting the proteins (based on the way her poop looked, Doctor said to put her on that formula)..
So I know I shouldn't question my Doctor, and I really like this Doctor.. But isn't this to soon to put cereal in the bottle? With my other 2 girls I started it by spoon at 4 months. She is saying that its to help keep the formula from coming back up and keeping the acid down. She doesn't spit up a lot, she thinks its more of an issue of it coming part way up. Ugh.. I guess I'm looking for experiences with this? Thanks :)

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answers from Detroit on

We had to do it with my son. He needed the thicker formula, otherwise he would be miserable. They actually put him on the AR (formula with rice added) while he was in the NICU because he was not keeping anything including breastmilk down. We did that for 2 weeks and then we started to add cereal to regular formula for every other bottle. It made such a big difference for him. When he was not getting it, he was miserable. We were able to stop it by the time he was 12 weeks and just use the Zantac.

I trusted the doctors involved and I know it made my son a much happier baby.

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answers from Detroit on

Both of my daughters had issues with reflux. My oldest had silent reflux. We put her on zantac and rice cereal in the bottle at 6 weeks and it made a world of difference with her. She is now 3 a healthy weight and never had any issues with it. It made a huge difference with her. My second daughter also had reflux, but was spitting up constantly. We put her on the Zantac and did rice cereal in the bottle also and it made a huge difference with her and her reflux. Every child is different. My parents gave us rice cereal in the bottle from birth to me and my 2 sisters and none of us have every had any weight issues, or other problems. I think it is a personal decision. Good luck!

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answers from Dallas on

My son had gastro problems as well. We put him on rice cereal at 2 months by a spoon. Giving baby rice cereal in a bottle can choke them. BUTTT we also had to give our son Enfamil AR....the AR is for Added Rice! So maybe its every Mom for herself on the bottle thing. I will tell you though that after my son ate I sat him up for a good 30 min to let the milk go down. I also had to burp him about every ounce. I also had to get creative and never could let him lay flat when he slept and laid for a long time. My son slept in his stroller, swing, carrier...what ever I could do to comfort him. Good Luck

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answers from Columbus on

You are always entitled to question the doctor. You know your child better then they do. I tried the cereal in the bottle bit with my oldest. It did not work. He was not able to digest it and it cause him severe constipation and gastrointestinable distress (severe bloating and gas). I have always heard that you should never give cereal in bottle (choking) and never to a child less than 4 months.

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answers from Lakeland on

My first son was diagnosed with silent reflux at about 7 weeks. We tried the Zantac first and it seemed to help a little bit. He still screamed pretty much throughout the day and night. We then added rice cereal to his bottle per doctor's orders. He did a little better, definitely didn't scream as much. He was on soy and out grew his reflux by 6 months old.
Now my second son has reflux and there is nothing silent about it. He would spit up so much and so violently that he would either a) choke on it and start to turn blue or b) spit up so much that he started losing weight. We put rice in his bottle at 3 weeks...yep you read right, 3 weeks old. He stopped choking and his spitting up is 90 times better. He finally started gaining weight. He is also on Zantac and soy.
I have caught a lot of flack from others (family and even some people on this website), but I know we made the right choice with the rice. When a baby is born at 7 lbs 15 oz and drops down to 6 lbs bc he can't keep his food down, you have to do something. Try Zantac or Prevacid first before the rice. Good luck and I hope your little one feels better soon!

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answers from Springfield on

As a general rule, it's best not to give baby any food until 4 months (some peds will say 6 months), but it's important to remember that there are exceptions. Some babies need a little extra help in the beginning. Rice cereal is a good way to thicken the formula and help it stay in the tummy until it's digested. It's not going to hurt her, so give it a shot!

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answers from Detroit on

Hi A.,

I went through this with my first daughter (now 9) from the time she was born until around 7 or 8 mos. She was given the diagnosis of being "colicky" for much of the same reason. She would scream for hours on end as well.
I started with the formula called Nutramigen (not sure if spelled correctly), which is a killer on your budget (but it helped), then eventually moved to a Soy based formula. I did see some improvement with the formula change. My daughter did outgrow this colick in time.
I would question the cereal in a bottle thing though. I would get a second opinion on it. I, personally, feel that 6 weeks is way too early to start this as it can predispose kids to allergies.

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answers from Kansas City on

Yes!! It is WAAAAAYYYYYYY to soon for cereal!!! ALL reputable, responsible organizations (World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics, US Dept. of Health & Human Services, to name a few) agree that you should wait until babies are AT LEAST 6 MONTHS OLD because their digestive systems cannot handle it. PLUS the earlier you introduce anything but breastmilk or formula, the more likley they are to have allergies and other health issues now and in the future (their whole life).

Also, you should never give cereal in a bottle. Period. It is a choke hazzard. Sure, many babies don't choke, but WHY take the chance?! WAIT until your daughter can hold her head up, grasp and pull things to her mouth, act interested in what you are eating, and can push her tongue to the back of her mouth to swallow the cereal. God made all things work together so we know the cues. If the rest isn't happening, then her digestive system isn't developed enough either!

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answers from Pocatello on

I always breast fed but I have read and was always told by friends to NEVER put rice cereal in a bottle! Also it seems like the rice cereal at this early on will just cause more problems cause you babies tummy isn't ready for that yet. I would explore other options in formula or just see if your baby needs reflux meds before giving your baby cereal. Plus at this age babies need %100 breast milk or formula so they can get all the nutrients they need. Rice cereal isn't bad but it will fill your baby up more with calories that don't have all the good stuff in it. so again try other things first.

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answers from Topeka on

Sounds like your child needs to be on soy milk. My son had allergies to regular formula. He was put on soy milk and he was much better. I did try him on rice in his formula around that age as well. And it only made it worse. Switch to soy formula.

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answers from Detroit on

Yes you can question your doctor. Your doctor is human too and especially important, you know your baby better than anyone else.

Do you really want to put your baby on a prescription that is meant for adults? All prescriptions are tested on adults. I wasn't sure if you were are of this.

Also, our bodies need acid to digest food.

Maybe you could give your baby enzymes. Find it in tablet form or even better in a capsule (which is what I take). Pull the capsule apart and poor the powder into the bottle. This will help your baby without any side affects.

No I wouldn't give a 6 week old cereal. Personally I think it will make it worse.



answers from Charleston on

I've not had any experience w/reflux in either of my kids, but both of my children were on cereal @ 3 mos. They were always hungry, it started interfering with their sleep(no naps, no long periods of sleep and both slept thru night @ 6 weeks) because they were always hungry and never satisfied w/just formula. My daughter's tummy has been iffy at times from birth, but the worst that happened was 1 day od constipation. I agree with whomever d=said to try soy. But i can only say from my experience that all babies are different, you may want tor try it just to see, if not ask another pediatrician maybe



answers from Tulsa on

I did it with both of my boys both for diffrent reasons one had an undiagnosed formula allergy and wouldnt eat without cereal bieng in it. and the other was growing faster than he should it was all growth spurt. and man when he had them he had them he was 2 to 3 sizes bigger than other kids his age and is now skinny again but starting to stock up a gain. he was in 12 month clothes at 6months and 18 months at 9 month and 24 month at 1 and 5t before he was 2. it depends on your k ids some wont need it others will. follow your gut


answers from Kansas City on

My daughter was allergic to milk protein, when she was 4 months I had to stop breastfeeding, I tried changing my dieat and cutting loads of stuff out but her allergy was so severe if I even ate an M&M (covered in chocolate, which has milk in it) she would have a reaction. We put her on Alimentum first, that didn't help. Next we put her on Nutramigen (an Enfamil brand) that did the trick. Maybe you should try Nutramigen, they are both hypoallergenic. As for the Zantac, I wouldn't worry too much about that, my little sister has been on it since she was about 6 weeks old too, she is now almost 8. I don't have any advice about the cereal though, I would trust her Pediatrician's advice, she wouldn't tell you to do anything that she thinks would harm her.

You could try buying a sleeping wedge for her to sleep on at night, or raising the top of her mattress ( if she is sleeping in her crib) if she is in a bassinet, you could fold up towels and put them under the top half of the pad, to keep her elevated, that might help with the reflux.



answers from Grand Rapids on

I haven't read the other answers yet, but when my daughter was a newborn, she only ate every 6 hours. Yep, 6 hours! In order to get her calorie intake up, we had to put cereal in her bottle, cut bigger holes in her bottle nipples, etc. As she was my first born, I didn't question the doctor. Later when that same daughter was 1 and eating table food, the doctor wanted me to put sour cream, butter, cheese whiz, etc. on all of her food to boost her calorie intake. (as well as her cholesterol, etc.) Even though she was my first born, my mother intuition took over and I had this huge gut feeling that it wasn't right. I didn't do it. She's 6 today and she's healthy as can be.

Do what you feel is right. While we are not doctors, these are our children and sometimes mother's intuition trumps what the doctor is telling us.
Good luck!



answers from Detroit on

This is common to prevent spitting up. I am not wild about it, but it does help - I had to do this for a week or so with my baby when she started formula. See how it affects her stool, it could cause constipation, and it sounds like her digestion is sensitive, so just go easy on it. Its not worth it if she can't digest it well.



answers from Detroit on

My, now 7 year old, daughter was diagnosed with reflux at 7 weeks old. She actually choked on it and turned blue on me. A trip to the ER and an overnight stay in the hospital and we were sent home with instructions to thicken her formula and a script for Zantac. Originally, I used rice cereal to thicken it and it immediately clogged her up. I switched to oatmeal and it was fine. You have to do what's best for your baby. People have been having babies for millions of years and despite not having this organization or that to them when to feed them what, they made it out ok. I caught a lot of flack from friends that are my age for doing it, but my older family members didn't bat an eye at it. It took about 18 mos for her to grow out of it. Be careful when she does start solids. Steer clear of anything with citric acid in it. Pears are also naturally acidic. We found that out the hard way. Oh and rather than modifying a nipple, I bought the Avent adjustable flow nipples. They were a godsend. Good luck!



answers from Benton Harbor on

Try changing her formula to Nutramigen. We had a similar problem and our son couldn't even tolerate Alimentum. Nutramigen did the trick.



answers from Detroit on

I started adding a tiny bit of cereal to my oldest daughters bottle when she was around 2 and a half months. I only did it at night because she would wake up and was eating WAY too much formula. She never had any problems.

The only thing I can think of to watch out for would be other tummy issues. As I am sure others have pointed out infants can not always handle cereal until about 4 to 6 months. However, you won't be giving a ton of cereal just a bit in the bottle.

I also used teething cookies because they dissolve really well. I would break a little bit at a time into the bottle until I felt it was enough. I did this with both of my daughters. I used a certain kind though. I would get them from the local Italian market. Not sure if the ones you get at a normal grocery store are the same.

If your doctor is telling you to try it and you haven't had any weird feelings about the advice this doctor has given you in the past I say try it and see if it works.

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