Tag Archives: baby solids

Get Your Free e-Book Today!

Should You Feed Your Baby Cereal From A Bottle?

When it comes to feeding a baby, you’ll find that everyone (from your grandmother to your aunt to the stranger on the street) has opinions on how babies should be fed, when babies should be fed, and what babies should be fed.

Some opinions are based in solid, researched evidence (for example, there’s plenty of evidence to indicate that breastfeeding is a healthier option for babies than formula-feeding.) Other opinions, however, will be based less on facts and more on past experience. You may hear a number of people say, “My mom did this with me!” or “My grandmother had 8 children, and she always did this…”

Putting Cereal In Your Baby’s Bottle

For example, you may have friends or family members suggest that you feed your baby cereal in a bottle. People often suggest this to parents whose babies don’t sleep, or whose babies don’t seem to be gaining much weight.

So, is this a good recommendation? Will putting cereal in your baby’s bottle help her sleep well, or eat more, or gain weight?

Is Putting Cereal In Your Baby’s Bottle A Good Idea?

Probably not. There are many risks associated with feeding your young baby (under 6 months) cereal from a bottle. Some of those risks include…

  • Choking. Adding cereal to a bottle thickens the milk. This makes it harder for young babies to swallow, increasing the changes that they’ll “aspirate” (or inhale) the thickened milk and choke on it.
  • Increased food allergies. There’s lots of evidence to suggest that introducing solids to a baby before 4 months of age significantly increases the risk that the baby will develop food allergies. This is because a young baby’s digestive system isn’t mature enough to handle solid foods until 4-6 months of age. We discuss food allergies in more detail in this post; check it out for more information.
  • Habitual overeating.Babies who take cereal from a bottle tend to drink more than babies who drink straight breastmilk or formula. This is the idea behind putting cereal into the bottle in the first place — that baby will take in more food.The problem is that when a baby routinely and consistently takes in large quantities of thickened milk, it can lead to a habit of overeating. And since childhood obesity rates are already problematic (and are on the rise), we definitely don’t want to teach our little ones to overeat from birth!
  • Lower nutrient intake. When parents add cereal to a bottle, they often reduce the amount of breastmilk or formula they put into the bottle (to make room for the added cereal). This is dangerous. For the first 6 months of life, breastmilk and formula provide all the nutrition a baby needs, while cereal provides little nutritional value until after 6 months. So if your baby is taking in less breastmilk and formula, he’s getting less of the vital nutrients he needs.

Will Putting Cereal In Your Baby’s Bottle Help Her Sleep Better?

This is usually the number one reason that parents even consider putting cereal in their baby’s bottle — friends and family members assure them that a little cereal in the bottle will help baby sleep longer and better. And for exhausted, sleep-deprived parents, even a little extra sleep sounds too tempting to pass up!

However, before you go racing to fill your infant’s bottle with rice cereal, you should know something — there’s no evidence that feeding your baby solids (whether by spoon or by bottle) will help her sleep better. That’s because when babies wake at night, they’re not just waking from hunger — they’re waking for a variety of other reasons (like sleep associations.) So adding cereal to your baby’s bottle likely won’t make a difference in her sleep, but it will put her at risk for a variety of complications.

Will Putting Cereal In Your Baby’s Bottle Help With His Reflux?

If your baby struggles with reflux, you may have heard friends and family members suggest adding cereal to his bottle as a way to thicken the milk and help it say down. Is this a good idea? Does it work?

The reviews on this are mixed. Some pediatricians actually recommend this to parents, and many parents claim that mixing cereal into their babies’ bottles reduces spitting up. However, other pediatricians caution that while adding cereal might reduce episodes of spitting up, it doesn’t actually cure the reflux. Others advocate for using a special reflux formula.

The bottom line: if your baby suffers from reflux, check with your pediatrician before making any changes to his diet.

Our Recommendation

Here’s our advice, for all parents: don’t add cereal to your baby’s bottle unless your doctor has advised you to. There are far too many risks associated with feeding your baby cereal from a bottle, and there are no actual benefits. Instead, stick with feeding your infant breastmilk and/or formula, and hold off on offering solids until close to 6 months of age.

Everything You Need To Know About Starting Solids – All In One e-Book!

thumbnailWhat if you could find everything you needed to know about starting your baby on solid foods – when it’s best to start solids, how to introduce solids, complications, food allergies, etc. – in one easy-reference guide? Now you can! Your Baby’s Start To Solid Foods: A Comprehensive Guide will walk you through every step of starting solids. Plus, your e-Book package includes several bonus materials, designed to maximize your success in starting solids. You’ll get a thorough guide to treating constipation, a dietitian’s advice on how to avoid 5 common solid-foods mistakes, and a weekly mean plan for your baby’s first year. Grab your e-Book today, and ensure your baby has the healthiest possible start to solid foods!

What are your thoughts on feeding a baby cereal from a bottle? Share them below!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Should You Feed Your Baby Cereal From A Bottle?
Get Your Free e-Book Today!

The Best Ways to Introduce New Foods To Your Baby

Introducing a new food to your baby is an “iffy” thing. He might adore green beans the first time he eats them, and gobble them up with relish. On the other hand, he might spit them right back out and give you his biggest glare.

There’s no way to predict how your baby will react to new foods. But there are steps you can take to help your baby enjoy her new food as much as possible.

  • Offer the breast or a bottle before offering a new food.

    This is good advice to follow anyway (especially when you’re first starting solid foods.) The idea here is that your baby will be calmer and more receptive to solid food if he’s not totally hungry. It’s especially important to do this when you’re about to offer him something new.

  • Offer new foods when your baby is well-rested.

    You know by now that when your baby’s exhausted, nothing goes well. And feeding is no different! So pick a time during the day when you know your baby will be rested and happy — maybe after her morning nap — and offer the brand-new food then. This’ll help ensure she has the positive attitude and patience she’ll need to try something new.

  • Offer a small amount of the new food.

    Feeding your little guy spinach for the first time? This is not the moment to make a big ol’ serving! Instead, prepare a half-sized portion of the new food. If your baby loves it, you can always make more; if he isn’t so receptive, you won’t be wasting a bunch of leftover food. And as you feed the new food to your baby, offer half-sized spoonfuls — just enough to give him a taste.

  • Alternate a new food with a familiar one.

    If you’ve got a stubborn baby on your hands who simply doesn’t embrace new foods, you may have to resort to a few tricks to get a new food into her belly! This trick is simple: you prepare two dishes of food, one being a food that she’s familiar with, and the other being a food that’s new. As you begin to feed, offer a few spoonfuls of the familiar food first. Then, offer a spoonful of the new food. Follow it up with another spoonful of the familiar food.

    This can help “soften the blow” of a new food. You might find that your baby is willing to take a few spoonfuls of the new food if she also gets spoonfuls of something that’s familiar, and that she likes. This is also a good technique to use when you’re feeding baby something she’s tried before and hates. I use this trick a lot with my youngest, who’s a major vegetable-hater!

  • Be calm and stay patient.

    It can be so frustrating trying to feed a baby a food he clearly doesn’t like. You know he needs to eat his broccoli, but he has other ideas! But it’s important that you remain patient and calm throughout a feeding that isn’t going well. Our babies are smart, and they tend to pick up on our own anxiety. If your baby senses your frustration, it’ll likely only make things worse.

  • Don’t give up — keep trying!

    Your baby may reject avocado the first time you offer it, but that doesn’t mean she’ll refuse the third or fourth (or fifth) time you try. If a feeding isn’t going well, it’s okay to put away the new food for the day and take a break. But you should bring it out a day or two later, and try again. Experts agree that it often takes a baby a few tries to develop a taste for something new.

Everything You Need To Know About Starting Solids – All In One e-Book!

thumbnailWhat if you could find everything you needed to know about starting your baby on solid foods – when it’s best to start solids, how to introduce solids, complications, food allergies, etc. – in one easy-reference guide? Now you can! Your Baby’s Start To Solid Foods: A Comprehensive Guide will walk you through every step of starting solids. Plus, your e-Book package includes several bonus materials, designed to maximize your success in starting solids. You’ll get a thorough guide to treating constipation, a dietitian’s advice on how to avoid 5 common solid-foods mistakes, and a weekly mean plan for your baby’s first year. Grab your e-Book today, and ensure your baby has the healthiest possible start to solid foods!

What steps do you take to offer a new food to your baby? Any tips for moms who are new to this? Share your advice below!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Best Ways to Introduce New Foods To Your Baby