Many parents have been adding cereal to their babies bottles with the hopes that baby will sleep better through the night or because they feel the baby is not getting enough to eat.

If you've heard the statements, "Add cereal to your babies bottle and he'll sleep for 5 hours" or "If your baby constantly wants to nurse or seems hungry, add cereal to the bottle," know that those are myths and not facts.

Your baby gets enough nutrition from breast milk or formula for the first 6 months of life. In fact, many medical experts agree that introducing cereal before 4 months of age can cause food allergies. Additionally, adding cereal to your babies bottle is a bad idea. Period.

Experts like Dr. Alan Greene, M.D. believe that the sucking and swallowing actions are not fully coordinated in some children, which can lead to pulmonary problems because they can inhale small amounts of rice cereal in their lungs.

What other dangers are there with adding cereal to a babies bottle? For one thing, your child could very well be on the road to obesity. The extra calories in the cereal itself is enough to teach your child to overeat. When your child is at least 4 months of age, it is more suitable to introduce cereal by feeding your baby with a spoon. Not only does this teach them to learn to eat from a spoon, but it also allows them to rest in between and it helps the baby learn the proper way to eat.

Well, what about your mother, and your grandmother, and your sister, and all those people who swear that adding cereal to a babies bottle will help them sleep and stay satisfied longer? Dr. Alan Greene, M.D. states, "I suspect the reason is that kids do fall asleep a bit more quickly, and some babies may even go a bit longer between feedings. There is no scientific evidence, though, to support the claim that cereal in the bottle will help an infant increase total sleep or decrease crying."'

The American Academy of Pediatrics also advises against feeding a baby cereal from a bottle. The only time feeding a baby cereal in a bottle is when your Pediatrician recommends it to help with reflux.

Obesity. Food Allergies. Pulmonary problems. Bad eating habits. Those are all enough reasons to steer away from giving your baby a bottle of cereal. You may be happy you did.

**I did NOT write this article, but it was something I felt needed posted!
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Apr. 30, 2011 at 8:36 PM Nice! I was thinking because everyone keeps asking when to put cereal in her bottle, mind you.. I breastfeed.. So I was always curious..
Thanks for the info..

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May. 1, 2011 at 8:27 AM

I have always breastfed, but when I have to work, they got a bottle. But I was lucky enough to know better with the first one. Although my mother still buys in to all the "put it in their bottle" crap and she wants me to start my daughter on cereal - she's 4mos. But I don't plan on EVER giving it to her, bottle or not.. It's just empty calories, no nutritional value and if you breastfeed they get all the nutrition from you, they don't need cereal.

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May. 1, 2011 at 4:47 PM

With DD her pedi is the one that suggested cereal in her bottle. Did it, she was fine and seemed to be happier for it. I didn't put as much in the bottle as the doc suggested though.

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May. 1, 2011 at 8:38 PM

I did this with both of my babies.  When my oldest was about 4 months she was taking 16oz with no problem but still crying for more an hour later so I asked her Dr and he even told me to add rice cereal to her bottle 2oz you add 1and 1/2 scoops 4 oz 2 and 1/2 scoops it really isn't alot but it does add the little extra to it for the baby that seems to eat every hour which she was it did take her back to to a 6oz bottle and she stayed full for longer then an hour.   I do this with my 9 month old and it seems to help her.  One thing I have noticed is that the workers at the WIC office now tell you do not give them any other foods til they are 6 months and no juices or even water til they are a year old.  As far as the helping them to sleep better at night HAHAHA it so doesn't work they will go to bed full and might be easier to go down but if they wake up through the night nothing is going to stop that my youngest dose she quits getting up about 4am then shes down for the night or til sissy wakes her up about  10am.  But no it doesn't help a baby sleep better.

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