1418 Shares

To give cereal or not to give cereal before four months? Please post any advice on this.?

To give cereal or not to give cereal before four months? Please post any advice on this.? Topic: To give cereal or not to give cereal before four months? Please post any advice on this.?
June 16, 2019 / By Allannah
Question: My baby is 5 weeks old. He is eating between 4 to 6 oz every 2 to 3 hrs. Every one is telling me to give him cereal. If you have given your baby cereal before time, how did it go for you? How much cereal do you give them each day? And most importantly did they instantly start gaining a lot of weight? I was told they would. Thanks to all that answered. I have made the choice to not add the cereal. Thank you.
Best Answer

Best Answers: To give cereal or not to give cereal before four months? Please post any advice on this.?

Urijah Urijah | 6 days ago
There is just no justification for giving any non-formula food before 6 months. It doesn't treat reflux, it doesn't make the baby sleep more, and it has far too many side effects. If your baby is eating more than 32oz of formula in a day then you need to consider that you are overfeeding the baby. If you start putting cereal in their bottle you are just going to throw off their ability to regulate how much they eat further. When cereal is added to formula some babies become obese from the extra calories, and some become malnourished because they eat too infrequently. A very few babies will actually be obese AND malnourished because they aren't getting enough nutrients from the formula but getting too many calories, allergic reactions can also rob the body of the ability to absorb nutrients. http://www.askdrsears.com/faq/fit3.asp . This can result in damage to the intestines, weight loss, blood in the stool, and malnutrition. You might argue, "Well, my kids started solid foods at three weeks, and they turned out just fine." The truth is, very few adults have perfectly working digestive tracts. Just look at all the commercials for heartburn remedies and stool softeners... "ever feel gassy and bloated after a meal?" http://www.drgreene.org/body.cfm?id=21&action=detail&ref=861 Most children seemed to thrive. A small number of children, though, did not tolerate the addition, because their sucking and swallowing actions were not yet fully coordinated. They inhaled small amounts of the rice cereal into their lungs, which led to pulmonary problems. I’m much more concerned about a subtler issue. Babies are born with a wonderful mechanism for knowing how much food they need. During the early months, they take their cues from the volume of what they drink. Adding cereal derails this mechanism. It forces them to take in deceptively large amounts of calories. It teaches them to overeat. [...] Drawing on the wisdom of experience and the latest scientific knowledge, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against adding cereal to the bottle. It may be tempting after your 16th straight sleep-deprived night to cut a bigger hole in the feeding nipple to add rice cereal. But it won’t offer lasting help, and it may be giving your baby a lasting gift that both of you will regret. http://www.babycareadvice.com/babycare/g... For many babies the urge to suck is strong during these early months and your baby's need to suck may extend beyond his need for nourishment. For a bottle fed baby there is an increased risk of overfeeding if his sucking urge is misinterpreted as a sign of hunger http://www.drspock.com/faq/0,1511,3764,0... ANSWER August 3, 2001 Dear Dad, Yes, it is possible to overfeed a four-week-old infant since it's easy to misinterpret a baby's hunger and satiety (fullness) signals. When full, babies will stop sucking, turn their heads or push the nipple out of their mouths as a signal. Babies who are overfed often are uncomfortable and irritable. More importantly, they sometimes loose the ability to recognize when they are hungry. Parents will want to start out from the beginning to allow their baby to signal hunger and have it responded to appropriately. http://www.drspock.com/faq/0,1511,3764,0... ANSWER August 3, 2001 Dear Dad, Yes, it is possible to overfeed a four-week-old infant since it's easy to misinterpret a baby's hunger and satiety (fullness) signals. When full, babies will stop sucking, turn their heads or push the nipple out of their mouths as a signal. Babies who are overfed often are uncomfortable and irritable. More importantly, they sometimes loose the ability to recognize when they are hungry. Parents will want to start out from the beginning to allow their baby to signal hunger and have it responded to appropriately. http://www.lpch.org/HealthLibrary/Parent... # The maximal amount of formula recommended per day is 32 ounces (1 liter). # Overfeeding can cause vomiting, diarrhea or excessive weight gain. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9646449/page/2/ Dr. David Ludwig of Children's Hospital Boston, a specialist in pediatric nutrition, says some studies suggest rice and other highly processed grain cereals actually could be among the worst foods for infants. "These foods are in a certain sense no different from adding sugar to formula. They digest very rapidly in the body into sugar, raising blood sugar and insulin levels" and could contribute to later health problems, including obesity, he says.
👍 220 | 👎 6
Did you like the answer? To give cereal or not to give cereal before four months? Please post any advice on this.? Share with your friends
Urijah Originally Answered: My baby is 4.5 months old, the doc said I could give her baby food in her cereal, but she dosnt like cereal?
And what training does *your* doctor have in nutrition? And it isn't use "some people" its pretty much every reputable health training and every professional with training in nutrition or allergies (which does not include most general practitioners or pediatricians). YOU are responsible for your child's health. Not "some doctor". You have a brain -use it. Do your own research and make up your own mind. But yes cereal is completely unnecessary. Why not cereal? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9646449/page... Take rice cereal, for example. Under conventional American wisdom, it's the best first food. But Butte says iron-rich meat — often one of the last foods American parents introduce — would be a better choice. Dr. David Ludwig of Children's Hospital Boston, a specialist in pediatric nutrition, says some studies suggest rice and other highly processed grain cereals actually could be among the worst foods for infants. "These foods are in a certain sense no different from adding sugar to formula. They digest very rapidly in the body into sugar, raising blood sugar and insulin levels" and could contribute to later health problems, including obesity, he says. The lack of variety in the American approach also could be a problem. Exposing infants to more foods may help them adapt to different foods later, which Ludwig says may be key to getting older children to eat healthier. http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids... Cereal is not at all necessary, particularly the baby cereals. Regular (whole grain) oatmeal is more nutritious for your baby. http://www.askdrsears.com/faq/ci2.asp The truth is, there is nothing special about these foods that makes them better to start out with. Babies don't actually even need rice cereal http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVDec... Meat provides additional protein, zinc, B-vitamins, and other nutrients which may be in short supply when the decrease in breast milk occurs. A recent study from Sweden suggests that when infants are given substantial amounts of cereal, it may lead to low concentrations of zinc and reduced calcium absorption (Persson 1998). Dr. Nancy Krebs has shared preliminary results from a large infant growth study suggesting that breastfed infants who received pureed or strained meat as a primary weaning food beginning at four to five months, grow at a slightly faster rate. Dr. Krebs' premise is that inadequate protein or zinc from complementary foods may limit the growth of some breastfed infants during the weaning period. Both protein and zinc levels were consistently higher in the diets of the infants who received meat (Krebs 1998). Thus the custom of providing large amounts of cereal products and excluding meat products before seven months of age may not meet the nutritional needs of all breastfed infants. Meat has also been recommended as an excellent source of iron in infancy. Heme iron (the form of iron found in meat) is better absorbed than iron from plant sources. In addition, the protein in meat helps the baby more easily absorb the iron from other foods. Two recent studies (Makrides 1998; Engelmann 1998) have examined iron status in breastfed infants who received meat earlier in the weaning period. These studies indicate that while there is not a measurable change in breastfed babies' iron stores when they receive an increased amount of meat (or iron), the levels of hemoglobin circulating in the blood stream do increase when babies receive meat as one of their first foods. http://www.westonaprice.org/children/nou... Finally, respect the tiny, still-developing digestive system of your infant. Babies have limited enzyme production, which is necessary for the digestion of foods. In fact, it takes up to 28 months, just around the time when molar teeth are fully developed, for the big-gun carbohydrate enzymes (namely amylase) to fully kick into gear. Foods like cereals, grains and breads are very challenging for little ones to digest. Thus, these foods should be some of the last to be introduced. (One carbohydrate enzyme a baby's small intestine does produce is lactase, for the digestion of lactose in milk.1) [...] Babies do produce functional enzymes (pepsin and proteolytic enzymes) and digestive juices (hydrochloric acid in the stomach) that work on proteins and fats.12 This makes perfect sense since the milk from a healthy mother has 50-60 percent of its energy as fat, which is critical for growth, energy and development.13 In addition, the cholesterol in human milk supplies an infant with close to six times the amount most adults consume from food.13 In some cultures, a new mother is encouraged to eat six to ten eggs a day and almost ten ounces of chicken and pork for at least a month after birth. This fat-rich diet ensures her breast milk will contain adequate healthy fats.14 Thus, a baby's earliest solid foods should be mostly animal foods since his digestive system, although immature, is better equipped to supply enzymes for digestion of fats and proteins rather than carbohydrates.1 This explains why current research is pointing to meat (including nutrient-dense organ meat) as being a nourishing early weaning food. http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content... The results indicate that in a group of healthy, well growing 12-month-old Swedish infants one-quarter is iron-depleted, although iron deficiency anaemia is rare, and one-third may be zinc-depleted. The high cereal intake of Swedish infants from 6 months of age may have limited the bioavailability of both iron and zinc from the diet. http://www.jpgn.org/pt/re/jpgn/abstract.... Conclusions: These results confirm that meat as a complementary food for breast-fed infants can provide a rich source of dietary zinc that is well absorbed. The significant positive correlation between zinc intake and exchangeable zinc pool size suggests that increasing zinc intake positively affects metabolically available zinc.

Roderic Roderic
Yes, you can put some cereal in the milk - BUT NOT A LOT. You might want to put a pinch or so in milk. Once you put it in the milk and you look at the bottle you can barely tell its in there. The reason I tell you yes is because the milk is not satisfying the baby’s hunger. I have three children myself. My first and last child didn’t need cereal at an early age. They left the hospital drinking 2 to 3 oz. of milk every 4 hours but the middle child left the hospital drinking 5 oz of milk every 3 hours.
👍 90 | 👎 2

Mick Mick
if your 5 week old is eating 4-6 oz every 2-3 hrs i would totally give him some cereal. I wouldnt give him alot but i would give him some. Try one tbsp with like 1 or 2 oz of formula or water or breast milk what ever one you wanna use before you give him his regular feeding. but depending on the amount of liquids you used remove that amount from the feeding. like if you used 2 oz for his cereal then give him 2-4 oz of milk. you know what i mean. and do it tiwce a day morning and night and then if it isnt enough then do it morning lunch and night. And no they do not gain weight because of the cereal. Its just more filling in their little belly's
👍 85 | 👎 -2

Judd Judd
Talk to your lactaion nurse and your pediatrician first but they might suggest adding a little bit of baby cereal to the bottles to help fill the baby up more. I was on a tablespoon of cereal for BOTH my girls by 8 weeks old as they ate what seemed like constantly. Each baby is different and might just be a grazer or could use a bit more at each feeding to get them on a 4 hr schedule. But my advice is talk to the pedatrician and your lactaion nurse before going ahead and making any changes to your babys bottles
👍 80 | 👎 -6

Harold Harold
My pediatrician explained that cereal is basically nutritionally void. It fills their tummies temporarily and they will not drink as much breast milk/formula that they do need. While it is a good first food to train them to eat, it should never replace breast milk/formula, as that should be the main source of nutrition for a baby. You really should avoid cereal (and other foods) until 6 months old. Continue to increase the amount in his bottles to satisfy him. It is ok if you give him more as he needs it. It should stretch out the time between feedings also. Good luck and congratulations!
👍 75 | 👎 -10

Harold Originally Answered: What can you give your baby instead of cereal?
I ran into the same problem with my son, so I used this Baby Finger Food Guide to add variety to his diet. http://littleblueprints.com/docs/baby-fi... This site also has other free printable mom guides too. Check it out. http://littleblueprints.com/

If you have your own answer to the question To give cereal or not to give cereal before four months? Please post any advice on this.?, then you can write your own version, using the form below for an extended answer.