Many new parents are told to add infant cereal to their formula-fed baby’s bottles to help them sleep longer at night. This idea might seem logical; after all, cereal is heavier than formula. It makes sense that formula would keep the baby full longer, making them sleep better. This idea, however, has been proven in studies to be false, and adding cereal to your baby’s formula could be dangerous to his or her health!
Please Note: There are some cases when cereal may be advised to be added to formula for specific health concerns, such as reflux, however, this should only be done under the close supervision of the child’s physician.
Babies should not receive any types of solids prior to six months of age; cereal included. Babies who are given foods other than breast milk or formula prior to six months of age are much more likely to suffer from allergies later in life than babies who were not.
Cereal added to formula packs more calories into the bottle than would typically be present. These calories offer very little nutritional benefit, as cereal is not very nutritious. These calories are then converted into fat and packed onto your baby’s body. If done often enough, this could lead your child to be overweight or gain weight too quickly; a problem that can last into childhood and even adulthood.
Babies are not meant to have solids prior to six months and babies who do, are more likely to suffer from digestive issues than babies who do not. These issues can include upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and other unpleasant issues.
Some babies have an under-developed sucking reflex. For these babies, they’re at an even greater risk of choking and aspirating on the contents of their bottle. Even for babies whose sucking reflex is well-developed, this is still a risk and can be quite dangerous.
Believe it or not, but your baby waking throughout the night may be protecting him or her from SIDS; Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This frequent waking is believed to prevent your baby from falling into too-deep of a sleep, as well as stimulate movement which prevents overheating; another factor that can lead to SIDS.
Night Waking Protects Against SIDS
Adding Baby Cereal to Baby’s Bottle to Help Baby Sleep Through the Night
The Dangers of Giving Your Baby Cereal in A Bottle
5 Reasons Not to Put Cereal in Your Baby’s Bottle