Adding Rice Cereal to Your Baby’s Bottle – Is it Safe?

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Having a new member in your family is amazing, but once you have a baby you need to put a little extra effort to take care of it. You may have to struggle with the sleep issues of your child in the first few months as babies have a different sleep pattern. Some people suggest that adding rice cereal into your baby’s milk bottle can help them sleep better at night. New parents accept what others say and tend to add rice cereal. But there are certain facts related to adding rice cereal to your baby’s bottle which you should know. So before you start doing it, you must make sure whether it is safe or not.

rice cereal in bottle

In this article:

Can You Add Rice Cereal to Baby’s Bottle?
When and How to Introduce Rice Cereals to Infants?
Health Issues of Adding Rice Cereal in Bottle of Your Baby
Alternatives that You Can Use instead of Rice Cereal

Adding Rice Cereal in Bottle: Things Every Parent Should Know

Can You Add Rice Cereal to Baby’s Bottle?

I’m sure you must be confused about the suggestion that people give you regarding adding rice cereal. Sometimes even doctors recommend this due to several reasons. But there is no specific proof that adding rice cereal can give the desired effect in babies as sleep and hunger have little connection. It is possible that even if your baby is not hungry,  he may not sleep or even get up in the middle of the night.

Babies have immature nervous system so they do not understand the concept of sleeping for long hours or sleeping at a specific time. So,  unless they adapt a proper sleeping pattern even a well-fed baby can wake up untimely.

When and How to Introduce Rice Cereals to Infants?

Unless the baby is 4 months or older than that,  doctors do not recommend adding rice cereal to their diet. Introducing solid food in any form before this age can harm to the baby as their digestive system is not strong enough. Giving them solid food before 4 months can cause allergy or infection in the gut.

Before you start introducing proper solid food to your baby, you must introduce it first by mixing it in his milk. You may add a teaspoonful of rice cereal first and then slowly keep increasing the dose. In any case,  you must first take advice from the doctor.

Health Issues of Adding Rice Cereal in Bottle of Your Baby

Adding rice cereal in your baby’s milk bottle can pose some health hazards:

Nutritional Deficiencies

If you add rice cereal in your baby’s diet, he receives less protein and fat as compared to carbohydrates. This can cause nutritional imbalance in the baby’s body as at an early stage they need protein and fat for the growth of their body.

Abdominal Discomfort

Digestive problems tend to happen if you introduce rice cereal at an early age because the child’s stomach is not strong enough to digest the food. It can also cause constipation. The digestive enzymes required to break down starch does not develop before three or four months of age. So undigested starch is broken down by bacteria in the large intestine which causes intestinal gas.

Lung Problems

Thick texture of food is less likely to may it’s way to the stomach. So the younger the baby the more chances of regurgitating thickened food in his lungs. Causing lung problems.

Allergies

Gluten is present in most of the cereals in substantial amount. So if it is added in the diet of your baby fore six months of age it can trigger an allergic reaction.

Obesity

Obesity can happen to anybody. Several children are found obese due to the lifestyle they lead. Adding rice cereal in your baby’s diet can increase the chances of obesity in their later childhood. This is due to the starch and calories present in rice cereal.

Choking

Your baby may get confused if you feed them milk and semi-solid food both from the bottle, which can create problem in introducing solid food later on. Due to the thick consistency of rice cereal as compared to milk, introducing it in the bottle may pose threat of choking to your little one.

Alternatives that You Can Use instead of Rice Cereal

Owing to the health hazards caused by adding rice cereal in your baby’s diet at an early age, you must try alternative methods to get the desired result; that is,  help him sleep for longer hours.

Routine for Bedtime

This may take a really long time to adjust, but it’s helpful. Put your little one to sleep at the same time every night and slowly he will develop a habit. You can put him to bed early, and try to get some sleep while he is sleeping. This way you will complete your sleep and also help your baby develop a sleep pattern.

Warm-Water Bath

In order to relax and soothe a baby, you can give him warm water bath every day before putting him to sleep. This will help him sleep better and longer without interruption. So, try warm water bath before bedtime to help your child sleep better.

Dream Feeding

Most of the time babies get up in the middle of the night because they are hungry. So, you can feed them while they are asleep,  before retiring for the night. This will keep him full for some more time and he will sleep longer.

Conclusion

Some pediatricians have explained that once you baby reaches a certain age,  it is safe to introduce rice cereal to them in semi solid form. At this age, your child’s brain is also grown up and he begins to sleep for a longer time. Some people connect this with the addition of rice cereal in the diet. Thus,  there is a myth that adding rice cereal in your baby’s diet makes him sleep for longer hours. Instead of doing so, you can try the alternative methods to improve your baby’s sleep pattern. So,  it is advisable to understand the health hazards of taking any such step and restrain from introducing rice cereal in your baby’s diet unless the doctor suggests. Happy parenting!

Reference

https://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/tipcerealinbottle.htm/amp

https://www.babycenter.com/400_when-is-it-safe-to-add-rice-cereal-to-your-babies-milk_12542547_867.bc

Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!

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