When should I give him cereal?

His pediatritionist told me to give my 4 months old son rice cereal before he goes to bed. He usualy eats at 4:30 pm and then againg at 7:30pm. Should I nurse him before the cereal, after it or give him the cereal instead of nursing him? Thanks, sorry for asking such a stupid question, I don't know what to do.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The AAP, American Association of Pediatrics, says that babies should be soley breastfed for the first 6 months and continued to be breastfed until 1 year of age and after that until mutually desired. Solids should not be introduced, especially with breastfed babies, until 6 months of age or later. Thier intestines are not prepared for it. It is an oldwives tale to give a child ceral before sleep, hoping that it will sit in thier tummies longer and they will sleep for longer periods of time. It isn't true. Most children, especially that young will just develope horrible gas and become constipated because of the ceral and will end up keeping you up most of the night with crying.

    Don't give him the ceral. Wait. Ask another pediatrician, one who is up to day with todays recomendations

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi there sweetie. Not a stupid question at all! It is actually a very good question and one that is important. You always want to give your baby the benefit of your breastmilk before you give him anything else. That way you can be sure that he has had the superior food first and that he will drink as much of it as he wants.

    I hate to disagree with your doctor but I would never give a baby as young as yours cereal. His digestive system is simply not mature enough to handle it yet. The cereal will just make the trip in one end and out the other. At best it will not hurt anything but it may actually give him a stomach ache. I guess to be fair you could try it and see how he reacts to it. I would be worried that he might not drink as much breastmilk because of the cereal and that would be a sad thing. Your baby needs your breastmilk a great deal more than he needs cereal which is just empty calories. Breastmilk is literally a miracle food that does magical things that even doctors and scientists do not fully understand. You do not want to do anything that will diminish your milk supply in any way, and adding solids too soon is notorious for that. The more cereal he eats the less breastmilk he will drink and that is the opposite of what you want to happen. If your baby seems to be hungry you should just nurse him more often, not add a new food that he is not ready for. Breastmilk will meet all of his needs until he is 6 to 8 months old. He has the rest of his life to eat solids but this precious time that he is strictly breastfed is very important in his development and his health. Most typical childhood illnesses can be avoided by breastfeeding until at least 6 months old. Please check out the La Leche League website for information. They are the ultimate authority on breastfeeding and you will find wonderful information there.

    It is of course up to you but that is my advice.

    In answer to your question, always the breastmilk first!

    Good luck and I hope everything turns out alright for you.

    Keep up the good work and congratulations on being a wonderful mother and breastfeeding your baby!

    Love and Blessings

    Lady Trinity~

    Source(s): Nursed 4 babies for over 1 year. Lots of experience.
  • 1 decade ago

    Rice cereal thinned with milk (breast or formula) is given as a first food to teach a child to eat solids and is the most gentle solid on baby's stomach. My doctor says she always tells mothers to wait until six months, but many of them start their babies at 4 months anyway. She recommends starting with the morning feeding and nursing the baby first, so he's not starving when you give cereal. She also said to expect that very little cereal will be eaten at first. The guidelines I was given to know if baby is ready are:

    at least 4 mo and 13 lbs

    diminished tonguing reflex (pushing things out of the mouth to prevent choking)

    ability to move the tongue in several directions

    showing interest in what mom and dad eat esp to the point of grabbing food off their plates.

    Able to sit supported with good head control (to prevent choking)

    I'd check again with the ped or another ped to make sure what he told you is what's best for baby.

    good luck

  • 1 decade ago

    Don't start weaning him unless he is showing signs of needing it i.e

    Being unsatisfied after a full milk feed ,

    Demanding increasing and more frequent milk feeds, Attempting to put things in his mouth,

    After a period of sleeping through the night waking in the night with hunger,

    Displaying curiosity about what you are eating.

    If he seems happy to settle with a bottle or breast at night then why change it? If he starts relying on cereal before bed how will you ever break out of that when he becomes older?

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  • 1 decade ago

    Cereal is really not very good for breastfed babies.

    Its really processed and theres nothing in it of any real value.

    Also, when you introduce anything other than breastmilk into a breastfed babies diet, it changes the way they absorb iron and can lead to anemia down the line.

    Heres some info on delaying solids...

    http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/delay-sol...

    The AAP reccomends that babies be exclusivly breastfed (no cereal, no solids of any kind) for 6 months, minimum. Most breastfed babies do well on breastmilk alone for close to a year.

    Just watch your baby, he will let you know when he is ready for solid food... for my son it was around 8 months. And he definatly let us know!

    Read up on it some more and inform your doctor about the new guidelines... hes obviously going by old information.

  • 1 decade ago

    I breastfed 3 of my now teenage kids for the first year without ever adding baby food or cereal. Breast milk is more nutritious and less fattening. Introducing solids increases risk of allergies to foods. You can introduce cereal, but it isn't a must! If you do, mix breast milk with the cereal and then let your son nurse afterwards. Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    My son's doctor said that I could start giving him cereal when he was 4 months too but I started giving it to him in the morning. The doctor wanted me to start out giving him 1 tablespoon of cereal to 4 tablespoons of breast milk or formula the first day to make sure that he was not allergic to it. The second morning I gave him 2 tablespoons of cereal with 4 tablespoons of milk and so on and so on. After he had that cereal for a few days then I could switch and give him Barley cereal and then Oatmeal cereal. You want to stick with one cereal for 4 to 5 days to make sure that they are not allergic to it. I continued to give my son his bottle because I was not giving him alot of cereal in the beginning because you are really just making sure that they can handle it. My son now eats a big bowl of oatmeal cereal in the morning and I mix it with his bottle so that is his breakfast. I was so confused when I had to start introducing solid food to my son too so this is not a stupid question. I felt just like you do.

  • 1 decade ago

    cereal should be a snack and at this point only once a day. Slowly increase it. right now he should mostly be nursing or bottle-feeding

  • Mix breastmilk in the cereal to make it runny. Feed that to him and then nurse. Helps wash down the cereal.

  • 1 decade ago

    Breast milk or formula should be their main source of nutrition for the first year. Nurse first then give him a little cereal.

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