Gerber rice cereal at 6 weeks?

My pediatrician today told me to start giving my 6 week old son rice cereal in his formula just before bed time. i'm not not sure why he told me to do this. my son has no reflux, no stomach problems and no weight problems. he said he recommended doing this everynight at 11 pm. I'm really not sure how i feel about it seeing as a lot of people are saying not to do it on the internet but do i go by the pediatrician or the internet?? i started two nights ago and it doesnt seem to be bothering him and he loves it but the only negative thing im seeing is that it isnt helping him sleep any better. should i continue with it?

17 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    No. I have no idea why your paediatrician would be so stupid as to advise this.

    Health experts and breastfeeding experts agree that it's best to wait until your baby is around six months old before offering solid foods. There has been a large amount of research on this in the recent past, and most health organizations have updated their recommendations to agree with current research. Unfortunately, many health care providers are not up to date in what they're telling parents, and many, many books are not up to date.

    The following organizations recommend that all babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or any other foods) for the first 6 months of life (not the first 4-6 months):

    World Health Organization


    US Department of Health & Human Services

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    American Academy of Family Physicians

    American Dietetic Association

    Australian National Health and Medical Research Council

    Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

    Health Canada

    Most babies will become developmentally and physiologically ready to eat solids by 6-9 months of age. For some babies, delaying solids longer than six months can be a good thing; for example, some doctors may recommend delaying solids for 12 months if there is a family history of allergies.

    Reasons for delaying solids

    Although some of the reasons listed here assume that your baby is breastfed or fed breastmilk only, experts recommend that solids be delayed for formula fed babies also.

    Delaying solids gives baby greater protection from illness.

    Although babies continue to receive many immunities from breastmilk for as long as they nurse, the greatest immunity occurs while a baby is exclusively breastfed. Breastmilk contains 50+ known immune factors, and probably many more that are still unknown. One study has shown that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 4+ months had 40% fewer ear infections than breastfed babies whose diets were supplemented with other foods. The probability of respiratory illness occurring at any time during childhood is significantly reduced if the child is fed exclusively breast milk for at least 15 weeks and no solid foods are introduced during this time. (Wilson, 1998) Many other studies have also linked the degree of exclusivity of breastfeeding to enhanced health benefits (see Immune factors in human milk and Risks of Artificial Feeding).

    Delaying solids gives baby's digestive system time to mature.

    If solids are started before a baby's system is ready to handle them, they are poorly digested and may cause unpleasant reactions (digestive upset, gas, constipation, etc.). Protein digestion is incomplete in infancy. Gastric acid and pepsin are secreted at birth and increase toward adult values over the following 3 to 4 months. The pancreatic enzyme amylase does not reach adequate levels for digestion of starches until around 6 months, and carbohydrate enzymes such as maltase, isomaltase, and sucrase do not reach adult levels until around 7 months. Young infants also have low levels of lipase and bile salts, so fat digestion does not reach adult levels until 6-9 months.

    Delaying solids decreases the risk of food allergies.

    It is well documented that prolonged exclusive breastfeeding results in a lower incidence of food allergies (see Allergy References and Risks of Artificial Feeding). From birth until somewhere between four and six months of age, babies possess what is often referred to as an "open gut." This means that the spaces between the cells of the small intestines will readily allow intact macromolecules, including whole proteins and pathogens, to pass directly into the bloodstream.This is great for your breastfed baby as it allows beneficial antibodies in breastmilk to pass more directly into baby's bloodstream, but it also means that large proteins from other foods (which may predispose baby to allergies) and disease-causing pathogens can pass right through, too. During baby's first 4-6 months, while the gut is still "open," antibodies (sIgA) from breastmilk coat baby's digestive tract and provide passive immunity, reducing the likelihood of illness and allergic reactions before gut closure occurs. Baby starts producing these antibodies on his own at around 6 months, and gut closure should have occurred by this time also. See How Breast Milk Protects Newborns and The Case for the Virgin Gut for more on this subject.

    Delaying solids helps to protect baby from iron-deficiency anemia.

    The introduction of iron supplements and iron-fortified foods, particularly during the first six months, reduces the efficiency of baby's iron absorption. Healthy, full-term infants who are breastfed exclusively for periods of 6-9 months have been shown to maintain normal hemoglobin values and normal iron stores. In one study (Pisacane, 1995), the researchers concluded that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 7 months (and were not give iron supplements or iro

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Gerber Rice Cereal

  • 4 years ago

    Gerber Rice

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Your mother is an idiot if she is telling you to force feed your baby. Cereal in the bottle is a choking hazard, not to mention 6 weeks is far too early to start solids. At 6 weeks she is going through a growth spurt and it is not uncommon for babies to want to eat every 1/2 hour when they go through growth spurts. It should be ok to give her the Gerber formula, all artificial baby milk is regulated and has basically the same ingredients. If you do have a problem with the formula and your doctor give you a prescription WIC will give you another formula, but it will still be in the Gerber brand. As far as force feeding your baby, if baby isn't able to eat off a spoon baby isn't ready for solids. At around 6 months most babies are ready for solids, but for some reason our society likes to try to force feed babies before they are ready. Then we wonder why we have and obesity epidemic.

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  • Right.
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    My doc suggested that for my 4 week old baby because she was drinking way too much and not sleeping enough. The rice cereal thickens the milk a little so the tummy is fuller for longer. She was then taking rice cereal as small snack meals from about 3 months.

    If it doesn't seem to be helping, maybe go back to the doc or try a teaspoon of thicker rice cereal before his bottle. Not too thick though, still milky so it's like a milky paste. I will probably get thumbs down for even thinking that, but I don't care. I knew my baby was ready for it and she handled it well and had no problems with it. You'll be able to tell if your baby is ready or not. Your doc thinks he is.

    Sometimes, I think some people on here and the experts don't really know much about raising babies or are being too over protective!! Baby's are more resilient to things than people give them credit for.

  • Stop doing it. Rice cereal should not be fed to a baby unless done so by a spoon. Cereal in a bottle is a choking hazord and your baby doesnt need it. I tried it once for my daughters reflux and never again. She started coughing it up because it would get stuck then come blasting through with a unch of formula. It also isnt going to help with anything. The amount the goes in the bottle is hardly enough to satifsy them any longer.

  • :)
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Why would you want to? I suggest getting another opinion or another doctor. You are right it does not sound right. He is only 6 weeks he still needs the fats and nutrients from the night time feedings. I wouldn't try to make him sleep longer at night until 6 months. Until then he really needs it. You should go by a mix of what everyone and you says. If you are worried get a totally different pediatrician and get a different opinion.

    Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    OMG there is nothing wrong with giving you little one a little cereal in his night time bottle as long as you don't overdo it! I started adding a little cereal to their night time bottle at around six months old for all three of them. They started eating a little fruit around 4 months. And guess what??? They were fine!! They didn't get constipated and had absolutely no problems!! I would trust your pediatrician (w/ the PhD) over the people on here. You said that it doesn't seem to bother him and that he loves it, so why discontinue?

  • 1 decade ago way. Stop right now and find a new doctor ASAP. You are possibly harming your little guy. There is NO REASON for a 6 week old to have cereal in his formula.

    You need to THINK for yourself, read, research, do your homework. Your pediatrician is a doctor (and a moron), but he is not qualified to give nutritional advice like that.

  • 1 decade ago

    At only 6 weeks old your baby's digestive system may not be mature enough to correctly handle the rice cereal. Also, I appologize that I cant remember where I read this... but I read at my daughters doctors office that babies that are given foods or anything but formula before 6 months are more likely to develope childhood obesity...

    Anyway, I would stop giving it to him and find a new doctor..

  • 1 decade ago

    NO. World Health Organization, CDC, and AAP all recommend waiting until 6mos to start ANY solids, with exception of giving cereal as treatment for reflux disease. If your ped is recommending this at 6 WEEKS i would first ask him why he is recommending this against CDC, WHO, and AAP, then RUN to a new ped!!

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