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


If you are first-time parents, then you may struggle with sleep issues for a few months after your baby’s birth or until you get used to your baby’s sleeping pattern. However, you may come across people recommending various ways to induce better sleep to your baby at night, and one of the suggestions may be, adding rice cereal to your baby’s formula milk. Is it true? Is adding rice cereal to your baby’s bottle a safe option? We shall be discussing all that you need to know about adding rice cereal to your baby’s bottle, in the following article.

Can You Add Rice Cereal to Baby’s Bottle?

You may have come across a suggestion of adding rice cereal, and you may wonder can I add rice cereal to my baby’s bottle? The answer may not be that simple because sometimes doctors may recommend adding rice cereal to the baby’s bottle due to various reasons. Also, this was the thing of the past, which means there may have been instances when people may have opted for rice cereals to induce better sleep to their babies. However, there is no proof available. It is important to understand that hunger and sleep in babies have a very little connection. This is because even if the baby is well-fed, he may get up at night either to feed or just to feel the presence of the parents. Whatever the reason may be, babies, unlike adults, have immature nervous systems, which do not understand the concept of sleeping at a stretch or to sleep for five or more hours. Therefore, in other words, until the time babies develop a fully matured nervous system, it may be too much to expect in terms of longer sleeping hours even if a baby is well-fed.

When and How to Introduce Rice Cereals to Infants?

Most doctors do not recommend adding rice cereal to your baby’s diet until your baby may be four months or older. Also, you should not add rice cereal until or unless advised by a doctor to do so.

1. When Is Your Baby Ready?

You may be tempted to give a lick or give a morsel of food to your baby thinking that it may not cause much harm to your baby. However, the reality is, it may cause great harm to your baby if you introduce any solids to them before they are four months old. This is because babies have immature digestive systems and giving them solid food may trigger various kinds of allergies and other health ailments. Thus, you may give solid food only after four months of age.

2. How to Introduce Rice Cereal to Infants?

You may give rice cereal to your baby in the formula milk or breast milk to give him the hang of solid foods. You may want to begin slowly by adding a teaspoon of rice cereal and then, gradually, introducing solid foods to your baby. However, avoid using the bottle to feed rice cereal to your baby; you should feed your baby with a spoon instead.


3. Precautionary Measures to Take

If you are wondering when can I start putting cereal in my baby’s bottle? The answer is that feeding rice cereal from a bottle is not recommended, until or unless you have been advised by your doctor. Also, whenever you introduce any kind of solid food to your baby, take it slow, this means to introduce one cereal at a time and also look for any signs of diarrhoea, vomiting or coughing as these could be the possible signs of an allergic reaction.

Health Issues of Adding Rice Cereal in Bottle of Your Baby

Here are some health hazards that may occur by adding rice cereal to your baby’s diet:

Health Hazards Description
1. Allergic Reaction Most of the infant cereal contains substantial amounts of gluten in them and gluten may trigger an allergic reaction if included in a baby’s diet before six months of age.
2. Obesity Rice cereal is high in starch and calories and including this in your baby’s diet may increase the chances of obesity later in your baby’s life.
3. Choking Rice Cereal has a thicker consistency in comparison to milk, and thus, rice cereal in bottle may cause choking hazard in babies. Also, babies may get all confused when you fed them milk and semi-solid food from the bottle, which can make introducing solids foods a great task in the later stages.
4. Digestion Problem Babies do not have a strong digestive system to support solid foods before six months of age. Thus, if you introduce rice cereal to your baby before that, then it increases your baby risk of having digestion problems later in life.


Will Rice Cereal Help Your Baby To Sleep Longer?

Studies have indicated that there is no connection between feeding rice cereal and longer sleeping hours in babies. What may happen is, after you feed cereal in baby bottle to help sleep, it may only lead to a satiated baby who may sleep for half an hour more, but certainly not for longer durations.

3 Alternatives That You Can Use to Rice Cereal

There is no denying that sleep is very important for a baby and it is equally important for a newbie-mommy as she may keep struggling with the sleep woes. However, here are some alternatives that you may try to induce better sleep for your baby:

1. The Bedtime Routine

Though this may seem a bit far-fetched initially, however, making a schedule or a routine helps. You may want to settle your baby to bed almost at the same time every night. Also, put your baby to sleep early and try and get sleep whenever your munchkin sleeps.

2. Try Warm-Water Bath

Try giving your baby a warm water bath before bedtime. Warm water baths are a great way to relax and soothe a baby, which means better and more hours of uninterrupted sleep.


3. Try Dream feeding Your Baby

Many mothers swear by this method of inducing better sleep in babies. This involves feeding your baby while he is asleep and before you retire for the night. Feeding in this way may keep the baby satisfied for some more time and may help you sleep better too.

Whenever you may come across something that may guarantee you with uninterrupted sleep, you may feel tempted to try it. However, as far as feeding rice cereal from a bottle is concerned, do not do so without consulting your pediatrician.

Also Read:

Baby Feeding- What to Feed
Bottled Water for Babies