Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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Avatar universal

Is 16 weeks too soon for cereal?

I am going back to work on Monday with a baby who is totally resistant to bottles.  I will only be gone a total of 4-5 hours and my husband will be with her during this time.  She took bottles from about 3-7 weeks and a couple times after that but now is completely resistant to it at almost 16 weeks.  We have tried everything (about 6 different nipples, two different bottle systems, breastmilk, formula, sugar water, daddy feeding, mommy feeding, different positions, bottle warmer, etc.) I am wondering if my dh can just feed her some cereal while I am gone to get her through?  I really still want to nurse so I hate to stop it cold turkey just to get her to take a bottle.  I tried giving her a little cereal today and she kept pulling my hand towards her mouth like she wanted more so I am wondering if this is a sign she is ready for it??
79 Responses
187316 tn?1386360282
They can start eating cereal at 4 months if the doctor says its okay. Most doctors say to wait until 6 months since since they can still get allergies from it at 4 and 5. I as always told to look for the signals to see if they want to eat cereal. One of them is that when you eat food she opens and closes her mouth like she wants some and another is that when you put it in her mouth she doesn't push out the spoon with her tongue like she is trying to suck. If you started it and she seems ready and her doctor hasn't specifically said no I say go for it.
161938 tn?1212172749
yes it is too soon
their digestive tracts are made of still developing cells
they are not ready yet!
171768 tn?1324233699
while many drs say cereal at 4 months is OK, for babies on breast milk 6 months is generally recommended. not that cereal would hurt her, but rather because the best way to maximize benefits of breast milk is to give it exclusively. as mysty said, the digestive tract is still developing, so the less foreign things introduced the better.

but whether or not you choose to introduce cereal, using it to substitute a meal is not a good idea. breast milk or formula-fed,  4 months or 6 months, cereal is used to introduce taste and texture and not for nourishment. even at 9 months, solids complement my dd's feeding, and it does not replace any of her meals. the amount of cereal a 4 month old can get is 2 tbs, hardly enough to sustain her until the next feed.

you are in a tough spot. have you tried letting her go until she's really, really hungry? i think, in general, a lot of people advise this. eventually she'll be hungry enough to take it. i would ask you pediatrician though, to see what he says, especially since none of us knows your child. good luck!
93532 tn?1349374050
Are you still in the house when the bottle is offered? Maybe even have daddy leave the house with baby to get away from your smell and see if she will take it then.

Other than that I agree that cereal as a meal is not a good idea. She will need formula or breastmilk for her feedings.
Avatar universal
I do not really mean for the cereal to "replace" her feedings - just to tie her over until I get home.  I don't plan to give her anymore cereal than that and I will just continue to nurse on demand as usual.  We have tried everything with the bottles---except quitting nursing cold turkey which I don't really want to do since I really want to nurse longer, at least until she is 6 months or so.
She will take the bottle (and pacis and her thumb) in her mouth but she just chews on them - she will not latch and suck on anything but the real thing.  Eventually she gets real mad if you even put the bottle by her face.  I even bought a sippy cup but I don't think that will work either.
171768 tn?1324233699
what flow nipple are you using? maybe your letdowns are hard and the slow flow nipple frustrates her, which is why she chews it?
Avatar universal
Nope - we have tried every type of flow for the nipples from newborn to fast flow on two different bottle systems(Avent and Playtex Drop-ins).  Any other ideas?  I am ready to dip the nipples in frosting  - maybe that would work (just kidding!)!!
Avatar universal
I also have a breastmilk question...how long is breastmilk good if you take it out of the freezer and directly put it in the refrigerator to thaw out??
93532 tn?1349374050
Quitting nursing won't fix the problem, only make it far more frustrating for the both of you. And if you will be gone for 4 or more hours, that is replacing feedings.

I have no idea about bottles, never had to give them. Hopefully someone will have an idea. Are you using the flat silicone nipples? I have head good things about those from a friend who nursed and eventually bottle fed.

Just to clarify, have you actually left the house or had someone else leave the house with the baby to feed a bottle? Are you making sure not to wait until late signs of hunger to feed? The bottle needs to be offered well before she fusses.
Avatar universal
Yes we have tried with both me here and gone.  We have tried regular and the flat orthodontic nipples.  We have tried when she was not hungry and when she is very hungry.  It is not really the bottle that is the problem - she just will not latch to the bottle nipple or anything else that resembles one(except for the real thing).
Anyways I am not planning to quit nursing at all.  As I said, I will nurse at least until 6 months and maybe longer but unfortunately I have to go back to work and during that time my baby needs something in her belly.  I feel maybe cereal would be better than nothing.  I can't really figure out what harm it would do since it would be mixed with breastmilk anyways.  What else can I do, I can't exactly nurse her from across town.  
93532 tn?1349374050
You have to figure something else out, cereal cannot be her only intake during that time you will be gone for hours...period. It cannot be, you cannot feed her cereal in place of breastmilk or formula.

Boy am I glad I didn't have this battle. We went without a lot of things to stay at home, seeing stories like this makes me thankful I didn't have this battle.

Good luck.
165078 tn?1255610007
I would not give cereal.  Sorry - my dd chocked on it during as asthma attack that I did not even know she had asthma at the time.  She was 5 1/2 months old and the doctor said I could start her.  Three 911 calls later and cereal was the enemy.  Dont chance it there are things that your child may have that you may not know about yet.  (asthma and allergies are two of them).  Cereal could be deadly.  My next child will only have formula for the first 10 months and then baby food.  

Dont risk it.  Your baby will drink out of the bottle once hungry enough.  
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