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Thread: Starting cereal
15th August 2013 10:30 PM #1
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- Aug 2013
My twins just turned 4 months old . Most nights they sleep through the night. I read that at 4 months to start cereal in their bottles and it will also help them sleep better. A few days ago, I mixed 1/2 tsp in 6 oz of formula. That night they cried amd cried. I think their tummys were upset from the cereal.
They were born at 36 weeks. Also one baby is on Soy formula and the other is on Sensitive. Is there a certain type of cereal I should give them and how should I introduce it to them?
16th August 2013 06:52 AM #2
The current recommendation is that all babies have only breastmilk (this is preferred) or formula milk for the first 6 months of life. You can then start to introduce solid food alongside the breast or formula milk from 6 months of age. Therefore, I would not mix cereal in with the formula milk. This is too heavy on their stomach and not nutritious for them compared to the formula milk. The fact that they cried is another indication that cereal is not best for your twins at this age.
It is normal for babies aged less than 6 months (and even less than 1 year...) to not sleep through the night. Babies often need comfort from a parent in the night - I believe this is a natural thing and a good thing, it also helps to protect the baby against SIDS (which is thought to be caused by the baby being in too deep a sleep that breathing can stop). I know there is a huge emphasis in society on babies sleeping through the night, but a baby does not know this - they wake if they are hungry, their nappy is wet or dirty, in pain or want comfort - all of which are valid. At around 4 months of age many babies have a growth spurt which can cause them to wake more frequently in the night (or wake when they were not waking before).
I hope this is helpful for you.
16th August 2013 08:11 AM #3
In reading some of your other posts I've learned that your babies are showing signs of digestive sensitivities, so I would not be surprised if the cereal wasn't digested well and actually caused them to be irritable.
The first thing I would like to suggest is that you not start any solids until the babies are at least 6 months of age AND showing signs of being interested in solid foods. There's a wonderful book called "Baby Led Weaning". The concept in this approach is that you wait to introduce solids until your baby shows interest and can feed himself (with his hands).
What we want to remember is that children will do well exclusively on breast milk or formula until they are 1 year of age. So if you're going to introduce solids before that time, you'll want to remind yourself that "Food is for fun, until they are one." This means that you can give your child a piece of banana to play with and learn from (learning about textures and taste) but if they don't eat any of it, that's just fine, because they are getting the bulk of their nutrition from breastmilk or formula.
It's important to remember that babies who are on formula need to eat every 3 hours, pretty much around the clock. So if, at night, the babies are sleeping for 3 hours, then feeding, then sleeping for 3 hours and feeding again this is normal. Be sure to keep lights low and maybe just use a little flashlight if you need to do a diaper change at night. If they are only wet, you may be able to let them go the whole night in one diaper. There should be no TV or other lights or noises in the room where you feed the babies at night. The lower the lights, and the less "activity" there is, the more the babies should sleep. And if they can't settle, then utilize those swings so that you can get the rest you need. Some babies do really well with white noise at night, to help them go to sleep and stay asleep.
And as I just re-read your note stating that the babies were born 4 weeks early, this means their little bodies are probably only at a developmental stage of 3 months, and they really should not have cereal. They only need breastmilk or formula right now.
31st October 2013 06:30 AM #4
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- Oct 2013
Cereal and preemies
Hi - As a follow up to this thread, my 5 month old was 5 weeks premature. Is it recommended that I wait until she is past 7 months to introduce cereal? Also, I heard that you should not put cereal into bottles and it should be fed separately from the milk (either breast milk or formula) - Is this true?
2nd November 2013 10:14 AM #5
If I had a preemie, I would wait to introduce solids until she was at least 7 months of age simply because developmentally, she would most likely be a little behind.
You'll want to look for developmental readiness before starting solids. Can she easily swallow without thrusting her tongue forward (and spitting out the food)? Can she sit by herself? Does she reach for your food when you're eating? These are all signs that a baby may be ready for solids.
I've seen mums offer babies cereal mixed with milk in a bottle or a feeder. I'm thinking it may be a personal choice. But I've also seen babies get upset tummies from being fed cereal too soon.
Babies really do very well with only breast milk or formula for the first year, so there isn't a big need for baby to have nutrition offered by solid foods during the first year. Food is for fun, until they are one, and I'd encourage you to take a look at some of the videos online that show mums feeding their babies according to the Baby Led Weaning program. Here's one that shows the first week of solids according to the "Baby Led Weaning" program.
5th November 2013 04:27 AM #6
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- Oct 2013
Thanks for the reply. Great video!
I will wait for signs of my baby being ready for food in the next few months.
5th November 2013 06:26 AM #7
That's a beautiful video.
We did baby led weaning and love it. Here's a link to the baby led weaning recipe page. You can start out with, well anything really. Just healthy chunks of food. Steamed vegetable slices, pieces of roast chicken, mango, broccoli, fruit spread on bread, tomatoes, avocado, green beans, orange, banana....
I would certainly agree with Kate to wait until your little one shows the developmental signs of being read for food (e.g. able to sit up alone, reaching out for food, able to hold small objects)