Q&A: Can you mix cereal into the formula for 2-month-olds?
Can you mix cereal into the formula for 2-month-olds? I've heard it makes them sleep longer.
As nice as it may sound to help your baby sleep longer, it is not recommended for babies to be given baby cereal before 4 to 6 months of age, and even then it should not be added to a baby’s bottle. That said, it’s not surprising that this is what you’ve heard, as it used to be a common practice in decades past. We now know, however, that babies’ digestive systems aren’t thought to be ready to handle cereal well until 4 months of age, and studies simply don’t support the notion that adding cereal to the bottle makes babies sleep longer. Instead, it’s considered best to wait until a baby shows signs of solid food readiness—such as holding up his/her head, starting to sit, and showing an interest in food. This typically occurs between 4 and 6 months of age.
Once your baby is a few months older, you’ll also want to be sure you introduce her to her first tastes of baby cereal on a spoon, rather than in a bottle, as adding extra cereal to a bottle is cause for concern when it comes to overfeeding babies. While it is said to be difficult to overfeed a baby, this common statement applies to breast or formula feeding. It does not, however, hold true if cereal is added to the (bottle) mix. For more information on when and how best to introduce babies to baby cereal and other solid foods, you may be interested in reading the “Baby Bites: Starting Solid Foods” section of my book, Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor and a Bottle of Ketchup.