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Cereal in the Bottle

There is a perception that if a baby has a full stomach and feels heavy, they will sleep more, but unfortunately, this is far from reality and can even be dangerous for the baby's health.


Health and Development Risks for the Baby:

Recent studies have shown that the early introduction of foods (before 6 months) is associated with a higher risk of diabetes, obesity, eczema, celiac disease, diarrhea, or gastroenteritis. This is because the baby needs to develop the intestinal bacteria and enzymes necessary for safer digestion. Additionally, there are nutritional requirements for the baby's growth and development that are optimally obtained through human milk or formula. For this reason, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend not offering food before 6 months. Offering food in a bottle can also affect the development of the baby's feeding skills and abilities.


Breastfeeding or Chestfeeding Risks:

  • When we introduce solids earlier than recommended, we are jeopardizing our milk production. Remember that humanfeeding is supply and demand; the more we offer, the less the risk of our production decreasing. If this is done regularly, we run the risk of falling into a vicious circle by gradually replacing direct breastfeeding chestfeeding.

  • Baby's sleep is an evolutionary process that develops in tandem with the baby's needs. Frequent milk feedings prevent complications such as poor weight gain, dehydration, and episodes of apnea. Baby's "light" sleep is a survival mechanism!


Risk of Choking:

  • Food or cereal in the baby's bottle poses a risk of choking, gagging, choking, and even inhalation of the heavy mixture into their lungs.


There are no studies proving that this will help them sleep through the night:

In a study conducted by the University of San Jorge in London, 1,303 3-month-old children were monitored and divided into two groups: babies who exclusively breastfed or chestfed until 6 months and babies who received solids in addition to human milk from 3 months. The group of babies who started solids at 3 months slept 7 minutes more than babies who did not start solids until 6 months. Furthermore, they did not show increased sleep time until 5 months of age. Therefore, the risks in this case outweigh the benefits of only sleeping 7 minutes more.


The risks of eating before bedtime have been demonstrated through multiple studies. A heavy dinner before bedtime can affect cardiovascular health and increase the risk of obesity or overweight. A bottle with baby cereal and dessert could be considered a heavy or substantial dinner. Also, the shorter the time between eating and bedtime in those suffering from gastroesophageal reflux, the greater the risk of reflux-related symptoms.


So, is it worth exposing your baby to health and development complications for just 7 minutes more of sleep?



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