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Thread: Rice Cereal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Rice Cereal?

    Let me start out by saying that I know it's not ideal, so no lectures on starting cereal too early, okay? :-)

    I was just wondering if anyone has heard anything about rice cereal being bad for babies if started too early. My mom babysits my 3 month old while I work, and sometimes (two or three times a week at most) she puts a small spoonfull of single-grain rice cereal in his bottle.

    I'm not so worried about it - it's not affecting his nursing at all - but I just wanted to make sure it isn't going to be detrimental in any way. The #2 ingredient is "soy oil-lecithin" (whatever that is! I do think I'll buy her some organic cereal at least!), and soy is on the possible allergy list, so is this okay? Food allergies do NOT run in our family, so that's not a concern.

    It is such a small amount and so infrequent, and it's not making the least bit of difference in his nursing or the amount he eats during the day, so it really doesn't bother me as long as it doesn't become an every-bottle thing and doesn't go beyond rice cereal... I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has heard of this being bad for young babies, and if so, why?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Rice Cereal?

    I did rice cereal at 4 MO- he loved it and I have no regrets. We're still nursing at (almost) 1 year so I don't believe that it had any affect on our nursing relationship.

    My only concern with what you're asking is putting the cereal into a bottle. Rice cereal in a bottle is a choking hazard.

    Mommy to
    Logan 5-23-07
    Colby 12-14-09

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Rice Cereal?

    If it's such a small amount why give it at all since you already know it's way too early. Your milk production isn't what you should be worried about, you should worry about your LO's very sensitive tummy.
    Mommy to Madilyn Born 4/25/07 9lbs. 15oz.
    for 17 months. Greatest momments of my life!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Rice Cereal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Madilyn'sMommy View Post
    If it's such a small amount why give it at all since you already know it's way too early. Your milk production isn't what you should be worried about, you should worry about your LO's very sensitive tummy.
    I'm not worried about my milk production - I was just trying to say that he's not getting so full on cereal that it's causing him not to eat as much. I've been watching him closely, and I don't think it bothers his tummy at all (like you said, it's such a small amount) - my mom just seems to enjoy it so much, and be so proud of herself, and I don't want to take that away unless there's a concrete reason to do so!

    Are there any symptoms I should be on the look out for besides fussiness and bloody / funky poop to make sure that it isn't hurting his tummy?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Rice Cereal?

    For food sensitivities (and I imagine some of them apply just as well to a bbaby who just isn't ready developmentally for anything but breast milk), here are some things to watch for from www.askdrsears.com:
    - bloating and gassiness
    - a sandpaper-like raised red rash on the face
    - runny nose and watery eyes
    - diarrhea or mucousy stools
    - a red rash around the anus (we call this the "target sign.")
    - generally cranky behavior
    - vomiting or increased spitting-up

    The other thing I've heard is that feeding rice cereal in a bottle may make baby overweight. I imagine that's because he's used to getting a certain amount of liquid food, so he's not prepared to be filled quite so much when he's seemingly getting the same amount.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that, while a small spoonful seems like such a small amount to us, it may actually be quite a lot to a young baby. For one thing, their stomachs are very small. For another, it takes them quite a lot longer to digest something like rice cereal than it does breast milk.

    Dr. Sears has another reason to wait:

    "Baby's intestines need to mature. The intestines are the body's filtering system, screening out potentially harmful substances and letting in healthy nutrients. In the early months, this filtering system is immature. Between four and seven months a baby's intestinal lining goes through a developmental growth spurt called closure, meaning the intestinal lining becomes more selective about what to let through. To prevent potentially-allergenic foods from entering the bloodstream, the maturing intestines secrete IgA , a protein immunoglobulin that acts like a protective paint, coating the intestines and preventing the passage of harmful allergens. In the early months, infant IgA production is low (although there is lots of IgA in human milk), and it is easier for potentially-allergenic food molecules to enter the baby's system. Once food molecules are in the blood, the immune system may produce antibodies to that food, creating a food allergy . By six to seven months of age the intestines are more mature and able to filter out more of the offending allergens. This is why it's particularly important to delay solids if there is a family history of food allergy, and especially to delay the introduction of foods to which other family members are allergic."

    All that being said, if anything is to be introduced so early, rice cereal is probably the safest.

    Still, I REALLY recommend you talk to your pediatrician about this practice.
    ~~~~ ~~~~
    Iryssa(24), DH(27)

    DS born Sept. 21 '07, 8.5lbs
    Nursed for the last time Oct. 20 '08

    DD born Jan. 20, '09, 8lbs 14oz


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Rice Cereal?

    I would be concerned about it being a choking hazard.
    Allie, moma to Owen born 11/23/2006 and breast feeding ever since. .

    No time for flash cards! ~fun and learning for toddlers and preschoolers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Rice Cereal?

    Believe me, I get it about not wanting to take something away from grandma. My parents have been harping about solids since DD has been very small- like 2 months old! Finally, grandma came to visit when DD turned 24 weeks. She wanted so badly to give her something to eat, so we let her give DD a tiny bit of banana. DD grabbed it, squished it, put it in her mouth, swirled it a bit and spit it out on grandma's shirt. Baby was pleased with herself and grandma was ecstatic about seeing her try her first solid. Obviously from a baby led perspective, DD is NOT ready for solids. But for this one time, we let her have a taste that never even made it down her.

    But just to be on the safe side, watch for signs carefully. Baby's gut isn't closed yet, so food sensitivities can flare up quickly. Rice is not generally an issue, but soy anything isn't recommended for the first year. Surprising but true, I read that soy is in the top ten most commonly allergic foods.

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