Experts do not recommend adding cereal to your baby's bottle, as it prevents him from learning how to handle food and to differentiate solids from fluids. Also, the Department of Health recommends that babies do not have anything other than milk, ideally breastmilk, until they are six months old.
There are unfortunately, no proven methods for getting your baby to sleep through the night. Babies are actually programmed in the early weeks to wake frequently for feeds and to make contact. There is a great variation between those who sleep through virtually from the beginning and those who continue to wake up regularly. Some babies seem to be aware of a night / day rhythm earlier than others. After your baby is three or four months old, she is more likely to sleep for a 5-6 hour stretch, which is considered a more "acceptable" pattern.
To sum up, an infant's ability to sleep through the night is dependent on a developmental and adaptive process rather than just a nutritional need. Perhaps our expectations (in the hope for our own precious sleep) are sometimes a little optimistic?
Adding rusk or cereal to a bottle is not advisable because your baby may choke on the thicker consistency. Also, it may be difficult for your baby to differentiate between solids and liquids later on. He needs to be clear that bottles are for milk feeds only.
Apart from that, anything other than milk is not suitable for a baby until they are around six months old as their kidneys and immune system are too immature to cope with the extra protein. Government feeding guidelines suggest that breastmilk or formula milk is sufficient for a baby's needs up to six months and anything else before that time is unnecessary. If you do feel your baby wants to have something else before that time, speak to your health visitor first.
If your baby appears hungry at three months he may simply need to be offered more milk more often. (Read our article for guidance on how much formula your baby needs). Babies occasionally go through a more demanding patch at around three months when they may cry more, do not sleep so well and are generally unsettled. Sometimes this is put down to a growth spurt and it's quite normal in all babies, however they are fed. Be reassured that this is a short-lived period and he will more than likely revert to being perfectly happy on his milk without the need for solids.
Reviewed March 2006
The information above is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.