Myth Buster: Infant Feedings

by Laura Flynn Mccarthy

Myth Buster: Infant Feedings



Adding some rice cereal to your baby’s breast milk or formula will help her sleep through the night.



A study at the Cleveland Clinic involving more than 100 babies found that adding a tablespoon of rice cereal per ounce of breast milk or formula in nighttime bottles had no effect on sleep. Plus, infants shouldn’t be given solids before they’re 4 to 6 months old, when their tongue movements develop enough for swallowing and they can sit up with little support, says Elisa Zied, spokes-person for the American Dietetic Association. (It’s also better to introduce solids with a spoon to help develop eating skills.)

Alas, middle-of-the-night feedings may be inevitable. Until about 4 to 6 months, most babies can’t hold enough food in their stomachs to last until morning. Even after 6 months, they can wake naturally throughout the night, and it may take some time before they learn how to soothe themselves back to sleep without the comfort of a breast or bottle.