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When Can I Put Oatmeal In My Baby’s Bottle?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants are not fed any solid foods, including oatmeal until they are at least 6 months old. By then, their appetite and stomach will be prepared to digest oatmeal cereals.

Introducing solid foods to your baby can be an exciting and rewarding milestone. Oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber, iron and other essential nutrients that are important for your baby’s growth and development. 

However, it is important to wait until your baby is ready to start solids before adding oatmeal to their bottle

In this article, we will discuss when you can put oatmeal in your baby’s bottle, how much oatmeal to put in the bottle, what is the right nipple size for oatmeal, and how to prepare oatmeal for your baby

We will also teach you some tips and tricks to make sure that your baby enjoys their oatmeal. So read on to find out more!

When can I put oatmeal in my baby's bottle?

Can I put oatmeal in a baby bottle?

We’ve already mentioned that once your little one reaches the age of six months, you can start giving them oatmeal in their baby bottle as a nutritious meal. At this stage, their digestive systems are mature enough to digest oatmeal.

When adding oatmeal to your baby’s bottle, it’s important to use fine-ground oatmeal and mix it with baby milk or formula to create a smooth, thin consistency

Avoid using instant oatmeal or flavored oatmeal, as they may contain added sugars and other ingredients that are not suitable for your baby.

“It’s also a good idea to start with small amounts of food for babies and gradually increase the amount as your baby becomes more accustomed to this kind of baby food,” says Steph Lee, MD, MPH, FAAP, a board-certified pediatrician. “This will help ensure they can tolerate the oatmeal and minimize the risk of any digestive issues.”

Also read: Do babies start babbling and then stop

How much cereal is recommended to add to my baby’s bottle?

When introducing cereal to babies, it is important to start with a very small amount. Experts typically suggest starting with one tablespoon of cereal with four tablespoons of breast milk or baby formula.

Gradually increase the amount in each bottle over several weeks until your baby takes thicker and larger amounts at each feeding. 

However, it is also essential for parents to remember that formula or breast milk should still be the primary source of nutrients for their baby and not replace regular feedings with cereal-filled bottles. 

You should also note that some babies might have food allergy risks. So, before adding cereal to your baby’s bottle, talk to your doctor about the best way to introduce solid foods into your baby’s diet. However, choosing iron-fortified baby cereals can be a good option for the baby.

What size nipple should I use to feed my baby oatmeal in a bottle?

You can use a faster-flow nipple or a commercially precut, cross-cut nipple when feeding your baby oatmeal in a bottle. These are what most feeding specialists now recommend.

It may also be helpful to thin the oatmeal mixture with a little bit of breast milk or formula in a food processor. It makes it easier to flow through the nipple.

You can also use a spoon or a small cup to feed the oatmeal to your baby rather than a bottle if you are having difficulty getting the oatmeal to flow through the nipple.

Also read: Should I put socks on child with fever

Is there any choking hazard when feeding a baby oatmeal through a bottle?

There is a choking hazard when feeding any food to a baby, including oatmeal. According to CDC, offering your baby cereal or other solid foods in a bottle will not make them sleep longer, and it may even put them at risk of choking. 

It is important to be aware of the consistency of the oatmeal. It should be thin enough to flow easily through the nipple.

To reduce the choking hazard when feeding your baby oatmeal through a bottle, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Add the oatmeal mixture with breast milk or formula to make it easier to flow through the nipple.
  • Use a faster-flow baby bottle nipple or a commercially precut, crosscut nipple, as these have larger openings that can accommodate the thicker consistency of the oatmeal.
  • Be present during feedings and watch for any signs of choking or difficulty swallowing. Never put your baby to bed with a bottle alone.
  • If you are concerned about the choking hazard, you can try using a baby spoon or a small cup to feed the oatmeal to your baby rather than a bottle.

Is It Safe to Put oatmeal in a Baby’s Bottle?

It is generally better to serve oatmeal to your baby in a small bowl or on a spoon. This allows your baby to practice their chewing and swallowing skills and can also help them learn how to eat solid foods.

If you choose to put oatmeal in your baby’s bottle, do so sparingly. We’ve already mentioned that oatmeal can be a choking hazard if not prepared properly and put into a bottle too thick or with lumps. 

It is best to use very thin oatmeal that has been thinned out with infant formula or expressed breastmilk.

Also, never let your baby drink from a bottle while lying down, as the thicker liquid may cause them to choke if it doesn’t flow easily.

If you want to give your baby an occasional oatmeal in a bottle for convenience, ensure that it is thinned out sufficiently and carefully monitor your baby’s reaction when they take the first few sips.

If you notice any signs of distress, such as coughing or gagging, remove the bottle and allow your baby to have a few minutes to settle before offering them oatmeal in a bowl or on a spoon.

How To Prepare Oatmeal For Babies

Here are a few oatmeal recipes that you can try for your baby:

Step 1: Start by boiling one cup of water. Once the water has boiled, add one tablespoon of oats and stir until it is fully combined. 

Step 2: Allow the mixture to cool slightly before adding two tablespoons of infant formula or expressed breast milk. This will help make the mixture thinner and easier to flow through a bottle nipple.

Step 3: Once you have added enough liquid to create a thin consistency that can easily pass through a bottle nipple without clumping, allow the oatmeal to cool completely before offering it to your baby in a bottle.

It is important not to replace regular feedings with cereal-filled bottles, as this may lead to excessive weight gain or malnutrition in some babies. So, offer oatmeal in a bottle occasionally and ensure that it is always thinned out properly. 

Also, avoid letting your baby drink from a bottle while lying down so they don’t choke on the thicker liquid. Finally, always be present during feedings and watch for any signs of choking or difficulty swallowing.

FAQs

Is oatmeal cereal good for babies? 

Oatmeal cereal can be a good option for babies as it is a source of nutrients such as iron and B vitamins. This type of infant cereal is easy to digest and good for severe reflux than other grains. 
However, it is important to consult your healthcare provider before introducing oatmeal or any other new food to your baby’s diet, as each baby’s digestive system is different.
They will be able to provide pediatric nutrition guidance on the appropriate age to introduce oatmeal and the appropriate serving size for your baby.

Does oatmeal in a bottle help baby sleep?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that oatmeal in a bottle can help a baby sleep. It is not uncommon for babies to sleep longer after a feeding, regardless of what variety of foods they are fed.
However, this could be due to various factors, such as age, size, and individual sleep patterns. If you have concerns about your baby’s sleep, you should consult your healthcare provider for guidance.

Why does it seem that adding cereal to a bottle makes a baby sleep longer?

Though oatmeal is a healthy food, no scientific evidence supports the idea that adding cereal to a bottle makes a baby sleep longer.
However, adding cereal to a bottle may make a baby sleep longer because it can be more filling than breast milk or formula alone. Babies may feel more satisfied after feeding and therefore be more likely to sleep for a longer period of time.

Wrapping Up

Thanks for reading! We hope this article has helped you to understand the basics of feeding your baby oatmeal in a bottle. 

Oatmeal is solid food, and babies under six months of age are not developmentally ready for solid foods. They should only be given breast milk or formula. Introducing solid foods too early can lead to choking and may cause an allergic reaction.

Once a baby is ready for solid foods, usually around six months of age, you can introduce oatmeal as a cereal mixed with breast milk or formula

It is also important to follow the guidance of a healthcare provider when introducing solid foods to a baby.

Please share this article with your friends and family if you found it helpful.

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Jamie-Feit

Jamie Feit is an author, speaker and registered dietician who teaches busy moms how to plan healthy meals or crafts that families will enjoy without spending hours in the kitchen. Jamie has extensive education, with a masters degree in clinical nutrition from New York University and more than 20 years of experience helping her patients meet their health goals. With over two decades of professional experience, Jamie also holds the cosher credential of Holistic Certified Health Coach. Read more

Dr. Leah Alexander

Dr. Leah Alexander is a board-certified general pediatrician and has been practicing pediatrics at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000. Since 2005, she has been working as an independently contracted pediatrician with Medical Doctors Associates at Pediatricare Associates of New Jersey. She also enjoys cooking outside of the medical profession. Read more

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