Our little boy is 4 and half months old. He weights around 7.5 kg. He wakes up many times at night for milk.

Shall we start giving him baby food so that he does not feel hungry at night?

3 Answers 3


Early weaning probably won't help your baby sleep through the night.


No research supports this belief. Young babies given solid food (and this includes rice cereal in their bottle) at a young age, do not sleep any better than babies who are not given solid foods.

It's an old wives' tale based on the mistaken assumption that young babies need solids such as baby rice to help them sleep through the night. The Department of Health recommends that babies should not be given solid foods before six months.


We know that many are probably tempted to try the old "cereal in the bottle" trick to gain an extra 1 hour (heck even an extra 20 minutes.) of sleep. We also know that this is one of the biggest and possibly one of the more dangerous practices you could engage in.

It is not a good idea because you may throw the "I'm full" instinct off kilter; more importantly, babies have been known to aspirate cereal when cereal is mixed in a bottle with formula or breast milk. Babies who are younger than 4-6 months old seldom know how to properly swallow anything other than breast milk or formula and gulping or "inhaling" a bottle with cereal in it may have deadly consequences.

Recommendations are that babies get nothing but breast milk for the first six months; or formula if breast feeding is not possible. There are important health reasons for this.

There are techniques you could try to help your child sleep through.


Disturbed nights can be very hard to cope with. If you have a partner, get them to help. If you’re formula feeding, encourage your partner to share the feeds. If you’re breastfeeding, ask your partner to take over the early morning changing and dressing so that you can go back to sleep. Once you’re into a good breastfeeding routine, your partner could occasionally give a bottle of expressed breast milk during the night. If you’re on your own, you could ask a friend or relative to stay for a few days so that you can sleep.

Some people might suggest 'controlled crying', but that's not really suitable for babies under six months.

If you decide that you still want to wean early, you could read this advice about what foods to avoid.


  • 1
    Could you edit this to include quotes supporting your commentary from your sources? Just a few sentences copied for relevance and posterity, in case those sites change URLs or alter their pages. :D
    – Aarthi
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 21:34
  • 1
    That's a good idea!
    – DanBeale
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 6:11

Unfortunately, you are best off waiting it out.

At around 6 months, you can start supplementing his meals with some baby-safe cereals (rice cereal is a very common first solid food). However, you should consult with your pediatrician first.

It is important to note that formula will remain the primary source of nutrition until he is roughly one year old.

Once he's old enough to start on solid foods, a late-night meal of cereal may very well help him sleep through the night. However, be aware that infants tend to change their sleep patterns fairly frequently as they grow.

It is rough at first, but take hope: baby sleep cycles get progressively easier as they get older, and six months is frequently a milestone for seeing some improvement.

  • It is worth noting that a fresh baby has a large reserve of iron that will last until they are about 6 months old, after that the need to start taking some solids in addition to milk. Iron fortified rice cereal (as mentioned) as a good start.
    – dave
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 4:25
  • @dave - I just had a quick look and UK formula milks tend to be fortified with iron if the milk is for a child over 6 months. (There's a strict law about advertising and selling formula milk for children under 6 months, so 'follow on' milk is a way to get around the advertising ban).
    – DanBeale
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 18:15

You have to wait for him to reach 6 months old, so you can give him baby food. For the meantime, you really have to patiently wake up at night for feeding. I also have similar experience with my son, when he was at this age, it is really very tiring, but we really have to adjust on your baby's feeding schedule. With this, you can assure that they will have a stable growth and development - http://goarticles.com/article/Understanding-The-Baby-Weight-Percentile/7165388/

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