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What to use for mixing cereal for breastfed baby?Oct 1999
There has been a lot of talk about this over the past several weeks and I'm confused. Very confused. One source says that soy is beneficial to babies another says don't give it due to the estrogens and allergies. Back and forth. Do and don't. Help! I am still breastfeeding my 6 1/2 month old daughter with the exception of introducing solids. We are up to giving carrots, sweet peas, green beans, sweet potatoes and spinach--all out of the jar [Earth's Best] and all without any signs of allergies. We also do oatmeal [Baby Times] without any signs of allergies. Since I am not pumping much any longer, I wanted to try a formula to mix in with the oatmeal instead of just water thinking that the formula would be the next best thing to my own breastmilk. I do not want to introduce cow's milk and after looking at all of the formulas on the supermaket's shelves I thought that a soy-based, lactose-free formula would be better (perhaps Prosobee?) I'm reluctant to try it because of all of the conflicting information out there. What do you listen to and what do you discard? Does anybody have some sound advice on this little matter? Let me end by saying that I know very well that the absolute best thing for my baby is my own breastmilk and I am trying very hard to keep it as her main source of nutrition. However, on those occassions that I can't provide her with it...I need an alternative. Thanks for your input!
Ask your pediatrician what he/she recommends, is my suggestion. This way you'll get advice tailored to your particular baby, from someone you (hopefully) trust and respect. I asked mine what kind of formula to use (this was actually before my baby was born - I wanted to have some on hand just in case - part of me couldn't believe I would actually be able to produce breastmilk...) His answer was any of the milk-based formulas. I neglected to ask why, trusting soul that I am, but you could certainly do that (and probably should). I know my doctor also forbids cow's mild before one year, is very concerned about allergies (tells me not to introduce more than one new food every three to five days, etc., no corn, no eggwhite, no wheat etc.), and encourages breastfeeding as long as possible (when I asked him about formula his first response was ask me about breastfeeding but I told him I know what kind of breastmilk I'll use...) It sounds like your baby is doing great with food and will probably be fine no matter which one you choose. (My baby is a big and healthy 7 mo. old too, for what that's worth.)
Our pediatrician told us not to worry about what we used to mix the rice cereal or oatmeal - water was fine, she said, especially since I'm still breastfeeding. So we use boiled water, and them mixed in a little applesauce or banana. The baby seems to like it just fine, and I don't think the amount of liquid you need to mix cereal makes much of a nutritional difference. Its sure a lot easier than worrying about pumping or formula!
Here's my thinking on this. There's breastmilk, breastmilk substitutes, and solids. You can use formula as a breastmilk substitute or you can use it as a solid. There's no rule that says you have to mix breastmilk or formula with cereal. Cereal is a solid which you give in addition to breastmilk which is still the mainstay of your child's diet. There's no reason to pump breastmilk to mix it with cereal since your child is much more efficient than a pump. Let the kid get the breastmilk directly from the breast. I mixed the cereal with rice dream. Now, rice dream is not an appropriate breastmilk substitute but it is an appropriate solid. You could use soy formula as well, just think of it as a solid. As long as you have variety and soy isn't the sole constituent of the diet (as it would be if you were giving a soy formula instead of breastfeeding) then I don't think the amount of estrogens, or any other rumoured evil of soy, would be an issue. Do you eat tofu once a week or do you eat it for every meal? But, as I said, unless you're giving the cereal to replace a nursing session, then you don't need to be giving a breastmilk substitute.
For a continuation of this discussion, see To Soy or Not to Soy