Baby-bottle cereal feeders can help ease severe cases of medically diagnosed reflux or can provide additional calories for infants who are otherwise unable to take in adequate nutrition. However, as of 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that introducing solids too early or mixing them with a liquid in a bottle may lead to overfeeding and obesity. The AAP recommends that parents give their babies only breast milk or formula in a bottle unless otherwise directed by their pediatrician.
Anecdotal evidence from friends and family or a belief that adding cereal to the baby's bottle results in improved sleep patterns are two common reasons why parents are tempted to use a baby-bottle cereal feeder. However, the AAP does not support these claims. Breast milk or formula fulfills a baby's nutritional needs for the first six months to a year of life. The AAP recommends introducing solids around six months of age, separate from bottle or breast feeding.
Although sleep deprivation is a valid concern, the AAP suggests that parents try strategies other than feeding cereal to improve their baby's sleep. Many babies experience periods of difficult sleep patterns before settling into a routine. For babies who have troublesome reflux or who need extra calories, pediatricians typically prescribe antacids or extra formula before suggesting that parents add cereal to their baby's bottles.
There are products specially designed to function as baby-bottle cereal feeders. The Tommee Tippee brand offers an added cereal bottle that features a Y-cut nipple to allow thickened breast milk or formula to flow more easily than it does in a traditional baby bottle nipple.