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I need concrete evidence for why 'thickening' baby milk is bad.

(33 Posts)
Nonie241419 Sat 31-May-14 19:48:08

I know that adding baby rice to bottles is bad/not recommended, but I need some hard facts to back that up. My DH's brother's baby is 4 weeks old. She was low birthweight and has been ff from birth (mother chose not to bf at all). A week ago, they visited my in laws and the baby was screaming to be fed. Her mother said she was always wanting feeding, so my father in law (former cosmetic surgeon in his seventies) told her to thicken the milk. She said she didn't think it was 'allowed', but he assured her it would do no harm. So she's started adding baby rice to the baby's bottles of hungry baby formula. My MIL told me gleefully that baby has now started sleeping through <sigh>.
My DH won't back me up that it's a bad idea because his Dad said it was ok and he's a doctor. I don't have contact with the parents directly, but if I can give some convincing evidence to MIL that thickening the milk is not in baby's best interest might get passed on by her.

FidgetPie Sat 31-May-14 19:53:57

Check out the NHS pages about weaning and there is a section on mumsnet about it as well - loads of international studies have concluded that early weaning isn't good for development of digestive system. I think she is mad (IMHO!) but I think lots of people do it. (Even the baby rice packet says from 4 months - and I think the Govt is looking to get that changed)

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Sat 31-May-14 19:56:08

Their digestive system isn't ready to process food yet

They can choke if an unexpected lump comes out

I'm sure there are other reasons that's just the top 2 I can think of.

My dh had this done and has since child hood always horrific heart burn every day no matter what he eats, which could be to do with this but might just be me over thinking things.

As a guess with the baby feeding all the time, might have silent reflux and the milk is soothing it, or they haven't worked out what signals the baby is giving when it is hungry and just going with that every time.
The fact you said its already on hungry baby milk so early means unfortunately I doubt any of your advice will be received well.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 31-May-14 19:56:09

This page is pretty good - there are some choking type risks, and also there is the obesity thing.

ilovepowerhoop Sat 31-May-14 19:56:33 - this has info about why it is a bad idea.

She shouldnt be on hungry milk either at 4 weeks old - it has no more calories than first milk but is harder to digest and could make the baby take less food as they are too stuffed up - not good in a low birthweight baby.

PluggyMug Sat 31-May-14 20:00:21

The First Steps Nutrition Trust has good info, an also say that hungrier baby milk is not a great idea due to net effect of reducing calories. Poor baby.

Nonie241419 Sat 31-May-14 20:03:58

Thanks all. I really like that page, NotQuiteCockney, it'll appeal to MIL as it's written by an American, and she venerates all things American. BIL's gf is very slim and interested in her appearance, and BIL is obsessed with keeping thin, so the obesity thing might be the way to go.

BertieBotts Sat 31-May-14 20:05:00

On the NHS site it just says don't.

You might want to find something about aspiration? That's the problem, when the cereal can get breathed in rather than swallowed.

BertieBotts Sat 31-May-14 20:06:38

This is a bit sweary but looks like a good source. Scroll down to the picture of the doll in the pram.

hakunafrittata Sat 31-May-14 20:09:47

I would never take a family members advice as gospel without doing research first when it comes to my son, especially something like giving food to a baby so young. I'm surprised she went ahead without questioning it, he is a cosmetic surgeon fgs, not a paediatrician. She needs a bit more common sense.

ilovepowerhoop Sat 31-May-14 20:11:30

the kellymom website is also American

rideyourbike Sat 31-May-14 20:12:15

Future risk of allergies, baby's tummy not able to cope with anything except milk. Lumps might block teat. Babies used to be given rum tho so maybe they are tougher than we think!

Nonie241419 Sat 31-May-14 20:18:54

It breaks my heart. They have an utterly dysfunctional relationship and the mother does whatever BIL wants to try to keep him. When baby was 5 days old, they left her with MIL (who the mother had only met twice before) and me (who she'd only met once) because BIL wanted to go out for a meal in peace sad .

HamAndPlaques Sat 31-May-14 20:25:40

I also wonder if the baby has reflux, in which case they would be unwittingly treating the problem as the rice milk would do the same job as thickened anti-reflux / stay-down milk. A 4wo shouldn't really be sleeping through, though, especially if she needs to gain weight.

ExBrightonBell Sat 31-May-14 22:30:24

I haven't got any advice, and I imagine that the parents wouldn't listen anyway, but this is just so sad. Poor little baby.

FastWindow Sat 31-May-14 22:34:38

Don't trust anything but UK, if the formula you are buying is UK. I'm in France atm and I'm buying something called Gallia and it advocates using cold water.. Eg Evian...!! In the UK is hot water to sterilise the powder. But over here, hot water out of the kettle turns the powder to lumps. Is weird.

tiktok Sun 01-Jun-14 09:11:02

This is dangerous. There is a risk of dehydration and kidney damage. Ask your Hv. For goodness sake, babies can die because of this.

Whatever you can do, try and stop it.

tiktok Sun 01-Jun-14 09:52:07

I have been trying to find a link to back up this risk and it's hard because the advice is mainly not to give cereal in a bottle to an older baby - no one sensible would dream of thickening milk with cereal for a tiny newborn, so there it's difficult to find anything that spells it out. You might as well start searching for a link that tells parents not to give a three week old coca cola or a cigarette!

Formula mixed correctly with water and nothing else gives the correct fluid balance as well as nutrition. Why would you randomly add something else that thickens it and therefore gives the wrong fluid balance? Madness.

BertieBotts Sun 01-Jun-14 10:40:39

The NHS website does say that using too much formula powder can lead to dehydration and constipation, but that sounds very vague. What it's hinting at is dehydration leading to death and salt overload but I suppose they don't want to be so dramatic on a page intended for anxious new parents.

lemonfolly Sun 01-Jun-14 10:45:30

Aside from the stomach not being ready and a choking risk, baby rice is full of arsenic!

beccajoh Sun 01-Jun-14 10:49:15

Dehydration. Arsenic in baby rice, lack of weight gain.

tiktok Sun 01-Jun-14 10:51:17

Please don't perpetuate the myth of arsenic in baby rice.

2kidsintow Sun 01-Jun-14 10:54:55

Ummmm, there were cconcerns about this but the findings of the studies were (from the nhs choices site)
Based on their testing the FSA recommends that babies and toddlers should not be given rice drinks, often referred to as rice milk, as a replacement for cows’ milk, breast milk or infant formula. The FSA made the recommendation as a precautionary measure and says that there is no immediate risk to children who have been consuming rice drinks, which would be unlikely to cause any long-term harmful effects.

A 2007 survey by the FSA also examined the levels of arsenic in baby rice and other rice-based weaning foods. The agency concluded that these foods did not have levels of inorganic arsenic that caused concern.

Madamecastafiore Sun 01-Jun-14 10:55:56

In Italy they sell baby rice specifically to go in the babies bottle (was shocked when I saw it) but don.t thin to here is a huge issue with poorly babies or terrible problems with allergies over there.

Sorry completely unhelpful, just was shocked seeing it and wondered if we are just a bit fixated on different things in different countries with regards to weaning.

I have a 9 year age gap between babies 2 and 3 and health visitors would have been horrified at what I give 7 month old Dd now if I had given them to my son all those years ago.

2kidsintow Sun 01-Jun-14 10:56:02

However, thickening the babies milk at any age is not good, for all the other reasons previously pointed out by posters on here.

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