Many tired moms, desperate for a little extra sleep, are told that giving their baby rice cereal is a surefire way to get baby to sleep through the night. While the advice comes from well-meaning friends and family, the reality is, this practice is outdated and not recommended. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has warned that giving a young baby cereal before they are developmentally ready (around six months of age) can lead to deadly aspiration.
"Offering cereal in a bottle (or even on a spoon) before babies are developmentally ready can increase the likelihood of gagging and/or inhaling the thickened mixture into their lungs." In addition to the risks of a baby aspirating thickened breastmilk, formula, or cereal, there is also a significant link between exposing babies too soon (before six months) may trigger food allergies. Your baby's sole source of nutrition for the first six months of their life should be breastmilk or formula.