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Adding cereal to a bottle of breast milk or formula has often been recommended to help a baby sleep better. But there's no evidence that babies will go to sleep faster or sleep better if they're given cereal — or even a full meal — just before going to bed.
For one thing, babies are programmed to wake up fairly often during the night, not only to eat, but also to socialize and touch base with their parents. Moreover, your baby won't be able to sleep through the night (defined as a five-hour stretch) until his central nervous system has fully matured; it has almost nothing to do with whether he has a full tummy. Every baby is different — and some will be able to sleep through the night sooner than others.
Keep in mind, too, that breast milk or formula provides everything your baby needs until he's 4 to 6 months old. Introducing cereal earlier than that puts him at a higher risk for allergies.
The next time someone tells you to "just give the baby a little cereal to get him to sleep better," ask what she would recommend for an adult who can't sleep. Chances are, her advice would be to drink a glass of warm milk.