To consider starting my baby on solids early

(126 Posts)
scottishegg Wed 06-Nov-13 16:01:01

Hi all I'm a mum of 3 with my youngest child being 4 and a half months old.
My son is on the 99th percentile for weight and height and is fairly advanced in his physical development.
He is currently going through a tub of formula every 3 days and is becoming very unsettled day and night whereas before he was a very settled baby and was sleeping through.

He is showing a great interest in food and isn't as happy with milk as before.

However I know that the current guidelines are not to wean them until they are 6 months old but the older generations of my family are very insistent that due to his size and his current behaviour that it may be worth introducing food within the next couple of weeks.

I waited till 6 months with both of my other 2 children before introducing food but my youngest is a very different baby and is getting less satisfied with milk, I am reluctant to put him on hungrier baby milk as it can lead to constipation in some babies and up until recently the normal milk was fine for him.
So do I just suck it up for the next 6 weeks or so or is it possible to introduce solids fairly soon also will doing this ( introducing solids) harm the little chap.

All advice appreciated thanks

"sweetpieandpeas Thu 07-Nov-13 18:50:43

The advice changes constantly, I have worked with young babies for nearly 15 years and in that time it has gone full circle 5 times! Each set of babies under each guideline suffered no ill effect as a result of being weaned earlier or later and they all developed fine. What the advice does not take into consideration is that all children develop at different rates. I would say you know your child and do what feels right to you"

Sorry to pick out your post sweetpie but I just wanted to state again that the advice doesn't just change constantly. In the 15 years you have worked with young babies it has changed once. It has been 6 months for 10 years, since 2003. Before this it was 4-6 months and was for years and years. So one change in 15 years from 4-6 months to 6 months. It's nothing like advice changing constantly.

Can I also point out that it's not true that the advice doesn't take into consideration that children develop at different rates. If you look at the actual weaning guidelines, they say thinks like 'around' or 'about' 6 months. They point out the signs to look out for. They state very clearly that you should be led by your baby, follow their signs, start when they show the signs and don't rush them. If this isn't following individual babies, then I don't know what is. It also explains clearly what isn't a sign, like increased milk feeds or looking at you eat or chewing or mouthing objects. My baby can grab a spoon might be true but if I waved a knife or a wire or a worm in front of a small child it would grab it and probably mouth it. It's where they have the most nerve endings and they mouth things to see what they are. My dc watched me drive and operate a cooker with intensity. They liked me, they weren't ready to operate vehicles and cook meals.

I am all for people doing what is right for their individual babies which is why I would never say 'I did x and it did no harm' because people's anecdotes are their own. I walked out in the road this morning and didn't die. Does this mean I should recommend walking into moving traffic without looking? No. All we can do is look at the information we have. There are three simple signs that a baby is ready for solids. The guidelines explain roughly when this happens but also mention that before 17 weeks is really considered a no no. I see acres of room for discretion and individuality within that. I think it's still a world away from 'you know your bubs hun' because gut instinct (my main parenting tool) can't tell you when your baby's gut is mature. It can tell you your baby is hungry yes, and logic re nutrition and calories tells you where to solve this problem. As far as 'knowing' they're ready, I v much like the fact that the external signs are key to this. You can pour food into a child's mouth from birth, this is an act on the behalf of the parent; a child reaches an age some time around 26 weeks, probably not before 17 weeks when they show you all by themselves that their bodies can handle something outside milk by sitting up, having head control, reaching for food, chewing it and swallowing it. How to wean is a personal choice but recognising the signs in your baby is a very baby led action and something positively encouraged within the guidelines.

I do feel for minifingers a little. I exclusively bf my babies but am very interested in formula but I have a life and a job too. I'm a peer supporter and want women to make the choice that is right for them. And I do think more women should bf. Not because I have an agenda but because I know so many women wished they could/had and didn't because of inaccurate information or support. There my investment ends. I like the choice to be an informed one and the woman to receive support regardless. No more, no less.

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