To start weaning my twins at 4 months?

(128 Posts)
mummybearah Mon 16-Jun-14 12:27:40

Everyone I speak to and everything I read says that I should wait until 6 months.

However I feel that they are so ready! Of course I'll still be giving them their milk, but to be honest they aren't that interested in milk anymore.

Found that they would eat more solids than milk (baby porridge, rusks etc.)

I feel so bad- AIBU?

DeepThought Mon 16-Jun-14 12:36:08

Not ideal but shrug

Speak to your HV first

DeepThought Mon 16-Jun-14 12:37:06

Presume you are aware of the signs of readiness for weaning ofc

YouTheCat Mon 16-Jun-14 12:38:39

Speak to your HV.

Tbh I weaned my twins at 16 weeks but that was nearly 20 years ago. They are both fit and well with no allergies though.

HecatePropylaea Mon 16-Jun-14 12:38:56

You've already read all about it, so you know all the research and all the reasons why it is considered that it is not the best thing for a baby so I'm not really sure what to say, tbh. I suppose there is no point linking to all the articles that describe why it is the current advice since you have already read it all and you already know the reasons and you are still considering it. If you have researched and reached what you feel is an informed decision then what is it you think that you could get here? Is it that you feel guilty and you want someone to tell you that it is ok? You don't need permission or approval, it is your decision. It may not be a decision that a lot would make these days, but you still have the right to make it. Have you spoken to your health visitor? Or looked at reasons why they might be appearing hungry? Are they hungry or just looking to be active or interested in things? or for comfort or attention?

As an aside, I weaned mine far earlier than 6 months because there wasn't that advice or all the information back then. In fact, the hv recommended it! But would I have weaned them early had I had the benefit of all the information I now read? I don't know.

TinyTear Mon 16-Jun-14 12:39:01

Do they sit up unaided? Have they lost the tongue thrust reflex?

I think a lot of people who say their 4 month olds are "ready" just mean they are going through the 4 month sleep regression/spurt and waking up and feeding more - all perfectly normal...

Do talk to your doctor first or health visitor - and please do not give baby rice... starting with vegetables is much healthier

WeirdCatLady Mon 16-Jun-14 12:39:05

When dd was a baby, she is now 12, the advice was to wean at 4 months so I think if they are ready then go for it. You are their mother, you know them best x

HayDayQueen Mon 16-Jun-14 12:39:22

Are they 'pretend chewing' when they see you eat? Because if you think that's a sign of them being 'ready' all they're doing is copying what you are doing.

Just be warned that a lot of people believe that early weaning creates future food problems such as intolerances, and digestive issues.

Singlesuzie Mon 16-Jun-14 12:39:36

Why do you feel bad?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 16-Jun-14 12:40:05

Do you think that they're developmentally ready? There is a big difference between that and showing an interest in food.

We're they born at full term?

If you're not very sure ask your hv for advice and have a look here

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 16-Jun-14 12:40:10

What signs if readiness are they displaying?

HayDayQueen Mon 16-Jun-14 12:40:46

Agree with TinyTear - baby rice can be very bad for babies. It swells as it goes through the digestive system and can leave them in agony.

DS2 had 'colic' (according to the GP and HV) but it was actually baby rice. Cut it out of his diet and within a week he had stopped screaming in agony at night.

nannynoss Mon 16-Jun-14 12:40:55

I am a nanny and have nearly always started weaning from 4 months. You know your children better than anyone else, do what you feel is right.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 16-Jun-14 12:43:47

honestly, weaning is hard work
all the mess is annoying

i would leave for as long as possible <lazy>

SquirrelledAway Mon 16-Jun-14 12:43:57

I started weaning both mine at 4 months (a few years back so before the 6 month advice), but didn't bother with baby rice - try it yourself, it definitely doesn't taste the best.

NoisyToyHell Mon 16-Jun-14 12:46:00

Yabu. Maybe they are teady, but you cannot know whether their gut is. Try and hold firm till 5 months at least

LotsaTuddles Mon 16-Jun-14 12:48:14

DS in 9mo and has always been really hungry.

My HV visited us around 4mos and he could sit unaided and was bringing things to his mouth himself she said he looks ready and if I felt he was then to try him on a few solids a few weeks later, we tried and he has thrived ever since.

He now eats anything you put in front of him.

Saying that, all the evidence says to wait till 6 months, we debated and debated and what to do, he made the ultimate decision though as we were told to start off small with baby rice and not replace any normal feeds with food but he just wasn't interested once we started with food. Even now he only has 2 bottles a day, but is happy, he's slept through the night every night since (apart from the odd really badly teathing night).

TheLovelyBoots Mon 16-Jun-14 12:49:38

Too early.

TheNewStatesman Mon 16-Jun-14 12:51:19

It's fine. Start a bit of food now if you want to, wait a bit longer if you want to.

buddles Mon 16-Jun-14 12:54:34

I would leave it as l

minipie Mon 16-Jun-14 12:55:04

There isn't any harm in waiting till 6 months.*

Latest advice is that there could be harm in weaning before 6 months

Seems like a no brainer to me. Why start early when there is risk attached?

Milk is so much more nutritious than the early weaning foods anyway. Rusks are bad news IMO - full of sugar.

*unless they have a medical need for early weaning, such as reflux or weight issues, which isn't the case here

buddles Mon 16-Jun-14 12:55:32

As long as possible I was trying to say! smile

fledermaus Mon 16-Jun-14 12:55:47

If they are over 17 weeks then you're unlikely to be doing any harm, but they shouldn't be dropping any milk feeds yet.

PurplePidjin Mon 16-Jun-14 12:55:54

Twins are often early, are yours 4 months from EDD or 4 months from their actual birthday? Because that may well make a difference if they're actually 5/6 months old as it were

WorraLiberty Mon 16-Jun-14 12:56:06

All 3 of mine were weaned between 3 and 4 months on the advice of the HV

But that was a long while ago now

Still, they're all fine and healthy

As others have said, speak to your HV

mummybearah Mon 16-Jun-14 12:56:48

Thanks everyone- will speak to my HV this week.

I feel bad because I may be doing the wrong thing and I don't want them having intolerances or digestive probs as a result! But as ppl have mentioned many have weaned at 4 months with no problems. All of the food I have bought is 4 months plus.

They've lost their thrust reflex, they are eating much much less milk, staring and grabbing at food and they can sit up unaided! Though I have given them some solids, think I'll hold off giving any more until I've spoken to HV.

I also feel bad because I feel I've allowed myself to be pressured into weaning by an extremely pushy MIL who I find hard to tell no.

OlderMummy1 Mon 16-Jun-14 12:58:52


HayDayQueen Mon 16-Jun-14 13:02:21

If you find it hard to say no to MIL now, it will get even harder once you start weaning.

Just think about the crap she'll want to add to the weaning diet......

AmberLav Mon 16-Jun-14 13:02:23

From a purely practical point, I find the effort of coming up with a nutritious varied diet tedious, and I always recommend holding off solids as long as possible, as most mums I know also find it draining once they start solids (including the ones that I warned in advance who cracked on with solids early!).

mummybearah Mon 16-Jun-14 13:02:38

Purplepidjin- mine went to full term, they are 18 weeks to be exact.

LoonvanBoon Mon 16-Jun-14 13:03:06

My twins were weaned at 4 months. They're 11 now & the official line then was no earlier than 4 months. I started on vegetable purees, not baby rice. My boys were full term & big, & it was right for them.

Puzzled by the final paragraph of your last post, though, OP. What has MIL got to do with it? Either you think your babies are ready & are showing the signs or they're not. If you do it, you need to be confident that it's your decision, based on what you believe is right for your babies. If you're feeling pressurized by someone else, that's a different matter completely.

FWIW my MIL was obsessed with trying to get us to introduce baby rice at 8 weeks! We just told her that there was no way we'd be weaning that early, & repeated as required.

YouTheCat Mon 16-Jun-14 13:06:17

Your mil will be thrusting chocolate buttons in their little hands next and saying 'it'll do them no harm'.

Practise saying no to her, a lot.

TinyTear Mon 16-Jun-14 13:06:22

Oh do ignore the MIL!

If she pushes, say you are still reading all the current research

I personally weaned my DD about 1/2 weeks before she was 6 months old, but she was grabbing food from my plate and eating... so I thought I should give her a stick of carrot anyway...

Carrot, sweet potato, broccoli were the first things we gave... in the end we did have a box of baby rice from a coupon but only used it to bulk up the veg...

Main thing is to give the milk feed (formula or breast) and then half an hour later do the solids... milk is the main nutrition until 1 and solids are for play, texture and fun

Also note: weaning poos are RANK!
And babies don't sleep any better when given solids... often it even disturbs sleep as they are not used to digesting other things...

Good luck whatever you choose...

mummybearah Mon 16-Jun-14 13:06:26

Amberlav, I think I agree.

Haydayqueen- she's already suggested potato and mackerel? Had to put my foot down at that point!

schokolade Mon 16-Jun-14 13:08:38

Hi mummybearah. I have a 4.5 month old and have been reading this with interest. I was adamant that I wouldn't be weaning her before 6 months, but then she hit sleep regression people (mainly PIL) have been pressuring us to start weaning. This thread has reminded me, through my zombie state, that the sleep regression is nothing to do with wanting solid food.

I'm going to have my work cut out for me though. PIL are visiting next week and DH wanted to give her a cookie to "just suck on" (?!) yesterday.

TinyTear Mon 16-Jun-14 13:08:55

Cheesy potato, fine... but mackerel? My dd only just started saying she likes mackerel and she is 2!

mummybearah Mon 16-Jun-14 13:09:46

Tinytear- that's great advice, thanks!

Loonvan- you are very right- it's nothing to do with her at all actually. 8 weeks is outrageous.

Youthecat- LOL!

SueDNim Mon 16-Jun-14 13:11:33

Mackerel might be a superfood (I have no idea), but I wouldn't be keen for my 4 mo to smell of it.

HayDayQueen Mon 16-Jun-14 13:12:55

We do so many things because 'it's better to be safe than sorry'.

I really think weaning at 6 months should be one of those as well.

You don't KNOW whether your DC is going to be the one that suffers intolerances, or will have food issues, or is one of those that gets sick a lot and will need lots of medicines. Quite likely they won't be, but what if they are?

Give their digestive systems the chance to be as developed as they can be.

Both my DSs had problems digesting certain things. If I had tried to wean them early then I shudder to think what sort of damage that would have caused. As it was formula milk got them through some serious illnesses when they weren't able to eat at all, even when they were older.

YouTheCat Mon 16-Jun-14 13:13:34

Mummybearah, my two were about 3/4 months when they had their first load of Easter eggs. My parents (who had twins too, and some sense) sent them an outfit each. But every single one of my mil's friends, and her, gave them Easter eggs. hmm

I put on some serious weight that Easter because no way were my tiny babies getting chocolate. grin

mummybearah Mon 16-Jun-14 13:15:30

Haha. Schokolade my dad even tried to give one of them a nut to lick the other day. I think the moral here is mum knows best! Will follow my gut but as they're past 17 weeks, think it wouldn't be such a bad thing to have little bits of solids here and there.

HecatePropylaea Mon 16-Jun-14 13:16:04

ok, well that's a bit different. In your OP you said that you feel they are ready and it is everyone else who is telling you about the guidelines.

If you are saying that it is actually your mother in law who is pressuring you and you are not sure then ignore her. Don't do something that you are unsure about, because your mother in law is bossy.

Just tell her that you intend to follow the current guidelines.

CremeEggThief Mon 16-Jun-14 13:16:05

Only if both your GP and HV agree.

HavanaSlife Mon 16-Jun-14 13:16:42

Ds1 was weaned at 4 months as that was what was advised 19 years ago. Ds2,3 and 4 were all around 6 months.

Ds1 is the only one with any food intolerances, which is one of the reasons I held off weaning with the others.

idontlikealdi Mon 16-Jun-14 13:19:55

I weaned mine at 5months on peads advice due to reflux. Its messy and a pita to fit it in around all the milk at that age.,

If you're going to do it I wouldn't bother with rusks or baby rice though.

Mumto3dc Mon 16-Jun-14 13:23:01

I've got 3dc, 8, 5 and 3 and have never been remotely tempted to wean before 6 months.

I have never thought the risk of potentially life long health consequences for a child was worth waiting a couple of months.

What harm is caused to a baby by not weaning before 6 mths if they were actually ready? Vs what harm could you be causing by weaning early if their gut is not ready?

I just don't get it. Selfish IMO.

Georgina1975 Mon 16-Jun-14 13:23:53

I exclusive BF for 4 1/2 months and continued to BF until DC was 12 months. I also started to wean my DC at 17 weeks on baby rice (2009) and then moved quite quickly onto veg + fruit puree.

The advice on weaning came from WHO in 2001 as part of an initiative to encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. It is a really complicated area from a scientific point of view because (obviously) the scope for randomized trialing is very limited. For every alleged health benefit to waiting for 6 months + you can find a counter-claim.

Please just remember that the science is guidance based on latest research findings (note research limitations above). It is not set in stone. Moreover, this is a really political issue sigh.

Bottom line: I know it is really difficult but just try to trust your instincts on this one.

PickleSarnie Mon 16-Jun-14 13:23:59

Weaning is an utter faff. It's messy and time consuming. Why rush it? Milk will fill them up so much more than the amount of mush you'd be able to get in them at 4 months.

FizzyMummy Mon 16-Jun-14 13:24:55

My DD was under one of the top gastric paeds due to intolerances. My DS is seeing him now. His advice was to wean at 5 months. I was shocked and horrified after reading all the NHS advice to wait until 6 months. However, he just laughed and said that the guidelines come from WHO guidelines which is advice for the entire world. They have to take into account countries that don't have safe water and so need to encourage breast feeding and no solids for as long as is possible and safe. Babies NEED more than milk from 6 months so that is why the guidelines recommend this. The paed told me that even weaning from 4 months would be absolutely fine and that breastfeeding after this age has negligible benefits also. He said that research stating early weaning causes intolerances has been completely debunked but has still managed to find its way into NHS guidelines.

When DS was a baby three years ago I looked up lots of proper research online and found there was no evidence pointing to harm caused by weaning from 17 weeks. Earlier than that there was. There could be harm from waiting until after 26 weeks (higher incidence of allergies) also. So the window seems be when your baby is ready, between 17 and 26 weeks.

DS had his first food, normal porridge, at 23 weeks. He was sitting independently by then.

I find NHS guidelines are often contradicted by actual research. They seem to be a few years out of date. Recent issues I've found include vitamin D supplement dosage and diet suitable for diabetes sufferers (not orange juice and mashed potato, NHS!)

Afritutu Mon 16-Jun-14 13:30:02

Fizzymummy's post ! Excellent.

nethunsreject Mon 16-Jun-14 13:30:40

Milk has more calories than solids and they need the calories and nutrients/vitamins etc it brings, whether it's breast milk or formula.

When it comes to it, it's up to you to do what sees right at the time.

Personally I found solids a total pain in the arse and longed for the days of milk only. SOlids also made my dcs wake more in the night for milk feeds as they were too busy and distracted by life/new exciting foods to be feeding in daylight hours!

caeleth84 Mon 16-Jun-14 13:31:24

FizzyMummy, sorry, but your paed must be out of date. The "breastfeeding has negligible benefits after 6m" myth has been thoroughly debunked.

I won't speak to the weaning cause I haven't read enough research on that and it is recommended from 5 months here.

FrankelandFilly Mon 16-Jun-14 13:37:29

We had the weaning chat from a health visitor at my post natal group recently (DD is 14 weeks). She said no harm in weaning before 6 months but talk to your health visitor first to get the best advice on how to go about it. She made us all try some different baby foods and I can tell you now that baby rice tastes like wallpaper paste! She said it's far better to use it mixed with pureed food to help thicken it rather than give it on it's own. If your first taste of solid food was something so bland you'd probably think it's not worth bothering with!

My best friend weaned her little boy at 17 weeks as he was such a hungry baby, she couldn't get food into him fast enough!

summertimeandthelivingiseasy Mon 16-Jun-14 13:40:10

20 years ago, I was 'encouraged' by my heath visitor to start trying baby rice with my twins at 12wks (they were born one month early), when the official advice was not before 16 weeks. So I told her they just spat it out and she said 'oh - that shows they just aren't ready yet' (in a Philadlelphia cream cheese voice, if you remember the adverts).

They started at about 20 weeks, were very keen, but all the mushing up in the foodprocessor and freezing was a faff, especially as I was still bf. Now, I would just give them milk and put them in high chairs with some bits to play with. They used to nick stuff off our plates and had to be rescued from unsuitable bits of courgette. Back then, six months was considered a bit too late and we were told they must get used to different tastes and textures and would get anaemic because their iron stores were depleted.

My mum used to give my little brother baby rice and mashed egg yolk mixed with milk off a spoon which he would suck off. A little hole would appear in the middle. Used to fascinate me. He must have been very young and was born a month early as well. He was probably being weaned way too early by today's standards (and those of 20 years ago). He is ok though, so no harm done :D

HazleNutt Mon 16-Jun-14 13:42:14

There are several studies claiming that waiting until 6 months is actually not good for babies.

marne2 Mon 16-Jun-14 13:51:23

Weaned both of mine around 4 months ( dd1 a bit earlier as he told me too, was ok 10 years ago ), never had any problems, dd2 was ready at 4 months, was eying up our food and chomping away when we were eating, she had quite a few teeth so we just fed her finger food ( never needed to purée ).

Do what you feel is best and don't worry about what others think.

lljkk Mon 16-Jun-14 14:07:47

I don't think it will do any great harm but the real question is what benefits will it bring, why would you? Mine didn't sleep longer after weaning, it wasn't easier for me particularly than milk.

They did seem to enjoy it fine, & The big benefit was I could hand them to someone else for a few hours & know they'd be fed something (were breastfed & reluctant to take a bottle).

lanbro Mon 16-Jun-14 14:16:21

Both my girls went straight to finger food at 6mo, no purees or spoonfeeding at all. The youngest is just 9mobut eats everything, eleldest at 2 is going through a fussy phase but it generally a good eater.

For me it was about giving them the control and also the ease of them being able to try anything at that age. And also I'm a bit lazy so only need to prepare one mealfor whole family!

Topseyt Mon 16-Jun-14 15:10:29

I weaned all three of mine between the ages of three and four months. None were harmed by it. My eldest is 19 and youngest 11.

Do what seems right for your child. Don't feel guilty.

FizzyMummy Mon 16-Jun-14 16:14:49

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Purplepoodle Mon 16-Jun-14 16:19:28

Go blw ie chunks of food for them to gum and suck. Then when they are a little older I would then spoon feed. Personally I think risks are the work of the devil as they have so much sugar they are basically biscuits.

lljkk Mon 16-Jun-14 16:21:59

So the MayoClinic has it wrong, FizzyM?

Purplepoodle Mon 16-Jun-14 16:24:33

My 3rd grabbed toast out of my hand at just over 4 months and shoved it in his mouth (he was on my hip at toddler group). So I just let him have bits of veggies ect when we were eating.

Sorry to hijack, how's you get those flags next to your nn?

I want one please.

HecatePropylaea Mon 16-Jun-14 16:26:43

go to your profile page, there's an option to pick a football team to support.

just done it, football

Thanks Hec

cricketballs Mon 16-Jun-14 16:53:07

With my DS being the age they are I'm not up to date with the research/current guidelines re weaning, but reading through this thread has got me thinking about the whole intolerance issue; given that the number of children wiith food tolerences has increased vastly but everyone has been weaning later than we did 15 years ago is this not worth thinking about?

FizzyMummy Mon 16-Jun-14 17:00:28

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

FizzyMummy Mon 16-Jun-14 17:03:41

Very true cricket balls. Look at the whole eating peanuts in pregnancy debacle. They've now discovered that not eating peanuts in pregnancy makes your child more prone to peanut allergy. Often these guidelines are produced after 1 piece of flawed research.

DeepThought Mon 16-Jun-14 17:03:56

Yes yes do your own research is good advice of course it is but for goodness sake no Nazi insults. They diminish your argument as well as being horribly offensive


FizzyMummy Mon 16-Jun-14 17:09:01

I think you'll find that the women who are on the receiving end of 'you're a crap mother if you don't breastfeed' remarks are also insulted. And I say that as someone who found breastfeeding easy but who has seen friends pushed into post natal depression by hurtful comments.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 16-Jun-14 17:12:01

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FatherSpodoKomodo Mon 16-Jun-14 17:12:57

I'd be interested to know who's funding this research. Because its not like formula companies have ever funded this sort of research to make it say what they want it to say.

Back to the OP. I weaned my twins at 6 m

HayDayQueen Mon 16-Jun-14 17:13:19

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

FatherSpodoKomodo Mon 16-Jun-14 17:14:22

I'd be interested to know who's funding this research. Because its not like formula companies have ever funded this sort of research to make it say what they want it to say.

Back to the OP. I weaned my twins at 6 mOnths and it was so much easier than when I weaned my others at 3/4 months. Finger food is so much easier to clean up than that mushy crap.

HayDayQueen Mon 16-Jun-14 17:14:44

And here I was thinking this was a thread about weaning a baby off milk and onto food. I didn't read anything anywhere about breast milk. Oversensitive?

summertimeandthelivingiseasy Mon 16-Jun-14 17:21:11

Really, people are just trying to do the best to meet their child's needs in the midst of conflicting research, changing advice and pressure from people around them, advertising, what's available etc. If there was a right way, it would be so much easier.

It is a minefield, there are lots of ways, and all you can do is your best at the time.

fifi669 Mon 16-Jun-14 17:22:37

I read babies weaned earlier were more likely to be obese as adults....

Fortheloveofralph Mon 16-Jun-14 17:25:46

If you do some online research about early weaning you will discover lots of digestive problems associated. Lots of people do if though but I wouldn't.

FizzyMummy Mon 16-Jun-14 17:35:35

Oh for the love of god!!! You need to look at the research on depth not just take it at face value. Early wearing leading to digestive problems has been shown to be tosh!

FizzyMummy Mon 16-Jun-14 17:37:05

Sorry, lots of typos due to my exasperation

LaurieMarlow Mon 16-Jun-14 17:48:26

Here's a link to the Ohio research on BF benefits Fizzy Mummy mentioned earlier.

Published in a highly respected peer reviewed journal, funded by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Source is as reputable as it gets. Though as others point out, it's a complex question and we only seem to be starting to get to grips with the many variables

MAsMum Mon 16-Jun-14 17:50:01

My 5 yr old was weaned at 16 wks and was on puréed spag bol at 6 mths. He was a very hungry baby and my HV said that although she normally advised that you should wait until 6 mths it was very clear that he was a very hungry baby and milk was no longer sufficient to sustain him. We were told to get him interested in sports/exercise and give him fruit snacks.

In contrast DD was weaned at 5 mths ( on HVs advice).

Both are healthy, DS is 75 percentile height and 91 st percentile for weight ( although he is v skinny ). He is still a very hungry boy and would eat his own dinner, his sisters and mine and still have room for more!!

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Mon 16-Jun-14 17:58:40

Do what you think is right. But...
Even if you wean early, milk / formula should still be the main source of nutrition for a long time yet so their disinterest in milk is not an argument one way or another.

Personally I didn't wean before 6 months despite pressure from (older) relatives. What's the point? There is simply no benefit to doing it early except in medically proven cases such as premature babies. It's hard work, messy, wasteful, stressful. Doesn't make them happier, healthier or more likely to sleep. Night just possibly have a negative impact on happiness, health and sleep. Might as well wait.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 16-Jun-14 18:00:14

Fizzy You brought up breastfeeding in the first place, this was a thread about weaning.

Tingatingatale Mon 16-Jun-14 18:02:57

Weaning is hard work. There are also certain foods they can't eat. Were they prem?

I really don't get the rush to wean. Babies have a big growth spurt at four months so need more milk, not food.

thebodylovesspring Mon 16-Jun-14 18:06:34

Hi op, I weaned all of mine at 4 months. The lightest if the 4 was over 91b born so they would t have waited and I couldn't spend all my waking/sleeping hours breastfeeding either nice as it is.

You know your babies best so do what feels right.

My first baby was born in 1989 while last in 2000. The differences and I mean totally opposite advice on all methods of child rearing is laughable.

Read up, consider, do what's right for you.

thebodylovesspring Mon 16-Jun-14 18:10:24

Slightly disagree with the comment that it doesn't make them happier or sleep better.

Mine slept far better after beginning to wake in the night after having solids.

You really really can't generalise about babies as they are all different and need different requirements.

They don't all walk/talk/etc at a certain cast Iron Age so what's with the 'no weaning until 6 months'

Nonsensical and afraid I am old enough to be extremely healthily cynical about research. Who is paying??

leedy Mon 16-Jun-14 18:15:20

"The lightest if the 4 was over 91b born so they wouldn't have waited"

I must have forgotten to pass this memo on to my 9lbs 7oz at birth DS1, who managed fine on breastmilk til 26 weeks. hmm

Madrigals Mon 16-Jun-14 18:16:08

Yes leedy and to DS who was well over 9lbs and was ebf to 6 months and still on the 95th centile and thriving smile

Thenapoleonofcrime Mon 16-Jun-14 18:17:48

Quite a few people saying milk should be their main source of nutrition or that 'mush' won't fill them up- surely it depends on the speed of weaning. Mine were on mushed up chicken casserole (made without salt etc) by about 7/8 months, normal food, not fruit puree or mush and they did seem to thoroughly enjoy it. It was hardly a taster and mainly milk til they were a year old.

leedy Mon 16-Jun-14 18:31:38

Yes, but that's a 7/8 month old, not a 4 month old: the amounts a 4 month old is likely to consume (plus the limitations on what a 4 month old can eat - basically fruit and veg) mean it really isn't going to fill them up. I think by "mainly milk" most people mean milk is making up more than half their calorie intake, not that they are consuming almost entirely milk and just tiny tastes of food (though the odd baby will do that). And even then, it's not like milk is mysteriously "not satisfying" and babies won't feel "really full" without loads of solids.

I have amusing photos of 6 month old DS1 eating a lamb chop.

shanghidawn Mon 16-Jun-14 18:33:35

The advice has changed time and time again since I started weaning babies....I have seen advice for 3, 4 and 6 months 3 x over. I have seen children ready from different ages and some not until later on. You know your own child.

geekaMaxima Mon 16-Jun-14 18:33:38

Fizzy - you are right that research must be read critically. But that includes the Ohio study you mention, which had a number of confounding factors they did not control (incl medical issues that prevent a baby feeding effectively or a mother developing a full milk supply).

They also did not measure outcomes to do with allergies, diabetes, and immune status - all of which have repeatedly been shown to be positively affected by breastfeeding.

It is entirely untrue that many of the benefits of breastfeeding have been debunked. You - and your paed - are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

fledermaus Mon 16-Jun-14 18:50:48

Advice doesn't change that much - 4 months since the 80s, 4-6 months since 1994, 6 months since 2003.

thebodylovesspring Mon 16-Jun-14 18:54:53

I think I did say every baby was different.

That was my whole point. Mine couldn't wait and were very unsettled. If yours isn't then great.

Please read the whole post and not just bits.

BoffinMum Mon 16-Jun-14 18:55:49

World will not end if you give them some baby rice now, but I would hang on another month if you can.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 16-Jun-14 18:56:08

Ask your HV, but if you think they are ready go for it. In the past it used to be 4 months. Dd was weaned at 4 months she is fine.

thebodylovesspring Mon 16-Jun-14 18:57:31

fled yes agree weaning but advice on co sleeping, cot bumpers, babies sleep positions, routines etc have changed and changed back.

Very big differences between the advice in my first 2 babies 89/91 and my last 2 1999/2001.

fledermaus Mon 16-Jun-14 18:58:44

Has advice on sleep position changed back? I know it changed to back sleeping in 92.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 16-Jun-14 19:02:11

Don't wean with rusks, they're full of sugar.

Weaning is a faff, I waited til almost six months and found it a pain. It's so much easier to just give milk when they're hungry. Especially when you're out and about.

leedy Mon 16-Jun-14 19:02:59

Not to mention the hideous nappies. shudders

thebodylovesspring Mon 16-Jun-14 19:04:05

When I was nursing in the late 80s and had my first babies putting a baby in it's back was tantamount to neglect.babies were woken up to put on their fronts. My dm was very upset by my insistence in following this advice. I threw away a mattress after research showed we needed brand new ones for each baby.

By my third baby in 1999, it was on their back and no cot bumper, and no overheating

My dm wanted to out a risk in my babies bottle from 3 months.

As I said I weaned mine at 4 months.

They are all fine.

You do need to be baby led. Your baby led.

Madrigals Mon 16-Jun-14 19:10:01

There was actually a recent study which showed bf can have unexpected and surprising effects on the likelihood of stammering. The longer dc in the study had been bf the less likely they were to stammer and of the bf stammering dc fewer continued to stammer after 18. The ff dc were more likely to stammer and for it to persist into adulthood. The study suggested bf may have a (hitherto unknown) positive neurological impact. I will try to link to the study.

thebodylovesspring Mon 16-Jun-14 19:10:16

My point was always follow your baby and obviously what suits you as a family but sensibly regarding all research along the way. Just not be ruled by advice and loose your babies needs on the way.

fledermaus Mon 16-Jun-14 19:10:30

I'm not really sure what it means though to be led by your baby - how do you know if your baby wants some solids at 3 months, and should you do it even though it's risky for them? Does the baby know if it is more likely to die if it sleeps on its front?

"There are also certain foods they can't eat"

Just honey - none till 12 months because of botulism risk. And limited salt. I can't think of anything else specifically advised against, as part of a healthy balanced diet.

fledermaus Mon 16-Jun-14 19:13:17

Before 6 months they're not supposed to have anything containing gluten are they? Or dairy?

There is research ongoing that indicates early (before 26 weeks even) exposure to allergens like gluten, peanuts etc actually reduces incidence of allergy. I can't remember the name of the study but there were some people on here taking part in it.

thebodylovesspring Mon 16-Jun-14 19:28:05

Fled mine started to wake after sleeping through and I couldn't possibly up the bf as I would literally have been a zombie. Adding solids brought back sleep alongside still breastfeeding.

I don't understand your other comment regarding does the baby know if it's more likely to die on it's front

So can't answer that one.

I will say there was a massive campaign at the time by Ann diamond who lost her baby to cot death where research showed the previously held mantra of babies on their fronts was dangerous.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 16-Jun-14 19:30:33

Just honey - none till 12 months because of botulism risk. And limited salt. I can't think of anything else specifically advised against, as part of a healthy balanced diet

No whole nuts, because of choking. Cut grapes in half for the same reason. They're perfect for getting lodged in the airway.

Retropear Mon 16-Jun-14 19:39:30

Mad what a load of tosh.Stammers are hardly epidemic in the population as a whole and stammering can be caused by all sorts of things such as genes,time pressures,personality,speech,environment,parental anxiety,speed of talking etc.

What a baby was fed will have buggar all effect on the above.

My dd had a stammer because her twin brothers a year older always cut in and her vocabulary was too advanced for her age Ie she couldn't get her words out quick enough.Funnily enough her speech therapist wasn't the slightest bit interested as to whether she had formula and simply suggested we stop the boys from butting in and give her time to speak.

It worked.

Madrigals Mon 16-Jun-14 19:47:04

Retropear, it was a medical journal article I read! I will try to find it and post. I agree the results were surprising. The point in trying to make is that it suggests you can't just say long term bf has negligible effects when we don't actually know what all the effects are.

Madrigals Mon 16-Jun-14 19:48:18

And just out if interest my salt actually had for DS as one of the questions on her dx sheet was he bf and for how long, along with had we ever used dummies. DS was bf but had significant speech delay.

Retropear Mon 16-Jun-14 19:49:11

You can when numbers are negligible and stat twisting alongside scaremongering is involved.

Would love any doctor to try and tell me that a few months of formula caused my dd's stammer.

Retropear Mon 16-Jun-14 19:50:05

Well there you go.My dd had both and extremely advanced speech.

Madrigals Mon 16-Jun-14 19:50:08
NoodleOodle Mon 16-Jun-14 19:51:28

I added a few spoons of apple puree just after four months for my DD in 2000. The whole household breathed a sigh of relief. Every other bf stayed the same, but that midday couple of spoons of apple seemed to make a world of difference to my baby who had gone from being an easy and happy tot to a screaming, never satiated, non sleeping demon child. If I hadn't done it, the whole household would have suffered miserably. I did phone and check with my HV first, who advised I try it and see what the reaction was. As the reaction was positive, I continued.

Check with your HV OP, don't take pressure from your MIL, and go with what makes you and your baby happy and healthy. I know if I hadn't started to introduce other foods, I would have given up breastfeeding, so I'm glad I didn't feel under pressure to wait another two months - I know I and my boobies would not have been able to handle it. As it is, that first year, and all the milk feeds are still the thing I think I've found most satisfying in my whole life.

Madrigals Mon 16-Jun-14 19:51:50

He was deaf. Bf has a protective effect against childhood glue ear but despite that he got it anyway.

You can't look at the effects on an individual level - as you say too many factors. But on a population level against control groups the differences between bf and ff are worth looking at.

thebodylovesspring Mon 16-Jun-14 19:52:37

When research sounds a tad iffy to me I tend to think it is a tad iffy.

Especially surrounding babies development. There's so much money tied up in parents fears isn't there.

SaucyJack Mon 16-Jun-14 20:01:35

Why should or would the OP check with her HV first? There isn't some magic secret answer to the weaning question that the NHS only reveals to HVs- they won't know any more than anyone else can find out with 30 secs on Google.

It's up to the OP to decide what's best for her baby. She doesn't need permission from some random who works dahn the Health Centre.

Retropear Mon 16-Jun-14 20:03:03

Hmm Illinois University and the word "may" lead me to wonder if we can quote from all "studies" that naked claims against bfing.

How about the study claiming bf babies are deficient in iron if breast fed beyond a year.Can we stat twist and scaremonger that "research" or are we only allowed to do that the other way?

Retropear Mon 16-Jun-14 20:05:32


CeliaFate Mon 16-Jun-14 20:06:35

When I had my dd the advice was to wean at 4 months. 3 years later when I had my son it was 6 months.

As long as milk remains the majority of their nourishment, it won't hurt.

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