baby rice -early weaning - sleep...help!

(33 Posts)
Monstermonkeymum Fri 27-Jun-14 09:02:03

Not really a sleep question (I don't think) so bear with it being in this topic as wasn't sure whether to post in here or sleep! Ds is 18 weeks, ebf, and a big lad - 19lb 7. He is slap in the middle I think of the 4 month sleep regression and has dropped to 5-7 wakes a night (never a good sleeper anyway) and feeds for most. Dp has just started to feel the pain of this, as he has been roped in to take ds in the morning for an hour so I can survive the day. My feelings are that this is developmental and after lots of reading up, that we just have the weather the storm. However, after a one off phone call with mil, dh came upstairs and announced we were to start with baby rice and this would solve all our problems as he is clearly just hungry, a big lad etc, and was annoyed that I didn't see this as a solution or want to start any sort of solids early. I have read him all the research on it, but he is still not convinced and says that the web sites will all say something different in a couple of years, and I just wanted to get some personal comments from other parents on early solids / baby rice etc to see if experiences support this or not. So, has anyone weaned early, was it worth it, did it help with sleep, is baby rice okay at 4 and a half months etc? Thanks!

DeWee Fri 27-Jun-14 09:39:48

It probably will be fine if you want to: When I had dd1, 13 years ago, the HV nearly had a fit because she wasn't weaned at 4.5 months. They advised weaning at 4 months then, when dd2 came along the advice was between the age of 4 and 6 months, and by the time ds came along it was not before 6 months.

Weaning never helped my poor sleepers at all. My good sleeper slept through from 8 weeks on ebf, so I don't think it's much to do with it.

If you don't want to talk to your HV, and come back and tell dh that you've talked to her and she advises against.

If he's waking 5-7 times then I doubt it's hunger. Starting to wake once, or going from one to two wakings might be, but that's not hunger to my mind.

idontlikealdi Fri 27-Jun-14 12:11:30

It's against the guidelines, it's very early. Baby rice has hardly any calories and he'll actually get more calories from milk. It's tough, believe me I know, but I think you just have to ride out the regression.

NickyEds Fri 27-Jun-14 13:16:21

I think that the guidelines are not before 17 weeks-my friend weaned at 18 weeks on the advice of the GP because of reflux/vomitting issues but not to aid sleep. As pp said there are far more calories in milk than purees and baby rice so you'll just be making yourself another job to do. Sorry op it sounds miserable but if your baby is waking 5-7 times a night and having food at each a tablespoon of baby rice won't fill him up. It seems really common advice among MIL to wean early as it was what they were told- You'd think from listening to them that we all slept like logs from 4 weeks!smile Good Luck

MarianForrester Fri 27-Jun-14 13:24:04

I wouldn't do it, because I don't think it will work!

My boy was huge, and I was told by HV to wean early, before six months, which was the advice then

Anyway, whilst he was always a guzzler of milk, he was not keen to eat other stuff, and actually didn't ever really do baby rice/purée veg, but started to eat our toast, and stuff when bit bigger.

I don't think baby rice will be a panacea for sleep is really what I am getting at!

TheAmyrlin Fri 27-Jun-14 13:24:56

Guidelines change all the time. When I had my DS (he is now 16), the recommendation was to start weaning with baby rice at 16 weeks.
When I had my DD 3.5 yrs later, I was told to wait until she was 6 months.

Needless to say I didn't, as she was obviously hungry for more than milk as had started waking during the night again. After starting on the baby rice, she started sleeping through again.

But you have to do what you feel is right for your baby.

Toadsrevisited Fri 27-Jun-14 13:27:19

I've been suffering with the sleep regression really and asked 3 (!) gps the same question. They all said emphatically No, it will not help him sleep. Doesn't stop everyone I meet telling me the same thing when they see me looking knackered though.

fledermaus Fri 27-Jun-14 13:28:44

That's one change then Amyrlin - not really all the time! It changed from 4-6 months to 6 months in 2003.

OP, it probably won't do any harm but it probably won't do any good either.

Toadsrevisited Fri 27-Jun-14 13:29:00

I hasten to add that I didn't go to the doctor about that 3 times; was there for other stuff twice and asked one GP friend.

BocaDeTrucha Fri 27-Jun-14 18:00:50

I live in Spain so different guidelines and we were told to start giving baby Rice from 4 months. We only did this for his one bottle a day before bed and it had no effect whatsoever on his sleeping.... Has always woken in the night and continues to do so, albeit once, at 9 months.

Monstermonkeymum Fri 27-Jun-14 19:00:38

Thanks for the comments. Its reassuring to know it doesn't seem to change sleep for most, which is what I thought - although a little depressing as the lack of sleep is numbing. I think I will hold off and see how long the regression takes to ease off. Its hard though with mil adamant it will help, his sister who weaned at 17 weeks and friends formula fed babies who sleep though, so it looks to him as if it is all food related and I am being daft. Oh well smile 'it's all a phase...'

NickyEds Fri 27-Jun-14 19:46:57

I think it's just pure luck as to if your baby sleeps through early or not- just like adults some babies are "better" sleepers than others. Don't be pushed into early weaning if you don't feel it's right for your baby.

CultureSucksDownWords Fri 27-Jun-14 20:01:49

I think this fixation some people have with weaning at 4 months is pretty much a misunderstanding about changes in sleep patterns.

Around 4 months babies sleep changes and becomes more disturbed. Parents are talked into giving titchy amounts of baby rice/puree. The baby then has another change in sleep patterns and settles back down to less night wakings. Parents then ascribe this to the baby rice/puree. When in all likelihood the baby's sleep was going to settle down again anyway!

If your baby is a big chap, that's all down to your breastfeeding. Why would anyone think he needs rice when your milk has grown him to that point? And tbh as you're doing all the night wakings it isn't really up to your DP to be whinging about helping you out in the mornings.

hartmel Sat 28-Jun-14 03:52:25

I don't if it will help with your baby but my son was the same. But I was earlier not 18 weeks and I gave him a small bottle (the ready to feed) formula. After about a week or two sorry can't remember anymore, he started to sleep up to 6-7 hours and that got longer and longer now at 9 month he sleeps 12 hours straight. Once in a while he wakes up because he misses his dummy or his elephant grin or when he was teething pretty bad he woke up 2-3 times but he wasn't awake longer than 5 min..

The guidelines are just there so that they can cover there own butt but you are the mother and you when he is ready for baby rice.. My own mother got mad at me that I didn't start weaning him with 4 month but I could just tell and see that my son was not ready. Where as my SIL son is eating puréed sweet potatoe since he is 4 month old.. Every baby is different,,

Good luck and I hope that you find a solution so you can catch up on sleep

ShineSmile Sat 28-Jun-14 12:59:56

Go with your instinct. If you feel it might help, do it. To be honest, the guidelines are going to change anyways. They thought delaying it to 6 months would improve allergies but actually there is now evidence that introducing food earlier is better. So yes, do whatever you think is best for your baby!

Monstermonkeymum Sat 28-Jun-14 13:13:41

Thanks all. That's what I find difficult - there are no fast and hard guidelines. Im a first time mum, and try to follow my instincts but honestly doubt myself a lot, as I have little to go on. Im not looking for a fast fix for the sleeping, which is rough but survivable with the odd sob, but don't want to start something un-necessary or even potentially harmful if he isnt yet ready. I wish they came with instruction manuals! Which is why other mums are best to ask, so all comments really great thanks!

Mutley77 Sat 28-Jun-14 13:15:58

Oh FGS. My (D)MIL is forever telling me that DH needed baby rice in his bottle at 8 weeks old and it was the "secret" to helping him sleep through. How she can believe this when his older sister didn't sleep through until over 1 (must have been fully established on solids by then!!) I have no idea......

She almost whispered this advice to me and told me not to tell the HV (when DC3 was 8 weeks). She now knows that DH will not just take her advice and therefore tried to persuade me direct !! I think the issue is that your DH is taking her advice and using it to try and persuade you - if you want any peace for the next 18+ years I would nip that in the bud now.

Trooperslane Sat 28-Jun-14 14:01:28

Another one saying no.

Agree it's developmental - they're changing and developing so fast at that point.

HV described it to me as being the same as not being able to sleep properly before an exam/ big deadline at work.

He's going over stuff in his head and making sense of his surroundings and his physical development.

Awww. I want another one totally mental

CultureSucksDownWords Sat 28-Jun-14 16:41:41

ShineSmile, "they" are not about to change the guidelines from 6 months to earlier. I think you are thinking of the EAT study which is looking into the connection between allergies and age of weaning. The study is not due to conclude until 2015 and then they will publish their results. At that point the NHS may change their advice IF the study shows this is necessary. It's possible that any advice to wean before 6 months may only apply to those with a family history of allergy.

The EAT study itself advises that parents should stick to current guidelines of about 6 months until the results of their study have been analysed and reported.

s88 Sat 28-Jun-14 18:01:46

I weaned my ds at 16 weeks due to reflux issues but he was waking 3 times a night then. He is a big boy just like yours and on 95th centile . last weigh in was 19 lb 8 at 18 weeks . since weaning he has slept loads better !

old routine :
8 oz bedtime 8pm
8 oz 12 am
4 oz 4 am
6 oz 6.30 am

new routine
8 oz + porridge + fruit pot (1/2) bed at 7.30-8.00
wake between 5.30-6 am!

s88 Sat 28-Jun-14 18:03:03

jist to add . He didn't just have a teaspoon . He started off with about 4 . now he has quite a lot . And no digestive system issues

Monstermonkeymum Sat 28-Jun-14 19:20:10

Thats interesting s88. I'm not sure how much he eats as bf but trying to move onto expressed bottles at the moment to give us more flexibility and would let me know a little more about how much he is eating and when as at the moment I have no real way to judge. However, as he is yet to take more than 2-3 oz without then refusing and demanding breast it is hard to tell. He certainly doesnt eat as much in night wakes as he does in the day, so I dont think his wakes are just hunger although need to convince dp of that. But he is hungry and not just waking needing resettling, at least earlier in the night. Last night was only three (hooray!) so perhaps a sign of change but not holding out hope just yet. If the breast milk is sufficient im happy to continue with that but if he continues to put on half a lb a week, it might well be he is hungrier and needs more. It might be easier to work out if we get past the stage where he should have left the four month regression, but from threads on here that could be a long time....pass the match sticks...

s88 Sat 28-Jun-14 20:06:23

Would you consider offering him expressed milk before bed so you can gauge how much he is having before being put down for the night?
just to add , my ds is also on hungry baby milk as he was draining his bottles sometimes 10 oz! even now he will more often than not, drain a 8 oz bottle of hungry baby milk . He is now a very content baby which seemed like a lifetime away only a couple of months ago .

Jaffakake Sat 28-Jun-14 20:12:31

My ds was a fairly big baby & weaning actually prompted night waking, which wasn't happening before. I started weaning at 5.5 months (he was 2weeks overdue tho). I personally don't believe rice can do anything milk can't, but also you never know if you don't try. Trying it a few nights doesn't mean you can't revert back if you choose to. The one thing I've learnt over the last three years is yo trust my instincts & sod HV's!

feekerry Sat 28-Jun-14 20:19:39

honestly i don't think it will help one dot. you may find it makes his sleep worse as his digestive system tries to cope with something other than milk. bm is by far more calorific so just keep feeding him if he wants it.
ds is 20 weeks and absolutely massive. bigger than your ds!! he is also sleeping shit but not too feed. he just faffs and grunts etc.
dc1 also slept shit at that age. when she started solids about 6 ish months her sleep went even worse!
threre is no magic fix. x

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