How much do I feed my 4 month old?

(71 Posts)
lovemybabydoll Fri 04-Sep-09 17:09:36

Dear All
My baby is 4 months today and I was so very excited to start her on her first foods - cereal. I am bf but want to quit when she's 6 months.
She is so cute trying to learn how to swallow. I made her cereal twice today and she took a few mls each time. She likes it I can tell.
I am not sure how many times a day to try or is there a routine to start working to or do they just eat whenever at this age? I am bf her every 3 hours.
Any thoughts please?
Thanks...x

ShowOfHands Fri 04-Sep-09 17:12:08

hmm

nowwearefour Fri 04-Sep-09 17:13:40

we will all be assuming you are posting this on here for some reasons other than being for real. if you are serious then pls expect to be completely flamed or ignored. why on earth have you started solids so early? just keep on bf every 3 hours....save the solids til she is 6 months

LadyPinkofPinkerton Fri 04-Sep-09 17:15:46

Trip trap!!!! Try harder next time!!

QueenOfFuckingEverything Fri 04-Sep-09 17:17:07

TBH she is a bit too young to need anything other than breastmilk.

You say she is 'trying to learn how to swallow' - if you wait until around 6 months, her physical development will have got to a stage where she can sit up, pick up food, transfer it to her mouth, have a bash at chewing it, and swallow some.

There's no benefit to giving her solids at this age and some evidence that it can be harmful. Her stomach may not yet be able to digest the food properly. I know its an exciting stage but if you wait until she is truly ready it will be just as fun for you both, if not more so as she will be able to move straight onto family food.

colditz Fri 04-Sep-09 17:19:11

Stop giving her cereal. SHe doesn't need it./

here

Meeely3 Fri 04-Sep-09 17:19:52

defo wait for a bit longer if you are in fact genuine - my DS3 is nearly 7 months and we are still on the odd bit of banana here and there with a bowl of ready brek for breakfast. There is no hurry and she will take to it quicker if she is able to sit up in a high chair and hold her own bits of finger food. i would have waited longer with DS but he was making these amazing panting noises while watching his big brothers eat so I knew food had started to interest him.

FaintlyMacabre Fri 04-Sep-09 17:27:22

Surely if this was a troll the baby would only be 6 weeks. But yes, agree with the rest of you.

Reallytired Fri 04-Sep-09 17:39:35

In the past everyone weaned their baby at four months. I think that in most cases the solids just went through the gut completely undigested. It is not as devestatingly harmful as some fanatics on mumsnet seem to think.

Personally I think you are creating extra work and you would find life easier to wait longer. However you are the the mother and you know your baby best.

I suggest that the poster gets a copy of an old annabel karmel book if she wants to wean the old fashioned way. I am sure you can get it from your local library. Or if you want something a bit more prescriptive then Gina Ford does a weaning book although I have never read it.

Good on the OP for breastfeeding exclusively for four months.

lovemybabydoll Mon 14-Sep-09 10:19:16

Wow, thank you for the replies. In particular thank you to 'reallytired'.
I did not go into the history as to why I started her weaning and will not do so now.
All I wanted to know about was experiences from mums who took the same route as me.
As much as this site is useful, you lot can also be quite damning! And personally, I do not think that you will say this to your family and friends, so why reply in such an awful tone to a stranger?
If my topic was should I bf or not, then I can sort of understand but I already passed that stage and did bf exclusively.
I think some tact wouldn't go amiss here from you guys especially when you do not know me? Or try and vent your frustrations elsewhere?
Yes I am for real.....

Cuth Mon 14-Sep-09 10:34:42

hi lmbd

i have ahungry 4 month old who has just started re waking at night, trying to grab my food and is making chewing motions. im trying to put off weaning (lazy) as long as possible but not sure how long ill do. both my dd 1 and ds now 5 and 4 were weaned around 4 to 5 months and it was led by their needs and behaviour. they are fine with no allergies or tummy problems. im sure it also depends on the size of babe. mine was 10 lb 2 born and has remained in top centile so prob hungrier? good luck

greeneyed Mon 14-Sep-09 12:32:01

Blimey, I was ging to ask about weaning my boy at 17 weeks (the health visitor said she would be more than happy if we get this far as he is such a big boy and very hungry - waking for two feeds a night still and every 2.5 hours during the day) Don't think I dare now!!

tiktok Mon 14-Sep-09 12:41:23

I think it's perfectly understandable when people are hmm at threads like this!

There have been a gazillion discussions explaining, often at length and with great patience, the needs of babies...which are individual, for sure, but which hardly ever equate to starting solids at age 4 mths.

There is no evidence that babies who are big, or who feed often (and 2 x a night and every 2.5 hours in the day is not all that often, anyway!) or who make 'chewing motions' need anything other than milk at this time.

However, it's also true that prob most babies who start solids as early as this show no ill effects, so if parents are determined to give them, then prob the best advice is to give the baby something pretty bland and harmless to hold (like a rice cake, or a piece of pear) and see what happens!

There is really no nutritional benefit in spooning in cereal, no matter how cute the baby looks [hmmm]...that's not my opinion, it's the facts

greeneyes feeding twice at night and 2.5hourly in the day is not a sign of readiness to wean.

TAFKAtheUrbanDryad Mon 14-Sep-09 12:50:47

tiktok - I have heard that early weaning is worse for ex-bf babies as it can compromise the virgin gut, is that correct?? I can't seem to find any information about it. blush

To the OP, and sundry other sockpuppets posters, signs of readiness for weaning are:

- Sitting unaided
- Loss of tongue thrust reflex
- Developing pincer grip

If your baby isn't showing any of these signs (and at 17 weeks, I'd be amazed if they were, frankly) then they're not ready to wean.

smile

tiktok Mon 14-Sep-09 13:08:01

UD, I'm the wrong person to ask, though I do agree that formula does affect the gut in the short term, and I am sure there are some susceptible babies who could be compromised by solids at 4 mths as opposed to 6 mths, but for the majority of babies, bf or ff, solids at this age (4 mths) are just not the best thing for them, rather than likely to harm. So why bother? Breastmilk meets all a baby's nutritional needs in terms of calories and in terms of content - life does not need to be complicated unnecessarily by solids! Especially not for spurious reasons like the baby looking cute, or because he 'needs' extra 'cos of being big or looking hungry.

No idea whether this is different for ff or bf, sorry.

hanaflowerhatestheDM Mon 14-Sep-09 13:20:44

Gluten should be avoided until 6 months, as it is thought it could lead to problems such as IBS in later life.

Lishylooloo Mon 14-Sep-09 13:21:10

Lovemybabydoll: I think the message here is that there is in general no reason to feed your baby anything other than breast-milk or formula until they are 6 months old. Perhaps there can be exceptional circumstamces when a child should be fed food at 4 months but I'm assuming you decided on this after talking with a paediatrician or other qualified person. I think the best thing is to ask that same person exactly how much you should be giving your child.

If on the other hand you have just decided yourself to give your child food then I would strongly recommend seeing a professional about this first.

LackaDAISYcal Mon 14-Sep-09 13:29:44

Agree with everyone here about 4 months being a bit young and against current advice, and to greeneyed; my DS2 has been BLW since 5.5 months. He is now 10.5 months and only stopped feeding 2x a night about four weeks ago.

HV's advising early weaning because of "big hungry babies" ought to be sacked imvho.

plimple Mon 14-Sep-09 13:32:51

I began at 17wks after signs were there. Started with a spoon at lunch for a few weeks, went up to a couple more spoons and then at breakfast and teatime. Mainly a pinch of baby rice with b milk, banana, other root veg and fruit.
I knew I'd be working a bit when she was 6 months so needed her to eat some solids as well as bf. I didn't want to use formula and wasn't good at expressing.
Do what suits you and your baby with an awareness of the WHO guidelines.
Annabel Karmel gets a bad press on here, but with common sense applied and no blender I used her book as a guide and will do the same for dc2.

Monkeygirl69 Mon 14-Sep-09 13:41:08

Hey,

God I love this site.

I just thought I'd let you know that a lady in my baby massage class claimed she weaned all her 6 kids at 8 weeks. And to be fair her 12 week old looked fine.

Also a very close friend weaned her baby at four months due to medical reasons. This was advised by her doctor at GOSH.

LackaDAISYcal Mon 14-Sep-09 13:56:51

I think weaning early on a doctor's advice is a separate issue, as others have mentioned.

As for the 12 week old looking fine...have you always had x-ray vision? I was weaned on rusk at 10 weeks and have been told that this will have been a contributing factor to my coeliac disease.....which wasn't diagnosed until I was 35. I'm sure I looked fine at 12 weeks as well hmm

lovemybabydoll Mon 14-Sep-09 13:58:59

Hey All
When I posted this message on 4 Sept, I did not mention that I have started her on pureed baby food for 4+ months. And by cereal, I mean baby cereal mixed with my breastmilk and water nad it is gluten free NOT crunchy nut corn flakes.
I am not giving my baby solids @ 4months, that's crazy! If I was that crazy, I do not think I will be on this website trying desperately to know what's good and what isnt based on mums' experiences!
Well I guess I have to be careful now because there will always be 1 to jump down my throat and think the worst of the Author rather than giving him/her the benefit of the doubt.
Thanks Plimple.
Thanks Monkeygirl.
Here's another question - there are hundreds of companies that produce baby food from 4+, they have to be checked and accredited by some body here in the UK. Why is this allowed?
Thanks...x

tiktok Mon 14-Sep-09 14:00:20

Looking fine means zilch!

My mother smoked all the way through her first two pregnancies (inc when she was pg with me) and I looked fine as well. She also placed us on our fronts to sleep and we looked fine.

8 weeks for weaning is actually dangerously early. The baby weaned at that age could have seriously over-loaded kidneys and this could mean serious damage later.

tiktok Mon 14-Sep-09 14:04:58

babydoll, solids is anything other than breastmilk or formula and of course includes baby cereal and purees. It does not have to be 'solid' to be solid, if you know what I mean

Manufacturers are permitted to label food from four months, you are right. This means very little. There is actually no legislation, AFAIK, regarding this - they could, without breaking the law, say 'suitable for babies aged 1 week', except there would be huge criticism from all the relevant authorities for it.

There is legislation regarding ingredients, so no added salt for instance, and certain food additives are not permitted in foods intended for babies.

But nothing on age.

LackaDAISYcal Mon 14-Sep-09 14:12:09

lmbd, anything other than milk is solds, including baby rice.

I'm not sure of the ins and outs of it, but the baby food manufacturers are meant to be changing their labels, but because of their collected might managed to get a (fairly lenghty) time period to change all their labels to 6months; they are still within this changeover time I believe, and although there will usually be a warning somewhere about advice is to wait till 6mo, it will be very small and tucked away somewhere on the packaging. It really isn't in their best interests to have you wait is it?

Yes there are a few hmm posts which as tiktok says are understandable, but the rest of them are giving you good advice which you appear to not want to listen to. Surely you are aware that the guidelines are to wait until six months? and that 4 months is considered too early? If so, then why are you surprised by the level of response? If not, but use a site like MN and I assume have had contact with health professionals and have a copy of the NHS birth to five book, then ytou should take the advice you are receiving here on board and not just listening to the words of others who have gone against the guidlelines because they feel they know better than the collected wisdon of the WHO and the NHS.

Gill Rapley's book called Baby Led Weaning is very good at explaining why it's important to wait until the baby is developmentally ready, usually sometime around 6 months.

LackaDAISYcal Mon 14-Sep-09 14:13:14

ah there you go, tiktok knows more about this sort of thing. I thought they were having to change tiktok? or is that just wishful thinking on my part?

lovemybabydoll Mon 14-Sep-09 14:14:56

Ok. Until very recently, the advice in Scotland was that they can start weaning @ 4mths. Surely their babies are no different to ours?
Now they have changed it but not very much, to '4-6 months'.
Well I do know what you mean and I don't...
hmm

tiktok Mon 14-Sep-09 14:20:43

Not sure, Daisy....are you not thinking of the 'reprieve' given to formula manufacturers to allow them to remove spurious health claims from their packs?

I don't think I have heard of impending changes to the age labelling of weaning foods

plimple Mon 14-Sep-09 14:23:44

WHO says wait for signs as mentioned above, most babies show all of these by 6 months, but don't start earlier than 17 weeks.
Waiting til 6 months won't do any harm, neither will starting past 17 weeks if the signs are showing. Do what suits you and your baby.
If your question was "should I start" perhaps the answer is no.
If the question is "I'm going to start, how can I do it safely and easily" you have some good suggestions above. Teeny tiny steps and avoid certain foods altogether until 6 months.

Personally I wouldn't eat jars of baby food so wouldn't give them to my baby.

tiktok Mon 14-Sep-09 14:24:08

babydoll - the advice in Scotland has been exactly the same as everywhere else in the UK.

The recommended age is 6 months.

www.readysteadybaby.org.uk/growing-together/looking-after-your-growing-baby/weaning-your-baby/index. aspx

tiktok Mon 14-Sep-09 14:25:44

babydoll - not sure where you have had your info from. It was 4-6 mths for ages and ages all over the UK. Then in 2003 it became 6 mths.

Whoever is giving you info about all this is a bit confused hmm

lovemybabydoll Mon 14-Sep-09 14:58:19

Hello Again,
Thank you all for your advice, not sure why you think I am not listening?!? If I wasn't, I would not be responding.
I am only trying to make the best decision for my baby and I am done here unless there are any other new points fron other mums?
I will continue to look into this and it may just be that my baby is 6+mths and then I wouldnt have to worry anymore..hehehe
PS: I did taste her food and it is yummy, it really is.
Best wishes to all....xoxo

hazeyjane Mon 14-Sep-09 15:02:24

What are you giving her if it is yummy?! I thought all baby cereals were horrid!

lovemybabydoll Mon 14-Sep-09 15:39:55

Hello
It could be that my taste buds are different to yours?
Gluten free cereal for 4+ months (mixed with breastmilk and sometimes formula when I cannot express) as opposed to baby rice.
Bye byeeeeeee

Monkeygirl69 Mon 14-Sep-09 21:40:10

Point taken.

Rhian82 Fri 18-Sep-09 10:11:21

My DH was weaned at 8 weeks and is now 32, no digestive problems. He does have eczema though which started as a baby after he was weaned.

DS was almost 7 months before he could sit unaided (he's now 11 months and still can't crawl), so we had to wean him before he could. Six months is best, but every baby is different.

(And he also has bad eczema, from a few weeks old despite being exclusively BF. But since DH and I both have it, poor thing didn't really have a chance with our genes)

ShowOfHands Fri 18-Sep-09 10:15:30

"My DH was weaned at 8 weeks and is now 32, no digestive problems" Quick, quick, chuck out the peer-reviewed, evidence-based research, we have a representative sample of one man, one whole man, no digestive problems. Have you notified the DoH, WHO etc? I'm sure they need to know this information. wink grin

Rhian82 Fri 18-Sep-09 12:04:19

It was mostly as a response to LackaDAISYcal : "As for the 12 week old looking fine...have you always had x-ray vision? I was weaned on rusk at 10 weeks and have been told that this will have been a contributing factor to my coeliac disease.....which wasn't diagnosed until I was 35. I'm sure I looked fine at 12 weeks as well"

Anecdotal evidence is meaningless, whether it supports or contradicts your position.

FrameyMcFrame Mon 21-Sep-09 14:57:41

Most people still wean their babies at 4 months despite the recommendations. Health visitors don't do much to stop it and baby food labeling encourages it. I don't see why people should get flamed by a load of judgey pants on here just for doing what the majority of mums do.
Weaning at 4 months is a cultural thing in this country! Yes, point out that that the guidelines say 6 months by all means but there is really no need to be so bloody rude to people is there?

bambipie Mon 21-Sep-09 17:30:33

I love MN. Nearly everyone is sensible, can write and is generally lovely.

Being 'excited' is not a legitimate reason to wean at 4 months.
And as for most people weaning early, I find that hard to believe with the amount of information and guidance available on the subject.

Unless specifically advised by a Doctor, OP, it is far too early to wean.

FrameyMcFrame Mon 21-Sep-09 18:32:13

MooreCrack, believe it or not most people in the real world don't read the WHO website, or peer reviewed research on the subject.
It is widely accepted that it is common practice in the UK for mothers to wean babies at 4 months.

The fact that baby food is clearly marked from 4 to 6 months reinforces the practice. Most Mum's see this in the shops and think, my baby can have this food because it says 4 months on the packet.

Books like Gina Ford and Annabel Karmel all still say 4 to 6 months. These are very popular books. lots of people read them.

Health visitors still say 17 weeks

I don't understand why you would find it hard to believe un less you are living in a MN bubble

FrameyMcFrame Mon 21-Sep-09 18:50:56

*unless grin

pooexplosions Mon 21-Sep-09 19:01:54

Lots of people wean at or before 4 months. But then lots of people put coke in a baby bottle and give toddlers packets of crisps and sweets. Doesn't mean a sensible person should do the same.
Saying that, who the hell cares? hmm

FrameyMcFrame Mon 21-Sep-09 19:16:55

yes that is true poo explosion, people are often ill advised.
I am just saying that it's not surprising that people do wean early as the 'advice' is conflicting

Framey

Some health visitors may say 17 weeks,(never heard this from an hv myself), but they are not following NHS guidelines which clearly state 6 months. I think it's misleading to infer you have to be an academic who has studied peer reviewed research to be aware of the facts.
And although I can only refer to my own experience with friends who have babies, I am almost certain they are nearly all aware of these guidelines. As far as I know, I am the only mner in my rl social circle.

In fact, don't all pregnant women receive a copy of 'birth to five', a book which outlines those guidelines?

elliepants Mon 21-Sep-09 21:26:33

Our health visitors say that the WHO recommendations were designed for babies in developing countries as well as babies in developed countries and they say not before 17weeks as is bad for the gut but waiting until 6 months is not necessary in countries with good hygene.

To be honest they push weaning at 17 weeks.

Being aware of the guidance I was determined to wait till 6 months and do baby led wean ing. However my baby was cruising between 90%ile 75%ile and has fallen down to the 50ish and had been feeding every hour. I lasted a week of breastfeeding hourly, and then started weaning at 19weeks.

I don't know if I'm doing the right thing- it feels right listening to what my baby is trying to tell me and he's not as starving and really grumpy. But in answer to your question we're having porridge once a day and some pureed fruit once a day, some days its quite abit other days its hardly any its just how much he fancies.

Best of luck with it

pooexplosions Mon 21-Sep-09 21:47:39

Your HV's need a lot more training then as that is a load of rubbish.

choufleur Mon 21-Sep-09 21:51:51

the advice is conflicting though. many sites say wean around or near to 6 months (how much is near to 6 months?) but wait at least until 17 weeks.

tiktok Tue 22-Sep-09 08:50:45

The guidelines are clear though - websites wanting to be taken seriously should simply quote the guidelines, which are not at all confusing!

6 mths is the recommended time.

Anything earlier, medical advice only.

If mothers are determined not to follow this recommendation, for whatever reason, then they need to know not to wean before 17 weeks.

FrameyMcFrame Tue 22-Sep-09 18:11:32

No I don't think you have to be an academic to be aware of the guidelines, I am merely pointing out that the messages Mum's get are conflicting. This is confusing for some people.

The guidelines say wait until 6 months but almost everywhere else there are messages saying it's ok after 17 weeks, or the misleading term 4 to 6 months.
One of the strongest messages in food labeling. People TRUST food labels in this country, especially brands like 'Hienz' and 'Cow and Gate'.
My health visitor said 17 weeks to me with both my DC.
The older generation, grandmas etc always encorage early weaning because that's how they did it.
The guidelines are clear but the messages in the real world are mixed and confusing.

FrameyMcFrame Tue 22-Sep-09 18:12:33

Mums not Mum's blush

choufleur Tue 22-Sep-09 19:01:27

but websites don't simply quote the guidelines. the bbc, which is a site i guess a lot of people will trust, says about 6 months. some people may consider 5 months about 6 months, other would stick to it rigidly.

and framey is right the messages elsewhere often say from 4 months.

1stMrsF Wed 23-Sep-09 22:17:00

I think the guidelines are very clear, but the things that you 'hear' or get told by other mums/grannies/read in books and magazines are together very confusing. Just this week a friend told me that she'd bf until 6 months because "that's how long they say you should" - of course the guidelines are to exclusively bf until 6 months but she had weaned at 4 months and switched to formula at 6 months and still believed she was following guidelines. She is a well educated, smart person. It does need to be less ambiguously communicated across all the different sources of information.

But mothers should also make the effort to educate themselves, and it's not difficult to do so.

theoptimist Sat 03-Oct-09 11:20:35

babydoll, my baby is 5 months old (17lb 8oz - she was in the 75th percentile from birth) and was 2 weeks overdue, and I started her on just baby rice a few weeks ago. One tea spoonful and 10 teaspoons of milk. It's hardly anything at all really.
I think it allows the gut to slowly get baby used to food. I've also started to give my a little baby pure baby juice in a cup.

I've just started to learn about BLW and I'm not keen, but interested in reading how others are doing - I have no real opinion on it, but have read the research, etc. Still, personally I'm going to do what I intuitively feel is best for my baby.

The arguments about FF and BF are also quite invalid when there is no choice. I had a terrible birth and BF for 5 weeks before I was admitted to hospital with haemorraging. My milk stopped like turning a tap off and the professionals said my body needed to stop the milk production to ensure I had enough fluids. I was in hospital for a few days, there was no leaking, no return to producing milk - it was gone! Some people have no choice! Yes if there's choice BF for at least 6 months is ideal, as long as mum has a good diet.

Also though, if people are having a go about what you're doing re weaning, then what do we all do about the millions of children who were weaned from 4 months old based on advice until just a few years back. Are we all irresponsible? We can't go back and do things differently. My 6 and 8 year olds were weaned (slowly) from 4 months old and they are almost never ill, in fact I can't remember them having anything more than a little annoying sniff. They have no food intolerances and no allergies and are very fit and healthy. OK, so maybe I and the other millions of parents will discover our kids have problems when they're much older. But, then, in a few years time when our 2009 babies are older, are researchers going to tell us that going from just milk to BLW is bad for your child and that they're going to develop problems when they're older? And are there going to be posts in the future that slate all people who want to use the, what will then be, old fashioned BLW method? It's very tricky. Research is ongoing and there are always new ideas.

My FIL is a GP and he says you have to use common sense. Two of my sister in laws are in the medical profession too and they say that what they do in hospital is totally against public advise, because public advise is a 'safe' option - worst case scenario to cater for those who don't use common sense and feed their 4 month olds things like bisto gravy, and introduce different foods too quickly!

My plan is to very gradually introduce new food types, such as fish, dairy products, various fruits, so I can check my baby isn't intolerant to them and then very slowly introduce soft finger foods.
Now you've started, it's probably best to go with the baby rice (tiny amount) rather than totally stop though. although if it's only been a few days, it's probably easy to stop if you really feel your baby's not ready.

MaMight Sat 03-Oct-09 11:48:21

<head explodes>

BelleWatling Sat 03-Oct-09 14:04:39

arf @ MaMight

I think I might send my DS down the mine. After all millions of children worked (and still do) down mines...and my FIL was a miner and he probably thought it was alright. Yes I know there is loads of research that says working down mines is not a good idea until you are an adult but all children are individuals and it should be up to me them.

MaMight Sat 03-Oct-09 16:36:15

grin Belle.

roseability Mon 05-Oct-09 21:36:19

I have heard it all when giving a baby solids before six months is equated with sending a child down a mine

rubbish

Gavotte Sun 11-Oct-09 20:42:22

Hi, I'm answering the original thread (not to get judgement, please!) as it appears that you're looking for advice and not to whether or not it's the right thing to do. My daughter is 19 weeks and, like you, I've been advised (by three different HVs) to wean her early. The main HV I see advised that early weaning is only a problem when people don't know which foods to give - it should only be simple, easily digestible foods like pear, squash, etc (even avocado can be a bit complex this early). The advice I was given was to try small amounts once a day to start with, pureeing to yoghurt consistency, and after a week try to introduce a greater variety, and more often if the baby seems interested. Food should also be given only after a milk feed to ensure the baby gets all its nutritional needs from the milk.

I think Mumsnet is a fantastic forum but there seems to be a quick-to-judge culture which fails to recognise that different methods work for different babies and parents. There are many ways to approach parenting and I think suggesting that anyone is a bad parent for choosing a different approach (even if it differs from govt guidelines, which are only guidelines and don't account for variety in the needs and differing rates of development in different babies) is unhelpful. It's great to offer an opinion if it has been asked for - but misses the point just to criticise. Good luck to the original poster and hope the weaning goes well.

Emmahugs Sun 11-Oct-09 21:11:34

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Emmahugs Sun 11-Oct-09 21:26:32

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

AllSheepareWhite Wed 04-Nov-09 20:28:44

Children are all individuals so why are we judging every case by a blanket government guideline. The same government that advises that young children and pregnant women be vaccinated against swine flu despite the fact vaccine has not been tested at all on those age groups/women (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8185897.stm). I agree breastfeeding as long as you can is best for a babies developing immune system and given current evidence for perchlorates in infant formula breastfeeding is undoubtably safer (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=cdc-study-finds-rocket-fuel-chemical-in-baby-formu la) however, not all babies are the same and not all studies agree with the WHO and government guidelines which are based on studies in developing countries where mothers may not be adequately nourished and water may be unsafe for young babies (http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/lifeandstyle/women/families/article1961406.ece). My 20 week old daughter began holding her head up by herself from 10 weeks, showed interest in food from 12 weeks, was grabbing larger objects and biting them from 14 weeks, smaller objects such as small teething items on teething ring from 16 weeks and making chewing motions. She had atopic dermatitis which flared up at five weeks, but has since then has not returned, despite introducing a range of new foods. At 17 weeks she went from feeding every 3 hours to every 1 and a half hours and was over double her birth weight of 8lbs. We have introduced tasting sessions at lunchtime (not too close to bedtime so that it does not upset her routine) letting her try one food at a time, but not as a replacement for breastmilk. She has tried pureed baby rice and breastmilk, potato, carrot, parsnip, butternut squash, pear and apple. She only takes a couple of spoonfuls at most and doesn't push it out with her tongue unless the taste is bitter (broccoli). She even puts her fingers in the food and shoves them in her mouth to taste it! She also grabs the spoon and tries to put this in her mouth. I bf her following the tasting, but find she is hungry within an hour of this as the food is not as nutritious as breastmilk (I demand feed). Since introducing the lunchtime session she no longer feeds every 1 and a half hours and is back to every 3 hours. She is a happy, healthy baby with normal weight gain.

I would say that every baby is different, premature babies and babies with under-developed guts or a lot of colic may need longer before being ready for solids. Also there is scientific evidence that the gut is porous to larger food molecules before 4 months and that food molecules passing into the bloodstream could result in food allergies. I say that you know your child, if they are interested and show signs of being ready like my daughter let them try foods, but don't be in a rush to wean off breastmilk let them go at their pace.

Not every sheep is white.

my son atsrted solids at 15weeks with the ok from 2 doctors and a health nurse. he did fine with it and now ests like a horse and eats anything i give him good luck to you i hope it all works out {smile}

i was told to give him mashed banana mixed with his formula and only a few spoonfuls each time smile

comewhinewithme Mon 16-Nov-09 13:22:06

WTF hmm.

GreenMonkies Thu 26-Nov-09 20:31:59

The baby food tins here in Australia say from 4 MONTHS on the label so it must be fine to feed babies solids from 4 months or they wouldnt put it on the labels. grin

Also i think this new breast feeding till 6month thing is stupid angry
What about people who cant breastfeed?? they should state formula is ok otherwise it makes women feel useless or stupid for not being able to breastfeed. when my son was born 3yrs ago there was none of this.

Wallace Sat 28-Nov-09 06:52:08

I think they would say it to their family and friends, but maybe slightly more tactfully.

I have a friend who has been told it is ok to wean at 4 months because her baby is 16 pounds. I have been trying to very tactfully explain the reasons behind waiting til 6 months. Especially I have just realised her baby isn't 4 months til the middle of december shock She must be thinking 16 weeks is 4 months.

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