advice wanted on introducing solids

(42 Posts)
Madeupnamelady Wed 01-Jan-14 11:41:10

DS is 16 weeks old. He was two weeks late. He is as strong little chap, has no problem holding his head up, has two teeth through, is picking things up and putting them in his mouth (teething toys etc) can just about turn a page of a board book.

He sits in his highchair and watches intently while we eat and makes eating motions with his mouth.

He is EbF on demand and I'd like to start introducing small amounts of solid to begin getting him used to different tastes etc. I have already given him a tiny taste of banana which he responded well too.

Part of the reason is that I have to return to work at 6 months and he will be going to nursery. I cannot express enough milk and would prefer him to be able to have some solids by then.

I know guidance suggests that babies should not have solids until they are up until 6 months but I think he is ready. What do people suggest? What kinds of food could we introduce him to? I'm thinking very tiny amounts for now. I really not interested in buying baby rice or cereal, i want to offer him stuff that we'd eat straight away (though within reason obviously!)

BonaDea Wed 01-Jan-14 11:44:38

Sounds like you want to go down the baby led weaning route. Suggest you buy the Gill Rapley book for advice on that.

However - and I know you already know this - your little one is not even 4 months old. The advice is clear that there is no benefit whatsoever to babies in introducing solids at this point and there is also some risk attached. I hear what you say about you going back to work but I honestly don't see the benefit t rushing this. Great that he is looking and 'chewing' but he is physiologically not ready for solids yet so I just wouldn't rush it.

poopooheadwillyfatface Wed 01-Jan-14 11:46:03

bringing things to his mouth and having teeth are just developmental things and nowt to do with his readiness for solids.
He doesn't need food yet and having weaned two babies I would leave it til he is around 6m as it's tons easier. You can skip the purees if you want and go straight to proper food and they can have wheat etc then. Just no honey or choking hazards like nuts and whole grapes.

Lazybones12 Wed 01-Jan-14 11:47:47

I had to start spoon feeding son @ 15 weeks on paediatrician orders... Started with puréed fruits such as mango or pears. Also have puréed veg like carrots, butternut squash or sweet potatoes. Graduated to potatoes and them started adding fish and meats. He is now 9 1/2 months and thriving. He eats what we do now pretty much. I know people have varying opinions in weaning early but it worked for me.

Madeupnamelady Wed 01-Jan-14 12:02:08

You can skip the purees if you want and go straight to proper food and they can have wheat etc then.

Skipping purees i what i hoped to do. So do i need to introduce formula so he is able to take that by the time I go back to work in Feb?
BonaDea I hear what you are saying and will look at babyled weaning. I am a little anxious (and sad) though as continuing EBF is not going to be doable right up to 6 months

poopooheadwillyfatface Wed 01-Jan-14 12:32:01

no need to introduce formula unless you want to, why do you think you need to give formula? there's good evidence that continuing bf while starting solids helps to protect against allergies.
you could leave expressed milk or formula for while they are at nursery regardless of how much solids they are taking.

poopooheadwillyfatface Wed 01-Jan-14 12:35:11

Did you want to stop by before they start nursery or continue to bf part time or a mix of expressed milk and direct feeding?

I would gently suggest that stopping bf and starting nursery all pretty much together would be a lot of change for you both to get used to at once. Having a lovely cuddle and breastfeed after coming home from work is pretty nicesmile

Madeupnamelady Wed 01-Jan-14 13:11:39

God no, I want to bf forever! I want to introduce solids before nursery as there is no way i can express enough for a day. So mix between bf and solid food. If I dont express enough then my only option is formua IYSWIM. So introducing solids should negate that.

If i'm honest, I really dont want to introduce formula.

Perhaps Im being a bit daft here..

poopooheadwillyfatface Wed 01-Jan-14 18:12:58

you aren't being daft at all grin

If you could express enough for one or two feeds a day baby will probably manage ok with those plus food and water at nursery, if you carry on bf the rest of the time. Though they may do some catching up overnight.

BonaDea Wed 01-Jan-14 19:17:01

OP, I totally get that you won't want to express all that milk! I don't like it either and never seem to get much.

But even if you start solids now there is no way your little one would be managing enough at 6 months to go without milk during a day at nursery not would it - at that stage - be supplying much overall nutrition.

So, I think your best bet would instead be to hold off on solids but perhaps slowly start introducing some bottles of formula - maybe just one a day to start with - to get LO used to it. Aim to get to the point by 6 months where he is bf'ing when you'll be at home (morning and evenings?) and on formula the rest of the time. That will mean less of a shock when he starts nursery and also will mean your supply has sorted itself out.

Honestly I don't think weaning is the answer at this stage.

AHardDaysWrite Wed 01-Jan-14 19:22:05

Op you can definitely continue to bf once back at work. I did with dc1 and am back at work after dc2 next week, still bfing (she's 8 months) and planning to bf for a good while yet. I don't like expressing, so if she needs milk during the day she will have formula. You don't need to introduce any at this stage if you don't want to, but it makes sense to practise with a bottle or cup, even with a tiny amount of expressed milk, just so your baby can learn how to drink from other sources than a breast.

dinkystinky Wed 01-Jan-14 19:30:28

I agree with BonaDea - your little one wont be taking enough solids at 6 months to simply just eat solids during the day and rely on bfs at morning and evening. I'm back to work in 4 weeks - DC3 will be nearly 7 months. He is EBF - and like you I have no intention of giving up BFing. He's just started weaning - lots of grabbing food and sticking it in his mouth but not much going into his stomach. I'm going to slowly introduce a bottle of formula during the day after he turns 6 months so he can have one or two bottles of formula during the day which with his nanny while he's still establishing his eating (bear in mind BLW babies dont really seem to fully crack eating until a few months after starting to eat) and will bf morning, evening and night if and as required. FWIW I went back to work when DS1 was 7 months (started weaning him at 4 and a half months onto purees - no way was he eating enough at 7 months to be able to cope with no milk during the day and my workload/place meant I couldnt express) so he mix fed from them and the same with DS2 (who was BLW - took to it well from 5 and a half months but again, no way he could have gone with just solids during the day).

dinkystinky Wed 01-Jan-14 19:30:50

Ps bf DS1 till 15 months, DS2 till 26 months.

shinynewname Fri 03-Jan-14 05:06:52

Also OP if you do consider expressing, you will likely be able to get more if you have a regular expressing time each day.

Your body seems to get used to the extra 'feeds'.

Madeupnamelady Fri 03-Jan-14 19:11:45

thanks loads for the advice. lots to think about. I think I had hoped that I might be able to express enough for a feed at nursery and solids and water could keep him going. Realistically I know that isnt going to be enough. Advice here has been really helpful.

I express so SH can have him occasionally and so much gets wasted. I find it disheartening as it can take a few days to get enough for me to go out for a few hours.

I know have to get over my guilt about using formula. I know its ridiculous but I come frm a close female family, none have used formula, its bloody stupid but I struggle tbh

lilyaldrin Fri 03-Jan-14 19:16:13

I would feel less guilty about using formula than weaning early iyswim - formula is a more appropriate food for a 4-6 month old than filling them full of solids. Before 6 months they can only have fruit, veg and rice anyway - so there is more calories and nutrients in formula.

lilyaldrin Fri 03-Jan-14 19:18:35

EBF until around 6 months has the best health outcomes by the way - so breastmilk until around then and then introducing some formula and solids would be a better solution than early weaning.

Madeupnamelady Fri 03-Jan-14 19:33:55

thanks lily in an ideal situation I'd just ebf until 6 months then baby led weaning but sadly I have to go back to work.

I'm aware of guidelines and things but within that i know there is wiggle room and some babies are ready to begin solids a little bit sooner.

I have heard that egg is a good thing to use when weaning (obvs not later) and rice, do you mean our rice or baby rice?

lilyaldrin Fri 03-Jan-14 19:37:46

Sorry, I thought you were returning to work at 6 months.

Madeupnamelady Fri 03-Jan-14 20:21:23

yes i am but it seems unrealistic to that DS will adapt to solids immediately so there will need to be a transition IYSWIM. I basically wanted to avoid formula but unless i can express enough, that isn't going to be possible.

I really wanted to wean onto non-baby foods or products for babies. The idea being that DS will sooner or later just eat what we eat.

Going back to work is going to make that difficult

lilyaldrin Fri 03-Jan-14 20:23:51

Nursery will work with you to wean him on to solids though - they won't expect him to arrive at 6 months fully on to adult food.

Madeupnamelady Fri 03-Jan-14 21:02:08

He is managing a knife and fork but the breast milk is a little slippery. grin

No seriously, I think i've been a bit unclear, apologies.

As I am returning to work at exactly 6 months, I wanted to begin weaning before then in preparation.

I was just seeking advice as to whether there was a way I could for example send DS off to nursery with...

4-8 ounces of expressed milk
Some egg
some puree of some description

Without needing to introduce formula.

I think realistically, expressing 8 ounces a day is going to be impossible and I'm going to need to give him some formula.

I just wanted to find out what peoples thought on this were and wondered if anyone had any solutions.

A few people have offered some great advice sowhen I can get my head around formula. I.e which one is going to be best for DS, understand it's not the food of the devil himself etc, I'll probably go with that.

lilyaldrin Fri 03-Jan-14 21:09:33

He'll need breastmilk or formula during the day, most babies have day time milk feeds until 9-12 months.

If you begin weaning before 6 months, don't give him anything like egg - stick to fruit and veg. Definitely don't give him anything before 17 weeks, and try to wait until as near to 6 months as possible. Couldn't you just let him try bits of fruit and veg a couple of weeks before you go back?

LadyMetroland Fri 03-Jan-14 21:15:11

Agree with others that getting him on to formula is the best thing nutritionally for him.

If I were you I'd introduce 1 bottle of breastmilk mixed with small amount of formula at around mths. Perhaps around midday before his afternoon nap. Build up ratio of breastmilk v formula until he takes whole bottles of formula.

Solids won't give him the essential calories he needs for quite a while so I'd wait. The nursery will be used to weaning babies.

Are you returning fulltime and will you be able to pump at work?

LadyMetroland Fri 03-Jan-14 21:16:36

I meant start introducing formula at 5mths! Darn phone

mameulah Fri 03-Jan-14 21:19:47

What about porridge?

Our baby was super hungry and the doctor suggested we give him porridge. He was drinking gallons and gallons of milk, becoming really windy and then distressed. On his first birthday he weight 25 pounds and was 86 cm long. He needed food at four months and if that is what you think your baby needs then definitely do it.

Madeupnamelady Fri 03-Jan-14 21:29:01

He'll need breastmilk or formula during the day, most babies have day time milk feeds until 9-12 months Yes I get that!! I just wanted to use solids in addition to some breastmilk rather than have to pump about 16 - 24 oz of breastmilk which frankly, seems impossible! Thank you for your responses. am now banging head on wall and calling troll

LadyMetroland yes, that sounds like a really good idea. Thanks mameulah Although I am aware of guidelines, my baby is also massive and weighs around 18lbs already. He's in some 6- 9 month clothes. He supports his own weight, is beginning to sit up and grabbing for everything! he is making 'eating motions' and very interested in our food. It won't be long for sure. He is 16 weeks and 3 days. He was overdue.

Madeupnamelady Fri 03-Jan-14 21:29:41

mamulah what porridge do you use?

mameulah Fri 03-Jan-14 21:44:06

Aptamil make a porridge. I used that, mixed with aptamil milk for quite a while, at about five o'clock. Because it was officially baby porridge it made me feel a bit more confident.

I know that EVERYONE means well but Madeup I totally understand. Our baby is now 13 months old and easily fits 18-24month old clothes, he runs around and climbs all day. IMHO he has needed food for a lot longer than some of his peers.

Muller rice is also good, although I never gave him the sweet sugary flavoured stuff at the bottom of the pot. Weetabix that has been soaked in formula milk for ages. Easy things like that until you feel better about YOUR CHOICE, how your baby is coping with and how you manage the change whilst thinking about going back to work.

You need to do your own thing and don't worry about everyone else and their opinions. I reckon we would all be united in saying that a mars bar was out of the question but the six month recommendation is exactly that, a recommendation based that I imagine is based on averages.

My friend has three children, her youngest wasn't interested in food until way after six months, she didn't sit her down and start forcing food into her because the guidelines said it was the right time.

Beside the formula in the supermarket you will see lots of different porridge and cereal recommended from six months onwards. There is also a powder that you mix with water of things like broccoli and cheese, roast dinner. Obviously if you know Annabel Karmel lives next door to you then don't do that but if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure it is good to get you going.

Good luck, and feel free to pm me if you have any other questions.

mameulah Fri 03-Jan-14 21:46:22

Also, mix the porridge with breast milk if it makes you feel better.

Madeupnamelady Fri 03-Jan-14 22:51:45

thanks memulah that's really helpful. I'm going to stop hovering near the baby food aisles like a dodgy bloke near the top shelf in a newsagents and actually have a look. My bloody family are very anti formula, snooty about it, so i feel guilty. It's stupid.

Can I ask, did your DC get very frustrated ?. Mine is so frustrated at the moment. Very cranky. We brought baby toys but hewants things he can interact with. The toys he enjoys are 18 month plus and i'm thinking I shouldnt get them, theyll be dangerous etc. I feel a bit lost and stressed tbh. In my mind this is going in hand with the wanting to introduce solids. I know its a bit off topic but as you say, children are all different.

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Fri 03-Jan-14 23:19:57

I'm following Gill Rapley's baby-led weaning at the moment with my 7 mo DD (she wrote a really helpful book, but also Google her if you're interested in BLW as the basics are on her website.

Anyway and FWIW, we began DD on BLW at 23 weeks, because DD was showing the right signs (sitting unsupported, bringing things to mouth, seemed to have lost her tongue thrust reflex etc.) and she took to it well. I guess I'm saying that it's possible for babies to get there a bit before 6 mo and be properly ready - and with BLW if they're not ready, they won't eat.

I don't like the idea of formula either - even though I give DD dairy foods now, and it's not like it's poisonous - so I do get where you're coming from there flowers

Also FWIW, DS was weaned at 22 weeks following Annabel Karmel's puree approach, which was ok but harder work!

Madeupnamelady Fri 03-Jan-14 23:29:44

Thank you Theseboots That is also really really helpful. And reassuring too.

Mrswellyboot Fri 03-Jan-14 23:39:54

Hello made up, I have been following this as I have a little boy here and was wondering about weaning. I am going to wait.

I was just thinking to myself, you don't have to tell everyone everything. Maybe you are too open at home. I know I keep a lot to myself as my mother tends to be a bit opinionated and critical so that's the way I deal with things.

ElBombero Fri 03-Jan-14 23:48:04

Don't give egg!! Huge allergy risk!!

FrumiousBandersnatch Fri 03-Jan-14 23:50:01

madeup you might find it useful to take a look at The Wonder Weeks in relation to your baby's crankiness - there's a book and an app. I have the latter, and if you input your baby's due date it gives you a schedule of when your baby is likely to experience 'stormy', cranky phases when they are going through major developmental leaps. 16 weeks is a big one, often related to the dreaded four month sleep regression. At 20 weeks DD has just come through this leap and it's striking to see the change in her mood and the skills that she's developed.

Shitballs Fri 03-Jan-14 23:56:48

Size is no induction of gut development, although it is a common myth that big babies are ready early.

The worry is if you fill him up on solids, he won't be getting enough calories overall. Milk (especially BM)
contains far more calories and fats than solids. It is also more easily digestible, so they consume more calories overall.

Fats are also essential for brain development which peaks between 6-12months, hence why milk should be the main source of nutrition before one.

Kellymom has a great table detailing calories and fat content vs foods you might find useful.

Personally I would EBF as long as possible and think about introducing formula above pushing solids.

RubyrooUK Sat 04-Jan-14 00:10:57

I wanted to reply because I have been in your situation. My DS2 started nursery at 6mo exactly. He was EBF and wouldn't take formula.

I wouldn't introduce solids. There would be no real benefit as far as I can see; he would get more nutrition and comfort from formula.

Also, although some babies are large - DS2 was sitting up unsupported at 16 weeks, could easily get things into his mouth, is very tall for his age - I felt that didn't make his stomach ready for solids. Watching people eat is part of what babies do. Frustration is also pretty common in babies as it's part of their development so they learn new things. So for me, waiting for 6mo was right and DS2 has taken to them very well. He eats what we eat (no salt) whizzed up and lots of finger food - a mix of spoons and BLW.

I would express one feed a day from now and freeze. Just one. And then when you baby starts nursery, you should have a decent supply to send to nursery without having to express vat quantities.

You can then express just one feed at work during the day too. This should get you through a couple of months, by which time your DS may be eating enough solids to rely only on feeds before and after work and in the night. It is a pain to express but DS2 wouldn't touch formula (just like DS1!) so it was the best option for me.

My DS2 has just turned 9mo and no longer needs bottles of expressed milk during the day - he bf in the morning/eve/night. It feels much more manageable like this. (And it's a lovely way for me and DS2 to connect after the working day.)

You can always PM me if you want any more details. Good luck.

RubyrooUK Sat 04-Jan-14 00:12:19

Sorry, vat quantities should be "vast quantities". If you needed to express a vat, that would be pretty daunting...grin

starlight1234 Sat 04-Jan-14 00:42:39

Can I ask if you are giving any bottled expressed milk at the moment...My DS took bottles initially but after I stopped for a couple of months he never touched a bottle again..so worth giving an occasional expressed bottle...

shinynewname Sat 04-Jan-14 05:21:49

Why would you need to express such large quantities?

I returned to work at approx 6 months with both DC, I expressed twice a day for the first few weeks then down to once. This meant 8-10 oz down to say 4-6 oz expressed per day. I hadn't expressed loads before, but it worked as I did it at regular times.

I also left a small freezer stash in case baby had a hungry day or I got held up and an extra feed was required.

shinynewname Sat 04-Jan-14 05:23:40

Just to let you know that it can be possible. Both of mine were only just having first tastes of food when I went back too.

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