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to wean dd at 21 weeks?

(95 Posts)
pregnantpause Fri 03-Jun-11 14:45:45

I really think my dd is ready to be weaned. she is ebf, and is a big baby. In the last week she has started feeding every hour/two. waking in the night. watching dd1 eat with much interest etc.
I really think its time BUT when i spoke to hv this mnorning she said 'i should wait until 26 weeks 'for the sake of her health'.
AIBU to think sod it my baby, my way and wean her anyway?surely it wont damage her?

celebmum Fri 03-Jun-11 14:48:11

Erm yes! You're the mummy you do what you think is right and what she needs.
I weaned my little one around 16/17weeks and his health was in no way affected? ( Ebf too )

Good luck! grin

RitaMorgan Fri 03-Jun-11 14:48:20

Is she showing signs of readiness? Sitting up well, lost tongue thrust, can pick up food and get it to her mouth?

Waiting til 26 weeks would be safest, but if she's showing signs of being ready then weaning now probably won't do any damage.

celebmum Fri 03-Jun-11 14:49:14

Yes wean her not yes I think u are being unreasonable![shame]

RitaMorgan Fri 03-Jun-11 14:49:57

This NHS link for when to wean might help.

celebmum Fri 03-Jun-11 14:58:18

Ooh prob not much help are we! Myself n RM giving conflicting responses! grin (hi RM!)

One of the best pieces of advice my HV gave me was that everything they tell you/you read etc are GUIDELINES not RULES. each child is intact individual and all will develop at different stages, therefore as mummy you must trust your instincts.

These guidelines state that my DS 14 months should be about taking his first steps, when in actual fact he was walking unaided at 10months!

RitaMorgan Fri 03-Jun-11 15:03:34

I agree celebmum that babies develop at different paces, so it's worth looking for the physical signs they are ready rather than just their age. Some babies will be sitting/lost tongue thrust/picking up food at 21 weeks after all.

Having said that though, the guidelines are 26 weeks because by that point all babies will be ready for food, so that's safest - there's no harm in waiting til 26 weeks, but there may be harm in weaning earlier. The risk of weaning after 17 weeks though, especially if the baby is showing signs of readiness, is probably minimal.

kidsinamerica Fri 03-Jun-11 15:04:28

3 kids all weaned at 16 to 19 weeks with no problems or subsequent issues (eldest now a strapping 21 yr old). You are the Mum, you read the signals day-in-day-out, you know best

mumnotmachine Fri 03-Jun-11 15:06:45

Both mine were weaned at 13/14 weeks.
Its not done them any harm
All kids grow at different rates, there is no rulebook, except the rule of Mum!! You know your child better than anyone!

RitaMorgan Fri 03-Jun-11 15:08:29

Weaning at 13 weeks does seem nuts to me - why would you do that? A three month old is barely holding their own head up!

nancydrewfoundaclue Fri 03-Jun-11 15:09:42

Personally I wouldn't, possible risks to health aside waiting until your DC can feed herself more readily and take larger portions means far less time faffing about with purees and mess.

Both my older two were weaned at 28 weeks and within weeks were eating proper meals. Far less complicated than trying to pour spoon tiny amounts of baby rice into a tiny baby.

Your DD may just be having agrowth spurt and whipping your boob out two hourly is far less hassle than early weaning. <<lazy mum emoticon>>

Sqee Fri 03-Jun-11 15:09:59

I started weaning DS around the same time. He was a hungry baby and was sitting up ect. I found he was much happier as everyone else says it's really your call but bub sounds ready to me! Nothing wrong with giving it ago. What were you thinking about starting her off with?

pregnantpause Fri 03-Jun-11 15:10:00

she does pick up and put things in her mouth. What exactly are the 'risks RM? The link states upset tummy, but thats a vague and un helpful statement. I thought a she is my 2nd blush I would know what to do, having done it all before! If anything Im more reluctant to trust my instincts than i was 1st time round.

BertieBotts Fri 03-Jun-11 15:10:29

If you're letting her pick the food up and explore it herself, then I agree there's no harm in it, but I wouldn't be spooning stuff in at 21 weeks. You can't know she's ready yet. It might damage her. It might not, but why take the risk? I subscribe v. heavily to the theory that the insides follow the outsides in terms of readiness though. So let her have a bit of DD1's food to play with and see what happens, by all means! smile (I'd still avoid gluten/dairy/meat/eggs etc until 6 months though)

pregnantpause Fri 03-Jun-11 15:12:02

I started my dd1 with pear- pureed and then sliced. But hv suggested that if i do start baby rice is recommended?

BertieBotts Fri 03-Jun-11 15:13:10

Risks of early weaning include allergies, digestive/gut disorders such as coeliac, IBS, and some other things I can't remember, and problems with obesity. Many of which will not show until much later in life.

RitaMorgan Fri 03-Jun-11 15:15:27

pregnantpause - the risks of weaning before 17 weeks are increased infections, intolerances, IBS etc. The risks between 17-26 weeks don't seem to be so clear cut to me, but probably the same as before 17 weeks to a lesser extent, along with generally upsetting their stomachs, causing constipation, or filling them up with rice/purees when calories and nutrition is more available from milk.

Saying all that, I weaned my ds at 5 months - he seemed to be showing the signs, so I gave him a bit of brocolli. He picked it up and ate it (evidence in nappy!) so I took that as a pretty clear sign he was ready. I do think that if they are physically able to eat then their digestive system will be ready too.

mumnotmachine Fri 03-Jun-11 15:16:37

13/14 weeks was the advice given to me by HV when my daughter was a baby.
I just did the same with my son.
Both children were bottle fed (slay me) and were hungry babies.
HV advised me not to give the hungrier baby formula as all it does is have stuff added to bulk out the belly. Better to give small amounts of "proper" food and not overload belly.

BertieBotts Fri 03-Jun-11 15:16:41

You don't have to start with baby rice. It's just that it's a very mild first food, unlikely to cause any allergic reaction, and fairly easy to digest, especially as you mix it with their usual milk. It's unnecessary though. I wonder if perhaps it is a bit of a stalling tactic by HVs to encourage parents not to start weaning with "real" food too soon. (And worth pointing out that although it's fairly easy to digest it's still not as easy to digest as breastmilk/formula is)

I would start with soft sticks of fruit or veg, see whether she can handle those. It might take her a few weeks to get the hang of it, by which time she'll be closer to 26 weeks anyway.

controlpantsandgladrags Fri 03-Jun-11 15:17:05

YANBU. There is no increased risk of allergies as long as you wait until after 17 weeks....that has been disproven. I weaned both of mine at 18 weeks........they were hungry babies!

Toygirl Fri 03-Jun-11 15:17:37

I weaned my son at 21 weeks and had no problems whatsoever. I knew he was ready

Sqee Fri 03-Jun-11 15:17:42

Baby rice is good! as you make it with your breast milk/baby formula. DS didn't really care for it much but I think it's a good place to start.

mumnotmachine Fri 03-Jun-11 15:17:59

And I never gave baby rice or rusks etc at that age- it was pureed fruit and veg- they were still having the same amount of formula milk as well

LineRunner Fri 03-Jun-11 15:18:30

You won't get a consensus on here.

That being said, I presume you're not planning to wean your baby onto sqaushed burger and chips. If you carry on breastfeeding, a bit of baby rice won't do any harm. And then you can add in bits of mashed fruits and vegetables. It's fun experimenting.

fastweb Fri 03-Jun-11 15:19:16

Weaning at 13 weeks does seem nuts to me - why would you do that? A three month old is barely holding their own head up!

I did it because that is when the ped, the mags said you should do it, and all the other mums with babies had that time as their benchmark for weaning.

My son is now 10 years old.

It appears to be seriously later than it used to be.

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