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to wonder why some people can't wait to wean?

(115 Posts)
NobbedaBuilder Sat 09-Jul-11 17:23:57

I have a fb friend whose little boy is 12 weeks old today. She posted a status saying she was thinking of weaning him last week because he had been looking at her while she was eating. She got a load of comments saying - 'you know best', 'I weaned my baby at 5 days and they're fine' and 'don't speak the the evil hv they will just tell you to wait' and lo and behold yesterday there were pictures up of him looking 'cute' with baby rice all round his mouth.
Now I quite understand that some babies are ready before 6 months and that some medical conditions may necessitate very early weaning but why the hell would you choose to wean against advice, at 3 months, because your baby was looking at you while you ate?
I weaned both dd and ds at around 6 months. For quite a while before that they had been looking at food (amongst other things) and probably would have tried to put some in their mouths had I let them (as that's what babies do with everything). DS was also sitting up at 4 months - I could have interpreted these as 'signs' they were ready. As it turned out ds wasn't even that bothered about food until about 7 months or so.
I realise that some people have to wean early but if you don't have to why would you take the risk? I know the advice used to be 3 months then 4 and then 6 but 4-6 months is the most up to date advice based on all the research we have at present. Most people seem to take medical advice at face value in other areas. You would take a painkiller for a headache, for example, without speculating that in a few years research might conclude that painkillers are ineffective for headaches.
If the baby is perfectly contented just having milk the only reason I can see that parents would start weaning is because they are either ignorant of the risks (not the case with fb friend as she discussed the risks on there and went ahead anyway) or over-excited about their baby entering the next stage of their development.
Sorry for the rant it just made me really cross that this childs health is being put at risk due to his parents impatience.

MoonGirl1981 Sat 09-Jul-11 17:29:10

I have friends like that too.

Is annoying but you just have to bite your tounge and let them get on with it

I weaned my son at six months and had LOADS of negative comments along the lines of 'he starve', 'you can do it at four', 'his health will suffer'!

He's fine!

biddysmama Sat 09-Jul-11 17:29:30

babies look at food because its interesting, not because they are hungry, they have no idea that its food, to them milk is food, so that reason for weaning annoys me....i do agree with you, i do blw not before 6 months (even for my now 9 year old, before it was blw) but you will probably get flamed for it wink

Shakirasma Sat 09-Jul-11 17:30:54

Firstly, she's giving him food not poison. When we were babies we were all weaned at 3 months. I think most of us survived?

Yes we have better advice now, but 6 months is a recommendation it's not set in stone.

I weaned all of mine earlier than recommended, and yes, I did know best. When your baby is drinking a 9oz bottle of milk every 3 hours, then every 2 hours, then every single hour and a half, it does become quite clear that you need to do something to stave your baby's hunger, and save your own sanity.

NobbedaBuilder Sat 09-Jul-11 17:32:23

Well Shakira then you had to wean. Would you have weaned a perfectly contented baby, against advice, because they looked at you while you ate your dinner?

Insomnia11 Sat 09-Jul-11 17:34:05

12 weeks sounds very early indeed, I did start DD1 and DD2 on solids at 5.5 and 4 months respectively though. It just seemed that they were ready then, to me for all sorts of reasons, mainly that they appeared to need more than milk as it didn't appear to be satisfying them. I didn't even bother with ice cube size mush for DD2, straight away she could eat a whole Tommee Tippee pot of butternut squash and I religiously followed the programme in Your Baby, Week by Week.

NobbedaBuilder Sat 09-Jul-11 17:34:59

MoonGirl all my friends weaned their babies early too. And I bit my tongue in RL because they didn't ask for or want my advice. But they did keep asking me had I started weaning mine yet and seemed to pity them even though they were perfectly happy. In fact I don't know anyone in RL who hasn't weaned early!

valiumredhead Sat 09-Jul-11 17:35:00

I weaned my ds at 16 weeks grin

biddysmama Sat 09-Jul-11 17:37:37

my grandparents came to my house and lectured me for starving my dd because i wouldnt wean her at 4 months, she doubled her birth weight by 6 months so i wasnt too worried grin

bruffin Sat 09-Jul-11 17:41:48

Actually showing interest in food is now considered a sign of being ready. It makes far more sense than some arbitory date

Frome the BDA position statement 2010

Putting toys and other objects in the mouth

Chewing fists

Watching others with interest when they are eating

Seeming hungry between milk feeds or demanding feeds more often even though larger milk feeds have been offered
These developmental signs are generally seen between 4 and 6 months and this seems to be the best time to start solids because from this age infants learn to accept new textures."

queenmaeve Sat 09-Jul-11 17:47:33

Maybe they do it in the hope they will sleep a bit better. My first 4 were weaned at 16 weeks, they never slept through till they got solids.

NobbedaBuilder Sat 09-Jul-11 17:48:19

Really bruffin - a baby looking at their mum when they happen to be eating means they are ready to wean? Both my kids chewed everything in sight as soon as they had the motor skills to.
I agree it might be A sign in some babies. But why would you rush to wean against medical advice at the merest hint that your baby MIGHT be showing ONE of the signs of readiness when getting it wrong could harm them?
I was under them impression that babies guts become mature enough to accept solid food no earlier than 4 months and weaning earlier that would only be advised if continuing milk alone would pose more of a medical risk than that of early weaning.

NobbedaBuilder Sat 09-Jul-11 17:49:00

queen the baby in the OP has been sleeping through for some time and still is.

CBear6 Sat 09-Jul-11 18:30:34

I have to admit that I started DS at 15 weeks. He was showing the signs already mentioned and he was guzzling the milk. He would have a feed and then an hour later would want another feed but would throw most of it up as he was physically incapable of holding that much liquid in his stomach. This any on from about 12 weeks and I asked my GP about it, he said that the guidelines are guidelines and don't fit every child, he also said that it was my decision and would do no harm if he was ready. I kept an eye on it over the next few weeks and I found that his mid-afternoon feed and the feed after it was where the issue was at it's worst so at 15 weeks I started giving him a little bit of mushed up goop after his milk. He was more satisfied and he absolutely loved it, mouth hanging open and everything as soon as he spied anyone with food. When he was about 18/19 weeks I started to give him some at breakfast time too. When he was six months I introduced finger foods, dairy, etc. He's now almost two and he's great, still has a healthy appetite, no allergies that I know of, and he's not at all fussy (not that I'm crediting that to early weaning, that one is pure luck I think).

I don't agree with weaning for the sake of weaning and I was getting "helpful" comments from <ahem> the older generation from around 8 weeks onwards that I must introduce food now because he's a big boy and he needs it (he was over 9lb at birth) and big babies don't have to wait because they need the calories, etc. If he hadn't have been ready then I wouldn't have done it at 15 weeks. Every child is different, if they're ready then they're ready and some are ready sooner than others but there's no need to rush or do it just to get to the next stage - some of the mums at one of the baby groups I went to were competitive weaners and weaned just to be the first in the group to do it which is frankly pathetic.

I'm pregnant again and have no idea when I'll be weaning DD (not that I'm thinking that far ahead yet!), it'll be whenever she's ready whether that's at four months or seven months or five months, I'll play it by ear and take my cues from her.

skybluepearl Sat 09-Jul-11 18:37:28

i've read that early weaning is linked to allergies - that why i choose to wean at 6 months

worraliberty Sat 09-Jul-11 18:42:21

I weaned all 3 of mine at 3 months or less because they were ready.

Perhaps the Facebook Mum knows her child is ready too?

I doubt it's only on the basis of the baby looking at her eating. You have to remember it's a Facebook status...not an actual baby record.

ZX80ChosenOne Sat 09-Jul-11 18:43:14

I've never really understood why people think that weaning, as in giving the baby rice, fruit and vegetables would satisfy their hunger. They're diet foods surely, I'd prefer more milk if I was peckish.

Or is it the solid consistency that makes the difference?

worraliberty Sat 09-Jul-11 18:47:18

I think it's the consistency ZX

Baby rice kept mine full for longer.

NobbedaBuilder Sat 09-Jul-11 18:48:33

There was quite a discussion underneath the status and it was the only 'sign' she had seen that she was ready to wean.

NobbedaBuilder Sat 09-Jul-11 18:50:02

But she loves it apparently so that's all that matters hmm

NobbedaBuilder Sat 09-Jul-11 18:50:24

he sorry - the baby loves it.

worraliberty Sat 09-Jul-11 18:52:37

Well yes that is all that matters surely?

She'll soon know if it's too early when she changes the nappies. If the consistency is ok and the baby is contented...that's all that matters.

BooyHoo Sat 09-Jul-11 18:54:51

lots of people, especially with their PFB do this where i live. i understand it, it's the novelty of having this new interest in life and wanting to keep experiencing that feeling of 'my baby is doing this now'. some people like to be able to say their dc was weaned earlier than anyone else's in teh same way they like to say their baby was walking/talking/counting/writing before any other child. it's a bit sad that they feel the need but it's their child and like someone else said, it isn't poison. i find it helps to stop caring what other people do with their dcs and concentrate on my own.

lambethlil Sat 09-Jul-11 18:55:48

She sounds a bit dim and bored.


lambethlil Sat 09-Jul-11 18:56:04


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