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to think that sleep regression and the virgin gut are a recent phenomena

(105 Posts)
FunnysInLaJardin Sat 13-Oct-12 22:02:09

they didn't exist when I had DS1 7 years ago and so I think they can't be true.

PoppyAmex Sun 14-Oct-12 13:11:03

"My labels make me feel that it's short term and that she isn't broken, there's nothing I can fix, I have been through 4 months of fricking trauma to work out those labels, I'm sleep deprived, desperate and in a state of shock after non high needs perfectly sleeping DD1 so back the fuck away from my labels."

I'm with you! DD slept 12 hours a night (with dreamfeed in the middle, never woke up) until she was... you guessed it, 4 months. She's now 7 months and wakes up every SINGLE sleep cycle.

I read the "Wonder Weeks" and it's spooky just how spot on the developmental stages (growing spurts for you oldies grin) are pin pointed. Sleep regression is definitely not a myth.

Aboutlastnight Sun 14-Oct-12 13:15:45

Re: nut allergy.

A while back I was listening to Radio 4 highlighting new research which stated pregnant women should consume more nut products to help desensitise baby. But obviously thus is new research Nd not enough has been done to change current thinking.

As for Virgin gut: two of my kids are scuppered, DD1havibg been given formula in hospital while in special care and DD3 hugely enjoying orange squash at 3 months, generously provided by her sisters hmm

achillea Sun 14-Oct-12 13:16:57

If a child starts waking at 4 months it's because they're hungry or cold. That is all.

Virgin Gut is nonsense because children need to taste different foods and precisely to build up their stomach bacteria and resistance to infection. They need to chew things in order for their teeth to develop well.

Not complicated really. The bollox comes in when people think they know better than the doctors.

FredFredGeorge Sun 14-Oct-12 13:17:59

Remember advice does genuinely change because things change...

If you're obsessive about sterilization and anti-bacterial wipes endlessly, then "the virgin gut" (presumably meaning not colonized by the bacteria that have to be there before you can eat non milk foods) can last a long time, however if you're less obsessive about such things and the bacteria transfer happens earlier. And when you introduce potential allergens into the gut without the bacteria there - allergy is perhaps more likely.

So if you're very anti-bacteria/hygiene obessive delaying allergens is a possibly a good thing. That doesn't mean it's always relevant. It's similar to the advice on salt for adults, if you have high blood pressure, reducing it helps, if you don't, salt appears irrelevant. Unfortunately though simple mass health messages - particularly once percolated through groups and websites etc. etc. can't go into all the details so the advice becomes a catch all.

Without high blood pressure salt is probably irrelevant, with it reducing is probably good - so the advice can apply to all and it's a simpler message.

So the advice on all sorts of things can change because the wider society has changed rather than the science or understanding behind it. People desire to get simple messages, it's a shame, but it's almost certainly better than no advice.

IvorHughJackolantern Sun 14-Oct-12 13:18:54

Sometimes I find these labels very helpful. Last month DS had a fortnight where he woke bang on 2300 and screamed for the entire night. Every fucking night. I came online in tears at 4am one night and found loads of information about 18mo sleep regression, and stories from other parents about what they did and when I could expect it to pass. It reassured me, I stopped fearing that this was my life forever more, and it did indeed pass.

achillea Sun 14-Oct-12 13:43:12

But surely sleep regression is a term for a symptom - the cause is variable. It always existed, it's like separation anxiety. It is a symptom of poorly managed separation, the cause of which could be any number of things.

What bothers me is that some of these terms pass the buck from the parent to the child. Take self-weaning for instance. Means that the adult never needs to admit that they are in control of their childrens development.

I think that's why I term it as bollox. Ivor your late night wakings were caused by something, but not by sleep regression -you as a responsible adult found out what it was and dealt with it - even if the cause turned out to be 'getting used to being hungry at night, or needing a wee (you may never know) it's not a big deal, he'll get past it'.

beancurd Sun 14-Oct-12 14:03:41

Bf babies are much less likely to get gastro and uti probs. They recover more quickly too. This is partly because of what is often called the vg. The gut of an ebf baby is colonised with gram positive bifid creates an environment hostile to less friendly bacteria.

If you give ff or food but then ebf the bacteria build up again. Again this helps protect the infant gut and reduces their susceptibility to gastro probs.

Doesn't matter what it is called, it's just one of the mechanisms that gives a bf baby protection against unfriendly bacteria.

achillea Sun 14-Oct-12 14:57:18

It concerns me that people would try to somehow retain the virginity of their babies guts by avoiding weaning. That's the danger of these phrases. Unless the human body has suddenly altered, babies still need food from 4-6 months on, right?

DolomitesDonkey Sun 14-Oct-12 15:14:15

Yanbu, still I always like the crazies to identify themselves and I fear for the nutjobs who dip their nipples in boiling water to ensure they're sterile, I mean "Ouch"!?

beancurd Sun 14-Oct-12 15:18:49

Don't think many people have ever heard of the vg, can't impact on weaning...tiny percentage ebf at 6 months.

Just helps the developing immune system. I don't look at mine and remember who did and didn't have a vg.

There's a 9 month sleep regression? <faints> We haven't recovered from the 4 month one and she's 7 months now!

SamSmalaidh Sun 14-Oct-12 15:49:34

Babies "needing" food at 4 months is still a fairly new idea though achillea, and isn't even the current NHS/WHO guidance. The virgin gut theory is more about introducing unnecessary sugar water or formula into the gut of a newborn or very young baby though than introducing solid food at an appropriate point when an older baby is able to chew.

achillea Sun 14-Oct-12 15:55:26

I didn't say 4 months, I said 4-6 months. See they twist my words, they twist my numbers!

Babies "need" food at around that age because their bodies are bigger and digest quicker. Their brains are growing fast and they need longer hours of unbroken sleep because that's when their brains grow and repair, at night. So feed them good calories and they are less likely to wake up and their brain will be bigger.

Would you believe I'm not even a doctor!

Quadrangle Sun 14-Oct-12 15:56:37

Yes those breast feeding types are crazy aren't they, what with breadfeeding to 21 and dipping their nipples in boiling water to sterilise them. They all do that you know. Completely bonkers. wink

SamSmalaidh Sun 14-Oct-12 15:58:02

Funnily enough I can believe you are not a doctor hmm

achillea Sun 14-Oct-12 16:09:43

There's no such thing as a breastfeeding type but there is a type of person that thinks they can reinvent the biology of maternity and child development.

Babies wake when they're hungry or cold or there is a noise that wakes them, or they are in pain with teething. No regression at all.

Babies guts are virgin until something other than a nipple passes their lips. As it should be until their guts are ready to cope with bacteria or alternative foods.


Flimflammery Sun 14-Oct-12 16:23:32

Babies wake when they're hungry or cold or there is a noise that wakes them, or they are in pain with teething.

Actually brain research has shown that babies (in fact all humans) have natural sleep cycles consisting of different types of sleep with different brain waves. Babies naturally wake slightly about every 45 minutes in the daytime and 90 minutes or so at night. As long as they're not in some kind of discomfort, then what makes the difference to whether they go back to full sleep again rather than crying for mum is whether they've learnt to do it by themselves (or are co-sleeping so don't need to wake you).

foreverondiet Sun 14-Oct-12 16:43:47

re: virgin gut remember that for all off human evolution apart from maybe last 150 years or so babies would not have been fed anything but breast milk for first 4 months. So who are you to say its bollocks?

I mean 50 years ago people thought smoking was good for health.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 14-Oct-12 16:54:22

foreverondiet - how do you know what babies were fed 150 years ago? I'm sure they weren't all exclusively breastfed.

They may not have had formula, but what about food? Mush?

(goes off to Google)

Look - ancient bottles!

SirBoobAlot Sun 14-Oct-12 17:14:37

Babies don't "need" food at 4-6 months, actually. They get the majority of calories from milk until around a year old.

Tailtwister Sun 14-Oct-12 17:26:35

I find that people choose to believe or not believe depending on what suits them. For example, often people who chose to wean before 6 months think the vg theory is bollocks. It validates their decision. People don't like to feel challenged by information which might suggest they didn't follow the optimum path.

Does it really matter in the great scheme of things? Probably not. In 5 years time I'm sure I'll be reading how I 'did it all wrong'!

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 14-Oct-12 17:32:02

Tail - I'm going to disprove your theory - I am not convinced by virgin gut theory and my second son wasn't weaned before 6 months. (First one was scuppered anyway by formula in special care).

I still haven't seen any scientific evidence for it, although I haven't looked recently to be honest. If anyone has any, please post a link.

Tailtwister Sun 14-Oct-12 17:37:54

I did say 'often' endo not always. I'm just saying that it's easier to dismiss something as a load of bollocks than face the possibility you might not have chosen the best route. Happens with lots of things, but especially with parenting as it's so important to us.

lljkk Sun 14-Oct-12 17:45:32

Swaddling was a life saver with some of mine <<Old Gimmer emoticon>>.
YABU, though, it's good to evolve our understanding of things.

theodorakis Sun 14-Oct-12 17:49:00

I can't take virgin gut seriously however noble the sentiment. It just brings to mind earnest nct coffee mornings with little spaceman bubbles over babies heads in case they inhale the aroma of coffee

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