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to think that mega early weaning should not be promoted at a baby massage class?

(126 Posts)
SatHereSitting Mon 27-Jul-09 11:59:45

I take DS to a baby massage class at the local surestart centre, there is about 11 of us with the eldest baby there being about 14 weeks. Last week the subject of weaning came up and one mum said she had weaned her DS at 10 weeks and another said she had begun to wean at 8 weeks due to reflux.I was the only one who appeared shocked, and the other mums started to ask questions and seemed interested, saying things like "oh really, I might try mine then"

I knew this was wrong and without trying to sound judgemental I said that current guidelines were to wait untill about 6 months as a baby's digestive system wasn't really ready before then.

The Surestart leader however said "well they change the guidelines all the time, it was three months when I weaned mine, if they're hungry go for it".The group then continued to discuss early weaning, I tried to say again that it wasn't suitable but realising from the looks I was getting that I shouldn't say any more I shut up.

Anyway today the worker gives us a handout on weaning, which states on it

'It is vital that a mixed and varied diet be well established by the age of six months'

So AIBU to think that 1. This worker clearly shouldn't be encouraging weaning which at best is ill informed and at worst dangerous.
2.Shouldn't be talking about weaning at all it's a baby massage class. And 3. Shouldn't be giving us handouts that appear to promote early weaning and especially as the eldest baby is only 14 weeks, so nobody should be thinking about weaning yet.

I'm not sure what to do, obviously I am well aware of the guidelines but some of the mums who go are not. Should I speak to the manager and make sure that the worker gives out the correct infomation next week and tells the group that early weaning is not suitable?

PfftTheMagicDragon Mon 27-Jul-09 12:03:11


KristinaM Mon 27-Jul-09 12:06:03

ye, what you suggest in your last paragraph sounds reasonable

PeedOffWithNits Mon 27-Jul-09 12:09:57

a few weeks early if you have a very big hungry baby is one thing (i did this rather than supplement BF with any formula)

weaning at 8 weeks is barking mad though!

lara27 Mon 27-Jul-09 12:19:30

I think weaning time goes in phases. My mum lent me the childcare book she had when she had me (so book is 27yrs old) and it said that babies should be weaned at 4mths and that it's bad for them not to be onto good range by 6mths but as far as I'm aware the current guidance is not to start until 6mths... Sounds like these people are still thinking along the lines of the old guidance. I heard that you definitely shouldn't start before 17wks (i.e 4mths) because their digestive systems are not mature enough to take proper food which makes sense. Also heard that early weaning can contribute to childhood obesity but not sure whether that's right or not.

So agree that YANBU and that talking to the manager may be a good idea.

MoontheMightyThreadKiller Mon 27-Jul-09 12:23:07

Any mother who has done even the most basic reading on parenting will know the early weaning is NOT recommended. These women all know it but are feeling boosted by others opinions.

Agree that a baby massage class should not be discussing it!

I wouldn't get involved, just go for the massage and leave the others to make their own choices.

AnarchyAunt Mon 27-Jul-09 12:25:04

God yes talk to the manager.

Point her to the Child Health Promotion Programme which is part of Every Child Matters, which is the framework SureStart is meant to work within.

It clearly states that weaning should start at around 6 months.

stillstanding Mon 27-Jul-09 12:28:53

I would be tempted to just walk away from it and not get involved. You know early weaning is a no-no and have tried to tell the others. But if you do - understandably - feel strongly about it - I would have a word with the manager. The leader is giving out very poor advice on a subject she obviously doesn't know much about.

crokky Mon 27-Jul-09 12:34:47

You have told them that it is wrong so I would now leave it well alone. Most people have internet access these days so information is easy to come by if they want it.

PfftTheMagicDragon Mon 27-Jul-09 13:00:32

I think that regardless of the sea change in weaning ages, or opinions on when is best, baby massage class is not the time to be advising on baby weaning, particularly when you are not qualifies to be giving such advice!

SatHereSitting Mon 27-Jul-09 13:02:36

So mixed responses then really. Still not surewhat to do. The bloody handout is so contradictory as well.

'Your babies gut is not mature enough to digest anything but breast or formula milk before 6 months of age' (So good advice)

But directly above that it says 'It is vital that a mixed and varied diet be well established by the age of six months'hmm

So how the hell are you supposed to achieve an established diet by 6 months, if you don't start weaning untill 6 months? correct me if I'm wrong but I thought weaning took time, so this in itself is very confusing.

Bet you can't guess where this handout comes from?? grin

AnarchyAunt Mon 27-Jul-09 13:03:46

At a SureStart centre, in a class run by SureStart staff, the advice given should not conflict with the child health promotion programme they are meant to be blimmin' well promoting!

You can't do much about what the other mums say but the leader has no business giving out such crap advice.

AnarchyAunt Mon 27-Jul-09 13:04:53

Thats a crap handout too by the sounds of it.

Go on, where did it come from?

SatHereSitting Mon 27-Jul-09 13:12:58

The flaming NHS of all places shock it has an NHS and Primary Care Trust title header!

God knows what bin they dug it out from, but the whole thing sounds outdated.

'It is vital that all food textures be runny and smooth untill at least 7 months of age, courser textures present a choking hazard and are to be avoided' That's baby led weaning out the window then!

Stretch Mon 27-Jul-09 13:14:05

PLease tell me that was Leicester!!

I had this from my breastfeeding group! Surestart worker, who also does the baby weighing(!) told everybody that as long as you make sure the puree is very runny, it's ok to early wean because it's just like milk slipping down!! hmm WTF??

SatHereSitting Mon 27-Jul-09 13:21:15

No stretch it wasn't, but that just reminded me of another gem that was discussed last week. If your baby isn't keen on swallowing food yet but you think they're ready for weaning(so clearly not ready then hmm), you can always mix baby rice into the bottle of formula, just make the hole in the teat bigger with a knife! And although the Surestart worker didn't actually say this, she was nodding in agreement shock ((Bangshead against wall))

PaulaAtMummyKnowsBest Mon 27-Jul-09 13:32:48

you shouldn't be weaning before 17 weeks.

No Ifs

No buts

AnarchyAunt Mon 27-Jul-09 13:35:30

SHS - really, complain to the manager.

PrincessToadstool Mon 27-Jul-09 13:41:38

VictorianSqualor used to have a blog about the risks of early weaning, twas interesting but I don't think she posts on MN anymore.

ineedalifelaundry Mon 27-Jul-09 13:42:05

shock at this!

I would definitely speak to the manager.

AnarchyAunt Mon 27-Jul-09 13:48:29

VS's blog

Doris123 Mon 27-Jul-09 14:05:01

To be honest, I think that VS was being ever so sanctimonious when she wrote that blog.

There are mothers who choose to wean their children for reasons other than to get 12 hours sleep!

It is clear form the NHS guidelines (which are only a GUIDE), that the question of when to wean can only ever be approximate. Every child is different, and should be treated that way.

Weaning is an issue that worries many parents because of the inadequete and often (as we have seen) contradictory advice given. I personally took the decision that it was positivley un-natural not to wean my child before 6 months. She could put an object in her mouth, I felt it was nature taking over. At 17 weeks she was more than able and ready, and took to food like a duck to water. We never lloked back, and she has the most varied diet of any child I know.

Obviously this is my own experience, and I know that for every early weaner, there will be an 8 month old struggling to swallow. It is the nature of individuality.

Therfore, why are people so bent on sticking to the imaginary 'rules' - they are not rules - only guidelines?

When I told my helath visitor I was weaning my 17 week old daughter, she smiled knowingly and said 'well done, I am not allowed to recommend, but I will remain silent.' She later said 'nobody ever died from a bit of mashed bananna', but this was perhaps more in jest as allergies were not an issue for my child.

It has become clear to me since bcomming a parent that the NHS will advise what is best at least cost. Had I followed their 'guidelines' on breastfeeding, I would never have succeeded, as my midwife was not allowed to recommend nipple sheilds or pumps!!!! She said that the NHS can not recommend something that they are not prepared to pay for. Perhaps we need to treat their guidlines with the caution that most general guidelines are treated with.

The NHS and WHO are acting for the greater good, not the individual. Why weaning a child that is able and ready is so wrong, i can not see.

PrincessToadstool Mon 27-Jul-09 14:15:51

I don't really take issue with early weaning myself, Doris. But your HV sounds like a knob. A knowing smile? Saying well done? No offence but what the fuck is well done about mashing a banana?

The fact remains that you cannot know whether a baby's gut has sealed or not by their ability to grab or sit up. It is a potential risk. I don't see this as a big deal myself, but I could find NO evidence that waiting to wean was a bad thing so for me the choice was easy.

I don't really care when other people wean their babies but it is tiring to read the same myths over and over.

PrincessToadstool Mon 27-Jul-09 14:17:36

By 'I don't see it as a big deal' I mean the potential risk is so small as to be negligible - giving simple veg purees or whatever doesn't make me shudder - rusks in bottles on the other hand...

SatHereSitting Mon 27-Jul-09 14:27:54

Doris123 while I get what you're saying about weaning at 17 weeks, I think the thing that shocked me and the reason I am so concerned is that the majority of the babies at this group are between 9 and 12 weeks old. If they had been 17 weeks+ I would not have said anything to be honest.

But the fact that one mum said she weaned at 8 weeks and another at 10 and nobody but me raised an eyebrow seriously worries me. And while I understand that the other mums may just be being polite by asking questions, they were enthusiastic enough about the subject for the surestart worker to bring us in handouts especially!!

I thought VS blog made alot of sense in many areas, and I get where she's coming from on alot of it.
I don't know, I'm going up there later for something else, think I will have to say something tbh

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