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when to wean...HELP PLEASE!

(10 Posts)
runningviks Tue 28-Jun-11 21:50:43

I have a son who is 4 months old. He has been breast fed from the start, as was his sister. He is huge. He's on the 98th centile and feeds on average 14 times a day (no more than an hour and a half between feeds). I am slowly reaching the end of my tether but am weighed down by that wonderful thing of mummy guilt. I fed his sister for 8 months until she took herself off the boob and she didn't have any solids until 6 months because she didn't want them. She was a textbook baby. He is so different and I think the reason he feeds so much is that he's so big that he's always hungry. I've spoken to the health visitors who tell me regularly that he's having a "growth spurt" and that I should not try to wean him before 6 months as he's "obviously getting what he needs" from me. I'm torn between thinking I should just introduce some baby rice or porridge to try to fill him up so that we can both get some sleep and worrying that I'll do him some harm by weaning too early. I'm wondering if the health visitors don't want me to wean him becase I'm one of their statistics as a breast feeding mum and it's ruins the figures if I wean now, or if I really shouldn't wean before 6 months. Any advice would be gratefully received, as the lack of sleep is making me grumpy! Many thanks

Chottie Tue 28-Jun-11 21:56:28

If your baby is hungry, feed him. I had a hungry boy too. He was 100% breast fed from birth to 9 months. I introduced cereals, soft boiled egg, mashed potato and veg and fruit from 4 months onwards. He is now over 6 ft tall and really healthy (and nearly 30!!!) I guess I am just trying to say, I am a mum who accordingly to today's guidelines did everything 'wrong' but somehow my son survived.

Just follow your instincts and let your HV worry about her stats(!) you sound a super mum. Enjoy this time it passes so quickly

mo3d Tue 28-Jun-11 22:05:58

Def go with your insticts. Ive got 3 dd, now aged 16, 13 and 9. They were all breastfed til 10 months and all weaned at different times (when I felt they were ready) from between 4 months and 6 months and they're all very healthy girls.

6 months isn't a magic month it's an average. You know your son better than anyone. I agree with Chottie, enjoy this time. Believe in yourself.

MogTheForgetfulCat Tue 28-Jun-11 22:08:58

I'm in a similar situation, DS3 born on 98th centile, nearly 3lbs heavier than either of his brothers shock. He is 4 months and EBF. Feeds less often than your DS, but does wake severally each night to feed. I sympathise, it is v tough to have so little time between feeds (presuming it's the same at night as during the day?)

Having said that, DS1 was a shocking sleeper (despite being a relative tiddler) and I weaned him at 20 weeks (baby rice) in a despairing attempt to get him to sleep more. Sadly, it made not a scrap of difference sad and I then felt crap for having weaned him earlier than recommended. DS2 was fine on just boob until over 6 months, thankfully.

Am worried that I will struggle to get DS3 to 6 months before weaning, because he is so big. But then I tell myself that he is getting that big on just breastmilk...

Don't know what the answer is. Will he take a bottle? If so, maybe try some hungry baby milk as a last feed before bed, as an alternative to solids? I am trying to get DS3 to take a top-up bottle at 7pm, so far no joy.

Sorry, probably no help. I am v wary of going against the official advice (albeit that it is only a guideline, yada yada) - but that has to be balanced against your own mental/physical health - it is v tough getting horribly interrupted sleep, and physically demanding feeding a bouncing baby so often.

sittinginthesun Tue 28-Jun-11 22:09:47

Is he showing any other signs of weaning? How is he around food? I weaned my eldest at 4 months (in days when this was ok with HVs) but only because he was trying to take food off my plate and dribbling with excitement when he smelt or saw dinner. No question he was ready.

Chottie Tue 28-Jun-11 22:26:21

Mog - I really feel that medical advice and guidelines are changing all the time. My son's first weaning food was mashed potato with a soft boiled egg (at 4 months) which is probably against all guidelines now. I would not dream of telling you what to do, I guess I am just trying to say that guidelines are just that guidelines and are not set in stone.

Your baby sounds like milk alone is not enough and you sound really tired. Wishing you well and a good night's sleep very soon. Take care.

peppapighastakenovermylife Tue 28-Jun-11 23:04:38

Advice really doesn't change all the time - last change was nearly ten years ago. It changes in response to new evidence.

OP - you have to make an informed choice based on your situation. Evidence suggests six months but evidence doesn't take into account your wider situation.

I would however look to your baby for signs of readiness - can they sit up? Pick food up and chew?

Weaning doesn't solve sleep problems as you are replacing high cal milk with most likely veg.

There is a huge growth spurt around four months which is really hard work. If you wait a bit she may settle again. Well done for getting this far though whatever you decide!

RitaMorgan Tue 28-Jun-11 23:09:00

I don't think weaning after 4 months is the worst thing to do if they're showing signs of readiness. How about trying a baby led weaning approach - I reckon if a baby is able to pick up food, get it to their mouths, chew and swallow then they are definitely ready!

RitaMorgan Tue 28-Jun-11 23:10:09

There's some information on when to wean here.

peppapighastakenovermylife Tue 28-Jun-11 23:13:06

Yes ...what Rita says! I am a big advocate of around six months when showing readiness.

For DS1 that was 18 weeks

DD was around 26 weeks

DS2 was closer to 8 months before he was bothered

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