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EBF/weaning - what age? Advice/experiences appreciated!

(11 Posts)
crazybutterflylady Tue 16-Aug-11 13:55:08

Dd1 is 3mo. She has been EBF and is doing really well, weighs nearly 15lb already. She has just started cutting her first tooth. She is showing real interest in my food and has just started chewing when I am! Very cute smile

I wondered if this was a sign I could start weaning her soon. I asked HV who said no food till 6 months as it can really make them poorly before this. However, another HV said that the weaning research which suggests this is done by the WHO which bases its research on the world (obv!), a large proportion of which covers the third world where breast milk is much better for the baby than anything else on offer, and that here in the UK introducing foods from 3-4months is fine.

I'm really confused. I am intending to continue BF DD alongside pureed fruit/veg etc anyway so does this make a difference? Has anyone else had experience of this or can advise/suggest ideas please? The main reason I would like to try new foods is that I could start to include DH on feeding times - which secondarily could also give me a bit more freedom. (DD not very interested in bottles though am considering trying sippy cup from 4mo).

Thanks in advance confused

BornSicky Tue 16-Aug-11 14:13:35

breastmilk contains all the nutrients a baby needs, especially if under 6 months. The stomach and kidneys are not developed enough to process solids until at least 4 months old and even then BM is still best.

Expressing and using a sippy cup or bottle is the best answer to sharing feeding at that age.

3 months is very, very young - it's only 12 weeks.

RitaMorgan Tue 16-Aug-11 14:20:21

The second HV is giving advice that contradicts both the WHO and the NHS.

The best health outcomes for babies are those who are exclusively breastfed with no food/drinks/formula until around 6 months. If you can do this for your DD then you are giving her the best possible start in life.

If you do decide to introduce solids early, then it is important not to do so before 17 weeks. Early introduction of solids increases your baby's risk of digestive problems, gut infections and intolerances to things like gluten. You'd have to decide if it is a risk worth taking. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for a young baby, so you don't want food filling them up so they lose out on those calories and nutrients.

There is a good NHS site on when to wean here - No Rush To Mush
The signs a baby is ready is the loss of the tongue-thrust reflex, being able to sit up, and being able to co-ordinate picking up food and getting it to their mouths.

AngelDog Tue 16-Aug-11 15:40:02

The NHS recommends 6 months, unless your baby is sitting unsupported and able to pick up and eat finger food before then, in which case you should encourage them to eat finger food, ie do BLW.

If you do BLW, you don't have to worry as they start eating when they're ready. And it's a lot of fun. smile

The full NHS guidelines are here.

AngelDog Tue 16-Aug-11 15:41:16

Sorry, just realised that link's wrong - they've moved the page I was trying to link to. confused

Yesmynameis Tue 16-Aug-11 15:43:31

I introduced some baby rice to my DD early at 20 weeks following some very dodgy advice from my HV to help treat DDs reflux hmm

After a few weeks we progressed to pureed carrot and whatnot and I can wholeheartedly say the whole thing was a massive pita. I was rueing the day when I gave up my totally portable feeding system smile

I only managed a couple of weeks more, before I actually abandoned the whole thing and waited until 6 mo and then started BLW, which is what I wanted to do and should have done all along.

The 2nd HV should be reported for her ridiculous and dangerous advice, even the baby food companies say no solids before 19 weeks.

Yesmynameis Tue 16-Aug-11 15:51:29

Sorry I have put 19 weeks and Rita has said 17, and I'm sure Rita will be right not me smile

That's why the baby food is only allowed to be advertised from 4m, as you will see printed on the packets on supermarket shelves. Most authorities on the subject agree even 4m is way too soon. Can't think what the HV is thinking by saying 3mo...

RitaMorgan Tue 16-Aug-11 15:54:18

I think it is 17 weeks as that's 4 months - I don't know where the HV got 3 months from either as that has never been official advice in the UK. I believe 4 months was the recommendation up til 1994 (it was 4 months in the 80s when I was a baby apparently) when it changed to 4-6 months. Then in 2003 it changed again to 6 months.

AngelDog Tue 16-Aug-11 22:40:24

Yes, it is not before 17 weeks - Rita is right in her previous post AFAIK.

jetmonkey Tue 16-Aug-11 22:53:58

Personally I followed the advice and my dd was ebf until 6 mths. Sometimes I used to wonder if she was hungry for something more but in hindsight it was fine really. I started with purees but fairly soon after that iirc also introduced finger foods. I continued to bf until dd was 16 mths but was never able to get her to drink from a bottle grin

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 17-Aug-11 06:23:53

also rice, veg etc are basicaly diet foods and don't offer the same nutrients as milk. Your better off waiting till 6m when you can offer a complete diet.

Looking at food is no sign of gut readyness. They have no idea what it is, or that it makes us feel full etc. My ds used to be obsessed with my car keys which i held in my mouth while fastening him in...but i still haven't introduced those at 18m.

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