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Advised by HV to wean 7mo off breast...?

(42 Posts)
ElphabaTheGreen Sat 22-Dec-12 14:38:33

I've put this on the Weaning board but I seem to be getting advice on sleeping which, although gratefully received, is not really what I'm after, so I thought maybe you lot would know.

In order to improve my 7mo DS's awful sleep, my HV has advised really trying to push his solids intake (which in itself made me hmm) as he's 'obviously hungry' since he feeds every 1.5 to 2 hours day and night. Since he's a spoon refuser and more interested in playing with finger foods, although is getting more interested, and more able to swallow significant quantities of textured foods. To make him 'more interested' in solids, she has advised the following:
- cut breastfeeds to morning and evening only
- cut all night feeds, using CC if necessary.

I did tell her that my understanding was that the majority of nutrition needs to come from milk until 12 months, but she said that their guidance is that solids need to be taking over from seven months.

Is anyone else familiar with the HV's guidance or where it has come from? The approach she has suggested seems awfully extreme to me on so many levels...(more than a bit of a shock to DS, risk of mastitis for me etc)


EauRougelyNight Sat 22-Dec-12 14:42:29

She's talking shit. Milk should make up a lot of their calories at 7 mo and there's no proof that extra solids will help them sleep anyway. Loads of 7mo BF at night, that's normal- is your DS teething maybe? Check out isis online for sleep info.

Sorry, can't type much atm as heavy 22mo is asleep on me but your HV sounds crap.

marzipananimal Sat 22-Dec-12 14:49:14

From my experience with DS I reckon it's unlikely to be hunger waking him that often. Perfectly normal not to be into food at 7 months. I wouldn't cut down day time bfs at all.
Tbh cc may well help as if he learnt to self settle he may well sleep longer BUT you can only do it if you're comfortable with it, which many aren't.
Maybe try The No Cry Sleep Solution? (probably been suggested already)

If you're feeling up to it I'd be tempted to ask the HV to reference her advice as IMO it's bollocks

stuffthenonsense Sat 22-Dec-12 14:51:10

Oh please ignore her. Reasons to stop bf do not include poor sleep. Honestly, what would her advice be if baby was bottle fed? Give up milk? Only stop because you and baby want to. If baby is growing at a healthy pace then you are both doing just fine.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 22-Dec-12 14:53:54

It was when she said, 'If he was formula fed my advice would be the same - bottle morning and night only then solids the rest of the time' that made me especially hmm (as if suggesting going from 10-12 feeds per day to two wasn't disarming enough)

Comparing apples and pears, innit?

breatheslowly Sat 22-Dec-12 15:10:24

Not neccessarily an idea for now and I am not commenting on the BF thing, but if your DS doesn't like food on a spoon then you could let him suck it from the pouches you get with a nozzle. DD loved this and it was a great way to get her into solids. Obviously it depends on whether you are against shop bought baby food.

Looking at it from her "If he was FF" angle. DD was FF and definitely had at least 4 bottles at that stage, maybe 5. 2 seems extreme. Given that a FF baby would typically have about 30 oz of milk a day at 6 months tapering to at least 10 oz a day at 12 months, I would expect a 7 month old to be closer to the 30oz than the 10oz as they are just getting used to food, but it isn't their main source of nutrition. So lets say a 7 mo FF baby is on 24 oz. Unless she knows some peculiar babies that can drink 12oz at a time (DD wouldn't drink more than 6oz) she is talking bollocks.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 22-Dec-12 15:56:14

That's interesting breatheslowly. DH thinks I'm being a BFing militant and that we should do exactly as she says, but if her advice is wonky when it comes to FF as well... He's a skinny baby (perfectly healthy, but skinny, with a tendency to slither gently down weight centiles) so if he doesn't immediately and drastically up his solids intake, he's not really got anything in reserve.

I have been known to let him suck on a pouch...grin

melliebobs Sat 22-Dec-12 15:58:09

From my experience solids didn't make dd sleep any better! And still had noon every 2 hours until I had to stop at 8.5 months

nickelbabylyinginamanger Sat 22-Dec-12 15:59:58

she's talking sooo much shit!

DD fed every 2 hours day and night until about a month ago (she's 53 weeks), and then it kind of dropped to every 2 hours in the day and every 4 hours at night (ish)
but that's moveable too. last night she was doing one hour feeds about 4 times...

you're not being BF militant, you're providing your baby with the nutrition and comfort he requires.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Sat 22-Dec-12 16:00:24

PS - she didn't even care about solids until 10 months, and even then it was totally secondary to her milk feeds.

IWipeArses Sat 22-Dec-12 16:00:43

HV sounds like she knows nowt. He might need more milk, certainly not less and certainly not at only 7 months.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Sat 22-Dec-12 16:01:18

by the way, I would seriously tell your health authority about this woman's dangerous and outdated advice

Narked Sat 22-Dec-12 16:04:53

It's really stupid advice. Please report her so she doesn't give it to anyone else.

Startail Sat 22-Dec-12 16:05:19

7 months is tiny, Milk is supposed to provide main nutrition to a year!

naturalbaby Sat 22-Dec-12 16:07:32

It's too early to only have feeds/milk twice a day! You can't suddenly drop night feeds and expect him to be taking enough solids during the day to compensate, it's going to take a while for him to adjust and get used to it.

I had big problems with ds1's sleep at that age and it took me a long time to get enough solids in during the day and cut down the night feeds. The only way you can really do it is slowly and gradually at this age. He had a big bowl of potato/pasta for dinner then I squeezed in an extra bowl of cereal just before his last bfeed at bedtime. When I had managed to cut right down on the night feeds I knew he wasn't waking up hungry so then I started sleep training. It got to a point where I would time the feeds so he was only having 10seconds when he woke up at night. He had been on solids since just before 5months though. Ds2 and ds3 started solids later and took longer to drop night feeds.

It's a very long process and it almost finished me off but you will get there.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Sat 22-Dec-12 16:07:51

this is the NHS's actual official advice

swanthingafteranother Sat 22-Dec-12 16:10:59

why not try something in between? My health visitor used to say, milk before meals when first weaning, then to give solids before milk after weaning established to encourage them to take more...(that was about 6.5 months). I have to say that my ds and dts slept much better when they had solids and milk ; by better I mean, longer stretches. What about four feeds in the day 7-7, and twice at night max as a compromise? It is possible for babies to get hungry on just milk after 6 months, that is why he needs so many feeds! And the milk intake can include the milk in cheese, yoghurt, rice pudding when people say a baby's milk intake should be x amount. I bfd till 2years with twins so this is not just idle conjecture. They slept and ate well, and were well grown, although ds2 had some food fussiness/dislike of lumps.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 22-Dec-12 16:25:25

swanthing I'm thinking of maybe doing a little of that, only because I'm keen to see if ANYTHING works to space out his night feeds. I know solids aren't the fix for everyone but the are for some. Daytime feeds - fine. Night feeds...:-/ He cannot settle at night any other way and I'm worried that if I did do some kind of sleep training where I'd have to withhold feeds sometimes then feed him at others that would just be awfully confusing for him and not achieve anything.

My other concern about cutting down daytime feeds so drastically is wouldn't he just start reverse cycling and make the night waking problem even worse??

I probably wouldn't bother trying to reduce the night feeds if I wasn't going back to work full time in 6 weeks sad and need to be capable of driving safely/stringing a sentence together/not killing my patients (No, he won't take a bottle from DH, or a dummy from anyone. It's boob or scream.)

nickelbabylyinginamanger Sat 22-Dec-12 16:30:11

no, just ignore the HV.
carry on as you were, you're doing fine.

it might be months before night feeds are spaced out. if you stress you will make it worse on yourself.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Sat 22-Dec-12 16:31:25

DD would take a bottle at 8-9 months but not before.

we started by introducing a bottle of water for sips and also a beaker.
not to stress it, but just offering it. (or having it available)

ThoughtsPlease Sat 22-Dec-12 20:29:49

So you asked your HV for advice on helping your DS sleep better, and actually at 7months cutting night feeds, and therefore increasing day feeds, and probably increasing solids or he may not actually consume enough just on milk only in the day, seems sensible.

If you think he's hungry in the night then yes you need to increase his intake in the day. If you don't think he's hungry in the night, and you want to improve his sleep then yes you need to stop feeding him in the night and maybe do some CC.

feekerry Sat 22-Dec-12 21:21:52

Hi op.
Solids will not make any.difference to your dc sleep.
My dd sleeps very well, massive baby, and takes virtually no solids at all. My dd is nearly 9 months but if she can sleep all night on virtually no solids and my bm only then i am sure solids wont make a difference.
Is your dc in own room???
My dd slept soooo much better when she moved to her room.

CommanderShepard Sat 22-Dec-12 22:34:31

She is talking absolute frigging bollocks and wants reporting. I am INCENSED by the sheer number of HVs who are still spouting this shit!

ElphabaTheGreen Sun 23-Dec-12 00:17:59

feekerry He's been in his own room for a month. The move did nothing to improve his sleep, sadly. Nor have any of the other millions of suggestions from every sleep book known to man, the Internet or the MN sleep board. He's just one of them babies, I think.

Thanks for the NHS link nickelbaby - somebody else directed me towards that as well. It's still a little vague, not to mention non-specific about milk quantities/BFing frequencies, although it does suggest that 8-9 months is when three meals a day should start to become a reasonable expectation, not seven months. This HV did give me a timetable/schedule, though, distributed by that whole particular team of HVs, of when to introduce solids and milk feeds that appears to be copied from something official and it does suggest two to three milk feeds only a day is appropriate at seven months confused

Does anyone have any link to evidence for 'milk's for fun until they're one'? You hear it all the time on MN but I've never heard it via 'official' channels (e.g. NHS, WHO etc).

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Sun 23-Dec-12 00:57:44

I'm pro CC / CIO but 7 months is very young still and going from feeding 2 hourly to twice a day seems like a massive change to me, why make it worse by letting him CIO?

Isn't it called weaning?? You need to wean your baby onto food, not starve him and force him to eat. Your HV sounds nuts to me.

Could you try something like, milk feed, 2 hours later solid feed, 2 hours later milk feed, 2 hours later solid feed etc etc. Obviously you do need to give him a bit less milk to encourage him to eat more solids, but you don't want to make it such a drastic change IMO. If he seems hungry before 4 hours since the last feed then give him a reduced amount of milk, more of a milk snack, than a full on feed?

You don't really need to give him a different type of food every 4 hours either, so don't go mad puréeing 1kg of fruit ala Karmel lady. Then when that is working you could try spacing it, so morning milk with breakfast, morning snack, lunch, milk before/after nap, afternoon snack, dinner, milk. Then drop the morning milk feed and ensure afternoon feed is after nap. Then drop the evening feed. Or at least not give it in a bottle by 1 year.

With spoon refuser's, sometimes it works giving them something on the tray to play/hold/touch/chuck, while you sneak spoons of purée in when they are distracted by the things on the tray. Also try introducing spoons into play time?

I've weaned lots of children and I'd say most don't get properly eating vast quantities until 8ish month, before that it's mainly play. Then 9 monthish 3 meal a day and snacks are pretty established with milk 3 times a day (on cereal, in a bottle after afternoon nap and before bed).

Then maybe once you have cracked solids, if he still isn't sleeping well, then you could try sleep training of some kind best suited to your baby. CIO doesn't work on all babies from my experience.

What kind of food are you trying him on?

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