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Solids at 16 weeks

(44 Posts)
Lea2003 Sun 11-Jan-04 17:04:31

My b/f dd suffers from reflux. My HV suggested that I might put her on solids at 16 weeks or thereabouts rather than leave her until 26 weeks as the solids may help her and stop her from vomiting. Does anyone have any experience of this?


motherinferior Sun 11-Jan-04 17:18:05

Only that HVs appear to be obsessed with solids. There was a similar post on this recently I seem to remember...good luck, honey.

bobthebaby Sun 11-Jan-04 17:42:17

I wouldn't do this on the basis of a HV, only a paed. I know one baby with extremely bad reflux who did have solids very early, but then the acid was burning away the baby's throat so a bit of pear prob. did more good than harm. The baby still vomits at 10 month BTW and is still very ill.

In all other cases my friends have waited on the basis that if the top of their stomachs are underdeveloped the gut probably is too and so they wanted to wait.

bunnyrabbit Sun 11-Jan-04 18:31:03

Well just to be controversial, I started DS on Solids at 16 weeks.

I am doing it very slowly, I give him nealry all his milk first then fruit/veg or baby rice, then the rest of his milk. Both DH and I do think there has been an improvement. He certainly hasn't projectile vomitted since he started almost 2 weeks ago.

I am also confused myself as why all I see on mumsnet is people saying you should not start weaning until 26 weeks, when all the books I have read do say it's OK to start weaning at 4 months.

Can someone clear this up for me please?

When I read threads which say "You should not start weaning until 6 months", I start to feel guilty that I'm doing the wrong thing. But then, as I said, DS seems to be doing much better for it and enjoys it too (much giggling and hand waving).


emmatmg Sun 11-Jan-04 18:54:30

BR, I think it's something to do with the W.H.O, they have advised weaning at six months as children in developing countries cannot be weaned at 4 months. They moved the ages up to an average age(forall children across the world) but in the western world it is still OK to wean at 4 months.

I hope I'm right, can't remember where I heard this BTW.
If it makes you feel better our DS3 in 16 weeks on wednesday an I started weaning him this week and I also have a much happier and contented baby.

pie Sun 11-Jan-04 19:18:38

Thats not strictly true Emma! Babies are babies everywhere

"The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting solid foods at 4 – 6 months. What many mothers don’t realize is that the four month recommendation applies more to formula fed infants, and the six month recommendation applies more to breastfed infants. This is because formula is not as complete a food as breastmilk, and formula fed babies are more likely to become anaemic than babies who are breastfed, so they need iron-enriched food earlier.

The most important thing to remember is that breastmilk is a nutrient dense food and should be the primary source of your baby’s nutrition throughout the entire first year of life while his brain is growing so rapidly. It is the ideal source of nourishment, and it’s composition changes to meet your growing babies needs. For example, the levels of antibodies in your milk increase as your baby starts solids and takes in less volume of milk, and the fat levels in the milk decrease as your baby slows down on his weight gain in the second six months of life.

According to Ted Greiner, Ph.D and noted breastfeeding researcher, any foods other than breastmilk or formula given during the first 6 months have a displacement rather than additive effect because they displace the fat and calories the baby needs from milk....

Besides the fact that your baby doesn’t nutritionally need any other foods until at least the middle of his first year of life, there are some other good reasons for not rushing into introducing solid foods into his diet. Intestinal and developmental readiness vary widely from baby to baby. A baby’s immature digestive tract isn’t prepared to handle a wide variety of foods until at least six months, when many digestive enzymes seem to click in. This is especially important if you have a family history of allergies. The protective protein IgA, which coats the baby’s intestines and prevents the passage of harmful allergen, doesn’t reach peak production until around seven months of age."

In view of this Lea2003, as your DD is b/f and already has enough to be dealing with (reflux) I would be inclined to agree with bobthebaby. But I would do some more research and perhaps talk to a doctor you trust before making your decision. How old is she, is she having any treatment for her reflux?

LIZS Sun 11-Jan-04 19:34:16


Frankly it makes very little difference to the reflux - it just becomes a more multicoloured mess. Until the valve at the top of the stomach becomes more mature you will continue to have problems. In theory the solids may help hold the stomach contents down but weaning at this age coincides with a phase of increased mobility and the larger part of the diet is still milk. There *may* be less obvious vomiting but the indigestion feeling will still be there. dd continued to chuck up at little provocation until she was just over a year.

Have you also been given the advice to keep her as upright as possible after feeds (car seat or bouncy chair) and sleep her at an angle with cot propped up at head end. You could also ask the dr for a thickener (like cornflour) to add to ebm which would make it heavier in the stomach.


SueW Sun 11-Jan-04 20:25:43

bunnyrabbit, the reason you see a difference between books and mumsnet is because mumsnet is updated every day and takes into account new recommendations from the Govt and other organisations. The time from writing to printing to your buying a book and reading it is obviously much longer and I would venture to say there are plenty of books out there which have information which is out of date before they even reach the bookshops.

Lea2003 - haven't much to add to what you've already heard either except to say I wouldn't think reflux was a good reason for weaning early either. You could just be brigning on a whole new set of problems.
Anyway, the recommendation changed a few months ago as hs already been explained.

bunnyrabbit Sun 11-Jan-04 22:55:42

I see your point and am aware that government recommendation for starting weaning changed from 4 months to 6 months for breast fed babies (incidentally, this meant they had to up the maternity leave we're allowed) but I can't believe that all the books are wrong? Does this mean they will change in their next editions to say start weaning at 6 months? I reserve judgment on this and will wait and see.

My DS has reflux and I can only talk about my own experience. He has had gaviscon since he was 3 weeks old and beginning solids has shown the first big improvement in his sickness since then. Although I know for other babies moving to solids hasn't helped, it has for my DS.

I do not think, therefore, that you can state unequivocally that solids make little difference to the reflux. I think this will depend on the severity of the reflux, the state/maturity of the baby etc.

It may or may not work for Lea2003's DD.


MammyShirl Sun 11-Jan-04 23:03:35

To introduce food so early can increase their chances of food allergies so i would not advise this. my baby di dnot start on solids until 7 months, she was breastfed until 8 months soi am not sure how much milk she had a day. hv a re awlays pushing solids, mine even suggested givingher some chocolate!!! she is 9 months.

tiktok Sun 11-Jan-04 23:06:33

The 6 months recommendation is general, for breast and formula feds, but as with anything general, may not apply to every individual baby. 16 weeks is very young, and the recommendation has never been this - just 4-6 mths.

There is not a huge amount of evidence for the 'right' time for formula fed babies, except there is nothing to indicate in the research that babies suffer if on formula only till 6 mths.

The rec's are based mainly on the Cochrane review.

There's tons on the web all about this.

I can't imagine why a baby with reflux would be better off with solids,

motherinferior Mon 12-Jan-04 08:39:41

Actually the WHO made this recommendation a couple of years ago - the govt here (England - suppose this also applies in Wales and Scotland?)took it up much more recently.

Lea2003 Mon 12-Jan-04 18:07:46

Thanks for all your feedback. DD is 3 months old (today) and has been prescribed Gaviscon although this is near impossible to give to dd as she is b/f and didn't appear to help much (Dr prescribed it as 'I had bothered to come in' I presume he didn't think it was really worth it) No official testing was done.

I think I will try and leave the solids as long as possible.

Thanks again

charlieplus3 Mon 12-Jan-04 21:42:59

Bunnyrabbit.Well done you!
Im so tired of the pressure put on by people, some who dont even have children telling us when we should start this weaning process. My ds is 17 weeks and i started weaning 2 days before he was 16 weeks. WHY because he needed it. He so much more content now. Im doing it slowley like you.Rice and fruit. Im breast feeding too.The main thing hes happy, im happy and my toddler is happy as the baby is no longer constantly crying for food.
Every child has different needs and my ds certainly could not wait another two months.

Well done to you mums whos babies are not so demanding and can feed for 6 to 8 months on milk alone but dont assume all babies can do this!!

If they could then we would have heard about it sooner. Its the latest fad.

charlieplus3 Mon 12-Jan-04 21:59:15

and i dont agree withwhat pie has written. I feel sorry for new mums that have to read this S**t. Have a thought for new mums before you start telling them what they are doing to there babies intestines.

Lots of babies are weaned at 16 weeks and there are no problems.

This is scare mongering and its wrong!

pie Mon 12-Jan-04 22:01:35

er...maybe best not assume that all exclusively b/f babies aren't demanding either? Or that new research is a 'fad'????

pie Mon 12-Jan-04 22:03:13

I certainly wasn't trying to scaremonger, thank you! It was a direct quote from a member of the American Paediatric society. Good grief, if someone wants info and it is offered, just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean that there is some sort of malicious intent or even that it is wrong.

pie Mon 12-Jan-04 22:04:43

And for the record DD1 began weaning at 16 weeks and has digestive problems, whether or not that was the cause I don't know but I reserve the right to try it differently this time without you making judgements.

aloha Mon 12-Jan-04 22:08:24

Charlieplus3, I think that was uncalled for, frankly. As for 'late' weaning being a fad, in the 1930s maternity nurses were taught not to give solids before NINE months. I gave my son solids at 16 weeks, under tremendous pressure from my MIL (who meant well BTW) and because people told me it would help him sleep. Well, it didn't. Ds is fine but I would probably wait a good bit longer if I had another child.

elena2 Mon 12-Jan-04 22:13:05

Both my ds's started small amounts of solids at around 16 weeks.

I knew the advice was 4-6 months, and as they were both big lads (18 pounds plus)at this age, and were displaying all the signs of not being satisfied with milk alone, still crying after 12 or more ounces of milk, I decided they were ready to try solids.

To be honest I've got no paranoia over whether this has caused ds1 (ds2 is still only 19 weeks) any problems, he's a strong, healthy, happy lad and has shown no negative effects from this.

You do what you feel is best having read all the current information, she's your child and it's your decision.

StressyHead Mon 12-Jan-04 22:18:09

message withdrawn

popsycal Mon 12-Jan-04 22:19:27

I too agree that Pie was sharing medical findings
and it was out of order to attack this way

nearlymybeetrootday Mon 12-Jan-04 22:22:47

Message withdrawn

elena2 Mon 12-Jan-04 22:23:18

Agree that Pie was not trying to 'scare-monger', it is best to be aware of all the information before you make your choice.

marthamoo Mon 12-Jan-04 22:24:16

charlie, it's way out of order to call what pie has posted s**t. Even if you don't agree, she is entitled to her point of view, and what she has posted can't be described as scare-mongering. And I'm speaking as someone who weaned my first baby (breast-fed) at 16 weeks, and my second at 18. Just because it worked for you and me doesn't mean it will work for everyone. Lea2003 asked for advice - pie offered some, as did you. Just because you disagree doesn't make pie wrong.

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