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Does everyone wait until 6 months to introduce solids?

(16 Posts)
SecretSpeech Tue 20-May-14 10:58:38

My DD is almost 4 months and EBF. She is fairly big and seems to be feeding more and more often, and has started waking 4-5 times during the night when previously it was 2-3. I'm wondering if she's hungry and am considering introducing solids in the next few weeks, however I know the official guideline says wait until 6 months. I'm interested in how long people actually wait and whether it would do any harm to give her some porridge or banana before bed? Thanks

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 20-May-14 11:04:58

It wouldn't do any harm to wean after 17 weeks, but there is little point as giving her solids won't make her sleep more. In fact you could find her waking more often as her digestive system is highly unlikely to be mature enough to cope.

I've weaned 2, one in the bad old days at 17 weeks and one when she swiped some food from my plate at 23 weeks and scoffed it.

Personally I'd wait. I think what you are going through here is the 4 month sleep regression and nothing you can feed her will help.

Try to offer both breasts at each feed and try to offer a feed every 2 hours during the day.

Getting them outside seems to help with sleep so get her up in the morning and get her in the garden, then make sure she goes outside at least once more during the day.

Have you read the MN weaning info? It's very good smile

Polyethyl Tue 20-May-14 11:06:25

I waited. Despite my baby demanding more and more boob.

Those studies that say no solids till 6 months convinced me not to give food early.

HeyBungalowBill Tue 20-May-14 11:07:33

Hiya OP smile
How long has she been waking up more times in the night for?
Sometimes they can go through growth spurts where they are hungrier and inevitably wake up more in the night!
The guidelines are 6 months but I think 4 months is the absolute earliest you should do it I think they say?
I'm sure someone more up on it will come along soon smile

Personally I think that you know your baby and when your baby is ready.
Many disagree with this and are adamant you should wait until 6 months due to health risks.
For me personally I think 4-6 months is ideal if you're definitely feeling your baby is ready to start. But that doesn't mean I am right!

Although if it hadn't been too long your baby has been waking for longer I'd hold out and see if she gets back to normal soon smile
DS usually had growth spurts where he was feeding more for 1-2 weeks at a time.

Best of luck!

TheScience Tue 20-May-14 11:08:13

Agree with JJJ that after 17 weeks is very unlikely to be actively harmful, but also fairly unlikely to be beneficial at that point and may disrupt sleep more. Babies sleep often goes tits up around 4 months regardless.

Saying that I weaned DS1 at about 22 weeks I think as he seemed to be displaying signs of readiness - he was sitting well (supported), could pick up food, get it to his mouth and had lost the tongue thrust reflex.

voodoochimp Tue 20-May-14 11:10:08

I weaned my DD at about 19 weeks old (this was in the olden days, on advice of HV). It made no difference to her sleep.

I have an 18 week old at the moment who I plan to wean when he's ready i.e. sitting up and able to feed himself. There's little point trying to shovel purees into them at this age, it serves no purpose.

HeyBungalowBill Tue 20-May-14 11:10:37

Some people say weaning won't help a baby sleep but it did my DS! He was absolutely starving in the night and you could hear his stomach rumble really loudly and he was starving.
Once he was weaned (he could eat a fair bit at a time from the start!) that stopped and he started sleeping through again!

SecretSpeech Tue 20-May-14 11:17:47

Thanks everyone, very helpful. The waking loads more during the night is fairly recent and could be unconnected (last night was particularly bad but it was boiling hot). I think I'll ride it out for a bit as apart from sucking her fists ( and weirdly, her tongue!) she doesn't show signs of being ready and can't sit up on her own. If her tummy starts rumbling in the night though I might rethink! Thanks for advice re MN guidelines, I had a read x

SqutterNutBaush Tue 20-May-14 11:18:42

Breastmilk has way more calories than purees so should be more filling.

Having done both ends of the scale (was advised by my HV to wean DS at 15 weeks and left my DD until she was ready at 5.5 months) I'd say try to hold off longer. They do go through growth spurts and introducing solids could be counteractive to her sleep as it could disrupt her digestive system.

Fwiw neither of my children have slept well, DS never did until 3 and DD is 14 months and still waling every 2-3 hours despite eating everything in bloody sight some days grin

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 20-May-14 11:23:01

Thought I'd provide some information so that you can make an informed choice smile

Mumsnet weaning info

NHS guidelines incl. signs of readiness

kellymom: will giving my baby solids or formula help him to sleep better?

isis: useful information on normal baby sleep

kellymom: so how do we get started with solids?

kellymom: wakeful 4 month olds

kellymom: why delay solids?

BertieBotts Tue 20-May-14 11:34:59

Lots of people do start before six months but the research says it's safest to wait. Any food that you introduce is an allergen - porridge for example containsgluten which is a higher risk before 6 months.

The waking up is not thought to be a sign of being ready to wean any more. Signs are

Being able to sit well with support

Being able to get something to their mouth alone.

Also loss of tongue thrust reflex, but you can't see it until you try! Funnily enough all of the up to date signs of weaning are the same as what they need for baby lead weaning.

I know it's an exciting new phase but especially if you're exclusively breastfeeding, it's less risky to wait. The research doesn't say there is no risk after 17 weeks, it says most babies will be ok at 17 weeks but almost all will bw ready at 6 months.

SuperStrength Tue 20-May-14 20:42:45

I heard from a friend of a HV that the advice is about to change. Rather than waiting until 6 months, it's going to be more flexible & dependant on signals from the baby.

Fevertree Thu 22-May-14 12:48:02

super strength I heard the same. the advice hasn't changed yet so they can't officially say it but they can say it's being reconsidered x

Fevertree Thu 22-May-14 12:49:39

just wanted to say I am still going to wait a bit longer, dd is nearly 20 weeks and I don't think she is ready, just telling you what my hv told me a couple of weeks ago. x

tiktok Thu 22-May-14 13:08:49

sad sad

HVs saying this are just wrong.

The advice is not about to be changed - it is always under review, because these things should be to make sure any new research is assessed and taken into account. But there are no plans to change it at all. Persistent rumours that it is just confuse parents and undermine other HCPs who are clear about the guidance.

The guidance already allows for earlier than the recommended 6 mths, to allow for individual variations in need, and parents' preferences. Earlier than 17 weeks really is not a good idea, except in very unusual circumstances where the baby is not thriving, but after 17 weeks is within guidance.

OP, it doesn't sound as if your dd needs solids, and it doesn't sound as if she would get any benefit from them (they will have nothing to do with whether she sleeps better or not), and as she is not 17 weeks yet, then you prob need to wait.

leedy Thu 22-May-14 13:53:03

Yes, I've been hearing variations on "don't tell anyone, but a dickie bird told me the official advice is about to change!" for the last four years or so.

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