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Is my child a bottemless pit or am I doing something wrong?

(58 Posts)
turtle23 Sat 30-Aug-08 07:20:30

Growth spurts..I know they're bad, but...DS is 22 weeks and at the moment is having 3 meals a day (cereal with fruit, 3-4 cubes veg at lunch, 2-3 cubes fruit with rice at tea), a 7 oz bottle of formula at bedtime, and is BF every 1.5-2 hours for about half an hour. That includes from 1030pm on. Dont want to give any more formula, only doing that so I get a little break. Should I be giving him more food? This started a few days ago and I am so very tired...

turtle23 Sat 30-Aug-08 07:22:16

Hmm. bottOmless pit, that should read

LackaDAISYcal Sat 30-Aug-08 07:40:08

This is a classic time for a growth spurt and usually has people reaching for the baby rice if they haven't already.

It could be that the meals you are giving him are filling his tummy but not sustaining him for very long (being less calorie rich that milk) so he is making up for this at night and added to the growth spurt this makes for a very hungry baby.

Can you try holding back on the solids and getting a few more BFs in during the day? In any case, it should settle down in a few more days smile

turtle23 Sat 30-Aug-08 07:45:34

I suppose that makes sense...he is feeding every 1.5-2 hrs regardless of food though...eek

msdemeanor Sat 30-Aug-08 07:47:19

not sure anyone could breastfeed more often than 30minutes every 1.5-2hours!
I would think it might be possible that he wants some extra sucking comfort - maybe a tooth coming through or feeling slightly unwell? Is he otherwise cheerful?
How long have you been giving him solids?

MrsJamin Sat 30-Aug-08 07:49:14

As you've weaned early you've basically put him on a lower-calorie diet - so it won't be filling him up and will feed from you more. Just give more milk and less solids.

LackaDAISYcal Sat 30-Aug-08 07:50:51

what I meant misdemeanour was that if he wasn't filling up on the less dense calories from the solids, he would probably even out his milk feeds...if that makes sense.

LackaDAISYcal Sat 30-Aug-08 07:51:20

MrsJ summed it up better than me smile

msdemeanor Sat 30-Aug-08 07:54:15

I think that's unlikely tbh. Studies show that growth is more likely to falter with exclusive breastfeeding to 6months than with weaning at 4months.
He is clearly getting plenty of breastfeeds!

turtle23 Sat 30-Aug-08 08:01:50

e has been on solids for about two weeks properly, although he started 3 weeks ago then cut two teeth so had no solids for that week as was permanently attached to breast. He seems quite cheerful, but is teething (has another 3 teeth swelling, poor lamb) he is definitely eating when on the breast. The number of nappies says it all!!

turtle23 Sat 30-Aug-08 08:03:03

TBH quite a lot of the solids are given because he sobs if you eat in front of him. The cereal is mostly breastmilk, btw.

msdemeanor Sat 30-Aug-08 08:05:03

I would guess the constant breastfeeeding is because of his teeth. It's very comforting and I found that when my babies were getting teeth they wanted to be permanently attached. A bit of Calpol would probably help if he is miserable.

turtle23 Sat 30-Aug-08 08:14:03

It is a bit difficult sometimes to have a perpetually smiley baby. He never really complains until he's in agony. When teething last time just clung to me feeding or wrapped his arms round my neck and made funny whimpery noises. Then went to stage of howling that no nurofen/calpol/anything would help. Am assuming since he's smiling and just hungry that he is ok...

LackaDAISYcal Sat 30-Aug-08 08:20:25

I would ask you to point me in the direction of those studies msdemeanour; I would hate to think that the teaching that I have had as a peer supporter is wrong and I should raise it with the BFC who facilitated my training smile

msdemeanor Sat 30-Aug-08 08:26:14

Ok, this is from the most pro-breastfeeding organisation in the world - Ibfan.

"The Expert Committee had identified, reviewed and evaluated more than 3,000 references. The studies comparing exclusive or predominant breastfeeding for about four months with the same pattern of feeding for about six months did not show an adverse effect of the latter on growth and major morbidity. The review, however, could not rule out an increased risk of growth faltering in some infants who are exclusively breastfed for six months, particularly in populations with severe maternal malnutrition and a high prevalence of intrauterine growth retardation. There might also be a risk of poorer iron status in infants exclusively breastfed for six months in populations in which maternal iron status and infant stores of iron are not optimal. On the other hand, the review confirmed that exclusive breastfeeding for six months protects against gastrointestinal infection, even in settings where hygienically prepared complementary foods are used, and confers an advantage in prolonging the duration of lactational amenorrhoea in mothers who breastfeed frequently (10-14 feeds a day). xclusive+breastfeeding+six+months&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=uk

msdemeanor Sat 30-Aug-08 08:29:46

This is a more sceptical view: ef8d479829c68c457666d

msdemeanor Sat 30-Aug-08 08:37:12

And this is interesting about the amount of breastmilk produced. e204a14e1b68b258da7cd

turtle23 Sat 30-Aug-08 08:39:26

msd...the links dont work? would like to read them

LackaDAISYcal Sat 30-Aug-08 08:41:01

My understanding of that IBFAN brief is that it is referring to third world countries/countries where maternal health isn't great; not the UK where our maternal health is generally excellent, and it then goes on to say "on the other hand...." and discusses the advantages of exclusive breastfeeding for six months. The key abstract referred to states "Complementary foods offered before 6 months of age tend to displace breastmilk and do not confer any growth advantage over exclusive breastfeeding" which is the point that I (and I think also MrJ) was trying to make.

I don't really want to get into a debate about the pros and cons of early weaning, but rather wanted to give turtle23 the benefit of what I have been taught. I'm happy that the article doesn't actually refute what I said and in fact seems to back it up.

Turtle, I hope that things settle down for you soon smile

LackaDAISYcal Sat 30-Aug-08 08:41:53

sorry, MrsJ....not Mr smile

turtle23 Sat 30-Aug-08 08:43:03

Dont want to start a weaning debate, but isn't there quite a big difference between 5 month old babies? Mine is quite long, ferociously active (if you put him down he just rolls non stop, kicks, turns, sits up pulls himself about, etc) and has been consistently at 60-80 centile for weight and 80-90 for height. He has teeth, sits up, opens mouth, no tongue-thrust reflex, etc.

msdemeanor Sat 30-Aug-08 08:46:55

I think breastfeeding is fab (did it for years) and have nothing against the six month weaning age - personally I didn't bother weaning my last child until six months and she was fine (though by the time I did wean she was so mad for food she ended up eating so much she had tummy ache!) But there is no evidence of harm if people introduce healthy complementary foods once a baby is over 17 weeks. Ther may be a slight increase in gastro infections but this is more likely in developing countries for all sorts of obvious reasons.
There is no proof that breastfeeding to six months reduces the risk of allergy etc.

msdemeanor Sat 30-Aug-08 08:52:01

sorry, no idea why links didn't work!
The point is the six months WHO statement says that breastfeeding exclusively to six months doesn't appear to slow babies growing on a population level (most doctors say that there must be flexibility for different babies) - which to me suggests rather strongly that it confers no growth advantage, which means that babies getting complementary foods are NOT getting fewer/inadequate calories, which appeared to be suggested on this thread. Weaning before 17 weeks does seem to be disadvantageous.

MrsJamin Sat 30-Aug-08 08:52:53

Babies are ready for solid foods when their gut has 'sealed' - this happens at some point between 4-6 months. There are no outward signs when this has happened, that is why the official advice is 6 months, to make sure the baby's gut has sealed.

However, it would make sense that if a baby can sit unaided, pick up food, put in mouth, chew and swallow, - all without help - then their gut will be ready to process whatever's been put in.

So turtle23, if your LO is doing all that you say, by all means let him try to feed himself - aka baby-led weaning. But just not cubes & purees as he's not doing it himself.

LackaDAISYcal Sat 30-Aug-08 09:11:54

The only point I made was that the less calorie dense solids replace the more calorie dense breastmilk. Byt the regularity of his feeding, it would seem that he is taking the amount of BM he needs, in addition to the low calorie solids.

The quote from the article you linked appears to back that up. And, I agree with the statement that it doesn't have any growth disadvantage at a population level, probably because the BF babies who are supplemented with a few cubes of pureed apple or carrot still take the same amount of milk whether they had had that solid food or not.

but like I said, I do not want to get into the whole early weaning debate as I don't think turtle's thread is the place for it.

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