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Am I weaning too early??

(21 Posts)
RCollinge Fri 18-Mar-05 20:02:31

My little girl (dd? sorry i dont know the abbreviations) is now 5 months. At four months she started showing all the signs that she was ready to start on something a bit more substantial than milk - chompin on her hands, waking frequently in the night for feeds, showing a lot of interest in our food, etc.

I decided to start trying her with some baby rice - which went down really well.

She has been doing really well and I was feeling really happy and confident that we were doing everything right. She has a bf in the morning, at lunch she will have a jar of baby food (125g) and some juice from a cup, then in the afternoon she'll sometimes have a rusk. She still has some milk during the day, in the evening and once during the night.

I went to a mum and baby group today (first time we'd been - kept meaning too but stuff kept gettin in the way). Pretty much everyone there thinks that I'm doing this too early and that her digestive system is not ready.

After having been feeding her for a month I'm so worried I might have / or be doing her some harm??

We're getting plenty of wet nappies and maybe one of two dirty nappies a day. She seems very happy and the night times have become much more settled.

Should I stop what I'm doing and just keep going with bf until she hits 6 months??

highlander Fri 18-Mar-05 20:19:56

I think weaning is recommended at 5 to 6 months? If she was 4 months I would say, yes, too early. Just be careful what you give her until 6 months. Veggies with a lot of nitrate are not recommended until then (carrots, cauliflower, beetroot and broccoli).

Saying that, chomping, waking at night etc are more a developmental stage IMO. Solids have made not a jot of difference to my DS's sleep - it's teething and picking up his first bugs at baby groups that keep him awake

hewlettsdaughter Fri 18-Mar-05 20:25:19

Hi there (didn't we just meet on another thread?). You say yourself that you were "feeling really happy and confident that [you] were doing everything right" - so I reckon you shouldn't take what the others are saying too much to heart. It's true that these days the recommendation is to wait until 6 months but that doesn't mean every baby is magically ready on the day they hit 6 months (and not before).
Just take it easy, don't rush the weaning process and I'm sure you'll be fine.

Heathcliffscathy Fri 18-Mar-05 20:28:40

please don't let facist mother and baby group mums make you go against your instinct. there is evidence that 6 months is generally a good guideline time, but as always with these things, it doesn't account for individual babies (weight, development etc). frankly, time was when most babies got alcohol in their milk to make them sleep!!!! don't worry, if you are happy and baby is happy go with it. if you're still bf her she is getting lost of good antibodies etc. didn't hoxtonchick have a link to a good paper saying that early weaning made no difference to allergies??? hox?

anyway, sounds like you're getting on just fine!

tortoiseshell Fri 18-Mar-05 20:29:46

When ds (aged 3 now) was born, all the recommendations were that you start at 4 months. 'If you leave it too late, they won't learn to chew' said the HVs. At toddler groups, as soon as ds hit 16 weeks it was 'when's he starting solids? My ds has been eating Steak and Cheesecake since 16 weeks.....' - well you get my drift. Now the HVs are saying 6 months, the talk at toddler group has changed, and the competition is who can get their baby the furthest without poisoning them with either formula or solids.

You won't have done her any harm at all. Ignore the people at the toddler group. I believe the time to wean a baby is when they are ready. Sounds like you're doing great! If you've never been to a toddler group before, my advice is to take everything with a pinch of salt! They can be the beginning of the playground mafia! Lots of people at toddler groups are lovely, but there are usually 1 or 2 people who will always tell you that you're not doing it right, and should be doing it their way.

Xena Fri 18-Mar-05 20:36:18

I agree completly with tortoiseshell and would just like to add that all mine were started at 4mths.

When we were children my mum was told to put a rusk in our bottle at 2wks!!! How taboo is that (I AM NOT SUGGESTTING THAT ITS A GOOD THING TO DO THOUGH) and there is nothing wrong wil any of her 4 children.

chipmonkey Fri 18-Mar-05 20:46:21

The WHO recommends leaving it till 6 months but the WHO are not in your home looking after your dd. When my ds1 and ds2( aged 8 and 6) were born 4 months was the norm, at that time my boss gave his 8 week old ds petit filous and that child is now happy and healthy too!

tillykins Fri 18-Mar-05 20:51:00

Five years from now, they will be telling us to wean at 6 weeks! You said it yourself, she is healthy and happy . No-one knows better than you what is best for your baby, so have faith in your own judgement and shrug off the comments from the mummy mafia. So long as you lay off the pizza and chips for a week or two more, she'll be fine

QueenEagle Fri 18-Mar-05 20:59:40

Well, I best not go to a toddler group as I'll horrify everyone with what I'm doing!!!

I'm mum to five aged 13, 11, 9, 2 and 13 weeks. With my first three the recommendation was 12 weeks, so my first weighing 7lb 5oz at birth was started dead on 12 weeks (as you do everything exactly the way you're told with your first!), then my second was 9lb 14oz at birth and it was all I could do to hold out as long as 10 weeks before he had rice and I also did the big no-no of adding a spoonful of baby rice to his last bottle before bed - he was soooo hungry from the word go. My third was a bit smaller at 8lb 4oz and he started at about 3.5 months. My fourth was 9lb 4oz and was around 14 weeks when he was ready for baby rice. Now I've just had no.5 who weighed in at 9lb 1oz two weeks early and discover that the HV's now recommend you wait til 6 months! Well I'm afraid my little one (ha ha, little one - he's 17lb now lol) is only 13 weeks and he's been on the baby rice for 3 days now and much more settled for it too. He also drinks about 4oz of water a day too. Gone back to sleeping all night so although it's against all the current recommendations for him and me, now is definitely not too soon. Anyway in another few months the guidance will probably be changed again and we all start wondering if we're doing it right all over again too!

NotQuiteCockney Fri 18-Mar-05 21:02:02

The WHO has been saying to wait until 6 months for ages now ... this isn't entirely new, however new it seems to us.

I weaned DS1 at 16 weeks, as that was the advice then. DS2 has just now started solids, at 25 weeks. There is some evidence that waiting is better, although of course weaning early isn't guaranteed to cause any problems at all.

CarolinaMoon Sat 19-Mar-05 16:08:50

I am probably being rather naive here, but i've heard lots of people say like QueenEagle that they "couldn't hold out any longer" - what does this actually consist of? is it that the feeds get too close together?

HUNKERMUNKER Sat 19-Mar-05 16:44:56

CarolinaMoon, babies often go through a growth/development spurt at 4 months, so your usually calm baby who feeds beautifully, looks around for a bit, then goes off to sleep again starts staying awake for longer periods and getting frustrated with being a baby

If you start solids, they settle down again. HOWEVER, if you don't start solids, they settle down again. So there's proof both ways, I suppose But I'm in favour of holding off giving babies food because it doesn't do them any harm to only have milk for six months and there is good evidence to show it does do some babies harm before then.

I didn't give DS food before six months because he was fine on milk (apart from the 4-month fussiness thing which settled down again) - and he didn't eat much till he was about 8 months old. He had pieces of food from the word go too - couldn't be bothered to fanny round with baby rice or a hand blender

CarolinaMoon Sat 19-Mar-05 17:02:32

hmmmm, interesting . my ds is 20 weeks old and has definitely gone thru a couple of unsettled periods (tho has also had a cold or two in the cold weather, so hard to say if that caused it).

i am actually trying to get to 6mths exclusively bf (hope that doesn't make me part of the 6mth Mafia, tortoiseshell ), hence my question - i suppose i'm worrying that obstacles will get in the way of my plan! it is as much about skipping the annoying baby rice phase as the state of ds's gut tho - RCollinge, I wouldn't worry about what people have said to you, the risks of harm are pretty damn small and i'm sure your dd will be just fine.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 19-Mar-05 17:07:40

I meant to make it to 6 months, and didn't quite - I just started feeling that waiting for the calendar to say "ok" was almost as silly as starting at 16 weeks (as I did with DS1). We did make it to 24 weeks with no food at all, and now, at 25 weeks, he's really just had a few mouthfuls. I'm trying to wean to tablescraps, rather than faffing about with mush. The only hit so far has been big hunks of chicken. (well, ok, french-fry shaped pieces pulled off the chicken on my plate) Oh, and bagel with cream cheese.

Lonelymum Sat 19-Mar-05 17:07:50

This was hotly debated a few weeks ago. For what it's worth, I started weaning my children at 4 months (ds1 at 3 months) as per advice at the time, and my youngest is only just 2 so we are not talking about in the dark ages when no-one knew any better. What you have done sounds fine to me and once started, I can't see how you can stop weaning. If you are worried, just limit what you give your dd in terms of variety rather than quantity.

Nice to see I am not alone in giving this advice.

lunarx Sun 20-Mar-05 19:48:48

we weaned ds (now nearly 9 months) at about 5 months. when to wean a baby is often a hot topic with mothers and often its best to go with your instinct & advice of your HV/GP on the subject as advice you get from other mums will vary and often seem judgemental (even if not intended as such!). if your little one seems happy, i would continue on, make sure she is still bf'ing plenty. there is a good booklet you can get from your HV called 'taking the worry out of weaning' its quite a simple booklet, but it helped me out a lot and also gives some good ideas for foods at the various ages
good luck and enjoy the weaning process!! =)

wheresmyfroggy Sun 20-Mar-05 20:27:36

This sounds exactly the same as our dd, for the first month we stuck to baby rice and a small range of pureed fruit and veg and after that she just ate almost anything, you've been going a month now with no visible adverse affects on baby so i wouldn't go back to just BF, but if you are worried maybe you should book to see your gp about it, i'm sure they will be far more qualified to advise you than a mother and toddler group

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Sun 20-Mar-05 20:34:20

Hi RColl, the whole weaning thing changes from baby to baby for me. I DS1 (12) was weaned at about 4.5months. It was suggested then that they been weaned at 12weeks. Now they say 6 months. All of my kids are doing well. You're doing ok. No point in going backwards and having an unhappy baby so that others can be "right" in their opinions.

tortoiseshell Sun 20-Mar-05 21:03:40

Carolina - no, of course you're not 6mthmafia! I did that with dd - the problem I have is when people give you that look 'Oh really - you're weaning at 5 1/2 months.....aren't you REALLY worried about the health risks?'. I'm all for people making their own decisions, just not being scared by people who don't know anything very much about them!

hoxtonchick Sun 20-Mar-05 21:04:19

not me, soph, but i'll have a look for you....

RCollinge Sun 20-Mar-05 21:10:38

Thanks for your comments.

Well today dd has polished off a pot of pureed apple and pear, with a mid afternoon rusk! She's been asleep for over an hour - which is back to the pattern we were in a while ago. I'm feeling much happier about the whole thing again and I guess if she wasnt ready, it would be obvious by now! She now seems to know when 'lunch' time is and gets excited when we go and get her bowl out of the steriliser!

We have been keeping the food pretty bland and sticking to fruit and veg mush

I spoke to a friend down the road who is a health visitor about my concerns and she said that they are supposed to advise 6 months but that it really does depend on the development of the baby. She reiterated a lot of the advice that you guys have shared - that as long as baby is happy and what you do feels right then you cant really go far wrong ...

Aww damn tillykins, it was pizza and chips on the menu tomorrow night!!

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