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Weight gain and weaning - any advice please.

(24 Posts)
learningasigo Fri 01-Apr-05 16:06:45

Thanks for any advice on this. dh said to stop worrying and ask the mumsnet experts! So here goes...

We'd been doing really well, ds gaining weight and following his line on the graph until last week. He'd gained weight but hv made a comment as he'd dropped slightly below his graph line.
Explained that after vaccinations he'd had no appetite for a couple of days so she said to go back following week. That was yesterday where ds had put on 5 oz (he's 11 weeks) and was getting closer to his line again but still not quite there.
hv had already upset me with a comment about swaddling (luckily i saw a swaddling thread on the sleep discussion which really helped) but she then said that although ds is sleeping 10 hrs a night, showing no signs of being hungry and stil gaining weight that it might be better to start weaning him early. I thought the recommendation was 4 months now and that you should look for signs of ds wanting more food - waking more in the night or more frequent feeding in the day - non of which he's doing.
I thought we were doing so well - happy contented baby who we are enjoying but a couple of comments from hv and I'm full of doubts.
Have any other mums come across this? Is it usual to wean early just because a babys weight gain is slightly less than the graph or should i be looking for other signs before considering baby rice etc. I don't want to upset ds tummy but don't want him hungry/not growing properly etc. Instinct says all babies are different i.e. not perfect weight gain every week, and I should wait until he's more hungry but not sure if i'm making a big deal out of nothing and it's not a problem to try some rice early?

moondog Fri 01-Apr-05 16:10:34

11 weeks and hv talking about weaning!!?
WOT!!
Guidelines now are 6 mths fgs!!!

What is her resoning? She's talking through her a*!! I know that someone like tiktok, mears or pupuce will second what I say with sound professional knowledge.
It sounds like there are some very odd HVs out there. You are obviously doing *great8!

mummytosteven Fri 01-Apr-05 16:10:37

weaning can be a bit of a hot topic on here - until recently the guidelines were between 4 and 6 months, and have now changed to 6 months to start weaning. (meant to be better for babies gut and in terms of avoiding allergies etc). Because the change is so recent lots of mums and some health professionals still tend to stick to the earlier weaning date of 4 months. I think 11 weeks is too early.

I would also not be too worried about DS following his centile line - my HV reckoned it was only worth worrying if there was a sudden dip down two centile lines. I would be inclined to follow your instinct, and is there a different HV you could see at clinic that's a bit less alarmist?

mears Fri 01-Apr-05 16:10:41

I do not undestand why your HV is recommending solids as the current guidance is 6 months not even 4. Is he breast or bottle fed? Is he peeing and pooing? Is he otherwise well? Weight gain does fluctuate. Are you getting him weighed weekly? If so there is absolutely no need because this is the angst that happens. Carry on as you are I would say and leave solids well alone. Cut down on clinic visits for weigh-ins too

LIZS Fri 01-Apr-05 16:15:20

Not it is not usual and certainly not the WHO recommendation especially if he is showing no other signs of "readiness". Your instinct is the same as mine and tbh I think that it is pointless weighing a baby of this age weekly for that reason and it just creates worry. Is he breastfed or bottlefed, as breastfed babies rarely consistently conform to The Line. dd slowed dramatically at 8/9 weeks mainly because she started to sleep through and thereby dropped her night feed.

Agree with your dh, continue to enjoy him and perhaps avoid the hv for a few weeks !

Noggermum Fri 01-Apr-05 16:29:38

This just confirms my view that some HV's should be shot! I am not sure I completely agree with the waiting til 6 months line, but I certainly cannot see any justification from your story as to why you should be weaning at the ridiculously young age of 11 weeks! If baby is happy, then not sure why there is a problem - some babies put on weight very erratically and you may find that you DS puts a pound a week on in a couple of weeks. Unless there were genuine medical reasons for weaning this young, or unless the baby was well below the 1st centile say, I would ignore the HV entirely and go with what you think. you know your DS best!

hunkermunker Fri 01-Apr-05 16:33:06

PLEASE don't worry about lines on growth charts. PLEASE don't give an 11-week-old baby rice.

PLEASE don't see your HV again

Will post more reasons later (got to tend to my mini hunkermunker) - but honestly, you're doing a wonderfully, your DS sounds delightful and some HVs should be put out to grass.

hana Fri 01-Apr-05 17:42:54

ITS NOT just hv's advocating early weaning for smaller babies - we were referred to a paed. earlier this week for dd2 who is 13 weeks a.d not yet 10 lbs (she is on the 0.4 centile! ) long story short - was told would have to wean early if her weight gain doesn't improve. I said but what abut the WHO guidelines etc etc but it was just brushed aside. WAs also told to top her up with formula a few times a day as well which I've been reluctant to do but that'a another thread. She's jyst small, somone has to be I feel like telling these HVs and paeds!!
hana

learningasigo Fri 01-Apr-05 18:19:12

thanks guys. this has really put my mind at rest.
ds is bottle fed (sma gold) as after a week of breast feeding he wasn't getting enough milk from me - even after a few days feeling like 'daisy' on a pump every couple of hrs - so we gave a bottle to fill his tum. he'd gone from 7lb 6 to 6lb 7 by then. he's been calm and happy ever since. is now 11lb 5.
we were told by hv that weaning recommendation is 4 mnths for bottle fed and 6 mnths for breast fed but i hadn't done any other reading on weaning as i thought it was ages away. books and mumsnet have now been consulted!
will pop back to hv next week but then monthly weigh in visits i think!

LIZS Fri 01-Apr-05 18:30:44

Do you have to go next week. It is just I seriously doubt that she'll have anything more constructive to say.

TinaColada Fri 01-Apr-05 19:10:37

I know it's hard but I agree with the other MNers who have said to trust your instincts and look at how well your baby is thriving and not worry about charts. Because twins were 14 wks prem I had to endure 3 mths of weekly weigh-ins with much tutting if they hadnt put on exactly the amount that the HV expected.


I happily followed advice to wean at 4 mths because they werent sleeping properly and it really helped ............... but then the final straw came when ds put on "only 8 ozs" one week and the daft bint told me to start adding butter to their food ??????? I finally realised that I could judge for myself what my babies need and din't have to do whatever this moron was telling me.


Your baby seems very contented and doesnt sound like he NEEDS solids yet - what's the rush to wean? These HVs seem to think we should fatten up the babies like Christmas turkeys and then they start on about child obesity I guess!

aloha Fri 01-Apr-05 19:34:29

Do you know what I'd do? I'd stop seeing the HV and stop getting him weighed. it isn't helping your baby and it's making you miserable. Seeing the HV isn't compulsory. My dd is seven weeks and I've never had her weighed and have no intention of it. She's clearly fine. Your HV is also incompetent - so incompetent I'd consider making a serious complaint about her. It can be damaging to your child's health to wean before six months - certainly she doesn't need solids at 11 weeks. She's mad and dangerous and really, I think you should avoid her. Really, stop taking him to be weighed and enjoy your lovely boy.

aloha Fri 01-Apr-05 19:36:21

DON"T GO NEXT WEEK! She's a stupid cow, honestly she is.

littlerach Fri 01-Apr-05 19:46:59

DD2 was average weight when born, and was gaining weight ok for the first few weeks, but did stop gaining. She dropped all the way down to the second centile over a period of about 3 weeks, and it did worry me. She has never drank very much milk, she was not easy to feed, she seemed unable to suck at first. Like you, I was advised to wean early, though at 13 weeks, I weaned her at 16 weeks, like DD1, no history of allergies etc! She has not gone back up the centiles, she has remained very small, she eats loads of solids, still doea not like milk! And I have not been to see HV for months, she is 8 months old, because she is fine, she sits and tries to crawl and shouts etc etc. Please go by your instinct, you know your baby, but I wouldn't give solids just yet.

Polina Fri 01-Apr-05 19:51:09

I think some HVs don't have enough to do, they just go around looking for problems. I know some are also fab - our current one is, but I saw a stand in for a couple of weeks and she reduced me to a nervous tearful wreck. If they push you about weekly weigh-ins I'd fudge around cancelling dates until a decent amount of time has elapsed to get a better overall picture and then go along. To quote our paediatrician, if babe is healthy, happy, peeing, pooping and developing there ain't no problem! (and then continued by saying "take this perfectly fine baby away before some other berk convinces you he's ill..")

californiagirl Sat 02-Apr-05 00:22:21

1) Although DD has been on the same curve at regular appointments her whole life, we were told at every appointment that many, many babies move up or down a notch and it is not an issue, we shouldn't worry if it happened.

2) Between 9 months and 10 months DD LOST WEIGHT. She didn't just fail to gain weight, she actually lost several ounces, which meant she went from over 50th percentile to under 25th. The Dr's office shrugged and said "Oh well, she's been sick recently. She'll bounce back when she feels better." Sure enough at 12 months she was beautifully back on her original curve. They never plotted the weight at 10 months because it was when she was sick instead of a well-baby visit, so her chart looks perfect!

californiagirl Sat 02-Apr-05 00:25:08

Oh, and standard in the US is to weigh the baby at 1 week, 2 weeks (if and only if below birthweight still at 1 week), 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 15 months. Because weighing them every week just drives you mad.

mum2max Sat 09-Apr-05 10:20:05

I find the social aspect of clinic the most useful. You meet lots of mums in similar situations, but please don't get hung up on what HV says. I'm lucky I've got a human HV, but some are not on the same planet! You know your baby better than she does. She only sees him once a week , maybe for half hour. What does she know!!!??? My 5mth old was started on baby rice at 16 weeks, but that was only because his weight shot up from 25th to 75th percentile on graph - and he was suddenly really hungry. He is now 18lb 9oz!!! Oh my back...

jane313 Sat 09-Apr-05 10:32:46

I did start weaning early which I know regret and it made NO difference to his weight gain. He still coninued to gainn but not by much and dropped two percentiles. He only started gaining more consistently at 6-7 monhts when I started on protein dairy etc.

jane313 Sat 09-Apr-05 10:35:03

Some hvs are so rubbish. I nwever had a specific one and saw someene different each time and the inconsistencies drove me mad. Especially with a new baby you are very vulnerable to what other people say. Also I used to listen to what they said to other mothers and felt like butting in a few times as it was such poor advice.

mum2max Sat 09-Apr-05 11:03:26

The major prob I had was advise from people who had babies in seventies/ eighties. My MIL was one particular problem. Eg. She arrived unannounced one evening when ds was 4 weeks old and gave me 1 carton of preprepared milk, and said "you know you can give a baby formula as well"!!!!!!! No s**t sherlock!

You've got to watch parents, including dads, who haven't had to wean for a few years. They seem to forget that every baby is different.
Some people simply can't listen. I had already told MIL that I wanted to exclusively breastfeed for as long as poss. She said maybe my milk wasn't good enough!! the cheek of it. My ds, although 18lb 9oz, has had 3 7oz formula and 2 breastfeeds only since 3mth. What does she know. MIL also told me to give rice at 8 weeks, as baby was crying - isn't that what they do sometimes!!
She's a nurse by the way, even more worrying...

learningasigo Sat 09-Apr-05 14:46:55

I went back to HV on Thurs, as I'd said I would and wanted to have my say if the same things were said. ds had gained 9oz. He was on 25th centile line but is now maintaining in between 25th and 9th. She said it looks like he'll stay on that line now so I quickly said well that's fine isn't it as I understand there is only a problem if he drops 2 lines, she said no that's fine.
She then said we'll have to start talking about weaning soon so I said I'd got some baby rice but we had a few weeks before he's 16 weeks old which is the earliest I'd want to start thinking about this and he's showing no signs of being ready. She said 'oh ok' and left it at that.
I know it's a bit childish but it made me feel better.
Told her we'll see her in a few weeks. I think we'll go back in 4 weeks, which incidentally is when ds is 16 weeks. She can give me her 'weaning advice' then, we'll look out for signs that he's ready and start him accordingly at 16+ weeks.

littlerach Sat 09-Apr-05 16:46:43

Good for you!

mum2max Sun 10-Apr-05 08:36:43

i found odd phrases that just about cover all advice...
" thanks, I'll bear that in mind" or "is that so". People can get very offended if you don't seem taken with their advice. I always try to seem slightly enthusiastic cos deep down you know they mean well. hope all goes well xx

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