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Early Weaning ..any advice?

(27 Posts)
appleblossom Sun 24-Apr-05 20:25:10

When ds was a baby advice was not to wean before 4 months, but now a few years later advice is not to wean till 6 months. Can someone tell this to dd who is nearly 4 months old and is watching every mouthful at dinner time and waking every 3 hours again after happily sleeping most of the night!!! Any thoughts / comments would be most welcome.

PrettyCandles Sun 24-Apr-05 20:31:06

Sounds hungry! Is he breast- or bottle-fed? When my dd (breastfed) was doing exactly that, we topped her up at her last feed, about 10-11pm, with as much formula as she wanted. She would take anything from 3-6oz, and that got her through to about 5.5m. Then I bowed to the inevitable and started her on solids. She was absolutely fine about it.

QueenEagle Sun 24-Apr-05 20:33:56

Hi Appleblossom,

My ds4 is 4 months old and I have been giving him baby breakfast and vegetable casserole since he was 13 weeks. Like your dd, he was waking for a feed every 3 hours or so after several weeks of sleeping through. My HV said to do what I felt was right for him; after all he is a big boy, weighing about 19lbs now and seems well ready for solids.

Advice seems to change from one year to the next; when my dd was a baby the advice was to wean at 12 weeks! Even 2 years ago after ds3 was born it was 4 months. There's no way my ds4 will wait til he's 6 mths - he'll have gnawed up to his elbows by then!

If you feel your dd is ready, then give it a try, she will soon let you know if she's ready or not!

marne Sun 24-Apr-05 20:45:44

I weaned my dd when she was 31/2 months as she was so hungry and milk wasnt filling her up, Started giving her baby rice and fruit. It hasnt done her any harm, shes 15 months now and eats like a horse.

beansprout Sun 24-Apr-05 21:01:19

It could be a growth spurt, as they do have one at 4 months. Ds's was horrendous. We went from one night feed to about 4/5 but it did calm down again. They will eat early but the advice to wait until 6 months is because their digestive systems aren't quite ready, not because they won't eat yet.

NotQuiteCockney Sun 24-Apr-05 21:02:06

The advice to wait until 6 months isn't new - the WHO have been saying it for ages. I waited until nearly 6 months with DS2, and although it was hard, in some ways, it's easier not to have so much faff. If you wait, you can move them onto table scraps much faster, and reduce your workload considerably. (You also don't have to deal with gross poo so early!)

Watching your food isn't necessarily a sign they're ready - they tend to watch everything you do. My DS started grabbing at books ages ago, but I don't think he's ready to read.

There are lots of threads on this, and they often degenerate into a bit of a shouting match. A search of the archives might give more information.

appleblossom Sun 24-Apr-05 21:20:59

Hi notquitecockney, thanks for your comments, I am new to all this MN stuff and didn't know about the archives, have just looked though and can see what you mean about this topic turning into a bun fight

CarolinaMoon Sun 24-Apr-05 21:59:52

i was never that convinced about the interest in food bit. how's the baby supposed to have worked out for himself that your food has the same effect on hunger as a bottle of milk or a boob?

you could try feeding milk more often for a couple of weeks to see if its a growth spurt that will settle down of its own accord?

my ds is nearly 6m and i am planning to start solids next week, but then he hasn't really had any ravenous phases recently, so it hasn't been a hassle...

if you haven't got a family history of allergies, there's probably not that much risk in starting some solids at 16 weeks tho.

QueenEagle Sun 24-Apr-05 22:04:08

Ooooh I'm such a bad mother, slap my wrists!

moondog Sun 24-Apr-05 22:05:25

As people far more qualified than myself have pointed out (Mears and Tiktok in particular) the idea of a young baby 'needing' more food is a myth. There are nowhere near as many calories weight for weight in baby rice, or fruit and veg as there are in breastmilk or formula.
Interest in and even grabbing of and mouthing food at an early age are not necessarily signals of hunger, rather normal responses to an interesting environment that the baby wants to explore through primary sensory organs (which at that stage is often the mouth.)

They have written some really useful stuff on this if you search the archives.

CarolinaMoon Sun 24-Apr-05 22:24:05

hardly, QE

your HV isn't exactly toeing the party line though, is she?

hunkermunker Sun 24-Apr-05 22:32:19

The waking up more often thing is, IMO, a sign that a baby is four months old. It's about when they start to realise there's a world out there and when they stir, they get distracted into staying awake. But often, they're too young to settle themselves back to sleep. And it coincides with a growth spurt.

It does pass though - and those people who gave baby rice swear blind it was because they gave baby rice, while those who rode it out just giving milk swear blind it's a developmental thing and nothing to do with hunger

QueenEagle Sun 24-Apr-05 22:39:02

My ds has just started waking a couple of times a night again after being on his baby cereal for several weeks and sleeping through. What do I do now then? Leave him to cry himself back to sleep or up the amount of solid food? Is he just wanting to be sociable in the night and not hungry really?

hunkermunker Sun 24-Apr-05 22:43:55

How much milk's he having, QE? If he's tailing off his milk consumption in favour of solids, he could be hungry - milk's more calorific than the bits of cereal he's having.

QueenEagle Sun 24-Apr-05 22:51:16

He has:

7.30-8am.....7oz bottle
9.30-10am.....7oz bottle
12ish cereal
2-2.30pm.....7oz bottle
5pm rice/fruit
6pm.....7oz bottle
Between 8.30-10pm......9oz bottle
2am.... 7oz bottle (this is the one he has recently started waking up to have)

Is this normal? Or is my ds just a greedy pig?!

QueenEagle Sun 24-Apr-05 23:02:57

Any ideas hunkermunker?


hunkermunker Sun 24-Apr-05 23:09:32

I don't really know anything about bottle amounts I'm afraid - is he draining them? Would he take a bit more milk at each daytime feed? Have no idea whether this is feasible/desirable, mind you!!

As for normal, I'm SURE he's fine - you're his mum, if there was anything wrong, you'd know. Babies are all different (DS is one and only weighs 19lbs, for instance - he's very light for his age, which is something I wonder about in my less secure moments!).

But I don't think you can expect a baby to sleep through without a feed until they're at least six months, and even then, lots don't. Not saying you are expecting this, btw I've occasionally nurse DS in the night if he wakes even now - it sends him (and by the same token, me) back to sleep much quicker than anything else!

QueenEagle Sun 24-Apr-05 23:30:32

Thanks for the reply hunkermunker.

I guess I'm comparing my ds4 to my older ones who all slept through from about 3 mths. He did but is unsettled again now and sometimes the pattern of his feeds changes from one day to the next. For instance, tonight his last bottle was about 7pm and he's fallen fast asleep after only 2oz at 9pm.

I'm happy to persevere though and I'm sure he'll settle soon enough. (fingers crossed)

hunkermunker Sun 24-Apr-05 23:36:07

Babies, eh? They're a puzzle.

appleblossom Mon 25-Apr-05 09:06:12

well after another sleepless night and reading all your comments ihave decided to go with the growth spurt idea and give it another week before i even think about it again!! Heres to bags under the eyes!

LeahE Mon 25-Apr-05 09:56:53

Our HVs have said try as hard as you can to wait until six months but so long as DC is over 17 weeks if you are really and truly convinced that he or she is ready for solids then you can introduce them slowly -- but more slowly than you would at 6 months, always in addition to rather than replacing or reducing a milk feed, and be honest with the HVs about it so that at least they know. Generally, try to hold off as long as possible up to 6 months -- so if you're not sure then give it another week, and so forth.

strugstu Mon 25-Apr-05 10:07:17

hv policy in the area i live- ENCOURAGE parents not too introduce solids until at least 6months, and ADVISE not before 17 and half weeks, (due to immaturity of gut, kidneys, allergies, better that they can sit properly too cos of swallowing etc )

HOWEVER HV should help to fascilitate a safe transfer to solids if parents choose to wean earlier. ie so if ur going to start they will recommend how to do it as safely as poss.

So its not about 'towing the party line' yes hv's are agents of the government so to speak so should be able to advise u on latest government /who recommendations, but its ur baby, and u must do whats best for u both.
(could go on further about 'health belief' 'change' and other such complexities but too early for monday morning.)

monkeynuts Wed 04-May-05 14:43:12

my boy is 3 months old, he has slept through the night since 6 weeks old (lucky me !) he was 9lb 4oz born, and is now 17lb, (big boy eh !) He is taking 5, 8 ounce bottles a day, he wants more after that and cries after his bottle, i can pacify him back to sleep with water for about 2 hours but then he screams and rams his fists in his mouth, he appears starving, is it too early to wean him ??

aloha Wed 04-May-05 14:54:41

Fists in mouth mean nothing - all babies do it, it doesn't mean they need solid food. Why not give him more milk if that's what he wants?
My dd is 12 weeks, weighs more than 14lbs and I have no intention of weaning any time soon.

beansprout Wed 04-May-05 14:59:07

I would say the same. If he is hungry, give him more milk (which is the best food for him at his age). Ds is over 6 months and still not interested in food so don't worry yet!!

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