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If you weaned your ebf baby under 6 months would you please talk to me

(32 Posts)
sedgieloo Fri 15-Feb-13 07:49:05

I would love to know your reasoning and if on reflection you feel it was a good idea.

I'm trying to do my own reading but I'm so busy with a two yr old and 4 month old, if I have the time I don't have the mental energy!

I've read the nhs booklet and some discussion papers on intl studies. But i would value the view of experienced savvy mums please. I've asked my own mum she ebf us all and weaned at 5 months, I'm thinking of doing similar.

I have a big baby - 91st centile tall. Definitely more hungry lately - not development leap stuff definitely definitely more hungry. I two concerns, a little bit of on baby. Also baby seems to benefit from my being off gluten (stinky wind) but it upsets me so maybe that's why. Also he had a lot of antibiotics as a newborn (gbs) so gut health is something I wonder about.

Thank you

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Sat 16-Feb-13 15:56:23

Ok, based on all the extra info, i would say the following:

I would ignore your mum's history because current advice is what it is.

I would not stress about weight too much, if he was born on 75th centile then current weight at 60th is fine. However if weight is an issue, filling him p on calorifically inferior solid food would make this more of a prolem not less.

If he does have eczema/gluten issues then the earlier you wean the more likely here will be a problem, although of course there may be no problem. That is the trouble with assessing risk - it is only an assessment!

If he had no indicators of allergies that would be a different matter, but IMO that is the biggest factor.

Fwiw, if you are feeding so successfullynthru the day that he is not waking for milk at night, you are doing brilliantly well.

sedgieloo Sat 16-Feb-13 11:53:01

Sam, more scribbles, tolly; thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate the input and value hearing your experiences with your own babies, especially mum of 5 (wow btw!)

This gives me lots to mull over.

I must have put him to the breast 25+ times yesterday, not including the 3 hr cluster feed. And I do not feed to soothe to sleep. So whereas I absolutely treasure the fact I can ebf this time. I do have a needy 28 month old to consider, and it is necessary anyway that I contemplate carefully next steps with dc2.

Tolly. Thanks for your info. His length gain is not recent. He went from 75 to 91 by the six wk check and has stayed there. The drop on the weight centile is recent. It is true that I obsess over charts because of a very awful time with dc1 and feeding/weight. She and I were admitted to hospital at 4 wks. But I'm not overly concerned, it just feels like another factor which may influence what I do and when.

Scribbles I will check that link. Thanks so much for posting.

Tolly81 Sat 16-Feb-13 11:27:24

Sorry that post was really long and probably sounded a bit judge-y, I just basically wanted to get across that it doesn't sound like you need to worry about his weight gain.

Tolly81 Sat 16-Feb-13 11:23:54

OP - just so you are aware, it is completely normal for babies to vary up to one whole line above or below the centile the baby was born on. Your baby was born on the 75th centile so you take this as the variant point. It is ok for him to go up to the 91st or down to the 50th. Being between the 50th and 75th is completely normal (that's why you haven't been referred to hospital). He isn't actually losing weight - his weight gain is just stabilizing. If at his next weigh-in he continues to follow a downward trajectory, or if his weight drops below the 50th centile, then that is cause for concern but his "normal" weight needs to vary around the 75th centile and not around the 91st. This is part of the reason why traditional weaning is associated with a higher BMI in childhood - babies are fed to what it is felt they should be eating rather than to their own hunger. It is really normal to have very very regular BFs at 3-4 months as it is a well recognized period of accelerated growth - you also mentioned your baby has got a lot taller recently and that's where the milk is going. I think it's very likely that at the next weigh in he will remain around the 75th. If you think he's hungry and he's developmentally ready able to sit up etc then why not try BLW at around 5 months? If he's ready to eat, he'll take the food to his mouth and eat it. If not, he'll just play with it. There is no food that you can give him that will give him as many calories as milk, and if you want him to "feel full" then bear in mind you will be doing this by giving him low calorie foods which are difficult to digest, which if you think he needs to put on weight will not help him to do so. You are very anti FF (which is admirable) but bear in mind early weaning with baby rice is basically very similar to giving a baby formula but with fewer calories - you are just giving then something to fill them up that is more difficult to digest than breast milk. And he probably will start going longer between feeds for precisely that reason but at the moment he clearly needs that much milk and secondly it will probably settle in a few more weeks regardless of whether or not you wean, it just sounds like a growth spurt.

SamSmalaidh Sat 16-Feb-13 10:44:17

There is very little risk really from weaning at 5 months.

The best health outcomes are for babies EBF until 6 months. As I had already started giving a bottle of formula by 5 months though I didn't feel this mattered to me.

Weaning at 6 months is basically 100% safe. No harm will come to the baby if you wait til then.

There aren't any real health benefits from weaning between 4-6 months for most babies (although you may feel there are social benefits). There are real risks to weaning before 17 weeks.

morescribbles Sat 16-Feb-13 10:39:59

Hi there, I have 5 kids, my eldest has severe food allergies. I left her with a childminder from 4 months so I can't be sure whether or not anything strange was introduced to her diet there. I supplied expressed breast milk only until she was nearly 6 months. With my other four I was very allergy conscious but had the same hungry baby battle as you are having. I researched low allergy foods. There is a lot of criticism about low nutrition for baby rice on this thread but it is a low allergy risk food and if your baby is still hungry after a feed it is safer to look at the foods less likely to cause allergies. We avoided early introduction of higher allergy risk foods such as milk-based food, pulses, celery etc. My younger four started weaning on baby rice just before five months and l introduced pear at five months. I didn't vary the solid diet very much at all but only used it in addition to the breast feeding when required. Thankfully we had no more food allergies. I am not sure what the early weaning guidelines are as my youngest is nearly five but I think you are doing the right thing asking the questions. This link may help:

sedgieloo Sat 16-Feb-13 10:02:17

Oh. And no I do not want to wean now. All my friends seem to be weaning by five months. One at three!!! Except one ebf friend who weaned at 7 months whose 2.5 yr old is unusually small for their age. And has food intolerances. Hence seeking advice from a wider audience.

Sorry for lack of info in op. I didn't want to make it too long.

sedgieloo Sat 16-Feb-13 09:51:16

My instinct is to lean to weaning a little early also. But that's not to say its right!

sedgieloo Sat 16-Feb-13 09:49:15

Hi yellow green. He's moved down the centile chart for weight just lately and moved up for height. He is feeding more. He is looking wire-y. He appears hungrier. It's not about sleep he seemed more hungry at night, but last night he slept 10-7. Although he cluster fed for about 3 hours prior to that. He is being fed in the day hourly or less. It was two hourly. He sometimes squeals at the end of the feed as if he wants more. I any see him lasting two more months. Outward (development) signs are indicating on the way to readiness. My mum weaned at 5 months. Yes I take a lot of advice from her. I do not want to ignore current advice without being informed. I dont understand what I risk starting at 5 months. But there is no real going back from ebf/virgin gut state. So I want take a good decision.

Many western countries say 4-6 months as opposed to uk advice since 2003. Just trying to figure out the solid reasons why.

Some reservations explains in my op.

Is that more helpful as to where I am coming from?

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Sat 16-Feb-13 09:21:44

Hi, I didn't feed baby rice at all. Lots online about why it is not a great food.

I am not clear which way you are leaning. i can't tell whether you in your heart want to wean now but feel you shouldn't, or you want to wait but feel you should do it sooner, iyswim?

Do you have a specific reason you want to start at 5 months rather than 6? Is it cos your mum did, your HV suggested, your baby is big, you want them to sleep more? If you explain your reasoning more, people might be able to advise more helpfully.

MikeOxardAndWellard Fri 15-Feb-13 21:52:38

My dd started on baby rice made with breast milk at 4 months, as she was showing all the signs of readiness for weaning and was starving for some solids. Having as much milk as she could drink but still really hungry after, chewing her hands and crying. She was quite small. Ds is massive and started weaning at about 5.5 months, just because it was about the right time and he seemed ready, seemed a bit hungrier (nothing like dd was though, thankfully!) and I didn't see the point in waiting another 10 days or so just so it was on the guideline day.

SamSmalaidh Fri 15-Feb-13 21:44:09

I weaned DS at 5 months, well he weaned himself really - he could sit up, grab food, get it in his mouth, chew and swallow at that point so seemed no reason not too. Didn't seem any point in giving him baby rice - first foods were banana, roast root veg, brocolli, rice cakes, hummus, lentils.

ShowOfHands Fri 15-Feb-13 21:41:12

"I think sometimes bigger babies are ready to wean earlier, and the best guideline is to see if they show interest in food, watching you eat or gesturing toward food. Ds1 was like this and I think early weaning was the right thing for him"

Just for good info, the above is totally incorrect. Readiness to wean is nothing to do with weight, it's to do with gut maturation. Watching you eat and gesturing towards food mean nothing too. Babies watch you drive and use drills and operate machinery. They are interested in you NOT ready to drive a car or drink your wine. Signs are that they are sitting up, able to pick up food, put it in their mouth, chew and swallow.

Flisspaps Fri 15-Feb-13 21:36:37

Being 'big' is a red herring.

DS was 11lb 7oz born. 98th centile or thereabouts.

He was BLW at 23/24 weeks after being EBF. He fed every 2-3 hours until then, and didn't sleep particularly well. Weaning made no difference to either feeding times or sleeping.

MoelFammau Fri 15-Feb-13 21:32:56

I was happy to wait til 6 months but DD weaned herself at 5 months by scoffing our tortellini and pesto. DD always preferred strong tastes right from the start - garlic, chilli, steak etc, she'd spit out yoghurt and bland stuff - so don't assume bland is always the way to go.

sedgieloo Fri 15-Feb-13 18:05:38

Yellowandgreen - the reason I thought that as a starting point is that my hv said in 25 yrs she has not known of an adverse reaction. So a safe beginning?

Would you say potato or something else?

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Fri 15-Feb-13 17:21:52

With the issues you describe, i would absolutely avoid baby rice. If you want to start early then start with stuff that has some nutritional value at least!

weegiemum Fri 15-Feb-13 14:21:39

I did, when my currently 13yo dd was a baby. Back then it was advised at 4 months, as with my now 11 yo ds. By the time 9yo dd2 was born it was 6 months and I went with that.

My dd2 is the best eater I had. The others are picky. I'm convinced that later weaning helped a lot.

sedgieloo Fri 15-Feb-13 14:14:28

Ok thank you.

I appreciate that baby rice is low calorie (forget who mentioned this point) but it would be in addition to normal breast feeds.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 15-Feb-13 14:04:30

Don't worry about that "new research", it was funded by a baby milk and baby food manufacturer. Think you can safely dismiss it smile

sedgieloo Fri 15-Feb-13 13:59:49

Thanks so much to all posters. I'm on my phone so it's hard to see all the member names as I write my reply but this is what I am thinking:
I combination fed dc1 due to weight/feeding/supply issues so it was quite different. This baby is ebf, I would prefer to feed hourly (bit like that now in the day) than add in any formula. I'm sort of on a mission to ebf this time. I was thinking 5 months and baby rice with expressed milk (I have a freezer drawer full) until that runs out then use a formula to make it up.

Sleep is not quite as good as it was. Baby wakes twice instead of once and is hungry of a morning. Whereas previously if he had fed twice he would have shown little interest in Morning feeds. Also feeds have gone from two hourly to hourly or even less in the day. Also he has started to drop down the centile chart. He was 75 at birth. The. 91st at 2 weeks. Now 60th. He is otherwise content but then I am feeding loads and loads between 6.30am and 20.30.

He seems very strong. He can now grab with both hands and put items in his mouth. He can sit upright with some support at his sides for quite some length of time and very happily.

Of it were not for these new patches of eczema (mild but there) and this smelly wind when I eat food that typically bothers me (gluten). I would feel more confident.

Also I am a bit thrown by the suggestion (can't cite the research just now but it came after just when I weaned dc1 at 25 weeks ) that waiting until 6 months + can cause more issues with food sensitivities and fussy eating :s there is of course plenty to the contrary?!?

SofaKing Fri 15-Feb-13 13:13:07

I was the same as you, 9lbs 6 ds1, ebf, 91st centile. I weaned at 5 months as he was constantly hungry, would fall asleep on the breast and wake crying for more an hour later. He ate everything offered when weaned and is now five and has no food sensitivities or allergies.
I think sometimes bigger babies are ready to wean earlier, and the best guideline is to see if they show interest in food, watching you eat or gesturing toward food. Ds1 was like this and I think early weaning was the right thing for him.

meditrina Fri 15-Feb-13 13:06:14

The guideline was 4 months for my DSes, and that was about the time I did it. There were no difficulties in introducing food, nor any symptoms (digestive, atopic, anything) at all. Nor do I remember any problems amongst DSes friends , who were all done at at age too.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 15-Feb-13 13:05:40

Ellie's I thought that once you started to feed solids it made the iron in the milk less easily digested so early weaning could lead to lower iron levels, not higher? There is also sone evidence that later weaning is better for iron levels, have a look here. OP you may also want to read this on iron.

ElliesWellies Fri 15-Feb-13 13:00:09

I started around five months. My 'reasoning' for it was that I read some guidance saying that babies' iron stores start to become depleted at six months, and I thought I'd let DS start a bit beforehand to get used to having food before that started happening. He seemed very interested, but I only really gave him fruit and veg for the first few weeks anyway.

Guidelines also confusing - says milk should be sufficient for the first six months, and not to start before 17 weeks. So totally up to you - so long as you're not practically forcing it down the throat (like someone people I know hmm) then I don't see the problem.

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