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Weaning at 4 months?

(27 Posts)
Magicandsparklee Mon 08-Dec-14 16:13:21

Hi everyone, my little girl is exactly 4 months on Saturday and I was wondering about weaning.

I've done allot of conflicting research about weaning at 4 months and waiting until 6 months and am stuck of what to do.

She can sit up not completely on her own but with tiny support, she has grabbed a chip of my plate today and tried to shove it in her mouth (obviously I stopped her!) and has always shown an interest in food.

She has slept trough the night since she was 4 weeks old but the last 2 weeks has started waking 3/4 times so we switched to hungry baby milk which has reduced the wakes to 2 times but she still seems hungry!

I let her have a little suck on my apple today and she loved it and was grabbing at it for more so I do think she's ready. How can I tell for sure though?

Can anyone offer me any advice as to how to go about weaning and what to start her on ect.. I'm going to make my own purees but I don't no weather to start on baby rice\rusks and milk first?

Thanks allot smile

WaitingForMe Mon 08-Dec-14 16:21:05

There is no way to tell for sure as she is too young to be weaned. Her digestive system isn't ready even if she is interested in food.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 08-Dec-14 16:29:29

Honestly? Weaning before 6 months is a pain in the bum. I've done it both ways. There's no reduction in milk feeds for ages so you're basically just doing a whole load of extra work (cooking, pureeing, feeding, cleaning) for nothing - and as they can only really have diet food like pureed veg and fruit, there aren't enough calories in it to improve their sleep.

Official advice is definitely not before 17 weeks, and it sounds like you've already weaned before this.

Waking in the night is classic four month sleep regression territory, not a need for weaning.

There is no benefit to weaning this early (unless with specific medical condition and under the advice of a doctor), and it can be harmful because they can't get nutrition from food at this age, but this food might be replacing milk, which is optimal for them.

bananapickle84 Mon 08-Dec-14 16:29:35

17/18 weeks is still quite young and normally if they're weaned that early it's for medical reasons.

Having said that it doesn't mean that you have to wait until 6 months. My HV suggested I weaned my DD between 20 and 24 weeks. So I started at 21 weeks and it worked for my DD.

It's always going to be a controversial subject so do what is right for your baby.

Magicandsparklee Mon 08-Dec-14 17:09:37

She's 17 weeks and I gave her a suck on an apple - so I haven't 'already started weaning before 17 weeks' thanks for answers.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to start weaning? What to try first ect?

RRRJ83 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:14:45

No, a suck on an Apple is not weaning? Don't know what that's about.

I bought an Annabel Karmel book. Has a menu plan etc and is nice to follow for ideas and giving first tastes. If you can wait til 6 months I would because it's a lot of work.

Mis your milk with fruit and vegetables and blend!

Have fun!!

pommedeterre Mon 08-Dec-14 17:15:17

Just fruit and veg. I would have also said baby rice but not after recent rice revelations.

Sweet potatoes, bananas and avocado have more calories.

No gluten, meat or dairy until 6 months.

Littlef00t Mon 08-Dec-14 17:16:56

Please wait. It's medical advice to, why would you ignore it? Do know better than doctors and medical researchers?

purplemurple1 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:18:32

We started with taste from our plates (mash, fruit, gravy, pasta, rice - most things really).
I also made mashed veg, I strated with one thing at a time so mashed turnip, or carrots, or potato etc ans used formula to make it smoother than 'normal' mash. When he took well to that I started mixing flavours, added fruits, added herbs etc.
I started just with lunch about an hour after his lunch bottle. Then gradually built up to three meals over a couple of months.
A word of caution is that it did reduce his milk and slow weight gain. Fine for us as ours needed. That.

Mine was about 5 months, could sit unsupported, gr

pommedeterre Mon 08-Dec-14 17:19:48

littlefoot - there have been many studies offering a different take on weaning to what the guidelines present. Pretty easy to find on a Google search.

There are also babies with certain conditions who benefit from earlier weaning - reflux babies being the one I have personally dealt with.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 08-Dec-14 17:30:20

Sorry - you said 4 months on Saturday so I assumed not yet 17 weeks. 17 weeks is the key "not before age", rather than months.

As I said, there's little value in weaning this early. It just creates work.

Anyhow, should you wish to proceed, start with low allergenic food - apple, pear, carrots, potato - all mixed with your usual milk. No dairy, meat or gluten (bread, pasta etc) before 6 months.

If you wait another month or so you could go straight to real food like sticks of cooked carrot or florets of broccoli. Read up on BLW - it's really easy, especially if you eat a fresh healthy diet yourself.

roofio87 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:55:11

I don't have much of an opinion on when to wean, but I will say that weaning made sleep so much worse for us. He was waking with tummy ache often for at least the first 2 months. so it doesn't always help!!
I went down the annabel karmel route too and loved it!

Magicandsparklee Mon 08-Dec-14 18:00:01

Thank you every one I will look into Annabel Karmel, an article by her actually encouraged weaning at 4 months when I was researching.

I want to know she's ready so could I try a little bit and then check and see how she takes to it? And then not continue if she gets a tummy ache/ not interested ect ?

fleurdelacourt Mon 08-Dec-14 18:01:05

Recommended weaning ages are just that. Right now the recommendation is 6 months but it was 4 months when my d's was born and he turned out ok!!

What is the whole 4 months / 17 weeks argument?! They're the same thing!

trilbydoll Mon 08-Dec-14 18:06:26

The problem with weaning is you are making all these purees, and they have a mouthful and that's it. So your whole day becomes this challenge of fitting in the food, then the milk, then the nap, start again.

It is easier to wait until they are big enough to sit up and put solid-ish food in themselves, there isn't the waste you get with purée. And you can eat at the same time rather than having about 20 mealtimes between you!

If you give it a go, definitely do it lunchtime so she has the rest of the day to digest it. You could just give her an empty spoon to play with as well, that'll improve her coordination for when she is bigger!

Zebrasinpyjamas Mon 08-Dec-14 18:16:37

I'm going through this stage now with my DS (at 6 mths though). Puréed sweet potato, Apple, carrot, baby porridge have all been hits so far.

Key signs to look for are being able to sit up (including with some support like a chair) to minimise choking risk. Also the tongue thrust reflex going. Little babies' tongue thrust instinct means solids get pushed back out. Over time this changes so they can actually keep food in their mouths better.

Now he has got the idea about eating (ie it's nice) I'm trying a baby led approach by putting sticks of veg in front of him to see how it goes. I'm trying to balance sweet and savoury flavours so lots of veg rather than just fruit.

Incidentally a rusk has more sugar than a chocolate bar so be warned before you start using those!

purplemurple1 Mon 08-Dec-14 20:08:28

It really doesn't need to be lots of work, I did batches of mash veg and stewed fruit (turnip, potato, carrot, Apple, pear etc) and froze in ice cube trays just taking up the number and mix of cubes I wanted each day. When he was ready I just added rice, pasta etc from our meals.
For a mix of flavours I just randomly sprinkled different herbs into the trays.
No recipes and no blending, they really eat very little at first.

EmbarrassedPossessed Tue 09-Dec-14 00:32:49

Btw Annabel Karmel has no qualifications or relevant experience bar her own with her children. The reason she recommends weaning as early as possible at 17 weeks is because she has products that she wants to sell as much of as possible. I wouldn't take her suggestions at face value, personally.

If you want to start weaning then of course you can, sticking to the guidelines of just fruit/veg and baby rice. I just think there's very little point to it, extra hassle and possible down sides as well. Waiting till nearer 6 months does no harm at all.

Theorientcalf Tue 09-Dec-14 03:06:47

It's quite normal to wake at 4 months and there's a growth spurt around this age, have you heard of the 4 month sleep regression? They just need more milk for a bit, food is empty calories. They get all the calories from milk. And yes, weaning is a faff, milk is so much easier.

pommedeterre Tue 09-Dec-14 07:59:35

Food is empty calories? Not unless your starting with chocolate and haribo.

pommedeterre Tue 09-Dec-14 07:59:47

*you're

AnythingNotEverything Tue 09-Dec-14 09:39:05

Pomme - they are pretty empty as far as a baby is concerned. Children get energy from protein and carbs. Pre six months you avoid both of these foods groups (apart from potatoes) and focus on fruit and veg. There are simply not enough calories in this type of food, in the volume eaten by small babies, to make a difference.

Milk, on the other hand, is calorie rich, and this is why milk is their main source of nutrition until one.

pommedeterre Tue 09-Dec-14 11:18:35

Calories in 100ml formula milk - 70
Calories in 100gr banana - 89
Calories in 100gr sweet potatoe - 86

Weirdly not all fruit and veg are created equally and of you rtft you would see I am well aware of pre and post six month rules.

Disclaimer - I realise babies aren't going to eat 100gr of banana before anyone takes that tact.

Fruit and veg are not empty calories for any human big or small,

Squtternutbaush Tue 09-Dec-14 11:32:43

I weaned my eldest at 17 weeks on the doctors guidance as DS was refusing milk.

We were told to start out with a tablespoon of seived porridge oats mixed with a single fruit or veg puree once a day then gradually building up to two then three times a day over 4 weeks then increasing amounts and combining flavours until 6 months.

After that life got so much easier as I could just blend/mash our food and play around with flavours and textures more.

I waited until 5.5 months with DD as she was happy to do so and have always just given her finger chunks to feed herself which has been much easier.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 09-Dec-14 11:43:56

Apologies Pomme. I was aiming for clarity (for all, not you specifically) and not to patronise you. And I've read the thread thanks you may see I've posted above smile

That said, you say yourself that babies will not eat these foods in the kind of volume required to consume those sorts of calories.

In many ways, all food is empty calories at this age. They cannot extract the nutrients from food in the way they can from milk. Food is about exploring texture and flavour for the first few months.

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