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5 month old needs to gain weight, must I puree or can I BLW?

(24 Posts)
Mudwiggle Fri 10-Jun-11 07:36:34

My 5 month old has been steadily dropping down the weight charts and has now pretty much fallen off them. As such I have been advised to do the following:

- Start weaning now ("only 1% of Mums wait until 6 months" hmm)
- Increase formula feeds to 2 a day (currently only has about 3 formula bottles a week by DH to give me a break)

The aim of these steps is to increase the calories DS2 gets.

I BLW'd DS1 at 6 months and wanted to do the same with DS2. However, I am willing to start now if it will help him gain some weight.

My questions are:
1. Do I have to avoid any foods as I'm weaning earlier?
2. Is 5 months too young to BLW (he isn't showing any interest in food)?
3. Has anyone used purees up until 6 months and then BLW? Did it work?

My beliefs are that BM is best and BLW makes the most sense. However I do not want to risk DS2's health for my principles. Advice welcome.

HarrietJones Fri 10-Jun-11 07:37:53

Purée has less calories than milk ...

Mudwiggle Fri 10-Jun-11 07:38:41

BTW - the "more milk" idea would be hard to implement. DS2 currently feeds 3 hourly, except for a 6 hour stint at night. I still have to wear breast pads because of leaking, so supply doesn't seem to be an issue either.

Mudwiggle Fri 10-Jun-11 07:40:48

Thanks for the quick reply Harriet, but the purée would be in addition to milk wouldn't it?

HarrietJones Fri 10-Jun-11 07:44:14

Depends because baby may be full & therefore want less milk. I'm sceptical of the ff too as it's so common for HV to recommend ff as a 'solution'when bf would work just as well

Mudwiggle Fri 10-Jun-11 07:53:52

Do you have any alternatives to FF and/or early weaning suggestions? WWYD?

HarrietJones Fri 10-Jun-11 08:10:47

Keep offering milk. Any opportunity! Not saying not to ff but seems a bit off to advise upping ff rather than bf. Upping either should provide more calories.

Is baby losing weight or just not gaining/as fast?

shuckleberryfinn Fri 10-Jun-11 08:11:43

honestly? I'd do nothing except maybe offer boob at every single chance if there's nothing else apparently wrong with him.

ihearttc Fri 10-Jun-11 09:35:01

DS2 was premature...born at 32 weeks in November. He was 3lb 8oz when he was born and although has been gaining weight it's been a very slow process. Im FF btw.

When we saw his consultant a month or so ago he said to go for weaning and see if that helps things...he would never take a huge quantity of milk.

I also wanted to go down the BLW route but decided to go for purees at first and then move onto more BLW/finger food as and when.

I won't lie the first couple of weeks has been a big struggle-he probably wasn't ready for food because although he's 6 months he is developmentally like a 4 month old but the last couple of weeks he's really taken to it. He's on 3 smallish meals a day and is still taking most of the tiny amount of milk he usually takes...most days even before weaning I struggled to get 20oz a day into him.

I got him weighed on monday and he has put on 2lb in just under 4 weeks which for him is absolutely amazing...he's 14lb 7oz now.

Im not saying its the magic solution at all but for my son it has really helped him.

Pinner35 Fri 10-Jun-11 09:39:13

My friend had a similar issue with her DS and she was told to carry on bf'ing, but give purees and add double cream to everything. He was putting on weight quickly after that.

MooM00 Fri 10-Jun-11 10:28:25

DC1 was very light at 5m (bf)and just one big ff a day (dream feed at 10pm) sent him racing across the percentiles.He then became a right chub for a bit and eventually settled to what he is now,a sturdy average weight 6yo. I think if I'd done nothing ( ie not been nagged into giving ff by the hv ) he'd have settled to the same weight within 6m or so. You could try giving one ff every day to see what happens . I think dc liked the novelty of the ff, can't think why as it tastes foul to me.

RitaMorgan Fri 10-Jun-11 13:01:28

I would try breastfeeding more frequently first - formula doesn't have any more calories than breastmilk so it's just about increasing the volume of milk.

jandmmum Fri 10-Jun-11 15:43:00

I had similar issues with DS dropped from 25th to 0.4th centile. They badgered me about weaning from about 17 weeks. He wasn't having any bottles. I was advised by bf peer supporter to go to bed with him and feed at every squeak. I only did it one day and by mid afternoon he was sick, which was most unusual for him. It worked though and he had a great gain that week. However, when I did start weaning at around 24 weeks it made no difference to his weight. I wanted to blw but the HVs got me so stressed about his weight that my attitude to his feeding was probably the direct opposite of the blw principals and I ended up with a fussy eater who is still very slight at 3.5 yrs. With DD I didn't worry so much and waited to wean when she was ready and she has been fantastic at eating. She still had a 6 week period where she only put on 3 oz. So I started giving her clotted cream (the highest fat I could find) and in the last month she put on 1lb 9oz!
I think before 6 months you're not supposed to give anything other than rice, fruit and veg, which are less fattening than milk. If you hadn't got him weighed would you be worried? Is he doing everything he should be developmentally, is his weight in proportion to his length. If yes to the latter then I would wait until you think he is ready and stop getting him weighed. Too much emphasis is put on weight IMHO.

mrsjohnsimm Fri 10-Jun-11 15:54:34

Who has this advice come from? If from a HV I would ask for a referral to a specialist. And I'd also want to rule out any underlying health problems.

belindarose Fri 10-Jun-11 18:49:39

We had same pressure from HV but saw a paed who said start weaning at 5mo but continue bf and not to worry. She'd dropped from 90th or something to almost the bottom of the charts. Just did BLW, no purees and she's enormous now! Above 75th centile for weight now at 22 mo.

belindarose Fri 10-Jun-11 18:51:22

Oh, the only reason paed said to start weaning at 5mo was rha we wanted to BLW and he thought it might take some time for her to get the hang of it. It didn't!

naturalbaby Sun 12-Jun-11 21:17:52

Is he still putting on weight? my ds2 dropped down the centiles a bit at 17weeks and i was told to start weaning early, I refused as i started ds1 just under 5months and he wasn't ready and i wanted to do blw with ds2. i tried really hard to get as much milk into him as possible then at 5 1/2months i had a big adult sized rice cake in my hand and he was going mad looking at it so i gave it to him - he ate the whole thing! so we started blw then but were pretty restricted to roast veg, fruit chunks, gluten free rusks. he'd been sitting at the table on a booster chair with us for all meals for quite a few weeks by then so was very interested in what we were all up to so that really helped him when he did start.

a friend of mine did purees to start with but it wasn't going well so she switched to blw and her baby loved it and ate loads more very happily.

osd Sun 12-Jun-11 21:35:22

Foods to avoid meat and eggs until 6 months, nuts until 8 months and ground or buttered until 1 year, shellfish until 2 years and make sure everything is pasturised. I think that is it. I weaned before 6 months with all 3 of mine did puree, started with rice and rusks then veg and fruit and then BLW alongside puree at around 7 months, until they could chew between 8 and 10 months and then gave our food of course no salt chopped small and gave them something to hold alongside if interested or spoon so they could dig in. This has worked well for us and i had no problems, i also BF over FF, my middle one though was never full so i did give him top ups of extra hungry baby FF. I wouldn't overly worry, HV always panic mums into doing the wrong thing for their baby, although in a kind well meaning way. Oh my mum is from the middle east and i think nut advice is different in uk but i did it this way and no allergies.

osd Sun 12-Jun-11 21:39:51

Also has baby just become really active rolling or crawling every time all over. Whenever my LOs became really active there weight would drop two centiles or more, just a thought if thats the case night feeds might naturally start again and baby's weight will go up.

gourd Mon 13-Jun-11 09:58:24

I can see one major problem with early weaning if the aim of doing it is to increase a baby's weight. In order to gain weight quickly, high calorie foods will have to be consumed, but fruit and vegetables (which I think is all you can offer before 6 months) just aren't very calorific. You are usually advised not to offer higher calorie foods such as cereals, dairy, eggs, fish and meat before 6 months. Nuts are very high calorie and I think they are OK before 6 months if they are ground into paste but I'm not totally sure - you might want to check this. Milk feeding more frequently, could well be a better solution.

ilovemountains Mon 13-Jun-11 22:44:15

Bananas and avocados both contain more calories than breast milk and are easy to feed. You can also add cream to both.

seeker Mon 13-Jun-11 22:53:52

Does he look well, Does he have loads of energy and is he bright eyed, alert and meeting his milestones? If so, I wouldn't worry if I were you - just wean as you intenede to at 6 months.

Incidentally, I often wonder about this :add double cream to everything" advice tha so amny people seem to get. It seems to be with the intention of putting wieght on, as if the weight itself was a good thing. But surely loading up a baby with animal fat like that can't be good for him? I know that babies need mugh more fat in theri diet than adults but still, putting on weight that 's just fat, not a mixture of fat, muscle and bone can;t be a good thing, surely?

ilovemountains Tue 14-Jun-11 03:48:01

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that fat in your baby's diet not be restricted until he reaches 2 years of age. Fat is a good source of energy for your baby, who's growing very rapidly. And because his brain is made up largely of fat, it's important for brain development, too.

Mudwiggle Tue 14-Jun-11 10:06:20

Thank you all - I appreciate the help.

His weight has not decreased, but in the last month it has hardly increased at all. The HV (well, the equivalent as we are not in the UK) has referred me to my GP to rule out any underlying issues and we have an appointment tomorrow. I will get an update on his weight then.

Since my OP we have given him one FF a day and tried food once a day. He's not really interested in food though. The only thing he'll contemplate is baby rice (yuk) mixed with EBM.

I tried avocado ilovemountains, he was very unimpressed. grin Thank you for the tip, bananas it is for tomorrow then.

I really don't think that I can BF more often than every three hours indefinitely. I know that may sound selfish to some, but for various other reasons incl PND and chronic backpain, I think any feeding more than 3-hourly will have to be formula.

His development is not stunted by any means, but isn't exactly advanced either. At 5 months he hasn't rolled for example. I know some babies don't roll, but it's just an example of a milestone he hasn't yet hit. He is however a happy, cheerful baby.

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