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Ready to wean?

(10 Posts)
SnugglyDuckling Sun 25-Sep-11 15:02:15

My son is 20 weeks old.

He was 9lbs at birth so as always been a big baby,
He is now

-sitting unaided for short periods
-rolling from back to tummy
- taking objects (toys) and puting them in his mouth to chew
-watching us eat and mimicking the movement with his mouth
-waking up again in the night for a bottle
-he has a tooth.

Do you think he is ready?

He has had really tiny amounts of aptimil porriage mixed with his formula a few times but am wondering if I should start to feed him properly a bit now?

SnugglyDuckling Sun 25-Sep-11 15:37:33


cheekyginger Sun 25-Sep-11 16:35:23

Hi Snuggly,
Night waking can be a sign of being ready to wean if been a good sleeper before, especially if he is a big baby and is getting hungry.

I've started my DS (22weeks) on hungry milk as his last feed of the day as I dont want to wean too early and he was starting to get restless overnight. I want to start him on BLW and mash rather than puree's so am hoping to wait a few more weeks.

If your LO is 20 weeks dont see why their would be any problems with purees etc.(All the books and HV's etc say absolutely NO for weaning before 17 weeks) Baby rice/porridge etc might be best though as they'll have loads more calories etc than veg or fruit, and actually help fill him up.

Good luck

ShowOfHands Sun 25-Sep-11 16:52:16

Waking up in the night and size are NOTHING to do with a baby being ready to wean.

It's really common for a baby to wake up in the night at this age. Actually, their waking habits change all the time in the first year but at 4 and 5 months they go through lots of changes (rolling/sitting etc) and it always affects their sleep.

And people are as likely to say 'ooh that baby's small, wean him' as they are 'that baby is big, wean her'. It's meaningless and in fact if your baby is large and has remained so, it's a good indication that milk alone has caused them to thrive. Certainly there are more calories in milk than in any other food you could offer a baby under 6 months so if your baby is 'hungry' they need more milk, not less. Up to 12 months their diet should be mainly milk anyway.

Babies need only milk for the first 26 weeks. Around this time they will show developmental readiness for solids. Readiness is actually about when their guts have matured to be able to cope with solids and nothing to do with watching you eat, increasing feeds etc. Babies watch you do everything. In fact a newborn can mimic mouth movements/tongue movements, it's just the way they interact with their carers.

Obviously, some babies will be ready before 26 weeks and the signs that they are ready are...

Able to sit up unaided
Loss of tongue thrust reflex
Ability to pick up food, put it in their mouths, chew and swallow

To this end, if you stick baby friendly chunks of veg in front of them while they're sitting up and they pick it up and eat it, they are displaying the external signs of readiness and theoretically you can assume their gut has matured to the point it needs to.

If I were you I'd offer milk to requirement and let the baby join you at mealtimes. When they're ready, they'll help themselves, answering the question for you.

It's hard when they wake up again having slept well but it's normal for them and they will do it again in the first year, just as you're starting to feel human again. grin

SnugglyDuckling Sun 25-Sep-11 17:51:24

I don't want to do BLW so it would be puree's, so can't give him a chunk of veg.

Will tr him with some carrot mush I think.

LittleMilla Sun 25-Sep-11 19:28:28

My DS is 21 weeks and I started him a week and half ago - he was two weeks overdue though. He was pretty much insatiable, despite extra bfs, ff etc (along with the other 'signs' that ppl talk about). And so I tried him with a little baby rice. Was slightly worried when he wolfed the lot down, but after a chat with HV, I felt less guilty about it!

He's now having some baby rice in the morning, mixed with a little pureed prune/apple/pear/banana. And then some more rice mixed with carrot/sweet potato/butternut squash at tea time.

I've maintained his milk feeding schedule of mostly bf and then a ff at dreamfeed, and he seems really happy. Sleeping a gazillion times better, but I am loathe to say that this is just because of the food. It's just that I am happier to leave him a bit longer if/when he wakes as I know he's not likely to be as hungry, and lo and behold, he'll often go back to sleep. But less waking.

I am about to post about volumes DS seems to want more food! He's now started to knaw on bits of carrot/bread etc when offered in between meals, but am trying to hold off introducing lunch for another month.

lilham Sun 25-Sep-11 19:49:17

I'm doing purees but a lot of what ShowOfHands says is true. Number of night wakings and size of baby isn't a indication they are ready for solids. Thats why it's now recommended to wean nearer to 6mo. The very good signs are sitting up and the tongue thrust reflex.

I started my DD at 24wo and with her first baby rice she grabbed the spoon and put it in her mouth. Thats the coordination ShowOfHands talked about if you are doing purees. And you can go very fast once at 6mo. I've only been at it for 2wo and DD already on 3 meals and just had chicken for dinner (basically our dinner). You skip all the single veg purees once you are at 6mo iyswim.

cheekyginger Sun 25-Sep-11 19:49:30

Waking during the night CAN be a sign of hunger. I didnt mean feed your child solids straight away.....but increase milk or change to hungry milk etc may help!!!

Littlemilla, great to here your success with sleep following the increase of food.

ShowOfHands Sun 25-Sep-11 21:25:09

Waking in the night can absolutely be a sign of hunger yes. The developmental leaps do require a lot of calories. But it's nothing to do with the gut having matured in readiness for solids and therefore is not a sign that you should begin weaning. If they're truly hungry, they need calories and they're to be found in milk. Hungry baby milk I don't know a lot about (I bf) but I think it's helpful for a baby taking huge volumes. It doesn't increase calories, is just harder to digest.

There's no evidence that weaning aids sleep. In fact some studies suggests it temporarily makes it worse.

LittleMilla Sun 25-Sep-11 22:06:01

Just to reiterate, I am not 100% convinced that him sleeping a bit better is just due to a bit of babyrice. He most definitely went through the 4 month developmetal leap and I think that it all settling down has helped things.

BUT, he seems to enjoy his food. And seems to be a bit more content overall since I introduced it. I guess it's almost like a new game for him - hands in everywhere, grabbing the spoon and plenty of laughter and giggles with mummy and daddy throughout. It's fun. And I do think that enough goes down for him to feel it in his tummy too!!

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