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Help! Can I start weaning at 3 months?

(61 Posts)
Nickikate Mon 27-Feb-06 16:18:16

I am a first time mum, with only 1 friend with a baby A few mums at baby cafe have told me I can start weaning at 3 months, (and that they have done so) but I think that its supposed to be 4 months. I would like to try it, to see if it fills him up more, and maybe (here's hoping) will help him go thru' the night - he's still waking at 3am ish every night even if he has 5 x 7oz bottles thru the day! (he's 14.5 pounds)
Any advice would be very much appreciated!

PiccadillyCircus Mon 27-Feb-06 16:19:31

Not really a good idea.

But I sympathise with you on the waking at night front - DD is 23 weeks and wakes at least once in the night.

JonesTheSteam Mon 27-Feb-06 16:20:15

The advice now is to wait until 6 months before you wean.

DumbledoresGirl Mon 27-Feb-06 16:21:25

You are about to be hounded off this site for suggesting weaning at 3 months Nickikate, but before the chase begins, let me quickly tell you I had my babies in the days when 4 month weaning was the norm (I believe it is now 6 months). My first baby was very hungry and I did start weaning him at 3 months but I did this on the advice of the health visitor. I don't think any HV would recommened you start weaning now, but I imagine if you ask your HV she will come up with some good ideas for you to try.

HellKat Mon 27-Feb-06 16:22:26

I was told way back when ds1 was a baby (13 yrs ago) that it was advised to start weaning at 3 mths. When I ahd ds2 (2 yrs ago) it was around 5-6 mths. Personally i'd say if your baby seems hungry still after a feed and is on the max formula dosage for their age, then try a little baby rice. I used to put this in ds1's bottle at night and it thickened it every so slightly. Have you tried the formula for hungrier babies? Both my boys needed that. Try that firs.

WigWamBam Mon 27-Feb-06 16:22:33

It's actually meant to be six months, not four months, so three months is miles too early, really. His gut is not ready for solid food yet so the longer you can hold on, the better for him.

Giving him solids won't help him sleep through - his first tastes of food won't be anywhere near as calorific as milk so won't fill him up as much. He may be going through a growth spurt at the moment, which will pass - but milk is still all he needs right now.

Sorry if this isn't really what you wanted to hear.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 27-Feb-06 16:23:03

HVs are generally really behind the times on this sort of stuff. The current best advice is to wait until 6 months, and really, it's worth it. Safer for your baby, and less work for you.

HellKat Mon 27-Feb-06 16:24:01

*first.
Definitely chat to your health visitor. As Dumbledoresgirl said, my health visitor too gave me the go ahead to wean early.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 27-Feb-06 16:24:03

Baby rice in the bottle is meant to be a choking risk, and also increased risk for obesity, in the long term. It's really really not recommended.

HellKat Mon 27-Feb-06 16:29:23

This was going back 13 yrs ago and it was my health visitor that told me that. I did'nt do it with ds2 but I did give him baby rice in a bowl at 4 mths on the advice of my new health visitor.

CorrieDale Mon 27-Feb-06 16:29:42

You probably don't want to hear this, but you shouldn't give your baby solids until he's 6 months!!!! His gut is very immature and 'open' at the moment, which allows milk to be easily digested. Before 6 months, it's impossible to tell when his gut is mature enough to cope with solids; that's why the recommendation is to wait until 6 months because by then it definitely will be. 3 months is way way too early - 4 months is too. You can't tell what damage early weaning can do until your baby is years older - IBS, allergies, eczema, etc, etc. Take no notice of the baby cafe mums - in the words of the inimitable Tiktok 'it's not a race'.

And FWIW, when I started my baby on solids at 6 months, his sleep definitely got worse as his little tummy got used to the new stuff. Your baby will sleep through when he's ready - honest! I'm actually pretty that your DS is only up once a night... When my little darling was 12 weeks we were up every two hours... day & night!

Nickikate Mon 27-Feb-06 16:30:18

Thank you all for all of that! general opinion seems to be 3 months too early, which is what I thought... so god knows what the mums at baby cafe are on about - one said she started 2.5 months! I will persevere with milk.
my dh is also being told by a couple of his colleagues that we can/ should start about now and he's keen, so I will show him your replies later!
thanks again. xx

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 27-Feb-06 16:33:24

The current recommendations are that you wait to wean until 6 months/26 weeks, to allow baby's gut to mature. (Some babies guts will undoubtedly be mature enough earlier on but these guidelines are to err on the side of caution). Allowing the gut to mature is thought to help reduce the risk of allergies and bowel disorders.

It is recommended that you do not put anything in bottles other than just milk because of the risk of choking.

It is true that milk is more calorific than any other food you could possibly give your baby so early weaning wont make any difference to sleep patterns.

Those are the facts/guidelines as they stand currently.

Personally i would say - speak to your health visitor.

Dont feel obliged/pressured to keep up with other mums and their babies. Weaning early, IMO, should not be considered a major milestone in babies development.

My my DD slept through from 7 till 7 at 11 weeks old on b/feeding only. My DS still doesnt sleep through at 10 months and i treated him the same.

Its tough when they dont sleep (believe me I know! However, some babies are just that way.

Enjoy your baby and dont feel rushed into doing something because "all the other mums are doing it".

HTH.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 27-Feb-06 16:37:49

Gosh im slow at typing today arent i!

Should also say, tell DH not to feel like he has to keep up with other Dads too

Seriously though, treasure the early months and check the facts on things such as when babies should be weaned, sleep through, start crawling, walking/talking etc. There will always be a parent who's LO "did X months before all his other baby friends" etc but im sure there is lots of things that said parent doesnt tell you.......

fruitful Mon 27-Feb-06 16:38:20

Yep, I'm jealous of a 12-week-old that only gets up once a night too! Sounds really good going to me - if he only gets up once a night at 12 weeks he'll probably go through the night in another month or two. Unlike my two, who didn't sleep through till they were 10 / 11 months.

I've heard loads of people say that weaning their babies made no difference to their sleep. Mine got worse - all unsettled, and uncomfortable while they got used to digesting it.

Plus puree'd veg, baby rice etc have less calories than milk. And once you've done it, you're committed to providing purees 3 times a day, and its a right faff. Worth getting up once a night, not to have to do all that. If you wait till 6 months you only have to do purees for a few weeks, if that.

Is he hungry when he wakes at night? Can you stuff a bit more milk in at bedtime? We used to give ds a bottle before his bath and another one about 45 minutes later.

Have you tried waking him at 10pm and giving him a bottle then? - If he is doing 7ish till 3, he might do 10ish till 6 which would be quite civilised (takes a few nights to adjust though).

Smellen Mon 27-Feb-06 16:42:46

If it helps you at all Nickikate, I've got a three month old son, about the same weight, and am a first timer. I'm breastfeeding, so I can't be sure how much milk he's actually consuming, but I think I must be giving him about 4-5oz per feed, and he feeds 7 times every 24 hours (including 11pm and 3am), so he is probably getting about the same as your little one.

I can understand the temptation to wean - as I sit with my breakfast, my son watches my every move and dribbles prolifically, hands twitching and a cute smile on his lips. However, having read up, it is not a good idea to wean too early. As other mumsnetters have mentioned, early weaning can lead to poor health in later life, e.g. obesity, diabetes etc. Some research suggests that babies' intestines & some of their other organs (specifically their kidneys) are not ready to digest solids until about 6 months. As NotQuiteCockney has said, adding baby rice to a bottle is supposed to be a choking risk.

I can understand the temptation to wean early - not only do they look as if they'd love to tuck into what you've got, but it might help them to sleep through. Personally, I've decided to try and hold out till about 5 months before weaning, which is still deemed a little early, but I wouldn't even consider giving him anything other than milk right now.

I know those 3am feeds are knackering, but you're not alone!! I just try to tell myself that already he's grown up so much, that this time where he is a cute little baby will not last long. One day we will look back longingly at these days, so don't rush it.

I hope this helps

tiktok Mon 27-Feb-06 17:37:08

Nickikate, your baby is normal and healthy, and waking is normal.

Why risk your baby's health??

This is a good set of evidence-based guidelines for you and your DH, which describes the risks:

\link{press.nct.org.uk/files/ whencan_babies_start_onsolids.pdf \here}

tiktok Mon 27-Feb-06 17:38:05

Drat.

\link{http://www.press.nct.org.uk/files/ whencan_babies_start_onsolids.pdf\here}

tiktok Mon 27-Feb-06 17:38:33

Drat again.

You'll have to copy and paste

NotQuiteCockney Mon 27-Feb-06 17:40:46

Here .

Nickikate Mon 27-Feb-06 19:57:45

Thanks again for all advice. I did mean baby rice, by the way - does this change any of your opinions? baby rice once a day ,to supplement milk, is what I have been advised to try.

Smellen Mon 27-Feb-06 20:02:31

I think baby rice counts as solids. If your baby is happy on the milk you're providing, why introduce something else now? I really know what you are going through with those 3am feeds, and also have a mate whose little darling slept through from 7-7 at 10 weeks (on breastmilk too!!), but every baby is different, so I try not to force my own baby to do the same. I just try to bear in mind that in the scheme of things, a couple of weeks or months of night feeds is not such a big deal.

Good luck with it all. Maybe talk again over this chat room in another couple of months?!?

LIZS Mon 27-Feb-06 20:05:57

The principle is still the same whether baby rice or purees. Milk is still relatively higher in calories.

ajg Mon 27-Feb-06 22:08:36

i think you know when they r ready,my girl is three and was weaned at 3.5 months,hav just started with my boy and hes 3.5 months. The advice we get changes every couple of years,its surprising anyone of my age survived.

red37 Mon 27-Feb-06 22:20:09

I have 3 children, my first 11 yrs old was weaned at 3 months, she would wake 2 hourly for feeds.
My second was weaned at 4 months, he is now 10. I felt he was ready.
My third is 4 and half months and I have just started weaning him. My HV advised that weaning shouldnt be started any earlier than 17 weeks.
Tbh, I just went with my gut instinct with all of my children.
Hope this helps!

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