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Weaning at 20 weeks - advice please

(27 Posts)
larlemucker Thu 09-May-13 19:49:00

My DS is a nightmare sleeper and feeds all night. Last time he was weighed he was 14lb 9oz (he was 16.5 weeks), he is due to get weighed tomorrow.

The HV has suggested introducing a tea at 20 weeks to see if he will sleep better.

I don't know what to do as I'm getting conflicting advice. HV, DSis and friends say 20 weeks. Books, breast feeding councillor, NHS say 6 months.

What do I do? (First time mum btw!)

melliebobs Thu 09-May-13 19:53:42

Go with ur gut but food isn't always the magic answer. Dd was still waking 3 times a night for a feed even when she was weaned

StrangeGlue Thu 09-May-13 19:55:25

I would give him all the milk he wants not start weaning until 6 months.

It's a bit of a myth that food makes them sleep better too so you could well end up feeding him and not seeing his sleep improve.

Dd was ff and ate well from 6 months but her sleep was terrible until 11 months.

TattyBoomBoom Thu 09-May-13 20:21:15

So many resources say solids do not help babies sleep better! HVs seem to peddle a lot of old wives tales. It's up to you but look up the NHS "signs of readiness" and make your own judgement. 6 months is recommended now based on solid evidence. Milk (breast or formula) still provides the most nutrition until age 1.

larlemucker Thu 09-May-13 20:34:22

If he is waking up hungry won't the solids help him sleep better?

SirBoobAlot Thu 09-May-13 20:38:09

The suggestion that solids help a baby sleep better is a total myth. They don't need solid food, nor will it achieve anything; there are more calories in milk at this age.

ExBrightonBell Thu 09-May-13 21:08:53

My ds's sleep was a bit worse when we started weaning as his digestion was disturbed for a few days. He had a lot more wind and uncomfortable tummy at night than before weaning. I really don't think that weaning will help with sleep sorry.

MoreSnowPlease Thu 09-May-13 21:23:54

Does he seem in anyway ready for weaning? The baby led weaning approach suggests certain developmental things before trying. We started DS on finger foods at about 20 weeks on advice of paediatrician (she suggested 17 weeks) as he was waking every hour at night. However, he was sitting on his own at 17 weeks, had lost the tongue thrust, was reaching out for food and staring at us eat etc.... I took the approach that if there were no guidelines I would follow my instincts and he would get to eating when he could reach food, put it in his mouth chew and swallow himself, so we sat him in a chair, put a few bits of broccoli in front of him and waited. He picked it up, crushed it up with his hands and brought it to his mouth just once but didn't eat it. So I figured he wasn't ready and tried a few weeks later.

I think babies are designed to reach this sort of thing themselves when they are ready.

FWIW he's now nearly 11 mints and on solids but still doesn't sleep well, like others say, its a myth.

larlemucker Thu 09-May-13 21:29:54

He does feed every hour most nights. He can't sit unaided but does sit well in his highchair, he grabs everything and puts it in his mouth! He tried to put an apple I was eating in his mouth a couple of days ago!!
He watches everything we eat, he sits in his high chair at the table when we have tea and he loves watching us eat!

I spose I won't know until I try will I!!

MumOfTheMoos Thu 09-May-13 21:40:52

I wouldn't start him on food if he can't sit up unaided and it won't help with reducing the night waking, honest.

When we wanted to cut down on night waking we started very slowly to not go in and offer milk (the boob in our case as he was ebf) each time, instead my husband would go in and rock him back to sleep. So, if he woke up at 12 for a feed, I wouldn't go back in until 2am, and if he woke up at one then DH would go in and give him a cuddle. Then it would be 12 until 2.30 without a feed.

Honestly, I don't think a 20 week old needs feeds every hour during the night. You must all be exhausted.

But even if you don't do that, solids won't help.

I would recommend Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution which has a lot of good advice on night weaning.

SirBoobAlot Thu 09-May-13 21:44:30

At this age, they just love watching, and they are developing hand eye co-ordination. Those things are often mistaken for early signs for being ready to wean.

Is he breast or bottle fed, OP? How is he in the day?

MoreSnowPlease Thu 09-May-13 21:49:06

Yeh I don't think the watching was a sign, but I did take it as one at the time, but like I say, he didn't eat when I left food for him in front of him, so that was my biggest sign.

Maybe you should post in the sleep section?
some babies do get hungry every hour. Mine does, we have problems with breastfeeding and he has adapted to take very small amounts very often.

Are you breast or bottle feeding?

TattyBoomBoom Thu 09-May-13 22:59:34

If he is waking up hungry won't the solids help him sleep better?

No. We had sleep regression when we started solids as our baby's digestive system was kicking into gear! Solids before age 1 don't satisfy hunger, milk is still their main calories/nutrition.

larlemucker Fri 10-May-13 02:59:51

He is ebf, we had problems feeding to start and the first 2 weeks he fed every 40 mins 24/7 and cried constantly. We ending up topping him up with formula. It took a lot of work but after about 2 months we stopped the top up.

During the day he feeds at least every 3 hours, he is a terrible napper and I'm lucky if I can get him to sleep for more than 30 mins.

I have also posted in the sleep section!!

larlemucker Fri 10-May-13 03:11:59

Also we have tried not feeding him everytime he wakes but he just gets hysterical till he gets a boob.
We are currently co-sleeping, we can't feed very well lying down but I think just bring next to me is comforting as he is sleeping better.

When he was last weighed he had fallen off the 50th centile line so HV said to feed him when he wakes. I try and give him both boobs (if I'm awake enough) and also do breast compression to try and fill him up!

conorsrockers Fri 10-May-13 03:33:00

I'd try SMA hungry baby formula personally (does it still exist!). I remember very clearly someone suggesting this with my PFB (although he was much younger) and it was like a miracle. Slept for about 5 hours solid before needing another feed. I never looked back! - infact I ended up switching to bottle feeding with all mine after that experience as my life transformed over night. I also weaned all my boys at 4 months - but that was the advice back then, they were more than ready (I didn't offer them broccoli, but put a spoon of food in their mouth and they screamed for more!) - take the current trend/advice for what it is - advice, and follow your gut.

TattyBoomBoom Fri 10-May-13 04:26:01

Have you been on the breast/bottle feeding board here? Lots of knowledgeable posters.

Has he been checked for tongue tie?

larlemucker Fri 10-May-13 07:52:15

I think he was checked for tongue tie by the midwife before we came home from hospital. It's not his fault he can't latch when lying down, it's my floppy boobs!! He feeds fine in rugby ball position!

We co-slept last night, had a mammoth feed at 3 (spent an hour draining both boobs) and had just woken.

Maybe he isn't hungry! This parenting lark is really hard!

SirBoobAlot Fri 10-May-13 09:55:13

I think it might be worth popping down to speak to your local peer support group. They will be able to check him for tongue tie, and discuss some of the other things you've mentioned too. Does he only feed in under arm hold? What happens if you try cross cradle?

If he had a big feed at three, and then slept till 8, that's great smile It's possible that right now you've got a sleep regression / growth spurt going on along with everything else.

larlemucker Fri 10-May-13 13:05:37

Went to booby group this morn but the lady who runs it isn't insured to check for tongue tie but she is sending me a web link to check for it myself.

larlemucker Fri 10-May-13 13:06:28

We can feed in cross cradle but it isn't easy, as I said though its not him it's my boobs!!

SirBoobAlot Fri 10-May-13 22:49:52

Not insured to check? Never heard that one before.

Can he stick his tongue out? Is it heart shaped at all?

SirBoobAlot Fri 10-May-13 22:55:16

Sorry. I'm a PS as well. I regularly check for tongue tie. I'm not allowed to diagnosis it, that has to be done by the specialist, but it is something I see frequently, and, if spotted, I suggest seeking further information on to the mother, along with specific contact names. Am surprised she wouldn't check.

larlemucker Sat 11-May-13 01:35:04

She said she isn't insured to stick her finger in a babies mouth to check for posterior tongue tie.

He doesn't really stuck his tongue out, not very far anyway and there is a slight dip in the tip

Nicknamefail Mon 13-May-13 12:07:38

It worries me that HV don't follow nhs recommendations.....
I would wait, milk us fine until 6mo, and probably won't help the sleep. (Although I hope it does!)

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