Weaning early(16 Posts)
My son is 15 weeks old and weighs 17lb 4oz, from looking at him you would say he is just as old as his cousin who is 6 months old, he's not fat, just very well developed! My partner and I have a book that says we could start on baby rice from 17 weeks, we were considering starting at 18 weeks when my partner has a week off work (he hates missing out). I mentioned this to the Healthcare Visitor who basically told me off! Apparently we have to wait until he is 6 months, has to be baby led and cannot be pre-made jars etc..! Am I right to ignore them? My son can sit unaided, roll over, put things to his mouth, watches us like a hawk when we eat, and if given a sample of our meal (a drop of sauce on the finger - I cook from scratch) will 'eat' it happily. My mom weaned us at 3 months and she thinks he is more than ready, and my partners parents think he's ready and also wouldn't last until 6 months! Should we go for it on this basis? We think he is ready!
NHS guidance says to wean at 6 months because it is considered best for baby. I personally don't think its necessary to follow it to the letter - around the 6 month mark is fine - you certainly don't need to wait until the exact date if showing all signs - but if healthy and gaining well on milk at 17 weeks, I would not even consider food, particularly baby rice. Nutritionally, you cannot beat milk for calories or content at this age.
Baby rice is empty calories and really should not be sold any more. There is absolutely no need for it. If you are really set on weaning, then start with veg purees or wait if you want to do BLW.
Also, life is so much easier when just on milk! I would love to go back to pre-weaning days with my daughter when I didn't need to think about planning outings around meal times, how well she is/isn't eating and having crumbs everywhere! Take advantage of it!
Reckon the poster who said it's not 6 months *to the letter* is right, starting a week or two (or maybe 3!) is really unlikely to be a problem. But back to 17 weeks is only a good idea if there is health professional recommendation for it like eg, an ex-prem baby with specific nutritional needs or some other medical reason like specific concerns on slow growth - and the HCPs are giving this as a suggestion for the individual baby having taken all issues into consideration. I think your hv was wrong to tear you off a strip cos that's just out of order. But 17 wk is a bit on the early side now and milk should b good for a fair while longer.
Starting solids well before 6 mo is less good from the POV of avoidable infections (diarrhoea) so that's why they advise that these days.
If you do give earlier eg from 17 weeks, need to b more careful on what foods and hygiene of prep - but worth checking guidelines on specifics.
Good luck deciding what you do!
Agree with above...there is nother enough nutrational value at a young age...you tend to fill up with empty calories...
If you try you may well find that his mouth is not developed fully and it just falls out!!.
Sure sign he is not there yet..
They do like to experiment and practise however. ..
I would have let mine suck the odd banana or have a taste of something on my plate rather than feeding..
I baby led weaned at about 8 maths with my second...no spoon feeding no pureeing..
She ate what she wanted all by hand and under her own steam...the transition was very easy..
I'm in agreement with the other posters. Wearing is best from 6 months (ie this is the earliest , you could wait longer if you felt your baby wasn't developmentally ready). The Nhs website will give you some clarity. And definitely avoid baby rice- no nutritional value and no need for it!! Just start on nutritious veg & fruit when ready.
I would avoid all baby rice after the recent recall where it had been cooked wrong and contained arsenic
I'm not quite sure why you want to?
My baby was huuuuge and we still waited until 6 months.
I think some people just get excited about the next stage and wean to early.
Around 6 months is the guidance now.
However, I don't think there is any evidence that weaning between 17 and 24 weeks is harmful, and some evidence there may be benefits, so its up to you. Jars are fine too.
The guidelines whilst just guidlines and a week or two is neither here nor there, are based on scientific research.
I don't follow everything to the letter but I trust that people who have spent a lot of time researching something have a better idea than me so I try to stick to most of it.
17 week in my opinion is too early.
My HV told me that there’s not a huge amount of difference between starting at 5 or 6 months, so if you could wait til 5 months that would probably be better.
Ds is 21 weeks and we've been letting him have tastes of things since 17 weeks. He still has 5x 8 oz milk per day, and probably what amounts to a spoonful of puréed food at breakfast, lunch and dinner time. So not necessarily 'weaning' as such, just getting him used to different tastes for when we wean properly.
I weaned both my DDs early on the advice of my HV as both had awful reflux problems. I am in the process of weaning DD2 now, she's 5 months old.
We started with organic porridge a few weeks ago and the moved on to fruit/veg. I'm obviously using puréed foods. It's helped massively with her wind and reflux and she is much more settled. What I have found interesting is that she's not having any less milk, some days she'll have more.
I do think people confuse the signs of baby being ready and can be over eager to move on. Having said that you know your own baby best and don't think there would be any issue in starting with a little rice or porridge.
Purée vs BLW is entirely up to you, no evidence that one is better than the other.
Home cooked vs jars/pouches - some evidence that sticking with home cooked as much as possible is better, but most mums will use some packaged stuff for convenience when out and about, equally there is no good evidence that feeding your child exclusively packaged baby food will actively harm them. It's expensive though.
When to wean - definitely not before 17 weeks - good evidence that the gut is not mature enough before then. Between 17 and 26 weeks, some strong emerging evidence that weaning during this window is beneficial in terms of reducing allergies. Common allergens such as egg and peanut (use peanut butter) should actively be given during this time if you choose to wean early because of this. It is likely that the NHS guidance will change again in the near future to reflect this.
Baby rice is pointless in my opinion, and you shouldn't wean early because your baby is big/hungry - they will get far more calories from milk than puréed carrot for example.
I have a big, fairly advanced baby as well, I did try him a couple of times with baby porridge etc. When he was 4 months or so but he just couldn't eat it at all. I waited until 5.5 months and he was brilliant! I think it's best to wait until they can do it themselves and then you know it's time.
You need to do what's right for you- generationally our parents would have weaned at 3months but it was baby rice for a long time. If you wait longer you can introduce to all sorts of lovely flavours quite quickly. Agree with the baby rice comments, avoid at all costs nothing nutritious in it and imo doesn't start babies experience of food well as it's so bland!
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