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16 weeks and weaning

(30 Posts)
MisterOnion Wed 21-Aug-19 12:21:25

Is 16 weeks too young to start giving my baby banana/baby rice? He's very big, already on 6 ounces of hungry baby milk every 2-3 hours (but always searching) so just wondered when it's appropriate to start weaning, despite what HV/GP says?

inwood Wed 21-Aug-19 12:23:43

Yes. Too early. Why would you ignore what HV / GP says? I weaned DTs early on paeds advice as they had terrible reflux. Just up the milk.

MisterOnion Wed 21-Aug-19 13:29:11

I'm just going off HV/GP guidelines. I weaned my first earlier than the recommended 6 months, but not as early as 16 weeks

QueefLatifah Wed 21-Aug-19 13:31:21

Too young. Your risking damaging your baby’s guts for the sake of waiting and just upping the milk for 8 more weeks.

SpaceDinosaur Wed 21-Aug-19 13:37:48

Far far far too early lovely. The guidelines are no solids (anything other than breastmilk or formula) before 26 weeks.

Baby rice is nutritionally defunct anyway! Literally empty calories and actually fewer calories per volume than baby's milk.

It won't make baby sleep for longer.

When you feed, if you're using a bottle, make sure you're paced feeding. Letting baby feed a little more slowly helps them to listen to their bodies more :-)

Look up Baby Led Weaning for a few weeks time. It's so easy and so much fun!

TequilaMockingbird0 Wed 21-Aug-19 13:38:57


MisterOnion Wed 21-Aug-19 13:41:43

Thanks everyone, I will up milk intake and wait a good few more weeks. Honestly he's huge I didn't really know what else to do, he'll be a big lad when older 🥴

wintertravel1980 Wed 21-Aug-19 20:37:49

The guidelines are no solids (anything other than breastmilk or formula) before 26 weeks.

No. The NHS guidelines actually refer to the age of around 6 months. It is an approximate guideline, not a strict limit:

Having said that, I weaned DD at 17 weeks. It was a conscious decision. I was well aware I was going against the UK guidelines but I have read plenty of actual research. My primary motivation was to try and minimise risk of allergies for DD. While the evidence that "early weaning" (between 17 and 26 weeks) reduces allergy risk might not be entirely conclusive, I was convinced it was worth trying. Here is a good summary of weaning related research available so far:

"Early" weaning (between 17 and 26 weeks) does not pose any real health risks to the baby. The only potential downside is minor diarrhoea but it can be managed if parents take basic precautions.

Babdoc Wed 21-Aug-19 20:47:12

My entire generation weaned earlier than this, and we had much lower rates of food allergy than children today.
Countries that still wean early rarely see a case of peanut allergy, which has led UK immunologists to recommend revising the guidelines, reducing from 6 months to 4.
It’s particularly important for babies with eczema, who will have their first contact with allergens via their inflamed skin instead of harmlessly via their gut, if you wean late. Their gut immunity has no chance to identify it as food, before the skin reaction labels it a threat to be attacked.
I weaned both my babies at 8 weeks. They’re now pushing 30 years old and perfectly healthy with not an allergy between them.
As a doctor myself, I know that guidelines are just that- a guide - and need scrapped or altered when the evidence is against them.

MisterOnion Wed 21-Aug-19 21:13:16

Thank you everyone for each of your input. I'm going to up his milk, see how well that goes and if no changes, introduce rice etc.

I already have an older son in which I weaned earlier so have an idea of what benefits it can have and things to look out for - and he is an amazing eater now, we very rarely come across something he doesn't like and isn't allergic to anything (as far as we know). He actually disliked rice and purées so went down the BLW route.

Chivers53 Wed 21-Aug-19 21:20:09

Up his milk as others have said, DD was on 8oz at 16 weeks.

NewAccount270219 Wed 21-Aug-19 21:24:14

People always bring up the allergy thing on threads like this on - but OP (like almost all parents who wean 'early') is talking about giving her baby 'banana/baby rice', ie avoiding allergens. There has only been shown to be any benefit to weaning between 4 and 6 months when you make a big and conscious effort to give allergenic food - peanuts, eggs, fish, etc. Giving a baby some baby rice at 16 weeks isn't going to do anything to reduce their allergy risk

MisterOnion Wed 21-Aug-19 21:37:57


I don't intend to wean to reduce the risk of allergens necessarily, I just wanted to wean as the milk I'm giving him isn't enough (6 ounces every 2-3 hrs)

MisterOnion Wed 21-Aug-19 21:39:33

@NewAccount270219 sorry I just re read your comment and understand what you're getting at. 18 mo old and 16 wk old = mashed head

NewAccount270219 Wed 21-Aug-19 21:41:10

Exactly (and as people have said, don't wean to reduce milk - just give more milk. Give an 8oz bottle if he's not happy after 6) - but people are confusing the issue by telling you it's a good thing to do because of allergies, when what you want to do won't have any effect on allergies either way

NewAccount270219 Wed 21-Aug-19 21:41:46

Sorry, cross post!

PuffHuffle5 Wed 21-Aug-19 21:45:11


Chivers53 Wed 21-Aug-19 21:52:25

Also hungry baby milk just makes them feel artificially full, have you tried just more of normal formula?

wintertravel1980 Wed 21-Aug-19 22:06:56

Giving a baby some baby rice at 16 weeks isn't going to do anything to reduce their allergy risk.

Agree but we all have to start somewhere to introduce babies to different textures and flavours. I began weaning when DD was 17 weeks. Her first "meals" were carrot and sweet potato purees. Starting from 18-19 weeks I began regularly giving DD scrambled eggs, fish and small pieces of bread with peanut butter. DD initially had minor reaction to eggs but it was fully gone by the time DD turned 6 months.

HappyParent2000 Wed 21-Aug-19 22:08:55

4 months and was probably a touch early, wound it back in and tried again at 5 and it stuck better.

Rusk porridge is the bees knees! I loved nomming on the leftovers!

Falafel19 Wed 21-Aug-19 22:11:58

It's too early as others have said but when you do wean use regular porridge and fruit, baby rice has no nutritional value and it plus rusks etc are just marketing crap, use proper food.

ChristinaMarlowe Wed 21-Aug-19 22:13:59

Personally I'd ask your GP. @Babdoc is right, guidelines change and all babies are different.
My little brother had a teaspoon of baby rice after the majority of feeds at 12 weeks (10lb baby - now a 6"5 man of 32 with no allergies or illnesses in his life aside from accidents from extreme sports 🙈). DD2 is 5 weeks tomorrow and drinking 190mls of aptamil 1 every 5 hours. It horrified me at first, it's way too much according to all my experience and the guides online/from HVs. She has never been sick after a feed (once with a burp, about a tsp, and she has silent reflux like DD1 (born at 39 weeks 5 days by CS weighing 8lb6oz) did and so some should be expected at this volume of milk to a tiny system, but nope. Centile checks for weight each week and 2 anxious GP visits confirmed it and I STILL felt dubious.
A few times, like day 2 of her life in hospital (screaming for over an hour - I was sure it was pain - and midwives said it categorically could NOT be hunger, until one said just try an extra feed..) and like last night when she'd had 180mls (guide amount for an unweaned 4 month old) 2 hours previous and couldn't possibly be hungry (yet when I finally offered a bottle drank the lot, burped and slept for nearly 5 hours) I ignored my instincts and tried everything but feeding her.
Ask a doctor or nutritionist rather than asking mumsnet. I'd never have believed it myself but some babies really are hungry when they act hungry. I thought DD wanted milk to wash the acid down when she strained to poo, when she wanted comfort, when her belly hurt... No, she was hungry. It's not common but it's definitely the case sometimes. It's all very well people saying just offer extra milk but there's only so much milk they can hold/digest when they're tiny and the hungry baby formulas are sometimes great and sometimes just filler to trick their system - it depends what they really need.
DD2 (5 weeks tomorrow as I said) has 190mls apx. 5x in 24 hours and occasionally wants an extra 150 in there somewhere. She's never deviated from the 75th Centile for her birth weight and length. Literally stayed bang on the line. It's amazed me.
Ask a GP and go off the birth and subsequent centiles. Internet forums are a useful guide, not the provider of a finite correct equation.

ashtrayheart Wed 21-Aug-19 22:19:37

Me eldest dd (now 22) was having baby rice at around ten weeks smile

NiinasMummy Thu 12-Sep-19 07:55:54

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

GRG62 Tue 01-Oct-19 01:55:26

Having read this thread for current thinking on weaning I find it hard to imagine having to wait until 26 weeks to introduce solids. Guidelines have always altered from the 40s to the 60s to the 80s and on and on. My youngest started on solids at 10 weeks as three hourly breastfeeding wasn't enough. He has grown up healthy, no allergies and slim. I went with my instincts and then discussed with HV. Sometimes you're on your own to make such decisions. I imagine the guidance will all change again in the near future but I do worry about babies going hungry and parents losing sleep.

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