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Hoped to BLW but told to wean DS at 20wks - is that BLW out the window?

(40 Posts)
SpeccieSeccie Sat 18-Aug-07 09:39:49

Ds has been a bit out of sorts, had been sleeping through now waking early, chomping on anything he can get in his mouth, giving the impression of having a tummy ache (arching his back) etc. Took him to GP who said no infection, nothing to worry about but had I thought about weaning him? 'Most mothers crack before the 6 months.' I told HV and she also said that it 'might be worth' starting weaning. MIL is convinced ds is ravenous.

DH and I had really been looking forward to doing BLW but as ds only 20wks does this mean we'll have to do purees? Did anyone start BLW earlier than 6 months? Was it a success? Is it dangerous? TIA

The HV hadn't heard of BLW

massivebigpantsface Sat 18-Aug-07 09:44:04

I would wait. I don't think the signs you mentioned are neccesarily indicative of hunger
It sounds more like he is teething - could that be a possiblity?

If you do decide to wean anyway I wouldn't blw as he will not be ready for this I shouldn't think. Babies shoul'd be able to sit up themselves and handle the food they are feeding on.

massivebigpantsface Sat 18-Aug-07 09:46:17

It seems to be that all hv think 'if in doubt - wean'!
If you think he is hungry then could you try to increase his milk intake? Milk is morre calorific than a carrot stick anyway, and blw will not result in much food going down (except on the floor) for a while yet.

beansprout Sat 18-Aug-07 09:49:01

Your MIL's generation weaned much earlier than 6 months so they are convinced that all babies not on solids by about 4 months must be craving food. This is not the case. The symptoms you described could be anything (virus, teething etc) so how they both conclude that he should go onto food, is a bit of a mystery!

The basic problem is that nothing will sustain them like milk can, so you if you wean now, his digestive system is unlikely to be ready and it doesn't even have the desired effect.

I would say, decide what you want to do and stick to it - plenty of people on here will support you!!

NineUnlikelyTales Sat 18-Aug-07 09:49:55

The whole point of BLW is that he would only be able to eat the food if he was developmentally ready for it, not like with purees when you decide for them.

Most babies seem to go through a similar phase at the same age regarding sleeping and it doesn't mean they need weaning. And they also start putting everything in their mouths, partly through teething but also because they can do it to explore the world around them.

I wouldn't wean on the advice of an HV or a GP, neither of whom really know what they are talking about on this subject. Your HV seems particularly clueless If it were me I would wait, but if you do decide to try then you can still do the BLW and your DS will let you know if he is ready by actually eating something. Do supervise him 100% though. Maybe banana or steamed carrot sticks?

purplemonkeydishwasher Sat 18-Aug-07 09:50:21

it could be teeth. i could be a growth spurt. and as mbpf said milk has more calories than carrots etc. give it a few days with more feeds and see how it goes.

massivebigpantsface Sat 18-Aug-07 09:52:22

it is a mils duty to try and get you to wean early - mine told me I was 'cruel' and once when dd wasn't latching on in a flash she said 'you are obviously not giving her what she needs now - I have some rice pudding in the fridge you can give her'
I'm sure you are doing a grand job and just go with what you want to do - he's your baby and you know him better than your mil!

BabiesEverywhere Sat 18-Aug-07 09:54:55

Never listen to tyhe HV, they know nothing

The signs you describe sound like teething rather than hunger.

As PP said milk has more calories than solids,to offer more milk than solids.

Modern thinking is that they might be problems linked to early (before 6 months) weaning. Some people say that there is no direct link.

Personally I think why take the chance, your child will not suffer waiting until 6 months to wean but introducing solids earlier may result in problems.

IMO I would wait until 6 months and sod the HV advice and go straight to BLW at that point.

BabiesEverywhere Sat 18-Aug-07 09:57:21


Never listen to the HV, they know nothing

The signs you describe sound like teething rather than hunger.

As PP said milk has more calories than solids, if it was just hunger it would be easier to offer more milk than solids.

Modern thinking says there might be problems linked to early (before 6 months) weaning. Some people say that there is no direct link and to wean when you like.

Personally I think why take the chance, your child will not suffer waiting until 6 months to wean but introducing solids earlier may result in problems.

IMO I would wait until 6 months and sod the HV advice and go straight to BLW at that point.

Aitch Sat 18-Aug-07 10:00:46

well teh good thing about BLW is that you rather leave the decision up to them. if he's sitting up, etc, you could offer food on the highchair tray now and see what happens, there are definitely a few babies on here who BLW'd themselves at 20 weeks or so. on the other hand, your MiL's logic is faulty in that if a baby is hungry then milk's going to satisfy that more than some pureed carrot. personally i'd give milk a chance first, i think.

MrsJohnCusack Sat 18-Aug-07 10:06:20

mine is doing all these things and it's all part of teething/growth spurts. He's nearly 5.5 months so I may as well wait til 6 months now really. I can't see why I'd crack either, food would make no difference. You can point out to your MIL that milk has FAR more calories than a spoonful of crappy baby rice or pureed carrot and so if he IS ravenous, more milk is the way to go.
It's NOT a reason for weaning early, it's just I think they can't think of anything else to say. I bet yours is teething, in which case weaning will make no difference whatsoever.

SpeccieSeccie Sat 18-Aug-07 10:28:10

Thank you for the support! The pressure to wean him has been coming from everywhere!

I have upped his milk so I didn't think he was hungry in a real sense. I think I might give it a while and then maybe let him start playing with some food in a few weeks time? It did seem a bit early from what I've read - but everyone else seems to be doing it IYKWIM (though purees).

I asked the GP if it could be teeth and he had a look in ds's mouth and said nope, nothing coming through.

SpeccieSeccie Sat 18-Aug-07 10:30:51

Mbpf - I think my MIL thinks I'm really quite mean not weaning him! She's started canvassing other young mothers on when they weaned. Yesterday she told me DH's cousin had weaned hers at 10weeks and 11 weeks. I didn't know what to say.

CorrieDale Sat 18-Aug-07 10:34:12

I did point out to my HV that waiting til 6 months would have been easy, if it hadn't been for all the external pressure to wean early. From the baby food ads to well-meaning but obsessive family to frankly loony HPs, the advice was the same: dig out the baby rice. Perhaps if they all just kept out, mothers wouldnt 'crack' before 6 months.

Rant over (for the time being. DD is only 7 weeks so I'm safe enough for a few weeks...)

Theclosetpagan Sat 18-Aug-07 10:37:36

Thing is that the DOH weaning leaflet I have in front of me says 6 months but on the back it says "not before end of 17th week"!

Not surprising therefore if HVs and GPs etc are giving inconsistant advice if the DOH cannot be concise.

SpeccieSeccie Sat 18-Aug-07 10:42:04

Yes, what's that about?! Do huge swathes of the population have shares in baby rice?

If I'm honest, Dh & I thought blw sounded a bit more fun than having to mush and spoon, as well as being in tune with what a baby would want. It seemed quite instinctive. I wasn't aware of how that other people would be quite insistent on the rice thing.

DreamtOfMandalay Sat 18-Aug-07 10:45:44

Speccie, I think that's rubbish about it not being teething if you can't see it. With DS's first tooth there was literally nothing at all until the day before it popped through. He was grumpy for about 2 weeks with gums smooth as anything, then on the thursday a tiny nubble, then on the friday a tooth!

I reckon (not that I'm a dentist) short of a tooth xray there's no real way of knowing what's going on under the gum, there's a lot of gum to tear through before the tooth even begins to break the surface.

SpeccieSeccie Sat 18-Aug-07 10:48:20

DoMandalay - I sort of thought so too! Mainly from remembering my wisdom teeth coming through and that hurt on and off for ages before any sign of a tooth.

MrsJohnCusack Sat 18-Aug-07 10:50:18

I'm telling you. Most of them go mad at 4/5 months
just because the GP can't see anything doesn't mean they're not giving him gip

SpeccieSeccie Sat 18-Aug-07 10:53:36

And, y'know, it's not like ds opened his mouth and said 'Aaaaah'. He sort of needed me to push his lips out and the doc got a quick glance!

incognitoHV Sat 18-Aug-07 11:01:38

The DOH are currently in the process of rewriting the weaning leaflet and hopefully they will clarify just what their advice is. In my area we advise 6 months but it's amazing how many parents want to wean earlier despite advice and explanation - the earliest baby on my books who I actually know is being weaned against all advice is just 13 weeks. His Mum has had all the advice and all the support we can give her but weaned all her others at 12 weeks and has more or less raised her fingers to the current guidelines and told me so. I have another Mum who is adding baby rice to the formula feeds so that her baby will sleep through the night. Have advised against this and given my reasons why but that is all I can do and I know she continues to do this (baby is 8 weeks).
My colleagues in the neighbouring town advise not before 20 weeks and as the DOH leaflet says not before the end of the 17th week they can actually justify it.

PS - for those of you who despair of HVs can I just say - we are NOT all the same and yes - some of us have heard of BLW (and even done it ourselves). I am shocked by some of the " advice" I have heard that HVs have given as reported on this board - but sadly not surprised given the inconsistancy of advice from the DOH.

ladymac Sat 18-Aug-07 11:06:53

I do think it's difficult to decide what to do when you've got pressure from MiL, HV etc to wean early. But maybe you are also putting a kind of pressure on yourself by wanting to hold out until your baby is 6 months.

Surely all babies are different? Yes you could try upping milk feeds to see if that does the trick. But I don't think you should feel like some sort of failure if you decide to give your baby some purees mixed with breast milk before 6 months.

ladymac Sat 18-Aug-07 11:09:11

I am not advocating early weaning btw. I am just saying do what feels right for you and your baby.

bookthief Sat 18-Aug-07 11:19:28

Yep, while everything you read still says 4-6 months and the official advice is "not before 17 weeks" the only thing anyone actually seems to see is 4 months or 17 weeks.

Apparently the 17 weeks is to stop people cracking open the baby rice at 8 weeks but is that actually working? My friend is waiting till the day her dd turns 17 weeks "on the advice of my HV" but she told me what her hv actually said and it was "as close to six months as you can and certainly not before 17 weeks". Her baby, her choice but I don't think the potential risks are being communicated to parents with this fudging of dates.

I tell ya though - she'll be sick of fighting to get in a couple of spoons of puree after her dd turns 18 weeks

Chirpygirl Sat 18-Aug-07 11:30:06

I would start BLW if your DS can support himself, what they did with teh original study was start offering food at 4 months and then discovered that they didn't actually eat it until 6 months when the tongue relflex stopped pushing food out!
I started puree with DD just after 5 months and gave up after a week, so she was BLW'd from about 22-23 weeks, we started with steamed broccoli, babycorn, asparagus, beans (no chopping as well!) and some nectarine and banana. DD had a problem with nectarine skin but apart from that she gummed happily at everything!

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