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Help- I'm being advised to start weaning at 18 weeks and don't want to- what to do?

(11 Posts)
kms123 Thu 21-Aug-08 09:12:27

I need some advice as I don't know what to do.

My baby boy is 18 weeks old, breastfed exclusively and gaining weight well (50th centile).

My problem is it's getting very tiring, he has increased feeds he needs from around 5 or 6 to up to 12 recently and it's exhausting. sleep more broken from once or twice night to now routinely at least twice/ 3 or more.

I have really wanted to exclusively breastfeed to 6 months or close as can do as I know the advice and have done plenty reading up on it.

But my health visitor and other mums at my group as well as my parents and inlaws have all being saying to start weaning. I feel a weirdo for not wanting to and health visitor couldn't understand why I am waiting.

My son is really active and rolling and using up loads energy so needs lot feeding recently.

I have to admit I bowed to the pressure and on impulse caught up in the pressure and persuasion from others to try him on tiny teaspoon babyrice last night. It all went down fine, and ironically he did sleep and settle better last night (don't think the 2 are connected) but I now feel SO bad, really guilty that did wrong thing.

Also and I think this is more reason that I feel that I don't want to give up the exclusive feeding, I like it and don't want that to reduce yet.

So what would you do? Just start weaning? Or go back to BF all time for rest 8 weeks? Or is that just for my reasons (not wanting to give up feeds) rather than his needs. He does show all "signs"- although know that they can be myths- that ready.

Any advice for me while I can still reverse the process and not give food again for a while.

hercules1 Thu 21-Aug-08 09:13:42

Just keep feeding - sounds like a growth spurt which is common at this age.

snickersnack Thu 21-Aug-08 09:25:22

Honestly, food at 5.5 months made no difference to the sleeping patterns of either of mine. Broken sleep is a killer but don't go down the early weaning route if you don't want to - chances are it won't make any difference. If I remember, 4 months was a pig of a growth spurt.

spicemonster Thu 21-Aug-08 09:32:08

Mine went through exactly the same thing at 18 weeks and then settled down again. It is a massive growth spurt and food makes no difference.

Ignore them, he's your baby (although I remember how hard that was). Are you fully aware of the reasons why it's a good idea to wait till six months? You could do a search on the internet so you have all the latest research at your fingertips and spout that at your family.

ShowOfHands Thu 21-Aug-08 09:40:14

Absolutely do not be pressured to do something you don't want to do. He is your baby and he is going through what is commonly documented on here as the biggest growth spurth they have. It will settle down, I promise you. Try and find ways of making it easy on you. Can you feed lying down so that you can sleep through the night feeds? Also, do you sneak a sleep in the day? If ds is feeding like a newborn (oh and they do during a growth spurt, I remember it well), then you can act like you have a newborn and sleep when he does.

All those new skils he is learning take calories and nutrition. His increased feeding is telling your body to change the composition of the milk to give him the energy he needs to continue developing. How, exactly, is a teaspoon of nutrient-poor, low calorie mush going to be better for your growing boy than your high calorie, nutritious, readily-available milk?

The other fabulous bonus of waiting is that you never have to bother with that puree stage, just straight onto finger foods. It's easier, the best thing for your baby's health and what you want to do.

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural thing and you should be proud. Well done. Keep feeding him.

Just as an aside, do any health visitors actually know the current guidelines or do they ignore them for fun? Makes me cross.

StellaWasADiver Thu 21-Aug-08 09:44:46

You say 'I'm his mum and therefore what I say goes', and you could ask your HV why she is not following the Department of Health's guidelines.

Weaning early puts babies at risk of allergies - remind everyone who is giving you pressure of this.

puffylovett Thu 21-Aug-08 09:47:12

A recent study on Medscape showed that exclusively breast fed infants for 6 mths and then fed for up to a year had higher IQ's at 6.5 yrs than their counterparts - there you go, reason enough grin

I remember this oh so well, thankfully i had found MN by then and so knew to expect a 4 mth growth spurt - it only lasted a couple of weeks before he went back to normal, and then we BLW'ed at 24 weeks (yes I did regretfully bow to pressure and I REALLY wish i hadn't - DS had eczema by then which got much much worse with food and in hindsight I don't think he would naturally have weaned until 7-9 months)

I look at early weaned babies being spoon fed and it just looks so odd and WRONG to me now !!

You do what you feel is right for your family hun
but would advise not talking to HV and parents about sleep issues !!! cos that is their answer to everything !!0

kms123 Thu 21-Aug-08 10:01:05

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! This has really helped me do what I really do know but needed to hear at least someone tell me as I haven't had one single person actually say this, just opposite.

Ditch the rice, I'm going back to just BF and just roll with the tiredness for couple more months!

cmotdibbler Thu 21-Aug-08 10:04:32

The feeds will settle back down again in a couple of weeks though - they have the growth spurt, your milk increases, and all is well again.

BLW at 6 months means no hassle at all - purees would just be a complete faff to me

HolidaysQueen Thu 21-Aug-08 12:18:32

kms - my DS is 20 weeks. Just coming out of a terrible 3 week period of faffy feeds, increasing feeds, terrible sleeping etc. It was pretty horrid but things are getting back on track a bit now. I'm taking things in 2 week chunks at the moment - so wanted to get to 18 weeks, and then 20 weeks etc without weaning, and seems to be working okay for us as 2 weeks goes quite quickly and then I realise that he still doesn't really need food yet. Next goal is to reach 22 weeks - only 10 days to that

DS is showing all the conventional signs of wanting to wean but having got through the last few weeks I really don't think we'll need to do it now until very close to 26 weeks (may do it slightly earlier just because of stuff going on with us around that time)

kms123 Thu 21-Aug-08 16:12:50

Good idea to do 2 week chunks. I had thought that as going away for few days in 2 weeks and thought well I'll wait longer to then and see..and can keep doing that as long as bearable. I feel if get to 21 I'll not feel bad weaning anymore.

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