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Did I cause this by weaning too early?

(8 Posts)
DeathByMonkey Sun 26-Oct-08 13:41:02

My ds1 is 6. When he was a baby I read so many parenting books and magazines because I really wanted to do everything right, but I'm very worried I messed up in a big way. At that time the recommended age for introducing first foods was 4 months, and my son was a big strapping boy so on the day he was 16 weeks old I gave him some baby rice. He devoured it and took to food so happily, it never once crossed my mind that I may have done something wrong. I honestly didn't get that 16 weeks is not the same as 4 calender months, but even without that fact it was much too early.

I now have a nearly 6 month old baby and am much more clued up on the guidelines and the reasons behind them. My ds2 is exclusively bf and I am planning to start BLW after he is 26 weeks when he seems ready, and nothing will make me do it earlier. However, ds1, although mostly a healthy and normal child, suffers from encopresis (constipation and soiling.) He has had this condition for a long time, basically since he's been out of nappies, which wasn't until 4 yo.

My question is, has there ever been anything to connect these two things? I know early weaning is connected to allergies and digestive problems, but I'm not sure if encopresis is one of them, as it's a very difficult condition to find the root causes of. I'm not looking to either absolve or blame myself, but just want to feel more in control and knowledgable about the situation, if that makes sense.

DeathByMonkey Sun 26-Oct-08 13:43:14

Oops - computer was misbehaving so accidentally posted twice!

Romy7 Sun 26-Oct-08 13:57:07

there are children who are weaned under current guidelines with encopresis too.

how old is ds1? are you managing it with maintenance lactulose etc?

(not getting into the 16 week debate as i feel there is way too much hounding going on about it atm - suffice to say i have kids of that era and refuse to feel guilty that i did as i was told)

mabanana Sun 26-Oct-08 14:18:36

16 weeks is not really early weaning. There is no evidence that weaning at 16 weeks would have harmed your ds. When does he soil?

a11 Sun 26-Oct-08 14:21:19

DBM I don't suppose for a moment that the way you weaned DS1 has anything to do with his encopresis. Although this condition is linked with diet, IMHO it's more of a behavioural problem. Have you had any advice from your hv about managing it?

DeathByMonkey Sun 26-Oct-08 14:25:50

Ds1 is 6 next month, and has been under treatment for about 8 months. Before that I'd never heard of the condition (eternal thanks to someone on mn which is how I found out). He is on lactulose 3x day and has a routine of sitting on the loo after meals. It comes and goes in severity - some weeks he has good control and can feel when he needs to go, but then relapses and starts letting go in his pants. Just today he soiled 3 pairs of pants, but couldn't tell he needed to go beforehand.

I do agree about not feeling guilty for following what were the correct guidelines, but have to admit it's hard to face the fact that I may have caused him to have this problem, albeit with the best of intentions

DeathByMonkey Sun 26-Oct-08 14:32:24

don't have a hv as we live abroad, but ds has been seeing a paediatrician about it, who doesn't seem too clued up tbh, and didn't tell me anything I didn't know already (I researched it obsessively after finally putting a name to it)

He doesn't have a pattern of soiling, he can go for days with no soiling or do a big poo in the morning and then soil again later in the day (like yesterday, which happened in his swimsuitsadblush

SquiffyHock Sun 26-Oct-08 14:38:01

I don't know anything about the condition but please don't blame yourself. My sister's children are 10 and 11 and she weaned at 4 months ( I actually think that it might have been 3) because that was the advice she was given. The same goes for thousands of other people yet I assume that encopresis is a quite rare condition.

We can only do our best and it certainly sounds like you did that. Sorry you are having to deal with something which, I imagine, is very distressing.

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