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Is it time to wean?

(10 Posts)
nothingventured Fri 03-Jul-09 11:43:11

My BF DD is now 19wks and is very interested whenever we eat so HV said it might not be too long before we need to wean her.

HV said the cue would be her not sleeping at night because she is hungry. This hasn't happened yet but she is now going shorter and shorter in between feeds in the day.

We are in good routine for feeds and sleep and this doesn't feel like just another growth spurt - might it be time to wean???

Wigeon Fri 03-Jul-09 13:23:14

I've heard of HVs saying that waking at night isn't a "wean now" sign. Personally, my DD didn't sleep well before she was weaned, and...didn't sleep well after she was weaned.

I thought my DD might be ready for weaning at 19 weeks, so decided the way I could tell would be to offer her a little bit, and see if she was keen. She didn't seem that keen, so I held off until something like 23 weeks, by which time I thought she was definitely keen, so we started properly then. If you try offering her something now, it doesn't meant that you have to keep going if she hates it! Maybe give it a go and see?

Jojay Fri 03-Jul-09 13:27:55

If you read the Department of Health weaning leaflet it says that waking in the night is NOT a sign on needing to start solids. Your HV is wrong - perhaps ask her for a copy of the leaflet grin

Nutritionally milk provides everything your baby needs until she is 6 months old, and milk is far more digestible for her than any solid food.

When you do eventually start feeding her lumpy food, you'll find lumps in her nappy, showing just how much passes through whole and is therefore not digested.

I would hold off until 6 months.

tiktok Fri 03-Jul-09 13:28:35

This is outdated information from the HV, nothingventured. Not sleeping at night is not a sign the baby needs to be on solid food - it may mean the baby is hungry, of course, in which case feed her

Frequent feeds in the day is also normal, especially in warm weather.

You (and from the sound of it, your HV!) can get up to date guidance here:

It specifically discounts night waking as a sign.

nothingventured Fri 03-Jul-09 13:44:47

Thanks guys, thats really iseful info. Makes you wonder what the point of having a HV is really....

GreenMonkies Fri 03-Jul-09 13:59:42

HV's are pointless if they haven't been on any up-to-date training courses!!

As a rule, signs it's time to wean are;

Sitting up unaided

A slight reduction in drooling, as they are able to swallow it, not just let it run out of their mouth!

Being able to put food in the mouth, chew it and swallow it (often happens when they are sitting on your lap and they grab something off your plate!!)

A really simple rule is, if your baby needs the food to be mashed or pureed to be able to eat it, they are not ready for solid food yet.

There is a fairly monster growth spurt at 18/20 weeks, she will probably feed like a demon (your routine will fly out the window!!) your boobs will suddenly go up a cup size and she'll want to feed in the night a lot too! shock It lasts for a good week or so, then settles, giving you a couple of weeks to catch your breath and then start offering her solids!

Lots of good info here, here and here.

nothingventured Fri 03-Jul-09 14:18:18

surely I can't give her solids straight away? seriously? At 6 months?

Wigeon Fri 03-Jul-09 17:35:57

I think GreenMonkies is probably referring to baby-led weaning. Don't worry, I don't think she means you should give your baby a whole roast dinner on day 1 of weaning!

GreenMonkies Fri 03-Jul-09 21:49:40

"By nothingventured on Fri 03-Jul-09 14:18:18
surely I can't give her solids straight away? seriously? At 6 months? "

Yup, you can! Sit her in a high chair with some cooked broccoli florets and let her play with it. As Wigeon says, not a whole roast dinner on day one, just a bit of veg then a strip of chicken a few days later, a bit of ripe pear, and so on. Easy as pie, no blending, ice cube trays or little spoons required!

nappyaddict Thu 09-Jul-09 13:08:51

Your HV is giving you false information.

The signs for being ready to wean are:

holding their head up

sitting up with minimal support (ie a bit of slouching ok and you can use the shoulder straps to support them a bit if they aren't sitting completely alone or put a rolled up blanket or towel behind them. a baby grippa thing is good as well for babies who aren't 100% sitting yet

losing the tongue thrust reflex (if they still have it their tongues will push food out of the mouth and they won't be able to swallow it all only little bits)

able to pick small chunks of food up, put them in the mouth, chew and swallow it properly.

Being ready for weaning has nothing to do with:

doubling their birth weight

slow weight gain

copying your jaw movements when you eat

chewing their hands/toys

looking at food

putting food in their mouth and gumming it (the chewing and swallowing shows you they are ready and know what to do)

feeding more frequently or waking up in the night more. this is most commonly associated with a growth spurt which can last up to 8 weeks - a fact unknown by many. growth spurts usually only last a few weeks but they can last much longer than this.

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