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weaning my DS at 4 months - advice needed on when to move on from baby rice...

(17 Posts)
Bicnod Fri 28-Aug-09 10:52:51

I know the current guidelines are to wait until 6 months but I'm sure my DS is ready. He's a BIG boy - over the 98th percentile and at 4 months is the size of an average 7 month old.

He has been exclusively breastfed since birth (well, he's had 3 formula feeds in his life) but I am now struggling to keep up with him. He was going 3 hours between feeds during the day and 3-4 hours at night, but in the last few weeks he has been down to 2 hours during the day (sometimes even 1 hour) and 2-3 hours at night.

I had to do something - it was either formula or food and I chose food.

I gave him some baby rice 3 days ago and he absolutely loved it - he was grabbing the spoon and jamming it in his mouth, opening his mouth for more and banging his little hand on the highchair tray as I couldn't get it to him fast enough!

I started with 1 tsp of rice mixed with EBM, and by yesterday he was having 2 heaped tsps.

So my questions are:

Should I just stick with baby rice for the first month or so as he is so young to be weaned, or should I move onto proper food (pureed)?

Also, can I give him as much as he wants? Or should I increase the quantities slowly?

Finally, should I give him cooled boiled water with his meals?

Thank you for your help

pleasechange Fri 28-Aug-09 10:55:29

tbh I don't see what's unusual about 3 hours between feeds - DS went 2 hours between bfeeds for 6 months. I still don't think he was ready to wean before 6mths

pleasechange Fri 28-Aug-09 10:56:17

and surely the fact that he's grown so well on bf doesn't suggest that he needs something else anyway. Breastmilk has more fat and calories than any other food you'd be giving him

mrsgboring Fri 28-Aug-09 11:00:56

Well I've weaned early for both my DSes because of poor weight gain (in both cases adding solids has worked. It was a carefully researched decision too.)

I don't even start with baby rice but do fruit and vegetable purees first. My HV said not to do water at this stage, but that is partly because I need to encourage as much milk feeding as poss.

FWIW I do agree with allnew that the frequent feeding is not unusual for a four month old.

ZippysMum Fri 28-Aug-09 11:01:27

Sounds like he is hungry. Size isn't a good indicator of when to wean. It's to do with the maturity of the baby's gut. He'll also get more calories from your milk than from solids or purees.
I would keep going with the extra feeds he needs till 6 months.

hercules1 Fri 28-Aug-09 11:03:15

AS your milk has far more calories than baby rice, pureed carrot etc I would up the breastfeeds and cut back on the solids personally. SIze is no indicator.

MrsBadger Fri 28-Aug-09 11:09:36

(NB 4m is prime growth-spurt time - dd went through a week or two of feeding every 2h all day and all night until my supply had increased to meet demand)

BoffinMum Fri 28-Aug-09 12:29:15

In the past I have started with baby rice and shortly afterwards moved onto mashed banana, mashed potato, pureed apple and pureed carrots. I started giving one little meal a day and gradually increased it up to three, with milk offered at meals. Water if it was hot.

After a few weeks I then add cottage cheese or cheddar cheese (not too much of the latter as it's salty) and make the lumps slightly bigger. I also broaden the range of vegetables to whatever we are having.

At about 7 months or so fish and chicken.

At some random point that seems appropriate I also give rusks, finger foods and introduce mild herbs and spices.

By about a year I have them eating a non-salt version of everything we are having, mushed up a bit.

BoffinMum Fri 28-Aug-09 12:32:12

PS They have all grown fine on this plan and are good family eaters now. IMO food is as much about sociability as growth.

preggersplayspop Fri 28-Aug-09 12:38:49

I seem to remember a growth spurt around this age as well, when the feeding increased in frequency and then settled down again. There are very little calories in a pureed carrot as compared to breastmilk, so I would also suggest trying to get through this phase if you can, it won't last long and things will settle down again I am sure.

surprisenumber3 Fri 28-Aug-09 13:52:22

Hi Bicnod - I haven't started with baby rice, just pureed pear, mashed banana, potato etc. I make up more than I think she wants and then as soon as she stops opening her mouth when the spoon comes, I stop. I then give her a quick BF as a drink.

FWIW, my HV told me last week they now recommend weaning between 17-26 weeks and are about to change the guidelines....again!

MrsBadger Fri 28-Aug-09 14:08:08

(surprise, your HV is wrong, the guidelines are not changing. Sorry.)

bebemoo Fri 28-Aug-09 14:23:24

Moo is also above the 98th percentile and has been looking for food for over the past month. She also has a tooth and actively reaches for anything in your hand and tries putting it in her mouth. I have to remember to eat with the hand farthest from her or half of whatever I am holding ends up smashed up in her fist and trying to be shoved down the hatch....
We've supplemented Moo's diet with rice cereal and have found that she enjoys the added variety and that she is now taking more bf milk in addition to the cereal (2 tsp). We introduced a little bit of banana last week and she nom'ed it up. I don't see it so much as weaning as supplementing. She's not drinking any less milk but she's getting the food she wants and is participating in the meals with me and dh
I'd say to approach additional foods slow and steady... gradually increasing amounts and variety. I think they say one new 'taste' a week to watch for reactions.
If one thinks about it logically if you are still bf than the good bacteria are still being given to baby and protecting the gut. It's when this good bacteria is stripped away(as it has been suggested that even ff does) that things you don't want enter the blood stream (through absorbtion in the gut) and could get attacked by the white blood cells (causing an allergic reaction). So gradual increase and introduction seems like a wise choice to me
Have I answered you well enough or have I just rambled on to nothingness?

bebemoo Fri 28-Aug-09 14:36:30

forgot to mention Moo is 21.5 weeks started the cereal at 19.5

surprisenumber3 Fri 28-Aug-09 14:48:58

bebe, I think that is a brilliant answer

Bicnod Fri 28-Aug-09 15:06:26

me too thanks bebe... i think that's what i'm going to call it, supplementing rather than weaning, because O like Moo isn't dropping milk feeds, but is much happier for a bit of solid food in his tummy.

Boff and suprise - thanks for your responses, I'm going to start offering O milk or water in a tippy cup at the same time as his baby rice (he's never had water so wonder what he'll think of that - although he'll probably love it, he seems to love anything that passes his lips!)

To be honest, I'm not worried about there being less calories in baby rice/carrot etc - he's not going to waste away as he's still having loads of milk and is currently weighing in at 19lb 3oz at 17.5 weeks (that's about average for an 8 month old formula fed baby according to the red book).

I have a lot of admiration for those of you who fed your babies every 2 hours day and night until they were 6 months old but I just can't do it... I'm utterly exhausted and drained and in order to be a good mummy I need to do something to fill him up a bit and space out the feeds. It was either formula or baby rice and I figured with baby rice I am still BFing so he's still getting all the benefits of that. I don't think its a growth spurt that will pass as its been going on for too long (his other growth spurts lasted a week to 10 days) and the spacings between feeds were getting steadily shorter.

Thanks again for all your posts... much appreciated

BoffinMum Fri 28-Aug-09 20:25:26

I speak as someone who is exlusively bf a five month old because he looks like he is doing OK on it for now, and who has bf three others, but what is it with this obsession with being the longest to bf? Is it female machismo? Like seeing who can spend the least on new baby equipment????

There isn't a huge amount of scientific evidence either way on the benefits and disbenefits of weaning at 4.5 months to these larger Western babies from affluent, clean homes. Only some dubious 'virgin gut' arguments and so on.

People should take a long hard look at their babies when deciding what to do, not the calendar or other women, IMO.

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