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Research about weaning early

21 replies

kbaby · 11/10/2004 12:43

Not sure if this belongs here or the food thread.
I know that the WHO advices leaving weaning until 26 weeks due to the increased risk of asthma, allergies etc. But is there any actual research that has been done on this or have they just decided that it may be contributing to the rise in cases.
For example, they say that pollution may also cause asthma and allergies so how do they know that early weaning is also causing the rise.
Sorry if i havent explained this very well.
Im trying to decide if I should wean DD or ride the frequent feedings out for another 6 weeks and wanted to know if any medical research was available to help me make the decision.

OP posts:
Davros · 11/10/2004 14:56

Good question, I'd like to know too. Not because I'm weaning DD but just interested.

KateandtheGirls · 11/10/2004 14:58

I thought the WHO recommended bf till 2 years?

motherinferior · 11/10/2004 15:02

WHO recommends 'exclusive' BF till six months, then continuing for a year and two if poss, I think.

I don't think it's an asthma link, KBaby. I've not followed your thread but personally I think if it makes you very drained/depleted/exhausted/maddened (been there!) there's no point in pushing your poor self to the limit.

Pidge · 11/10/2004 15:02

kbaby - my understanding is that the WHO make their recommendations based on scientific research. I had a look at their website once and there are lots of references to papers etc.

And KateAndTheGirls - yup, they recommend exclusive breastfeeding till 6 months and continued breastfeeding for at least 2 years.

KateandtheGirls · 11/10/2004 15:03

Breast is best, of course, kbaby. But you've already given your daughter a great start. If you want to wean at this point, don't feel guilty.

Pidge · 11/10/2004 15:21

Yes, kbaby, should have said what KATG and MI have said too. Keeping mum happy is also important and doesn't tend to feature in scientific studies! You need to weigh up how difficult you're finding the frequent feeding, against hanging in there to the recommended weaning time. The other factor is your family history - you're more likely to hit problems if there's a history of allergies, atopic tendencies etc. Whatever, you've already done really well and given your dd a great start.

kbaby · 11/10/2004 19:25

Sorry I should have said, weaning on to solid food.
Im planning on bfeeding indefinetly but didnt know if introducing solids at 20 weeks instead of 26 weeks would increase the risk of asthma etc as all the recommendation is bf exclusivly until 26 weeks.

OP posts:
hercules · 11/10/2004 19:29

Didnt mears mention things like coeliac disease in later life somewhere? The gut is basically not ready and problems can show much later in life.

frogs · 11/10/2004 19:43

kbaby, the research does seem to indicate that early introduction of non-bm proteins is associated with higher risk of allergies. The best explanation of this association that I've come across is on the site kellymom .

Having said that, I weaned my older two at four months, as that was the advice at the time. Dd1 didn't really take to baby rice, and it was all a bit of a faffy waste of time. With ds I started off with banana, and he adored it from the first mouthful, and snarfed the lot. I was very tired from the bfeeding with him, and believe that he did need the solids.

With dd2 I followed current advice and waited till 6 months. Even at six months she had a powerful tongue thrust, and it took a long time to get her eating significant quantities. With regard to allergies, I haven't noticed a difference between them, but then again, we're not an allergy-prone family.

Early weaning won't necessarily help a baby sleep through the night, nor affect frequency of bfeeding, as the amounts they take in the early days is so small. There are scientific reasons for delaying weaning, as the site above explains, so if you can wait, I probably would. But if you feel strongly that you want to go ahead, then try it for a few days, see what happens and don't worry unduly.

prufrock · 12/10/2004 10:16

kbaby - I'm at this point too - and gave in to babyrice yesterday, but didn't have an entirely positive reaction so I am now not weaning yet. But I don't think a couple of weeks will amke much difference. Then again, I don't think that starting solids (with the amount they start on) will have that much effect on teh number of feeds he needs. Oh decision, decisions

Chuffed · 12/10/2004 10:36

We started at 17wks as I just couldn't handle 2hrly feeds during the day and 4 times during the night. By 5 1/2 months she was on 4 meals a day eating the equivalent of 2 cans of food plus some gluten free baby cereal for breakfast.
Whatever decision you make will be the best one for you, it totally depends on the child.

MrsDoolittle · 12/10/2004 10:42

Me too Chuffed

Sandi102 · 12/10/2004 10:58

chuffed, how much did your dd weigh at birth and now? I'm considering whether to up ds's solids. He's 5.5 months and would eat more, but i limit it just in case he gets tummy upset.

Sandi102 · 12/10/2004 10:59

we atarted weaning at 16 weeks

kbaby · 12/10/2004 11:34

sandi dd was 7lb 7 born and 50th centile shes now 13lb 14 and 25th centile

OP posts:
Chuffed · 12/10/2004 12:58

dd was 7lb 1 and has stayed just at the 50th percentile. Last week she weighed in at 16.53 pounds at 27wks

Sandi102 · 12/10/2004 17:23

chuffed, ds is 23 weeks and was weighed in at 16.5 last week. Snap! is she sleeping thro now?

i think i'll wait until he's 6 months before i up his solids to 4 cubes and dessert. He is on 3 meals a day though which is good, but not sleeping thro yet.

FairyMum · 12/10/2004 17:37

When I weaned one of mine at 16 weeks, I didn't notice any difference in frequent feeding or sleeping through and I think this is a little bit of a MIL-myth personally.....

I think it's quite important how long you intend to bf for. For example, I weaned one of mine at 16 weeks because I intended to stop bf at 6 months and it is important to bf while introducing solid I think. When I bf 12 months, I only weaned at 6 months. Didn't notice any difference in frequency of feeds though....

californiagirl · 13/10/2004 01:15

Introducing solids didn't make my baby sleep better or nurse less, I'm afraid. Then again, she still (a month in) doesn't eat much. Some babies take to solids rapidly, some don't.

kbaby · 13/10/2004 12:38

dd was only waking once at night for a feed but has now started waking 2 hourly. thats what made me think she may need solids. id just be happy if she went back to 1 waking.

OP posts:
Pidge · 13/10/2004 13:24

kbaby - my dd started waking more frequently in the night between 4-5 months, and I was in despair frankly! But somehow she sorted herself out and at 5 1/2 months without a spoonful of food ever having crossed her lips, she slept through 12 hours and has done ever since. Not that all babies will do that of course, just that sometimes they do weird sleep things and it doesn't mean they need food to sort them out.

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