Monday, 5 August 2013
The fun of weaning!
The age old question.... When is the right time to wean my baby?
Over the years of my four children, the ages have changed. It's been four months, six months, nine months and now there's talk that you should wait until they are a year old to wean them.
Are they mad?
My mother weaned us when we were ready. If I remember right, she said I was on solids by three months, as were my brother and sisters. My other brother, however, was so greedy so she started him at a couple of weeks old. She breastfed us all, but it was never enough for my brother. He'd empty her, have a 9oz bottle and still be looking for more! And he wasn't a "fat" baby. He was always the average weight for his age.
I always wonder what people thought or said if my mother told them how much he ate, from a young age. For me, when I weaned J, he was about 10 weeks old. He needed more food to fill him up. So I started him on baby rice, a few spoonfuls was plenty for him. I was told not to by the health visitor, called "stupid" by other mums, yet J had no problems. He loved his food, and at four months, I moved him on to other foods, that were suitable for his age.
And now, Baby B. I started weaning him from about 12 weeks. Again, he needed it. He's now 19 weeks and loves his food! He's just tried some different flavours and seems to really like the Cow & Gate chocolate dessert!
Here he is after pinching the spoon from my hand and tried to feed himself! I think this was Grampa's Sunday Lunch!
Doing some research on what age is best for weaning has brought up so many different opinions!
According to an article on DailyMail - a study says that six months is too long, on BabyCentre an answer is given as 1 year, Bounty, Mumsnet, Hipp and NHS say pretty much the same thing.
What I wonder is, many years ago before all these "guidelines", when parents were weaning when they felt was right - how many of their children were affected by this? I mean, I'm 29 now, I've never had any problems with my digestive system as many "guidelines" suggest that will occur from early weaning, my brother (the greedy one) was to be fat, if the health visitor is to be believed - yet is 6'4", plays football, rugby, cricket, loves going to the gym, and has not one ounce of fat on his body!
Back to my kiddies. My eldest is 12, she's never had any problems either. Nor has T or J. So, it is really a problem if we wean them when we think is right?
It's funny, a few weeks back I was at the Doctors having Baby B's first injections. I got talking to a mum and dad of twins. Poor mum looked like she hadn't slept in a week and dad looked as though he hadn't shaved for as long! We got on to the subject of feeding and they were shocked when I told them that Baby B was feeding on 9oz of milk from 2 weeks old. I explained that all my children were the same, as I was unable to feed them myself, by 2 weeks old each one would drink 9oz of the hungrier baby milk.
Dad asked if that was every four hours, and looked disgusted when I told him I didn't force feed, I fed on demand. So instead of insisting they fed every 4 hours, they had it when they cried for it. Sometimes it would be about 6 hours gap, other times 3. To rub salt into the wound, I then told them how amazing the kids were at sleeping throughout the night. That's right! All four were sleeping through the night from a week old. And I believe it's because I fed them when they want!
My sister fed her son every four hours. He still wakes up through the night now and is 5 tomorrow!
So, the round it all up, I think as long as you, as a parent, feel it's the right time to wean, and your baby is ready for it - go for it! If they feed, but are still hungry, feed them some more! But never force them, and ensure that the food you are giving them is suitable - for example, no lumps.