I’m confused. We wean at six months, after having breastfed exclusively, and then we are guaranteed an intelligent child with a healthy appetite and an even healthier immune system. We do this on advice of the health visitors, GPs and, ulitmately, the WHO, despite our parents telling us that we were weaned at twelve weeks and we’re fine… Or maybe we KNOW that we should wean at six months, after perhaps bottle feeding our bundles of joy and yet we decide to listen to our babies- in this case we wean them a little earlier and we lie to the health visitor and pretend we’ve never even seen baby rice in the supermarket before…
The only problem now is that ‘they’ are telling us that waiting until six months is not the right things to do and, quite rightly, parents are now wondering what damage they may have done/ may be doing to their precious baby’s digestive systems…
I don’t think ‘they’ will ever really know what the right age to wean is. Some say that as long as they have the chewing and swallowing reflex then go for it. If they show signs of wanting/ needing food, go for it. If they aren’t gaining weight on just milk anymore, go for it. If they are fine with milk, thriving and showing no signs of needing more, perhaps wait? Or still go for it? I’m just not sure anymore!
The big one was always tiny as a baby (see my article on Mumable ) and when she got to five months she stopped gaining weight. She was only ten pounds two ounces and slept beautifully all night. My health visitor told me that I had to wake her for feeds and that she needed a bottle… I kept calm whilst explaining that she WOULD NOT take a bottle, we had been trying this for months. In the end, they went to great lengths to advise me that they did not condone early weaning but that in this case it was essential and by the way THEY DID NOT CONDONE EARLY WEANING.She had her first taste of baby rice at 5 months and two weeks. My daughter went on to continue in slow weight gain and she is still thin now. Hmm, panic over.
My son has suffered from reflux since he was born and still suffers terribly. His consultant told us at four months to ‘ignore the health visitor’ and start him on solids, in an attempt to ease his symptoms. It didn’t work. Today, my son DOES NOT EAT. He is being tested for intolerances next week and he still suffers terribly with reflux and adverse reactions to food. Hell, I think I wouldn’t eat either.
What I’m trying to say is that all babies are different. I have one child who was exclusively breastfed and weaned as close to six months as we could get away with and she is fine. I have one child who we were advised to wean at four months who is now terrified of mealtimes and potentially has food intolerances. If I only had one child, I would have clear views on the latest BBC article.
As it is, I’m just plain confused.
No-one can 100% say that my children should or should not have been weaned at six months. No-one can say that my children should or should not have been exclusively breastfed (did I mention I was advised to stop breastfeeding my son at three months and he began to gain weight as soon as I did?) and no health professional seems to be able to make their minds up on which advice to give in the first place! No wonder parents are so confused. How about we all just listen to our babies and make our own minds up? Did early weaning make my baby ill? Probably not. Did late weaning cause my daughter to fail to thrive? Again, probably not. Who knows? The professionals certainly don’t.
I’m not the only blogger who has been blogging about this. Read this post from Mellow Mummy . Seems we all have a story to tell about this one. So, what do you think?