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Talkback: Weaning from four months or six? BREAKING NEWS


  • Go with your instincts but bear in mind that some of this research was funded with moey from baby food manufacturers!!
  • Our health visitor said 5 and half months
  • MadeForMums is an independent website, run by the same publishing company that produces Practical Parenting and Junior magazine.

    Our article explains that the Department of Health continues to advise weaning at six months. It is in the process of reviewing all the recent research and will report back later this year.

    The important message remains that you should talk to your GP or health visitor if you’re unsure about the best time to start weaning your baby.

  • Well to be fair if you have children of various ages you will have weaned one of them 'incorrectly'. I'm so irritated with these constantly changing 'guidelines'
  • It's not a report, it's not even research: they simply re-read the same report the WHO used in determining that Six months was the best time to start and decided that perhaps some children might benefit from a slightly earlier start in order to avoid a potential risk of anaemia.

    (and yes to see the background to that amazingly weak and misreported statement see above.)

    The WHO have today issued a statement saying (basically) "We've looked at it and while maybe some children in Developing Countries may have a slightly higher anaemia risk it's still best to exclusively breast feed for the first six months"
  • Yasmin:

    Your daughter was probably having her three month growth spurt, she'd have settled down again once she'd finished.

    It's surprising that your Health Visitor couldn't tell you this, it must have been horrible thinking you'd "failed" in some way.

    Growth spurts happen throughout infancy and predominantly in the first year (with one, unfortunately, right around the four-five month mark

    The reason a baby given solids sleeps better (unnaturally so) is that the stomach has to work harder to digest the solid matter, this also occurs, to a lesser extent, with formula milk as it is less easily digested and formula feeds tend to be much larger than breast feeds.

    At least you know you did the best you could based on the information you were given.

    I'm sure your child has benefited from all the care and thought you put into your feeding decisions which I know can't have been easy for you.
  • I have to say that I agree with the 'trust your instincts' approach.

    The fact there is a report at all, that puts all babies into the same box is pretty daft.

    If they did the same thing to adults we would be horrified. How can you say that every baby, of every size, of every race, of either gender, is going to have identical needs? I think this is madness. Don't shoot me. Just my opinion.

    When your baby shows signs of being ready for food, and after discussion with your healthcare professionals (who should be open-minded, and happy to discuss individual cases-- not just robotically answering "wait 'til 6 months"), then I say start slowly and start feeding them.
  • How to confuse parents. One minute it's six months and the next it is four!!

    I'm sure this was being discussed on radio two the other day and I'm sure Dr Fewtrell kept saying this was only a review of existing research and it just highlights the fact that further research is needed.
  • I agree with the comment about children of varying ages, with my first it was 3-4 months, my second was at least 6 months and with my third it's back to 4 months. I have always believed in baby led weaning, each of them weaned before 6 months with food offered after a full breastfeed, my first two eat anything and have very healthy appetites and my third, well he looks like he's gonna be the same!
  • I weaned my daughter at nearly 5 months and my son at nearly 4 months I think you just know when they are ready to try it, to me society or the government  should stop telling people what to do, its all about common sense.
  • do you have the name of the piece of research? it would be good to look through it.
  • I breast fed my 3 year old daughter exclusively for 5 months, then i introduced a 6oz bottle of formula last thing at night as she began to start waking every hour for a feed. I found this exhausting, and at times rather depressing to find that my breast milk alone could not suffice her ever growing appetite. Against the strict wishes of the health visitor i weaned her a week later, starting of with a few spoonfuls of baby rice in the morning, some vegetables at lunch time and then lastly at night a few spoonfuls of food and either formula/expressed breast milk. I can honestly say there was a massive improvement and she became a much more settled baby, sleeping from 7pm-7am and no longer waking for night feeds at 2,3,4 and 5am! Sometimes it is just best to trust your instincts and wean your baby when you feel it is appropriate. As long as you don't wean before 17 weeks gradually introduce foods then surely there isn't a problem.
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