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Weaning at 9 weeks???

Ava is 9 weeks old now and is SO greedy. Shes on 6 bottles at 6 or 7 oz (hungry baby milk) a day and still doesnt seem satisfied. I have tried giving her rusks, baby porridge and baby rice and she loves it, it seems to settle her more than just the milk.

My mum says she started all 4 of us early and it never did us any harm.

Just wondering if anyone else has started weaning this early????


  • I think you should probably speak to your hv or doctor about it? It can be quite dangerous to start weaning too soon.

    I would've been far too scared to start weaning that early - the kidneys just aren't mature enough to cope with weaning at that age, and rusks are full of sugar.
    Also, if you put solid food in bottles it can really make it difficult for baby to take food from a spoon later on.
    Maybe it's just a growth spurt?
    I remember thinking this many times when my lo was younger, that he would be better with solid food, but it always passed eventually.
  • I started weaning Mason at 11 weeks under the supervision of my health visitor. I started 1 week on just a teaspoon of baby rice for breakfast. I did this for 2 weeks and din't start properly weaning him until he was 16 weeks at which point he was on 3 meals a day.
    I would speak to your health visitor.
    Mason weighed 15lb 5oz at 11 weeks old and was waking up 3 times a night for more food.
    HTH.x x x
  • I'm planning on starting at 17 weeks (as this is the minimum age by government guidlines) as my lo is so hungry and still wakes up so much at night. She loves calpol and infacol but not formula milk! I think i'm going to need to express milk to put inbaby rice to ensure it tastes sweet!

    I will do it very slowly though, building up gradually so she can be eating a variety of foods by 6 months.

    I was looking at info I had kept from training as a nursery nurse and 10 years ago the guidlines were from 4 months but no later than 6 months.

    Not only do you have to consider the effects on the digestive system but also the possibility of choking. I have been told that your lo needs to be able to move the food from the front to the back of thier mouths themselves for them to be ready.

    [Modified by: lisajoy on October 23, 2008 03:43 PM]

  • I, personally, wouldn't be doing this.
    As someone else has mentioned weaning before 17 weeks can be extremely harmful in later life for your daughter.
    Definitely seek advice from your HV or GP before continuing. Also rusks are full of sugar even the sugar free ones which is going to be harmful for developing teeth!
  • I think everyone has their own opinions on weaning & I know what mine is. It is in all the weaning regulation leaflets given by HV's that the dept of health do not advise weaning before 17 weeks.
    After reading this I decided, among other factors, that I didn't want to risk harming my daughter but it was my choice.
    If you feel your LO needs extra food before this time then you are the one living with them & it is your choice what you do but just like our babies, we too are all different & have different views on subjects! xx
  • I think also sometimes we have unrealistic expectations of what motherhood entails - my lo didn't sleep through until he was 6 months and woke a couple of times every night for a feed.
    Of course we want a decent night's sleep, but with a baby in the house that ain't always going to be the way it goes!
    So i just put up with it and waited until lo was 5 months before weaning. I don't necessarily think that it's a sign that they need weaning because they still wake in the night, especially not at such a young age. It's a personal choice but i'm glad i waited. If lo does have digestive issues or problems with obesity when he's older, i'll be happier knowing that i followed the guidelines. We can only ever do what we think is right and hope for the best.
  • . With regards to those of you thinking its harmful I spoke to both my GP and HV about this and they basically said it was a myth. They told me to do what I thought was best .

    Wow! I cant believe they told you it was a myth - I'm not saying that they are wrong but surprised they went against guidlines to tell you this!!!

    My Mum said I slept through from 12 weeks and that was when she started weaning me.

    The trouble is that 10 years ago it was from 4 months and in 10 years time the guidlines could be different again!

    Do you stick to the foods that are safe for early weaning?
  • Like most people say its up to you but would seek the advice of professionals such as GP and HV.

    My HV said to wean at 6 months and if i think baby needs more call her and she'll come round and advise. The earliest i have known people to starts is just over 4 months.

    I personally wouldn't as the babies digestive system is fully developed and i have been advised that it could lead to food intollerances as well. I'm sure some babies have been fine weaning early but i'm sure that some haven't benefitted. I wouldn't risk it but thats just my opinion.


    [Modified by: lixiedixie on October 23, 2008 03:58 PM]

  • I weaned Gabe at 16 weeks. I really didnt want to start that early but he was draining 9oz bottles and was so unsettled. I started slowly and he is only just having 3 meals at 23 weeks. He's been fine!

    Personally I dont think that 6 x 7oz bottles is a lot. Gabe was on the same at that age, but I knew he didnt need food. There is a difference between being hungry for milk & being hungry for least thats what i think!
  • Wow! Just shows what a tricky subject this is. My hv (well one of the millions at our place!) came to visit today to discuss weaning. Me and oh had thought of loads of questions to ask as we have NO clue what so ever but she just gave me a leaflet and said don't wean him until 6 months!
    I asked her how you can tell and got a woolly response (supose like other people have said it's different for every baby). She mentioned all the bad things tht could happen if we weaned him too early (obescity, asthma etc) and said I should really try to keep him on milk untill he is 6 months. I wasn't even thinking about it but now I feel really confused. It's no wonder people are unsure.
    I think at the end of the day our job as parents is to do the right thing for our children. If that means weaning at 9 weeks, 19 weeks or whenever then that has to be ok.
    Will be asking you all more questions when Alfie gets to that point-mind still not sure when I know!!!!!
  • Thanks! Grrrrrr............ to government targets!!!!! They are why I got IBS when teaching and went on maternity leave at the earliest time possible!!! My GP said at the time that he's so many ill teachers ill because of ofsted!!

    In the guildlines from 10 years ago, the foods that were encouraged were the same as they are now for so called 'early weaning' so nothing has changed there! I don't know when they changed?? Just that in stuff i've kept 3 months was considered early, not 4 months!

    Now, I think I will give Louise a little bit of baby rice at the weekend (is 15 weeks but 2 weeks late) as she is showing signs of being ready, I was just waiting because of the guidlines.
  • I don't actually think your LO is taking a vast ammount of milk - not an ammount which would make me think "my goodness they should be weaned". I know qute a few babies who drink that sort of ammount of milk. The thing which bugs the life out of me is, when i eat, posture is important, you have to sit in a comfy way for your food to go down smoothly. babies of 9weeks generally cannot sit unaided or anywhere even close, how would you get such a yung baby to sit in a comfy position for eating? even in a bumbo they'd be all slouched. If i ate all slouched over it would give me tummy ache!

    Medical experts say babies digestive systems arent fully developed until 17weeks and are very senstive and delicate before then. i understand they have targets etc to hit, and all babies are ready for solids at different ages but i dont think any baby is "ready" for it at 9weeks, even if it used to be done years ago, doesnt make it right. Even if your LO seems very hungry it does not mean she is ready for solid food, perhaps you just need to persevere with the bottles or up the ammount that is in them?

    [Modified by: linziMc on October 23, 2008 04:31 PM]

  • EmmaLou85 I totally agree I'm just repeating what my hv said and I was quite suprised.
    I'd heard about the worries of asthma and links with weaning etc but not obesity. Am sure there was a little scaremongering in there as its such a buzz word these days.
  • I must be a super bad mum as I weaned Mason early and put him to sleep on his front......All my family have produced healthy normal humans as they are old school and stick to how they were told. There is soooo many contradictions from past and present about what is best for baby. I am a strong believer that a mothers intuition is never wrong.x x x
  • melissa87,

    I don't know if you might be scared away by the overwhelming replies which might have made you feel even more nervous of the daunting job motherhood already is, but as a nurse I would say guide lines say blah, blah, blah.... But in that same sentence say they have changed three times in four years and I have never read a single study where a baby died because his mother was following weaning guide lines. So clearly there are many different ways to the same job well.

    Also my nan said when her children were born they were scolded if their babies weren't eating soilids by 6 weeks. And all of hers grew up healthy.. heck they all three each have a Phd and not one has an allergy or digestive problem.

    If your baby exhibits the signs of being ready to wean and is able, then if that's what is best for your family my best wishes for you.

  • I think you have to make your own descision as to what is best for your lo. Personally I will be waiting as long as possible before weaning Barney, as I did with Millie. I'm not convinced by the 'it never did me any harm' arguement though. We all grew up in a time when car seats for babies were optional, and obviously that didn't do any of us any harm as we are all still here, but is anyone suggesting that we stop straping our lo's in because we weren't? No, because we have learnt from all the children that were killed and injured, similar logic applies to weaning and everything else. Guidelines change because knowledge improves, not just at the whim of a bored government!
  • I would be trying to wait a bit longer. I know its difficult but at the end of the day babies are hard work and even with weaning dont always sleep through the night.
    I have checked Laurens Red book (she's 11) and the guidelines back then were to wean between 3-4mths. I also agree that these change because knowledge improves and studies are carried out now that weren't back when we were young when our parents were pretty much left to it.
    However, you know your baby best and know better than anyone else what you think is right to do.

    Must also add that I think to suggest early weaning makes children obese in later life is ridiculous. Its what they eat then that counts, not now.
  • well said bedhead i totaly agree with what you said there. I think New research and information from experts should be welcomed as opposed to shrugged off and shunned.
  • have to say i'm a bit on the fence with this one- i'm not convinced that 9 weeks is the right time, but....... i know of a number of people who have done it earlier than recommended,who's kids have grown up fine. i wonder that as long as you are sensible, (ie not beans on toast like i know someone who did!!), then your lo prob will be fine!

    mine were done at

    14 1/2 weeks (when 16 weeks was recommended)

    17 weeks (when 6 months, - would have done earlier but got stomach bug then temporary lactose intolerant)

    16 weeks exactly - with HV recommendation.

    oh, and dont get me started on the breast feeding police again!
  • Hi Melissa,

    I would say that unless your lo was draining 9 oz bottles it may be better to wait a bit longer, not so much because of DOH guidlines but cos you lo presumably doesnt have particularly good head control. I weaned Joshua at 25 weeks cos he wasnt a particularly hungry baby and even then he was only just able to sit in a high chair without sliding down lol!

    As EmmaLou said- only you know your baby and what your baby needs so you should do what you thinks best. Good luck with your decison and remember every baby is different xxx xxx xxx
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