Anyone else feeling pressured to wean?

Hi ladies

Sorry this might turn into a rant but those I would normally turn to are the ones I have issues with. With current guidelines in mind (another contentious issue I know especially with recent media headlines) I am looking to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months BUT am also keeping an eye out for signs that my LO is ready to wean - he is nearly 5 months and already showing a few but not enough to take that step. He is also a very happy and content little boy who easily goes between feeds during the day despite a rather chaotic growth spurt. Anyway since the ages of only a few months old people have been asking when I'm starting him on solids and have politely told them my plans only to be met with looks of horror. Family members were advised a generation ago to wean at 6, 8, 12 and 16 weeks and find the whole idea of waiting horrific and I swear they honestly think I'm going to let him starve! The worst culprit thus far is my mum and it has driven such a huge wedge between us. Every time I see her she asks if he's started yet making comments about how other LOs of the same age are on solids and doing 'so well'! She even went as far as putting two bars of white choc in his xmas stocking (he was only just 4 months old and chocolate certainly wouldn't be high up on my list of first things to offer him). She keeps pushing and pushing and pushing despite me trying to justify my decision. Its even got to the point where I am not comfortable leaving him with her in case she gives him something solid to eat! I am in no way criticising anyone who wants to or has weaned from 4 months but I just know my LO wasn't ready then.Does anyone else feel like this? How have you dealt with this insane pressure - its driving me nuts! I want to wean when little one is ready and not when society dictates it!


  • You stick to what you think is right for your baby!

    I felt the pressure with my first, from family members who were used to earlier weaning, and NCT group friends who weaned early for no real reason and seemed to think my child was going without! I did start weaning him at 21 weeks, but in hindsight he could've waited longer - his sleep had gone very wrong but continued to for a while afterwards so that had nothing to do with needing weaning!

    With my second, I refused to give in to the pressure, and tbh there wasn't as much, I think because family could see I'd do it before and credited me with knowing what I was doing a bit - but you know best what to do with your baby, they might have had their own babies before but not yours.

    I planned to breastfeed dd exclusively for 6 months, but really intended to get as close to that as possible, and actually started weaning at 24 weeks - I thought she was showing signs, and her weight gain had slowed right down, and she's taken to it like a duck to water. She's only 29 weeks now, but she's doing brilliantly on 3 meals a day - we've moved quite quickly with it, but can afford to because she's older. To be honest, I'm finding it easier having started a bit later, her being so close to 6 months meant once she'd a couple of weeks of 'first tastes' she could move on to having anything as she was 6 months, no need to express for her cereal as she could have cows milk, no need to avoid meat etc, no need to buy expensive baby cereals - we're not doing BLW but she'll eat a sandwich if I hold it.

    In my opinion (and this is just my opinion), if exclusive breastfeeding til 6 months leads to anaemia, I wonder if it's because babies some babies are still weaned slowly at 6 months, so it's later than 6 months by the time they are eating meat etc - I do think weaning at 6 months needs to be done more quickly (ie straight to veg etc, rather than a while on baby rice) than if started earlier, so that babied is having 3 meals and a varied diet by 7 months.

    If you don't feel you can trust your mum to respect your wishes, I think I'd have to have a word with her, you could avoid leaving lo with her until she's weaning, but if she is likely to ignore your requests then there will always be something to worry you unless you address it -in my opinion (sorry, you might not want it!). She is your baby and things should be done your way - perhaps your mum doesn't realise how strongly you (rightly) feel.
  • Yes me! Mainly from the outlaws (isn't it always!). There is another baby in the family a week older than L (so 13 weeks) and they have started baby rice before bed. Plus their other granddaughter (5 months) is being weaned now so they are forcing it down my throat (so to speak). Even my mum thought we would start soon, and she is so easy going and careful not to pressure me. I know that when I do wean (no plan as to when to do it really, I'm going to play it by ear and do it when baby asks to do it) there will then be LOADS of opinions on HOW I should do it.

    It's hard to ignore but I try. It helps that I couldn't give too hoots about their opinion!!
  • Not pressure Per Se!

    lots of people make comments like "oooh she's ready for something to eat" and my mum is obsessed with the fact that she gets hungry when she smells our food (though she may be right there!).

    funnily enough it seems to be other mums at my baby group who have weaned theirs at 20 weeks or so, who are saying to me "oooh still not weaned"... i just say that i know she isn't ready, and their pressure makes me want to scream as they KNOW how hard doing this the 1st time is!
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