Friday, 14 January 2011

4 months and weaning onto solids

Yesterday was Snowflakes four months' birthday.

Today there's a whole debate going about when is the best time to introduce solids to a breastfed baby.

I look at her and introducing solids is the furthest from my mind, such a small baby, and I don't want to see her grow up any quicker than needs be.

Of course the research fails to mention that early cutting of the chord depletes iron stores by 33%, so if chords weren't cut so quickly, the whole debate would be nil and void, and we could simply sit back and let baby take the lead. It seems odd then that the headlines don't ask for delaying chord clamping rather than introducing solids between 4 and 6 months.

It's not that I'm an advocate of waiting at least 6 months. It's just that those headlines are confusing.

I've seen babies who were clearly ready for weaning in their 5th months, and I've seen others who only started on solids at 8 months because they were clearly not interested. Cubling was 24 weeks, and basically she watched me eat and grabbed the food off my plate. That's readiness, not shoving a spoon into a choking mouth.

Physiologically, babies are less likely to choke at 6 months. They are less at risk of SIDS. They are less at risk of an immature gut. They are thus also less at risk to develop food intolerances. On the other hand, if it's all about iron, I do wonder how you would feed red meat to a 4 month old. The link to gluten intolerance incidentally is based on a combination of late weaning and formula feeding, so it seems to me beside the point to create a link to breastfeeding and weaning after 6 months.

Above all, there is no evidence that the report is based on research that is conclusive. No new evidence, just a question mark, so what's the point of these headlines?

I've got a feeling that there is none.

I'll be back watching my girl and not worrying so much about when to introduce her to solids. We'll get there, and for now I'm enjoying the still puree free time.


- is slowly getting into a routine of naps, but still has lots of sleep vs very little sleep days. We had two evenings in a row where she slept for 2 hours, and I was rejoicing, started a sewing project and all that. Tonight we're back to square one and half awake cluster feeds all evening.
- still mostly hates car journeys, though sometimes will tolerate them (no rhyme or reason)
- quite likes her pram, though not today
- wants to be worn facing outwards when awake
- kicks her legs wildly when hungry or tired
- loves grabbing my hair, my necklace, my top
- loves chewing/sucking on fabric and eating her fists (until she makes herself sick...)
- will sometimes have a long nap in the pram now, or on the bed.
- loves to be played with and we can now even delay feeds with interesting play
- definitely laughs now, though it's a very special laugh: mostly without any sound, just a wide open mouth, occasionally accompanied by a quick dirty laughing sound. Very sweet.
- loves the bath, tummy time if not too long, and her big sister still gets the biggest smiles
- is still exclusively breastfed much to my surprise. I was determined to take things easy this time around and not fret about the odd formula feed. And look at it, the instant formula cartons and new bottles are untouched. I have no idea how often she feeds, don't watch the clock, I think feeding to sleep is the best thing since sliced bread and I'm only ever so slightly hoping that maybe the evening clusterfeeds (which are really due to overstimulated and tired baby that can't quite drop off to a good sleep) could become a thing of the past. I can see it coming though and am not too worried.
- is totally fascinated by lights



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