Friday, 11 March 2011

The Weaning Stage: My Story

At the age of just 5 months old my son started to push me away and refuse to feed from the breast. At first I took this as him saying he wasn't hungry, but when he barely fed at all I started to wonder if I was doing it wrong. It was actually the beginning of a new stage.

Yummy! It's HiPP Organic!
He had lost weight and the doctor informed me that he was showing signs of wanting to be weaned and also teething as well. I rushed off to buy all sorts of baby food, bowls, spoons, everything you require to feed a baby solids. We tried baby rice but he hated the stuff, so we tried what would be considered perhaps bit of a later food and went for tastes of mango, banana and even apple. He loved baby rice when I mixed it in with some banana! I had to go back to get him weighed again a week after his last weight check. He had gained the weight back as well as some extra, a dramatic change for the best that all of us were happy about. However the moment the Health Visitor asked what my doctor told me she turned. She went from being happy to hear that he was gaining again to acting as if I was some sort of Devil Mother. I was confused and asked what should I do now and she simply said "Well the damage is done now, continue what you are doing". I left very quickly as I didn't want anyone to see me crying my eyes out.

You see it's considered that at 6 months old weaning should start. This is actually a guideline and babies are different to one another, your child may not be interested in food until 6 months old but your friend's baby may have shown a desire to start weaning at 4 months old. Don't feel bad if your baby starts early and don't feel bad if your child starts later then your friend's baby. If they aren't ready then don't force them. However if they are ready and your doctor agrees then give it a try and see how they react.

I know what I did was right for my son. He gained the weight back as well as more on top of that, plus he was happier and less grumpy. But what if I hadn't listened to my doctor and did what the Health Visitor said? That is something I'd rather not think about.


geekmummy said...

Thanks for sharing your story - I really think some people take these "guidelines" rather too seriously.

We held off weaning the geekdaughter until she was 6 months, and the last month or so was a nightmare - I had to switch on to "hungry baby" formula to keep her going, and she was clearly no longer satisfied with her milk feeds. In retrospect I should have started weaning at about 5 months, but I didn't because I was following the rules.

This time around I was much more relaxed about the whole thing, and swore I would start weaning early if the geekson looked like he needed it. Ironically, he never looked like he needed it, so we started him one week before he was 6 months! Every child is different.

Jen - LifeWithLevi said...

Thank you for sharing. I'm just starting solids with my son, and he had the same reaction to rice cereal.

I host the weekly breastfeeding blog hop - this week's topic is weaning. Please feel free to link up if you'd like:

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