4 month old - start to wean or try formula?

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by Mrs_Random, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Mrs_Random

    Mrs_Random Well-Known Member

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    My LO is 4 months old and I can't decide what to do.

    I have exclusively BF since birth but found the last few weeks that we have gone from feeding 4-5 hourly to 2.5 to 3 hours.
    It's almost as though we have gone back to day one!

    I feel like my supply has gone down, my boobs no longer feel full all the time, don't seem to get over full at night and generally feel "empty"!
    I am convinced that the contraception injection I had has buggered me up, not just supply but my hormones too, I won't be having it again!

    LO's feeds not only are more often but he's using both boobs all the time, and sometimes it's feels like I could do with a 3rd as he's fussing as though the flow has slowed right down and we would normally change boobs but he's already had them both.

    I have debated starting to introduce baby porridge or rice etc or should I try formula first and check he is getting enough milk before we go on to foods?

    I kinda feel like there's no point in introducing formula if I am going to start to introduce foods.

    Any advice??
     
  2. midori1999

    midori1999 Well-Known Member

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    You can feed as many sides as you like, eg. offer each breast more than once, as many times as you need to. Your supply will quickly increase to meet your baby's needs.

    My advice would be to trust your body, (plenty of Mum's of 4 month olds would think that 2 1/2 hourly feeding was great!) and just keep BF your baby. If they have plenty of wet and dirty nappies, they are getting enough milk and if your bodu has sustained your baby for 4 months, it is perfectly able to keep it up. :hugs:

    Needing more feeds or feeding for longer are not signs that a baby is ready for weaning and at 4 months old, it could do more harm than good. 17 weeks is the minimum age for weaning, it's not advised. Very few babies are genuinely ready much before 6 months.
     
  3. summer rain

    summer rain Mum of 5

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    100% agree with this there is a huge growth spurt at this age as well and many babies go to feeding every hour so every 2,5 to 3 hours is good; it doesn't mean they are not getting enough, I made the mistake of starting solids with my eldest at 17 weeks (he also had reflux) and it didn't help, just made him more sicky and constipated. With my others they got to the other side of the growth spurt and spaced out feeds again and were not interested in or ready for solids until either just a few days before, or just after 6 months xx
     
  4. Mrs_Random

    Mrs_Random Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.

    I will keep feeding often and see how we get on, hopefully it will get better again.

    I think I finding it hard as he had fallen in to a natural routine and it's all gone to pot and I feel like I'm tied to the sofa again.
     
  5. Ozzieshunni

    Ozzieshunni Guest

    :hugs: I echo Midori and Summer. FF would not make LO feed less cause it's a growth spurt :)
     
  6. Tacey

    Tacey Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the others. It does sound like a growth spurt. The 4 months one is HUGE. Also, I wouldn't be too concerned about not feeling full. By 4 months in, your body has probably regulated really well. You might find you feel a bit fuller after the spurt comes to an end, but then you'll probably feel emptier again. Try not to panic, because your body will still be doing what it needs to. Just more efficiently! You may feel like you're glued the the sofa for a few days, but it'll improve again soon. Good luck!
     
  7. lynnikins

    lynnikins Well-Known Member

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    keep up a good healthy diet , add in some oats if you need to or mothers milk tea and plenty of water and sit down and feed, its a normal growth spurt ( it can interrup nighttime sleep patterns too ) it will pass
     
  8. Emmea12uk

    Emmea12uk The Folic acid police!

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    I differ from what everyone Says. My lo went from feeding 4-5 hourly and sleeping at night to 2 hourly feeding day and night. It lasted from 3 months until 4 months. Exactly the same thing happened with my son who was bottle fed. This time ebfing has made no difference. I tried everything, evening topping up with formula and nothing worked until I tried porridge. She rammed it into her mouth and ate every drop without spilling any. She swallowed perfectly and guess what? She slept through until 5am again. We are on day five and she has slept every night. She seems happy and at dinner time she seems to love her porridge. She is a sicky baby but this has got better, not worse. We have no constipation.

    I must add that she seems advanced in every single way and was a big baby. I fully weaned my son starting at four months but this time I am going to just do porridge for supper for as long as I can.

    My advice is, yes there is a massive growth spurt at three months but some babies have always been ready by four months. That was the advice for centuries until the government decided it caused food allergies. A mother's instinct is best. Although food allergies have improved since the new guidance, food allergies are still a relatively new thing and weaning at 17 weeks is not. Perhaps baby junk food and preparations, and over sterilisation is to blame? Have you seen the ingredients in jar food? I wouldn't feed it to my dog
     
  9. Mrs_Random

    Mrs_Random Well-Known Member

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    I will keep BF for a few more days, we have already been at the more regular feeding since last week, so I am hoping it doesn't last much longer.
     
  10. Tacey

    Tacey Well-Known Member

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    Just to add, the 3 and 4 month spurt sort of merged for us, and we had about 3 weeks of increased feeds and rubbish sleep.
     
  11. summer rain

    summer rain Mum of 5

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    This isn't actually true, up until Victorian times and even later than that in some places (and up until this very day in some parts of the world!) weaning onto solids occured at 9 months+, weaning at 4 months or earlier is a very modern occurence; starting well into the 20th century and in many ways it was a response to a huge jump in formula feeding levels and the formulas at the time being completely inadequate nutritionally and so babies 'needed' the solid food alongside in order to thrive and also to dilute the dangerous levels of sodium and other minerals in unmodified cows milk formula. From the 60s until the late 1970s the weaning age was actually six weeks; and it was advised to start with weetabix, we now know how dangerous that is. Then the weaning age was changed to 12 weeks at some point in the 80s but you'd still get some HVs and GPs advising weaning at anytime from 6 weeks onwards; and its only in 1996 the weaning age was changed to 17 weeks. It has now been 26 weeks since 2003 based on a huge body of evidence. It simply isn't true that weaning onto solids later is some new fad; it is actually how things have been done for centuries if not millenia. Whereas weaning at 17 weeks was in place for SEVEN years. I was reading one study that said in medieval times in the UK they had discovered babies were EBF until 1 year plus as well.
     
  12. bluey

    bluey Mum of 2 boys

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    I wish I had asked this question on here when I went through the same thing with Thomas. He went from sleeping reasonably well & feeding 3-4 hourly to feeding pretty much every hour day & night.

    My mistake was to ask my crappy health visitor for advice - she told me to give formula at night & to start him on baby rice. As a result my supply dwindled rather than increased to meet his need & I had weeks & weeks of stress around his seeming reluctance to take food from a spoon - now I know he just wasn't ready for solids! In fact he didn't really start "eating" until he was a good 10 months, by which time I was a frazzled wreck convinced I had the fussiest eater on the planet!

    If you want to continue to breastfeed, then just continue to feed on demand - your baby will tell your body what it needs to do!
     
  13. Ozzieshunni

    Ozzieshunni Guest

    I knew that wasn't right, what Emmea said about weaning.
     
  14. Emmea12uk

    Emmea12uk The Folic acid police!

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    It works for us and she takes porridge from a spoon like a pro. She snatches food from my hands too (I don't let her eat it). She had mimicked chewing when I eat for a long time. She can sit unaided pretty much. She still drains my milk after her porridge but just doesn't wake any more. During the day she is feeding 3-4 hourly. She is happy and contented. Every baby is different but I know mine was ready.

    As for what the government says - it is now researching and trialling introducing solids at 17 weeks again to prevent food allergies. I was asked to take part but didn't want to commit to weaning at a specific age. I wanted to start when the time is right for us.

    My son was the same and was a finger food pro by only 6 months. But then they both developed very early. I know some babies struggle with holding their heads at four months, let alone sitting unaided.
     
  15. summer rain

    summer rain Mum of 5

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    That isn't the government trialling starting solids at 17 weeks again but various different studies at universities that when you look into them they are funded by formula and baby food companies; not the government. The government reviewed the weaning age back in March and decided to keep it at six months after looking at various pieces of evidence old and new; at least that appears to be the case because judging on past announcements they have made-they would have made some type of announcement or press release already if they were changing it or were going to change the guideline age anytime in the next year or so. They also said back in January when the notorious opinion piece came out saying that it is detrimental for babies to be exclusively BF until 6 months; that they stand by the current age of 6 months. I'm not saying your baby was not ready but just saying to suggest that 17 weeks was the average or typical age of weaning for centuries until some new fad of 6 months came in, is totally incorrect.
     
  16. ashley2pink

    ashley2pink Mom to 4 girls

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    Its actually unusual that your baby went 4-5 hrs. Mine never have until after a year of age. At 4 months it was every 2 hrs still.
     
  17. Mrs_Random

    Mrs_Random Well-Known Member

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    Interesting.
    I BF on demand and he wasn't asking for it so didn't bother, maybe I should just be offering more often where he is looking for food or not.

    Yesterday seemed a bit better, he fed often and was happy and today was going well until this aft he wasn't satisfied, I offered both boobs more than once, we went side to side twice and I had to give up.
    I had a quick go at expressing to see if I could get anything out to give him but nothing, so I think he had emptied both well.

    He did settle and went 3.5 hours until his next feed so that got me thinking maybe he's being greedy, but can babys be greedy and try for more than they should?
     
  18. summer rain

    summer rain Mum of 5

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    No BF babies are never greedy; they will feed as much as and when they need to xx
     
  19. ashley2pink

    ashley2pink Mom to 4 girls

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    Like others have said it could be a growth spurt. He wont seem satisfied and your breasts will feel empty. The frequent emptyings will signal your breasts to make more. Nurse when he wants, even if its only been a half hour. After a few days he should resume to a more normal for him schedule. But it wouldnt be unusual if he kept on the 2.5-3 hr nursing schedule a while. Dont undermind your supply though, if he's wetting plenty of diapers then you're doing good!
     
  20. Emmea12uk

    Emmea12uk The Folic acid police!

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    The study I saw was for breastfed babies only. Studies don't tend to yield results for ages. They wanted to conduct allergy testing at one year old as well as other intervals. So the results will be in a minimum of a year's time. It was for ebf babies to start weaning at 3 months with allergens in their diet.

    Whilst I know my baby is ready, I dont advocate weaning early, only the freedom to say 'my baby is ready so I will'. Of course not all are ready. Not many babies are as strong as mine. She is very advanced.
     

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