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Thread: Venting.... & Questions about solids

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Venting.... & Questions about solids

    I've been debating about whether or not to post this, but I can't get it off my mind & sort of need to vent a little...so here goes...

    DD is 5 months old (tomorrow) & EBF. She mostly nurses but takes bottles of EBM while I'm at work or otherwise away from her at feeding time. She eats 6-7X per day. From 3 mos til the last week or so she rarely nursed at night (she sleeps in her crib in her own room). For the last week - 10 days she has been waking up a lot at night & nursing usually at least once. She eats just from one side, usually about 8-10 min or so, but she's pretty sleepy. She probably gets 3-4oz from that feeding. I think she may also be teething (she's been clamping down on me a lot - no teeth yet tho thank goodness!) & was pretty gassy for a few of those nights. All those are reasons that I think she's been waking up more at night.

    DH and I have lost a lot of sleep in the last week (she almost always needs to be rocked back to sleep when she wakes up) & everyone is telling us that if we start giving her solids she'll sleep thru the night. I'm not buying it...I've heard conflicting things about that & I don't think that's a good reason to start solids. She doesn't really have any of the signs of "solids readiness" (according to KellyMom site). Our pedi told me to start rice cereal w/her around 5 months, so I was planning to start it soon, but I was hoping to wait til she was closer to 6 months. My gut feeling is that she's not quite ready, but maybe it's more that I'm not quite ready, KWIM? Her weight gain has slowed (birth was 6.14, 9.6 @ 1mo, 12.2 @ 2mo, 14.3 @ 4mo), so maybe she does need a little extra something? She's also gotten way more active in the last month or so, so I think that's why her weight gain has slowed. She's a happy, bouncing girl & seems perfectly satisfied after nursing. She usually goes 2.5-3hrs between feedings.

    Anyway, my MIL watches her for us on Mondays & this last week she just kept saying stuff about solids (DD was not even officially 5 months yet)...it was driving me nuts & really making me question what I'm doing. She was a pediatric nurse but did not really breastfeed herself, so I'm not sure how much she really knows about BF babies. I was tired & put on the spot, so I didn't explain my reasoning as well as I could have, but I hate feeling like I have to explain/defend what I'm doing. She's not the only one, my parents & others have said the same thing about solids.

    So...finally getting to my actual question...should I start the rice cereal sooner rather than later? Will it actually help her to sleep better? Is the night waking really a sign that she's not getting enough to eat?

    So sorry this is so long...just needed to vent a little I guess. Like I said, this has been bugging me all week. Just want to do what's best for my baby girl...

    Thanks to anyone who read this whole thing!
    DD, 7-2-2011, "Little Owl" nursed for 21 months

    DS, 10-10-2013, "Mr. Man" EBF and going strong

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: Venting.... & Questions about solids

    Its definitely ok to wait to start solids, especially if you aren't seeing any signs of readiness. I think the recommendations are to wait to 6 months anyways (although alot of pedis tell people to start at 4 mo), it depends on your baby's readiness I think. So I would stick to my guns on it. Moreso b/c IME, and in alot of others I've heard from, adding solids does not make a baby stop night waking (it certainly didn't for my baby).

    I'd just make a decision and then be firm about it with MIL. I've found my MIL is less pushy if I seem very confident about my decision.

    Your thoughts about more activity and slower weight gain are also pretty right on too, its normal for bf babies to put on a lot of weight and then have that slow down as they get more active.

    As for fixing the night waking..that's a tough one. I think they grow out of it and there are cycles of it going away and then coming back.sometimes there is an off night from gas or teething. sometimes you give tylenol and that fixes it (if its teething) but its hard to tell what will work for which night.

    IME its best to find a way to get the most sleep possible for everyone and do that. (ETA: for us it was with cosleeping, but others try other routines that work for them, just have to try things out until you find something that works for your family and your baby! )
    Can't believe I've been and a full-time SAHM to Elena (5/2010) for over 2 yrs!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Venting.... & Questions about solids

    The night waking is NOT because she needs solids. It is a developmental phase. She is probably starting or has recently learned some new skills, such as sitting up, crawling or has started with a bit of separation anxiety. It's NORMAL and most babies do it to one degree or another. Some are worse than others with night waking. And it does get better.

    The other issue is teeth. Those can be problematic long before you see them. They start moving around and hurt more at night and make baby wake up. Some teething remedies or medications can help. One of my kids got Tylenol and ibuprofen at bedtime starting at 6 months and going for a year or he didn't sleep at all; that way at least he only woke 9 times on average!

    I can guarantee is it not going to be fixed with a bottle. My fourth baby is bottlefed by necessity, and he wakes quite a lot at night sometimes.

    You can use your doctor to get off the hook. "Well, OUR pediatrician says to NOT give solids until she is sitting up on her own, has a pincer grip and can pick up food on her own and has lost the tongue thrust reflex."

    And research baby led solids, as you may find some interesting things in there. Rice cereal is really NOT a good first food, and you can find more info on how you might want to start solids, and thus keep her off your case, with some looking at BLS.
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Venting.... & Questions about solids

    with the PP. There's no good reason to start solids now if you're not ready and the baby doesn't seem ready. Solids won't make her sleep through- take it from the mom of a 19 month old who eats a ton of solids and still wakes 3 times a night! The slowdown in weight gain is absolutely normal, and rice cereal won't make your LO gain weight faster. Rice cereal is just plain carbohydrate with a few added vitamins and minerals, whereas breast milk has fat, protein, and sugar (a carbohydrate). If you want to gain weight, what would you choose: the rice cracker, or the milkshake?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Murray, UT

    Default Re: Venting.... & Questions about solids

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    The slowdown in weight gain is absolutely normal, and rice cereal won't make your LO gain weight faster. Rice cereal is just plain carbohydrate with a few added vitamins and minerals, whereas breast milk has fat, protein, and sugar (a carbohydrate). If you want to gain weight, what would you choose: the rice cracker, or the milkshake?
    exactly what i was going to say

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    Mom to Ezra 06/24/11
    and Rebekah 12/27/13

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Michigan, USA

    Default Re: Venting.... & Questions about solids

    I agree, agree....my LO started rice cereal at 4 months and it didn't do anything to help her sleep longer, etc. In fact, 5 months later, we're still up about every 2 - 4 hours...

    it's just the way it is....
    married since 2007 to the man of my dreams!

    had a water birth at home to my darling little girl born 2-18-11

    working full time &

    Cloth diapering

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Cleveland, OH

    Default Re: Venting.... & Questions about solids

    Rice cereal has no nutritional value. It's only purpose is to teach baby how to eat food off of a spoon. It is recommended as a first food because rice has a low risk of allergic reaction.

    The reason your MIL and others are pushing to start soon might be due to the idea that there is a window of opportunity to get your baby eating off a spoon, and if you miss it then feeding solids is going to be harder. Wives tale? I don't know. But that window is usually considered the 4-6 month range.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: Venting.... & Questions about solids

    Our (former) pediatrician also suggested that solids would help my son sleep better because "breastmilk isn't enough for a baby after about 4 months." I didn't buy that (thanks to the ladies here!!) and held off on solids until 6 months. I didn't feel my son was ready at 4 or 5 months (and neither was I!). He eats solids twice per day now, and he sleeps just as poorly as pre-solids! Don't let anyone (even a well-meaning relative) convince you to go against what your gut tells you about your child.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Venting.... & Questions about solids

    Look into baby led solids when you are getting closer to 6 mos. But no matter what, no solid food rivals breast milk nutritionally or calorically (sp?). If you are concerned about weight you could offer to nurse more. 3 hours is a pretty long stretch for a little 5 mos old
    Carmen-Noel mum to James born naturally 8/28/2010.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: Venting.... & Questions about solids

    I can attest from experience that solids will not make baby sleep longer. At least it didn't in our case. Our son started eating sporadically at around 4.5 months. He really wanted to and we let him self feed with bananas, avocados and sweet potato. After 6 months he really began to increase his in take of food, but his sleep got progressively worse until just recently when we started sleep training him. I know a lot of people here don't agree with sleep training, but I am just saying that it has been the only thing to change his sleep habits, definitely not solids!

    As for rice cereal, if you do use it at all, please consider making it yourself. Take a look at the boxed cereal and all the chemicals in them. Making it yourself is easy if you have a milling blade on a food processor (we use baby bullet and organic brown rice) and if you make a large batch you can freeze it.

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