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Thread: Questions about weaning and co sleeping

  1. #1

    Default Questions about weaning and co sleeping

    I have a 4 month old little girl who was very big at birth (11lb 11oz - just over 5kg) and I was told by pretty much everyone that I would struggle to breast feed such a big baby, although so far we are doing fine (thanks to the helpful advice of an LLL member when I was very despairing)! Once we had been exclusively breast feeding her for a while everyone started saying we would need to wean her early because she is so big. I want to hold off until 6 months but, having lurked on these forums a bit, it looks like quite a few people have left off weaning for longer than 6 months. I wondered if it really is likely she would need weaning early because of her size and whether I should even aim to start weaning at 6 months or should leave it longer provided she is happy feeding and gaining weight?

    My forum lurking also made me wonder about co sleeping. We have never co slept with our little one, mainly because I am paranoid one of us will crush her or she will fall out of bed! She sleeps fine - she goes to sleep between 7pm and 8pm then generally wakes at around 5am for a feed, falls to sleep pretty easily (generally rolls around mumbling to herself quietly for 5 minutes until she drifts off) then wakes again at around 8am. I am worried I should have been co sleeping and let my nervousness about her safety stop her getting more comfort from sleeping next to me

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Questions about weaning and co sleeping

    By weaning, do you mean in the British sense (i.e., introducing solids)? Or the American sense (stopping breastfeeding)?

    If the latter, most of us would encourage you to keep nursing! For the former, some people do delay introducing solids for various reasons. In the first year, solid food is primarily about play and learning, less about nutrition. The recommendations of the medical establishment are to introduce at 6 months, especially iron-rich foods, but there is a stream of thought called "baby led solids" where you let the baby start eating foods at their own pace which often means they aren't eating much solid food in those first few months.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Questions about weaning and co sleeping

    I was hoping to wait until 6 months to start her on foods together with breast feeding for as long as I can. I will have a look at baby led solids - it sounds really interesting

    My family and my husband's family keep saying she will need to be weaned partially or fully onto solids early (in the American sense of weaning off milk) because her size will make her hungrier than other babies her age. My husband was apparently weaned onto baby rice at 3 months because he was hungry all the time and couldn't be settled. My little one was really unsettled and hungry over Christmas which caused a lot of comments along the lines of her needing more than milk but I was determined to keep her off solid food while she was so small so she pretty much spent the best part of 2 weeks attached to my nipples and now she seems back to normal.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Questions about weaning and co sleeping

    Oh those relatives. There is no reason that a big baby needs solid food early. Stick with your instincts on this one.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Questions about weaning and co sleeping

    As for the cosleeping, I love cosleeping. But I wouldn't do it out of fear that you're doing something wrong now. If what you're doing is working for you, that's great.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Questions about weaning and co sleeping

    Agree with PP.
    Also, i wonder why would size (lenght?) of baby be a reason to wean? Because of supply? Do you have a supply issue? Of are you worried because she might get overweight thru bf?

    I have bf my son from birth (although not exclusively for many reasons not to the point here) and he is now 4yrs and 3 months old. He still nurses to sleep most nights. His increasing size was never an issue over the years, if that is what worries you in bf beyond 6 months. Their bodies become more firm each week and they physically feel firmer which gives you new positions. I suppose this might be an issue if she is very long but not yet so "solid".

    Re cosleeping, we coslept until 3 weeks ago, my son and I, not my husband he does not enjoy sleeping next to anyone ever. So there were only ever two of us sharing the bed which made it easier. In the beginning our bed was at the wall only with the head, and once he started to crawl I moved it into the corner and added a wwardrobe on the third side and placed a guard rail and a mattress beneath the remianing open side.

    For the first two months or so I used a sort of nest (you can actually buy such ring shaped pillows but I simply rolled upa firm wollen blanket and tied into an O-shape and laid him in there next to me. Once I got over the fears of crushing falling off etc I simply placed him on a lamb skin next to me. It was very practical in so many ways and you will notice so much more about the baby if they sleep next to you. And it is brilliant for night nursing.
    There are websites which describe how to safely share your bed in detail but I think the most important things are not to have too many sheets, pilows and blankets etc which the baby could roll under with their face or overheat from, and to have enough space (large bed) and secure it so once she crawls she wont fall off easily. There should not be any cracks, gaps between bed and wall etc in which their leg or arms can get lodged. I wedged rolled up sheets into the gaps to the wall.
    re crushing, i think the basic rule is if there are three in bed is that mum is in middle not baby, as mothers do wake up more easily.
    And if you are uneasy try making the nest with a blanket (but it should be a firm blanket and a firm roll-up so that nothing can accidentally cover babys face.

    Anyway, I would say trust your instincst. You are the mom, and no one else knows her as well as you do. If yo are happy to continue bf, don't let your environment tell you otherwise. If you lurk around here you will see how many found excellent coping strategies for wellmeant but unsolicited advice.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Questions about weaning and co sleeping

    forgot to mention - simply put your supply is regulated by demand. The more she nurses the more you will produce. So if she spent two weeks attached to your nippple she was basically making sure the supply increased and she will keep doing this and your supply will go up again and again.
    My family and my husband's family keep saying she will need to be weaned partially or fully onto solids early (in the American sense of weaning off milk) because her size will make her hungrier than other babies her age. My husband was apparently weaned onto baby rice at 3 months because he was hungry all the time and couldn't be settled. My little one was really unsettled and hungry over Christmas which caused a lot of comments along the lines of her needing more than milk but I was determined to keep her off solid food while she was so small so she pretty much spent the best part of 2 weeks attached to my nipples and now she seems back to normal.
    a lot of women I know did not make it past 3 months I too almost gave up at three months. It seams for many reasons this is a very tricky phase. But you made it!

    My husband comes form a line of bakers so when we spent christmas with them when our son was 2 1/2 months old my SIL wanted to feed him bread as they all had bread before 3 months...

    YOu are doing fine, don't let them tell you differently. I learnt eventually to jzst smile and thank them for asking and spout noncommittal friendly blah blah which sounds horrid but kept me sane

  8. #8

    Default Re: Questions about weaning and co sleeping

    Thanks for the help everyone . I should try to trust my instincts but, since she is my first, I always worry I am doing something terribly wrong! I will try to smile at the advice and keep breastfeeding for as long as she is happy and growing - no matter how many people try to pass me some baby rice or rusks!

    It does make sense that it is supply and demand so no matter how big she is there should be enough for her I suppose.

    With the co sleeping I will leave her as she is for now then but at least if she gets unsettled in future I have some pointers on how to do it safely

    Thanks again - that has made me feel a lot better

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Questions about weaning and co sleeping

    glad you feel better i believe it is totally normal for any first time mom to worry. Looking back I spent way too much time worrying but then there is so much one does not know until it crops up... and so many around who think they know.
    I used to answer every question like lamb about our sleeping arrangements and nursing and god knows what and only when I stopped supplying the info did the unsolicited advice dry up.

    BTW on my dad's side of the family there were no babies below 4,5 kg birth weight and some at 5kg and he had 6 siblings, anything less than 4 was considered unhealthy by my gran and all were nursed successfully untiln2yrs as she never tired to tell. Also both my brothers weighed around 4,8kg at birth (both C-sections at 7 months so they would have been even bigger if carried to term) and my mother nursed them each for a year and she says now she only stopped due to external pressure but not supply issues.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Questions about weaning and co sleeping

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*pippa View Post
    I
    My family and my husband's family keep saying she will need to be weaned partially or fully onto solids early (in the American sense of weaning off milk) because her size will make her hungrier than other babies her age.
    They have absolutely. no. idea. what. they. are. talking. about. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. The whole "big babies can't be satisfied by mama's milk" is a total myth. Milk production typically peaks in early infancy, which means that larger than average babies are more than capable of getting all they need- which, incidentally, is not more than a small baby needs! Breastfed babies typically max out their milk intake at 19-30 oz per day (reference: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/), unlike formula-fed babies who tend to take in increasing amounts of food as time goes on. So a 5 kg baby will need around 19-30 oz of milk per day, max, regardless of whether that baby is a brand-new newborn or several months old.

    It irks me no end when family members undermine a mom's self-confidence in her ability to do what is best for her and for her baby! I suggest letting your family and your DH's family know that their opinions on breastfeeding and solids are not something of are interested in. And I am sorry you had that rotten experience at Christmas! I am guess that your baby was unsettled by the change in routine and all the new people, and that's what caused her to be unsettled and extra-needy.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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