To wean or not to wean

I can’t believe I’m already thinking about weaning. Baby A is now 4 months old (exactly 18 weeks old).

As you know my baby started sleeping through the night when she was about 8 weeks old. I was blessed with full night sleep for almost 10 weeks now.
Well that stopped 3 days ago…when she started waking up at 2 am demanding a full milk feed.
Needless to say….i feel knackered!
So this is when I started wondering why this is happening!
The routine through the day didn’t change at all.I am still breastfeeding on demand so I feed her as much as she wants and no matter how often she wants.
This really makes my life easier. I’m not stressed at all and I’m not watching the clock to see when she will be do for another feed.
Some of the mums at the group think I am a bit silly not having a routine but it works for me.
I used to be so stressed with napping and routine when I had K and I just don’t want to do the same mistake.

One thing change though…she started to be more distracted when out and about while feeding. However i don’t think that this is why she started waking up.
She is still the happy baby that I told you she is.
She is still smiling and gurgling lots.

However as you can see from the video above she is dribbling lots.
We can barely make it through the day without wetting a couple of bibs and all in ones. She is munching on her little hands too. She finds this easier tan holding a teething ring in her hand. Well she can do that perfectly just yet.
I bought her a special glove with a teething ring called the Gummee Glove but until now it just proved useless as it just doesn’t sit properly in her hand and it keeps falling.
So yeh I’m sure she is teething too so that could be why she is waking up.

My hubby thinks that we should start weaning her though. She is a big baby and weighing almost 7 kg so he might be right.
I’m not so sure…I really really want to do baby led weaning as I think is the right thing to do especially after baby led feeding.
And with baby led weaning it’s impossible to start so early at 4 months.
The whole baby led weaning idea is to eat your baby feed by himself.
You say goodbye to mush and just hand your baby a suitable hand size piece of food. If they like it they eat it. If they don’t they not eat it.
But you just get stressed about it and you don’t cook separate food for your baby.
I remember that with K I started with mash at around 5 months slowly.
However by 7 months she started to refuse being fed and this is when we turn to baby led feeding.

I’m not going to start weaning just yet. I’m going to wait a week or two and see how the sleeping goes and decide after what I should do.

What do you think? To wean or not to wean my baby?

What did you do – mash or baby led weaning?
I could really use some advice now as I really need more sleep.

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  • MsXpat

    Wow sleeping through the night how great is that. NO such luck for me. I dunno what it is with my kids and sleep. In fact were baby girl who is now 4mth too use to wake twice at night now she is waking 4 times and with a toddler who is still waking I get less than 6 hrs sleep daily. I’m beyond shattered. My hubby mentioned weaning her too, but she has not shown any interest in food so I’ll hold off untill she is at least 5 1/2 months.

    By the way she is teething too and I love that glove. I’ve asked hubby to by one for our girl will let you know how she takes to it :0)

    • otilia stocks

      I found that keeping Kara active during the day makes her feel tired and the sleep is guaranteed. We struggled when she was little and enforced the evening routine and going to sleep at 7 and it worked. Hopefully we will manage this time too!

  • oana79

    Give her some baby rice or a healthier alternative(if you can find for such a small baby) before she goes down at night and see how she goes. Also, try to rub some Bonjela into her gums at night and see if that relieves her discomfort. Hope she goes back to sleeping through the night for you!xx

    • otilia stocks

      i am not sure about baby rice as i know that it can constipate little babies. She is 19 weeks old now and only a couple of months ago it was advised to introduce food from 16 weeks.
      we will see. hopefully she will get back to her own routine. it is only once a night so can’t complain..really!

  • Mummy Plum

    Given that she has been sleeping through the night maybe she is waking because she is hungry but alternatively, maybe it is teeth or just a growth spurt? (Wish I knew!). Is she showing an interest in food? I know mine gets quite frantic now when he sees his big brother eating. I have to breast feed him at the same time or he just cries. You could start gently with some baby rice mixed with breastmilk and see how you go? I’m thinking of starting at the start of May if he’s still showing signs of interest as he’s quite a big boy. He’ll be 5 months.

    I tried baby weaning with my first but after he nearly choked on a piece of banana I lost my bottle and went for the purees and spoon. He was perfectly happy with that. I may try a different approach this time, depends really how he takes to it – and if my nerves can stand it!

    • otilia stocks

      I think she is just hungry as she really eats when she wakes up in the middle of the night. And yes she is teething as she is dribbling like mad! Hopefully she will go back to sleeping through as she is a lot grumpier now 5 days in….
      She shows a lot of interest in food but i really think i should wait. My milk production increased lots too.
      A mum at the playgroup today told me that there is a 4 month growth spur – we will wait and see and she will be 20 weeks in only a week and a half.

  • ChildLedChaos

    It’s easy for me to give advice when not suffering from the sleep deprivation, but do try to stick to milk only until 6 months. There is a growth spurt at 4 months which is hard. I tried forcing a routine (baby cries for an hour because it’s ‘not time’ for more milk, not a good plan!) and started on purees with my first child; and fed on demand and skipped purees with my second child – and the ‘routine’ happened no more quickly with trying to force it (plus it was more stressful) than with following the baby led route. Babies don’t read the manuals and don’t know they’re supposed to fit a routine, they’re individuals who do what they do 🙂 Hold on, it will pass. Sleep will come back.

  • Cathy

    You know your own baby, if you think she’s ready to wean then she’s ready. You could always start with purees then switch to baby-led at six months. However at this stage, whatever age you begin weaning, it’s all about introducing your baby to tastes rather than ‘filling her up’. I’m afraid switching to solids certainly isn’t a guarantee to make you baby sleep through the night! At four months you will be offering fruit and vegetables, perhaps baby rice – breastmilk is still more nutritious and therefore probably more filling than apple puree!

    My daughter produced this pattern exactly. She slept through the night from 12 weeks to about 20 weeks then began waking in the night wanting feeding. She continued to wake up hungry until she was eight months and well established on solid foods. It took a while for her to really ‘take to’ solids and I had no intention of forcing her, we started on purees at five months and switched to BLW at six months as she began to refuse a spoon. Unfortunately that’s just babies! It’s exceptionally rare for a baby to sleep through the night without waking for a feed at this age.

    Just a note – it’s up to you of course but I think saying that not having a routine works for you is possibly incorrect – if not having a routine works then why are you posting asking for help? I don’t mean that maliciously, just that perhaps a routine is worth looking into. I’m also not suggesting alarm clocks and timers and letting your baby cry for an hour because it’s not time for a feed yet (????) but a simple routine of feed, play, sleep could help. At four months your baby will probably be wanting to feed every three-four hours. Even if you bf on demand (as I did) you can start each segment of your routine at three or four-hour intervals. Full feed, play, then nap. Top up with feeding as and when baby asks. Then try a cluster feed at night to send baby to bed with a nice full stomach. Try The Baby Whisperer for some excellent and commonsense suggestions.

    Good luck!

    • otilia stocks

      I know a lot about baby whispering EASY routine as i follow it religiously with my first daughter and i have to agree that in a certain degree it worked as by 6 months my daughter slept through the night – well going to bed at 7 and waking at 5.30.
      However i was quite stressed and didn’t do as much as i do now – go out, meet friends etc. I guess some of the things i kept and done without realising. My baby is fed when she wakes up and then play and sleep. Sometimes she sleeps 15 minutes sometimes 2 hours like this morning but i just get stressed about it. Sometimes i feed her because she needs a drink(i think sometimes babies are just thirsty simple as that).
      She also has a bedtime routine because she just demanded it. She loves her bath and then she eats lots before going to sleep for the night. I tried the “dream feed” as it worked with my first but with A it doesn’t. She simply doesn’t want to be fed and she doesn’t wake up no matter how much i try.
      Thank you however for taking your time to read and write me. Really appreciated.

  • Heather Lucas

    They have quite a few growth spurts during the first 6 months so it could be that so personally I would wait and see.

    We have been blessed with a sleeper too. TC slept through from about 8 weeks – he likes his sleep too much to wake up for food, even during growth spurts (he’s just gone 12 months now) – and I didn’t start weaning until a week before he was 6 months old. We have done babyled weaning this time (I did puree with my daughter) and it’s SO much easier. No sitting there spoon-feeding him and trying to eat myself the same time. He just joins us for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has what we are having.

    However, you can take all the advice in the world from people but she’s your baby and all babies are different. Only you know her and will know what is best.

    Best of luck 🙂

  • The Brick Castle

    I fed all 5 of mine on demand until fully weaned. There will be a routine there, if you write down a daily plan then you will see it, and can move it about a bit to make it work for you both better.
    My first 2 were fed baby food which I lovingly prepared (and bought). By no.3 I was a bit more relaxed and gave her all kinds of finger foods. 4 and 5 definitely had more finger foods and fed themselves more than anything else, but mainly because it was handy and they were watching their siblings and joining in with mealtimes. I wouldn’t get hung up on names and theories, do what’s best for you and your child. If you want to give them baby food then do so, but if they’re over 6 months and it seems better to give them a cheese sandwich then do that!
    Waking again at night is often a sign of being hungry and maybe ready to start weaning. Breast milk is digested really easily and quickly – that’s it’s charm. Giving a teaspoon of baby rice mixed with your milk will take longer to digest and keep them fuller for longer.
    You really do know your baby best, read advice and take from it what you think will work for you 🙂

  • My Froley

    Don’t let any other mum’s make you feel you should feed your child the way they think best. You know what is best for you. I fed on demand for our entire breast feeding journey. If your baby is feeding a lot and waking up during the night you can certainly try weaning. I did the puree method, and I have a friend who tried baby led weaning but switched as she found feeding the baby a lot better. Also if your baby gets distracted while feeding when out you can try putting a blanket over as there are no distractions and my daughter found it a very calm relaxing way to feed.

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