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Sucking me dry - should he start solids?

  1. #1
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    Sucking me dry - should he start solids?

    A couple feeding issues...(sorry a bit long)

    1) My baby will be 5 months old next week, is completely breastfed and rejects the bottle. I was hoping to wait til 6 months to start solids, but his appetite lately is getting out of control. He is always hungry and I'm having to feed him every 1-2 hrs. All the websites I've read said that increase in appetite alone is not enough to determine when they're ready. But my son cannot sit on his own, doesn't have complete control over his neck(though mostly), still sticks his tongue out all the time, and grabs things but doesn't seem to have this 'pincer reflex'. But I'm just wondering if we should start soon because also his weight is not increasing as much as it used to. He has already doubled it, at 3 months in fact(and has always been in the 50-70th percentile), but now is lagging behind a bit according to the growth charts I have seen. So this, together with the insatiable appetite, makes me think he really needs more. How did you other mothers decide when to start solids? Do you think it's time?

    2) Related to the above, my son is now often getting impatient and frustrated if my milk doesn't let down fast enough for his appetite (which of course stresses me out and makes things worse). He has always been a 'one breast' kind of guy, but now he often needs the other side, which is fine, but then my other breast still needs to let down and this doesn't happen in time and then he gets all frustrated and then loses interest with most of his belly filled... but then he'll get hungry an hour or so later. Any advice on how to let down faster? How does everyone do both breasts when the baby has to wait for the second one to let down before losing interest or getting angry? And how do you know when your baby is finished with the first breast? I just assume bc mine pulls off a couple of times and then shoves his thumb in his mouth.

  2. #2
    southside852 is offline Registered User
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    i weaned my son at 5.5 months. He was breastfed for 4.5 months with formula supplements as well. When I nursed I always nursed both breasts for about 8 mins each side and then he would just detach naturally. I chose to wean him before six months b/c I was ready to and because I was tired of nursing and being a slave to my home. There were no signs for me to follow. I just did it and it was the best choice I made for both of us.

    In terms of pincer reflex - boys are always slower in the fine motor skills than girls. I don't think my son mastered picking up cheerio until around 7 - 8 months. I wouldn't worry about those skills - it will all come in due time.

    My advice is to do what feels right for you and your baby. You are both a team You don't need to go by numbers, percentiles and how others around you are advancing. A baby's weight always levels off at a certain point then picks up again. When they start to move as well - they are burning a ton of calories and you might not be able to see the weight gain as clearly.

  3. #3
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Even if you don't feel the milk "letting down" on that second breast, it's probably there already. My breasts both let down at the same time but one side was more noticeable than the other--but usually there is one side that "works harder" than the other (my experience as well as my BF friends')--for me it was the right side.

    Unless your son has health problems, just know that he's not "starving" even though he acts like he is. As far as him not packing on weight like before--he's probably going through a growth spurt--evidenced by his constant hunger and him "thinning down"--he's using some of that stored baby fat to grow taller and develop--it's normal.

    The best you can do is just do your best and if he's impatient, let him be impatient but don't react to it--I mean, yeah, it's stressful but I found that by just talking (sometimes to hear myself talk) can just totally make a stressful situation less so.

    If your baby isn't normally a loud, fussy crier (as mine was) I can see how him getting upset over something could rattle you--I listened to that sort of tantrum from the time my son was born so I became somewhat immune to its effects. But, in the beginning, just talking and saying things like, "Yeah, it's tough having to wait isn't it?" really helped me keep my sanity.

    About starting solids--why not experiment? It won't hurt to try at 5 months. It's not a complete "science" when it comes to starting solids anyway. I agree with southside--just give it a try. Start off simple with pureed pears or apples or even just a bit of rice cereal mixed with expressed BM. The worst that can happen is that you find out he's indeed not ready and then you just wait a couple of weeks and try again.

    I tried pears with my son at 5 months and he wasn't into them--I tried apples and he loved them and by 6 months he had fully started solids.

    Again, I agree with southside--it's about BOTH you and baby so he is going to also have to compromise a bit with you on the BF thing in order to make it work--lead the way and he'll follow.

  4. #4
    Lily.hk is offline Registered User
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    Hi,

    I also wanted to wait until the 6th month but at 5 months my baby was already showing interested in solid food. So, somewhere between his 5th and 6th month of age, I finally gave in and boiled pumpkin!
    Is your baby trying to grab your food yet? Does he wake up in the middle of the night because he's hungry?

  5. #5
    Matty is offline Registered User
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    Follow your babies lead. If it isn't successful there is no harm done.
    My first started solids at 4.5 mths and afterwards life was easier in every way.

    I automatically tried to start solids with my 2nd at 5 mths, because it worked so well the first time, but my son wasn't interested.
    In the end he began solids at 6 mths.

    Don't worry too much about pincer grips and things like that. There is no need for self feeding in the beginning.

  6. #6
    megan2008 is offline Registered User
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    I started my baby on solids early (around 4.5 months) because she was in the 90th percentile and ready. But, I don't think that solids will help your baby increase his weight, I would talk to your doctor about that. As for feeding, I would recommend a Bumbo Chair. I used that with my daughter because she couldn't sit up until around 6.5 months and even then she couldn't sit up for long periods of time. When you choose to start your son, you will have the reflux of his tongue and also don't be surprised if he starts gagging all very normal reactions. Hope that helps.

  7. #7
    wanfamily is offline Registered User
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    Mine was a similar situation. Totally breast fed, and a complete guzzler. (Completely shattering to keep up with!) He was always hungry, so I offered him rice cereal at just over 5 months. He gulped down the lot and never looked back. I think it really depends on your baby -let him take the lead. If he's ready, he'll let you knw when you offer it to him.

  8. #8
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    Ooh, thank you all for your ideas and experience. The poor kid was up once an hour last night - I'm shattered today. I guess for numbers sake I would like to wait til 5 months but that's a whole week away and if it's anything like last night and the past couple of days....!
    I will hold off a day or so to be absolutely certain it's not another (of his endless) growth spurts but I'm pretty sure it's not this time.
    And when I sat him at with me at the table the other day he immediately grabbed at my omelette and tried to put it in his mouth. Maybe it's a sign:)
    But you're all right - it's about me and my baby - we're the team now. Uh oh, I think I hear his tummy rumbling....

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