5 month old trying to wean herself?! x-posted in CLW. - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, DD showed interest in food about two months ago. I put her off for a couple weeks, but it was really clear that she was interested, and since she was also cutting teeth, I introduced rice cereal about 1.5 months ago. Yes, when she was 3.5 months old. I followed my Mama instincts on that one. I only gave it to her a few times (like 3-4 times a week)... I also sometimes gave her (tiny) bites of things like mashed potatoes, etc.

Flash-forward to now, and she DOES NOT want to BF between the hours of 5-9pm. She hasn't been getting rice cereal or any other food for the past few days, because my Mom took the 'big girl food' thing a bit far and gave her some mashed up carrots and noodles from some chicken noodle soup That led to her being constipated for two days, so for the past four days she hasn't had any 'people' food.

Anyway, the past couple days she hasn't wanted to nurse between 5-9pm, to the point where she arches her back and screams But I know she's hungry, because she reaches for my food, for one thing, and for another thing, 5-9pm has always been her hungriest time of day. So tonight, after trying to BF her unsuccessfully 4-5 times I made her some rice cereal with agave sweetener in it. She ate ALL of it, quite joyfully, I might add.

Another thing that's new in the past week is that she doesn't always want to eat in the cradle position. Sometimes she'll only eat if she sitting up (think straddling my knee) or standing!! She seems to only want to lie down to eat when she's sleepy.

*sigh*

So, what's up with her? Anyone else's baby start weaning themselves so early? Any advice? Thoughts? Anything? TIA

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#2 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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The "weaning" process starts the first time a babe has anything other than BM to eat/drink. Of course, the process can take months or years to complete. That said, starting solids early, as well as spoon feeding can lead to premature weaning.

Here is a great page from kellymom.com on helping getting babe back to the breast.. it has some great tips to try. Good luck!

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#3 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 09:32 PM
 
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I don't consider a child being spoon-fed rice to be weaning itself. For us a child is ready to eat food when it is able to sit up at the table, reach for the food off our plates and get it into their mouth (between 6 and 12 months for most babies). So to me you have weaned her early, rather than her weaning herself. Hopefully more experienced mama's will be able to help you reverse the process if it's bothering you.
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#4 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 09:42 PM
 
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It sounds more like a nursing strike than weaning. Nursing strikes are not uncommon, especially around that age.

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#5 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't consider a child being spoon-fed rice to be weaning itself. For us a child is ready to eat food when it is able to sit up at the table, reach for the food off our plates and get it into their mouth (between 6 and 12 months for most babies).
She was doing all those things.That's why I started the rice cereal. She's meeting all her milestones early so far

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#6 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 10:01 PM
 
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i cannot imagine a 3 month old sitting up and having steady grasp. My DD was more like 8 months before she was sitting up with enough stability to lurch and grab! Maybe she'll walk super-early too, my friend's DD walked at 8 months and it was so crazy seeing this teeny little babe toddling about.
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#7 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 10:04 PM
 
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She was doing all those things.That's why I started the rice cereal. She's meeting all her milestones early so far
Wow, sitting up unassisted at 3 months!? Amazing!

If she was doing those things, why not let her self-feed? That way she will be truly weaning herself, rather than you weaning her (whether that was your intention or not)?

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#8 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She was sitting up at about 3.5 months. I guess I haven't let her self feed because she's so messy! And guess what she started doing yesterday? Crawling! I'm gonna have my hands full with this one

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#9 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BabyMae09 View Post
She was sitting up at about 3.5 months. I guess I haven't let her self feed because she's so messy! And guess what she started doing yesterday? Crawling! I'm gonna have my hands full with this one
oh my! ds was always on the early side for everything too. crawled at 6 months, walked at 9 months, says 15+ words now at 14 months... he is into everything! good luck!

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#10 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post
It sounds more like a nursing strike than weaning. Nursing strikes are not uncommon, especially around that age.
Tell me more about this.

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#11 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh my! ds was always on the early side for everything too. crawled at 6 months, walked at 9 months, says 15+ words now at 14 months... he is into everything! good luck!
Thanks! Ha, I need it

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#12 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BabyMae09 View Post
Tell me more about this.
From Kellymom:
When babies abruptly stop nursing, it's a nursing strike - not weaning. Babies rarely wean on their own before 18-24 months, and self-weaning is almost never abrupt.

Will baby nurse while asleep or just waking up? This is usually one of the best times to try. You also might try nursing lying down or while walking around.

As long as baby is not nursing as often as before, you'll want to express milk to maintain your supply, stay comfortable, and reduce the risk of plugged ducts and mastitis.

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/babyselfwean.html

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...east.html#coax

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#13 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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Even if you do decide to continue weaning your LO, please don't sweeten the rice cereal. Mix it with either pumped milk or formula.

Could her teeth be bothering her in the late evening? Since she is early on her milestones and highly aware of her environment, could she find the environment you are nursing her in too distracting?

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#14 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 10:42 PM
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Is she nursing well the rest of the time? You mention the 5-9 pm time being the "anti-nursing" time. While I don't think rice cereal is necessary, I don't thing it is wrong of you to give it to her. If she is nursing well the rest of the time, let her have rice cereal at dinner, and then maybe try to nurse an hour later. I would suggest using breastmilk in the cereal though instead of sweetening it. Also, maybe at dinner only, give her a sippy cup with breastmilk in it. I wouldn't feed that to her, but have it available. Regardless of how long you dd nurses, she will most likely learn to use a sippy cup. All mine did at 6 months with water. My youngest is nearly 4 and STILL nursing so I am pretty certain the sippy cup didn't cause any early weaning.

That nearly 4 year old was walking at 8 months! And she was most proactive for "real" food too. But, she was my third and I hated rice cereal so she would sit in the high chair and attempt to self feed for a bit on cheerios, small pieces of banana, and small pieces of very soft carrot. I don't think much made it into her mouth--and really I think it was the idea of participating in the family meal for her. Sounds weird, but SHE really wanted to do it all with the family.

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#15 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is she nursing well the rest of the time? You mention the 5-9 pm time being the "anti-nursing" time.

That nearly 4 year old was walking at 8 months! And she was most proactive for "real" food too. But, she was my third and I hated rice cereal so she would sit in the high chair and attempt to self feed for a bit on cheerios, small pieces of banana, and small pieces of very soft carrot. I don't think much made it into her mouth--and really I think it was the idea of participating in the family meal for her. Sounds weird, but SHE really wanted to do it all with the family.

Amy
yes, 5-9 is the only time she does this. although it has been harder to feed her at all lately, unless it's nap or bedtime.

and i know what you mean about her wanting to feel like 'part of the family' by eating. anytime anyone eats or drinks anything, she's all over it!

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#16 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post
From Kellymom:
When babies abruptly stop nursing, it's a nursing strike - not weaning. Babies rarely wean on their own before 18-24 months, and self-weaning is almost never abrupt.

Will baby nurse while asleep or just waking up? This is usually one of the best times to try. You also might try nursing lying down or while walking around.

As long as baby is not nursing as often as before, you'll want to express milk to maintain your supply, stay comfortable, and reduce the risk of plugged ducts and mastitis.

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/babyselfwean.html

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...east.html#coax
THANK YOU for those links!! Looking back, I can see I weaned my DS, who is now 7, because I thought he was headed that way

I won't do the same with DD! THANK YOU

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#17 of 22 Old 10-30-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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All mine did at 6 months with water.
SNip
That nearly 4 year old was walking at 8 months! And she was most proactive for "real" food too. But, she was my third and I hated rice cereal so she would sit in the high chair and attempt to self feed for a bit on cheerios, small pieces of banana, and small pieces of very soft carrot. I don't think much made it into her mouth--and really I think it was the idea of participating in the family meal for her. Sounds weird, but SHE really wanted to do it all with the family,
#5 here is like that. She has been trying to stuff spoons in her mouth since she was 4 1/2 months old, so I started her at 5 months, when all the rest of mine started at like 8 months or older (one was 11 mos). She also has been sitting independently since barely 5 mos, crawling since 4 mos, lurching, grabbing, etc. for months, and is cruising now at barely 7 mos. All the rest of my kids walked between 12 and 16 mos. I just don't know what to do with this. I thought we'd be putting the gate up about now. It's been up for 10 weeks.

She's not really interested though, except for when the family is eating, then she wants "hers" too. Right now she's back off all food; will probably have some over the wkd.

(You can go back all the way off food, too! As long as she'll take it. But she can even go 4 hours without needing to nurse as long as you can do more nursing after that and before).
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#18 of 22 Old 10-31-2009, 12:07 AM
 
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Sounds like a nursing strike to me! The kellymom link has great advice.
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#19 of 22 Old 11-01-2009, 01:20 AM
 
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Seems to me like she's demonstrating a preference for one type of feeding and a particular time of day. It's a type of feeding you've introduced her to (whether that be rightly or wrongly), you're the mum here, you get to choose what you do about this.

Unfortunately you can't really tell at this stage whether it's going to be just for this time of day, or whether it will expand to other times of day.

My DD, who is now 4, I have one the same age as your too, was introduced to solids at 6months, by about 7 months we were giving her thicker cereal with more flavour in the morning (they were purchased mixes with names like fruity muesli) and she pretty quickly started refusing her morning nursing, which was pretty irritating, I wanted to lie in bed an nurse, not go downstairs and make cereal! She did end up self weaning younger than expected (18mnths), and I'm familiar with kellymom and all it says about self weaning v. nursing strikes, but this was on peculiar child who right from birth never comfort sucked, but this was still almost a year after her refusing morning nursing, so I took a long time for the refusal of one feed to turn into complete weaning. She has an exceedingly stubborn personality, if either of my other kids threw such a stunt at that age, I wouldn't give in!

Given your DD is only 5 months, you might find resources on bottle preference more helpful as mentally she's probably in a similar place to a baby who develops a bottle preference. For example, for the moment, to reinforce nursing you might have someone else give her solid food and you only nurse her.

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#20 of 22 Old 11-01-2009, 12:49 PM
 
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Given your DD is only 5 months, you might find resources on bottle preference more helpful as mentally she's probably in a similar place to a baby who develops a bottle preference. For example, for the moment, to reinforce nursing you might have someone else give her solid food and you only nurse her.


this is my thought as well.. it is much like a babe who gets nipple preference from too many/too early bottles. which is why the rec for introducing a bottle is not before 6 weeks.. where maybe part of the reason to hold off on introducing solids until after 6 months is to avoid "nipple preference" for the food over the breast.

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#21 of 22 Old 11-01-2009, 10:54 PM
 
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Thanks for the info- from a "lurker" here. My MIL just sent me a list of my husband's milestones (teething, crawling, first words, etc.) for comparison's sake, and it mentioned that he "self-weaned" at 7 months. On a certain day he abruptly stopped nursing (a few days later it lists that several teeth came in at once). She cautioned me against overuse/too soon use of sippy cups because that's what she thought caused him to "wean". Anyway, I'm trying to get familiar with nursing strikes (since that's what it sounds like he was doing) in case my similar-personality son tries the same stunt!

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#22 of 22 Old 11-01-2009, 11:20 PM
 
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Thanks for the info- from a "lurker" here. My MIL just sent me a list of my husband's milestones (teething, crawling, first words, etc.) for comparison's sake, and it mentioned that he "self-weaned" at 7 months. On a certain day he abruptly stopped nursing (a few days later it lists that several teeth came in at once). She cautioned me against overuse/too soon use of sippy cups because that's what she thought caused him to "wean". Anyway, I'm trying to get familiar with nursing strikes (since that's what it sounds like he was doing) in case my similar-personality son tries the same stunt!
That's really nice that your MIL would caution you against things that may cause early weaning/strikes! s up for supportive MILs!
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