Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

Is it time to wean my 4 month premature baby?

My daughter Tilly was born 11 weeks premature and weighed just under 3lb. She now weighs 9lb 13oz and is 4 months old. I am wondering when I should introduce solids – my health visitor is not sure.
What is the normal pattern for babies to sleep through, ie do I need to wake her up at 10/11pm instead of letting her wake up naturally? This can be anything from 9.30pm to 2.15am! Is the 10/11pm feed the last one to drop and would you expect to see them sleep until 5am first before stretching to 7am?
Tilly always cries and moans when she gets tired, about 1.5 hrs after a feed and will not just go off to sleep, she has to be cuddled during the day, and always wants a top-up of milk. Why is this? She is formula-fed on Cow & Gate Nutriprem 2.

In order for Tilly to sleep her longest stretch in the middle of the night it is better to wake her at 10/10:30pm, rather than to wait for her to wake naturally. At her present weight she is now capable of sleeping one longer stretch. If she is woken and feeds well at 10/10:30pm she should begin to stretch herself towards 4-5am. From your sleep diary it would appear she is beginning to lose interest in a feed at 3am so is already showing signs of being able to go longer. Let her sleep a five hour stretch if possible at this time. If she begins to lose interest in her 7am feed you can begin to cut back very slowly on her 4/5am feed. She may push herself later and later or just not wake for a night feed once she is taking more formula in the day.
Every baby has a slightly different pattern of sleeping through. Some need a small top-up at 7:30am if they feed well at 5am. This will keep them on track for the rest of the day. Some babies begin to lose interest in a night feed and can be settled with a cuddle or water if they stir themselves at 4/5am. It is important to increase their daytime feeds when this happens so the ounces they would have taken in the night are not lost.
As Tilly was 11 weeks premature, I would be inclined to leave introducing solid food until she is nearer 6 months. Her digestive system is still quite immature and not yet able to cope with the strain on her gut and kidneys. Physically she needs to have good head and neck control so she is able to sit upright supported in a chair to be fed. She needs to be able to swallow food easily by pushing it from the front to the back of her mouth. She will only be able to do this if supported upright.
Her weight needs to be nearer that of 12-14lbs, and she needs to be showing signs that she is ready for more than milk before considering introducing solid food.
Being able to only last 1.5 hrs awake is quite normal for a baby of Tilly’s size and prematurity. Watch her carefully for the first signs of tiredness. Try to have a 15-20 minute wind-down period of quietness with her before putting her down to sleep. Many babies do cry before sleep, but if you know she is well fed and winded then it is best to let her learn to settle alone. This may take 10-15 minutes, but as long as she is not overtired she will learn how to settle alone in time.
As Tilly often only seems to take 2-3ozs at her feed her need for top-ups is real. Have you tried an Avent variflo teat which may enable her to drink more as she will be sucking at her own rate. I have also had success with Tommee Tippee Variflo teats which fit Avent bottles and are slightly softer.
Having a baby as premature as Tilly is hard work. You need to allow her time to catch up with babies of her age which she will do, but she may lag behind in terms of feeding, sleeping and weaning for her first year-18 months of life. As long as she continues to put on weight the way she is doing, then all the other things such as sleeping through will gradually fall into place.

Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

Since weaning, my 5-month-old son needs feeding in the night

Until recently my 5-month-old son was going through the night, or waking for a short feed at 2am. I would skip the late feed in preference of a 2am feed, which he was starting not to need. Having recently cracked the lunchtime nap and begun to introduce solids, as specified in the Weaning book, all seemed to be going well. He was a very contented baby.
In the last week however, his night time wakings have returned, he is waking 2 or 3 times in the night again and is very hungry on each occasion. It seems he is gradually drinking less and less from the breast in the day and more at night.
In the last month he has refused the occasional evening formula feed and will now only accept the breast. Should we lessen the amount of solids we are giving him?
At present he has a breast feed at 7.30am, 11.30 am, 2.30pm, 6pm. He also has baby porridge at 8am, a selection of vegetables at 11.30am between each side of his breast feed, baby rice and pear at 6pm. He weighs 17lbs.

Getting the balance of solids against the milk intake in the early months of weaning, is crucial to prevent excessive night-time wakings and hunger.
Until solids are well established, your son will need a feed at 10pm. If he won’t accept formula from a bottle, then try offering expressed breast milk. If he finds it difficult to accept a bottle from you, then ask your partner to give it to him. Many babies will accept a bottle from someone else, as they associate feeding from the breast with you. Once he accepts a bottle well from someone else, then you can begin to offer it to him. By cutting out this feed he is losing at least 5-6ozs of milk from his daily intake, which is now causing him to wake at night. If you begin to express this feed, you will be able to see how your own supply is.
The first stage of weaning is more about tasters than fillers, so it is important not to increase the amount of solid food you give your son at the expense of his milk intake. He will be needing at least 30-35ozs of milk during the day between 7am and 11pm.
In your notes there are no amounts of solids given but as you have been following the weaning guide, check carefully the amount he is receiving compared to the amounts recommended for his age.
In order for him to still take a good feed at 11am, cut back on the amount of cereal you offer him at 8am. If you are aware that he is not so hungry at 7.30am and you have reintroduced the 10pm feed, then begin to cut back on the amount he takes in the night, to make him more able to take a good feed when he wakes.
Once you have reintroduced the 10pm feed you will probably find he is more able to go longer in the night. Begin to implement the “core night” method as explained in The Contented Baby Book (p148-149), and The Complete Sleep Guide (p44), to drop these feeds again. This means you gradually stretch him out again as long as he continues to feed well by day.
The 11am solids should be a balance of carbohydrate and solids, such as potato mixed with a green vegetable, again follow the combinations set out in the weaning guide, as they have been constructed to give the right balance of nutrients.
Some babies take well to solids and seem to enjoy eating from a spoon but you must take care that your son still is given most of his milk feeds before solids, so he does not cut back too quickly by day.
Making the changes as outlined should help him stop needing to feed in the night ,and so increase his appetite by day.

Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

Since birth my baby has been slow to gain weight, but is content

My son has always had quite slow weight gain (4oz a week on average) but is perfectly contented and happy. He feeds and sleeps really well. My H.V. made me worry that this wasn’t enough and advised drastically increasing the amount of solids he is eating. I am following Gina’s weaning book guidelines religiously and I am confused about whether increasing amounts too quickly is a good idea. Could it put him off his next feed or reduce the amount of milk he is taking? I am on day 13 of weaning, and would like to know whether increasing the amounts given is a good idea, and if it is, which feeds should be increased and by how much. I feel like he would definitely like more at each sitting as he cries and looks annoyed when it is all over! I am so worried about doing it wrong, that I feel like I’m not doing it right!
At present my son weighs about 15lbs. He is exclusively breast fed and weaned at 18 weeks. At present he takes 1 cube of vegetable at 11am and 2 tsp baby rice with 1 cube of pear at 6pm. He has a small drink of juice at 4pm. He takes 5 feeds a day, at 10pm he takes 7.5oz of expressed milk.

In order to maintain the right balance of solids and milk for your son, begin to increase the amount he is given at lunch time to 2 cubes. Once you begin to offer carbohydrates such as potato mixed with a vegetable, 2 cubes at least will be needed at this time and gradually you can increase the amount given as your son grows.
In the early stages of weaning it still is important to offer milk first so your son does not cut back too much, but in the second month of the plan you will see that the “tier” method is introduced where only half the milk is given, followed by solids and then milk offered at the end if still wanted.
As “lunch” increases, the milk offered at this time very gradually decreases. By 6 months when protein is introduced, this feed will be replaced by water or well diluted juice.
Begin to offer 1-2tsp more rice at 6pm but also increase the amount of pear and apple that is offered to prevent constipation.
Whilst maintaining a steady weight gain is important, every baby has their own individual rate. This is especially true for breast-fed babies who may not always gain weight in steady amounts on a weekly basis, unlike many formula-fed babies. Be guided by your son’s needs. As long as he remains content and sleeps well then offer him a small amount more at mealtimes, as he is obviously enjoying his solids.

Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

What is the proper balance of milk and solids for my 6 month twins?

I am just a little confused about what the balance of my twin boys’ milk/solids should be, as they are being introduced to solids later. In the weaning book it starts at 4 months i.e. still offering the milk first followed by 1tsb of baby rice etc. Should I be offering more solids to my boys than the book suggests for 4-5 months, as they will be 6 months next week. In the book it says they should be on 3 meals a day by 6 months and cutting down on their milk intake.
At present they have 1 cube of carrot puree at 11am and 2 tsp baby rice mixed with 1 cube of pear at 6pm.

Now that the weaning guidelines have changed, many babies are being introduced to solids later than before, when 4 months was the suggested age to begin. This means that the whole process needs to be speeded up. To do this introduce a new food every two days or so, always watching for any reaction. The amount you offer should also be increased from those in the 4-5 month routines. Use 2 cubes and offer the boys as much of this as they seem able to cope with. To begin with they will probably take about 1½ cubes at a time. Your boys should now be able to progress to the “tier method” used in the fifth month at their 11am feed. See a description of this on p18 of The Contented Little Baby Book of Weaning. This is when half their milk is given before the solids and then offered again once they have had their vegetable or fruit. It means they will begin to take more solids and cut back on their milk in preparation for the sixth month when protein is introduced at this feed and the milk feed dropped.
At 6pm offer them 3-4 tsps of baby rice mixed with the either pear or apple. If they show signs of constipation with the rice, then add a little more fruit but not a great deal more, as too much fruit may be a cause of dirty nappies in the early morning.
By 6 months a baby’s iron reserves laid down at birth will be running low, so iron-rich foods such as formula (if being used), beans and lentils, broccoli and other green leafy vegetables need to be introduced. Once your babies are used to digesting these foods in reasonable amounts, it is important to progress quickly on to animal-derived foods. Iron is absorbed much better from animal-derived foods such as fish, chicken and red meat than from plant sources. If you wish to follow a vegetarian diet you will need to seek the advice of your doctor.
In general, be guided by your sons and their overall well-being. If they remain content, sleeping well and enjoying their solids, then begin to increase their amounts and the wider range of tastes more quickly, so they will be well used to taking solids in their sixth month

Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

Despite being weaned my 18 week son still wants a feed in the night

From around 12 weeks, my son started to sleep from his 22:30 feed, which he still has, to somewhere between 05:00 and 07:00. Around 15 weeks, however, he started waking again in the night. I have tried to put him back to sleep or give him a dummy to suck, but to no avail because he seems extremely hungry. He now wakes between 03:45 and 04:30 as a matter of routine and consumes effortlessly, a whole 8oz bottle of formula! As I have to be up for work at 05:30, the night waking is very exhausting.

After trying hungry-baby formula (a disaster, as it did not agree with him), the health visitor gave us the go-ahead to wean at 17 weeks. We are now in week two of weaning and my son now has solids (pureed banana, baby rice, or gluten free cereal) at two feeds (14:00 and 18:00) and takes 4/5 teaspoons at a time. While we are guided by how much he wants to eat, I am concerned about giving him too much as the advice leaflets talked in terms of starting off with one spoonful of solids. There is, however, no appreciable difference to his appetite or night hunger.

Is it just a matter of time until my son’s diet gives him enough nutrition to be able to sleep through the night again or is there anything we are doing wrong or could do better (e.g. should we be feeding more solids)? By day he is receiving 5x 8oz feeds and the one in the night giving him a total of 48ozs. He weighs 18 lb 1.5oz.

Weaning your son needs to be done with his nutritional needs in mind. Milk will still be the main part of his diet until he is nearer 6 months. It would seem that your son is a bit of a milk addict though, and cutting back on the night bottle will help increase his appetite in the day, which will be met by the solids he is receiving.
The best way to do this would be to dilute the feed down. Begin by diluting a bottle by 1oz. So for 8ozs of water add 7 scoops of powder. Each night dilute the feed by 1oz more until it is only 1 scoop of formula to the rest water. He may need a slightly larger feed on waking to make up for these “lost” ozs. Make his first bottle of the day 9ozs. After a couple of nights, if he is still taking the very dilute feed, try to settle him with plain boiled water if he wakes. This may take a while but it is important to be consistent and not go back to waking him. Once the feed is eliminated you can begin to use the controlled crying method to get him to settle back to sleep should he wake, if you know that hunger is not the cause of him waking.
In order to balance his milk needs properly, so he does not begin to cut back too much, it would be better to move his solids to 11am and 6pm. Giving solids at 11am makes it easier to work towards a structure of three meals a day. Most babies wake at 6-7am and so will be given breakfast when introduced about 7.30/8am. As they begin to need more solid food, they will be unable to wait until 2.30pm for their next “meal”. They may demand more milk at 11am which will decrease their appetite for solids at 2.30pm or they will wake hungry during their lunchtime nap. Offering too much solids at 2.30pm can also have the knock-on effect of them cutting back too much at 6pm and therefore waking before 10pm. So you can increase the amount he has without this happening; just move the 2.30pm solids back to 11am.
Which foods are introduced is also important. If you are unsure what to give your son, look at The Complete Weaning Guide which will show how to structure both the amounts and the introduction of different solids to allow your son to be introduced to a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. As to the amounts that you give him, following a guide such as this will help you increase the solids in the right way.

Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

How do I structure milk and solids to help my 4.5 month sleep through?

My daughter slept through the night from 12 weeks on for about 2 nights a week on average. I was hoping that once I introduced solids she would sleep through consistently. I started her on baby rice at 17 weeks and when we moved the 2tsp rice to the evening she slept through for 5 nights in a row. Then she suddenly started waking again between 5:30- and 6.30am. Because it was so close to 7am I resorted to give her the dummy because she fell asleep straight away until woken at 7am. I also introduced the dummy in the afternoons, where she gets really fretful sometimes, to calm her which worked. So she has been used to the dummy for about 4 weeks now. Suddenly she started waking around 4am and I refused to give her the dummy then, because I think it will just make things worse. I am sure she doesn’t wake because of hunger because she hardly takes 6oz at 7 or 7.30am.

My other problem is that I can’t get her to take full bottle-feeds. She will take 5oz happily but the rest is usually a struggle. I usually try to feed her the rest 20min later so she will sometimes get 7oz but she also brings up a little milk a few times after the feed, so I am afraid of overfeeding her. I hoped that when I reduced the amount at 10.15pm she would take more in the morning and we were down to 6.5oz at 10.15pm but she still only took 6oz at 7:30am. For 10 days now she is waking nightly but still takes no more than 6-7oz with a struggle in the morning. I have taken the 10.15 pm feed down to 4.5oz but she still takes no more at 7am. The last 3 days I tried controlled crying when she wakes, and I am not giving the dummy at all anymore. She still wakes at night (usually after 3am). Her daytime naps are good, sleeping at 9-9.45am, 12-2.15pm, 4.15-4.35pm

I try to feed 4-5oz at 5.30pm followed by 4tsp rice mixed with 1 cube pear or apple as suggested in the weaning guide. After the bath at 6.45pm she takes anything from 2-4oz. She is always very tired then. I even tried putting her down earlier (6.50pm), but she is still very tired even with her 20- or 30min nap in the afternoon. I fed her on Cow and Gate formula for hungrier babies, but on my search for answers to her probably not taking enough milk and not sleeping through, I read the case study of Antonia 12 wks and I realized she shouldn’t be on that formula, so I switched to SMA Gold. The nursery is pitch-black and the only noise are the birds outside in the morning.

She takes on average 30-34oz a day (without rice). She weighs 15.14lbs. Should I begin to increase her night-time rice to 5tsp as stated in the plan? Or should I stick with the solids she has now, waiting for her to catch up, or reduce them to see if she takes more milk? I am scared she will wake even more then. I have not fed her before 7am since 16.5 weeks because after waking she was always happy to lie in her cot once I got her up and didn’t take a full feed. Because I started controlled crying, I increased the amount I give at 10:15pm to 6oz again.

The amount of milk your daughter is drinking in the day is about the average amount for a baby being weaned onto solids. The milk used to mix her rice counts towards the daily total. Until she is onto more solids she will still need her 10pm feed. Getting her to take slightly larger feeds in the day may help her get through the night better, but it appears not to be a hunger problem, more one of settling herself back to sleep in the early hours.

It may be worth changing her teat to a Variflo for Avent bottles rather than no3 which may be flowing too fast for her. She is able to control the flow better with a variable teat and this could encourage her to take more. Continue to use a 20 min gap when feeding her, as some babies do not like to take the whole feed in one go. If you can get her to take between 5-6 ozs at her feeds she will getting enough milk by day.

Increase her solids very slowly and watch that her milk intake does not drop any more. Always offer her the milk first so she takes only the amount of solids that she needs, and will not cut back too quickly on her milk intake. During this first month of weaning any solid food you give is in addition to the milk, not a replacement for it, so be guided by your baby who appears to have a smaller appetite than some and may increase at a slightly slower rate. Increase her rice at 5.45pm but only if she continues to take 3-4 ozs milk at 6.45pm. Bring her bath time forward to 6.15pm and see if she is less tired and more ready to feed about 6.30pm. Putting her down slightly earlier should help her from falling into an exhausted sleep.

At 10pm keep her up slightly longer than at present, which only seems to be about 15 minutes. Make sure she is fully awake before offering her the bottle. Give her a short break of 15-20mins halfway through and let her have a quiet kick. Once changed, lower the lights and finish the feed. If this has the effect of her waking less early in the morning then continue to follow this routine. Once she has been sleeping nearer to 7am for at least a week then you can begin to cut back by 10 minutes or so every few nights, until she is only up for about 30 minutes.

Ensure that she is well tucked in at night, using a sheet lengthways over a lightweight sleeping bag so you can be sure that her waking is not due to her waking herself up with her Moro reflex which could still be quite strong. As she still is having a 10pm feed and not desperately hungry at 7am, getting her to settle using controlled crying is your best option.

Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

Despite being hungry my 4.2-month-old son is refusing all solids from a spoon

My son has always fed extremely well (on milk); He is currently drinking 8oz at 7am, 11am, 2.30pm and 6.15pm. He went onto the CLB routine very well and dropped his 10pm feed 10 days ago with no problem, sleeping from 6.45pm until 7.30am without waking up.
At 18 weeks I decided he should have some solids, also due to dropping the 10pm feed (where he was having 5oz), as he was starting to become fractious half an hour before his feed were due. He weighs 17lbs.
I started with baby rice and he refused to accept the spoon, instead sticking out his tongue in a rigid fashion, which makes it impossible to get the spoon between his tongue and upper gums. I left it a couple of days and tried again. It has now been nearly two weeks and he is still refusing to let the spoon into his mouth, despite trying pear as an alternative food.
I had thought that this might be the reflex that makes them push foreign objects out of their mouths still working and that I should leave it a couple of weeks and try again, as I do not want him to gain a nervousness of a spoon at this early stage, however he is clearly hungry and in need of more food, but he is taking his maximum amount of milk at each feed. Should I re-introduce the 10pm feed for a couple of weeks and then try again? I am loathe to do this as I am enjoying him sleeping 7 until 7 and don’t want to revert. What would you suggest?

Until you can get your son more happy about taking a spoon, it would be advisable to offer him his 10pm feed again. When you stopped giving it to him did you split those lost 5ozs amongst the other feeds? Some babies do take a while to get used to a spoon and until well established on solids need a fifth feed. By losing it completely, rather than cutting back on it slowly as he increased eating solids, he will be hungry in the day.

Give him another week before trying with a spoon again. Remain really positive and offer him the food with a smiling face and encouraging words. You may need to distract him before offering him the spoon. Try waving a toy or a rattle in front of him and then quickly put the spoon in. Don’t place it in too far, bring it up and out against the roof of his mouth so his upper gums suck it off, encouraging him to feed. The theory behind the distraction is that a baby will suck on anything which is placed in his mouth, provided that he has not decided in advance that he doesn’t want to. Being distracted by a toy helps take his mind off what you would like him to do.

Once he has begun to accept a spoon into his mouth, he may take the food but spit it out. It may not mean that he dislikes it, but it is a different taste to milk and he will react to that. Keep offering food to him in an encouraging way. Once he has realised that he can get food in another way than by a bottle, he will probably begin to enjoy his solids.

Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

My of almost 6 months daughter has started to wake at night since starting solids

I have been following the CLB weaning guidelines to the letter, and all was going great till about a week ago, when my daughter started to wake up in the night with a dirty nappy and what sounded like wind. I have been trying not go to her and letting her get herself back to sleep. She was really quite good at getting herself to sleep but now she seems to be really struggling and cries for about an hour which makes me think it might be wind. I started weaning her quite late (5 months), as we were travelling in the UK (we are currently living in the US), and I did not want to change her routine too much while we were away, so I waited till we got back. I am concerned about why she has suddenly started to wake in the night normally around midnight. She is going to bed at 7/7.30, she has her solids at 5.30/5.45 and her milk after her bath, and sometimes she wakes with a dirty nappy.

I am wondering if the two cubes of fruit she has at tea time is too much for her and I am thinking of cutting it out to see if that helps her. If I did not give it to her at teatime could I change her meals around and give her the veg at tea time instead and fruit earlier on in the day? I am also worried she might actually be hungry, which is why she is waking up and crying so hard. She has also started to wake at 6am, rather than 7am which was her normal wake-up time.

At present she takes 7ozs at 7.30am, 7ozs 10.45am, 6ozs at 2/2.30pm, 2ozs at 5.30pm and 7ozs at 7pm. Her solids are 1-2tps baby cereal at breakfast, 2 cubes carrot and 2 cubes of potato at lunch, 4-5 tsp baby rice and 2 cubes apple or pear at tea. She currently weighs 18lbs.

When a baby is first taking solids it may well take a week or so for their digestive system to get used to the variety in food. Were you aware of any problems when you first began to wean your daughter in the middle of the day? If she was windy in the afternoon when first given fruit it could be causing the problem. Try her with pear rather than apple, as it is more digestible and decrease the quantity to one cube. As her digestive system matures, she will be able to tolerate more fruit. It is added to the baby rice to make it more palatable and also to prevent constipation which can happen when a baby is first weaned. Giving her a smaller amount of fruit with the rice should make her more comfortable.

It appears that your daughter does not have a fifth feed at 10pm. Some babies who are later in being weaned do need this feed until they are taking more solid food by day. At your daughter’s weight, it would be sensible to re-introduce this feed at 10/10.30pm and offer her 4-5 ozs of milk until she has increased her solid intake by day. This will help her settle better in the night and also probably get to nearer 7am before waking. Once she is taking more solids by day and is established on protein, gradually cut this back to 2ozs and then stop it altogether.

Once your daughter is six-months-old you can begin to introduce protein to her at lunchtime. You may have to speed up her weaning process a little, introducing new foods every two or three days so she is accepting a wide range or vegetables and fruit.

Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

I am not sure if my 5-month-old son is teething or hungry

My 5-month-old son sleeps exactly at the times that the CLB book recommends; the problem is: he seems ratty about 10.10am every day and remains ratty until after his 11am feed! He did cut his first tooth last week but this has been going on since he was about 16-weeks-old. This was the reason I started weaning him and he presently has 3 spoons of rice at 6pm and 1 cube of carrot at 11am. I did think that he may need more, but he refused more today at 11am, despite crying since 10.15am. Yesterday and today I also gave him rice at breakfast but this didn’t seem to make him any happier. Today he had Calpol before his 9am nap, this didn’t make a difference and I do use Ambesol liquid on his gums. I’m confused; I don’t know if he needs more food or he is teething. He is having the amount of milk suggested in the book. I did wait until now to wean, due to the health visitor saying that the recommended age was now 6 months. I also have a 20-month-old son so I really need to establish what is causing this crying and resolve it ASAP as it is making my other son unhappy, which makes him start seeking attention! Also, I don’t want to be overfeeding him or introducing food too quickly, if it is his teeth that are bothering him.

At present my son weighs 17lbs 13oz and feeds at 7am 7ozs, 11am 7ozs, 2.30pm 5/6 ozs, 6.15pm 8ozs, 10pm 4ozs. He takes 2 tsp rice at 7am, 1 cube of carrot at 11am, 3tsps rice at 6pm. He may have 1oz of water at 4.30pm.

One last point: when my son has his 11am feed, he doesn’t drink the milk like he is starving, he stops after about 5oz and then takes ages to drink the remaining 2oz. With sleep, I do find that he can’t quite make it through the afternoon, so he usually has about 30 minutes between 4.30- and 5pm to prevent him from crying at bath time and falling asleep with his milk.

In the early stages of weaning, which coincides with teething, it can be difficult to know what is bothering your baby. If he is in pain from his teeth, giving him Calpol at 9am should have calmed him down in 20 minutes. That is how long it takes for a pain reliever to work. If he continued to be distressed, then hunger is the most likely cause. As this seems to be the only time of day he is distressed this also would point to hunger rather than teething problems.

Add an extra oz to his 7am bottle to see if this will settle him better in the morning. Also begin to introduce some pureed fruit [pear or apple are ideal first tastes] to his rice, as on its own, it can cause constipation. Be aware of increasing the rice too much at breakfast, as this can have the knock-on effect of him cutting back too quickly on his lunchtime solids and milk. This could also affect his lunchtime sleep as he may begin to wake early due to hunger.

If you do not have a copy of The Complete Weaning Guide, it may help you to look at one, since the book goes into: the introduction of foods, at what times of day and what quantities, in great detail. Since your son was five months when weaned you may have to speed up the introduction of different vegetables and fruit as the Guide was written when it was usual to wean at 17 weeks. It may well help you see though, how to balance his milk needs which are still very important with the introduction of solids.

Another way to help your son over this period is to split his 11am feed. This may not be too practical as you have another child but giving him 3-4 ozs at 10.15am and then offering the rest before his solids at 11am could help him over this difficult time.

As regards to his afternoon nap, it is quite normal for a baby of this age to need a short cat nap in the afternoon to help him enjoy bath time better. If he continues to settle well at 7pm, to sleep well in the night and not wake early in the morning then let him have this short sleep for as long as he needs it.

Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

I am not sure if I should begin to wean my 4.5-month-old daughter

My daughter is 4.5 months old but is still on the routine for 3 month olds and has not yet been able to sleep through the night solidly. She has done it a few times but her waking-up time is generally 6am. At that point I only give 1-2 oz of water and put her back to sleep till 7am. At each feed she takes approx 5oz and if I’m lucky 6oz. She is growing well and very happy. CLB suggests starting to wean at 4 months, however, my daughter does not drink more than 6 oz per feed and her average daily intake is approx. 25 oz whereas Gina says that it should be approx 8 oz per feed. Should I wait until she starts to drink more and sleeps consistently through the night before I introduce solids? Also, am I doing the right thing by giving her water at 6am and then putting her to sleep until 7am?
At present she weighs 6.14kg. She feeds at 7.30am 5oz, 10.30am 3oz, 11.30 1.5oz, 2.30pm 5oz, 5.30pm 3.5oz, 6.30pm 2.5oz,11pm 6oz, 6am 1-2oz water.

When the Contented Baby Book was written it was acceptable to begin to wean after 17 weeks but since its publication the guidelines from the Department of Health, prompted by the World Health Organisation suggested that babies should delay being given solids until 6 months. Some babies are able to wait this long, others are not but a baby does need to be showing all the signs that she is ready to wean before you begin.
These are:

  • Taking 4-5 8oz feeds daily and not being satisfied afterwards thus demanding feeds more frequently.
  • Starting to wake earlier and earlier for a feed
  • Putting hands and other objects into the mouth, showing that she is exploring their feel and taste
  • Showing an interest in others when they are eating
  • Dribbling frequently
  • Beginning to chew things

As your daughter has not reached all these stages yet it would be best to delay weaning until she is more ready. Using water at 6am is fine but it may also help if you begin to see if she can settle herself back alone at this time, thus stretching herself to nearer 7am. When she wakes leave her a few minutes before going in to see if she will settle back to sleep.

Make sure she is well tucked in and her room really dark as these could both be reasons for her early waking. Try to settle her with the smallest amount of water possible so it does not take the edge off her appetite at 7am.