For the last 5 weeks I have been feeding James solid food. He’s just reached 28 weeks. Hmmm (I hear you say)…that must mean…let’s see…28 take 5…divided by 52…times by 12…you mean…he wasn’t 6 months old??? Yes that’s right, we started 3 weeks early. So shoot me.
I have agonised over this decision long and hard, I mean, when the World Health Organisation tells you to do something you do it…right? As if that global pressure wasn’t enough, a brief consultation with Dr Google will have you marching the streets with a placard “No carrot sticks until 26 (weeks)” and chanting “What do we want? Only milk. When do we want it? Until 6 months.”
So why did I fly in the face of all this advice? Reason 1 James seemed ready: he was starting to sit up, was bringing things to his mouth and didn’t automatically push food back out of his mouth. Reason 2 was that his sleep was getting steadily worse. We’d been through colds and the 4 month regression and I was waiting and hoping for things to improve naturally. They didn’t and by 5 months he was having a full feed every 2 hours.
Now I know there have been studies that show how sleep isn’t affected by early weaning but hey, I was sleep deprived and everyone (including my GP) suggested it. James is a big baby too so it made sense that he was hungry. I’m also aware that early weaning is discouraged because of immaturities in the gut. But you’re not telling me that on their 6 month birthday their gut suddenly matures and they can start munching cheeseburgers. Of course not, because that would be silly.
Anyway, we started with a mixture of finger foods, purees, and lumpy slop to see what he’d like. Turned out he liked being spoon fed and gradually he’s gone from eating tiny little amounts to great bowlfuls. And the sleep? Well that wasn’t affected at all, but the sleep deprivation was a lot easier to cope with once the fun of weaning began.