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Early weaning (baby rice and baby porridge) 👶

Hello,

Just looking for a little advice. I plan on starting my baby boy on baby porridge at 17 weeks, he’ll be 15 weeks on Monday. I’ve also been advised by a few people to try some baby rice in his milk, he’s hungry but doesn’t manage a lot of milk due to reflux so I think this would help to satisfy him.

Just curious, for anyone who has done this how much baby rice should be added to bottle? He’s currently taking 4oz, sometimes 5oz. Did you find it helped satisfy your baby?

Also for the baby porridge should I give it just in the morning or in the evening or both?

Thank you

43 Replies
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Is there a reason why your weaning early ?? 26 weeks is the recommended time. I’m a HV and we always recommend vegetables first. It is your choice obviously. I would seek advice from your HV.good luck x

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Hey,

Thanks for the reply. Yeah it was my HV who said, she recommended 17 weeks at the earliest.

Unfortunately she’s not visiting us again until he’s 6 months so haven’t been able to really discuss with her, I chose the porridge and baby rice just because the box said 4-6 months so I assumed this should be ok.

Xxx

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Unfortunately all baby food says from 4-6 months but they haven’t changed it and we have been trying to change this for years as it’s incorrect. yeas ahi baby’s were wearied from 4 months.

In your child health book (could be red) it should sign post you to information on weaning and what to start on. I’m sure it’s nhs choices have a look. Good luck. X

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Thank you I’ll have a look xxx

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Hi Amanda86. He may be a little young to wean just yet. i can understand your reasoning behind his reflux problems. Have you spoken to the Health Visitor or baby clinic and see what their advice would be? Good luck! Diane

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Hi Diane,

Yeah it was my HV who suggested 17 weeks at the earliest, although she’s not visiting us again until 6 months.

She did mention baby weaning classes held near me occasionally but I haven’t come across any classes yet 😥 xxx

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Hi. I think once he gets to 17 weeks give it a go. If he is really hungry, then I can't see it would harm him to try a week or two earlier. Good luck! Diane

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Thanks Diane 🙂 xxx

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I wouldn’t till he’s a little older my little girl had bad reflux too there’s reflux milk now that helps and carbol there is other things out there to help too xx go to the docs they’ll advice x

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Thanks, we’re tried the carobel and cow and gate anti reflux and both gave him bad diarrhoea 😥

Doctors although lovely are actually recommending I wean him off his reflux medication, saying around 3 months this should be started. He still suffers from reflux and I definitely don’t like the idea of taking him off the medication yet. Xxx

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Molly my youngest had reflux till she was 1 and half and was given medicine and for the life of me I can’t rememebr the name of it I had to mix it with every feed which was hard as she was fully breast fed so had to mix with water it was like vasaline 😕you can only get this on perception I was back and forth from hospital from her being 2 weeks old xx may be worth you going back to ask what else they can give you. Molly is now 6 and doing well apart from having her tonsils out at 2 x

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Saying that my eldest was 3 month when she started to be weaned but that was 15 years ago so things have changed and she is 5 foot 9 and doing great so really do as you feel is right x if baby isn’t ready he’ll tell you in his own way x good luck xx

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Thank you. He’s on ranintadine which is working fine for him, I just don’t understand them wanting him to come off it so early, especially when he still has reflux! I’m going to continue giving him it anyway, it’s bad enough with his colic don’t want him getting distressed with his reflux again too 😖 xxx

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Molly was on that too x you know your baby Hun you do as you think right. When Molly was 2 weeks old they told me I was being over dramatic turned out she had burnt her oesophagus with the acid 😒really pissed me off that they wouldn’t listen to me x

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Hi Amanda you do what you feel is right your his mum. I started my little boy on a bit of porridge a few weeks before 4 months and hes been fine with it he ate it well and never spat it back out. Whwn i asked my HV why i couldnt start at 4 months when the food said on the packets she didnt give me a good enough answer so i did it anyway. If it was really that wrong and a health issue they would have changed the packets from saying 4-6 months by now as it would be illegal for it to have the wrong information on it.

I thibk theres far too much pressure on new mums with all the dos and donts just follow your instinct as you know your baby my mum and grandma all said they started with food at 3 months so i wouldnt worry about all the pressure xxx

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😘😘 thank you so much xxx

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They have tried to get them changed but its a longer process than you would think

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Maybe so but if it was a health issue it would have been Changed by now so i dont see the problem with weaning early. It is each to their own

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Agree!! 👍 xxx

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My boy was on reflux untill 5 months, and my doctor recommended the baby food only after 6 months, baby's digestive system is not that strong enough to digest the food thats why lol. And i prefer fruits and vegetables than rice. I m giving my 7 months boy fruits with only few table spoon of rice. Anyway its your instinct. Always trust your instinct. Good luck

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I started weaning my baby girl just before she turned 5 months old (started with vegetables -baby rice and porridge have a lot of sugar and I didn't want her to get used to sweet taste). When I spoke to my HV she said that every baby is different and some babies are ready to be weaned at 4 months and some won't eat solids even at 8 months. You know your baby best so you should see if he is ready. For as long as it's not before 17 weeks you should be fine. Phone up your HV to see if you can meet them and discuss it again. Also, different countries have different recommendations for weaning. My cousin in Germany was told to wean her baby boy at 17 weeks and he is now absolutely healthy and lovely toddler. Good luck!

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Thank you 😊 xxx

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There was something else that my HV said. She told me that 6 months is only a recommendation not a set rule... you go with what your baby is ready for. Again, for as long as it's not before 17th week, whatever you do is fine. If your baby boy is not ready, he will let you know. I was terrified weaning off my baby before 6th month, but I had full support from my HV and now I can see that it was for the best. She loves her food, she is healthy and happy. Go with your guts not with what other people tell you to do (unless it's medical professional of course😃).

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Babies digestive systems are just not ready that early for food. Baby rice and porridge have a very low nutritional value so there is little point in giving it to them. Baby rice in a bottle is actually quite dangerous as it is a choking hazard.

The reason the boxes haven't changed is because in the manufacturers opinion, people have been feeding their babies from 3 months for decades and it's never been a problem. What they don't take into consideration is the links between early weaning and gastrointestinal disorders as adults, things like leaky gut, IBS etc. Medical professionals recommend 6 months as that is when the liver and kidneys are fully capable of doing their part in processing food.

If you really want to start on solids earlier, skip the rice and porridge and go straight to pureed veg, its way better for them.

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The baby rice/porridge are suggested for early weaning reflux babies as they have a thicker consistency so this helps it to stay down, also the baby rice is made using babies milk so they’re still getting nutrients from their baby milk with this.

After posting I did look into baby rice in bottle and due to the choking hazard I’m not going to try this xx

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Hi we had a reflux baby and like you were recommended to wean at 17weeks by the paediatric Dr at hospital. It worked wonders. We stayed on ranitidine and fed a few spoons of porridge in the morning and then started veg 2 weeks later. He kept the food down and was a much happier baby. He is now a healthy 13month old who enjoys all food types. I hope this helps. All the best x

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Thanks for the reply, I had heard it really worked well with reflux babies and to hear you were recommended by a paediatrician makes me feel better about doing this at 17 weeks. Although he isn’t that sick with his reflux (it’s silent) he has a lot of wet burps, which I assume are quite acidy and hurt his throat as he gets quite upset 😥 so I’m keen to do anything that will help wirh this and make him a happier baby xxx

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Ahhh poor baby, my little one would throw up all the time. He couldn't manage enough milk too. But the food just kept him happy and produced less acidity and i was told as its thick it doesn't travel up and irritate as much as milk does. This gave him a break from the pain and helped settle him. He definitely enjoys food alot more than milk but he still won't go without his 4 bottles a day! Overall it was something that worked well for us and I hope it does for your little one too. We used to give hipp organic reflux formula and with this combination everything became slightly better and manageable. You're welcome to message me if u ever need a chat. Wishing u all the best

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Thanks very much 😘 xxx

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Babies don’t need food til 26 weeks, the packets say the 4 mo the thing because the law hasn’t been updated yet (although the EU has voted for this to change) because the baby food companies lobby politicians not to change jt. Many things like cot bumpers are still for sale even though we know they aren’t safe.

Please don’t ever add food to a bottle is a choking risk.

Baby rice doesn’t have any nutritional value.

Just wait another couple of months and you can go straight to normal food like vegetables x

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Also there is no research to show it helps reflux either. It’s just easier for drs to say try that, than adjust meds etc also some of the early weaning foods like purée will not be nice if it comes back up.

If you wait til 6 months he can go for real food and eat bigger bites which should stay down x

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I have to say I don’t agree that this is suggested by doctors because it’s easier, a paediatrician who specialises in care of babies/children is there to offer the best advice for your babies needs, not give you the easiest advice to save them adjusting medication.

My doctor actually informed me that reflux medications alone can be damaging for baby the more they are increased, which is why they prefer to have baby on the minimal dose. They also go on to create more issues meaning more medication (constipation etc).

I’ve heard several people mention they’ve been advised to wean early due to reflux, it’s easy to say just wait but when you have a baby suffering with reflux and everyday they’re screaming wirh discomfort your willing to do and try whatever you can to help them. Baby rice/porridge although maybe not the most nutritional have a thicker consistency which would help the food stay down. Baby rice is also made using baby’s formula.

I understand the advice changes constantly, when I was younger I was weaned at 3 months as this was the advice back then and I’ve turned out ok, no medical issues etc. I do believe that if it was really as damaging as they believe it to be to babies then it would be changed and boxes couldn’t state 4-6 months. Xx

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You can read about it here, it’s actually quite scary how little regard the companies have for our children’s health

babymilkaction.org/archives...

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They are supposed to follow the evidence based guidelines though, and giving food isn’t shown in research to help, hence why it’s not on there, but it still gets suggested. One of my friends for example even had a dr admit this to her, and he said lots of them will use opinions before checking the guidelines which I’m sure many people have expericmd when it comes to all kinds of medical issues. And yes the Nice guidelines on reflux have been updated in recent years to avoid giving meds unless really needed. Do you think that’s why your dr is saying to take him off it even if it’s working? It’s frustrating if it is working to strike the balance perhaps?!

The advice doesn’t change constantly though . It was changed in 1994 to 4 months and in 2002/3 to 6 months. So 16 years ago. It’s really a long time coming for the labels now!

The packaging hasn’t been changed because baby food companies lobby politians not to. But not that long ago the EU looked at labels and sugar levels in baby food and voted to change it- but it takes a while to come in - although a couple of companies have already updated their labels to 6 months. (And even then some voted against it! Like who votes for allowing unnecessary high sugar levels! People lobbied that’s who).

Sadly not all children/adults have turned out ok.

That’s why we have to use the latest research. The problem is the big companies are only interested in profits :( X

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My daughter had GERD and was under paediatric Dr care until she was about 1. We were advised to wean at 4 months as she was losing weight and dropped from the 75 to 9 percentile over time. She was on anti reflux milk and ranitidine. She was weaned off the ranitidine at 9 months. We were referred to a dietician who advised to avoid baby rice and porridge as it has zero nutritional value, can be full of sugar and can also irritate the reflux. We also had to avoid high acid foods like citrus fruits (some puret packs are sweetened with lemon juice so always read the ingredients). We were told to start with root veg like carrots sweet potato and parsnips as these would be thick enough so not be brought back up (which is why you are told to wean early). So my baby would have some mashed banana and formula for breakfast and then some root veg for lunch and dinner. Literally just a couple of spoons worth at each meal to begin with. It did ours the world of good so I hope it works for you too! Best of luck xx

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Thanks very much for your reply, I’ll give this a go wirh the foods you suggest. My sister also weaned her little boy early and I remember her telling me she started wirh sweet potato.

I didn’t realise about the high acid foods so that’s good to know!! Xxx

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The reason six months is the recommended time to start weaning is because an infants digestive system isn’t developed enough to be able to cope with solids effectively.

All babies react differently to it and some babies won’t show any symptoms of this so parents assume it’s fine to start before 6 months because they haven’t had any issues. That being said it doesn’t mean that it is healthy for your child and puts them more at risk of developing allergies.

I started weaning my son at 4 months as family members pressured me to do so as he was a ‘big boy and needs more than milk’ which is just not true at all! Babies can technically get all their nutritional needs from formula or breast milk up to one year old. He became very ill with episodes of both constipation and diarrhoea. He would scream in pain and his stomach felt rock hard. As soon as I stopped solids and continued with just milk he was completely fine.

He later went on to develop a serious egg allergy and CMPA. Which our dietitian believes could be caused from early introduction to solids as there’s no family history.

Also, it’s very unlikely that at 4 months your baby is ready to eat solids. They have to be able to sit up completely unaided, have full control of their head and be able to use a pincer grip to move the food to their mouths. Which is highly unlikely to happen before 6 months anyway.

Unless recommend by a doctor for medical reasons (not your HV) do not start weaning early. Health visitors are not doctors and many still give outdated advice. You do not have to do as your health visitor says so don’t feel pressured to.

Personally, I will never wean any more of my children before the 6 months mark. I just won’t risk what happened to my son happening again!

It’s your choice but make sure you are fully educated and have done plenty of research before thinking of changing your baby’s diet. Do not take advise based on ‘I did it with my baby and they were fine’! I did and it’s my biggest regret. All babies are completely different and react different ways. Xx

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Also please DO NOT under any circumstances put anything in your baby’s milk! It’s a huge choking hazard! I don’t know why anyone would advise you to do that. Xx

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Hi Amanda

We had reflux issues aswell. However in hindsight it was probably more like a cows milk allergy. We ended up on gsviscon plus aptimel pepti (non cows milk formula). Theres lots of different combination of formulas and medication they can try. Did you go down any of those routes?

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Hey,

The only other milk I tried was aptimel but he wouldn’t drink it, I tried carobel to thicken his milk which caused him diarrhoea and unfortunately the same ingredient is in the cow and gate reflux milk (he drinks cow and gate).

We were prescribed gaviscon but due to him taking more than 6 bottle a day it became ineffective so now we use ranintadine which does seem to help.

He’s 16 weeks today so I think we’ll just continue what we’re doinh, I might not wean him at 17 weeks but I do think I’ll do it earlier than 26 weeks although will wait and see.

He’s suffering with teething pain at the moment and will not take his hands away from his mouth so I don’t think he’d take much food in anyway! Lol xxx

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Yeah it's really tricky to know what's going on with them. Surprised your gp hasn't looked into the cows milk allergy aspect. It can present like reflux. I know there's a new NICE guideline for babies reflux. You can look it up online. Basically its the steps the gp should follow.

I know if you get referred to the hospital they are against using anti reflux milk.

My gp was great a mother with two kids. Said she didn't believe in colic and we needed to get to the bottom of the issue of no sleep before I got destroyed by sleep deprivation.

My friends baby suffers really badly with silent reflux and has been on neocate formula for a while. When weaning she's had to avoid certain foods completely due to the acidity. Lemon juice is a huge no no and is in most of the fruit pouches.

Our baby just threw everything up from the first week (every photo she pretty much has a waterproof backed bib on!) and had the legs up and not sleeping issue when really young. Literally 5oz in about 3oz thrown back up. We tried comfort + gaviscon, just comfort, normal + gaviscon, pepti on its own, pepti + gaviscon! Found that the last combo worked for the sleeping but when they say try each for 2 weeks I kinda think, did she just outgrow it!?!

However at 7 weeks we started seeing teeth at the gum surface. They didn't pop through as apparently they can go up and down! So again could hsve been that.

Found anbesol was the only thing that actually numbed the gums for teething pain (I've been testing them on myself!).

I didn't wean till 6 months as I have allergies and wanted to wait till she could hold her head up. She gagged alot to start off with (and even does now). Theres so much do and don't do and the advice changes all the time. Baby porridge is good because it's so bland and you can change the consistency with their own milk. I know people who started weaning at 4 months, it's not done the baby any harm at all.

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Sorry for late reply. My GP is really nice but he’s never wanted to look into anything but I wonder if that’s because the reflux has been controlled since starting the ranintadine?!

We have to use colief drops for colic, which cost a fortune but they work wonders! However, it works by braking down the lactose in milk so does suggest maybe more an intolerance causing the discomfort because I tried other colic medications and they didn’t work at all!

A girl above actually mentioned about the acidity in foods which I didn’t realise so I’ll make sure to avoid those. I plan on trying to make my own stuff (except when we’re on holiday) although that may not last long!! 😂

Did you find the reflux disturbed babies sleep? My little boy is 17 weeks on Monday, he’s slept 5 hours in one go once and 4 hours in one go probably 5 times. He is up every 2 hours and I’m absolutely knackered! I have no idea why he’s not sleeping? Maybe it’s normal, I know I didn’t sleep well for a long time and was a colicy and reflux baby but I met a girl at antenatal and I go to baby classes with another girl and both their babies sleep like 8-11 hours. Then my friends all said their babies started to sleep much better at 3 months. I dunno if I’m doing something wrong or if he’s just like me as a baby or if his reflux is the cause?! 😴 xxx

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Well all babies are different. So there's never a 'yours should be doing this by then'. All pretty fluid.

I didn't have a clue about babies schedules etc. I went with the gina ford approach but not as stern as she suggests. Looked at it for overall nap times and lengths and when and how much to feed. She reckons by a certain weight babies should be able to sleep through the night provided they've enough milk and naps throughout the day. Think our big girl hit that at around 16ish weeks. So I stopped night feeding as she was having enough in the day. She's slept through the night since. Could have been the reflux disappearing at the same time. Could also have been teething, i could see teeth at 8 weeks.

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