Starting solids at 3 and a half months. Too early? - NCT


52,543 members16,337 posts

Starting solids at 3 and a half months. Too early?

Jogsandwalks profile image

Hello everyone, so my little boy is 3 and half months now and he has stopped sleeping through the night.

We go to a point around about when he was 1 and a half months old that he could finally sleep through the night. Go to bed at 10pm and not be up again until a 5:30am without a fuss. That was a good amount of sleep; I was pleased with that. I just had to make sure my boobs were full at 21:30 when boob time started and he would drink everything and go straight to sleep.

Now he is up at 2/3am every night and we're back to square one doing the night feeds. My hunch is telling me he is hungry because he is bigger.

He has always been a large baby. He measured 6.8kg back in May (2 months old) putting him in the 92nd percentile. He has always had a big appetite.

I don't think breast milk is sustaining him anymore. I'm thinking of starting a few solids with his milk even if only at night. Like mixing a bit of Farleys rusk in with it to bulk it out, maybe. Or even cerelac or something.

Did anyone else start solids earlier than 6 months? Has anyone else got a larger baby with a big appetite?

25 Replies

Just don't. It's dangerous and milk is the most nutritious food he can have until 12 months. Start introducing solids at 6 months or so once baby shows the signs of readiness - it won't make any difference to baby's sleep, if anything it'll make it worse at first due to digestion challenges.I know it's hard, but waking up often is completely normal and natural and protects baby from SIDS. Sleep is developmental and there isn't much you can do to change it. The best is to focus of how you can get the most sleep. Maybe shifts with your partner? Co-sleeping? Napping with your baby? Whatever works for you.

Also it's very common for small babies to sleep through the night for a while and then stop.

You're doing great, your milk is absolutely enough for the baby. Sending you strength.

Seb9 profile image
Seb9 in reply to Mcra

100% agree with this, not sleeping through is totally normal and had nothing to do with hunger.

Farleys rusks have more sugar in then than rich tea biscuits, so if you wouldn't give baby biscuits, these are worse. There main ingredients are flour, sugar and palm oil, there are a lot better options for giving baby for their first foods.

Please speak to your health visitor or see if your council runs a baby weaning course, they'll go through everything that shows baby is ready for weaning and give you advise on the best foods to stay baby on.

Jogsandwalks profile image
Jogsandwalks in reply to Mcra

Thank you both for replying. I guess it is a bad idea I suppose. I'll keep going with the milk. My friends have suggested trying formula milk, the breast milk substitute rather than solids. That milk is good from birth so maybe that might tickle his fancy, if nothing else. But you're right, no solids.

And thanks for the heads up on Farleys rusk. I knew there was a reason that I used to buy them for myself even before I got pregnant. That's a lot of sugar for a baby (but not for me 🤭)

I will be sure to attend the weaning classes my council do. I just signed up to one today. Hopefully it helps.

Formula milk has less Calories than breast milk :) it also doesn’t have sleepy hormones like breast milk does at nighttime. So it’s a waste of money for that. Plus it will mess with your supply. Waking in the night is very normal and doesn’t mean your baby needs solids. Plus early solids are things like vegetables. They don’t have much fat/calories etc and could replace a nutritious breast feed! It sounds like you’re doing a great job. Waking helps prevent Sids too. My three year old wakes in the night sometimes and she eats tons! :) it’s just a normal part of life. Even adults wake sometimes x

Maybe try a dream feed about 12am? That might top baby up enough to sleep a little longer. Could he sleep regression?!

I wouldn’t suggest any solids yet you could mess up his digestive system 🥴

Talk to your health visitor

Had to Google dream feed bit it seems that's what I'm doing already. I go to bed straight after the feed but thanks for your suggestion and thanks for replying

Firstly, it's normal for babies to need a feed through the night at that age. Doesn't mean breast milk isn't filling him up, and he doesnt sound like a particularly hungry baby, thats pretty normal. You we're probably just very lucky that he had a spell of sleeping through so young. It's also very dangerous to add things to formula, it's specifically designed to be a complete food and you should never add anything to it. It's not recommended to start weaning until 6 months, sometimes health visitors will suggest starting a month or so earlier but that's usually if the baby would benefit from it, not so mum can get more sleep. If you're tired then have a nap during the day when baby sleeps, but that's part and parcel of having a newborn I'm afraid.

I know the lack of sleep is difficult but its actually far more normal for babies not to sleep through the night at that age. In fact naturally children dont sleep through consistently till over 2. Its not a sign of being hungry it's just completely normal. I wouldn't introduce solids yet and I would be wary of introducing formula. Introducing formula can start a downward spiral of supply as if you need to produce more your baby feeding with signal to you body it needs to make more. If you introduce formula that doesn't happen and you wont produce more etc. It is really tough but lots happens at points to mess up sleep, leaps, growth spurts and sleep regressions.

He will be entering the 4 month sleep regression which is the biggest disruption to sleep he will have. Solids won't fix his sleep and as a parent of an adult suffering with stomach problems linked to early weaning please don't do it. Learn about the signs of readiness for solids and wait till he's ready. Learning about normal infant sleep will help you navigate through the sleep regressions too.

A woman asked a question along these lines in class the other day (she'd had the issues w/ her previous child)- was told your baby wants milk when it wants milk and you should respond to that (big on responsive feeding) - don't think of changing their feeding system till 6 months old.

He is having a growth spurt and his little body just needs more feeds - not solids. Your breast milk adjusts to your babys needs so don't think that your milk isn't enough for him. You are doing amazingly to still be breastfeeding him now, this waking in the night won't last forever. Make the most of these moments you and him have together in the still of the night. X

in terms of weaning it’s too early as their wee digestive system isn’t ready to cope with anything but milk yet and you can cause longer term issues for your little one. In terms of rusks in milk it’s extremely dangerous, people used to do it but pregnant ladies used to also smoke, I’ve had a lot of (un) helpful advice from people who raised babies a long time ago before we knew what we know now and I just smile, nod and ignore them 🤗In terms of baby waking through the night it’s pretty common at that age and anecdotally more common in breast fed babies.

That being said here’s what worked for us in case it’s something you want to try:

we had a bit of a ‘regression’ at 4-5 months and what I did was start to unassociate milk with falling asleep- I had read that babies sometimes don’t actually need fed when they wake they just use feeding as a soothing tactic to get back to sleep so I wanted to see if that’s what was happening with our wee one. So we fed last bottle downstairs then upstairs to bed with white noise, projector lights and some lullaby’s, I also used to stroke his hand and tummy to help him nod off. It meant if he woke in the night I played the lullaby and put the lights on and stroked his tummy and he would nod back off. If he didn’t after 10mins I would offer milk (but not to fall asleep to would put him back in crib awake). It’s worked for us as he’s now 14 months and 98% of the time he’s slept through for at least 10 hours a night from about 10 weeks, with the odd blips along the way (teething, learning to crawl roll etc) but it could also just be a coincidence and that that’s how much sleep our little guy needs and another baby would wake in the night no matter we do ☺️ As they all do things at their own pace

Good luck and you still have another couple of months until the messy weaning fun 🤪 xx

This is magic! 💫

I wouldn’t start solids just because he’s started waking up. I know it’s hard when they’ve been brilliant sleepers and then suddenly everything changes. Even 1 night feed at 3 and a half months is good going. Could it be the 4 month sleep regression or a little growth spurt maybe? Would you consider bottle feeding before bed with a formula or expressed milk? My youngest used me as a human dummy and I never knew how much she was drinking at the boob as she’d suck and fall asleep but my second is bottle fed with expressed milk so I know how much she drinks. She has an extra bottle before bed so normally 6.30pm & 8.30pm then she’s down until 3am has another bottle and she’s back down until 8am.

I hope he settles soon.


No, 3.5 months is way too early to start introducing solids. I know it's difficult but unfortunately your little one is just entering a sleep regression. It's entirely normal. Breastfeeding your bub on demand is honestly the best thing you can do. You can start introducing formula if you'd like but be prepared for baby to possibly feel uncomfortable whilst his tummy adjusts to it as formula isn't as well digested so stays in the tummy for longer. A sleep regression isn't going to be made better whether he is on breast milk or formula to be honest. My advice would be just continue with what you're doing, establish a bedtime routine and ride it out. Sorry! I hope he starts sleeping again soon for you. My eldest never slept or napped so I sympathise with you. Xx

Definitely too early. Have you thought about a formula top up at bedtime after you have breast fed? Formula milk stays in their tummies longer than breast milk so a lot of people find it helps baby sleep longer. xx

Thank you everyone so much for your replies. I was thinking oh dear, I've asked a stupid question because everyone has said no don't do it. But thinking about it now, I'm glad I asked a stupid question rather than just going ahead and doing a stupid thing. I'll definitely read up on sleep regression as I actually hadn't heard of that until now.

Every day I learn something new with this little one. Thanks for you responses, really helpful 🧡💛

Good for you! Babies are definitely a learning curve for us all. Hope you get some sleep soon! Xx

Nothing about bringing babies up is a silly question....heck we've all been there! Glad everyone has helped. Mine didn't sleep through so took a bit longer but we got there and ours sleep great! We've had our ups and downs but we all do!xxx

It’s defo not a stupid question 🤗 and goodness knows what silly things I would be doing without mum forums like this 😂 xx

Oh it’s great you asked- much better to reach out x

Mcra profile image
Mcra in reply to Jogsandwalks

Nothing stupid about your question. Before having a baby I had no idea about these things and I've asked SO many questions since :)

Arya10 profile image
Arya10 in reply to Jogsandwalks

Check out the Wonder Weeks app, I found it so helpful with my LO knowing what development stage he was at and it was spot on with when he was going through regressions etc.

Solids don’t necessarily help anyway my 8 month old still wakes up for a feed during the night can’t wait til he sleeps through 😴😴

This is your baby and you do what’s best for you and your baby. My baby was showing signs early and I started her at 4 months, only baby porridge and fruit pouches to start of with, she was still having 4 bottles a day, I spoke to a number of different HV and they was more than happy with this. My daughter is now 3 years old and there’s nothing wrong with her at all.

Just remember your doing a great job 💕

You may also like...