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Keeping OH feeling included

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by chicabonita, May 23, 2011.

  1. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    How do you? I ebf and (naturally?) spend more time with Chiquita as he is at work, and I know her better and play for longer periods with her; the feeding particularly makes OH feel rather excluded. We have given her a bottle of expressed milk occasionally but with limited success. He's great with her but very aware that I need to be there for when she's hungry.
    Chiquita is nearly four months and OH would like to start weaning her when she gets to the minimum age for it. If it were up to me I'd leave her to 6 months and do baby-led weaning later. I know baby guts can't always cope well with food too early. However, a friend who's a nurse has advised me that the 6-month recommendation is a WHO one, based on less developed countries, and also that later weaning can lead to fussy eaters.
    I'm really torn: I don't want OH feeling all excluded and unbonded because I do all the feeding, but I don't want to wean her too early and I don't want to give up breastfeeding her for quite a while yet.
    On the other hand, she'll need to take some milk that doesn't directly come from me when I go back (she'll be seven months) so we do need to get her to feed from OH either by bottle or cup, breast or formula milk. I'd like to feed her say, twice a day, when I'm back at work, and then probably she'll have to have a formula for the rest.
    Has anyone else been in this situation? I'm nervous about formula, about leaving him out, about feeding her not from me, about weaning prematurely because OH wants to start asap- and I don't want to overreact or create tension between us by making all the practical child rearing decisions. Please advise!
     
  2. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    How do you? I ebf and (naturally?) spend more time with Chiquita as he is at work, and I know her better and play for longer periods with her; the feeding particularly makes OH feel rather excluded. We have given her a bottle of expressed milk occasionally but with limited success. He's great with her but very aware that I need to be there for when she's hungry.
    Chiquita is nearly four months and OH would like to start weaning her when she gets to the minimum age for it. If it were up to me I'd leave her to 6 months and do baby-led weaning later. I know baby guts can't always cope well with food too early. However, a friend who's a nurse has advised me that the 6-month recommendation is a WHO one, based on less developed countries, and also that later weaning can lead to fussy eaters.
    I'm really torn: I don't want OH feeling all excluded and unbonded because I do all the feeding, but I don't want to wean her too early and I don't want to give up breastfeeding her for quite a while yet.
    On the other hand, she'll need to take some milk that doesn't directly come from me when I go back (she'll be seven months) so we do need to get her to feed from OH either by bottle or cup, breast or formula milk. I'd like to feed her say, twice a day, when I'm back at work, and then probably she'll have to have a formula for the rest.
    Has anyone else been in this situation? I'm nervous about formula, about leaving him out, about feeding her not from me, about weaning prematurely because OH wants to start asap- and I don't want to overreact or create tension between us by making all the practical child rearing decisions. Please advise!
     
  3. my godmother, who is a midwife with a PhD in neonatal care also said that the 6 month guideline was similar and advised me to start weaning from whenever LO started grabbing at food - with 17 weeks being the earliest.
    i was back at work just before LO was 4 months and stopped breastfeeding just before 3 months and i really missed it but it made a huge difference to LO and OH's relationship.
    he would, however, only take formula from "breastflow" bottles which apparently are most like sucking at the breast. even now, at 5.5 months, it's a struggle to get him to take anything but breastflow bottles.
    not sure what i'd advise i suppose, but i guess making sure LO and OH have a strong relationship and making sure OH feels like he has equal say over LO is really important. x
     
  4. I'd go with that - it's fun! [​IMG]
    I weaned my eldest early (around 3 months as was the advice 11 years ago) and on purees, and she is the fussiest eater I know. My younger one (now 14 months) we did BLW and she eats pretty much anything when she's in the mood for it. I think both methods can produce fussy eaters, so would go with what your instincts tell you. And the thing about WHO basing their recommendations on less developed countries, our department of health have the same guidelines and they base all their advice on Britain. Many nurses, doctors and health visitors put their own opinions into the advice they give, that doesn't always mean it's the best advice available.
    If your oh is feeling left out I would get him trying to introduce the bottle feeds as frequently bf babies don't like bottle (I know neither of mine liked them). Or he could have the responsibility of bathtime every night so he gets some special time with her, that's what we did and oh loves his time with her every night. Maybe if you don't want to upset oh just suggest that you'd like to do one thing at a time, and would prefer it if the bottles were the first thing you introduced. You might even be able to phrase it in such a way that he thinks it's his idea.
     
  5. learningyoghurt

    learningyoghurt New commenter

    I can only reassure you that I started weaning at four months on the dot (started off with baby rice and breast milk, so it didn't seem like that big a deal) and switched onto mixed feeding shortly afterwards (my milk decided to dry up around then) and Lite is absolutely none the worse for it whatsoever.
    Also his dad does like feeding him a lot - and choosing his food and making sure that he has stocks in and manly hunter-provider things like that - I think it makes him feel important.
     
  6. That's what I did. We did BLW but didn't wait completely til 6 months, she was 21 weeks I think. You can do BLW from as soon as they can sit upright with support.
     
  7. learningyoghurt

    learningyoghurt New commenter

    Sorry, meant to add that I do bits of BLW here and there (giving him slices of things to suck and rub in his hair and throw about and so on - not sure he's actually eaten any of it yet) but then also do the spooning-puree-into-his-ear thing. I don't know - or care, if I'm honest - what the official line is on that but I'm generally of the opinion that when it comes to babies, you do exactly what suits you both/all the best and stuff the most of the 'official' advice.
     
  8. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    She can- has done for ages now, she's a big strong girl! So we can give her things to suck on and chew even quite early?
    LY, did your milk just go? I didn't know that happened, was it quite weird?
    Thanks for the replies- please keep them coming!
    I like the idea of bathtime being for OH. He does, though, go from being angry to sort of shrugging and saying his time will come when Chiquita is a bit older. Which doesn't really solve the problem!
     
  9. learningyoghurt

    learningyoghurt New commenter

    It was when I'd started going in a lot with the sixth form and rushing about a lot. I don't know if it really did dry up, but all of a sudden he was a total crabstick and asking for food all the time and I couldn't express for turnips (I'd been fine before).
    He has bottles in the day - which I think he would've had to anyway, as I went back to work shortly afterwards - and I feed him last thing at night and first thing in the morning. Not sure if this is the 'best' thing or whathaveyou, but it worked for us and he's still very healthy and cheerful.
     
  10. Perhaps your OH needs to do a bit of research himself about the pros/cons of delayed weaning, BLW, etc? It's only another 8 weeks or so, it will fly by if he can manage to be patient :)
     
  11. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    This is what I'd like to do. It's nice to hear of it working for someone else!
    Bunique, yes- in an ideal world :-s
     
  12. If she is content with just milk at the mo, I think it's a bit selfish of him to be demanding that you begin weaning when there's not really any need (sorry, sleep deprived, not mincing words today!). You could try making breastmilk ice lollies and he could feed her one of those? We bought a set of ice lolly molds in Ikea - fill halfway with water, freeze, then pour breastmilk on top and freeze - the water bit can then be snapped off and disgarded (means you don't have to use masses of milk, or have loads go to waste). In the grand scheme of your LO's life, the next few weeks are nothing [​IMG] I kind of work on the basis that if my OH wants to go away and do the same research and reading that I have, then we can do things his way - as it is he can't really be bothered with all that so just goes along with whatever! There are lots of benefits to waiting to 6 months, despite what the recent headlines would have you believe
     
  13. Sorry, I realise I haven't made any suggestions! I hand LO over to dad when he comes in and they have a chat and a play; I try to encourage him to do bathtimes and getting her dried and PJs on. He looks after her on Tues eves so I can do a gym class - I feed her right before I go and as soon as I get back so she's generally okay while I'm away. Tried leaving milk but she's started refusing the bottle again - have a new teat to try so will let you know if we have any luck! We've only got to this stage recently though - probably from around 4 months on. He has his own sling now that he uses to get her to nap while I'm out - before that leaving them on their own was very stressful as she would get over tired and very upset and so would he! Under extreme duress he will sometimes get up with her one morning at the weekend so I can have the whole bed to myself for once. Now he has his sling he will carry her when we're out sometimes which is weird when I'm so used to doing it, but great for the two of them. Despite me being the one she spends so much time with, he still gets the biggest smiles ([​IMG] typical!) so I wouldn't worry about ther bond - it will come!
     
  14. I don't believe in rushing into weaning at the earliest opportunity - and to me, that seems a not-so-good reason.
    I hated expressing, so wouldn't really have bothered with that, and husband wasn't too bothered with it anyway.
    There are things your husband can do... bathtime, sleepy cuddles, singing, bedtime song/story or something, nappies are a particularly good bonding experience [​IMG], I always leave husband and baby to dance and sing while I have a bath, when she was tiny she had lots of skin to skin with him and lots of sleep time on his chest and tummy.
    When she was tiny, she always had a nap on him in the evening and she still frequently falls asleep on him.
    You can go for walks together... go swimming,. Feeding is only one part of being a parent, and his part in that is supporting you! It is hard for a man to take a step back sometimes, but part of being a daddy is putting a childs needs before your own feelings.
    The next 2 months MAX will pass quickly!
     
  15. Yes - as long as she's completely upright. I would suggest sitting her in the high chair while you are having lunch/dinner and stick some bits of toast or sticks of soft steamed vegetables on her tray and see what she does with them. She probably won't do much to begin with tbh, so don't pressure her to do anything. She will let you know when she's ready by getting something to her mouth and giving it a go. It's lots of fun letting them discover food by themselves and allowing them to make choices about what they want to try. My intention was to wait til 6 months and everyone thought I was crazy as she was a big girl (on 98th centile for both height and weight), and we didn't make it to 6 months, she was just over 5 months. But the decision to try solids was hers not mine, I never put things into her mouth, I just put them in front of her and let her play with them. I'm a great believer in babies knowing when they are ready to try something new.
     
  16. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    Thanks so much for the tips and sympathy. We're working on it all! xx
     

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