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I'm starving my 16 mo old... - Page 4

post #61 of 73
He only says 4 words and he is so obviously behind his peers when I go to playdates.
He's 16 months with four words? Is that four different consonant sounds?

Because my excellent eater, at 17.5 months, has words with three different consonant sounds and just two vowel sounds. She does have a large "vocabulary" but all her words sound the same. I see other kids her age all the time and they are all over the map in terms of speech.

He is 16 mo and his 12 mo pants fall off him.
My daughter is in the 45th % for weight and height and her 12 months pants fall off her when she wears no diaper or a disposable diaper, especially OshKosh and Target. Old Navy and Gap fit better.

Please, please do not think that by nursing a child until 16 months you have done something wrong. It is very normal for children to eat few solids and not to speak more than a few words at that age. VERY normal. Yes, the averages, and yes, his weight, but frankly, I think you are assuming that you are literally starving him and that this is affecting his speech and I simply do not hear that.

Yes, he needs more calories if he's off the charts. I agree. But no, it doesn't necessarily have to do with your cooking skills and it also doesn't mean he was meant to be at the 50th percentile. Some kids just talk later. Some kids eat more solids later. They're more methodical. Period.

It's great that you're getting him help but don't beat yourself up. I'd have been thrilled if my child spoke four distinct words at 16 months, or if my almost-18-month old could say more than 3 consonant sounds consistently (she eats tons of crackers and nurses frequently... she's great at chewing in general). And I know my kids are bright, normal, and healthy.

Do not compare him to the dead-average of these charts. Someone has to speak later, and it is not a sign of intelligence or anything. Maybe they're just making sure!
post #62 of 73
I agree with the PP. My daughter is nearly 16 months and has dropped on the growth charts since her 9 month well child appointment. She is still bf on demand and has been eating solids since around 7 months. I offer her a wide range of foods and some days she eats lots and some days she doesn't. I live in the southern hemisphere so it has been winter here and she has been sick a lot with colds and a couple of ear infections. So have I. She totally loses her appetite when she is sick. But she is very active, energetic and usually pretty happy, when she isn't sick. So she has no other signs of being malnourished. I do believe bm is enough exclusively until 1 but then gradually more solid food is needed. I would take the help of the 'experts' but don't assume that you have done anything wrong and be suspicious of blaming his chewing on something like not having enough crackers. Nothing is ever that simple and most 'experts' meet very few children who are breastfed past 6 months let alone more than a year so they are not likely to have a good knowledge of what is 'normal' for a breastfed child. Do you know any other mothers IRL who have breastfed beyond a year who you could talk to? I know my LLL group helps me keep things in perspective when I am worried about Ella. I agree with the PP person who said that with your child dropping off the charts then he needs more food but don't think you have been starving him. It sounds like there may be some other issues at play that need addressing which you couldn't have known about.
post #63 of 73
Originally Posted by DBZ View Post
I have issues with what the docs said about BM. Your son is only 16 months. The WHO recommends BM till at least 2. It is a perfect food for him and helps his speech and every other development. Breastfed babies have strong tongues. Have you had issues with his nursing at all since his birth? Did he nurse a lot as a baby? There is far more nutrition in the BM then in crackers. I say nurse him more frequently. How many times is he nursing now? The iron you give him via your breastmilk is more easily absorbed them any other source of iron. As far as table foods are concerned, let him eat whatever he will eat. If he will eat your almond butter on toast then great. It's good for him and it has texture. You can mix rice into his avocado (no reason he can't eat that everyday). You can buy brown rice at Trader Joe's that you can nuke in the microwave.
I took the doctor's comments that she mentioned to mean that exclusive bf is not sufficient at this point, with which I would agree. An active toddler needs more than just breastmilk. I agree it's top notch for the first year, but after that, they need to consume more (but keeping up with bf also is obviously ideal). He does need to move on in his development with eating foods, which the poster is rightly taking the advice to do.
post #64 of 73

just boil stuff!

whole wheat pasta
frozen vegetables
whole wheat couscous

my toddler is 2.5 and that's all the cooking i do for her.
super easy!
post #65 of 73
I'm glad you got some answers. Don't feel like its your fault though. Some kids are slower to eat solids. My dd didn't eat more than 20% solids till probably 15ish months. My nephew is 2 years old ( just turned 2 in Sept) he is still 95% breastfed. He eats every little solids. He just doesn't want to eat much. He may have feeding issues as well. His parents haven't taken him in for any evaul but I just don't want you to feel like its your fault. My 12 month eats probably 75% solids or more and nurses 4-5 times a day and he isn't even on the charts for height and weight. He is so tiny.
post #66 of 73
Thread Starter 
It's just been an emotional roller coaster. One day I tell myself it's fine that he barely ate, but another day I get so frustrated and want to cry (and do). I think I'm just on a short fuse due to lack of sleep and am not handling the everyday stresses as well as I could or should be. I just can't convince myself that he is fine barely eating in a day. I'm sure he's fine, but it's still hard to go through this at every meal.

I suppose he's not starving because I would think he would cry if he were hungry. But then again, I nurse him to pacify him.

The reason for the specialists suggesting cutting back on BM is because it is displacing his eating of solids. He really needs more calories and if I can't get him to eat solids at home, I can't get the calories into him and can't add in any healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil, butter, etc) because he won't eat what I mix them in. It's a vicious cycle. He BFs more because he is hungry and I can't get him to eat more solids because he is filled up on BM. I have even tried to get him to nurse on just one side, but that still seems to be enough to satiate him and he still doesn't want solids.

When he is tugging at my shirt and pushes away his sippy cup and all food and starts sobbing uncontrollably, and all he wants is to BF, what can I do? MY DH is at work all day, so I am the only one that feeds (or tries to) our DS.

Also, I've been wanting to wean for months and am getting depressed about the whole situation because both of us are not getting what we need. I need much more sleep (we co-sleep) and I am taking it out on our DS because my coping skills are out the window with exhaustion and he needs many more calories than I can provide at this stage of his life.

A typical night is him waking about 3 hours after he is nursed to sleep, then he wakes after about another 2-3 hours (say 2:30am) then he starts waking up hourly after that until he is finally up at around 6:30am. I can't do this anymore. I'm a living zombie during the day and he is not getting a good mom.

He won't sleep through the night until he is getting more calories during the day, as he seems to be making up for the lack thereof at night. And, he is habituated to needing to nurse at night now.

My DH tried to sleep with him the other night for the first time, with the thinking that if I weren't so close to our DS, he might not wake up to nurse. But, he woke up after his normal three hours and cried, so the experiment ended. I couldn't deny him to BF because he probably was legitimately hungry.

I wish I had a crystal ball. A year from now, I'll be saying I wish I knew then what I know now (when he is eating us out of house and home) and I'll wish that I didn't worry so much about it.

I also wish I were enjoying this time more and didn't have something like this to stress about, since stress just feeds into my non-Zen personality. I just think the lack of a solid night's sleep is really taking it's toll on me. Hmmm..we both need our own variation of "solid".
post #67 of 73
Aw, ya poor mama. I can hear the exasperation (very warranted). I'm sorry this is such a battle for you.

I would agree with the posters above... That still breastfeeding at 16 months is normal. That there will be days where your toddler will eat a ton of solids, and days where he will only want boob. That it's totally normal to only have the 4 words. That toddler boys have slender waists.

It sounds like you are killing yourself with guilt here. I still wake up once every hour or two at night with my 18 month old. So I hear you on the tired/cranky/exasperated front! But guilt is NOT going to help you. You can't change the past, you can only change the future, so make a plan and focus on what you CAN do. You CAN do it!

One suggestion on the feeding that I didn't see (forgive me if I'm repeating, your thread is looooong), is to offer a few different foods at a time. For example, I'll put down cheese quesadillas, yogurt, and sliced fruit for my DS. Or crackers, cheese, and fruit. Or steamed carrots, hummus, and pitas. I find that when I only give him one option, he usually doesn't want it. But if HE gets to choose what texture/flavor/color goes in the trap, then he's more likely to actually eat it.

Also, have you experimented with how you feed? Let your DS feed himself, or try feeding him. Try leaving him alone (as alone as you should leave a toddler, anyway). Try sitting with him. Try eating at the same time. Try feeding him off a fork. Try feeding him with your fingers. Try giving him his own utensils. And strip him down before you do anything... Let him make a huge mess of himself.

Hit the frozen aisle at your local natural foods store. Pre-prepared frozen organics are waaaay better than no food at all, and require minimal cooking. Try not to get wrapped up in the fact that it's not the best. It's food. It's organic. Plenty of kids get McDonalds every day... A microwaved organic meal from Whole Foods is still going to have nutrients!

And remember, butter makes everything better... You can cook the H-e-doublehockeysticks out of fish, and if it was drowning in butter it would still taste great. And remember, your DS is not a discriminating adult. He isn't thinking "gosh, mom overcooked the fish again."

I'm sorry things are rough for you right now. Big hugs to you mama.
post #68 of 73
I totally know where you are coming from in terms of lack of sleep. That also probably takes its toll on him.

Have you asked about sleep here? Some people will suggest that zombie-hood is quite normal and even fine, but you will also get some very good suggestions. I found No-Cry Sleep Solution to be a good start for us.

I also suggest letting him snack throughout the day if mealtimes aren't working. So nurse, but then offer snack foods. Normally I wouldn't suggest that for an older child, but if dates, carrot sticks, etc. are available and he can get say, cream in a sippy in the car, it might just work.

Good luck. I know you are under a lot of stress and I know what it's like to get hardly any sleep. My (non co-sleeping, but still night nursing 'cause guess what, I'm too tired to actively parent at night to break this habit) 18-mo-old has only been sleeping longer stretches very recently and it has been hard.
post #69 of 73
We're in a similar boat as you, OP. My daughter, who is almost 16m, at her last appt was in the 4th percentile for weight at just under 19lbs. She still can fit into 6-9m clothes.

My doctor also threw around the words "failure to thrive" but he didn't seem very concerned. He told us to give her more cows milk. So we tried that.

I think she has some issues digesting either casein or gluten, because she started getting constipated. So I cut both of those out of her diet and mine about two weeks ago... no more mucosy poops, no more constipation, the red ring on her butt is disappearing. Hopefully she will start gaining more weight too since gluten intolerance can interfere with absorbing enough nutrition.

cut a bunch of stuff and edit:

When he is tugging at my shirt and pushes away his sippy cup and all food and starts sobbing uncontrollably, and all he wants is to BF, what can I do? MY DH is at work all day, so I am the only one that feeds (or tries to) our DS.
I missed this part of your post. Oh mama, this is hard. I don't know. Have you tried sitting him down and explaining to him why you are trying to encourage him to eat more solids? It sounds hokey, but I feel that my daughter is much more likely to go along with what I am doing if I explain it to her, even if it seems like she couldn't understand. I tell her that I love her, but that I need her to eat more food, and that she will only nurse at certain times of the day because she's a big girl and that is what big girls do. At those times, she gets to nurse as long as she wants, so she gets more hindmilk. And other times, I just say, "Food, eat?" and remind her that her next nursing time is (after her nap, after dinner, after the sun comes up).
And it really does seem to help. I do think setting nursing boundaries/nightweaning is a good mothering decision. I do think it has helped us, and it seems it could help you too.

Also... could he be getting his molars? My daughter asks for "food" by signing sometimes but she really wants something to chew on because she's in pain. She pushes away food even though she asks for food.
post #70 of 73
Thread Starter 
He just had two molars break through within the past week on the right and left upper sides, and definitely had a couple of nights of lots more crying than normal and wanting to stay latched much of the night.

I would think that chewing would make him feel better, since he is chewing on his hands and my fingers, but he still pushes away a lot of the food I offer.

He continues to not eat much on most days at home. I have been giving him lots of crackers (graham cracker sticks) and veggie chip sticks throughout the day, so he can get used to chewing on crunchier things, and he loves the graham sticks. I carry them with me on errands now.

He eats the most (what I share off my plate) when we go out to eat, but we only can do that maybe 2 times a week. I always order salmon, which he loves. I'll have to try making at home and see how he takes to it.

I also am giving him smoothies made of coconut oil, frozen berries, cow's milk, and a bit of frozen spinach. Sometimes he will drink it, other times he pushes it away and cries for just plain old cow's milk.

Lately, I've been going 6-7 hour stretches of not BFing during the day. I don't know if that is good or bad or a good start to the weaning process. Time will tell...

Oh, and to answer a previous question, as far as consonants spoken, he says the following words: mama, dada, daddy, doggie, and baby.
post #71 of 73
He can say the "g" in "doggie"? Then he's miles ahead of my DD that eats a wide variety of foods. I'm sorry I just don't buy your doc's assertion that he needs to chew to pronounce consonants.

Roasted salmon is hard to do perfectly but easy to do well: pre-heat to 400, top with butter, salt and pepper. 15-20 minutes. Keep checking until it flakes easily. I mess mine up but it still tastes like butter, salt, pepper and fish. LOL! Good luck. Use frozen fillets.
post #72 of 73
Originally Posted by lkmiscnet View Post
HeLately, I've been going 6-7 hour stretches of not BFing during the day. I don't know if that is good or bad or a good start to the weaning process. Time will tell...
that's how i started to wean. i know a lot of people cut out the night time first, but for me, it was easier to cut out daytime first. my boys (i have twins) were at the point where they were just nursing to sleep and at night for probably 2-3 months or so. and then one night i realized that the nursing to sleep and at night thing was simply not working any more, for multiple reasons, so i cut that out and they were weaned fully at ~16mos. i know everyone here says to BF forever, but for me and for my kids it was really time to stop. they finally learned to fall asleep without the boob and started sleeping through within days. i am really glad i breastfed them for as long as i did, but i was also really happy to be done with it to be honest. and since they were getting more sleep, their temperaments improved, so i think they were truly ready, too.

just throwing that out there to you. it might not be the answer, but since you are going long stretches without nursing and since it sounds like you want to be done but are stuck on it.... i thought maybe it might be good to know that i was where you're at, took the plunge, and am glad that i did. the first few nights were tough, but after that it was 100000% great. breaking any habit is hard.

sounds like you're making great progress with the graham cracker sticks! keep it up! you'll eventually find more things with texture that he likes, i'm sure, and the eating will improve from there! just run with it!
post #73 of 73
Originally Posted by lkmiscnet View Post
When he is tugging at my shirt and pushes away his sippy cup and all food and starts sobbing uncontrollably, and all he wants is to BF, what can I do? MY DH is at work all day, so I am the only one that feeds (or tries to) our DS.
Are YOU eating enough? If you are not getting enough calories into you, then BF-ing him can take its toll on your health as well.
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