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dalasmueller 03-22-2011 12:04 PM

We have been following ecological breastfeeding with DD since she was born.  She still nurses almost exclusively with her 1st birthday coming up next week. 



Other EBF moms I know personally have all started their kiddos on solids (some from 6 months).  And they've done perfectly well.  We never did purees, mostly because she doesn't like them, she's only interested in the food on our plate, and partly because, I think, in most cases they're unnecessary.  I know of several children who have gone straight into easy solids at six months and even earlier.


Anyway... so she's going to be a year and I'm a little concerned that she's still not eating.  We have been offering solids since six months, however, she didn't start becoming interested until nine months.  And she is sill trying to figure out the whole chewing thing, even though she has 8 teeth.  She can only eat small, soft solids and even then she sometimes chokes.  She eats a couple times a day at meals, but it's only little tastes here and there.  She never eats enough to provide any sort of substantive nutritional benefit.


I'm sure this is all perfectly normal at her age, but I can't help but feeling like a bad mom for not "properly teaching" her how to eat by now.  At least that's how comments from well-meaning family and friends make me feel.  In addition, she's never been mobile and she's just now almost walking.  I'm a little concerned that when she finally does start walking she'll be expending more energy and the nursing won't be sufficient for her caloric needs.


Has anyone else been in a similar CLW situation?  How long did your EBF baby take to start eating a substantive amount of food?  At what age do babies/toddlers need additional food for nutritional purposes?  At what time, if at all, should I try to introduce purees to get her to start eating more?

crunchy_mommy 03-22-2011 12:31 PM

My DS nursed exclusively 'til 14mos old (I did offer him food but he never ate more than 0-3 tiny tiny bites a day, except whenever I had AF he'd often eat a little more. (Don't ask me why I got AF back at 9mos while nursing several times an hour! shrug.gif) From 14mos on he very very very slowly increased his food intake (with a lot of encouragement from me & DH starting around 18mos because I was tired of nursing 20+ times a day) and now at 25mos he gets about 50% of his calories from food -- so he's still nursing a lot.

He started taking steps at 7mos and was walking lots by 1yo so he had sufficient calories for energy just with breastmilk. Breastmilk is more calorie-dense than anything else they could eat anyway!

He gagged a TON at first and later often spit out chewed-up food and it has only been in the last couple months that he swallows almost everything he chews. He is finally eating things like the membranes of an orange, nuts/seeds, peels on fruit, etc. though occasionally he does still spit them out.

He has a very varied diet, will eat pretty much anything.

I haven't met or heard of any other babies/toddlers who have taken as long DS to really start eating solids, but he is doing just fine, so I'd say unless you have other reasons to worry (not meeting milestones, low energy, etc.), and as long as your supply is good, just follow her lead!

ann_of_loxley 03-23-2011 04:36 AM

I have heard (and know) many breastfed babies that take a long time to start eating solids and to start eating solids where solids make up a majority of their nutritional needs.  It is very important to remember that breastmilk is bloody perfect! - and IS sufficient.  If your child is nursing, they need that and it is giving them what they need.  There is far more calories and well balanced nutrition in breastmilk - more than any solids you could offer them.  (sure avocado is pretty high in healthy fats but it is not as balanced as breastmilk!).  Breastmilk is amazing stuff - it changes as your baby grows to meet their needs.  They don't nessisarily need to take in more (volume) of BM either - the constitution of BM can change to meet their needs (higher in fat/calories/etc).  It really is that amazing! 


DS2 was doing things a bit early for his age - physically.  He could climb the stairs by 7 months of age! lol...  (hes a right monkey this baby!) but we held off on offering solids until he was 9 months old.  He showed interest in solids well before (and at 7 months could have a tantrum to rival any 2 year old any day! lol) but he didn't want to eat food - he just wanted to be a part of the world around him! (humans are social creatures after all - and he is a very social baby himself!) - he turned 11 months old yesterday and still doesn't really eat.  (and if he does it seems to only be peas, blueberries and tomatoes! lol - and only ever a few bits!).  There really is no rush though.  I would never introduce purees.  There is no point.  I have no desire to spoon food into my babies mouth - he is pretty clever and knows what he needs (he has 10 teeth too! so is pretty capable if he wanted!) - ultimatly, as when he is nursing, he is in control of what goes in.  This is very important.  It is a learning process for them as well.  When he actually started to eat food, he stopped gagging too (and theres a big difference between gagging and choking - gagging = good.  They are controlling theri food and what goes in and down - or what comes back out!) 


Food before one is just for fun - so the saying goes and it is true....but I would argue that food before two could also be seen in the same way.  Many breastfed babies I know, who had a 'baby-led solids' intro into the food beyond breastmilk world do not really start chowing down until they are around 18 months of age.  Some before - some after.  All babies are different and they develop so differently too!  But they are very clever - they know what they need!


Breastmilk will be sufficient for her calorific needs.  When she is interested in more solids and actually starts needing more solids, then she will eat more solids!  Trust in yourself, your body - and trust her


(and ugh - Crunchy mommy!...I got my period back at 8 months that point I was STILL EBF! - At least every half hour...he feeds about 20 times a day! lol)

dalasmueller 03-23-2011 08:45 AM

Thank you both for your input!  I feel much more encouraged.  I know someone who said she had to start introducing purees at 14-15 months because her son was still not eating solids and had started losing weight for lack of nutrition.  I didn't know if that was typical or not for BF babies.

Asiago 03-23-2011 11:43 AM

You may find some interesting info in this article pertaining to the 'two year age' mark and solids:

crunchy_mommy 03-23-2011 01:15 PM

Originally Posted by dalasmueller View Post

Thank you both for your input!  I feel much more encouraged.  I know someone who said she had to start introducing purees at 14-15 months because her son was still not eating solids and had started losing weight for lack of nutrition.  I didn't know if that was typical or not for BF babies.

Was the baby BF on demand? Did the mother have any supply issues? I'm sure there are other reasons this could happen but those would be my first thoughts...

dalasmueller 03-24-2011 10:04 AM

I believe she was BF on demand and I don't think there were any supply issues, although I have heard of there being supply issues that aren't "caught" until the child begins having nutritional problems, so it may have been a factor.

crunchy_mommy 03-24-2011 10:15 AM

Originally Posted by dalasmueller View Post

I believe she was BF on demand and I don't think there were any supply issues, although I have heard of there being supply issues that aren't "caught" until the child begins having nutritional problems, so it may have been a factor.

Hmm. Did he actually lose weight, or did he maintain/gain but drop percentiles on the chart? (Well I don't know if you have all this info, but anyway)... I know a lot of BF babies will drop percentiles on the chart (especially if they aren't using the WHO charts for BF babies) and maybe that was the case? Which is scary but not necessarily a real 'problem' if that makes sense. Or the baby had some other underlying medical issue?? I guess I'm saying, in the vast majority of cases, breastmilk alone should be sufficient to maintain/gain weight and ensure adequate nutrition well into the second year in most cases if mom & baby are both otherwise healthy & baby is fed on demand (with no/minimal pacifier or bottle use)... There aren't a lot of studies on it in the US because so few babies are BF even past 6mos, nevermind EBF into their second year! In some cultures, though, babies routinely BF and don't eat much in terms of solids until age 2 or so...

titania8 03-27-2011 05:34 PM

My youngest was offered solids starting at 8 months (which is also when he started walking). He was not interested. We continued offering, and he would occasionally eat something, but for the most part, he was ebf. Around 15/16 months he gradually started eating more, but still, mostly just nursing. If I had to guess, I'd say close to 85% of his nutrition was from milk, if not more. From that time until very recently, he would generally eat dinner and a few bites of snacks during the day. He's 27 months now, and just 2 weeks ago he really started eating. He was 25 lbs for over a year (he'd gotten taller, but not heavier). Over the course of 4 days he gained a pound and a half!

We did baby led weaning/solids with him, no spoon feeding, no purees, just regular food that we were having. he started walking at 8 months.

I hope that helps. I think your LO is just fine. smile.gif

milkybean 05-10-2011 03:50 AM

Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Don't ask me why I got AF back at 9mos while nursing several times an hour! shrug.gif)

I got AF when DS was 4 months old.  He nursed like a typical newborn until he was 3...I honestly don't remember him ever NOT being latched on until he was 1...  But as soon as I "woke up" and stopped being able to nap when he napped, boom, AF.  Life is unfair sometimes...  (more so b/c we started "trying" when he was 9 months old and now he's almost 7 and still no new baby)



Anyway, I know this is an old thread and the baby is probably eating some now, but I wanted to be supportive.  We were shooting for a year of exclusive nursing, but just after 11 months old he walked over to where I was sitting on the floor, pushed me over (strong, tall kid with early knowledge of leverage), grabbed the apple I was eating.  Took a bite, chewed it, swallowed.  First food.


Had some more apple, a bit of soft pear, then was sort of done for a few more months.  Slowly started being more interested i other foods, slowly started to eat them.  (and then the poop changed over from breastfed poop, at around 18 months, oh the poor baby)


He's now 7 years old, and eats most everything!  He hasn't always been adventurous, but he's always been quite good at eating various foods, things that needed lots of chewing, soft things, etc etc.  A tad allergic to cow's milk (loves goat and sheep cheese, though, without a reaction!), and has a rightfully-so NASTY reaction to anything based on corn syrup (gets violent), but no other problems.  Has recently declared that pesto and Indian food are "on the list"...those came after I really made sure he knew that this particular food I make (from a Trader Joe's "fake meat") has both ginger AND garlic in it, and YES he likes those things, especially since he loves LOVES loves hummus. 



Alllll those friends and relatives, the ones that made snide comments, concerned questions, etc etc...not one of them has EVER said "oops, my bad".  No apologies for the torment they put me through (similar lack of questions/comments on the cloth diaper issue, after they told me we'd never make it, no one could, since THEY couldn't do it).  So obnoxious that they were so full of questioning words...and so empty of congratulatory words...



Best of luck to you!

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