|He only says 4 words and he is so obviously behind his peers when I go to playdates.|
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.|
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!
Due July 2012
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.
All natural Mama to Keira 6/1/07, Israel 10/10/ 09, Nairi 04/01/2011, and #4 March 2013
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".
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.
Wife to DH , mom to DS (4/09), and DD (8/11), and crafty and hardworking in my own right! In my parenting journey I've , , , , and. To each family their own!!
"There are words for people like me, but I don't think there are very many."
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.
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.|
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.
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.
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.
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...
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!