almost 16 month old never really took to solids - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 11-23-2010, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Is this the correct place for this question? I love this forum but am not a regular user. I've searched other threads and got some helpful information but figure it won't hurt to post my own, specific question and story. 

 

DS is almost 16 months old. He is about 19 lbs. He went from being at 50 percent on the weight charts at 6 months to barely hanging onto the charts. Our ped is very relaxed and wasnt' too concerned until he went a few months with only a few oz gained between 12 months and 15 months. Now she would like us to come in for a weight check next month. She has always been very supportive of breastfeeding. 

 

We started solids around 6.5 months, when he seemed ready for them. We started off trying homemade purees, but DS did not want to be spoonfed. We then tried a baby led weaning approach after borrowing the BLW book from a recommending friend, but quickly modified it as DS was choking (not gagging, but choking, or getting food stuck at the back of his throat for hours). We actually pulled back on the solids for a while. 

 

Within a few months, DS was able to pick up foods much more easily, and started eating things like avocado and cheese pretty well. But he still resisted being spoonfed (fair enough, we didn't push it). The problem is, he never really started eating any of those things in earnest. At best, he'd have a quarter of an avocado in one sitting, and that was on a very good day. 

 

In the months since starting solids, we have kept a food journal of what he eats and when, and we try hard to pay attention to things like how he slept the night before, whether he is sick or teething (which he is, always) and so on. We haven't really noticed any patterns that could help us figure out what might be wrong. Some days he'll even decide it's okay to be spoonfed, other days, not so much. 

 

For a while, we had some luck with letting him self feed with those little organic pouches, but he will take a few slugs and then start playing with them. 

 

As far as our breastfeeding relationship goes, DS was a great nurser, and I always had a good supply (even an oversupply at one point). He has never nightweaned and still nurses a few times a night (sometimes every two hours, sometimes goes four hours between, it depends). 

 

I got my period back at 4 months PP, and started experiencing supply dips at that time. I nursed through them as DS seemed to be dealing welll and just nursing more to make up for it. However, now I'm wondering if this is when / how the problems with his weight started. All along, my ped was very reassuring, telling us that it's very normal for breastfeeding babies to drop down in the charts. Of course, now she is concerned because of how far he's fallen.

 

She's assessed him and doesn't think there is anything MAJOR to worry about. She's discussed maybe a nutritionist or a feeding / speech therapist (though he probably has three dozen words and doesn't seem to have any oral / motor problems). But what would a nutrtionist tell me? I know what to do in terms of giving him high fat foods, he just won't EAT it. And I've tried just about every food and "milkshake" combo out there. 

 

Our pediatrician mentioned that some children are just nursing fiends and will nurse to the point of not being particularly hungry, but she said that nursing alone is not enough for him at this age. However, she said she does not recommend taking nursing AWAY from him at this point, just that we need to try to emphasize solids more. 

 

I think we'll check into any GI problems, as I have long suspected my little one might have had an undiagnosed acid reflux (and am sort of kicking myself for not being more aggressive in testing earlier, b/c we are leery of overmedicating, etc). 

 

I also have heard that maybe there could be some sensory issues at play, but I'm not sure how to know that for sure without seeing the feeding therapist (even if I do decide to go this route, they're all so backed up it will be two months before we can get in with them). 

 

I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE any tips, strategies, reassurances, and maybe insights that been there, done that parents have to offer. 

 

I am not completely opposed to limiting or delaying nursing if it is really going to help DS get into solids, but I'm extremely worried that this will backfire and I will eliminate at least the one thing that he will reliably put into his tummy. I also, obviously, treasure and love the nursing relationship (even if it is kind of killing me overnight). 

 

I'm so sorry for the epic novel and hope someone can help. 

 

Cheers. 

 

 

 

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#2 of 22 Old 11-23-2010, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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As if that weren't long enough: 

 

As an add on to the sensory input possibility, I would just clarify that if there is a problem here, it seems like it is ONLY related to eating. He doesn't like to be spoonfed and is really tentative about taking bites. I don't think that there is a sensory issue but a few friends said I should't rule it out. So even though I don't THINK this is the problem, I don't want to dismiss anything out of hand without hearing more about it. 

 

He doesn't have any other sensory-type issues, though. Doesnt mind being messy or wet, doesn't mind noises, or tags in clothes, etc. If there is an issue, it seems to be an oral-aversion only. 

 

Thanks. 

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#3 of 22 Old 11-23-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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I would have him evaluated by Early Intervention to see if there is a motor issue at play. At the very least, you can rule it out.

 

I am glad your ped sounds so reasonable. But at this point, I'd start to be concerned as well.

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#4 of 22 Old 11-24-2010, 09:13 PM
 
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Wow, our children sound like twins! DD is almost 15 months, exclusively bf, refuses solids, 19 lbs, hitting all milestones, doesn't mind being messy, no other signs of sensory issues... she just will not eat! There is no way I can even get a spoon near her, she totally freaks out. If I leave her be, to play with food, she MIGHT (like 3 - 5 times in the past 3 months) take a nibble off a cookie, but then she spits it all out.

We have been to the feeding clinic 3 times now. They are pretty sure there's no physical reason for her not eating, it seems to be behavioral. So we were told to continue to let her explore and play with food. They also want me to spread out our nursing sessions, she nurses every 2 hours or less, all day and all night... I honestly do not think its a lack of hunger, I just dont think she wants to eat anything else yet.

Im also concerned about my mill supply, I really cannot risk it reducing due to fewer feedings, seeing as thats all she is consuming...

I posted a thread in "toddlers" last week, you might find it helpful, a number of people chimed in...

 

Here's to hoping our dc wake up tomorrow and start eating like all of their friends :)


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#5 of 22 Old 11-25-2010, 07:26 AM
 
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My two were in the 'nurse to the point of never being hungry' category.  I had to kind of take control of it to get us in a pattern that I felt was more age appropriate.  So I cut way back on nursing during the day, added more snacks.. eventually nightweaned etc.  They just weren't hungry while I was nursing on demand. 

 

I would have been hesitant to do this had they seemed to have any real issues with food.  But they didn't.  They just found it easier to nurse 15 times a day :)  But not easier for me!


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#6 of 22 Old 11-26-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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We have the exact same issues here.  DD is 17months.  A few months ago she was showing less and less interest in food and wanted to bfeed all the time to the point where she wasn't eating ANYTHING.  She never ate much in the 6-12mo period but it got even worse.  We cut back on the daytime nursing and [surprise!] she's started to eat more solids and drink milk from a cup.   It's gradual and slow-going though - I have to distract her a lot and make sure I get some solids in before she gets too hungry, otherwise she'll take nothing but breast.  I offer snacks/meals frequently throughout the day.  I often even let her nap in the stroller or car just to avoid having to bfeed her to sleep at naptime (just until we get her more used to consuming the solids and drinking from the cup).  We're down to bfeeding only 1-2 times per day although she nurses quite a few times at night (not reverse cycling because she always fed this way all night).  I still seem to have lots of milk.  I'm planning to wean further in the coming months to fix my lack-of-sleep issues.

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#7 of 22 Old 11-27-2010, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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It's remarkable that cutting back on nursing seemed to do the trick for a few of you. I worry so much about that given that it does seem to be the only thing he'll reliably eat. And he gets soooooo much comfort and delight from nursing. Obviously I don't want to continue nursing on demand at the expense of his health, but it does seem REALLY counter-intuitive to cut back on nursing when it's the single source of his nutrition. I will probably try to get to the OT recommended by my pediatrician. We don't have early intervention per se here in DC but I will do it privately. Unfortunately, the soonest appointment is 8 weeks away, and I'd love to make some progress before that long. I guess I'm not going to make any changes until we totally rule out a motor issue, but I really don't think that's the issue considering when he WANTS to, he can take reasonable bites, chew, and swallow food. (One thing he will eat, reliably albeit very slowly, are trader joes yogurt dipped cookies. But obviously I'm not going to feed him a diet made up of cookies...) 

 

One thing, I normally work from home but have two days where I'm going to be away from my son for a full day of meetings, two days in a row (I'll be home at night). I was going to have my husband bring him to the meeting so I could duck out and nurse him, since he won't take a bottle, but maybe we'll play it by ear. I'll pump to protect my supply and see how he eats.

 

To add to the fun, we're in the midst of cutting the first molars, and he's been really sick all weekend (beyond the teething) so the eating has been very limited. He also threw up twice. Doctor says it is just a virus, but I'm sure this isn't going to help the weight situation any. This is our first experience with a fever (I know that's lucky given he's 16 months) and I feel like I could use less worrying right about now! One of the molars broke through yesterday so I'm hoping the other is not far behind; that should help things at least slightly. 

 

Thank you all so much for your replies. This is such a supportive forum; I really need to get on here more often. 

 

Carolyn Mtl, I'm going to try to find your post in toddlers--if you get a chance, would you link to it? 

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#8 of 22 Old 11-27-2010, 05:43 PM
 
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I made a lot of progress with my DD and food at about the same age and then she got sick with a fever and had molars coming in (at the same time just like you!)...she wouldn't eat ANYTHING all over again so I bfed her until she recovered (it was important to me that she get the fluids so she wouldn't get too sick) but then of course we were right back to square one again. That was about two weeks ago.  Since then I've cut back on the daytime nursing again and she has gradually eaten more and more each day.  I have to really make a big effort to offer a variety of "interesting" foods at regular, frequent intervals and then distract her when she usually likes to nurse so it's hard work but we ARE making progress.  We're back to 1-2 bfeeds during the day and I'm working to eliminate those too.

 

Go with your intuition...I REALLY don't think there's ANYTHING wrong with your child - he's just filling up on bmilk and has decided that's how he likes to satisfy his hunger, period!  Maybe he finds it easier or more comforting or whatever but IMHO the only thing to do is cut back on daytime nursing because they need more calories than just the bmilk at this age!  It's great if you can do both (i.e. they'll eat first and then bfeed after) but I've discovered with some babies they're too stubborn for it to work well that way so I'm just going to bedtime bfeed until I'm ready to wean entirely.

 

And don't worry...even if you totally eliminated bmilk tomorrow he wouldn't starve - a child will NOT let themselves starve, they will eat once they realize the bmilk is no longer available.  It's just a matter of doing the weaning gently, which is the hard part!

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#9 of 22 Old 11-28-2010, 03:44 AM
 
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I often hear people say that but I don't understand it!  To me it seems obvious that if I child is eating one thing to the exclusion of other things, it's time to hold back on that one thing.  I really think sometimes children just don't know what they're supposed to do.  If nursing is available to him whenever he wants 24 hours a day and he loves it.. then he sees no need to try anything else.  He's not hungry, right?  Because he's nursing 12-15 times a day!  It's like that medical adage.  When you hear the sound of hooves.. think horses, not zebras.

 

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Originally Posted by FMB View Post

It's remarkable that cutting back on nursing seemed to do the trick for a few of you. I worry so much about that given that it does seem to be the only thing he'll reliably eat. And he gets soooooo much comfort and delight from nursing. Obviously I don't want to continue nursing on demand at the expense of his health, but it does seem REALLY counter-intuitive to cut back on nursing when it's the single source of his nutrition.

 


DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#10 of 22 Old 11-28-2010, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, that's a bit overly simplistic, isn't it? Especially when my pediatrician says "don't withhold nursing" from him. Not that I always listen to my pediatrician on everything, but I'm really not interested in cutting him off from nursing, ruining my supply, then having to have him fed with a feeding tube or something if he never takes to it. I haven't ruled out cutting back on nursing, but it is far from "obvious" to me. 

 

Sorry if this seems snippy, but your post sounded really condescending to a worried mom. 

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#11 of 22 Old 11-28-2010, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMB View Post

Well, that's a bit overly simplistic, isn't it? Especially when my pediatrician says "don't withhold nursing" from him. Not that I always listen to my pediatrician on everything, but I'm really not interested in cutting him off from nursing, ruining my supply, then having to have him fed with a feeding tube or something if he never takes to it. I haven't ruled out cutting back on nursing, but it is far from "obvious" to me. 

 

Sorry if this seems snippy, but your post sounded really condescending to a worried mom. 



Sorry, I was quoting D_McG and didn't mean to reply to everyone suggesting weaning or partial weaning. Like I said, I'm considering it among other options. We got two molars this week, and at least one more on the way, so I'm hoping there is an improvement after they come in. 

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#12 of 22 Old 11-28-2010, 09:24 AM
 
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My 14mo old (almost 15mos) hasn't shown a great interest in solids. He likes certain things (those little organic pouches are a fave) but prefers nursing. I've just let him eat what he was comfortable with, nursed him as much as he wants and offered new tastes and textures frequently. I'm starting to see him progress a little more now with eating. He at some baked chicken nuggets yesterday as well as a PB sandwich that his dad gave him (there's no food allergies in our family so I'm not worried about giving this so early).

I wouldn't stop nursing. I'd get a feeding eval if you really felt there was a problem. Otherwise, I'd be sure to offer different tastes and textures and let him take it at his own pace. As long as he's thriving and happy and developing normally, it's not a problem.

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#13 of 22 Old 11-28-2010, 01:12 PM
 
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It really wasn't supposed to be condescending and to me it's not overly simplistic.  I'm not saying to wean him overnight. I'm not saying to wean him at all.  If it were me (and remember at one point it WAS me) I would stop nursing him 12-15 times a day and hope (assume!) that when he is hungry he'll eat. Not STARVE him into eating.  But let's say nurse him after breakfast, before nap, before bed and one other time. And see what happens.  If it doesn't help then just go back to nursing him when he wants.

 

You asked for advice and lots of people are giving you advice.  If those who just waited it out make more sense then listen to them.   I know there are people with 2 year old who eat 1/4 cup of food per day.  If they don't mind nursing up to 15 times a day then more power to them.  It's not what I wanted for me or my kids but again.  It's whatever works for your family.  I assumed it WASN'T working for you b/c you were asking for help. Maybe you just wanted to hear that it was OK and normal?  If so, you're hearing that too. 
 

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Originally Posted by FMB View Post

Well, that's a bit overly simplistic, isn't it? Especially when my pediatrician says "don't withhold nursing" from him. Not that I always listen to my pediatrician on everything, but I'm really not interested in cutting him off from nursing, ruining my supply, then having to have him fed with a feeding tube or something if he never takes to it. I haven't ruled out cutting back on nursing, but it is far from "obvious" to me. 

 

Sorry if this seems snippy, but your post sounded really condescending to a worried mom. 




DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#14 of 22 Old 11-28-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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My daughter was definitely slower to start solids than anyone we know IRL (I offered food only after breastfeeding until maybe 9 months, then whenever we were eating whether we had nursed recently or not, and she started to do more than nibble around 15 months), but we're not exactly in the same boat because her weight never went below about average (even tho she didn't gain anything for several months, she was heavy enough to begin with that she was still smack in the middle of the chart at the end of it). But one thing I can remember from around that time is that I still felt our nursing relationship was very delicate and something I needed to nurture constantly, and when I look back now I realize how easy it is to bounce back! We're going strong at almost 28 months, and even now, I know if I am well-hydrated, my supply will increase to demand pretty quickly, whether after spending a night away or to nurse her through a cold. So I'm definitely not saying to starve or deprive your baby, but I am saying you should have confidence that if you experiment with less frequent feeding it's not going to be closing any doors- especially if when you do feed after a longer interval you have the time to let him take all he will. Without him getting any less milk at the end of the day, you can manipulate your daily rhythm a little bit to be more conducive to eating, you know what I mean? I guess you are probably already trying to do this, so sorry if I am stating the obvious. I strongly agreed when momma_bear said if her LO gets too hungry, s/he'll take only breast. So it's all about finding a balance. I do have strong faith that our babies know what they need. But I've also seen that after about a year they start to have "wants" that can conflict with the best balance of themselves and everyone else in the family all getting their needs met. So I would stay really hydrated and let him nurse to his heart's content most of the time, but maybe after those molars stop aching,  get out of the house for a few extra hours here and there. It sounds like you deserve a break, and I think there's a good chance someone else can catch him in the right window of willingness to try more food! Whichever route you take, I know that he will eventually grow into a hungry teenager, and you are clearly a very loving mother. I hope that things become easier and that your needs are considered too! >hugs<

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#15 of 22 Old 11-28-2010, 09:26 PM
 
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I am saying you should have confidence that if you experiment with less frequent feeding it's not going to be closing any doors

 

totally agree...FMB, I really wouldn't worry about your supply at this point.  If your babe was 3 weeks old, for sure.  But at this age, your supply is well-established and if it did drop off after a few days of eliminating feeds and you wanted to resume a more rigorous nursing schedule, I'm quite confident your supply would return without too much effort.  He won't end up on feeding tubes ROFL!!!!

 

But I've also seen that after about a year they start to have "wants" that can conflict with the best balance of themselves and everyone else in the family all getting their needs met. 

 

Totally agree here too - there's definitely a difference in need/want in infants vs older children.  My DD is certainly trying to exert her will on all aspects of her life at this age and I truly believe that the bfeeding/solids balance can become a power struggle, particularly if Mom is anxious about how much food they're eating (they pick up on it fast!)

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#16 of 22 Old 11-28-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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I wouldn't limit nursing.  That sounds like a bad idea for a child that you want to gain weight.  I'd look at what he WILL eat and go from there.  Honestly 1/4 of an avocado is a good sized portion for a 19lb kid.  Dd wasn't a big eater and was a big nurser.  That was her pattern.  But she was 25lbs at that age- though she didn't gain from around 10months to around 2.  She got big and then stretched out.  

 

I'd address the food and eating- keep a journal (sorry- did you say you were doing this?) and see if you can figure out what sorts of things he will eat- does he like mushy or crunchy?  Hot or cold?

 

Both of mine eat more if it's salty...  try spices and plain.

 

Aim for higher fat/calorie foods or add calories to ones they'll eat- full fat dairy, meats, avocado, nut butters (if you're comfortable with them, both of mine had them by that age), add olive oil to veggies, etc.

 

good luck!

 

-Angela

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#17 of 22 Old 11-29-2010, 12:12 PM
 
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I haven't read all the replies yet, but I though I would share while I have a second.

 

My DD went through the EXACT same thing.  She was 19 pounds at 16 months, but she was also very tall so she looked just sooooooo skinny.  She refused to eat... pretty much ever.  And what she did allow into her mouth she spit back out.  She was getting pretty anemic from not eating.  After only 4 ounces of weight gain between 9 months and 16 months, I got her into ECI services (Early Childhood Intervention).  They were AMAZING!!!  They sent out an occupational therapist who helped her discover food in a new way and gave us suggestions on how to help her between visits.  The services were free and now at 20 months she has gained a couple POUNDS and looks much better.  She eats plenty and she still nurses plenty as well.  I can tell you a few things we did with ECI but it would probably be better to see if you can contact someone to help since all kids are different.

Things the therapist did/suggested-

1. Don't limit any food.  If she liked chicken nuggets and that's all she ate for the day was a bunch of nuggets, then fine, at least she was eating.

2. Encouraged her to play with food rather than telling her to eat it.  The big thing was getting her to kiss the food once she was comfortable handling it, squishing it, ect.  once she kissed it, she smelled it and got a little taste.  Eventually kissing the food led to eating the food.

3.  Dip stuff! dip grahm crackers in yogurt, dip steamed carrots in ranch, dip apples in caramel.  It's fun, and it adds calories.

4.  Don't nurse for about 2 hours before a meal.  AND make meal time ONLY for meals and in the same place and same time every single day (until good eating habits are established).

5.  Make yourself a plate when your child eats, and don't expect to actually get to eat your food, kids think mom's food is better than theirs sometimes so let your food go ;)

6.  Add calories where you can.  Put olive oil on noodles, for example.  You can find lots of ideas online.

7.  This one I figured out on my own, :p, let baby help you cook.  My DD wants to try everything I cook.  It ends up being half of her meal sometimes!

8.  Give drinks with a straw (not a sippy), it is more efficient. And add calories to drinks.  Chocolate syrup to milk, or even pediasure to milk if you feel you need to.

9.  Never ever force feed.  Sometimes it's just a matter of control.

10.  Lastly, explore the possibility of reflux.  Even if there is no spitting up, reflux hurts and makes eating painful.

 

Well, sounds like she is up from nap, so I have to stop here.  hope it helps.


-T, Wife and Best Friend to R 3/2005; Mommie to E 8/2007; and G 3/2009

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#18 of 22 Old 12-03-2010, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all.

 

First of all, thank you to everyone who responded. I appreciate all of your insights! 

 

Second, whatever is / was going on with the solids, we have had a major breakthrough lately. We got two molars in one week last week, and had either a virus on top of that or just an especially difficult time with the teething, because DS had a fever of 102 and was really struggling. When the second molar broke through (there are two more coming, on the other side of his mouth), things turned around pretty fast. Since the second molar came through, he has eaten so much better! I mean, make no mistake, it's not like he is polishing off dagwood sandwiches or anything, but we have had lots of consistent bites. And as a result, he is waking up less at night (because he's not as hungry AND because his teeth aren't hurting as much, I'm sure), which I think has helped further. 

 

We haven't changed our nursing patterns yet, however, i think i need to clarify something. I am not and was not nursing 12-15 times a day. In that instance, yes, I think I would probably have also thought that scaling back is an obvious answer. I still nurse *pretty much* on demand, but I have already been limiting our sessions as much as possible before his meals, with the exception of breakfast, because he does a full nursing session when we wake up. Our nursing sessions are not really the same from one day to the next, but in general, our pattern looks like this: 

 

nursing overnight. When DS wakes up, I give him a boob. He does a lot of quick nursing sessions, sometimes not even long enough for me to have a let down. About once or twice a night, he has a longer session with milk, but not a lengthy session. He does generally get a "full" nurse in the morning. Then he probably nurses about once every four hours. This is approximate, but I would say AT MOST, he has about 10 nursing sessions in a 24 hour period. A more typical day would be around 7 nursing sessions, but these would usually be longer. 

 

We have kept a food journal for several months. The food intake does not seem to correlate to when we breastfeed or how often, though I have still attempted to manage his feeds slightly so that I'm not nursing him right before a meal. However, let's say he falls and gets hurts and I nurse him and then he eats dinner 10 minutes later. There doesn't seem to be a huge difference in how he eats that meal compared to how he eats any other meal. So anyway, D_McG telling me to stop nursing him so often appears to have been based on the incorrect assumption that I am nursing him 12-15 times a day. Perhaps my description of his night wakings contributed to that misunderstanding. While we're discussing the misunderstanding, I would point out that I wasn't upset about getting your advice, just your statement that it seemed obvious and that you often hear people say what I said but didn't understand it. I'm not trying to be contrary or refuse advice! 

 

We were considering EI (it's not free or called "early intervention" in my city, but I was considering an eval with a private speech / feeding therapist). Unfortunately, the good ones are booked for at least 8 weeks so I was hoping for some insight in between. PP with the EI insights, thank you -- exactly what I was looking for (although we are already doing EVERYTHING on the list. Every single thing, from 1-10 on that list, we do already. The only partial exception is we don't give pediasure (but I do homemade, fullfat greek yogurt / fruit puree milkshakes, so similar) and cooking with DS, which we tried, but doesn't work well because he isn't satisfied with tasting the cool stuff or prep ingredients but just wants to put his hands in the hot pots and grab knives, etc). I do bring him in the kitchen with me with his measuring cups and pots and pans, though, and he "cooks" alongside me and does get tastes (which, depending on his mood, he usually refused). 

 

Anyway, my emotions are up and down on this issue. As I think I said in my OP, I go back and forth between thinking he is perfectly normal (feeling that way now, for instance) and then feeling like something is majorly wrong when we go four days with only a few bites here and there. In the past week, DS has eaten everything we've put in front of him, things off of our plates (we allow him full access), even asked for crackers when we are out and about. But it seems like when his teeth are hurting, he goes on an absolute eating strike. I know kids do that, but it seems like my son's teeth can sometimes interfere with eating for weeks and weeks.

 

If he were a chubby baby like some of the PP's have noted, I don't think this would cause me even the slightest qualm. But when he isn't gaining and is already flirting with falling off the charts, it is impossible for me to feel 100 percent certain that everything is okay. This week, however, was a HUGE relief because the things he has eaten included more adult "stuff" like pieces of fish, even pieces of chicken, whole slices of cheese, whole crackers, half a frozen waffle, etc. In other words, I'm starting to feel more confident that he doesn't have a chewing or swallowing problem. (Before, when he'd mostly eat supersoft stuff like avocado or purees, I still worried some). It is also so gratifying to see him finish the food we've got in front of him and then reach for stuff on our plates or sign for more. (he does some sign language, and let me tell you -- I like "more" way better than "all done."!)

 

For what it's worth, he's still nursing the same amount as he did before, and is eating better, though he's waking up and comfort nursing less at night. But I am not trying to drive home that point, I'm only mentioning it in case someone else reading this is going through the same thing and considering the nursing less option (which may still be necessary for us -- I'm still not ruling anything out!). 

 

Again, thanks to everyone for responding and sharing your experiences and for your kindness. I didn't mean to turn anyone off with my replies. I'm a stressed out mom with respect to food, and since we've made such a concerted effort to be relaxed, happy, and calm no matter how meals go during the meals themselves, I need an outlet for the anxiety somewhere! Please bear with me. 

 

 

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#19 of 22 Old 12-11-2010, 08:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cdmommie View Post

I haven't read all the replies yet, but I though I would share while I have a second.

 

My DD went through the EXACT same thing.  She was 19 pounds at 16 months, but she was also very tall so she looked just sooooooo skinny.  She refused to eat... pretty much ever.  And what she did allow into her mouth she spit back out.  She was getting pretty anemic from not eating.  After only 4 ounces of weight gain between 9 months and 16 months, I got her into ECI services (Early Childhood Intervention).  They were AMAZING!!!  They sent out an occupational therapist who helped her discover food in a new way and gave us suggestions on how to help her between visits.  The services were free and now at 20 months she has gained a couple POUNDS and looks much better.  She eats plenty and she still nurses plenty as well.  I can tell you a few things we did with ECI but it would probably be better to see if you can contact someone to help since all kids are different.

Things the therapist did/suggested-

1. Don't limit any food.  If she liked chicken nuggets and that's all she ate for the day was a bunch of nuggets, then fine, at least she was eating.

2. Encouraged her to play with food rather than telling her to eat it.  The big thing was getting her to kiss the food once she was comfortable handling it, squishing it, ect.  once she kissed it, she smelled it and got a little taste.  Eventually kissing the food led to eating the food.

3.  Dip stuff! dip grahm crackers in yogurt, dip steamed carrots in ranch, dip apples in caramel.  It's fun, and it adds calories.

4.  Don't nurse for about 2 hours before a meal.  AND make meal time ONLY for meals and in the same place and same time every single day (until good eating habits are established).

5.  Make yourself a plate when your child eats, and don't expect to actually get to eat your food, kids think mom's food is better than theirs sometimes so let your food go ;)

6.  Add calories where you can.  Put olive oil on noodles, for example.  You can find lots of ideas online.

7.  This one I figured out on my own, :p, let baby help you cook.  My DD wants to try everything I cook.  It ends up being half of her meal sometimes!

8.  Give drinks with a straw (not a sippy), it is more efficient. And add calories to drinks.  Chocolate syrup to milk, or even pediasure to milk if you feel you need to.

9.  Never ever force feed.  Sometimes it's just a matter of control.

10.  Lastly, explore the possibility of reflux.  Even if there is no spitting up, reflux hurts and makes eating painful.

 

Well, sounds like she is up from nap, so I have to stop here.  hope it helps.



I had a similar problem with my DD, especially the actual choking and food staying in her mouth for hours!  It's amazing how long it can stay there without disintegrating.  Anyway, when I asked about it, my ped. suggested EI (thankfully it is free here and fast).

They evaluated her and then an OT came to the house once a week for 6 weeks. 

 

All of these things listed were part of what they did to help her and a couple of other things.  One of her problems was that her swallow reflex was not being stimulated and that's why she was choking so much.   We found out that extra stimulation right at the front of her mouth when she began to eat would trigger her to swallow.  I guess kind of like it was saying "hey there is food here, get ready to swallow!" lol

So, she had us get a vibrating teether and use that right before she ate, use a textured spoon and she could either chew on it or we could put food on it for her to try.

Spicy foods really helped and I mean hot spice.  We always have well seasoned food but this was like spicy Indian food. she loved it and had no problem eating it.

Good luck!  Hopefully now that the teething is settled down it will continue to improve!

 

Oh yeah, DD nurses a lot too!  The OT did suggest not nursing right before she ate but I didn't have to do it.  I really just nursed when she wanted to and then did the meals in between.


Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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#20 of 22 Old 12-12-2010, 07:10 PM
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Quarter of an avocado sounds good to me! We had supply issues early on and a very tiny baby that didn't grow well. But once we got the supply issues sorted, around 6 months, DD started gaining weight really well. And all the medical people around us, specialist ped, drs, nurses, LC etc have been delighted with her development. Especially as her weight gain have kept improving. From 6 months to 15 months they were happy with it (following a curve, a low percentile, but following it). From 18 months onwards DD has been jumping up on the charts (no weigh-in between 15 and 18 months due to a move).

 

My point? Well, before 10ish months DD only ate solids once a day, at dinner time, and she self fed and didn't actually ingest much at all. Then she got to play with yoghurt and a piece of fruit at lunch time. Around 12 months she started asking for snacks twice a day, and got a homemade (everything-free) muffin or a homemade cracker, but usually just sucked and played with them. First after 18 months did she start having breakfast at all. And she was closer to 2 before she seemed to be eating a lot, like a whole baby's portion of anything really.

 

The drs all knew how little she was eating, but thought it was fine, as she was eating something, and she did get protein and iron. Now she eats really well, and will eat most foods (loves to share my salad with lettuce and rocket from the garden, various veges and a hummus dressing, and like home made muesli!). And she still, at nearly 3, breastfeeds 10-25 times a day, and usually at night as well. She's very healthy.

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#21 of 22 Old 12-12-2010, 10:33 PM
 
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I'm glad it is going better, OP.

 

From observing this situation over and over, I think it is very common to have very, very little solids until 14-17 months.  I would try to not worry about low solids intake (given normal development) until after 18 months.  DD was one of the kids who gained, literally, no weight from 10-15 months and was perfectly fine.  My goal was for her to be only getting 75% of calories from bmilk at TWO years and we met that goal.

 

That said, this isn't specifically to the OP, but...

 

A young toddler (first half of the second year) who nurses 12-15 times a day is no reason for concern *on it's own* (I mean, if the child is sick, that is a cause for concern but nursing 12-15 times a dayt at that age is not problematic).  Both DD & DS nursed much more often than that until at least two (later for DS, I cut DD back during pregnancy so that was not her natural path).  I'm not saying each child *needs* to do that, or that parents should encourage that, but I just didn't want people to get the impression that it is a problem in any way.


 

 

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#22 of 22 Old 12-13-2010, 03:54 AM
 
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^

 

I agree that's not a problem is the mother is OK with it.  But I, personally found it exhausting, overwhelming and it just felt 'off' to me (like he was so desperately trying to keep himself satisfied.  Once he he could eat a decent meal and feel full for a couple of hours, that went away).

 

But it's like everything.  If it makes you happy, go for it :)


DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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