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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My nine month old DD nurses 8-10 times a day and STTN. She has issues with weight gain (she eats an average of 30 ounces a day BM based on a weeks worth of before and after feed weighs) The doctor decided we had two choices... increase her solids (this was at seven months so we had just started letting her explore with them) or take out some breastfeeding and replace it with a prescription, high calorie formula. We chose to increase the solids. We do avocado, banana, things like that and add a touch of olive oil to increase calories. I always nurse her first to maintain her BM intake. Lately she's been harder and harder to nurse if anyone is eating around her. She will stare at the food, pop off and open her mouth or even grab at the food. I have gotten to the point where I will offer her some puffs or cheerios or something small that she can self feed with until the family is done eating and the food put up then she will nurse just fine... am I setting her up for early weening by doing this? We've watched what she takes with before and after feed weight checks and she is still taking 30ish ounces, plus four good sized solid meals, she just seems more interested in the "real" food than the nursing and I really want her to maintain the nursing to a year at the VERY least, though I would like to go longer...

I just don't want to jeopardize our nursing, but she needs the extra food... she BURNS through calories...
 

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Probably not the helpful reply you're hoping for, but I am a fan of letting babies decide how much and when and what to eat. Not all babies grow according to a growth chart and often as babies become more and more mobile their growth rate slows a bit due to increased activity. And sometimes growth plateues for a while. I would feed your LO as much as she wants and nurse her as often as she wants. I think she will figure out what she needs.

Also, it is not at all odd for a 9 month old to like solids more than nursing - well, not that they LIKE it more but it's more novel and it's a new experience. It's just more interesting. I would nurse her as much as possible before meals and then offer her some of what the rest of the family is having so she's happy and feels included.

If she's actively losing weight or is less energetic or stalls out for a LONG time with any growth at all, or has other digestive issues (allergies, loose bowels, throwing up, you know what I mean) then that's a different matter.
 

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I think you answered your own question. She needs the extra food.

Eventually, all babies will hit the crossover point at which they get more of their calorie and nutrition needs from solids. But if yours is still nursing 8-10 times a day, she isn't anywhere near that point yet. Don't restrict her solids intake! Let her eat as much as she wants, and nurse as much as she wants.

Why not let her have her usual solids at the same time that the family is eating? It sounds like she wants to copy everyone else, which is developmentally appropriate. The danger of giving her puffs or cheerios, instead of her usual solids, is that they are lower-calorie and may fill her stomach without providing much in the way of actual nutrition. I would go ahead and give her nice filling foods while you're eating - avocado, banana, etc. If you really want her to nurse first, nurse her before the family sits down to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
her growth stopped at five months. At seven months we upped the solids but she still Barely gains anything.. maybe 2.5 oz a week... yet she is VERY active, meets all of her milestones (even though she was six weeks early.) She acts likes a normal nine month old, she is just TINY. I don't mind her eating what we are eating, I just don't want it to replace the breastmilk and I am afraid if I keep putting her down and letting her eat we will slowly move to the point where she won't want to nurse and will wean. Mama's here always say that weaning before a year and a half is because of the mama, not the baby's idea...
 

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I think you're looking at two seperate issues.

1.) You don't want to wean prematurely.

2.) She is small.

I think that if all else is fine, it's OK to be small. I'm prejudiced; I had a tiny, very healthy baby that was also about a month early. We never weighed her but she was in I think 6 or 9 month clothing at her first birthday. She then grew two sizes in two weeks when she had a huge growth spurt; now she's the same size as her older brother. If your LO is meeting milestones... that's what I'd look at first. But that's just MY point of view and what I did. If your mama instincts tell you something's off, that's very different - mine said my DD was OK.

As for the weaning prematurely, I think you might want to have her nurse at other times. Perhaps when she's sleepy? Sometimes at that age it's hard to settle down to nurse (which is old hat for a baby) if there's other fun stuff going on (like getting ready for a family meal, which is exciting!!). The usual good advice is to take her to lie down in a relaxing, calm room and nurse. If she goes on a nursing strike you can always pump to keep up your supply until she regains interest, but if she's nursing 8-10 times a day I wouldn't worry about that at all right now.
 

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I'm nakking and don't have much time to respond but I think it's important to follow her lead - I'd keep on doing what you're doing - BF first then offer solids but let her lead the way. I think some babies self wean earlier than others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
lol, I think I sounded a bit hysterical in my earlier post, but I was a little overwhelmed. I have a two year old and a three year old and I feel like lunch time is devoted to dealing with them and their food (like not throwing it at each other, ect.
) and have trouble dealing with her and eating as well...

She has trouble getting banana or avocado into her mouth because it's so slippery, then she gets mad because she's hungry, which ends in her screaming and upset. If I can sit there with her and let her try, then help her with a piece or two before she gets to the screaming point, she's okay and will go back to trying herself. I think I was just feeling overwhelmed earlier because she was VERY hungry but wouldn't nurse and my boys were fighting and I just had to deal with a ton of crap about how DD is only so small because we couldn't accept the fact that breastfeeding isn't always best and just give her formula, yada, yada, yada.....

I haven't vented in a while and I think it came out in this post...

DD is still happy to nurse throughout the day, it's just that these instances where she is clearly hungry but it is a VERY bad time for her to try and feed herself stress me out... I know she needs these opportunities and that baby's have their own schedule on everything I just wish sometimes they understood "hold on for just a minute please."


ETA: I make everything from scratch and spend half my day cooking (lol!) so it's hard for me to feed her before we eat and not have her hungry again by the time we do eat... if that makes any sense...
 

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just had to jump in to mention that a friend of mine has a DD 3 months younger than my DS1. Not a drop of breastmilk has ever passed her lips, she's been on formula since day 1. My son was the opposite, nothing but bm til 7mo. and never any formula. Well, he has always been enormous and she has always been tiny. They look like he's 2 years older, not 3mo.! (they're almost 4 now) So don't fret about her size; some kids are tiny, some are huge, and that's just the way they are! BTW, not sure what you think about meat but my LC said it is now recommended to start with meat as the first foods. Perhaps blend up a stew for her? Good way to get some calories in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
lol, she eats meat. Won't touch a bite of anything pureed but will eat very small pieces of ground meat (her favorite food is lasagna) or small shredded pieces of chicken. I had no idea that the WHO charts said that little gain was okay. My doctor was still going with the 0.5-1oz gain a day... we were nowhere near that... I can't read a growth chart at all so I have no idea where she falls on that but I am tempted to print it out and take it with us to her next weigh in...
 

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2.5oz a week is a great growth for her age, for a 6-12 month old babies they should be averaging 1.75 - 2.75 ounces per week. http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns...ight-gain.html.

My son loves solids too, he eats 3 meals a day plus numerous snacks and has since he was 6 months old BLW style and he still nurses at least 6 times a day and all throughout the night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
that makes me feel a lot better. My mommy instincts tell me she is a fulll of life, bundle of energy thriving little girl, but everyone says she is "sickly" looking and "frail" looking. Though the people that see her the most (ie: nursery workers, good friends) say she acts just like they would expect a nine or ten month old to act, she just looks like a four month old.

What scares me is the way the nurses and one of the peds. we see keep throwing around the dreaded FTT. I am scared to death they will call CPS on us or something because I am holding fast to not wanting to completely put her on formula (which they are sure will solve all of her problems...). Can we get into trouble for that???
 

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Had a little guy too...he still is actually.
I agree as much as possible try to nurse her away from the food at meal time and then let het fill up on solids when she is done. I sounds like you are really doing all of the right things.
My son was basically in the same clothes for nearly 1 year. He was only 16lbs at 1 year and 21lbs at 2 years and 24lbs now at 2.5years (Strangers think he is a really well spoken 1 year old). For comparison my oldest son was 27lbs at 1year! Our Ped. has never experssed any concerns (though WIC has) she has simply stated that he is healthy and has never dropped off of his own growth curve, and was likely IUGR.

Have you or the ped. considered that she may have been IUGR? Even "normal" weight babies can actually be IUGR and follow a "typical IUGR growth curve" after birth.

(Lots of cases where that may have been diagnosed IUGR are never noted because of not looking.)
Also, just so I don't get flamed,
I think that there is a big difference between:
1. True "baby's health is compromised IUGR"
and
2.This is a variation of normal but we call it IUGR because it does not quite fit the textbook IUGR. Some people were just never made to be the tallest broadest shouldered kid around. That difference can start to show early. It is not necessarily an illness or failure of enough nutrition or calories.
 

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My first dd was more interested in solids at that age too. She weaned at just past 12 months (but probably would have continued if I had encouraged her to keep nursing). My other kids were way more into the breast... every child is different.

You might consider switching doctors. It sounds like the practice you are going to is really not bf-friendly. Also, you said she was born 6 weeks early; they should be going by her gestational age for weight charting if they aren't already. Using the WHO chart for bf infants would be good too - the difference in weight gain is especially prominent in the second half of the first year.

I think if she is into the solid food, you shouldn't have qualms about feeding her solids. It sounds like she is still nursing a lot. I would just steer away from offering non-breast milk liquids at this point.
 

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Quote:
Lately she's been harder and harder to nurse if anyone is eating around her. She will stare at the food, pop off and open her mouth or even grab at the food. I have gotten to the point where I will offer her some puffs or cheerios or something small that she can self feed with until the family is done eating and the food put up then she will nurse just fine... am I setting her up for early weening by doing this?
This is really normal and to be expected! Let her eat! Give her more!


I nursed my son until he was 17 months old. When he was 9 months old I think he was getting most of his calories from food and nursing had taken on a comfort roll. But that's what was right for him. My point is that NO, giving her the food she is craving and asking for is not at all setting her up for early weening. The nature of her relationship with nursing is changing, she may nurse less if you feed her more solids, but this doesn't necessarily mean she's going to quit.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lil'Momma View Post
Mama's here always say that weaning before a year and a half is because of the mama, not the baby's idea...
Yeah, mamas here also say you need to do what's right for your baby and you. You aren't one of the moms who need convincing to just give long term nursing a try. You are obviously enthusiastic and willing and able to nurse longer. (How long did you nurse your older kids?) So you let her tell you what she needs. That's child-led.

Quote:
I just had to deal with a ton of crap about how DD is only so small because we couldn't accept the fact that breastfeeding isn't always best and just give her formula
Seriously, they're advocating you give a 9 month old formula?? A baby that's already eating solids? It's been a while since I've studied this kind of thing, but isn't a combination of nutritious, good quality solids and breast milk far superior to formula??

Could it be that they're picking up on your stress and worry, and that suggesting you give her formula is their way of offering you a solution? Frankly, I noticed I received a lot less unsolicited advice with my second child than I did with my first child, and I suspect it's because I didn't seem to be asking for it. I had an air of confidence and I was the expert in the room on my child.

One last thing. It is possible for you to be happy to nurse her longer and be resentful and tired (or whatever negative emotion) all at the same time. I urge you to observe your feelings about the matter in a detached way, acknowledge and accept all your feelings about it. It's ALL acceptable. If it's acknowledged then you can better make a decision about what's best for your baby and you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow, that was deep.


I have issues with my uterus and have had all three of my kiddos early. I nursed DS1 until I got pregnant at six months with DS2 at which time we decided to wean for safety reasons. Didn't really matter since DS2 came at 32 wks even without the breastfeeding. oh well. *shrug*

DS2 had issues from the beginning and we never could get the latch figured out. I didn't have enough knowledge to know all the things I could have done so I just pumped for about a year and fed him through a bottle.

This is our last one and I think my determination to "make it work" is coloring everything. I calmed down last night and really thought about it and I feel like she's doing just fine. My only real goal was to get through that first twelve months without having to resort to formula, beyond that, I only want to take it one day at a time. With DD being in the NICU and all the problems we had with nursing at the beginning, each day seems like a blessing to me.

At this point, I have no plans on weaning her at the "magic number 1" or anytime immediately after, I just want to play it by ear, watching her and how I feel, ect, ect...

That being said, my biggest issue is her not gaining weight as fast as the doctors want. I had thought they were BF friendly... and they were at the beginning. They were my only advocates in the NICU and were 100% supportive of ditching the stupid neosure formula the NICU insisted on. Only now they seem genuinely worried about her weight. She did hit a patch where she wasn't growing AT ALL, but we have since upped her solids, added a couple extra breastfeeding sessions and give her one sippy cup of "fortified BM" (by fortified I mean we take the cream off the top of about five ounces of pumped BM and put it in 3-4 oz of BM then give it to her.) I worry there isn't enough calories in the solid food... but that might just be me being a worry wort.

I really do feel better now that I know she is following the norm for BF babies. Now if I can just convince her doctor about it...

I feel better about her, but I am stressed that her doctor doesn't feel better... I mean, I guess my fear is that they will "force" me to give her formula to up her weight. I really don't want to deal with them saying that I don't take care of her, are starving her, ect...
 
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