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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DS is 9.5 months old

I am currently feeding him some "finger food" maybe once a day - a few pieces of pasta or oaties or yams - not much.

He really loves to nurse, and I'm just fine with that -6,10, 20 times a day - whenever he wants.

Question is - do I need to be giving him more than just breastmilk at this point? I have read all the articles that say that breastmilk or formula is the primary nutrition for the first year, but I guess I worry that he is not getting all the calories or nutrition that he needs only from me.

"everyone else" is giving their kids 3 meals a day and then formula on top of that - I feel like an outcast in our circle of friends - I also feel helpless because I really don't know if what I am doing is "right". I want DS to have the very best - that's why he is breastfed - if he wants "real food", then I give it to him, but only the "healthy" options - such as avocado, pasta, yams, etc - not french fries, chicken nuggets, etc that our "friends" give their 9 month olds - horrifying to me!

He is small for his age - but always has been - pediatrician is not concerned because he is following"the curve" - he is just at the 2-3% and has been since week 1 of his life. He is a happy, happy guy - nurses around the clock and I feed on demand - always - 2-3 times a night still, but I'm OK with that - if that's what he needs.

So , bottom line of my question - does he need more?

when do I really need to focus on "real food"? I will nurse him forever if that is what he wants, i just need to know when I need to worry about his nutrition.

His "well-baby" check-up is in 2 weeks - plan to have his iron level checked at that point.

thanks!
 

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My son is only about two weeks older than yours, and is at about the same place. Until a couple of weeks ago, he was refusing any solid food at all. Anyhow, if he's awake when we're eating lunch and dinner, he gets a few small pieces of whatever we're eating. Personally, I think that's fine. My daughter was eating tons at this age, but she always loved food - I watch the baby not the calendar! My older son was more like the baby - except that we tried to follow the dr's recommendation of starting him on cereal at 4 1/2 months. It was horrible and he had major digestive issues (and PAIN) from it, and as a result refused food for a long time.

I don't know how long a baby can be exclusively bf'd for, but I imagine that he will let you know when he wants/needs more. My oldest didn't start taking more calories from food than from me until I had a supply drop when I got pregnant with my daughter.
 

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from what I've heard, up to 2 years, so long as the child is not showing signs of dehydration or malnutrition. That's a LOT of nursing, but it's not unheard of.
 

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Sounds just like my son at the same age.

You Are Doing Fine.


Breastmilk is plenty enough for at least the first year. Sounds like oyu are doing fine following his lead on solids, offering but not forcing. He will let you know(by eating more and asking for more) when he is ready. I just kept offering stuff, sometimes he wanted it sometimes he didn't, now he's 2 years old and eats everyhting the adults in the house do.

My son was waiting until he ocul ddo it all by himself. He didn't eat much table food until long, long after his peers (the youn gkids we knew at the time) but was one of hte first to effectively use utensils. Basically, he didn't want ot eat until he oculd feed himself *the same way he saw grownups eating*


It's tough to see other kids doing stuff when yours is the last, but try not ot worry about it.
 

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Quote:
- does he need more?
Nope, the breastmilk will meet his nutritional needs indefinitely. My first wouldn't eat solids well beyond the 9.5 mo. mark.

I contacted LLL to find out info about when I "needed" to introduce solids, apparently, nutritionally, there is no such point.

As long as he's meeting other milestones, don't worry, 11, 12, 13 months is fine, maybe even the late side of normal.
 

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My babe's 11 months old, and just barely starting to eat. And by eat, mind you, I mean maybe once or twice a day she'll have a few bites of whatever I happen to be eating at the time. She really waited until she was developmentally ready to just eat grownup food (well, a subset of nonchokable nonliquid grownup food!
). At 9.5 months, your babe is just fine.
 

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DD is 14 mo, and only now is starting to eat "regularly"...meaning she nibbles everyday, but still eats NO WHERE near a full meal. Ever.
:
 

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The older ones didn't 'eat' until 12-13 months old. My youngest is 17 months old and is still not interested in eating food. She'll taste something now and then, but still pretty much ebf.
 

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Well, to start with, you're already not "exclusively" breastfeeding. No worries at all. My nearly 2 yr old doesn't eat 3 meals most days.

-Angela
 

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My son is almost 10 months & he is still not as interested in solids as my friends chilren his age.
I am lucky to get a few bites a day in
I also try to give him healthy choices

He hates jar foods

I just offer him a bit of whatever we are eating ... Unless we are eating bad.
He Loves Cheerios,
He has tased My Chicken & artichoke (a great recipe), rice (real rice not the cereal), watermelon, carrots, potato, pork, black beans, pasta, breads, crackers.

Sounds like you are doing good
Try not to worry
As long as your son seeems happy & is healthy that is all you need to worry about.
 

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My son did not have his first non-breastmilk calorie until he was 15 months old. Did not taste or try anything. The only thing that went in his mouth for the first 15 months of his life was my nipple.

You mention that your DS has his iron test coming up. I will tell you that at my son's 12 month check when they checked his iron, it came back in the "severely anemic" range. Many people will tell you that exclusively breastfed babies do not get anemic b/c the iron in breastmilk is more readily absorbed. That is definitely true, but it is also possible to get anemic on just breastmilk. My son is proof. (But on the other hand, my daughter who was exclusively breastfed for almost as long did NOT turn up anemic.)

But other than the iron thing, my son grew and was healthy and and was always in the upper weight/height range.

Dont' let anyone tell you that he needs food at this age!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mahogny
My son did not have his first non-breastmilk calorie until he was 15 months old. Did not taste or try anything. The only thing that went in his mouth for the first 15 months of his life was my nipple.

You mention that your DS has his iron test coming up. I will tell you that at my son's 12 month check when they checked his iron, it came back in the "severely anemic" range. Many people will tell you that exclusively breastfed babies do not get anemic b/c the iron in breastmilk is more readily absorbed. That is definitely true, but it is also possible to get anemic on just breastmilk. My son is proof. (But on the other hand, my daughter who was exclusively breastfed for almost as long did NOT turn up anemic.)

But other than the iron thing, my son grew and was healthy and and was always in the upper weight/height range.

Dont' let anyone tell you that he needs food at this age!
Sarah, can I ask what the circumstances were with your son? (Why he didn't eat anything until 15 months?) Also, what did you do to get his iron level up - supplements? Did he have any symptoms of anemia when he tested as severely anemic - and was this with the finger stick test or the blood draw?

Sorry so many questions, but I'm really interested in this whole iron question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by alegna
Well, to start with, you're already not "exclusively" breastfeeding.

-Angela
I do understand that he is not "exclusively" BF at this point

my title was a "generalization" - sorry to make it sound like I was so ignorant - I just wanted a little info from mothers who knew

thanks, everyone, for your responses!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
Sarah, can I ask what the circumstances were with your son? (Why he didn't eat anything until 15 months?)
My son had an oral aversion/hypersensitivity. It's a l-o-n-g story, but the end result is that he refused/was incapable of putting anything in his mouth until he was 15 mos, and of course, it was much longer than that before he'd eat more than one bite. He required 6 months of speech/oral therapy and 1 year of osteopathic manipulation. He had no health problems per se - just the oral aversion. He was full-term, etc, all the 'good stuff'. Other than the anemia, he was extremely healthy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
Also, what did you do to get his iron level up - supplements? Did he have any symptoms of anemia when he tested as severely anemic - and was this with the finger stick test or the blood draw?
Both. He had the standard fingerstick test at his 12 month checkup. Later that day, his ped called me and told me there was a mistake in the test, and I needed to bring DS in to have it done again. So, they ran the fingerstick again. The ped then called me and told me that the results were in the "severely anemic" range, and reason she had it run twice was b/c she was positive that the lab had made a mistake since the results were so low. She then asked all kinds of questions about DH's and my ethnicity, b/c certain ethnicities seem to be prone to anemia. She also asked about DS's eating habits, and it was at this moment when she finally realized the scope of DS's eating problems. (I had just told her 2 days before at the appt, but she blew me off.) She then said she wanted DS to have a larger blood draw to check for sickle cell, and some other stuff I can't recall right now. We had to bring him to a different clinic, and DS had several cc's taken out of his arm.

All that stuff turned up negative, of course, and that's when my ped first recommended I get him evaluated by an oral therapist.

As for supplements, we used Fer-In-Sol. B/c iron is best absorbed with vitamin C, we measured out the correct dosage of the iron, and then added one syringe-ful of OJ. Then sucked the whole thing back up into the syringe and "gave" it to DS. ("gave" is in quotes because it was actually a HUGE ordeal to give a syringe of OJ/iron to a toddler with an oral aversion, that took 30 minutes each day.)

There are dietary ways to increase iron, which are better of course, but for a kid with an oral averion who couldn't eat, that was impossible.

DS had his iron tested again 6 or 8 weeks later, and the levels were back where they should be.

The long term disadvantage to using iron is that it stains the teeth. My DS (he's 4.5 now) has stains on his teeth. My dentist assures me they can be removed by a cleaning, but try taking a kid who still has tactile issues surrounding his mouth in for a tooth-cleaining.
However, it's just the baby teeth that are stained, b/c they were in direct contact with the iron drops. His permanant teeth will be unaffected.

He had absolutely none of the anemia symptoms I'd read about. I had no reason to think anything was amiss in that regard.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
Sorry so many questions, but I'm really interested in this whole iron question.
No problem at all! I'm happy to share my experience. But I will tell you that whenever I read a post that someone wrote here about how "breastfed babies don't get anemia b/c of the iron in breastmilk" etc, I literally roll my eyes. It may be somewhat rare, but it does definitely happen.

But as I said before, my daughter (she's 17 mos now) had absolutely no anemia. I had her tested at 9 mos b/c I was so gunshy about what happened with my son. She was tested again at 12 months and still had great iron levels. She didn't have an oral aversion, but wasn't interested in solids until she was 9.5 mos, and even now eats very very little. (Absolutely nothing on some days!)

Good luck!
 

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Thanks for answering my questions! I hope you don't mind answering one more...did your son and daughter have their cords clamped immediately after birth, or were the cords allowed to stop pulsing before being clamped and cut? There was a recent study that showed that premature clamping of the cord could contribute to anemia. When I read that, a lightbulb went off - aha! maybe that is why they are so big on giving iron-rich foods at 6 months, because most babies have their cords cut too soon so that they run out of iron earlier than they normally would.

Anyway, it is just something I find fascinating. I felt like a failure when my DD was 9-12 months and still barely ate anything. Now she eats regularly (still small amounts though) and although I think she is OK, I still worry a bit, especially about iron.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
Did your son and daughter have their cords clamped immediately after birth, or were the cords allowed to stop pulsing before being clamped and cut?
Do you know, I really have no idea! I was educated about the issue both times and my intention was to not clamp them immediately. But at the moment of birth, I was too googly-eyed about my new baby to even remember to notice when the cord was clamped. I always meant to ask my doula, but I never did.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
Anyway, it is just something I find fascinating. I felt like a failure when my DD was 9-12 months and still barely ate anything.
Oh, honey, I know that feeling SO well!!
When my DS wasn't eating, I was convinced that I was doing it "wrong" and that everyone else on the planet was a more capable mother than I was! I know it's sooo hard, but remember to tell yourself that YOU are the BEST mother to your child!! You are doing the very best for her, and no one else could do the fabulous job you are doing!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
Now she eats regularly (still small amounts though) and although I think she is OK, I still worry a bit, especially about iron.
May I ask - is there a specific reason you're worried about the iron? Are you noticing any symptoms?
 

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My dd never took more than a bite or two during meal times until she was 18 months. She was always in the 90th percentile for weight and height (though at 15 months she went above 100 in height and was about 75th in weight.

If you're worried about iron, get her tested.
 
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