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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really want some opinions or advice or recommendations for us. I am honestly driving myself mad thinking about this 24/7. I might even need a virtual slap in the face from someone.


My LO has been exclusively BF since birth and still nurses 8+ times in a 24hr period. Nursing has always been well. I didnt rush solids with him and I tried giving him some baby food around 7 months and he wasnt too thrilled so I didnt push it at all. I would offer things off and on every now and then and he really wasnt all that interested. From 11-13mo he didnt gain any weight but he did maintain his weight and then right at 13mo he had a growth spurt and has gained almost 2lbs since middle of February. Around that time he started to show some interest in food too so i'm sure thats all relative to his weight gain and stuff. Thing is he has become the pickiest eater and is pretty much only eating dry crunchy type foods with the exception of oranges, apples and pickles...so far. This is what is driving me nuts!!!

He will not let me spoon feed him anything and gets upset if I try. I'm sure its a texture aversion of some sort but he doesnt mind holding the food and putting it back on the table or handing it back to me like "no thanks". He does drink good amounts of water and occasionally juice and sips of my milk.

I dont know if I should worry about his nutrition or not. He is still BFng afterall. My PED doesnt seem too concerned as he is pro BFng, but I feel like this is setting us up for some serious feeding problems. My DH thinks I should just chill and give him his favorite dry foods and let things be and he will come around eventually. He just started walking a month ago and almost done getting his first yr molars so I see him chewing on his fingers and drooling a a lot still. He is very active, happy and smart. He doesnt have any medical issues and he seems perfectly fine this way. I also dont know if I stopped trying to give him other foods maybe he would try them again later on. I have looked online and have gotten freaked out by some things I've read like feeding tubes and therapy and all that.

Someone tell me if this is normal habits for a BF child. I am tired of worrying and hearing that "if you stop BFng he will eat".
:

Also, do you think a gentle vitamin will be good idea since his diet is not very expanded? I think I would feel better giving a vitamin. I havent had his iron tested cause they want to do vein draw and I just cant bare to put him through that but I will if I have too. Would it be wrong to give him the enfamil iron supp (a modest dose)? Or perhaps some molasses if i could get it in him.
 

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First off, {HUGS}. The whole topic of food and nutrition is one to really worry us, isn't it?

That being said, I think I'd take a cue from your DH. It is totally normal eating habits. Actually, I don't know many babies that would accept spoon fed purees at your DSs age. In fact, my DS flat out refuses to be spoon fed ever. . starting at 6 mos. Letting them feed themselves is exactly what you should bre doing and yes, some pickiness does come with the territory. Keep offering a wide variety of foods and don't worry about those that get rejected (in my case, "rejection" comes in the form of throwing across the room). It can take babies up to 20 times of touching/smelling/tasting a food before they are willing to actually eat it, so not to worry.

As far as the vitamins go, I personally think they are not necessary. Your DS is still nursing and getting all your nutrients. . .at this point solids is more of supplement to the breastmilk than the other way around. If you're worried about iron and you're not vegetarian, try giving meat. It's very healthy for babies and even if he just sucks on it before spitting it out, he'll be getting some. My DS's favorite food, btw, is seasoned ground beef. The spicier the better!
 

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Okay, this is just my 2 cents...and not really coming from 1st hand experience, either
My best friend's dd had the SAME food aversions as your lo, from 7 months on up til about 18 months old. She refused any sort of mushy "baby" foods, refused to be spoon fed, etc, etc. And she was/is on the petite size, so my friend was constantly obsessed and worried about her dd's weight/height, etc. But she was/is still nursing (her dd is 22 mos now), and her peds never had any real concern. Also, she nurses all.the.time
She loves to nurse, so my friend really let go a lot of the worry after a bit.

At about 18-19 mos, her dd finally started to show more interest in foods, albeit rather weird ones (and sometimes expensive for their family budget) - blueberries, avocado (chunks, not mushed), lightly baked apple slices w/a drizzle of cane sugar, etc. My friend had to get REALLY creative in the kitchen for a a while! But at 22 mos, her daughter has rounded out her diet with lots of breads, proteins, etc, and she is perfectly healthy (though still pretty little on the percentile chart, if you care about those things). She just happens to be a petite one, and she just prefers Mama's milk over all else!

I would say introduce lots of foods, give him all the opportunities you can, maybe get creative...but continue to nurse, and eventually he'll catch on, and find something he really likes. And if he does happen to latch on to one particular food, incorporate it in as many ways as possible. If he decides that steamed broccoli is the best thing on earth (like my 18 month old has decided), put it on mini-pizzas, put it in his oatmeal (yes, seriously), mix it in w/noodles...

But I would probably also consult with his ped, just to be sure you arent missing anything, and maybe a vitamin wouldnt hurt. I would think bmilk gives him all the majority of the nutrition he really needs, though your ped might recommend something more.
 

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I would suggest you check out "Child of Mine" by Ellyn Satter its all about feeding babies / toddlers. Her basic point is that you are responsible for providing your child a healthy age appropriate meal (at 16mths it seems almost all table food that your LO could feed himself makes sense) and its your LO's job to eat or not eat. Also she recommends that as much as possible that you sit at table with your LO (he/she can be in her high chair) and eat at the same time. This has been very liberating for me and I stress much less about did he eat enough is he getting what he needs? etc. Basically it helps you avoid the eating / control situation which can occur when you as a parent are naturally focused on what they are eating (or not eating)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you ladies.
I knew I would get some good feedback here and I am almost in tears right (I am PMSing so that doesnt help) cause this has been so heavy on me.

Manzanita's post really gave me some hope. DS is on the smaller side but we arent exactly big people (DH is 5'6 and small stature) so I try and keep that in mind. And he isnt loosing weight so that is good. I just wasnt sure whether we missed a window of opportunity but this may just be his natural progression. I actually offer him all sorts of foods (ground turkey, chicken, veggies (baked, sauted, steamed), cheese, breads, pitas, fruits...you name it) and most of it gets rejected. He recently picked up apples as an acceptable food so that is good. But perhaps we need to change our approach and stop putting pressure to eat things so I will start backing off there. Yes the food does get thrown across the room and I know I should probably react as if nothing cause it seems he looks to me for a reaction because i've been showing my irritation. Not good.

I dont like hearing the comments or reactions from people when they see what DS eats. And it doesnt help that none of these people have BF their child and if they did it was 6 mo only (my mother to my brother). Luckily I found a new PED and he is pro-bfng. When I asked him he said not to worry and my BM is sufficient. Granted, I KNOW THIS but I guess I thought there was another answer as to why he was like this. I need to stop comparing him to other kids too.

I still might get a vitamin for him. It was my understanding that after a year BM cannot provide all the minerals a child needs. I know it has a lot of immunological benefits but not so much minerals.

Keep the comments coming....this is is really helping me stay positive.
 

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I have a 16 month old ds too.
He's also still nursing many times per day, although honestly I don't even try to count how often. He nurses a lot at night too. He gained weight very slowly until about 2 months ago when he packed on 2 pounds and finally got near the 25 pound mark. (and he started out over 9 pounds!)

He's also fairly picky...BUT I have discovered that if i let him feed himself, he will eat much more than if I feed him. Sometimes he'll let me load up the fork or spoon for him, but most of the time, not. So, I just put him in his high chair, sit down to eat too, and let him have at it. Some days he eats a lot, some days, not so much. He's also teething and drooling a LOT and I think that has a lot to do with it. I've noticed that when he gets a group of four teeth through, he eats very well until the next round starts, which unfortunately lately seems to be just a few days later.

Anyhow, I don't think he sounds too extreme to me. I'd keep introducing other foods, let him feed himself, then give him the favored foods after he's explored the newer ones. I hope he starts eating more soon for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks I hope so too. I give him all sorts of food and he pushes everything away or gets mad that it is even on his plate. He just wants the crunchy stuff and sometimes he doesnt even want that. He is just about 22lbs and he was 7lbs at birth. He hasnt lost weight but has been gaining veeerry slowly. We'll see how the next few months go. I would really like to stop this worry and enjoy my son more.
 

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I vote for not stressing. I think the more you stress the more you enter the territory of food wars as your kid gets older. Overall kids will get adequate nutrition, but they won't necessarily get it in each meal. And breast milk totally counts for awesome, adequate nutrition.

We follow the Satter approach. We prepare nutritious meals (most of the time) and he comes to the table. Sometimes he eats a lot. Sometimes he eats nothing. We absolutely do not worry about his eating, although we do worry about offering him decent foods. Teething has A LOT to do with how much he eats as well. Overall DS is a healthy little boy.

We also follow baby led weaning, which I think is an amazing approach to feeding. DS has fed himself since we started table foods and while we have done some spoon feeding, it was only for things DS couldn't do himself before he mastered the spoon and fork.

Good luck!!!
 

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not sure if your lo likes soups....but that's how we ensure dd gets lots of vitamins and minerals as the amount of breastfeeding has decreased to 3x/day- she absolutely loves a pureed homemade soup (likes them all) with butter/garlic/onion base. She doesn't eat enough meat or other iron rich food, so we still offer whole grain iron fortified baby cereal sometimes (and she's 25 mo).
 

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I have an 18-month-old DD, so I'm comparing your son's eating habits to hers. She stopped breastfeeding long ago, which wasn't ideal but is what happened. I thought that they need table food nutritionally once they are 12 months, but maybe I'm wrong?
IMO, 16 months old is way too old to be spoon-feeding him anything. 16-month-olds can color with crayons and things that require a lot more motor skins than stuffing their mouths with food, so I would eliminate the spoon-feeding immediately. I'm not completely sure how you handle breastfeeding 8 times a day still.
But that's just me!
His weight is just fine! My DD is 23 pounds and she's 18 months. She eats everything in sight and then some. I've never seen a kid eat as much or as willingly as her. I guess, if I were still breastfeeding at this point, I would cut down a lot and only do it at nap time or bed time (if that's something you desire, of course). And put your LO at the table at dinner time and offer him food at every meal so he gets the idea of a normal meal time. That'll be important when he's a little older.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by writteninkursive View Post
I have an 18-month-old DD, so I'm comparing your son's eating habits to hers. She stopped breastfeeding long ago, which wasn't ideal but is what happened. I thought that they need table food nutritionally once they are 12 months, but maybe I'm wrong?
IMO, 16 months old is way too old to be spoon-feeding him anything. 16-month-olds can color with crayons and things that require a lot more motor skins than stuffing their mouths with food, so I would eliminate the spoon-feeding immediately. I'm not completely sure how you handle breastfeeding 8 times a day still.
But that's just me!
His weight is just fine! My DD is 23 pounds and she's 18 months. She eats everything in sight and then some. I've never seen a kid eat as much or as willingly as her. I guess, if I were still breastfeeding at this point, I would cut down a lot and only do it at nap time or bed time (if that's something you desire, of course). And put your LO at the table at dinner time and offer him food at every meal so he gets the idea of a normal meal time. That'll be important when he's a little older.
It's not a good idea to eliminate nursing at this age. Humans need breastmilk for a minimum of 2 years. If there is concern about a child getting adequate nutrition, it makes no sense to limit the perfect nutrition that they're getting.

Some toddlers exclusively nurse beyond a year with no problems.

-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I definitely do not want to limit his nursing for any reason.. I know he needs it all the more. I am perfectly fine to nurse him 98% of time. Meaning the other 2% of the time maybe I am feeling tired or its not convenient or whatever but its honestly no big deal. I love the fact that it is the best thing for him and I can provide it.

But I do agree that I will stop trying to give him bites of food. He handles the spoon and fork well and he is actually already coloring and doing all sorts of those things so you are definitely right about that. Tonight we went out for dinner and I just let him be free in his highchair to eat his regular stuff and didnt offer anything and to my surprise he grabbed my fork and licked it....didnt really like what was on it but he did it. Then he dipped his finger in ketchup and tasted it....wasnt too keen on that either, but he did it. And he hate some pickles, which he loves.
: So it really proves that if we are carefree and dont put pressure he will do things on his own. It also seems like he eats better when we are out. Perhaps the home environment was negative for him because I was stressing too much.
 

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When I was worried about my sons iron levels my pediatrician looked at his lips and said they are really red I'd be very surprised if he has iron issues. We checked anyway and she was correct. How's your son's coloring?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Carrie Posey View Post
When I was worried about my sons iron levels my pediatrician looked at his lips and said they are really red I'd be very surprised if he has iron issues. We checked anyway and she was correct. How's your son's coloring?
I wouldnt describe his lips like your LO "really red" they are pink. Definitely not white. He is very light skinned but so is my DH and we could probably get more sun. So IDK
 

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Just wanted to chime in, as I've got a picky eater too (almost 18 months). We don't give ds too much crunchy carb food as it's not all that nutritious, but if I get desperate because he hasn't eaten anything, I will give in...however things that I can count ds on eating are blueberries (he can easily eat one of those little containers at one sitting), olives, chickpeas....basically anyhing with a round shape
DH thinks that ds prefers more salt than I tend to put in food. Also, ds won't eat applie slices but loves getting a whole apple to carry around and take bites out of ... so, maybe try serving food different ways? And try giving him some "dip" like hummus...ds likes to stick his finger in it and then in his mouth


Here, our pediatrician just did a finger prick to test the iron levels...they only do a vein draw for lead testing.
 

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Quote:
My DH thinks I should just chill and give him his favorite dry foods and let things be and he will come around eventually.
I agree.

Quote:
Someone tell me if this is normal habits for a BF child.
Depends on the child. Plenty of formula babies eat like that, too, even those who are weaned from the bottle at one year. Honestly, being a little picky is not a "sensory issue" in the sense that it needs to be treated.

Mine never had crackers or crunchy things because I can't make those and I hate giving her pre-packaged food but she definitely went through phasess where it was bread only, or yoghurt only, or fruit only.

We started vitamins at 18 months just because I'm paranoid like that. I'm sure you don't have to, but then, why not?

I agree with the PPs (and now, you
) that there is no need to spoon-feed an 18-month-old. Aside from soup, mine would never have any spoon-feeding. Totally normal.
 

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he sounds like my dd at the same age. normal as can be. i wouldnt worry about him, sounds like he's healthy and growing, and it's great that you're able to nurse him! my dd is a great eater now, will try about anything, and eats tons of different stuff, but she was not always like that. she was a super nurser, and she preferred dry crunchy stuff, raw fruit and veggies, and frozen stuff and was icked out by most wet food. she still cringes over soups. meats grossed her out too, but now she loves chicken and hot dogs. she still likes raw veggies instead of cooked, and loves fruit, and frozen stuff
neither of my kids wanted anything wet off of a spoon, either. ds is a GREAT food eater, but prefers "forkable" foods, and has NEVER let me help him with a spoon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the comments ladies.

I do not like giving him carbs all the time either but thing is he hardly eats anything else right now. Yes, I am offering him all sorts of foods (veggies raw and cooked, beans, meat, cheese, dips, etc) and he is just not into it yet. He does seem to like fruits more. Right now, oranges and apples. He wasnt too keen on peaches last time I tried.

It seems like he is coming around though....very slowly. He has licked some stuff off my fork a few times now so that is a step forward for us.

I did get him an all natural multi vitamin w/ some iron because I know he is not getting everything he needs from food so until he does I am going to give the vitamin. It makes us feel better.
 
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