9mo not eating solids and I'm returning to work... what can I do?(18 Posts)
DD is 9.5mo and still not eating solids, which is frustrating, but fine. Today has been slightly better than usual and she has managed most of 2 small slices of pear, 1/2 tsp yoghurt, 1/4 tsp curry and a nibble of a piece of toast. So she is essentially still ebf.
But I have to go back to work soon, and tbh I'm also getting a bit sick of bf so often, being mauled while feeding and her general faffing around with feeding, which makes me feel really guilty that I'm doing what's best for me and not for her. I don't want to stop bf totally, just cut down to 2-3 feeds a day (rather than the current 8ish). She obviously needs more milk than this, as she is not eating anywhere near enough to make up for those feeds, so do I need to get her onto formula for a few weeks then switch to cow's milk? Or could we just switch to goat's milk now to start getting used to drinking milk from a cup? (bottle has always been an outright NO!) Or is there a better plan? I don't think my supply would be sufficient for me to start expressing now, so that's really not an option.
I have my fingers crossed that one day she'll wake up and just start eating but can't really bank on it!
What kind of food are you offering her? I'd try simple foods so she can see what's what eg strips of roast chicken, roast vegetables, bits of pasta etc then eat with her. Maybe some babies like curry but not mine! And not many I know!
She is offered whatever we are having, last night was pasta and meatballs, today lunch was bolognase, she doesn't make faces at anything (other than natural yoghurt) just will no eat any more IYSWIM. She seemed to quite like the curry, was very mild and ate more of it than most other things I've offered
If she's having too much milk, she won't have an appetite for food. Maybe try offering food first, then milk?
Is she on a routine at all? Will she eat finger food snacks? Might be worth trying to swap one feed for snacks an go from there? That's what I did with mine (they took ages to get into solids)
There's no point in worrying about whether or not you're doing the best for her - you're going back to work at which point she won't be able to bf 8 times a day. I would start consciously dropping some of the feeds, and perhaps start offering some other foods for her to try - perhaps slightly more mushed.
What you're doing now sounds fine, and it's great you're so relaxed. She will get there eventually, if you want her eating by a certain date, you need to accelerate the process
Hi thanks for your replies. Yes I have been trying to drop feeds but is very hard! We did get down to 6 a day for a few days then 2 more teeth decided to pop out so she went back to manic feeding again. But i am working on it. Didn't make any difference to how much solids she wanted either.
I am thinking she might start eating more when I'm not always present, but don't really know the best option milk-wise to keep her going if that doesn't happen!
Really wouldn't bother with the formula and please don't give her goats milk or formula unless you have been advised to by a Paed.
I left my ebf dd and DS at 9 and 10 months. They had full fat cows milk from a sippy cup (fine if you are still doing three bfs a day) and they did eat, because they knew I wasn't there. They didn't take much cows milk at all, but again this is fine. I bf morning, on pick up and before bed and if they woke in the night.
If you are fed up with the mauling, have you read bfing manners or spoken to a BFC? You might also find childcare and the bf baby helpful too.
Please don't go from 8 feeds a day straight to leaving her and going to work, you'll risk mastitis. A BFC will help you come up with a plan that should help you return to work, have you got the Bfing Helpline numbers?
Thanks JJJ I think your approach sounds like a good one It did seem a bit pointless switching to formula just for a few weeks so good to know normal cows milk will be fine to offer.
I'll keep working on to dropping feeds too. At the moment, every time I drop one during the day I seem to pick one up at night so might try the BFing helpline (I didn't even know there was such a thing!)
Please don't give cows milk/goats
milk/soya milk (unless advised by a doctor) as it isn't suitable as a drink for under ones. Even after that formula is better if not BF as it has added vitamins and minerals. It's now being advised that BF babies and those having less than 500ml formula be given vitamin D supplants as there's been I rise in rickets and there's no vitamin D in breast milk but its in formula.
Formula is not the poison some make it out to be or my four DCs wouldn't be here as I couldn't produce enough milk to the point it was dangerous to keep trying to EBF.
If she's still having so many feeds she won't be interested in solids. She shouldn't be having your food either unless you don't add any salt and make sauces yourself as even a little salt is harmful to babies and young children.
I've found ready made jars the best for weaning, you can make purées yourself if you have the time and a good blender. Just don't add any salt and not too many spices and herbs as babies don't need so much flavour in their food as we do.
I've also found it helps to feed babies at around the same times each day at first as it helps them adjust. At these times when she wants BF give her some puréed fruit/dinner of petit filous/baby yogurt instead. At first she'll only take a little bit but within a few weeks she should start taking more food and less milk.
smile just google National Bfing Helpline. If you are picking up feeds at night you may want to consider replacing some daytime feeds with formula, but the BFC will be able to talk you through the options
crazy many bf babies are given some cows milk at this age when their mother returns to work. For us it was the only option. I couldn't express and the DC wouldn't touch formula. I was advised by a BFC to give cows milk. At 9 months smile's baby should be getting everything she needs from the remaining bfs.
Also did you know petite filous is full of sugar? Much better to offer natural yogurt. Sugar should only be given to babies in very small quantities, see the NHS advice here.
Lots of babies get fed family meals at this age, its certainly not unusual. I do take your point about watching salt levels but you can't avoid it completely, after all its found in BM and formula
Forgot to add, feeding to a schedule does work for some babies but for some, like my dd, it really doesn't so smile shouldn't feel too bad if Lo can't be persuaded to feed to a schedule
Sorry the first link doesn't work properly, it should be here
I said try feeding around the same time not feed at exactly the same time and never change it. I know what works for one doesn't always work for others, OP asked for advice and I said what worked for my DCs.
I'm well aware petits filous has sugar in it but once in a while won't do any harm.
How are you getting on now smile? Did you manage to talk to a Bfc?
Sorry BFC should have been a link here
Thanks so much for the links JJJ, I spoke to them yesterday and I have the start of a plan at least! Pretty much gave me the same advice as you did, so I'm going to try and cut back feeds slowly by spacing them out a bit to start. She is also much less milk demanding when I'm not around, so DH is going to take her for longer stretches too. They said offering cows milk now was fine and she will probably not drink much anyway for a while, but good for her to be learning to drink milk from a cup. Today has actually been a good day for eating, whether it's from reducing the milk feeds or just coincidence I don't know but FX!
Yes schedules never really gone that well here either! She wakes up at different times every morning for a start, and nap lengths vary heaps, so I can't expect her to do the same things at the same time.
Hadn't even considered a sleep regression as causing the night waking. Arghhh something else to work on now!
Apologies if you thought I was insinuating formula was terrible crazy, I don't think that at all, I just can't see the point in getting a 9.5m baby adjusted to the taste etc for the sake of a few weeks if there's another alternative. DD actually prefers things with lots of flavour, just doesn't eat much of it. And I'm very careful with salt
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