At my wits end with weaning - any advice very welcome!(25 Posts)
I started weaning DS3 two weeks ago at six and a half months. He has been breastfed on demand until then. I have tried everything from babyrice mixed with breastmilk to fruit purees and baby fromage frais, but he just won't eat anything. I feel so anxious about it. I have tried offering him food off my finger, off a spoon, letting him play with purees (never puts his hands in his mouth when there's food on them, but will at any other time!). As soon as food goes near his mouth he starts spitting and waving his arms about and crying. If I happen to get any in, it is spat out straight away or he'll make himself sick. I have tried feeding him at different times of day, when he's hungry and when he's had a breastfeed, but all to no avail. I've tried everything the health visitors advise, but it's not made a blind bit of difference. He' 7 months old today and I'm starting to wonder if he's ever going to eat...
Try baby led weaning. Your baby sounds normal to me.
Don't sweat it, really just gently offer when your eating and 1 day he will try something.
Don't make it into a huge thing, he is breastfeeding so getting good nutrition, the rest will follow, he has the nixt 90+ yrs to eat
I would agree with flamingobingo and go with baby led weaning.
Ds, similarly, was not keen on weaning at all. Started him at 6 months - he never enjoyed being spoonfed. We (reluctantly) started baby led weaning at 7 months - he really took to it. Despite such an unpromising beginning, he's a really good eater now (17 months).
I think some babies do just take a bit longer to 'get' eating.
My ds wouldn't eat anything other than breast milk until he was 8 months. I gave up with purees (it was too demoralising) and ended up sticking bits of his older sister's food onto his plate. (I guess this was effectively baby led weaning.) Eventually he was tempted by ripe peaches and after that there was no stopping him. He is now 2 1/2 and eats pretty much everything.
During his "real food strike" phase, I spoke to a HV, who said that babies could survive absolutely fine on just breast milk until they were 12 months, so no need to worry about him whatsoever.
One piece of advice I was given was "Food should be Fun until they are One". Menaing as neolara said, nutrition should still come from milk until they are one and these 6 months or so are just a time to explore food.
My daughter couldn't be weaned until she was 8 months for medical reasons and we did baby-led-weaning too and she has never looked back. She now eats ANYTHING and is a little piglet!!!
Thanks everyone - I guess I will look into baby led weaning, though I am a bit worried about choking because he can't sit up unaided yet.
Neolara, thanks for posting that info from your HV saying that babies can survive on breast milk until 12 months. The last hv I spoke to said DS3 should already be on mashed foods by 7 months, and stated that there was not enough iron in breast milk alone to sustain a baby for a year. I felt like saying what about all the babies in poorer countries who survive on breast milk for much longer than that?!
There maybe isn't enough measurable iron but the issue with that is the "bioavailability" of the iron is very different in breast milk to that in a lump of red meat so in reality no-one really knows!
My 3 were like this and I found the best way for them was to really recline them or lay them on my legs to eat, just popping a tiny amount in their mouths at a time and obviously watching like a hawk for chocking (not that that was ever an issue) it seemed that with gravity helping they found it easier!
Oh and stick to a "flavour" of food for a few meals until you move onto new tastes.
It's been helpful reading this thread as I am having a very similar problem. My dd is 6months + and is just refusing to eat. I have tried purees - fruit, veg, rice, lentils but she isn't interested. It's not that she doesn't like the food, it's just that she is reluctant to eat anything, irrespective of liking the taste. My hv has said to cut out/dramatially reduce her milk. But I am really reluctant to do this as she is a small baby and doesn't drink very much milk anyway. So any more advice would be helpful. She can't sit up herself and seems a bit small for the high chair, so not sure how to try baby led weaning. Any ideas and suggestions welcome.
DS is the same age and also hates having a spoon put into his mouth so we are BLWing which is sooo much fun. He too is a bit rubbish at sitting up so he goes in his bumbo, on my lap or wedged with a towel in his booster seat. The high chair was a big no no!
He gagged once or twice really early on but he's learnt very quickly how far he can jam things into his mouth before it's uncomfortable. They instinctively use their tongues to push out anything that's too big; it's fascinating to watch, so long as you're able to relax and trust nature.
We've adapted our meals to make them DS-friendly and he's tasted whatever we've been having since day one of weaning. It's lots of fun but you do have to force yourself to relax iyswim.
My DD wouldnt eat purees so went down the BLW route. DD didn't really eat anything until 13 months except BM she wasnt interested in food and mainly survived on pasta and pesto. By nearly 2 she got better and improved by eating a (slightly) greater range of food but very small quantities, she also self weaned at this point. At 2.5 years she has started to finally eat larger quantities but she has always been at least average height and weight during the whole period. But I worried myself sick.
I know that everybody says their BLW baby eats everything and anything but mine didn't. BLW will not make your baby eat more IME.
Hi I am well past the weaning stage as my youngest is 5 but I am a student HV and have been reading loads about BLW weaning at the moment. Think I would definately have tried this if I'd known about it a few years ago. It just sounds like such a natural way to wean a baby, when you look and understand about their development. Gagging is a perfectly normal reflex and essential to avoid choking. The gag reflex on a 6 month baby is a lot further forward so they should gag long before there is any risk of the food being near to their airway. The reflex then gradually moves further back. There are some very good websites with advice on BLW including one about Gill Rapely who has written a couple of good books on the subject. Good luck whatever method you decide to try.
My DD was the same, didn't really eat anything other than breast milk till 10 months. She hated purees so I had a look at baby led weaning. She seem to only eat very soft broc florets and fillet steak! She is 2.5 now and eats fine. I would try not to worry and go with his lead. I realise now I stressed about it far too much and got caught up in the "my baby is on 3 meals a day blah, blah,blah". Now I have a 6 week old and if he is the same I will not stress. Good luck.
If you fancy giving BLW a try or just finding out a bit more about it come and join us on the BLW thread for newbies here (hopefully - I am a techno idiot )
We've got lots of babies 6 months plus on there who are at the experimenting with food rather than three meals a day stage
My DD is nearly 7 months and won't entertain puree or spoon feeding! But she has jumped from below the 2nd to the 15th centile since she has started feeding herself
DS is 7 months. I started weaning him at 5 and a half months as he seemed ready. He took to it well for the first few days, then just stopped eating anything and mealtimes became a real battle. I was getting stressed, especially once he passed the 6 month mark as I thought he should be eating well by then. I kept trying lots of different things, but he wasn't interested. I wasn't massively keen on going down the BLW route, as I felt a bit nervous, but I decided to see if he liked toast, and it was a revelation! He absolutely loved it, I just handed a small piece to him and he knew what to do with it straightaway. He sucked the life out of it and was desperate for more! After that I started giving him toast at the beginning of a meal and then spoon feeding him pureed stuff in between bits of toast. He seems to like the mix of being able to feed himself and getting other stuff on the spoon. I don't know if that will work for you, but it's kind of like BLW-light. I also give him a few other bits of pieces of finger food, bits of banana for example, but continue to spoon feed him as well. It seems to work for him. Like you, I thought he was never going to eat, but toast was my saviour!!!
I have tried BLW - but my dd is just not interested in food. She will hold it and put it near her mouth and then throw it. She doesn't spend any time sucking on the food. But she does spend loads of time sucking on her toys. Of course she won't eat from a spoon either - she is 6months + so am really wondering what to try next?? I have given a range of foods to feed herself - avocado, aspragus, rice cakes, cheese but nothing has interested her.
Neither of my babies was very interested in food for the first year. The second ate almost nothing until she was about 9 months and our gp said I needed to get her either eating or bottlefeeding asap as her weight was near the bottom of the centile chart. Filled with guilt and fear that I was starving my baby, I managed to get her eating some solids by refusing the breast until she'd eaten and she put on enough weight to cheer up the gp (who ultimately diagnosed her as 'little').
She remained a cautious and fussy eater for quite a while, but at nine she is strong, healthy and eats a decent, varied diet (and is still little, in spite of being able to consume her body weight in spag bol). Babies' appetites vary greatly, and a baby who isn't hungry is bound to be more particular than one who needs the grub! If your baby is healthy, happy and gaining weight steadily, just be patient and gentle, and try not to pass on any anxious vibes.
DS didn't really get into food until 10m (when he discovered restaurants ). Before that, we were lucky to get anything in him, either spoon fed or finger food (although he preferred finger food so we vaguely blw and ignored purees). Now he eats tonnes (at 20m) and he feeds himself really well. He stayed happily in the 90+ centile on bm alone.
I did/am doing BLW with my dd (now 9 months) and she wasn't interested at all for the first couple of months. All I did was keep eating as a family and every mealtime put a selection of what we were eating in front of her and then just left her to it. Sometimes she had a good look at it, most of the time it went straight on the floor. Just carried on though and at some point between then and now she started tucking in! Now she eats literally anything.
Thanks for all your messages. I will just keep trying and hope for the best. My dd is very little - she is in the bottom percentile so I can't afford to experiment with her too much as she can't afford to start losing weight. So I am just continuing with milk and offering her food twice a day - also offering a combination of spoon feeding, finger foods, and finger feeding and hopefully soon she will eat!
She probably weighs exactly as much as she should do, just like Chaotica's restaurant critic up on the top centile, but I know it can be worrying when they are very small and carrying no spare weight. I'm sure she'll be absolutely fine and will eat more as she and her appetite grow.
aaaw, leave them alone, they're just tiny wee babies, they'll get there in the end. my dd1 started scoffing immediately www.babyledweaning.com (my site) but dd2 has been a very different beast and now at 10 months is only just eating i'd say. i've just left her to it, she's been quite happy squishing and licking until now.
for babies who are on the skinny side, arsing about with weaning and filling them up with carrot isn't going to make the situation much better (unless you've added double cream and olive oil). we eat carrot when we're on a diet, so it's illogical to encourage them to ditch milk in its favour. maybe the baby knows what it needs to do?
jm, if i was you i'd just stop for a week. if the baby's not sitting up unaided (at 7 months this is far from unusual) then it just may be that he's not ready. a week is a long time in baby development, and it'll save you some stress.
and if you can't help stressing, consider baby vitamins and work on your anxiety as parents, cos havinig a parent who is relaxed about food stuff pays dividends for everyone.
My ds hated purees and sppon deeding. He ate next to nothing until 9 months when we just did BLW. Anser to all our prayers! He's 23 months now and by no means eats a lot but isn't fussy and will eat enough to gain weight and have bags of energy. He;s only very young though, some babies aren't ready for solids til nearly a year old. Don't stress (I know it's hard!!!) but if your tense at meal times then he will be too. xxx
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