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Paediatrician says to stop BF aaaargh

(37 Posts)
SweetColibri Wed 19-Nov-14 18:50:56

Don�t know if this is posted in the right place (probably not) but am white with rage and I was hoping to canvass views after a barney with DP in relation to DS following a paediatrician�s appointment today on the subject of BFing (we are in Spain, DP is Spanish). DS is 17 months and weighs 9.7kg as of last night. He was in the 75th percentile when born and has dropped heavily since, guessing in the 20-30 range mark now. I find this very worrying but not surprising given that DS is a very, very picky eater. He has lost weight recently (although he has had a series of colds, stomach upsets and massive high fever one day which we can only guess was due to teething). He seems to be stabilising now but just doesn�t have much appetite in general.

His paediatrician has told DP today that this is my fault as I am still breastfeeding him, particularly at night. She pointed out that in some cultures kids still sleep with mother aged 18, making me feel like some kind of weirdo for still doing this at 17 months. I don�t know wtf this is coming from but it seems to be a totally moronic observation. Had I been at the appointment I would have pointed out the WHO observations on BF. I have loved BFing and would happily carry on.

I take the view that as he is a bad eater now is not the time to cut out any source of nutrition. On the other hand, I don�t think there is that much milk on tap at night � if he wakes up and breastfeeds it is more just for comfort. I do find it tiring as he seems to wake up more and more lately but is very quick to go back to sleep as he is tucked up next to me. It doesn�t involve getting out of bed or struggling to get him back to sleep at all. That said, I do wonder if it is a bit like me when I have a chocolate bar on my desk � this week I happened to have one and because it was there I had to scoff it all. If I hadn�t had one then I wouldn�t necessarily have missed it. He clearly would miss his nocturnal norking sessions but part of me does wonder if it is a vicious circle.

She has pointed out (I know this) that at 17 months his source of nutrition needs to be more than breast milk. Below is a summary of his typical day�s food consumption:

-He used to like have scrambled eggs for breakfast (or an omelette) but it is now only extremely rarely that I can get him to eat more than a mouthful of egg. His staple fare is a few crumbs (literally a couple of mouthfuls) of toast and some orange juice. In the early days he used to have homemade porridge (before that baby cereal) but that is met with disgust now�
-He gets better as the morning goes on and tends to get peckish (and will eat chunks of bread if I give him the baguette in the supermarket) or wholeweat crackers etc.
-At lunch he tends to be a bit better (if he hasn�t stuffed himself to the rafter on crackers beforehand) albeit only really likes rice or fish based things. He used to like lamb and chicken but now refuses (for months) any kind of red meat unless it is well hidden in something with a potato / gravy sauce. On good days he will eat say 10-15 mouthfuls of lunch. Bad days it goes hurled around.
-He likes the little yoghurts that are more of a drink. Staple previous favourite of greek yoghurt met with raised eyebrows now.
-In the afternoon he has some fruit as a snack (either the little sachets of fruit or sometimes he will peck at real fruit). He also has a selection of little biscuit type things as snacks.
-Then come dinner time his staple favourite is some form of white fish and a little potato waffle thing (homemade by DP) with veg if we can get it down him (peas, broccoli). Plus more yoghurt.
-We suspect he�s lacking in iron so his previous paediatrician told us to give him vitamin supplements.

Apparently I am doing this all wrong and need to stop BF at night immediately � I did not set out to become a sort of hippy eternal breastfeeder but have fall into it because DS stopped sleeping well aged 4 months. He has been up and down sleep wise eve since � sometimes has gone for periods of a few hours at a time, very rarely all the way through the night. Of late awake for a nork every couple of hours or so. Which is knackering but I am finding bearable.

I was happy enough to continue bumbling along with my way of doing things but have been told that it is bad (i) from a dietary perspective and (ii) from the point of view of the baby waking up throughout the night and being cranky in the day.

He does get very tired in the day but I had sort of thought this was just a general being a baby thing! He has a habit of screeching and screaming if he gets bored when DP is dragging him around a supermarket, which he finds mortifying. I just sort of take the view that he needs to keep moving but DP is convincing himself he is hyperactive or something. He throws tantrums, tempers etc but again I am more just of the view that he is a sometime naughty little boy, not with some kind of personality defect. DP and I do have quite different views on how to go about things. For example, DS likes to take things out of cupboards (to my mind like all toddlers). Unless he is getting hold of something dangerous or very, very messy (flour is his favourite) I let him get on with it as I take the view life is too short! His favourite are little cans of tuna, which he likes to get out and rearrange. DP decided the other day that this was unacceptable, put them all in a Tupperware box which DS then pulled on the floor. It landed on his foot and he unsurprisingly started crying as 10 cans of tuna are pretty heavy. DP went mental when I started comforting him, telling me he had to learn not to pick things up out of the cupboards. I was just about at my wit�s end by then.

So the paediatrician has recommended the Ferber approach. DP tells me I am supposed to stop BF at night and offer DS a bottle of water instead or a dummy (he�s never used one since about the age of 3 months). He is used to just tapping me on the shoulder at night when he wants something! DP looks after DS in the day when I am out at work and climbs into bed next to him when I leave in the morning (he has slept in the other room for ages because he snores very heavily and did not like being woken up by DS). DS has slowly gotten used to the change from me to DP and goes back to sleep when DP is there, not going mad looking to BF. I suggested that it might be easier for me to hide in the spare room if we are supposed to be rolling out the Ferber approach as I think that it will be fuelling the flames to have me next to DS but denying BF.

Don�t really know what I am expecting in terms of advice but just feel attacked on all fronts for what I felt like was a good thing. DP totally unsupportive. He has, separately, disagreed with the paediatrician on other matters. Eg. DS� previous paediatrician was a great advocate of homeopathic remedies and prescribed lots of things for BF/colic etc based on homeopathy. This new woman sets no store by that. On that front DP totally disagrees with her but on this she seems to have convinced him today. I guess I should say that this is all in the wider context of Spain being a country where women go back to work v quickly (16 weeks mat leave is the norm) and extended BF is pretty rare. I have researched it a fair bit (have The Womanly Art, Carlos Gonzalez, read lots of things online) and felt comfortable I was doing the right thing but just feel like I have been kicked in the face today. Apart from all this, I work a stressful job with long hours. Curling up with DS at night is part of the little time I get to spend with him.

Dreading going home now to another blazing row with DP or radio silence.

InfinitySeven Wed 19-Nov-14 18:58:47

It's entirely your decision, but looking at this as an outsider, I'd give it a try. He's not getting much benefit from BF, and the paediatrician may be correct if it is making him cranky and that is making him less likely to try new foods or eat normally.

On the flip side, you might cut BF and find that he still won't eat, but the pead will then need to look into other causes and won't keep blaming this.

My little sister was similar and we got the same advice in the UK, so I don't think it's just a Spain thing.

Want2bSupermum Wed 19-Nov-14 18:59:02

Your bedroom routine is very different to mine but if it works then great. I'm not a doctor and ny knowledge of children's eating habits extend to my own two! I would look to get a second opinion with a doctor who speaks English so you can communicate directly. I know for my two the doctors have said only water at night from 6 months on to avoid messing up their eating rhythm. I only did that after a year.

If needs be are you able to afford going private in the uk and seeing a specialist? Might make sense as you would have the language gap to contend with.

NitramAtTheKrap Wed 19-Nov-14 19:06:15

Ok, IMO, you are right.

They are talking bollocks.

Want2bSupermum Wed 19-Nov-14 19:06:44

Oh and the behavior is totally normal. We don't let the kids into cupboards. They have a toy cupboard they can open and close all day long. Your child is ready for a set of blocks. My DS loves duplo and I got some lovely wooden blocks that DD aged 3 plays with all the time.

I found my kids have an attention span that is about 20mins max. The whole days is planned around blocks of time this way at weekends. It is far less stressful for me too as it forces me to have a plan and prepare the night before.

Booboostoo Wed 19-Nov-14 20:05:33

Quite a few things crop up in your post, I think it is worth considering them separately:
- the weight loss: did he adjust down at the beginning of his life and is he now following a lower curve? This is normal and I wouldn't worry about that, some babies adjust up and some adjust down. You say he has lost weight recently due to colds, has he dropped more than two curves? This is usually the point for referrals. Does the paeds have any other medical concerns other than the worry that he is not eating enough?

- some breast fed toddlers are boob monsters and do prefer milk to solids. If you do want him to eat more try offering food and water before any bf and keeping bf sessions to designated times.

- did the paediatrician suggest a blood test for iron levels? Bf toddlers are at increased risk of iron deficiencies. If he is iron deficient, depending on how deficient he is, he may need iron supplements, not general vitamins. The iron supplement is usually offered in an oil suspension. To increase iron consumption through diet try giving meat and lentils with orange juice and avoiding milk and dairy products one hour before and after eating.

- do you want to stop bf during the night? If you do the dr J Gordon method is very effective. If you don't then don't stop.

- co-sleeping: none of the doctor's business if you want to co-sleep. This is unsolicited parenting advice and not medical advice.

Booboostoo Wed 19-Nov-14 20:08:27

Sorry, forgot, the behaviour is completely normal. As long as he's not doing anything dangerous or extremely annoying I'd let him get on with exploring the world. Your DH was very unreasonable getting annoyed with DS for getting injured because of an accident DH set up. I hope DH saw this when he calmed down.

Quodlibet Wed 19-Nov-14 20:13:35

Is your DP making sure he is getting enough naps in the daytime? My dd is much more fussy and short-tempered at the table if she is tired, and it sounds like maybe your little one is tired too? Maybe try reading the No Cry Sleep Solution which has some good advice about getting babies to get enough sleep without saying you can't BF or co-sleep.

It does sound like your DP and you are pulling in separate directions which is very stressful. Maybe if you can agree a nap schedule which he has to implement in the daytime it will redress the balance somewhat and it won't be all your fault!

Shootthemoon Wed 19-Nov-14 20:26:05

I didn't make it through the whole post I'm afraid, but my DD was a terrible sleeper, great bf-er, and struggled with weaning. at 16 months her weight had dropped and she looked gaunt. Had lots of advice to stop BFing but stumbled onto some advice here on MN to check her for tongue and lip ties.

DD had a grade IV upper lip tie and posterior tongue tie. It was revised (privately) at 16 months. It had taken her 5 months to put on 1lb of weight but after the procedure she put on 1lb in three weeks shock!

The ULT and PTT meant that she was trying to eat food but couldn't move it around her mouth successfully, so just kept spitting it out without eating it, or gagging. As soon as it was revised, her issues went away.

In hindsight, a lot of her colic/sleep/fussiness issues could be attributable to her ties. I only wish I'd spotted it sooner.

Hrrrm Wed 19-Nov-14 20:34:09

Stick by your guns. At 17 months, bf still meets most of his nutritional needs, so if he's not keen on a lot of food, bf is a really good thing. If he's picky, being exposed to different flavours through your milk will also help him.

If you're working all day, he's unsurprisingly reverse cycling to meet his needs for milk and closeness overnight. Children have phases of sleeping less and more, so it's imo pointless to battle him at this point and deny him access to what makes him feel secure.

Ferber is not the best method, there's a lot of criticism of it.

Basically, if what you're doing works, then keep going. Have food intolerances been investigated re. the weight loss? I also thought, while your meals sound great, the snacks seem a bit sugary.

The iron thing is a load of bs, as far as I can tell. Remember that formula advert with the giant beaker? Breastmilk contains iron with a high bioavailability, which means almost all of it is absorbed. Formula and supplements might contain lots of iron, but almost none of it is absorbed.

madwomanbackintheattic Wed 19-Nov-14 20:40:55

I stopped bf because ds1 was a night feeder and I needed my sleep. It was pure habit - within 2 days of stopping he was sleeping through. Prior to that he was waking 4 or 5 times a night to feed. Completely ridiculous and unnecessary, so I pulled the plug.

I don't know what to say about the rest of it. I can't decide if you feel guilty about leaving your baby and are trying to make amends by convincing yourself you want to do all the night waking and letting dp sleep in the spare room, or whether you are righteously pissed off that he gets to sleep.

Either way, I would sort out some sort of system whereby you aren't the mug that is awake all night every night. (Whether that's by evening up the load or stopping bf, up to you)

Ds does sound tired.

The other stuff sounds like swings and roundabouts, but you seem to be caught in that toddler stage moaning and whining about everything dp does differently, probably because you are knackered and toddlers are exhausting, and so is work. It's all perfectly normal, and so is disagreeing with paediatricians various.

Sometimes you just have to wait another few months - sometimes time is the only option. There isn't always an answer, despite what billions of baby rearing manuals and medics might believe (whether they are white coat sciences types, or tree huggers)

Booboostoo Wed 19-Nov-14 21:24:20

Hrrrm the iron thing is not a load of bs. My DD was severely iron deficient at 16mo which is the typical risk period (12-18mo). Bf babies, premature babies and low birth weight babies are all at risk of iron deficiencies at this kind of age. Breast milk contains very small amounts of iron and is not a complete source of iron for toddlers. Iron deficiency in toddlers is believed to be quite a wide spread problem but it is difficult to know its extent because determining iron levels requires a blood test which is not routinely done at that age. Some doctors, e.g.the American Paediatric Association, are calling for changes in public policy to introduce universal screening of all toddlers despite the blood test difficulties as they suspect the problem to be widespread and serious.

RedKites Wed 19-Nov-14 22:13:03

Have you seen the Kellymom page on feeding beyond a year - especially the nutrition information? There's a little bit about research not supporting weaning for toddlers who aren't eating very well, but I haven't read the references or anything, but nevertheless might be useful to you.

Do you have a local LLL group? Even if the meetings are at the wrong time for you, the leader might be able to give you support, and perhaps help you access a second opinion if that would help.

It's not quite clear from your post - did your DP agree to help with night weaning (if you decide that's what you want to do)? I may be being a bit difficult, but if your DP has come back from the appointment sufficiently convinced that you should night wean, but not sufficiently convinced that he should support you to do it, then maybe he's not so sure it's necessary after all.

SweetColibri Thu 20-Nov-14 10:10:03

Thank you to everyone for your views, really helpful just to get some different opinions on this. Apologies for the super long original post, it was a bit of a stream of consciousness as I felt so bewildered by yesterday´s events. I seem to have done an equally long reply, thinking through all the issues you´ve raised.

So we tried a different approach last night - DP went in when DS woke up the first time (in his cot) and managed to get him back to sleep with water (in our bed). I convinced DP that DS would not lose his Norkaholic´s Anonymous card if there was a juicy boob in the bed next to him (I have tried on occasions to say no to him when he wants to BF for the zillionth time that night but this makes him get much more distressed than if I am just not there in the first place I think) so I slept in the spare room and DP took the brunt of the wakings with his water bottle. He still woke up half a dozen times but DP managed to get him back to sleep each time. It took me hours to get to sleep still because I have gotten used to sleeping next to him and found it really weird without him. I then nipped in for an early morning nork before going to work (otherwise I would have exploded in the office or had to express). I left them both asleep - DS would normally sleep another couple of hours after I leave in the morning. I am not sure whether this was any better from DS´ sleep perspective as he still woke up lots but it´s a start I guess. Still need to hear whether it has had any effect on this appetite at breakfast. I figured we might as well at least try this regime change to see if we could improve things at all.

Want2bsupermum - thankfully there´s no language gap issue as I do speak Spanish. His paediatrician is on the NHS equivelent in Spain. I could get him a private paediatrician through my work healthcare here but generally the public healthcare system here works pretty well so have not done this so far. We have been mulling this over though so will see where we get to. Thanks for comments re behaviour! He has duplo and lots of wooden bits and bobs too, he is just a real investigator and likes to have a good rummage around the rest of the house too :-) Interesting re the plan, we might give that a try - we tend to always be dashing from one thing to the next, always late!

Booboostoo -
- yep he dropped down from 75th to around 50th or so after a few months. His previous paediatrician suggested introducing baby cereals at 4 months to push him back up the curve. I disagreed with this approach but caved in when he got to about 4.5/5 months. I have read some info suggesting that that the weight they end up being may not always correlate that heavily to birth weight - just that he was nice and well fed throughout pregnancy but everyone in my family is on the light side so slightly odd for him to be a lot heavier. Anyway, he ate baby cereal for a bit (along with other home made pureed meals which we introduced following a pattern suggested by his paed) but then caught a cold aged 9 months (his first) and went massively off food and then has remained fussy ever since.
- he doesn´t BF much in the day. Just to go to sleep and then before his afternoon nap (which he has after lunch so not filling up on milk first). He has breakfast late as he snoozes a lot in the morning so I would have thought he would be hungry by breakfast time but he hardly ever is!
- nothing said re iron other than that DP flagged to her that we assumed his levels would be low and so were giving a vitamin supplement. She didn´t object to this. I am also taking vits for BF. I had heard that re orange juice and lentils in our ante-natal class here so thanks a lot for the reminder re dairy.
- re his behaviour, I think we just have to agree to disagree (DP and me I mean) on this front. He is in the line of fire all day and does get pretty worn down by constant re-arrangements of the cupboards! This just then means I have to apply the same rules otherwise it´s really confusing. I guess I kind of forget cos I am a pretty laissez-faire sort of person. DP then goes mental at me (infront of the baby or whoever, which I find really embarrasing and stressful - I don´t like arguing at the best of times).

Qoudlibet - we have another funny arrangement here I guess by most people´s standards! I am able to nip home to see them over lunch (given the Spanish working day has a 2 hour lunch break :-)). So 9/10 I am able to escape from the office, dash home, give him his lunch and get him down for his nap (he BFs to sleep during naps still). We have experimented as I get terrified that I am going to get stuck at work or taken away on business and sometimes DP manages to get him to sleep, be that in his pushchair out and about (not really the same kind of restful sleep) and a couple of times he has managed to doze him off at home. He does generally get an hour so so of nap per day, sometimes less. Personally I think he could do with a longer nap but he seems programmed to wake up after 30 mins and then it is a question of luck of whether we can get him down again.

Shootthemoon - v interesting re lip tie. We did wonder about this at one point as again I had read stuff about it. Was it something as obvious as not being able to put her tongue out? Would you have otherwise realised? DP was v interested in this as his ex-girlfriend randomly had failed to have this diagnosed as a baby and this meant that as an adult she could not stick her tongue out at all! We sort of ruled this out based on the fact he can stick his tongue out, although don´t know if that is all there is too it. He did have a condition called laryngomalacia which he seems to be growing out of but which the paed has made no mention of in terms of issues with food. To my mind it´s more of an issue - it basically means he has floppy larynx and chokes on things quite easily. He used to choke just drinking water. That said I do think it is less of an issue now because he can drink pretty well and if he is eating the rare things he likes then he scoffs them down no problem!

Hrmm, thanks for this. Yes he´s definitely worse since I went back to work 2 months ago (he had me to himself for 15 months). His previous paed mentioned something about doing blood tests but this never got any further and we have then moved within Spain - the new doctor doesn´t seem interested in that. I think probably because it seems reasonably plausible that he´s not putting on weight because he eats like a fly - if he were gobbling lots of food and not putting on think they would be more worried. Interested to hear other snack ideas! His morning crackers etc are not sweet - he likes wholemeal rice crackers, and those little sorts of crackers with sesame seeds on (the kind you would have with cheese). He would eat these all day. He mixes these with some other more biscuit type things in the afternoon but he doesn´t have a sweet tooth and normally spits out more of the sweet ones.
Re Ferber, I have a work colleague who tried this on his son, who has always been a terrible sleeper (FF). The only consequence was that his neigbours hate him because they have had to put up with the baby crying constantly!! They don´t go in for co-sleeping, he ends up going in and sleeping on the floor by the baby´s cot/bed. He´s now 2.5. I find this vaguely re-assuring that I am not the only one up the creek......

Madwomanbackintheattic - you´ve hit the nail very close to the head. V interesting to know you kicked the habit in 2 days. I do feel guilty to a point but not much I can do about it as DP does not work (massive unemployment in Spain) and stretched our budget to the max to take as long as possible off with DS. I have done the co-sleeping thing for a long time - not just since I started back at work. But I guess I value it more now as it´s my time to cuddle up with him. That said, it does range from good nights to bad nights. I guess I sort of got into it because it was not that bad - he would wake up a couple of times and go straight back to sleep etc. It is a lot more challenging when he wakes up constantly (once an hour) and BFs for a long time each time and I do feel in two minds as to whether that is particularly good for him. As you say, I feel totally doubtful about whether I am doing the right thing and don´t mind someone challenging it but sort of struggled with the "read this book, you´re doing it all wrong" approach as opposed to something a bit more balanced acknowledging that there are multiple views on the subject. Agree with what you say and think we´ll just have to ride it out. I am just trying to stop him falling of the weight scales in the meantime and am terrified I am being a useless mother. You are right I am moaning about this a lot but limited other forum to moan in - no family here and no exchange with other mums as all the toddler group stuff happens when I am at work. I am tying to find some activities that go on at weekends.

Redkites - yes I have read Kellymom and have read LLL womanly art book. I hadn´t thought about trying to find a group here, will look into that.

Thanks again to everyone.

mipmop Thu 20-Nov-14 10:33:03

I would be reluctant to give up bf because:
- it sounds like the paed would recommend that everyone stop bf well before the WHO guidelines (of bf bring beneficial until at least age 2, or whatever the exact wording is ), irrespective of their child's weight
- the non-nutritional benefits are important, e.g. you say the child has differed a series of infections. BF has likely lessened the impact and provided easy nutrition at a time the child may be less likely to fancy eating solids
- BF suits you and your child
-If you stop BF to test the paed's theory, your supply could diminish, and be difficult to reestablish (some people may find it easy to reestablish, some may not...)

Regarding the solids, I would try to up the calories so e.g. ditch empty bulk like rice cakes and boiled rice, and replace with more calorie-dense options, or try to add things to the rice cakes (cashew nut butter if you're ok with nuts, cheese spread, or calorie-dense dips). So if you know roughly how many mouthful tour child will accept at different times of day, try to offer calorie-dense foods (and have his unusuals available for backup).
I'm going to try to find a link that may help with food ideas.

josephine1986 Thu 20-Nov-14 10:38:49

Feel for you OP. Sounds like you are being cornered a bit by your DP and the paed who sound a little ignorant of the benefits of extended bf!

You are doing great and I suspect you would find a lot of comfort and support with a LLL group as suggested above.

If you do decide to night wean, I hear jay Gordon's technique is good. You don't need to though! you are meeting your child's needs for comfort and nutrition by cosleeping and I suspect getting more and better quality sleep that way. But if it starts being problematic lng term, not just a phase, then you have options.

Overall though I would say to try not to let the opinions of others sway you too much unless they really know about bf! And a frank full discussion about this with your DP is in order because you need to be united on it.

mipmop Thu 20-Nov-14 10:40:12

To be clear, I'm advocating continuing bf if it suits you, but doing it at whatever tinge of day or night that suits you, rather than stopping bf on the advice of someone who disregards the WHO guidelines for questionnable reasons.

Here's the webpage with links to downloadable booklets with info about nutritional needs and food ideas for babies, toddlers and older children.

mipmop Thu 20-Nov-14 10:40:32

www.cwt.org.uk/chew.html

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 20-Nov-14 10:50:20

Boo - the iron thing needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Yes there is a small amount of iron in breastmilk, but it is much more bioavailable than other sources and so is almost completely absorbed by the body.

OP why is your child seeing a paed.? Is he unwell in some way? I just think that it isn't unusual for a toddler to be fussy with eating, it isn't unusual for a child to drop a centile. Is he well, meeting developmental milestones (sleep is not one!)?

I honestly think you could be upsetting yourself over nothing, it sounds like he has a reasonable diet but considering he won't eat red meat any longer I'd be bloody reluctant to remove BF as a source of iron.

Looking at his diet, it does look very carb heavy. Toast, juice, crackers which are then meaning he doesn't want his lunch, more biscuits in the afternoon, carbs again with dinner. If he'll eat red meat when its in a sauce then give him that - white fish is great but not very calorie dense, will he eat salmon?
Does he get plenty of fresh air and exercise to build up his appetite?

sanfairyanne Thu 20-Nov-14 11:24:19

first of all, change paed as you do not seem a good match for each other

second, do look back into iron deficiency as it reduces appetite. ask pharmacist maybe for advice on drops?

if he has just has a big change he will react, plus perhaps this is your dh looking to blame someone else for his daytime feeding issues when he is in charge?

how about a compromise on feeding so you do a bedtime feed and morning before work feed but no night time feeds? easier said than done i know but if dh helps out at night?

final thought, perhaps he felt he was choking one time and has lost some confidence?

Booboostoo Thu 20-Nov-14 13:56:59

Alibaba I'd rather take the iron deficiency seriously like the AAP does:
pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/126/5/1040.full.html

My DD was so severe deficient, despite being on the 98th percentile for weight, that it would have affected her development had we not realised during a blood test done for other reasons. I plan on testing my DS when he gets to abit 12mo. Anecdotally, but confirms the studies, I was on an extended bf group on FB for a few months and four posters came on with anaemic toddlers.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 20-Nov-14 14:08:06

Boo - I'm not saying that iron deficiency isn't a problem, but iron in breastmilk is not a straightforward equation. That study takes no account of the fact that a toddler with absorb much more of the iron available in breastmilk than it will from other sources.

I am very sceptical of anything from AAP, they will of course be being heavily lobbied by formula companies, which is well worth remembering when you read anything from them.

Booboostoo Thu 20-Nov-14 15:08:54

alibaba are you suggesting they fabricated the study? In what way? Do you think anaemia is not as present as the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey found it to be? How exactly do formula manufacturers benefit from a recommendation which does NOT suggest formula feeding for toddlers? The recommendations are split into ff and bf babies and simply suggest iron supplements for bf babies, while for 1-3 year olds they suggest iron rich solids.

madwomanbackintheattic Thu 20-Nov-14 17:01:46

I didn't mean to criticize about the moaning, by the way grin it's a perfectly valid coping mechanism for parents of toddlers and very common!! I used it myself extensively, and enjoyed the therapeutic benefits immensely. It also saved arguments at home as I could vent elsewhere. Parenting is a minefield, and everyone gets polarized, but usually it doesn't matter that much at the end of the day. Perspective is hard when you are living it, as parenting is all-encompassing and often feels like a competition. Who is 'right'? Everyone and no one wink and all kids and all parents (and all paediatricians) are different.

My youngest has some issues that made feeding difficult (nay impossible in the early days, so she was tube fed) and the emotions surrounding feeding are the most problematic of all - food being the most basic need. It's easy to feel confused and guilty - hellfire, if I can't even feed the child enough, what sort of parent am I?

Ds dropped down the centiles as well - he was way up there, and then low, but a few years on is chugging along at 50th very averagely.

Does dh take him out to groups etc? Sometimes a group snack event at a toddler group is an interesting opportunity for parents AND toddlers to see how their peers view food interactions... And they learn routines, that sitting for a snack break and eating is a 'thing', and very occasionally can even make their minds up to try something new as everyone else is getting on with it... (Or not, lol).

Toddlers do need routine though (mine did), particularly for food and sleep. And to be honest, I found the 'getting out of the house and interacting with other parents and kids' essential too... Is dh's routine sufficiently 'parenty' and moved on to accommodate a toddler rather than a baby, do you think?

As an aside, I found that as soon as mine started to sleep better at night, they also napped better in the day. And then everything became easier. We've never been a two nap family, though - only ever one in the afternoon. Mine were just not sleepy kids.

Does dh cook with ds? 17mos is a brilliant time for introducing the concept of 'helping' with food, even if it's just rinsing veggies or fruit. Or arranging (cut) grapes and cheese on a plate with his crackers... Or stirring or mixing. Or cutting shapes for baking.

Toddlers can be great fun. Blooming annoying when they won't eat or sleep, but great fun.

SweetColibri Thu 20-Nov-14 17:16:34

More very helpful replies, thanks to you all. That link re food ideas is very helpful Mipmop. We do try to make his meals as calorific as possible - not just boiled rice, DP is a great cook and normally makes risottos which DS loves. Well him loving something is eating 10 mouthfuls but you get the picture. But I think we are missing a lot of tricks in terms of extra stuff like dips etc.

Joesphine1986 yep am trying to align our viewpoints. DP is otherwise very supportive of BF but gets easily swayed by others (paed, family) who think I am barking. He tells me I am the only mother in the world (rolls eyes) who doesn´t just lull the baby to sleep with some other magical method. I just went with BF to sleep cos it was easy and natural and worked. I honestly never even knew anything about the whole school of thought of leaving them in their cot awake and letting them learn to fall asleep themselves until I was well down this path. I have found quite a few LLL groups in Madrid so going to try to go along.

Alibababa the paed is just because in Spain kids don´t have regular GPs, they all have their own paed under the NHS equivalent. So when you go to your local surgery you see a paed rather than a normal doctor. They had gone for a couple of reasons - we were worried about his weight issue and the BF thing came out in the wash as part of that discussion. He is also not yet walking and DP (who is a mix of v concerned Dad and hopeless hypercondriac) is convinced he is somehow disabled cos he´s not walking yet. I myself was a late walker (17.5 months!) so personally I am not that worried on that front. He totters along fine holding our hands, even one handed, just has not quite got the confidence to do it himself yet. Anyway DP is now being carted off for tests on that front so we´ll see if there is any more to it.

Sanfairyanne and Booboostoo will look into the iron thing properly and get him tested. That is v helpful info. I didn´t realise it could affect his appetite too.

When I went home at lunch both DP and DS looked utterly shattered after the first nork free night. Despite having probably slept less than normal because it took me so long to sleep and then still woke up nearly every time DS did, I did at least get a longer block of uninterrupted sleep I think so personally feel a bit more on the ball. I have a feeling DP´s enthusiasm for the idea will have waned by tonight and it will be back over to me.

thanks again everyone

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