BLW not going so well - advice please(16 Posts)
DD is 6 1/2 months and have been trying BLW for about 2 weeks after finding that DD refuses to be spoon fed (or fed by anyone else in any way) and doesn't seem to know what to do with puree anyway.
The amounts she's been taking have been miniscule but I've tried not to worry too much about that yet; however I had her weighed this morning and she's dropped below the centile she's been tracking since 6 weeks old - and that was only the 9th centile as it was. She's 14lb at the moment.
HV kept telling me I've got to get more solids into her but how? She likes bread, I've tried butter, hummous and cheese as toppings. She doesn't seem to like any fruit (except kiwi fruit). She'll try most vegetables cut into batons. She tastes and chews and seems interested in food but little to nothing is really being swallowed yet. HV suggesting cutting out some breast feeds (she has been exclusively breast fed up to now). What else can I try? They've also got me worried about anaemia - I've tried giving her some meat and fish but with no success yet. She just doesn't want them? What else can I do to get more calories in her? Can I get iron drops? (I have vitamin drops from boots - but no iron in them. I've bought her some nut spreads to try as she seems to like most bread topping (and they have iron) but not sure what else to try?
Thanks - a bit worried here
I don't know whether it helps to tell you that dc3 was similar in her approach to food, she didn't start to eat properly until 9m. Now 11m and eats loads. She was bf and amazingly stayed podgy on her bf diet. I really wouldn't cut down bf unless you just adjust timing to create a 'window of hunger' to try to get her to eat. If she is bf you don't need to worry about anaemia (see kellymom) . You just need to keep on bf and keep going with the finger foods.
My twins were the same, refused anything that was on the end of a spoon. So i stopped and just handed them food/put it on their tray and bingo they eat great now. Well i say great, they will eat anything they can hold in their hand. It does make mealtimes a bit harder since its not always easy to make dry easily holdable food but i just adjust what we have. Like if we have spag bol i just make some meatballs for them and let most of the sauce run off. DS loves his pasta and veg whereas DD2 loves her meat. TBH they remind me abit about the jack sprat rhyme lol
Oh and ill also mention the twins still have 3 9oz bottles a day so i dont stress too much about what they are really eating. Oh and another thing they will now allow me to put food in their mouth which helps with slippery fruit. They are 10 months now and have only just started eating really. Dont stress it will come
BLW is a really slow process - your child learns about their food and gradually starts to trust new things... they'll naturally taper the amount of milk they're taking..
In the mean time have a think about increasing the calories your child is intaking - more calorie dense food... Things like Avocado, banana, eggs (scrambled), blocks of cheese etc... Make sure you're using real butter not some low fat spread thing... Also full fat soft cheese is good on bread. Pasta and pizza was (and still is) my DS' favourite... Penne with a cheesy or carbonra sauce is a delicious if messy meal :-)
dropping bf for what, though? carrot? i know which i find more filling. can't help with the centile stuff as i paid no attention to it myself, but 'she was only on the 9th as it is' isn't particularly relevant as i understand it, that's just the size she is. has she got longer, btw? mine used to get longer and thinner and then pudge back up, don't know what that did to their weights.
re the food, it sounds like it would be fine for you without the centile thing, she does sound like she is doing very well tbh. agree with what has been said about iron, but also dried apricots are high in iron and worth a try for your peace of mind. (although kellymom will sort that out too).
I wouldn't worry, they get there in the end, some sooner than others.
DS1 didn't 'get' eating until 8-9 months and has eaten voraciously ever since.
DS2 now 7 months has been mushing things about with his hands for the last few weeks and has possibly ingested several molecules so far; I'm confident he'll eat eventually
I would question HV's 'advice' - literally if you can be bothered.
Continuing to bf on demand will provide far more calories / nutrition than the small amounts of solids they eat initially and the iron in breastmilk is well absorbed and an adequate supply for a while yet, I found the kellymom info Moo refers to helpful.
If you are concerned about loss of weight I'd try and up the bf if anything as it's the best way of getting optimum nutrition in ATM.
Good luck, try not to worry and enjoy
Thanks for the advice - its good to know this may not be abnormal. Yes, its the falling down in weight that bothers me. DD was only 6lb 8oz at birth (born two weeks early), dropped to 5.5 lb and struggled for quite a while with breastfeeding. I guess I'm still worried about her size, though she seems happy enough now!
I was not sure the HV advice was correct (as I've been bf on demand up till now DD is awfully unhappy if I try to drop one feed!). She's also very frustrated and screams in the high chair if too hungry.
I've tried most the higher fat foods you mention - cheese seemed acceptable but banana, eggs and avocado have not gone down well yet. I'll try them again though.
If you can, chill out about meal times, BF more to get her calories up, and when you do offer food, offer calorific stuff. Also, please don't worry about iron, see the link above for more info.
My DD is 10 months today and still only eats pretty much bugger all. I offer her 3 meals a day (finger food and loaded spoons - she wont let me near her mouth to help) and she plays with, squidges, squeezes, prods, pokes hits and slaps the food for a while before putting it in her mouth and sometimes sucking, chewing or gumming it. Now and then she even swallows some, but also lets a lot come back out.
I know she is tasting new things and trying new textures even if not getting many calories, I am still BFing on demand and she is not wasting away (not been weighed for a couple of months so not sure about that).
Other mum friends have said their little ones did not get into food in a big way until 12 months...
Dd3 loves pasta with cheese sauce. Until recently all she did was suck off the sauce but it's good calories!
My DD is like JoinTheDots DD. She is 10 months and 10 days and hardly eats a thing. Meal times are stressful although I try not to worry. She won't let me spoonfeed her, well maybe a couple of spoons if she is in the mood, so I let her get on with it. She just plays with the food and eventually swipes it off the table...arghhhhhhh
I did BLW with my DS too, but he ate quite a bit and dropped a feed by about 8 months but DD is still bfing on demand just as regularly as pre 6 months.
She is doing fine for weight though, just had her weight, she has slightly gone up in her percentile.
Someone somewhere said it takes about 20 attempts on average to get the idea with each new food. No idea how true that is but it makes sense that the first time they see it they play with it, next time they lick it, a few times it goes in and out again and thrown on the floor until they finally realise how to deal with it and swallow. Even then they are liable to puke it back up.
My son hasn't yet worked out how to chew meat and swallow it. He's 9 months old. It just sits in his mouth, for hours if you let him, and won't attempt to eat anything else til its gone one way or another.
He's not worked out food is fuel yet, either, so mealtimes are vaguely pointless exercises, but we keep on keeping on, and one day soon, he'll get the hang of it.
thanks again - dinner time went better this evening. Found DD likes (expensive) plaice with cheese grated on top so much that she ate it all (I didn't offer much - first time fish) and then then rolled around the floor trying to pick up and eat the bits she had dropped (and Mum missed). So she is really trying to eat some things. Just very inconsistently. They suggested I come back and get her weighed again in 2 weeks because of the centile drop but I'll try not to worry - she's had a bad cold recently so might just have not gained well in the last month or so because of that I guess?
The advice to drop a feed to encourage her to eat solids seems strange to me. I'm not sure when they learn that 'real' food will satisfy hunger, but 2 weeks into weaning sounds a bit quick to me.
My common sense would tell me to offer more breast feeds, not less.
I BF on demand and i have noticed that as she gets more 'into' things, she seems to forget to be hungry. and I am so used to just waiting for her to ask, that sometimes the hours pass before I notice.
also - I believe that babies start to run out of iron from 6 months, but 2 weeks later may be a bit soon to think she'll suddenly be anaemic.
Agreed, vit drops may take some of the pressure off, though.
Impressed she's eating fish, been trying to get my DS to do that for over a year now!
Your HV comments about dropping a feed are worrying IMO. Breast milk is designed by millions of years of evolution especially for your child to give her what she needs.
Personally I found starting to feed my DS a very stressful time. Looking back I can't put my finger on why it was so stressful, that seems a such long time ago (DS is 2.5 now). I think it was the pressure to get it right perhaps? And I didn't have the added pressure you have worrying about weight.
But hang on in there, it'll get much easier I promise! You'll work out which foods your DD likes. For us it was brocoli, cucumbers (I think he liked cold cucumbers especially as it soothed his gums, sore from teething) and carrots (lightly cooked).
About the iron thing, as I understand it, babies stores of iron start to deplete at 6 months. This doesn't mean they're short of iron at 6 months though - far from it, it would take a long time to get through it. Also your breast milk contains iron. Not in huge amounts, but in a form that is very easily digestible by your baby.
Also I read somewhere (sorry I would look it up but my partner said he was an internet widower the other day, I really must get off the internet!) that there is a theory that giving iron supplements to babies can encourage bad bacteria in the gut as the iron isn't as easily digested as the iron in your milk, it doesn't all get digested and hangs around in the gut, giving the bacteria something to feed on and flourish.
A good site for information about weaning and BF is www.kellymom.com
has she crossed two centile lines? if not, don't worry
dt1 has been between 9th and 25th centile and is now heading down to 2nd centile. she's taken to blw really well, eats anything put in front of her, but I worry is eating too much to be sufficiently hungry for the calorific and easily digested breastmilk. I believe she needs more milk - so the exact opposite of what you've been told! partly this is because dt2 is enjoying food much less, will only eat bread or biscuits really, and is having more breastmilk than dt1 and is staying on/above his centile. plus ds1 stayed on the 98th centile while refusing all food till 10mo.
but what I'm trying hardest to do is watch my baby - she is happy, developing, active. therefore she is ok. if she was starving or malnourished she would not be!
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