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Weaning and hydration. Am I ballsing this up?

(20 Posts)
SourSweets Sun 02-Mar-14 08:46:14

My baby is 7 months tomorrow and he's been trying solids since he was 5.5 months. Over the last 2 weeks he's suddenly got the hang of it and bloody loves food. He was exclusively breast fed but has suddenly dropped almost all of his feeds, and now I'm really worried about his hydration. He has to strain to poo now and sometimes they're quite pellet like when they come. I am seeing a health visitor but not until Wednesday.

His food diary looks something like this:

5am: breastfeed
10am: one pot of fresh strawberry and banana
2pm: half a pot of vegetable mash, potato and carrot or broccolli and peas, something like that
4pm: breastfeed
5pm: couple of spoonfuls of veg mash
7pm: 2 pots of baby rice made with about 90ml of breast milk
10pm: (not always) breastfeed

I do try to give him more but he's not interested, won't take more from the breast. I've started giving him a bottle of water (boiled and cooled) but he's not too interested in that either.

Do I need to try giving him some follow on formula? He's happy and not at all unwell and is still gaining weight on the same percentile (95th if it makes a difference, he's 20lbs 4oz) but I'm so worried as I really don't want him to get dehydrated and his poos look like he might be.

How much should he be eating and drinking? Am I feeding him the right stuff?

Thank you, as always.

SourSweets Sun 02-Mar-14 09:15:25

Forgot to say, other things he eats are:

Rusks and baby biscotti softened with breast milk
Baby porridge made with breast milk

But he doesn't have any teeth and gagged a lot with baby led weaning (to the point of being very, very sick) so at the moment I mash things up. Still lumpy and not puréed but I'm also concerned that at 7 months he should be eating more solid textures. I really don't know what I'm doing tbh!

gretagrape Sun 02-Mar-14 10:19:45

My son didn't really get the hang of drinking water until about 9 or 10 months, and even now at 11mo I'm sure half of it still goes straight down him.

Can you make sure you give lots of veg and fruit with high water content? Cucumber, carrot, lettuce (can be braised to soften it, doesn't have to be raw) and add water to the mashy stuff. He's eating quite a lot for 7 months - we didn't really move onto 3 meals until 8 months. Would he be more enthusiastic for milk if you cut the food back a bit?

Don't know anything about follow-on formula, but I think with formula fed babies they still need water as it doesn't hydrate as much as breast milk (might be completely wrong there, but think I've heard that!).

Don't worry about textures - as long as you go at a pace that your baby is happy with then it won't cause either of you any stress. I didn't really give finger foods until about 7 months and it was quite gradual but they soon get the hang of it. By around 9 months my son was happily eating blueberries, grape halves and anything else he could get his hands on!

TheScience Sun 02-Mar-14 10:22:21

I would cut back on solids and offer more breastfeeds. Milk should still be his main source of nutrition. The NHS recommend working up to 3 meals a day by 9 months so you have plenty of time.

BonaDea Sun 02-Mar-14 10:23:01

Have you tried a sippy cup with water? Just put one down every time he has a meal and he'll soon get the hang of it. The consistency of nappies does change quite significantly when they start solids...

BonaDea Sun 02-Mar-14 10:23:30

P.s. there is no need to boil the water any more - tap or filtered is fine by this age.

TheScience Sun 02-Mar-14 10:23:53

Also try offering breastfeeds an hour before solids, so he's not filling up on food first.

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Mar-14 10:33:08

The MN weaning pages are good for advice on what you should be doing

I'd cut back on the solids to twice a day, increase bfeeds, offer tap water in a sippy cup with solids, avoid banana and ditch the baby rice as they can bung a baby up, try pear and prunes and see the doc if constipation continues.

Your baby also should be given a vitamin supplement (all babies from 6 months except those getting 500ml of formula a day are recommended to have one, they are stocked in supermarkets).

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 02-Mar-14 10:45:30

Agree with others, offer solids at max twice a day. The current recommendation is to move to 3 meals between 8 and 9 months, so 4 meals at 7 months is a lot.

If you try offering solids roughly an hour after bfing, that should help too.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 02-Mar-14 10:47:38

Oh and if you use formula, especially follow on with the added iron, its likely to make him more constipated not less.

Have you thought of calling one of the bfing helplines and seeing if a BFC has any tips?

SourSweets Sun 02-Mar-14 14:21:42

Oh no! I thought the more food he had the better. Now I feel really guilty!

Ok, I'll give him breakfast and dinner and just milk for lunch. Although my OP was his intake on a good day, he doesn't always have lunch and even then he won't have a milk feed. It's like he's just not interested in milk anymore. Hopefully if I don't offer an alternative he'll have it though.

My mum said I just started completely refusing the breast at 7 months but she can't remember what I ate instead. What do I do if this is the way my baby is going too? I was really hoping to breastfeed until at least a year and feel quite sad that he doesn't want it anymore. Even if I offer in the morning after only one feed all night he still doesn't want it.

I have started introducing a sippy cup but it's going to take a little while for him to get the hang of it. Should I just keep expressing to keep my supply going And offer him it in a bottle if he won't take from the breast? I'm also a bit worried because my supply has gone right down in the last couple of weeks and now I can barely get 30ml from each breast when I used to get about 90.

Sorry this is so long, I feel really terrible that I've been hurrying him into eating before I should have and worried about not being able to reverse it.

TheScience Sun 02-Mar-14 14:42:32

He still needs breastmilk or a substitute (formula) to make up the majority of his diet until a year. It's difficult to guess at an amount for breastmilk, but a formula fed baby needs at least 500-600ml of formula a day until 12 months.

SourSweets Sun 02-Mar-14 14:56:59

Oh god, he's definitely not getting that. I would guess anyway. Today he's had almost one pot of porridge made with breast milk and strawberries, and that's it for solids. He's only had 2 breast feeds since 5am. I won't give him any more food food today and hope that he takes more milk.

TheScience Sun 02-Mar-14 14:58:47

I'd definitely give him a vitamin supplement too.

SourSweets Sun 02-Mar-14 15:06:49

Thank you. I'll get some after I've seen the health visitor this week.

Defrosting some of my stored breast milk now so that I can give him a bottle if he refuses the breast again tonight.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 03-Mar-14 08:54:49

Weaning from the breast at 7 months is highly unusual so try not to worry about it too much. Valse, the amount you can express is absolutely no indication of the amount you are producing, your body will be much more in tune now with your baby's needs and this could be one reason for the reduced amount with expressing.

Don't worry either about offering four meals so soon. Lots of people think that the idea is to pack as much food into them the better, as a culture we seemed to be conditioned to think that way. The nhs has some good guidance here. That's where you'll see the guidance about only moving to 3 meals between 8 and 9 months.

Kellymom has some great information on starting solids too. You might also find this article on nursing strikes helpful.

Did you manage to call one of the Bfing helplines and speak to a BFC? Is there a Bfing Support Group near to you? I think some RL support may help smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 03-Mar-14 08:55:25

Sorry. Forgot to ask, how did the rest of Sunday go?

SourSweets Mon 03-Mar-14 11:49:39

Thank you jilted, that's really helpful. I'll have a look at those links at his next nap.

Yesterday was ok. He probably had one more breastfeed than usual so still not enough but a little better. He then breastfed 3 times in the night though, twice more than normal. This morning he's had one fairly good breastfeed and just a little bit of strawberry and milk purée. I've spoken to the doctor who says the same as most of you - to reduce solid food. But she says if his nappies are still wet (which they are) I shouldn't worry.

He does have a sore looking tongue now too. White with patches of red. Doctor said it could be thrush but she didn't know as he's too old for it really. Will ask the HV on Wednesday.

I have a couple of friends who go to breastfeeding support groups do I'll ask them for details today and try to go to the next one.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 03-Mar-14 14:56:09

Not too sure on the thrush front. There's some info on kellymom and it may be worth asking at the Bfing Support Group if they can check his mouth.

You can find local Bfing Support Groups here and the helpline numbers are here smile

SourSweets Wed 05-Mar-14 12:56:02

Ok, update:

Saw the health visitor today who was very thorough. She said if he's enjoying 3 meals a day then I should keep giving him 3 meals a day. If he drops breastfeeds then that's fine, as long as he's still getting a couple each day and drinking water with each meal.

He's not dehydrated as he's still weeing plenty, but he is slightly constipated. This is totally normal for a baby starting solids and it's just his digestive system adjusting. I should cut down on the banana but apart from that keep doing exactly as I was doing.

Every baby is different and if he's always been a good feeder then he's just carrying on that pattern. He's not off the charts for weight, so I'm not over feeding.

He does have oral thrush which will need to be treated but it's not anything to be too concerned about.

I feel much, much better. I'm going to make sure at least 1 of his solid meals every day is made using breast milk, and that I continue to offer it throughout the day. But I'm going to try to stop worrying.

Thanks everyone for your advice and support.

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