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'Happy starvers' - how do you manage yours?

(10 Posts)
mylittlefreya Sat 04-Aug-07 11:56:42

My 7.5 month old dd is what I have heard referred to as a happy starver. She doesn't seem to get all that hungry. The only time she ever asks to be fed is in the night - we are generally down to one milk feed between 2 and 4 - and she gobbles that enthusiastically.

She had untreated reflux until 6 weeks ago (bl**dy HV and all that...). I wonder if it is still an association of eating with pain?

She quite enjoys feeding herself, mostly, and has eaten everything we've tried (doing mostly BLW with some mush thrown in) except spinach - which is fair enough, IMO!

She was 'failure to thrive' and a formula fed prem newborn - so for the initial months I was always being told to push and push for her to eat. And she did regain her centiles, but remains petite now.

Are there others with happy starvers? Do you push them to eat/ drink milk? Do you push highly calorific food? Is it safe to try and night wean, since that's the only time she's really hungry?

Thank you for any thoughts and suggestions.

sep1712 Sat 04-Aug-07 19:39:07

my dd is 7.5mths also. she has never gone back to the line she was on at 2mths when she started to lose weight/ not gain lots. I'm bfing with a couple of ff thrown in on h/v advise!!! Weaning well. Have a very happy healthy baby but h/v constantly nagging about the weight! So i introduce her to boobies when we have a spare mo and add butter/ cream to veggies. Finally the h/v has sent me to the doc's who laughed and said not to worry till under bottom line(just on at mo) and try to return to full b/f. Everything mumsnetters have been telling me!

Aitch Sat 04-Aug-07 22:26:37

mylittlefreya, if you ahve a look here you'll find a really interesting email that the mother of a baby with acid reflux sent me. she weaned with a bit of a BLW head on, but actually found that some foods, particuarly in solid form rather than puree, really made it worse. you should maybe post on here as well to find out if AR makes weaning different at all...

also, do you think she might be lactose intolerant? again, it's REALLY not something i know about but i've seen a few people on here and on the blog saying that their babies actually started to put on weight easier once they got a lactose intolerance investigated. must just say again, i'm in the fortunate position of not knowing anything at all about this area so am not speaking from any position of knowledge but it might be worth googling around a bit.

Elibean Sat 04-Aug-07 23:05:11

Hi! dd2 (8 months) was also an untreated refluxer, though only until 8 weeks - then treatment was started. She did have a week in HDU with CPAP at 4 weeks old, and endless tubes, and also has a floppy larynx - I suspect all that being out of control and invaded has contributed to her I'm-only-feeding-myself-don't-you-dare-wave-a-spoon-at-me stance.

Also not a very hungry girl, and her centiles dropped when she started solids. We've been told not to drop the night time feed, and thats also my gut instinct - she feeds at 11pm ish and again at around 4am most nights, occasionally drops that one in the last week or two and suspect she's on her way to dropping it in her own sweet time.

Because she takes her meds in milk, we're keeping up milk three times a day minimum - and I'll often give her a small bottle after her lunchtime nap, with a rusk or bit of banana as a snack. I've found small amounts often work far better than trying to push large meals, and bland foods go down the best.

From what I've been reading here, the amount babes eat seems to take off somewhere around the 8-9 month mark, so maybe we're both in for an easier time soon!

Aitch Sat 04-Aug-07 23:07:47

elibean and MLF, if you wouldn't mind having a look at that link i posted and maybe even commenting on what the person posted i'd be hugely grateful. if doing BLW needs to be altered with an AR baby it'd be fantastic if the information was there for mothers to search for, iykwim? much obliged.

Elibean Sun 05-Aug-07 11:18:19

Aitch, that blog is a godsend.

Had a look, and will give it some serious thought over holidays....tbh, I didn't start off with BLW 'properly' until dd was about 7 months, she seemed ok at 6 months with babyrice and a few mouthfulls of mush. Its when it never progressed beyond that, then she started refusing the spoon altogether and losing weight, that I re-thought.

But bearing that in mind, I would say that to some extent it will depend on the baby - my dd is on Ranitidine and Domperidone: meds will deal with a great deal of symptoms, so those who ARE on meds can probaby cope with normal BLW unless their reflux is v extreme. Those who aren't, probably need to manage their symptoms through diet and other ways - much as adults do, before they resort to Gaviscon/Zantac etc. Which would mean, as that Mum says, bland, non-acidy foods.

If a baby's oesophagus is so sore from acid it can't cope with lumps, tbh, I'd want them to be on meds. But otherwise, definitely liquid is easier than lumps!

My own dd has an extra issue, laryngomalacia - floppy larynx - which has given her problems with breathing in the past (especially when she got RSV bronchiolitis at 4 weeks) and which can interfere with feeding, because its hard to breathe and eat/drink at the same time. Most babies with floppy larynx also have reflux - and reflux makes their tubes swell up, which then makes it harder to breathe: so managing it is extra important.

She's also got moderate eczema, so am being slightly careful with foods from that angle. We've been referred in case dd's swallowing was held back by the laryngomalacia, but since starting BLW she's actually doing fine - haven't weighed her recently, but can tell by the sleep and the plumping up

Not sure if any of that helps - but will watch and learn (in jacket, hose handy) over next few weeks and report back.

Aitch Sun 05-Aug-07 13:06:14

thanks elibean, that kind of thign is great. it's just that if BLW isn't appropriate for AR babies i'd rather there was something searchable-for on the blog, iyksim? so anything you post would be fabulous. have a good break.

mylittlefreya Sun 05-Aug-07 17:41:38

Thanks, Aitch, and thanks Elibean.

I think I agree with Elibean that the reflux when treated shouldn't cause too much of a problem. Freya certainly likes to feed herself, but being fairly unhungry she prefers to put pasta sauce in her hair and post bits of fruit through the gap in the highchair onto the floor.

I gives her mush either when it would be like that for grownups (eg. mashed potato) or when I just want to get some nutrition in her (I do struggle with feeding her every two hours all night).

Maybe I should try some even stronger flavours to get her attention? - or like you say, Elibean, littler and oftener. I don't 'dreamfeed' because she seems to wake up at the same time regardless, but it probably almost a month since I tried so maybe I will again.

Nbg Sun 05-Aug-07 17:51:15

Just thought I'd tell you about my ds. He'll be 1 in a couple of weeks.

He had reflux and over time it has become better and better.
His weaning went to a very slow start. We were told to start him at 4 months to help the reflux (stregthen the sphincter) but he wasnt interested so I just kept trying him at monthly intervals.
Its only really now at nearly 1 year old that he's eating but even now its on his terms. Theres only certain foods and textures he will have and only be fed certain mush. This seems to be things of a tomatoey sauce nature .
He is also still having milk in the night. I will give him a full feed when he goes to bed, then a really weak bottle when and if he wakes in the night and then one in the morning.

HTH a bit. I'm sure your dd will get there in her own sweet time.

ib Sun 05-Aug-07 19:00:09

I'm another one wiyh a 7.5 mo refluxer/happy starver. He was undiagnosed until 4mo at which point he was severely ftt.

He went on meds and we started weaning at 4.5 mo. We started with purees and baby rice, and initially did make sure he was eating 100 g a meal.

When he was about 5 mo I gave him a whole banana expecting him to just play with it and he ate the whole thing. So we tried feeding him finger foods but found that he was getting too distracted and not eating enough.

So now what we do is give him finger foods to play with and spoon puree into his mouth alongside - messy, but works for us.

BTW he is now off his meds and we found his apetite is better since we've stopped them.

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