This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Pediatrician weaning advice - HELP(26 Posts)
Our LO is 7 months adjusted (but was premature 3 months). Due to this, we are now 'behind' in weaning because it is supposed to go off of the ACTUAL age, not adjusted age (I know every baby's different etc.etc. but he is ready).
Anyway, we're having some trouble. Because this is getting to a concerning stage for our medical staff (both community ped and SALT specialist) we have been given the drastic advice of:
- Halve his milk intake - only feed milk three times a day.
This is with the aim of making him hungry and getting him to eat.
At this point, after 4 months of trying to wean, he will only ever - on a good day - take about half an ice cube worth.
So now we find ourselves in the position on day one where he has had half his usual milk and is screaming from his nap cot. He wont' sleep until we give him more milk - we know this - it's only 9am so lunch is a bit early. We don't want to skip a nap and have that meltdown and distress for him.
What oh what are we to do mumsnet??
Not wean him yet, because he obviously isn't ready and WHO recommendations are to breastfeed for 2 years?
Not that you have to carry on for that long, but why the rush to wean him now?
Sorry I’m a gran so not much use but if you’re on Instagram you could look up SR Nutrition Charlotte has great advice. I think you can find her on Facebook and through google too. She works regularly with Joe Wicks and helped write his book wean in 15. Her specialism is weaning. Best of luck
I dont think its particularly good advice to try to starve a baby into eating food especially if they are only 7 months old. How much milk are you 'allowed' to give? Lots of babies arent taking a lot of food at that age. Will they try finger foods? What have you been offering?
To a pp, they mean adding in solid foods, not stopping feeding milk
Do you mean they are 7 months or 10 months old?
He's 7 months if he'd been born on time. But he was born 10 months ago. We've never breastfed because he refused to do so. We have typically given him 1.2L of formula a day and have been asked to reduce that to 600ml in three bursts with food offered three times a day.
I mean... I'd be sceptical if it was just the community Ped, but with the SALT too? If you don't follow their advice then you might as well assume that anyone with any expertise are not to be trusted... He's still moaning. He's just used to being fed to sleep and is now finding he's being asked to nap not full... IT's horrible being in this situaiton. We've generally done quite well with sleeping in the past.
Milk normally reduces as food increases. If the food isnt increasing then he will get much fewer calories. What's he like with finger food or just putting different foods on the tray for him to play with without the expectation of eating it?
If we place something in his hand, he will about 20% of the time move it to his mouth. The SALT said his tongue movement was immature (back and forth) and we needed to do more food play (which we have started today) so I assume he's not too good at that
They want to wean him because he is literally taking nothing some days and is - in terms of weaning age - 10 months old. With weaning, experience dictates that babies need to be weaned based on their actual age.
At 7 months, my dc were only just exploring textures and tastes and still having a lot of milk. At 10 months, there were good days of lots of food and days when they had no solids at all or the odd bite.
How are you offering food? And when?
If we are ignoring the adjusted age completely, then a FF 10 month old "should" be having more food and 3x 200 mls milk according to the NHS guidelines.
My DS struggled with food initially and I was advised to reduce milk. He was on 4 x 240mls of milk, I didn't reduce this by much but changed the feeding "pattern" so morning was porridge THEN a 200 ml bottle, snack, then a nap, then an hour spent with finger foods in the middle of the day, one more 200 ml bottle after that and before nap (otherwise he wouldn't nap). At bedtime I tried to stick to the 200 ml bottle but it REALLY effected sleep so ended up giving 200mls and then another 200mls an hour later. It meant that during waking hours food was the default option and at set times milk was associated with sleep. By 18months we had got to 3 x 150mls (morning, nap and bedtime) but he has continued to struggle with food, especially new food. These seem to be texture issues. He had issues from early on with latching on to a nipple or teat. Not prem, but I know this is common among babies born early too. The majority of his foods were still weaning type foods by 2 years old despite being offered a full range of foods.
Just wanted to thank you all for the non-judgemental space. It's been a tough day. But the PEd and SALT seem quite concerned that he really needs to get the ball rolling now. I think with preemies there's less of a 'they'll get there at their own pace' mentality because so many of them just don't get there and end up with feeding tubes back in as toddlers etc.
It's causing us a great deal of worry too. Just don't know how to climb this mountain of somehow getting 600 replacement calories into him via food. I mean that's a pretty big meal for me! and he eats literally an icecub of vegetable puree max at each meal
Honestly, I would feed him milk. I have never had a prem baby, but all of mine were past one before they were eating 'meals' as such, and two of them were slow gainers (still are skinny now, but healthy). Quite apart from anything else, milk is more calorific than food. And nobody would be instructing me to starve my baby and make him miserable.
You mention vegetable purée, that’s barely any calories. If he’s not ready to feed himself can you try things like yogurt, macaroni cheese (tiny pasta shapes), porridge, all of which are a bit more calorific? And keep going with offering finger foods, he will never learn to feed himself if he doesn’t have the chance to practice.
Sorry I’m not sure what to advise. I think halving his milk seems crazy, but as you say, if that’s what the experts are recommending it’s hard to ignore.
My DN was born at 28 weeks and started weaning at 7 months actual age. It was really tough going but we had to reduce his milk intake slightly otherwise he would never have eaten anything. At 10 months this is even more important. Follow medical advice and start with things that include milk - eg baby rice / oats with formula / breast milk, or veg purees with formula / breast milk inside them.
Could you do the 1800 over 4 feeds or even 5 so you have a small feed in hand for pre naps? Because some of they might just be the comfort and the habit as opposed to the quantity?
I was advised to wean my preemie on schedule with her actual age, not her adjusted age. So we began weaning when she was 6 months (but should've been 3.5 months), and that was by BLISS.
OP has been told to cut to 600mls in total, not 3 x 600ml. I think this is too drastic a cut for a baby not taking much food. Veg/fruit purees arent very calorific. I would maybe make a much smaller cut to the milk quantity and offer any foods that are tasty even if not the healthiest option just to get them to accept food in their mouth as they seem to have a taste/texture aversion
My dd really didn't start to eat enough food to reduce her milk intake until she was about 18 months old. I just followed her lead. She wasn't premature and she was breastfed so I don't know if that makes any difference to it, but I thought it was quite normal for babies to still be getting most of their nutrition from milk at that age.
I had a full termer who wasn't eating a great deal at 10 months. I had the opposite advice keep breastfeeding him.
Veg puree really didn't work for us, fruit purees were very successful especially the sweeter ones, those bite and melt food such as carrot crisps etc. Jars and pouches of savoury baby food I tried a wide range and ended up with about 6 he would eat. I tried home made but wouldn't have any of it. Finger food was frequently offered such as toast, brown he finds easier to manage than white.
I also offered food when he wasn't hungry. We have egg, soya and milk allergies. He's 2.5 now and diet is greatly expanding.
DS was 6 weeks early, so very different, but he also really struggled with weaning at first - it really surprised me as he was a hungry baby (he was and is 90th centile + for weight!) but it was a texture thing. I found that I just couldn't get anything I made runny enough - have you tried pouches of fruit etc? I found that he much preferred the texture of shop bought pouches. He also really liked baby porridge. Once he got the hang of it he ate really well but always took an extra month or two to be able to cope with the next stage pouches. Now at 21 months he asks for food constantly!
I agree with holding off on vegetable purée for now. Not enough calories, strange texture and often a not nice taste.
Start with familiar milk based things like yogurt, creamed rice or oat baby food,
Then try fruit that are a bit sweet like a mashed banana or applesauce.
He will be getting vitamins and such from the formula he still takes in.
You may have a fussy eater who hates vegetables. Just keep trying different tastes and textures, eventually you will hit on something he likes.
As pps suggest I would focus more on milk-based things, baby rice with fruit purée etc, and I would add milk to the veg purée too.
Yes, mashed potatoes/yams (so long as you blend it so no lumps) is essentially a vegetable purée made with milk.
Thank you for your advice. It has been very helpful in the darkest hours. If not for your support in advice for continuing and managing the issue (rather than the few ‘ignore the advice’ answers) we would have struggled over the past how ever many days it’s been. We actually sat down last night to do the math. The upper end of his calorie intake would have required 1040ml a day, we actually increased it from 600-750ml because he was just too sad. When we take calories into account we only actually need to find maximum 200 extra from food. He’s generally eating more (whinging the whole time) which is good so we’re feeling a bit more positive. I feel the advice all around was correct but meeting him halfway has helped so far. We have a SALT FaceTime meeting soon
Well that was short lived. Baby back to screaming on the high chair. Actually it’s not screaming. It’s a guttering whine that he does most of the day every day. No amount of excited talk and singing will help. When spoon is offered he lets out this awful mouth closed whine. How the f**k am I supposed to hit such a large chunk of his calorie intake when he is REFUSING TO EAT. AAAAAAGGHHHHGGGGGGGH