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Mealtime meltdowns - 7 month old HELP HELP HELP

(38 Posts)
Sallypoo Thu 31-Jul-08 21:06:32

Hi all,

I don't know what I'm doing wrong....

I've been weaning my DS, who is 7 months old today, for about 5 weeks. Started with baby rice, and then moved onto smooth purees of veg and fruit. He liked all this, but something has gone very wrong along the way I think.

We now only seem to be able to have a mealtime without a full blown screaming fit if we are out, usually with jars. I should point out that these successes have probably amount to only three good meals out and about.

We've changed highchair, this was def an issue as DS was slumped in a chair that was far to big for him. We bought a really nice Svan today at Kiddicare. Had lunch there, DS had a bit of a Hipp jar and some banana, not too mashed. He sat in a Svan at the cafe and was very happy.

Then, this afternoon, when we got home, DS ate rice cakes in his new Svan in the front room, looking very pleased with himself.

We moved the chair into the Dining Room for his dinner. He was OK to start with (he usually is). We offered him the same food (don't usually) as he had had at lunchtime and the meltdown began after about 5 mouthfuls of his Chicken Risotto. High pitch screaming, tears, throwing himself backwards, he was hysterical. The only way I could calm him down was to take him out of the chair and stop trying to offer food. It's awful to watch and I feel so bad.

I've tried feeding him on my or DH's lap, in another room, offering a different meal, finger food, lumps/no lumps, meat/no meat....

I'm at a loss. We've had the same happen at nearly every meal for at least a week in not a fortnight.... I don't know what I can change. Once we calm DS down and return him to playing in the front room he seems to forget the whole episode.

This is his routine:

6.30am - 7oz bottle - takes all
11.30am - lunch + water, before a 45 min sleep
2.00pm - 7oz bottle - takes all
5.00pm - dinner + water
7.00pm - 8oz bottle
10.00pm - 5oz dreamfeed, DS doesn't always take this, since introducing protein.
During the night, DS is still waking but I'm only offering water he wakes at about 4.30 - 5am but not fed until 6-6.30am

We did try offering breakfast, but have not had any luck with this at all, so have stopped for now.

Any ideas? I'm frightened of DS starting to think of mealtimes as an unhappy time.....

Thanks all

gingerninja Thu 31-Jul-08 21:10:11

Can you just offer him some finger foods and see what happens? SOunds like you're both feeling under pressure so just just relieving it a little might help.

ruddynorah Thu 31-Jul-08 21:12:54

stop feeding him then if he doesn't like it. you say the only way he'll stop making a scene is if you stop 'trying to offer food.' so stop.

just put food out, let him at it.

mollythetortoise Thu 31-Jul-08 21:13:25

was it too hot? if you heat in a microwave then perhaps a hot spot? If not then try not to worry too much. stop the meal, calm him down and then try again 10 mins later. He may just not be hungry , or he may not like what you are offering. Try not to make it a big deal either way.. it won't do him any harm to miss a meal now and then as he does eat quite well at other times. Offer him a bit more milk if he hasn't eaten. he might want to feed himself rather than be spoonfed so perhaps bits of banana or mashed potato.. just don't react negatively to his outbursts.. good luck

tellnoone Thu 31-Jul-08 21:22:32

I would suggest baby-led weaning, I think it's great. I did all the usual baby rice, purees, jars of mush with first child and comparing that to my 2nd baby who is baby-led weaning there is no comparison, BLW is fab, she eats exactly what she wants, how much she wants, it's fun and there is no stress. So my advice is to try BLW - but of course that's just my personal opinion, I know not everyone is keen to try it. Or maybe just offer finger foods for evening meal to take the pressure off - let him pinch from your plate to make it fun for him. hth smile

Sallypoo Thu 31-Jul-08 21:53:45

Hi all,

Thanks everyone. DS isn't very good at picking food up yet. But, yes I will try a few more finger foods. He's had rice cakes, cucumber, banana and steamed carrot so far - he chocked on the carrot. I had to fish it out of the back of his mouth so not tried this again....

The old highchair was useless, DS couldn't reach the tray, but he can with the new one so that would now be an option. As for leaving him with his current food, I don't think that will work as its a bowl of puree usually.

Tonight I did leave the banana on his tray and leave the room 10 mins, thinking he might be feeling pressured, but he just got more and more upset and made no attempt to eat.

Have tried hot and cold food, doesn't seem to make any difference. He's had it cold when we out.

I agree that he might not be hungry, but just 5 weeks ago he was having 37 oz of formula a day and now he's down to 25oz or less some days, so you'd think there would be some hunger?

He's never got excited over solids, like some babies I've seen. If we do have a good meal it's maybe 5 - 7 small cubes of food or 2 small jars of Hipp. I don't know if this is a good amount?

He was 3 weeks prem, do you think that maybe he's not interested yet? GP seemed to think that this wouldn't make any difference. He's about 21lb btw.


FeelingLucky Thu 31-Jul-08 22:04:53

hello sally
meltdowns sound very familiar and really sympathize. dd did the same so switched to blw. offered finger foods which I ate with her and now she's a good eater. I'm quite relaxed and blase about whether she eats or not and this seems to help.
Really glad I switched because I didn;t want dd to have hang-ups about food and for mealtimes to become an issue.

Also, at 7 months they really don't need much food as they should really be getting most of what they need from milk. 5-7 cubes sounds loads.
If your ds isn't good with finger foods, you could leave him with a bowl of puree which he could spoon into mouth with fingers?

giddykipper Thu 31-Jul-08 22:15:03

That sounds like a lot of food to me. I'm trying to think back now to how much DS ate at that age and I'm sure it was nothing like that much. We started with the purees and he would eat maybe 2-3 tablespoons full at a meal. At about 7 months we'd moved onto baby led weaning, mainly because DS used to have a meltdown at mealtimes much as your DS seems to be having. Then it became much more about exploring food rather than the volume he ate. From memory, I think a meal used to consist of 1 breadstick, small piece of cheese or chicken, half a small banana. We used to sit him to eat with us as much as possible, put random pieces of food in front of him, many ended up on the floor, a surprising number were eaten. Fruit always went down very well, avocado (although he won't even entertain the idea now), rice cakes, roast carrots. It's tough at times but it's useful to remember that it doesn't matter if they don't eat much at this age as they will always fill themselves up on milk. He will definitely be picking up on your stress which is likely to be making things worse.

giddykipper Thu 31-Jul-08 22:15:41

Snap smile

giddykipper Thu 31-Jul-08 22:21:13

I should add now that he's 15 months and will eat just about anything. Some days he still has a tired meltdown at teatime and fills himself up on a bottle of bedtime milk. Again, I try not to get too concerned if he doesn't want to eat, he's 33lbs so he's not going to waste away! The BLWing has now led on to him feeding himself very competently with a spoon.

If I were you I would really ditch the spoon, try to relax a bit and remember that the milk is there as a backstop.

I'll shut up now!

ExterminAitch Thu 31-Jul-08 22:23:05

oh i'd completely back off, tbh, esp as he's a wee bit prem. you can easily leave it a fortnight and try again, either with finger food or with mush, and see how he goes. and i'd maybe even sit him on my lap to start again, see if his dexterity has come on in the interim.

wornoutwaitress Fri 01-Aug-08 00:35:50

perhaps he is trying to tell you he isn't hungry? i know a few babies this age only having one meal a day.

wornoutwaitress Fri 01-Aug-08 00:40:54

5-7 cubes sounds loads. if he's eating all that in one meal and then not eating at the next i'd say it is cos he is full. my friend's baby who is the same age has 2 or 3. my hv told me that its should be 1 tablespoon each of meat, veg, potato for each year so that's 3 tablespoons for a 1 year old. So i guess about 1.5 tablespoons for a 6 month old would be right.

also if he does choke on finger foods don't try and fish it out. that can actually make it become further dislodged. trust his gag reflex and he will bring it back out himself.

also the reason he was probably drinking a lot of formula a few weeks ago would have been because of a growth spurt so don't assume cos he's reduced his milk intake he is hungry.

ThatBigGermanPrison Fri 01-Aug-08 01:04:16

He's eating a huge amount. Stop counting his food, it's only going to upset you. His stomach is the size of is fist - some babies have stretchier stomachs than others. Feed him in the front room if that's what it takes. be happy to throw away his leftovers. As soon as he loses interest, end the meal.

ThingOne Fri 01-Aug-08 01:07:14

I'd back off for a bit too. You don't want to associate food with stress at such a young age.

I'd try with some suitable finger foods around and see how he goes. His dexterity will improve if he is hungry!

You could try stuff on rice cakes if you're not happy with carrots, etc.

hollyandnoah Fri 01-Aug-08 01:28:11


My ds was 7 mo yesterday! Happy new year eh!

I tried spoon feeding him in the begining but he was having none of it! Soo, i just ket him eat his own dinner now!

He gets what i am having ( not as much obv) on a plate in his Chicco Happy Snack high chair. He has a fork and spoon, but prefers his hands lol! I usually just feed him in his nappy because it can get quite messy! But he eats what he wants and knows when he is full and has had enough. He wont eat purees or jars now, infact he wont be spoon fed by anyone except my mum!

We're not in a set routine or that.. our days basically..

*Wakes up between 8 and 10
Has about 4 ounces of sma red.
*Breakfast or fruit and cerial or fruit and toast with some diluted juice.( an hour or so after he wakes)
*Nap of aboout 30 mins at about 12 - 1. the another 4 ounces of sma red.
*We play for a while, take dogs for a walk/ go shopping/ do day time bits, he usually has a biscuit or something in buggy.
* dinner about 5-6 he has what im having with a 8 oz bottle.
* play for an hour in walker or playmat.
* nap at about 7 or 8 for half an hour.
*wakes up to toast or a light snack.
*bath at 9 or 10.
*8 oz bottle and bed.

Its roughly though because it doesnt hit 5 and he is hungry if you know what i mean?


Sallypoo Fri 01-Aug-08 07:52:25

Thanks everyone,

I'm going to try toast, banana and weetabix this morning. All finger foods.

I know it sounds like DS is eating a lot, but the amount of solids has dropped a lot over the 5 weeks.

He was sleeping through. Now, he isn't. Last night for example he woke at 3, 4 and then was up from 5am.... I'm knackered. This is less sleep than I was getting when he was 3 months old.....

I know it's because he's hungry. So 3 weeks ago he would have the equicalent of 2 small jars of food twice a day, now its only once.

I let you know how the finger breakfast goes.

Could it be the heat?


Flightputsonahat Fri 01-Aug-08 08:38:55

Really puzzled that you are so worried, but I was worried about all sorts of thing when I had my first wink

Basically, they don't need lots of food at this age. 7 years old I'd be concerned but 7 months? Mine was barely having any food at all, just breastfeeds about 20 times a day smile

Just leave some things out for him maybe on the floor, he can pick them up, explore...maybe try spoon feeding once a day if you have a feeling he's hungry.

Please try not to get so worked up about it - that's the only thing that will make him think mealtimes are bad, if he knows mummy is stressed to the hilt.

He isn't going to starve.
In fact my 5yo practically lived on milk (bottles after we stopped bf) until the age of 2 and a half, he never did eat much. smile

FeelingLucky Fri 01-Aug-08 08:51:42

could be the heat.
My dd (now 14 months) has been waking up at 5.30 (highly unusual for her). Only realised it was thirst when she started reaching out for her cup. She goes back to sleep after a drink of water.

Also, I'm not sure if upping intake of food helps sleeping through. Think that milk has more calories, so maybe he just needs more milk?

Hope breakfast goes well.

lulumama Fri 01-Aug-08 08:54:33

just had a quick read of your timetable and my first thought is that you are not giving enough milk!!

milk should be the main source of nutrition for the first year, with food as fun!

forget about water, especially at night , if he is waking in the night , he is hungry and needs milk. if he drains his bottles, then add an extra ounce

always offer milk before food and as long as he is having lots of milk no need to worry

wornoutwaitress Fri 01-Aug-08 09:11:25

ds at 2 years old only has 3 oz less than your 7 month old so i would say not enough milk either. up to a year old 32 oz is preferable. after a year about 25 oz.

ThatBigGermanPrison Fri 01-Aug-08 09:58:33

A pint and a half a day isn't necessary - they only need a pint and a pint is 20oz.

ruddynorah Fri 01-Aug-08 10:00:51

does he see you eat? like when you gave him banana and then left the room, maybe try eating with him. like sit eating a banana, and see if he grabs some.

same with your dinner. if you're having meat and veg or whatever, eat it as normal with him sat alongside. pass him some of it. not like presenting him with a full meal, just bits to play with. so whatever it is you're pureeing to spoon in, don't puree it just give as is.

it's a lot less frustrating and less pressure if you don't make special things for him. give him food you're having anyway.

ditto what someone else said about gag reflex. it sometimes looks like they're choking, but they're just learning how to control the food.

StellaWasADiver Fri 01-Aug-08 10:02:19

Is 8 hours between milk not a long time at this age? I am BF so no idea how much DS has at each feed but if I try to give him lunch and he wants milk, then he will cry a bit, so I just leave lunch till after some milk, then he is calmer and happier to eat for a bit.

witchandchips Fri 01-Aug-08 10:16:56

it could also be that he is too tired and would be better eating at different times (so soon after sleeping rather than just before). This may make it easier for the two of you to eat together

What about

6.30 bottle
8 ish share a bit of breakfast with you
morning sleep
1 ish share lunch with you
Afternoon sleep
2.30 ish bottle
5ish dinner

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