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Please hold my and ds' hands [long]

(19 Posts)
SardineJam Sat 07-Nov-09 16:49:08

Ds will be 7mo on Monday. We've muddled through this first month of weaning and finally got breakfast established and about a week ago, dinner. He is quite happy to nibble on finger foods and is bf approximately 5 times in a 24 hour period

I went to have him weighed yesterday and since about 8 weeks ago he's steadily dropped from the 50th percentile to the 40th, and obviously the hv picked up no this. She's said that at this stage he should be having 3 solid meals, two of which being two courses, a main and then 'dessert', fromage frais, yoghurt etc and only two, at a push three bfs in a 24 hour period.

Today we tried putting this into practice and it certainly is a lot easier said than done, ds clearly wants to be breastfed [tried expressing, and he point blank refuses it, from me and dh] and keeps pushing the food away. I can tell he's hungry and im run down as im getting on the better side of mastitis, so have given in and am bf him at the moment.

I feel like a failure, I know its for his own good, but i've been in tears and he's been in tears all day. I dont want a starving baby, and I dont want to be up all night because of this [he used to sleep like a dream until about 4 weeks ago, and is now waking every four hours absolutely starving and bf for about an hour].

Is there anyone who can help us with easing the transition across to solids and virtually no bf [which im sad about]? What type of meals can you suggest that will help with satisfying ds' hunger? How can we make meal times stress free? And does it get easier, okay yes I know it does but I really need the reassurance right now

frakkinaround Sat 07-Nov-09 16:59:59

Is there any food at all your DS likes? If so, just feed him lots and lots of that. The variety will come in time. I don't personally agree with your HV about giving a main and a dessert - if he wants cheese on toast and will eat 3 slices then give him that, if he wants to eat 2 bananas in a sitting then go with it! Trying to insist he eats a savoury and a sweet is counter-productive if he doesn't want to.

What is he eating at the moment? Are you pureeing food or is he mostly eating things as they come? Would he be better if you pureed more things/tried not pureeing?

Is he interested in your food? Can you persuade him to eat off your plate?

Good solid carbs will help with the hunger - cheese on toast, potatoes, couscous and have a little bit of fish or meat on the side with some veggies.

You don't need to give up BFing if he's thriving on it but dropping weight is a little worrying. I don't see how expressing will help you (I mean expressing to feed) because he sounds like he's at the stage where he needs the solids.

Will he eat solids if he's starving and there's nothing else on offer? If he won't then there's no point trying to fix the BFs to one in the morning and one in the evening. If he will then it may be worth letting him get a bit hungrier. Babies will not starve themselves.

tiktok Sat 07-Nov-09 17:22:13

I'm surprised (not really [hmmm]) at your HV being so dogmatic about what your baby should have....there is really no such centile as the 40th anyway. There is a notional one, but it's not drawn in on the charts....it is also very normal for bf babies' weight to slow down from about 4-5 mths, and by 7 mths, standard charts are not all that helpful.

It is unusual (ahem) to insist on only 2 bf in a 24 hour period - many, many happy healthy babies of this age are having far more bfs than this.

How about seeing another HV? One that appears to be a bit more clued up about the range of normal nutrition and growth in a baby of this age? You deffo need a second opinion before you and your little boy get upset about something like this.

How awful for you to be made to feel like a failure - and how sad for your little boy that the HV has made it difficult for you to give him the breastfeeding he loves and which is so good for him. Breastfeeding is not 'giving in' - it's responding to his normal healthy needs.

Yes, by now he needs solids as well. He's having them! Please, please see another HV before you accept that the one you have seen has the monopoly on good advice!

SardineJam Sat 07-Nov-09 20:21:02

Bless ds, after all the drama of today he started to crawl

He really does enjoy his oats porridge which is what he has for breakfast each day, this I will try at lunch time to get him used to his third mealtime, thanks for the tip Frakkin

He also eats those Heinz dinner mixes, the ones that are powder and need to mix with water and occasionally whole pieces of banana, pear, cucumber, raisins, and those Plum spelt biscuits. I normally offer him bits and pieces of whatever im preparing for my and dp's dinner, but a few chews later hit lands on the floor

He is interested in our food but more often than not he just squidges it in his hands, but then again that is probably because he hasnt quite yet mastered the pincer grip...

Would that be 'normal' cheese or soft cheese on toast? And should I focus more on the veg as opposed to fruit? Do I just give it all to him as is and let him feed himself [obviously supervised]

Only tried expressing under the advice of HV because ds was biting and drawing blood

When he's really hungry he gets really worked up and the only thing that then calms him and satisfies his hunger is bf

Tiktok - oh? They seemed to make a big thing about him dropping and never mention it was normal

I am really happy to offer him more bf because he's then a happy baby and that makes me happy. I also thought that this 2 bf feed approach was rather harsh in that it would be quite traumatic for my little one
I will definitely see what can be done regarding a new HV, but that's why I came and asked here because here people talk from experience and dont just quote 'facts' from a book

I must admit that I shed a few tears on the way home yesterday, kind of the culmination of a bad week, what with the mastitis and everything else

We shall persevere, I know solids are important but surely breast milk still has its place. Such impatience for our children to grow up so fast, I also feel that when he's ready to eat bigger portions he will, I really dont want him to develop a complex about food because it was forced down his throat

Thank you both

cyteen Sat 07-Nov-09 20:24:52

Oh love, have only skimmed but just wanted to say please don't feel pressured to reduce bf on the say-so of one ill-informed HV. My DS is a food monster and took to weaning like the gutbucket he is, but at 7mo he was still bf 4 or 5 times a day at least. Sounds to me like your HV has completely missed the fact that bf is so much more than just a food source, not to mention the fact that milk is nutritious and calorific.

QueenOfFlamingEverything Sat 07-Nov-09 20:29:08

Well I am far less diplomatic than tiktok and IMO the HV's insistence that a 7mo baby should only be getting 2 BFs a day is downright bloody barking.

Bet she has more than 2 nice warm cups of tea a day!

He is still so young and BF is about way way more than 'just' the milk. I'd ignore her, BF as much as he needs, and carry on with solids alongside. Until 12 months milk is meant to be the main part of his diet anyway! Maybe introduce some higher calorie stuff like avocado, cheese etc if you are worried but IMO there's no need to be at all smile

hugmeandcatchthelurgi Sat 07-Nov-09 20:29:09

Only read your OP, but my DD was the same, she refused most solids till she was year, survived on BFing alone (shocker) she went down a few centiles but she obviously wasnt hungry and getting plenty from breastmilk.

The best advice I recieved was follow your babys lead, they are all different, the more stressed you are the more stress meal times become.

HTH

PyrotechnicToadstool Sat 07-Nov-09 20:30:21

My DS BF 8+ times until 10 months when I went back to work - and still fed 3+ times during the night after that!

My DS did not really take to solids before about 9 months when he could actually feed himself with some success but it was 12 months before he was reliably having three meals, and only ever had a yoghurt after dinner.

I last had DS weighed at 6 months to the day and got a big lecture on how he should be 'on' 3 meals a day with plenty of red meat - this on the first day of being of weaning age according to the DOH? I think some HVs just focus so much on the food and forget how important breastfeeding is beyond 6 months, a year, two years.

Follow your son's lead on this and it will be less stressful for you both.

hugmeandcatchthelurgi Sat 07-Nov-09 20:30:38

Just to add 7months is till very young, its all about tastes rather than 3 square meals IMO.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 07-Nov-09 20:30:41

I was still feeding dd every two hours at seven months, I just let her feed on demand as usual and offered food at every meal. Because I didn't have her weighed I don't know if she lost/gained, but she was happy and alert so I felt all would be well. And I was right.

I would try to see another HV who isn't so dogmatic.

CookieDoughIcecream Sat 07-Nov-09 21:32:47

Personally I would not worry too much just go with your DS' lead and enjoy it. My DS, 14mths, has only just started really taking to solids and still has 4 to 5 b'feeds a day. He was on the second perentile last time I had him weighed but he is happy so I go with that. keep giving him what he enjoys but also offer new foods or ones that he has refused before as he will suddenly take to them! Also, my ds will eat different food with dh, childminder or grandma than he will with me!!

bitofadramaqueen Sat 07-Nov-09 21:42:30

Just wanted to share that my DS started dropping down the centiles at 6 months and went from about 50th centile at 6 months to somewhere around 15th by age 1.

I really stressed about it, despite the fact that my DS was happy, healthy, meeting all his milestones etc. And he was on 3 meals a day by 7 months.

I guess I just wanted to say that the growth charts aren't an exact science so try not to beat yourself up about it.

SardineJam Sun 08-Nov-09 08:15:06

Ladies - THANK YOU!!! You've really helped boost my very lacking confidence

Queen - I certainly share your views, if ds was being ff im sure i'd be encouraged to keep on with with milk feeds upto a year and probably beyond, weird how bf guidelines, well certainly in my case, differ

hugmeandcatchthelurgi - your post is like music to my ears, glad ds is not as 'abnormal' as the hv made him out to be

PyrotechnicToadstool - what did you do to manage your ds's milk feeds or did they just start dropping off naturally after 10 months?

I also got the whole red meat schpeil [sp?], dont even eat much of it myself!!!

HumphreyCobbler - I do too sometimes think that maybe too much is made about weighing, I only go once a month just to see how things are going but I do know there are those that go weekly, I can see ds is healthy looking and yes he's not gaining weight as quickly, or should I say 'normally' but he doesnt have any problems

He's had two bf now already since last night and is happy, really am not going to upset him anymore

ChairmumMiaow Sun 08-Nov-09 08:26:05

I would stop going to the HV so long as you have no other concerns.

DS loved the idea of food but didn't take to it in any regularity or quantity until around 10mo, and he still BF a lot until perhaps 18mo (on top of solids). It was a godsend for us as he ate almost no solids for over a month around his first birthday when he was quite ill and in hospital - he was back up to the 75th centile he had previously stuck to within a couple of weeks of coming out of hospital, so clearly that breast milk had been enough to keep him going.

As for red meat, DS only liked minced beef for a long time, but he loves lentil curry and baked beans, so he got a lot of those!

PyrotechnicToadstool Sun 08-Nov-09 08:35:50

Glad you feel better today SArdine

I didn't really do anything to manage his feeds, in fact I was really worried as in the run up to going back to work I tried to reduce his daytime feeds in preparation but - emotionally - I couldn't do it. So I fed in the morning before work and immediately on arrival back home, and thankfully he did okay at nursery in between.

Then as he ate more breakfast we dropped the pre-work feed... in time then dropped the after-work feed - I think by 12 months I was feeding him just in the night, but that was as we were co-sleeping so easy to carry on.

Oh and my HV wrote in my book 'concerned about the lack of red meat in the family's diet' - hmm I wonder what on earth she would have done if I'd said we were vegetarians! (But this is the same HV who wrote 'risk of cot death' in the red book when I told her we were co-sleeping so I had learned to ignore her long before this point...)

SardineJam Sun 08-Nov-09 11:29:03

Thanks Pyro smile

Oh that is good to hear as it has been playing on my mind about what we're going to do when I go back to work in January. Poor little thing

Did you feed him breakfast before or after the pre-work feed or did the nursery do breakfast?

Oh dear, i didnt even bother reading what my HV wrote, can't really decipher her handwriting anyway

PyrotechnicToadstool Sun 08-Nov-09 12:58:14

I left nursery do breakfast as he was (still is) sooooo slow! Luckily the nursery was connected to my workplace so I dropped him off at about 8.30 and then went and got myself something to eat before going to my desk.

As he got better at eating and we dropped the morning feed though, he would have a bit of toast or cereal in front of the tele while I got ready.

Best to just enjoy the last few weeks with him than worry about work but do consider if you may need to express - thankfully I did not, I was a bit engorged the first week but not as bad as I expected and it quickly settled after that - I say 'engorged', it wasn't dramatic, just that 'need to feed' feeling and obviously quickled soothed when I did feed him.

frakkinaround Sun 08-Nov-09 14:21:12

Cheese - I tend to start with cheddar as it melts well but it may be too strong. A nice lancashire or cheshire may go down better. A little Italian girl I used to look after loved mozarella on toast, and nibbled chunks of parmesan. Cheese is actually quite a good food for reluctant eaters because it's quite calorific as queen says.

Agree the pincer grip may be a problem if he wants to feed himself - let him play with food and it may find its way to his mouth grin From what you say he is eating a variety of foods and will take more when he's ready. Just see what he likes, don't focus on anything. If he likes his veg, he likes his veg, if he prefers fruit then that's just as okay. Some babies don't like being fed from a spoon but as soon as they can feed themselves they're off, some babies aren't interested in solids unless they're hungry, some babis don't like pureed stuff, some won't eat more solid things - each and every baby is different and obviously you know your DS better than your HV does so if your instinct says milk is what he needs then don't go against that. Keep up BFing and don't feel guilty about it. If that's what he wants then that's fine. You have a much more sensible approach than your HV! I thought you were expressing to feed him to try and check how much milk he's getting or something which I was going to say isn't really a reliable indicator because babies are far more efficient than pumps.

And don't even bother trying to decipher what HV wrote, it probably isn't worth the time you'd spend!

cara2244 Sun 08-Nov-09 19:49:29

Sardine my 10mo BLWd boy has gained loads of weight since 6 months, and that's with no regimented plan for solid food and letting him eat as much or as little as he wants. He still has loads of BFs.

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