Jump to content

Advice needed: getting baby to eat more


crystal7

Recommended Posts

Food not sleep this time!


My 9 month old's weight gain has been slowing down since we started weaning (6 months). I took her to be weighed yesterday and was surprised to find that she had only gained 3oz in 7 weeks and has dropped from the 25th (at birth) to the 4th centile. I'm breastfeeding 4 times a day and 2 at night (although I'm not sure if she's having much). We are doing a combination of spoon feeding and finger food, she just doesn't seem to eat much! She loves weetabix and yoghurt with fruit puree and will eat lots of that but anything else I'm lucky to get 4 spoonfuls down her. For lunch she usually feeds herself little sandwiches, steamed veg, cheese on toast etc but very small amounts and has no interest in spoon feeding herself.


The health visitor said I need to cut down the amount of breastfeeds I'm giving her (starting with the mid morning one) so that she'll eat more at meal times. She said that by 8 months babies only need 3 milk feeds per day (and was very disapproving of night feeds!). What does everyone else think of this? At the moment it seems mad to reduce a sure way of getting calories into her. Having said that I do return to work in January and wont be around to feed her mid morning, I wondered if I needed to replace that breastfeed with a cup of expressed milk or cows milk but the HV said not to.


I feel very confused! And a bit guilty that I can't seem to get my little one to eat enough!


I should add that she seems absolutely fine and is a very active baby- bouncing, crawling, standing, cruising she doesn't stop!


Any advice gratefully received!


Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I would say, trust your instincts and don't worry about it. My little one, now 13 months is just the same - she is my 2nd, and I don't bother with HV's or getting her weighed. She is with a childminder 2 or 3 days per week, and eats more when there, and less on days when with me because she has more breast feeds.


Also, she has days when she eats more than others, and goes off most food other than yoghurts and fruit when teething. Just keep offering lots of different stuff, try to eat with her whenever you can - I often find they eat better when copying you, and if she wants to steal stuff off your plate even better. If you can get into situations where she is also sitting and eating with other children, especially ones that are a little older that may well help - my little one LOVES to sit at the table with her big (5 year old) sister, and seems to really watch and copy her when it comes to eating.


I hope this helps - all babies are different, and I don't personally agree with the HV 'go by the book' approach - as long as your little one seems healthy and happy and is not noticeably a lot smaller than her peers, and has nice chubby thighs and bottom etc. - they are the signs she is well.


Oh also, are you giving her vitamin drops? You should be and this will help - I use Abidec and mix them into my little ones yoghurt every day.


Molly

x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i agree, don't listen too much to what the HV says- all babies are differernt and in that sense doesn't matter what percentile theyre in- my daughter has always been 80-90th centile, but only because she's really tall i think, not particularly chubby.


My daughter never eats much for lunch or tea if she has snack in between- i just offer her a drink and maybe a satsuma mid morning/afternoon-- that might make a difference? Also- even now, at 23 mnths i give her a cup/bottle of milk if i'm convinced she hasnt eaten enough for a meal, as she'll always take that. Occasionally she won't and i know somethings wrong like her teeth or a tummy upset.

And she's still not keen on fork or spoon...i think we probably underestimate how much of an effort it is for them to get through their solids, never mind manipulating these new utensils.


I hate to go back to 'what my mother says', but apparently i existed on breastmilk and ham til i was 20 months old, and i was by no means an unhealthy baby. And i eat my green nowadays too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Crompo123 has just reminded me to say that giving snacks throughout the day is supposed to be very good for little ones too as it is hard for them to eat much in one meal, so they don't really do the '3 meals per day' thing that we adults (try) to stick to (thinking of biscuits and cake as I say this!!).


I have this fab thing called a snack trap;

http://www.bumpto3.com/product.aspx?DISPLAYCAT=feed&CAT=Products&CATGRY=feeding_on_the_go&PID=DA220


Actually, just edited to say this website is the better;

http://www.snacktrap.co.uk/


Which I bought long ago at a Baby Show, and I have to say it does make it easier and less messy to give them stuff in between meals and when out and about - my little one loves pulling stuff out and eating it now, seems to find it quite exciting (did take her a while to master it).


Your little one isn't going to starve herself - remember her tummy is only as big as her fist, so it will not take a lot to fill her up.


Also, try to think about what she has eaten over 7 days, rather than obsession about how much she eats in a day - this really helps when they are teething and off food for a couple of days in a row.


Hugs, Molly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can quite believe that Mellors given how much better my little one eats when at the childminders....but I find it impossible to refuse her when she comes up and starts banging her head against my chest....guess I am too soft!


Having said that, I do try hard not to let her have a breastfeed in the run up to tea time so at least she eats more at 5.30 ish (easier as I'm usually quite busy and not so likely to be sitting and holding her at that time of day).


Molly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Milk is more calorific than solids


until a year milk is still the main source of nutrition


Night time breastmilk is very nutritious and also contains chemicals to help them sleep


Is she on the move a lot? Is she alert and has enough energy? if you think she's ok and you're happy, stick to what you've been doing, I'd say. I think the more mobile she gets, the less milk she'll ask for in the day. Mine are always too busy if we're out and about. If we're at home, they're mad for milk though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The HV is right to advise you to reduce the milk feeds if you want her to eat more. The milk is filling your baby up.


I would have said don't worry but if your baby is 4th centile then there is a case for her needing the calories in solid food. Babies can amazingly survive on very little food and don't always get an appetite until they start school. The slowing down in her weight gain is probably due to her being more active at this age.


I would suggest that you offer food at the time you would normally offer milk. Then offer the milk when she has finished eating. That way you won't feel guilty about withdrawing the milk.


And if snacks and grazing works then do it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
i would recommend gina ford's schedule, never was a big fan of hers but her weaning schedule i thought was very good and suited my daughter very well and yes it does mean less milk but i was giving her milk porriges and yogurts so she was getting enough of milk. and night feeding... i had enough by 8 months because there was no way she was hungry at night, it was obviously just a habit. so 3 nights and i was done with it: did not leave her to cry on her own, i really don't approve of this method, but didn't give her a boobie either, just calmed her down and gave her water if she wanted to.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Nappy Lady Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> Crompo123 has just reminded me to say that giving

> snacks throughout the day is supposed to be very

> good for little ones too as it is hard for them to

> eat much in one meal, so they don't really do the

> '3 meals per day' thing that we adults (try) to

> stick to (thinking of biscuits and cake as I say

> this!!).

>


Molly, thanks for posting the Snack Trap info! I just realized that our lid has been lost, and since it was bought a couple of years ago in Canada I thought I'd never find one here. You're timing is perfect.


I believe the Snack Trap is one of the best inventions ever! That and Twilight Turtle, couldn't have parented without them.

> I have this fab thing called a snack trap;

> http://www.bumpto3.com/product.aspx?DISPLAYCAT=fee

> d&CAT=Products&CATGRY=feeding_on_the_go&PID=DA220

>

> Actually, just edited to say this website is the

> better;

> http://www.snacktrap.co.uk/

>

> Which I bought long ago at a Baby Show, and I have

> to say it does make it easier and less messy to

> give them stuff in between meals and when out and

> about - my little one loves pulling stuff out and

> eating it now, seems to find it quite exciting

> (did take her a while to master it).

>

> Your little one isn't going to starve herself -

> remember her tummy is only as big as her fist, so

> it will not take a lot to fill her up.

>

> Also, try to think about what she has eaten over 7

> days, rather than obsession about how much she

> eats in a day - this really helps when they are

> teething and off food for a couple of days in a

> row.

>

> Hugs, Molly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At 9 months she should still be getting the vast majority of her calories from milk, and as Fuschia says, it is not until she is one that the balance should tip to her getting more calories from solids than from milk. This stage is all about them experimenting with food, playing with the textures and tastes rather than any nutritional or calorific value they get from it. You sound like you are doing just the right thing, with the range of finger foods and purees. My own younger child was just not that into food until about ten months, but put away her usual three course breakfast (Porridge, cereal, bread and cheese) this morning and eats pretty much anything most of the time, and your girl will get there too.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fuschia has covered much of what I was going to say -- she's right, breastmilk is far more calorific ounce-for-ounce than any other food you could be giving your baby, and at nine months the bulk of her calories should ideally still come from breastmilk. It is not uncommon for breastfed babies to drop off the weight charts between 6-18 months. More important than the centile position is your daughter's general growth and condition.


The WHO no longer considers weight to be an accurate indicator of normal growth, and prefer to use head circumference. The reason for this is that any baby can be pumped full of bad calories and gain fat, but a healthily developing baby will have a head circumference that follows a certain pattern no matter how s/he is fed. The red books have head circumference charts as well as weight charts, and if you're genuinely worried about your daughter you may find that this reassures you (and your HV). Annecdotally - my third child was just under the 50th at birth, then on the 3rd centile at 12 months, and is now on the 90th at three years. This is not uncommon with breastfed children -- many "dip" in the charts, however this doesn't mean that you should be complacent if there's anything to worry you. OTOH if your daughter is as bright as a button, meeting her normal developmental milestones, generally healthy and active, she might just be a normal breastfed baby! As the nursery nurse at our surgery said when my daugher dropped down to the 3rd centile: "well somebody has to be there!"


Many mothers find it helpful to keep a food diary for a week -- you may find that your daughter eats much more than you think: a few raisins here, a piece of bread there -- it all adds up. Ideally think of older baby / toddler nutrition over the course of a week rather than over a 24 hour period when trying to judge intake / variety.


Cutting down on breastfeeding is very dubious advice and runs contrary to virtually every published guideline on infant nutrition. If in doubt, or if you'd like to explore further please consider phoning the La Leche League 24h helpline -- you'll be connected to a trained accredited breastfeeding counsellor (who is also a mother taking the call in her own home) who will be be happy to answer questions about breastfeeding, weaning, infant and toddler nutrition.


The LLL helpline is 0845 120 2918


Hope this helps


Agathoise

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Home
Events
Sign In

Sign In



Or sign in with one of these services

Search
×
    Search In
×
×
  • Create New...