Ugh, solids! HELP my baby won't eat from a spoon...

Nicole - posted on 03/08/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My daughter is now 8 months old, she was exclusively breastfed until 6 months when I decided to try formula with her to lighten my milk supply in hopes of weaning but she's not taking to it well so I've just decided to keep breastfeeding. I've been trying to feed her solids (pureed baby foods, rice cereal, oatmeal) since she turned 6 months and I'm lucky if I get the spoon any where near her mouth. She even hates the high chair now. The only types of food she will eat besides breast milk are foods she can grab and feed herself (I've used Gerber Graduates puffs, cookies, etc) other than that she wont let me get near her mouth with anything other than my breast. She's gaining weight and developing appropriately and she's a very happy and active baby but I worry she isn't getting enough nutrition and I get lots of pressure from family and friends to feed her solids and stop breast feeding. I try feeding her solids every single day but I end up wasting more food than she eats. It's frustrating and I'm afraid I'm giving her a bad association with meal time. Any advice moms?

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Sarh - posted on 03/08/2011

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Give her pea sized pieces of the foods you eat, just keep them healthy. She doesn't need purees. My 9m old started refusing purees at about 5ms old, but loves to feed himself and has been doing so since he was about 5ms old. Now I am giving him almost always what we eat, but still some purees as we are guilty about fast food and ordering out.

Heather - posted on 03/08/2011

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i'll give you the advice i wish someone had given me when my kid was that age: don't worry.
i was getting the same pressure from folks (including our pediatrician) to move to solids. i waited till our baby showed interest in foods (around 7 mos.) and then thought it would be a simple matter of introducing new items at a set rate and upping the meal count at a steady rate. ha! not likely. it was a to-and-fro with food, him trying things and then not, eating pureed food and then outright rejecting it. it wasn't till after he turned one year old that anything resembling a meal plan worked. then, it suddenly clicked. he's a fantastic eater now, tries and likes a variety of food, and is still being breastfed. it works together very well.
aleksandra is right--solids before one really are just for play and learning. your baby's getting all the nutrition she needs from your breastmilk (it doesn't get any calorie-richer). food should therefore be introduced playfully and in a relaxed manner. a lot will be rejected. no big whoop. when she's ready, she'll eat more. and if mashed up doesn't cut it, experiment with other textures. sushi was our breakthrough food--go figure. ; )

Celeste - posted on 03/08/2011

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Ditto Alexsandra. I'd just give her what you're eating. There's really no need to give her baby cereals, pureed foods, Gerber stuff, etc.

If she's happy, healthy, etc I wouldn't let other's opinions dictate on how you feed your child. I'd follow HER cues and not what everyone else thinks you should do.

In addition, breastmilk has MORE calories than most pureed baby food. The majority of her nutrition should be breastmilk, not solids.

Aleks - posted on 03/08/2011

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I know it is easier said than done, but try to relax a bit. This is coming from a mother who had very similar problems to yours.

So, a run down of some points:

Number 1. Don't worry about what other people say or expect what YOUR child should or should not be eating/doing/drinking. Its not their child, not their house and not their life, so they can just butt out.

Number 2. Solid foods before 12 months are more for play and experimenting rather than for nutrition or calories. Her main nutrition up until 12 months of age still has to come from breastmilk (or formula, for those that use it). So it does not matter how much she consumes of "solids". As long as she has tried and sampled is probably enough. I am sure that she will some day eat "normal" adult food - she won't be wanting a boobie or baby mash when a 10 year old... so whatever is happening right now is just a phase, like most things pertaining to a baby/toddler.

Number 3. Many babies actually prefer "finger food" to mushed up super bland cereals. I mean seriously, you try feeding yourself that and see how you like it...LOL I know that both my kids preferred the stuff I was eating to their mushy food... Especially breastfed babies, since they get all the variety of flavours when they nurse, as what you eat and all the flavours of that does affect how breastmilk tastes :-) Which is great for the future, as I am currently discovering that later on, breastfed children are less fussy about the tastes of food, or less picky with their food when they get older. They have basically been continueosly exposed to a wide range of flavours and they then expect it!



Also, there are these devices, I do not know what they are called, basically they look like a pacifier but rather than a teet, they have this meshy sack. You can insert all sorts of goodies (rather than giving her biscuits - which are nutritionally bad) like pumpkin, sweet potato, potato, carrot (all boiled or steamed of course) into it and she can then mouth and suck at the foods without the danger or chewing off larger chuncks and possibly choking. Not to mention she has all the control and has "finger food". Once she has developed her pincer grasp there is a whole range of other types of finger foods you can experiment with her to keep her interests up. Also, have you thought about giving her the spoon to play with? Getting familiar with the instrument on her own terms may relax her about the whole feeding thing, not to mention making her feel a little bit more in control of what is in her mouth.

Distraction also works a treat (if you really must), give her something to play with. Another spoon, a toy, a book, etc while feeding her.... though I must warn you, that not all babies take to it.

Number 4. Have you even tasted formula? Its disgusting, as opposed to breastmilk that is quite sweet. That is why your daughter wants nothing to do with it... not to mention probably the yuck factor coming out of a latex teet and plastic taste of the bottle. By the way, what is the rush to stop breastfeeding? Just because others say so or expect? Or is it something YOU really want (for one reason or another)? Breastmilk provides so much nutrition and healthy bacteria for these little children that is not found anywhere else. A childs immune system isn't fully developed until they are around 6 or so. Therefore, can you imagine how underdeveloped her immune system is as an 8 month old? Your milk protects her from all the bacterial nasties out there so that her system doesn't need to be stressed, and her body then concentrates on developing itself to optimal capacity rather than focusing on fighting off bacteria it really doesn't need to nor is fully capable of doing. But I digress, sorry....



Just remember, it is not a race to get a child to eat the most and the earliest. Its just about introducing them to things and directing things a bit, but essentially, they will choose the pace. Just like you can't make them crawl any earlier then they are ready, walk earlier then they are ready, you will not get them to eat 3 main meals before they are ready either.

Take your time, you have plenty of it when it comes to introducing her to the wonders and beauty of food

:0)

Good luck

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Nicole - posted on 03/08/2011

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Thank you so much fellow moms! You're encouragement has helped out a lot and I've always had the feeling that it wasn't too big of a stress but you're kind words and great advice really helped ensure my thoughts furthermore. I get a lot of pressure from her Grandma (boyfriends mom) to feed her solids and that my technique simply isn't good enough so I panicked in a frenzy to prove her wrong and got way too concerned about it. We just took our daughter to see the dr today for a routine check up and the pediatrician is pleased with all her measurements and says we have a very happy and healthy baby so I'm definitely at ease now. I even shared my concerns about her eating and she brushed it off saying no biggie, she'll be fine. Thanks again moms! You've been a great help!

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