My son is 10 months old. He weighs 23lbs and is a pretty active baby. He nurses very often during the day and night. When starting solids, we introduced to him everything possible. He loved and ate every bite. Starting at 9 months he began eating less baby food and more solids. We introduced many varieties of foods for solids. Unfortunately, now at 10 months all he wants to eat is chicken, cheese and bread. Anything else he spits out. He chews on apple bites but then spits those out as well. I've tried putting everything in front of him, a little at a time of course, and he either throws it on the floor or discretely gets rid of it behind his head. I don't know what to do. Is this normal? Should he be nursing all day and all night? During the day he nurses 6-8 times and at night he nurses 4-6 times. Is he nursing so much because he is not getting filled on solids? I've also tried oatmeal and other purred foods but he doesn't like to eat anything from a spoon. Any tips would be appreciated!
Re: Picky Eater
At under a year, a baby's primary source of nutrition should be breastmilk, not solids. Breastmilk has the ideal balance of nutrients- fat, protein, carbohydrates, etc.- for the rapidly developing infant brain and body. There are no solids that provide the same sort of complete and balanced nutrition. Until the first birthday (or thereabouts), solids are just for experimenting with new tastes, textures, and motor skills. After the first birthday, solids become an increasingly important component of a baby's diet, but the transition from needing only mama's milk to needing a ton of solids is a gradual one, with many babies not consuming a majority-solids diet until well into their second year. So you don't need to worry for a moment that your baby is missing out on complete nutrition due to his pickiness. And obviously he's doing just fine on his current diet- he didn't get to be 23 lbs by accident. (Good job, mama!)
Frequent nursing both day and night is totally normal for a 10 month old baby. It's not a sign of inadequate solid intake. It may be that your baby requires some night nursing sessions to meet his calorie needs, but it's also quite possible that he's waking out of habit, because his teeth are bothering him, because he misses you, or because he's mastering some new developmental milestone that's causing him to be a bit more restive at night. If the night-waking is getting you down, I suggest checking out Elizabeth Pantley's book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution", which has gentle tips for helping babies sleep longer and more independently.
Pickiness in an older baby/toddler is also very normal. It's probably a good thing, too: once a baby is mobile and starts getting into all sorts of places where he didn't used to be able to go, it's important for him to become somewhat discriminating about what he eats or he stands a good chance of putting something poisonous in his mouth. There is nothing you can do to stop your baby from being picky. The only things you can do are to model good eating habits, because your baby may be more inclined to try a new food if he sees you eating and enjoying it, and placing a variety of healthy choices in front of your baby. Don't get sucked into the trap of offering only your baby's preferred foods just so that he will eat.
Re: Picky Eater
:ita One thing that's great about breastfeeding is that it can give you some peace of mind that your child is getting necessary nutrients even if they are very picky with solids. Joe hardly ate any solids at all at 10 months (he started eating more "normal" amounts of solids at like 13 months, and we were very worried, but I've since learned this is pretty normal) and he's a pretty picky eater as a toddler. He also nursed frequently, but since we couldn't get him to eat more solids no matter what we did, I decided that this was just the way it was going to be. You can lead a child to solids, but you can't make him eat ...