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Thread: My 8.5 months old baby wants to nurse every hour.. and no solids

  1. #1

    Default My 8.5 months old baby wants to nurse every hour.. and no solids


    We have gone through a terrible time of not wanting to nurse while awake (it lasted almost 6 months) and now she wants to nurse every hour.
    Our baby girl has laryngomalacia and it affected her nursing very much, she choked on milk all the time and cried, refused to nurse at all while awake. Our doctor also told us that reflux often goes along with it so she has to take small portions. She figured it out by herself and nursed only a little at a time (and I pumped and gave her a bottle also). I tried to change her schedule to every 2 hours around 4 months, at that time she refused a bottle completely.. so only nursing. But no luck. Finally after a month and a half (at 6 months) she started nursing while awake when she wanted.. And she wants to sip a little every hour like she used to do when she was very little.. We tried solids at 6 months, she choked and puked all over me, so I stopped it for 3 weeks. Then again I tried some banana and oatmeal, she seemed to like it for a day or two and then lost her interest for a week or more.

    Our baby is 8.5 months now, nurses every hour - hour and a half, turns away from the spoon most of the time. Sometimes she tries food from my finger, but only a bite or two. We tried baby led weaning. She loves it, but the problem is that even those tiny pieces stuck in her throat (because of laryngomalacia). Babies with the same problem usually eat only purees until they are 1 year old or so..

    Since she gets hungry every hour, I try and offer her smth solid before or after nursing - usually she refuses it.

    I understand she is very little and enjoys nursing now after all that struggle, but we need to get going..

    How can I make her nurse less frequently? The problem is that she wants to nurse only in our room, on her pillow. I can not make her to nurse anywhere else..So I basically stuck in the house

    Moreover we are flying oversees in a month, 18 hours flight with 2 stops..

    I'd really appreciate any advice on this matter. Sorry its kinda long

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: My 8.5 months old baby wants to nurse every hour.. and no solids

    First of all, congratulations on making it to 6 months despite what sounds like some significant challenges!

    I can understand your concern about your baby's solid intake. But honestly, her eating patterns sound very normal. There are breastfed 8 month-olds without laryngomalacia who eat as little solid food as your baby does, or even less. My first daughter was one- she ate barely any solid food until she was well over a year. And lots of babies have different issues with solids that are similar to what you're going through. They have ultra-sensitive gag reflexes, or they hate chunky textures, or they go on solid food strikes, or they decide that they now hate the solid they loved at lunch.

    Okay, so that being said, what's with the 1-1.5 hour feedings? I'd guess it's either a growth spurt, teething, boredom, or a desire to be close to mama. Not a sign that your baby is starving because she's unable or unwilling to eat solids.

    The thing you might want to ponder is why you feel this need to "get going" with solids. If you're feeling that need because you're assuming that babies need solids- then you can let it go. Because until a year of age, most babies need only milk, and many of them continue to eat mostly milk until well into their second year. But if the issue is the nursing frequency, and your desire to get some space and freedom- then I'd actually encourage you to try to get out of the house more. A lot of babies nurse really frequently when they're home. But when they're out and about, and all distracted, they may forget to nurse as much.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My 8.5 months old baby wants to nurse every hour.. and no solids

    For what it's worth, my son nursed every 1-2 hours, and did not eat solids, until he was 2 years old (he had a variety of health issues at play -- some of which we knew about, some of which we did not at the time).

    Is there a weight and/or nutrition issue at play? If not, then I agree with mommal that you needn't tie yourself to the house in order to nurse her. Regardless, I personally would use great caution in trying to push the solids if she is not ready -- physically OR emotionally. For my son, who also tended to choke on solids of any kind, eating was essentially a traumatic experience -- from his perspective, putting solid food led to a situation in which his life felt endangered (and there were times when that was literally true, as well). When that happens, there is no logic and no external assurance that is ever going to rewire the brain to believe that the situation is any different than that. In order for his brain to recognize eating as something other than traumatic, he had to have positive experiences with it (and lots of them), which he couldn't do until he was both physically and emotionally ready to do so.

    It was not always easy to walk the delicate path of encouraging him and providing opportunities, while at the same time honoring his needs and following his lead -- especially with the frequent nursing for so long, but I am grateful that I tried to do so, because I didn't really understand at the time the nature of trauma in his life, and how it was affecting him.

    It may be helpful to think in terms that you may hear many here speaking in when it comes to nursing a toddler -- the nursing relationship is a relationship between two people, and just as with any other relationship, it is most successful when the needs of both parties are honored as much as possible. What are each of your needs, and in what ways are they being/not being honored/met right now? Is there a way to improve upon that?
    Mama to Lorenzo, born 4/25/2007. NICU graduate, Gastro-Esohapgeal Reflux, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sensory Processing Disorder...alive and thriving thanks to breastfeeding and co-sleeping.

    Those who say it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it.
    Chinese Proverb

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