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Thread: Getting baby to eat more at a time

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Getting baby to eat more at a time

    My 9.5 month old is still eating 15+ times per day. It is frustrating me to no end. I can't leave her with anyone because she refuses the bottle most of the time. She usually eats every 30-60 minutes. A little longer if we are out and she is distracted. I've tried everything I can do at home to make her wait and eat more, but she freaks out. She's not too interested in solids. She will eat a little bit here and there, but no meals. She still eats at night, too. She seems to have trouble transitioning sleep cycles now. She had a reflux flare that lasted 2 months (6-8m) in which she was up every 10-60 minutes and eating a ton to help her reflux. She sleeps a bit better now that she is on the correct medication thanks to her GI. She was sleeping 8-10 hours most nights and able to suck her hand to self soothe if she woke up from 3.5-6m, but she will not do that anymore. Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Getting baby to eat more at a time

    How frustrating! And also, how normal!

    Breastfed babies often prefer and need to take in small amounts of milk very frequently. Baby tummies are tiny and breastmilk digests quickly. I know there are a lot of people out there who swear that babies need to eat larger, infrequent "meals" instead of "snacks" but the truth is that small, frequent meals (a.k.a. "snacking") is a normal and healthy eating pattern for babies and young children. It's why moms of toddlers don't leave the house without a bag of crackers in their purse!

    Even if you could get your LO to eat fewer, larger meals, that's not a guarantee that she'd want to nurse less. It's quite possible that she nurses frequently because she's going through a growth spurt, or because she's teething, or because her reflux is troubling her (babies often outgrow their dosage of medication; when is the last time you had it adjusted?), or because she's going through a phase of separation anxiety and wants to feel connected to you- literally!- all the time.

    I'd roll with this for a while. See if some teeth pop through. Take her to the doc and see if her meds need to be adjusted or if she has an earache or some other physical cause that it provoking the frequent nursing. And maybe work on the night waking- I suggest reading Elizabeth Pantley's book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" for some useful tips and tricks- because if you get a good night's sleep the daytime demand will likely seem less exasperating.

    I'd also review my birth control choices. Sometimes hormonal contraception, or pregnancy, can cause decreased supply and increased nursing.

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