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Thread: 11.5 months - mom needs reassurance!

  1. #1
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    Default 11.5 months - mom needs reassurance!

    my 11.5 month baby girl who still nurses on demand has been very slow to accept
    solids. she doesn't like to eat in her high chair. she will take small amounts of solids while she is playing or reading but not consistently. she prefers to nurse. she
    knows how to eat: doesn't choke/gag/spit up/vomit and even can drink from a cup and use a straw. even as a young infant, most days she would refuse a bottle
    while i was at work (3 days/wk). i've stopped working so she has been nursing on
    demand since the end of May (and on demand whenever i was not at work). she
    nurses multiple times during the night to fall back asleep and because she is
    hungry. i nurse her to sleep for naps and at bedtime. i sleep with her. needless to
    say, all these things are done in a loving and positive manner.
    am i doing the right things?
    why is she slow to accept solids consistently, even thought she knows how to eat them?
    i initially had envisioned beginning weaning after 1 year but she is obviously
    nowhere close to being ready so i'm not going to. i'm saddened because she
    probably won't eat cake on her 1st birthday. i'm scared i'm doing the wrong thing
    by nursing her to sleep for naps and bedtime and multiple times in the middle of thenight.
    her pediatrician keeps telling me i need to do a modified ferber method but i'm not
    comfortable doing that. is there a list of AP friendly pediatricians by state?
    i just want someone to talk to who is or has been in my shoes! i need reassurance that my baby WILL eat, she WILL wean when she is ready, and she WILL be able tofall asleep on her own and stay asleep if i keep doing what i'm doing.
    thanks for any support you can provide!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 11.5 months - mom needs reassurance!

    s

    She will eat when she's ready. It's totally normal for some kids to just not really get into solids until they are a bit older. Which is fine for breastfed babies who are fed on demand because your milk is giving her everything she needs nutritionally. And until they are a year old, that is exactly how it should be. Solids up to that point are just for fun and experimentation. At a year, they should slowly start to increase how much nutrition is coming from solid foods, but it's still great to know that if you've got one of those picky toddlers (and pretty much every toddler is picky at some point) you still don't have to worry as long as you're nursing 3-5 times a day.

    How are you presenting solids to her? What kinds of foods have you offered? Are you offering at meal times when other people around her are eating as well? I guess what I'm asking is for you to describe a 'typical' solids meal for your lo.

    She will wean when she's ready. All children do. Though if that's what you want to have happen you should prepare yourself now for the idea that it may not happen when you want it to. The natural weaning age worldwide for kids who self-wean is somewhere between 2-7 years old. I think for moms around this forum the kids who've self weaned (not including those whose moms got pregnant) have done it at around 4 or 5 years old, but that's based solely on my memory.

    But there's a lot of in-between there, too. Continuing to nurse past a year old doesn't necessarily mean you'll be nursing a 5 year old either. And nursing a 1-2 year old is very different from nursing an infant. If you continue, you'll find it an invaluable tool for getting through the dreaded molar teething, illnesses, injuries, etc. And once your lo is taking in a good well-rounded diet of solids you can set nursing limits you are comfortable with, whether that means only nursing at certain times or night weaning or not nursing when you are out or whatever works for you and your family.

    She will be able to fall asleep on her own and stay asleep eventually. All kids learn to do so when they are developmentally ready. Again, though, it may not happen when you want it to. And when it does happen there may be some struggle involved (or not, you never know). Now whether you want to go through that struggle now when your child isn't capable of reasoning or understanding or later when you are able to talk to her about it and at least know she understands what's going on is what (I think) is a more appropriate question. You won't find a lot of support for CIO methods around here, but we are more than happy to support you and listen to your rants about being sleepy without making you feel like it's your fault or that you're doing something wrong.

    After the year point you might want to look into the Jay Gordon method of nightweaning. I did it when I was pregnant and my daughter was about 20 months and it worked really well for us, though I didn't stick to his timeline strictly. There were some tears, but not as bad as I expected. She was totally addicted to night nursing when I started. It really did help, in my experience, to be able to talk through it with her so she knew what to expect (even if she didn't like it).

    You are not doing the wrong thing, mama. You're following your instincts and they'll rarely steer you wrong. You're not creating bad habits, you're responding to her needs. Meet your daughter's current needs now and later when her needs change, you can change with them.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 11.5 months - mom needs reassurance!

    with the PP. Your LO will eventually eat plenty of solids, sleep through the night, go to sleep without your help, and wean. You just can't really expect any of those things to happen with a 14 month-old, not unless you're going to push really hard to make them happen.

    My first kid is 6 now. She sleeps through the night, eats an amazingly varied diet (for a 6 year-old; don't ask her to eat hot peppers or stinky cheese, yuck! ), is weaned (since age 3), and goes to sleep with a story and a back rub. This was the same kid who didn't eat more than a teaspoon or two of solid food per day until 14-15 months, and was waking 6-8 times a night until she was 10 months old. Oh, and on her first birthday we tried to feed her a cupcake. She took one lick of the icing and then ran off to puill books off the shelves. I don't think very many 1 year-olds actually eat their cake- which is why a lot of people call that first cake a "smash cake".

    I wish there was a clearinghouse of information on where to find supportive pediatricians, but there isn't. The best way to find a good pediatrician is word of mouth: look for mamas who share your parenting philosophy and ask where they take their kids. Your local LLL meeting is often a good place to find out which pediatricians will pressure your about CIO and weaning and solids, and which are content to let happy, healthy babies alone.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 11.5 months - mom needs reassurance!

    Thanks for the quick responses and support!
    Typical day of eating: she nurses over 5x/day and at least 3x during the night. We offer solids (cereal, fruit, or veggie baby food) at meals times and she will usually keep her lips closed, rub her eyes, and push away the spoon. she'll sit with us for a little while and then want out to play. if i follow her with baby food after letting her out of her high chair, more times than not, she'll take small amounts very willingly. other times, she's not interested (which i understand she is not
    hungry). i have offered before nursing, after nursing, and in between nursing. thanks for the link to the night time weaning. i'll take a look but i'm thinking she's not even close to being ready for night weaning either. and that's ok.
    preparing myself that i won't be weaning any time soon is what i'm struggling with now. i'm worried about how i will manage another child if the 1st is still breastfeeding and needing me all through out the night. when will i sleep? how will i have energy to successfully provide for 2 children? i'm 35 and wanting to have at least 2 more babies so need to try to have them close together.
    it's reassuring to hear there are other babies like mine. thanks for the cupcake story! i hope my LO will enjoy her 1st smash
    i think this forum will be very helpful. i'm anxiously awaiting the next LLL meeting in my area!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 11.5 months - mom needs reassurance!

    Have you tried letting her feed herself? I think that when you have a kid who hates the spoon- and my first just LOATHED it; the only thing she would do with it was to bat it away and send mashed peas splattering all over the walls- the best thing you can do is to remove the spoon from the equation and let baby self-feed. The introducing solids forum has a lot of threads on baby-led solids, if you're interested in that approach.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 11.5 months - mom needs reassurance!

    Oh yes, I definitely agree with the recommendation to try baby led solids. There's lots of info around here about it. This is my favorite article about it though, it's the one that converted me. IMO it's a more natural way of introducing solids and it makes meal times feel like more of a family meal rather than a chore of okay now I have to try and get the baby to eat.

    And adding another baby into the mix changes things up for sure. But don't feel like you have to wait until this one is completely self-sufficient (if you can ever call them that) before you can have another. They adjust. You adjust. You rework the family dynamic to fit in the new baby.

    I wouldn't recommend any mama get pregnant before her first is one, simply because the risk of losing your milk supply is too great and baby is still relying on that milk for her nutrition. But lots of mamas get pregnant while they are still nursing the first. Some wean on purpose, some kids wean on their own (maybe a little earlier than they otherwise would have), some continue tandem nursing both children after baby is born. My daughter (again, I thought she'd nurse forever and never sleep at night) weaned on her own after I night weaned her. I was pregnant and my supply deteriorated until there just wasn't enough there for her to feel like bothering with.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 11.5 months - mom needs reassurance!

    yes, we're tried letting her feed herself as well. she mostly plays with it which is good and appropriate. she will put some bites in her mouth but will spit it out. we also offer her bites of whole banana, peaches, nectarines, etc when we eat them. i'll check out the baby led solids threads. maybe i can get some more ideas there. thank you!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 11.5 months - mom needs reassurance!

    i'll take a look at the article. thank you! i'm interested the process by which your daughter began taking more solids and then sleeping through the night if you're willing to share!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 11.5 months - mom needs reassurance!

    I never had a problem getting her to eat solids. But she would nurse like she was starving regardless. So I'm not a whole lot of help there. But I got her night weaned using the Jay Gordon method (I posted a link in one of my earlier replies). She still woke a few times in the night, but not nearly as many. Bear in mind she already had all her teeth by that point, around 21-22 mos old if I remember correctly, and she was very verbal and easy(ish) to reason with. I took down her crib (not that she slept in it much, though she'd usually start the night there) and put a big mattress on her floor with a pretty bedspread and all her stuffed toys. She absolutely LOVED it. I'd lay with her until she was asleep (nursed her to sleep initially, but eventually we stopped doing that too) and then get up. I spent about 2 months getting her used to me not being there by forcing myself to stay awake long enough to get up after I got her back to sleep. It worked pretty well, though we had some setbacks when we potty trained and again after the baby was born and again when we moved...the list goes on to be honest.

    That's the thing I think it's important to remember. Getting our kids to certain points with sleep and eating isn't an all or nothing thing. It goes up and down. And it doesn't necessarily have to require a set process (this is something that's easier to see and accept now that I've got two and I know how different they can be as far as what they need and when). If there are certain things you feel like YOU need- a certain number of hours of sleep at night or certain limits set on nursing- then you can usually find a process that will get you there. But how it works is going to be very dependent on your child and your family dynamic. Everything else I am honestly coming to believe will happen in its own time with (often) less effort on the part of mom and dad and less tears on the part of the baby.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 11.5 months - mom needs reassurance!

    OP, thanks for asking this question. My son is turning 11 months old this week and we're in the same boat. I'm glad to see that there are so many little lactivores and that I'm not alone!

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