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Thread: Is my 8-month-old weaning?

  1. #1
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    Default Is my 8-month-old weaning?

    My son is a few days shy of 8 months old, healthy, big for his age (both height and weight), and developing normally.

    He started accepting food around 6.5 months (i tried a few times before then and he was not interested, then suddenly one day he loved it), and since then has been losing interest in nursing. At day care, he got worse with bottles, to the point where now they struggle with him for 30 minutes and he takes no more than about 2oz per feeding. We've tried different bottles, even sippy cups, but they weren't any better. They tried offering the bottles at different times, more often, less often, anything they could think of.

    At home, he still nurses, but not with any real enthusiasm. He seems to be doing it more for comfort and snuggles than for food. But if you plunk him down in the high chair and pour out a bowl of pureed whatever, he chows down.

    All the books say babies should still be getting most of their nutrition from breastmilk at this age, but this baby seems ready to ditch it entirely. Our doctor says as long as he's still growing and seems happy, to let him lead the way, but it just seems so early.

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Is my 8-month-old weaning?

    Since your baby is still so young, I think this is one of those times when you don't follow the baby's lead. Babies in the 8-10 month range are notorious for nursing strikes. And you probably could wean your LO quite easily at this point, and just feed him solids. But it's rare for babies to consume a healthy, balanced diet of solids until they are much older. And because the baby's brain, body, and immune system are growing and developing so fast right now, you want to keep feeding him ideal nutrition, i.e. breastmilk.

    If your pump output is going to waste, how about feeding baby purees thinned out with expressed milk?
    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!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is my 8-month-old weaning?

    I put four ounces in each bottle i send to day care with him, because every once in a while he actually takes it. (Yesterday he did really well - his two afternoon bottles were almost emptied.) I usually pump about 16oz/day, so 4oz goes into the freezer, either to use in bottles or mixed into food later.

    Our nightly routine used to be for me to nurse him to sleep, and he'd usually sleep 6ish hours before waking up for more. The past week or so, nursing to sleep was a struggle and he would stay down no more than about three hours (usually less) before waking up. Last night, in frustration, i sat him in the high chair and gave him 3oz of yogurt and fruit about half an hour before he usually wants to sleep. At bedtime, he nursed well but briefly, passed out, and stayed asleep for almost 8 hours. Naps are getting to be like this too - he only sleeps well with a tummy full of food.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is my 8-month-old weaning?

    Could he be teething? Often nursing slows down when teething is going on- though of course many other babies increase their demand at that point. And teething and sleep- they just don't go together!
    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!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is my 8-month-old weaning?

    Does he eat any finger foods? I wonder what would happen if you put only finger foods in front of him and let him feed himself. If the purees are going down really easy, he might be prone to getting really full on them.... I wonder if more finger foods might help him get less full at meal times and have more room for milk in his diet. And he might be more thirsty for milk because, presumably, most finger foods aren't going to meet his fluid requirements as well as purees would. Might be something to try for a day or two and see if it inspires his appetite for milk at all.

    Also, and it sounds like you're probably already doing this, but I would make sure you always nurse or have daycare offer a bottle before offering solids. As an experiment, I might even go so far as to nurse him/offer bottle, and if he doesn't drink much, try again in 1/2 an hour and only after that offer solids and see if that helps.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is my 8-month-old weaning?

    We're working on finger foods/solid solids. He can pick them up and put them in his mouth, but he still gets a little gaggy at the swallowing part. At least twice a day he does some chair time with puffs or rice rusks or large chunks of fruit, but most of it still ends up as decor.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is my 8-month-old weaning?

    It sounds as if baby is getting filled up with pureed food and so is losing interest in nursing. As mommal notes, this can be a problem because nutrutionally breastmilk is what is needed-solids, even lots of solids, may not be nutritionally adequate. I don't know how much overall baby is fed at day care but sometimes overfeeding there-with bottles or baby food- causes breastfeeding issues as well.

    But the key is to take it easy with all this. This is not an emergency. Baby is healthy. Nothing good comes of forcing the issue.

    I do not understand why day care is struggling to make baby take more than 2 ounces at a time. 2 ounces is a lot for a little tummy. He may not take more because he is full! As long as baby gets enough nutrition overall, baby is fine. It is in no way "better" for a baby to take in some certain amount at a time, and insisting past baby's appetite is a good way to cause feeding aversion. What if you were in the mood for a chicken breast and a light salad but someone insisted you eat a 12 ounce steak and loaded baked potato?

    But if you plunk him down in the high chair and pour out a bowl of pureed whatever, he chows down.
    Is baby picking up the spoon and eating his pureed food himself? Or do you mean he is eating large amounts with his hands? If baby is actually feeding himself large amounts of pureed food, I do suggest make a point of nursing before solids whenever possible. And maybe don't pour so much out. If you are doing jars, these are often way too big, typically. If you are spoon feeding baby, this (spoon feeding and pureed food in general) can cause overeating of solids. Think about the consistency of many purees. Baby almost drinks it! It may be bypassing normal gag reflex (which you see working as it should when he works on learning to feed himself.) So in that case, you could consider just not doing purees so much and also, nursing before meals.

    If you would like baby to nurse more, GENTLY encourage baby to nurse by offering to nurse frequently. Nursing for comfort is fine, it's totally normal. He still gets milk so it is never only for comfort.

    Also, you could give your day care smaller bottles so they don't feel pressured to make baby finish, and share this info with them about cue feeding and bottles: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    Small, frequent meals, whether at the breast, bottle or table is what is normal and healthy for a young baby.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is my 8-month-old weaning?

    Sounds about right. At that age my daughter was not handling most fruit or even cheerios well (we never tried puffs but I imagine they are similar). She did really well though if I roasted a sweet potato or winter squash until very very soft and then cubed it up.... so the pieces were basically mush in her mouth but just solid enough for her to pick up. Cubes of ripe avocado also worked well.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is my 8-month-old weaning?

    He's not handling the spoon himself, but after he swallows he drops his mouth open and wobbles in anticipation of the next bite. (It's the same wobbling he does for his favorite toys, and that he used to do when i was setting us up for a nursing session.)

    I have instituted breaks in puree meals to make sure he's not overeating - either a few simple toys on his tray or finger food that he's really slow with - but he just gets increasingly agitated until the puree comes back. But most of the time he can go through a 4oz serving of puree and look disappointed at the end.

    Before introducing solids, he would drink 2-4oz of expressed milk 4x/day at day care. Some days he was more engaged than others, but it was never a scene. Now they tell me that he'll often scream and cry when they try to give him a bottle, and it takes 30min of effort to even get an ounce or two into him, especially in the mornings. None of the staff has changed, it's the same people giving him the same kind of bottles.

    They're really hesitant to let babies say 'no' to an EBM feedings at day care, because once they warm the milk they have to use it in 30 min or throw it away. I can tell them to not push it if he puts up a fight, but i can only bottle up so much milk for him every day, which means they can't just re-try every 30 minutes without risking running out.

    Should i tell them to just pitch the whole bottle if he's resisting? I don't want him to learn to eat when he isn't hungry, but i also don't want him to miss a meal because he was 45 minutes late in getting hungry.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is my 8-month-old weaning?

    Some babies love their solids, there is no doubt. You have tried the pausing and slowing meals down and baby still wants it, so I guess the best bet is to try to nurse ahead of time as much as you can!

    They're really hesitant to let babies say 'no' to an EBM feedings at day care, because once they warm the milk they have to use it in 30 min or throw it away. I can tell them to not push it if he puts up a fight, but i can only bottle up so much milk for him every day, which means they can't just re-try every 30 minutes without risking running out.
    Sigh. Because we all know warmed up breastmilk turns into poison if it is not consumed in 30 minutes! How silly. Well unfortunately you are up against a dumb policy. Can you give them smaller bottles, tell them to only warm one at a time, and see if that helps?

    What if they DON'T warm it? Do they still have to toss it? Will baby take a cold bottle? Some babies prefer milk that way. Just fyi, According to the LLL breastmilk safe handling guidelines, it is fine to put a bottle of expressed milk back in the fridge, even if it has been warmed and even if baby has drunk some of it, until the next feeding.

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