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Thread: The Snacker - Solutions or Ideas?

  1. #1

    Default The Snacker - Solutions or Ideas?

    11 month old, been breastfeeding without issue since birth...Weaned onto solids at 6 months and supplemented nursing with 400-500cc formula per day...Seems to have developed a snack habit whereas he eats in smaller quantities and spreads it out throughout the day...Solid introduction went smoothly and enjoyed pureed foods but ever since a cold he got 2 weeks ago (Coupled with his two top front teeth coming in, simultaneously), eating pureed food is either unpalatable to him or simply not interesting...For about a week, at the beginning of his cold, it was exclusively breastmilk & formula - simply would rebuff any other foods

    Never been a great sleeper as he would routinely wake at least once a night for a night feed (I think we've experienced only a few occasions where he slept through the night), now with less daily intake due to snacking, the night feeds are more & more part of the feeding routine. Breaking him out of it is proving to be a tough go for both of us parents.

    Developmentally, he's doing well...Started walking at 9 months, very active, happy & generally verbal throughout the day. If you didn't know his sleep or feeding routine, you'd assume he's doing perfectly. But, we aren't comfortable with it nevermind suffering from fatigue over the unusual routine & rhythm of his eating/sleeping.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: The Snacker - Solutions or Ideas?

    Welcome to the forum!

    My suggestion: stop thinking of your child's eating and sleeping patterns as unusual.

    Snacking: Babies and young toddlers are designed to snack. You shouldn't expect a meal style of eating to develop until your child is much older. In my experience, children continue to need several snacks per day until at least age 3, gradually dropping down to a pattern of eating just 1-2 snacks a day in addition to their meals. With a baby or toddler, those snacks are going to be breastmilk or a bottle if those are a ade available to him.

    Solids: Your child's solid food intake is low right now, and that is also normal for a baby who is less than a year old. Until around a year, babies can get all their nutritional needs met by breastmilk and/or formula. Until that point, solids are pretty much just for experimenting with new tastes, textures, and motor skills. Because baby can get all his needs met by nursing or drinking formula, it's pretty common for babies to either never have much interest in solids or to go through phases during which they lose interest in solids. These are temporary. Just roll with it, and your baby should pick up on his solid food intake during his second year, though it might not happen until later than you think. It's not like a switch flips at a year, after which point babies need a ton of solids. The transition from needing only breastmilk or formula to needing a lot of solids is often a gradual one, with many babies not eating a majority solid food diet until well into their second year.

    Sleep: When it comes to sleep, you say that your baby "isn't a great sleeper" because he routinely wakes at least once a night. In my experience, a baby who wakes just once or twice a night at less than a year is an amazing sleeper, and many moms here would give their eyeteeth to have babies who wake that infrequently, particularly during the difficult teething periods!

    So, what do you do?

    Nurse baby really frequently during the day so that he's getting enough calories- busy babies sometimes forget to nurse during the day and that means they need to wake more often at night in order to feed.

    Continue to patiently offer a variety of healthy solids, including solids your baby can feed himself- he's old enough to have bits of whatever you're serving to the family. You can't make your child eat, but you can model healthy eating patterns. He will eventually follow them!

    Be patient with the night-waking- if your gums hurt as badly as a teething baby's, you'd be up a lot at night, too. If you can, sleep when baby sleeps and nap when he naps.

    Consider taking him in to the doctor and having someone check his ears. He had a cold, and sometimes a viral cold is followed by a bacterial ear infection. That can really disturb a baby's eating/sleeping habits, even when there are no outward signs of infection.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: The Snacker - Solutions or Ideas?

    This sounds pretty normal, mama! And a pretty "good" version of normal, actually.

    My 11 month old nursed 13 times overnight last night. No joke. She's learning to stand on her own and playing at walking, and every time she is working on new skills, she wakes very frequently to nurse. I think one night waking at this age is superb!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: The Snacker - Solutions or Ideas?

    I agree with pps. Your baby's behavior sounds normal and healthy to me. Many people equate when, what, and how much a child eats with how long a child will sleep at night. But in a normally nourished child (as opposed to a malnourished child which your child clearly is not) there is only a causation there if something the child is eating is causing digestive pain or discomfort and waking the child. And if you think THAT is going on, the first place I would suggest looking at is the formula, as many children have difficulty digesting formula.

    An 11 month old is probably ready to move past purées and is capable of feeding himself. (This does not mean he WILL eat when or what or as much as you think he should eat.) Have you looked into baby led solids? (aka, baby led weaning)

    I strongly suggest the book My Child Won't Eat. I think it will alleviate many of your concerns about your child’s eating behavior.

    As far as sleeping, babies and young children cycle frequently through sleep/wake cycles so frequent waking and night nursing are both entirely normal. Throw teething or some other pain in there and it gets really hard. The trick is to maximize parent's sleep despite the fact it is normal for a child to wake and require comforting during the night. This can be approached many ways, with changing sleeping arrangements, taking turns lying in, going to bed earlier, taking naps on days off...

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