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.
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