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Thread: Baby hardly eating solids, told to cut out feeds

  1. #1

    Default Baby hardly eating solids, told to cut out feeds

    Hello everyone,

    My baby is 10 and a half months old and is still very reluctant to eat solids. I would say he is maybe 98% breastfed. We realized that he hated being fed with a spoon, so for the last couple of months we have been offering almost entirely finger foods, offering him things from our plate when we eat, etc. The only thing he eats well are rice cakes and occasionally porridge(oatmeal)+banana fingers and dry toast. He refuses all fruit. His paediatrician told me to put him on a "diet" (!) from the breastmilk and that at his age he only needed 3 feeds a day, or around 500ml; she told me to cut out the lunch-time/mid-morning feed and literally only feed him in the morning for breakfast and at night and perhaps mid-afternoon. He still feeds during the night, between 2 or 3 times (but almost always just one side each time), and the dr also told me to cut that out too, so that he would start to feel hungry and eat. I am not sure if this is the right thing to do, and so far I have still been feeding him during the day and night. Could anyone tell me if they were given this advice and did it actually work? My feeling is that it is better just to let him decide when and how much he wants to eat/nurse, but I am worried that he will never start eating solids! I should also mention that his weight is great (10kg) and that only his iron is a little low, and we have been given iron drops to prevent anaemia. Thank you so much and sorry for the long post.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Baby hardly eating solids, told to cut out feeds

    Welcome to the forum!

    The first thing I would do, were I in your shoes, would be to find a different pediatrician. The advice you got is literally insane. Breastmilk (or formula) is supposed to make up the majority of a baby's diet until 12 months, and many babies do not transition to a majority solid food diet until well over a year of age. 3 nursing sessions per day is NOT enough to give a baby the majority of his calories; most babies require around 8 feedings per day to meet that standard.

    It is also not true that withholding breastmilk from a baby automatically improves his intake of solid foods. Not only is it not guaranteed to work, but it's pretty cruel as a parenting strategy. Imagine trying to hold a hungry baby off from the breast, just so that he will eat some mashed peas. The baby won't understand why you won't nurse him. He's just going to be miserable! What sort of pediatrician advocates starving a child into submission? It's craziness!

    My kids were both pretty much entirely breastfed until around a year of age. I offered them solids, but they had little to know interest. Luckily, I had a pediatrician who was knowledgeable about the feeding habits of breastfed babies, and one who looked at my kids, saw that they were healthy and growing and developing well, and knew that you don't have to force big changes when that is the case. You can just let the kids transition to eating more solids at their own pace.

    You're doing fine! Don't doubt yourself!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Baby hardly eating solids, told to cut out feeds

    Hi @llli*mommal! Thank you so much for your reply. I have just worked out how to reply to it

    Yes, I felt very uneasy with the idea of withholding breastmilk in order to force my baby to eat.....I knew this wouldn't work for him, as I don't think it is a question of whether he is hungry or not that makes him curious enough to try something, or even just touch it with his hands. I also received exactly the same advice when he was 8 months old at a "baby advice/weigh-in clinic". I totally ignored it then after reading the "My child won't eat" book and also talking to a local La Leche League representative. It was just now that he is almost 11 months old and when the doctor tells you this is what you need to do....the self-doubt creeps in!

    It was good to hear that your children also didn't show much interest in solids. My son also looks really healthy, is developing very well in everything else, but it can be frustrating when there is so much pressure around transitioning babies to solids and then he refuses to try hardly anything!

    Thanks for the encouragement! I am just going to carry on offering him as much as possible and stick with the nursing whenever he asks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Baby hardly eating solids, told to cut out feeds

    The self-doubt definitely creeps in when the professionals who are supposed to be trustworthy sources of advice on baby care are basically ordering you to ignore your instincts. I think it helps to know why people who should know better often don't, which is a lack of education about normal infant feeding. Since they have no education, they tend to operate on a combination of bad assumptions, like "All moms are eager to wean by 1 year, if not before", and outright myths, like "Breastfeeding causes babies to become overly dependent and difficult" or "Breastmilk is insufficient nutrition for older babies".

  5. #5

    Default Re: Baby hardly eating solids, told to cut out feeds

    Wow this literally happened to me yesterday at my health nurse appointment and I've been feeling so worried about my 8.5 month old not eating enough! I've been googling like mad and am surprised at this (mis)information. Going to stop worrying now lol x

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