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Thread: At wits end...

  1. #1

    Default At wits end...

    Hi Ladies,

    I am still nursing my 21 month old son and we are having eating difficulties... He would much rather (in my mind) nurse then eat and we typically get around this by having my mommy's helper feed him while I am working (work from home, but spend many breaks w/him)... Now that we are on vacation in Mexico, with no mommy's helper in sight, he has decided not to eat... And I can feel him getting lighter and lighter... At his 18 month old ck, he was at 75% percentile height and 3% weight! Done from 90% and 10% at 16 month ck, which was down from 95% and 20% at previous ck! Our doc gave us some feeding tips (higher calorie foods/etc), that appeared to do the trick, as he was gaining weight... Now I feel like we are back to square zero here on vacation and heck, quite frankly, I would be enjoying my break off from work much better back at home w/my helper, with whom he will eat!

    OK, I could write a book here on what's going on, but bottom line, his not wanting to eat solids is making me feel that I am doing a disservice by continuing to nurse him and that I should just wean him. BTW, DH has been bugging me about weaning for over a year now! He also believes that the eating probs stem from the fact that I'm still nursing.

    Any advice, thoughts, coaching you all have to share? I am counting the days til we get back so that my baby will eat. In the meantime, I also feel as if my milk supply is spiking back up as he's been nursing so much w/on demand access to mommy (and yes I NIP, although I do try to do it discretely).

    Thanks Moms!

    Runnermom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,613

    Default Re: At wits end...

    First of all, I want to say congratulations on nursing your child to the age of 21 months! You have done a great job so far, and I don't think for a moment that your child's issues with weight should be blamed on nursing- rather, I think that it's a good thing that you nursed him this long, because he'd probably have issues with eating even if you'd weaned him at 1, and this way at least he's been getting breastmilk all this time.

    Breastmilk is really nutritious (See this abstract from the journal Pediatrics, and this article from Mothering Magazine), and considering the amount you are nursing, I'm guessing you are meeting all your baby's nutritional needs right now, even though he's not eating solids. I wouldn't be too concerned about the slowed-down growth, as even babies who are eating tons of solids tend to drop in the percentiles once they transform from sedentary babies into active, calorie-burning toddlers.

    However, it sounds like this constant nursing and rejection of solids isn't working for you and your family. It sounds like you have a good thing going at home, with your mother's helper feeding the high-calorie solids. In your shoes, I would probably let things go on as they are for the duration of the vacation, and then go back to the way they have been once you are home. It's so hard to change things when you are on the road!

    Also, it sounds like maybe you guys would benefit from some limits being put on nursing when you get back home. It's okay for you to say no, and to see if cutting back on nursing will encourage your child to eat more solids. Being out of the house, in interesting places, always helped my baby go longer between feedings. And I don't think you need to feel like you must NIP- public can be a good place to set nursing limits and offer snacks instead of the breast. Not because of privacy issues (Who cares, right?!! ), but because it might be an easier locality in which to enforce nursing limits.

    Blah blah blah. Sort of a garbled post... I really just want to emphasize that I think you have done a great job so far and I don't think nursing into your child's second year is a bad thing.
    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: At wits end...

    Blah blah blah. Sort of a garbled post... I really just want to emphasize that I think you have done a great job so far and I don't think nursing into your child's second year is a bad thing.

    I agree.....


    stressfull times they always want to nurse more often.
    Vacation is a stressfull time, and I bet he misses his friends.

  4. #4

    Default Re: At wits end...

    Thank you Moms!

    MamaAl, as for the NIP, you are right. He really is old enough now to understand that there are limits and I do need to work on this more... The one exception might be while we are on a plane, because there is nothing like nursing to get a fussy/busy toddler calmed down - lol. Thanks for the reminder too on nutrition.

    Andrea, I think you are right... The first day of waking up away from home, at the time that my helper usually arrives, he started saying "Sara, Sara..." because he was expecting her to show up... He didn't get fussy or anything but he wondered where she was... Now I think when we get back home, we'll have the opposite issue, because now he's getting/gotten used to 24x7 mama!

    Well, we'll keep plugging away... Today, I was able to get him to drink at least 3 ounces of smoothie w/fresh bananas, strawberries, yogart and powdered milk... The other thing he will eat are scrambled eggs and cup of noodles, which are not (i know) the most nutricious food, but to MamaAl's pt I'm hoping that he's getting enough of the "good stuff" from my milk that its ok to get him eating the noodles for the sake of calories... The saga continues.

    Again Thank you Mamas!

    xoxo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: At wits end...

    eggs are a great food for toddlers!
    have you tried adding cheese to the eggs?
    that would be extra protien and fat if you get some whole milk cheese.
    Some kids just live on air and that works well for them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: At wits end...

    Just out of curiousity, but has he been tested for any food allergies/intolerances?
    My youngest was really healthy but had problems gaining weight and wanted to nurse all the time, turns out she has gluten intolerance! She didn't have ANY other symptoms! Now that she has the right diet, she eats much better and has finally weaned (she was 1 1/2 when diagnosed and is now nearly 4).

    Just a thought!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: At wits end...

    My son is 2 and he is 2 blocks off the weight chart. He prefers to nurse than eat too. He'll eat , just very little. Is he happy and healthy and active? If so, don't worry what the charts say. He's getting what his body is telling him he needs and he's thriving. I tell myself all the time- every kid is different and this is what mine is gonna be like. So accept it and stop fighting it. I used to get stressed at every meal- still do sometimes- but you have to just go with it, keep offering food and know he's still getting nourishment from you.

  8. #8

    Default Re: At wits end...

    Thanks for sharing Fairetails... A part of this whole thing is seeing other babies/toddlers who are still BFing and much better about eating then my little tyke... I try to keep reminding myself that comparing is no good, because each LO is so different. Now that we have got into a routine here on vacation, he is eating a bit better, although his diet isn't as varied as it typically is at home (where I can 'hide' spinach/carrots etc in his lentils which he loves)... I keep telling myself though that he is getting vitamins he needs from me...

    Hey Andrea, cheese on the eggs are a big hit! Thanks!

    Tam, I don't think he has any allergies, although he hasn't been tested. Before we left for vacation, we were in a very good "groove" as far as eating/weight gain... We get hope on Sat, so I'm looking forward to getting him back in a routine.

    I can't thank you all enough... My init post was written out of panic... In a foreign country, baby not eating/etc... Based on advice, coaching, cyber hugging from all of you, I've been able to move on and enjoy this vacation somewhat, although I will be glad to get back home!

    xo, Runnermom

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: At wits end...

    We went to visit my folks when my lo was 2, OMG! She went on a three day eating strike. She nursed (thank goodness) but all food was wrong.
    She's going to be 4 and she's weaned now, I hope she doesn't do the strike when we visit again!

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