I will try not to make this post too long, but I am very very worried and really needing to get this all out. So my LO is almost a year old. He is a wonderfully loving, energetic, and intelligent little guy. He loves nursing, so much that he does it around the clock still, every few hours. He does not love to eat anything else though, or even like to. He is basically still exclusively breastfed, except for the tiny amount of food that he will eat here and there. He will finally drink out of a sippy cup though (before I couldn't ever leave him for too long because he wouldn't drink from anything else but the source). So this is where DS is at.
I do not wish to wean him at this time, but I am having a lot of worries and am wondering if maybe I should partially wean him. At his 9 month well visit, his pediatrician was worried because he had slacked off in length. He had always been in the 75th percentile or higher for height and a bit below average for weight. At this visit, he had dropped down to the 50th percentile for height while staying about the same as usual for weight. He expressed concern that maybe my DS wasn't getting enough milk and that maybe I should start supplementing. I dismissed this, explaining that he was still fed on demand, nursed 'round the clock, made the same amount of wet/dirty diapers, I let him completely finish the breast and then offered the next, etc...I asked him if it could just be because of his increased activity (crawling, standing, starting to take steps)...He said perhaps. So we scheduled an appt. for him to be checked a month later and at that appt. he had gained enough weight for his pediatrician to dismiss the worry as well.
In the meantime, I have become increasingly worried about DS not eating any solids not only because he is almost a year old, but also because I just found out that I am accepted into a Registered Nursing program for this coming semester. I wasn't expecting for this acceptance to come so soon. I don't have my schedule all together as of yet, so I'm not sure for what amounts of time I will be away from DS. Luckily school is only about 20 mins. from my home, so hopefully I won't have to be away from him too long at a time. I am terrible at pumping, I find it stressful, tiring, and I never am very productive at it (I never really did it very much, except in his first three months). I really don't want to have to pump if I don't have to. I hope that doesn't sound selfish. It's just that I know I'm going to have a lot on my plate already as it is, so I don't want to have any extra stresses if I don't have to. It's not just school that I'm worried about, it's the transition for my LO and myself. He has spent nearly all of his time with me. He clings to me. He is pretty good with his daddy but not for too long of periods at a time.
One of my questions is this...At this age, should my LO be okay if he goes longer between feedings than he has been used to? When I get home to him, he could just have a longer, larger feeding than he typically would have if I were home all day with him attached to my boob? He could learn to do this right? I would be so less worried if he was eating more solid food then I would know he could snack on solids until I got home. I don't envision being away from him for more than four hours at a time anyway.....<This is where I start wondering if I should let DH try to give him cow's milk while I am away if he gets hungry>...and I really don't want to do that, I feel ashamed to say it, but then that part of me that is worried that he has been slackin off in growth as well, says "well maybe he isn't getting enough from my milk and that could help"...
My LO's first birthday is approaching and thus his 1 year appointment. I am really nervous about this. What if his growth is further slacking off? What could be causing this slow-down? I know I have read that babies do not need solids, technically, before their first birthday, but how does this all work? They just get the extra calories from your breastmilk? Could it be that he needs more than my milk is giving him, he needs the solids? I let him nurse to his fill always. I test my breasts sometimes to see how much milk is there when we are done (just a habit from the early days I guess), and there is always milk there. I don't know. He seems to have plenty of energy, he is all over the place. Physically he looks well to me, very healthy. He has a tiny little butt and legs (characteristics from my husband and his family), but he has a very well-nourished looking belly. But he just looks shorter than he was before. His baby cousin who is 7 weeks older than DS had always been either the same height or shorter than him. But in the past few months she has been taller. At first I did not worry about this because she went up in her height percentile from 50th to 75th but then she went back down to 50th so now I find it concerning. Do babies sometimes just go from being tall in the first 6 months or so to just being average? Or is this a good reason to think there could be something wrong?
I'm very worried. It's funny because I worried so so so much for about the first 6 months of my LO's life. Then I finally started to relax. And it has been during this time of being more relaxed that it seems I have more need to worry. I just want my little angel to be happy and healthy. I worry so much that I am not providing him with what he needs. I worry so much that I don't fully understand what he needs. I hope I find all the answers soon. Any help that anyone could give me would be so much appreciated. Thank you so much in advance.