really, REALLY stressed with weaning

(41 Posts)
Kyzordz Sun 16-Jun-13 10:12:27

And could do with a virtual slap I think.

DS is 32 weeks this coming Tuesday. I have been weaning since 26 weeks, and its just not working. He ate tiny amounts blw style and refused puree for the first two weeks bar boxed baby cereals. He got poorly at about 28 weeks and refused all solids and only drank half his milk for about ten days. The week following this he did so well, he had 5 x 8oz bottles and I offered food three times a day an hour after bottles after a couple of days of hoovering up the bits and pieces I offered willy nilly. He worked up to about 3oz milk and 5 ff milk scoop sized scoops of baby cereal, juice and some fruit as finger food, then 6 cubes of veg and a yoghurt for lunch with rice cakes or toast or something, then whatever we have for tea, probably about 6 cubes with veg as finger food. He was even eating lasagne mashed with a fork and really loving it! This all on top of 40oz in bottles.

After about a week or so of this he started leaving some here and there, odd oz in his bottle or a bit in the bottom of the breakfast bowl. One of his feeds is a df at 10pm and I have been reducing this by an oz at a time and I thought he might pick back up but he's just refusing more and more. He won't open his mouth for anything but yoghurt and fruit purée. Oh and toast, he will feed himself toast and sometimes other things. I have tried a loaded spoon and he throws it. I have done a first aid course but still feel far too nervous to go for blw. I literally sit shaking when he is given finger foods, I am rediculous. Tbh I tried giving him less finger foods when he took more purée because of how nervous I get but as I said, he seems to be full on refusing any purée bar yogurts and fruit.

He hasn't had his df for two nights now so goes 7-7 between feeds and 8-7 sleep wise. When he woke this morning I thought he should be hungry enough for breakfast but he flat out refused and after 20 mins I gave him his bottle, which he drained.

So, currently he is offered 32oz, was 40oz. He is a big lad, 20lb 11oz at 30 weeks, and I am stressing over so many aspects of this weaning malarkey. I didn't know if anyone could help or just slap me and make me stop worrying. I have convinced myself 32oz isn't enough for such a big boy, and I have been told by hv so many different things, from putting stuff on a tray and letting him get on with it, to making sure he has no more than 32oz, to replacing a bottle with a meal and just letting him deal with it. Surely if I've taken an entire 8oz he should miss it and replace it with food? Does he just love his milk too much at the minute? I am being way too ott with this aren't I?

Is it definitely better to offer food after a bottle? Feel like I'm always feeding him, but if this is what I'm supposed to do ill do it, I'm just concerned he will keep filling up on milk and never eat. Was also told if he cannot chew lumps by 8 months he won't learn until after 18 months (hv told me).

I think he prefers to feed himself blw style but how do I stop stressing? I just can't get my head around it and don't know what to do for him for the best. I want him to enjoy food and have a healthy relationship with it and good appetite as an adult. My mum thinks its a battle of wills but I don't want to fight with him and 'win'. Technically I could hide veg in yoghurt or trick him with aeroplanes etc but I don't want to trick him or confuse him because I think it'll damage his trust in me.

Help?! Many thanks in advance, and well done for getting to the bottom!

ExBrightonBell Sun 16-Jun-13 12:53:24

Without wishing to offend, you are definitely over thinking this and putting too much pressure onto yourself and your ds.

Please don't make meals a "battle of wills" as that is a sure fire way of not getting the healthy attitude to food that you want. Also avoid any trickery or cajoling as that will also have a negative effect in the long run.

I would suggest trying as much as you can not to count or try to measure how much food he has. Offer food an hour or so after milk and try your hardest not to get hung up on how much or what he eats. Easier said than done, I know. BLW works best IMO when it is about letting the baby do his or her own thing with food. Sometimes they eat more, sometimes they eat less, but it doesn't matter on a meal by meal basis. It evens out over the course of a week or so.

If you can, eat when your baby is eating, preferably the same food. Don't watch or interfere with their eating, or comment on whether they are eating. Take all the focus and pressure off mealtimes. Serve healthy food and let your baby eat what they want, until they demonstrate they have finished. Usually for my ds, he starts to clear his tray onto the floor when he has lost interest, or he starts offering me his food.

Remember that milk stills provides complete nutrition, food is only complementary until 1. I also think that the comment about lumps by 8 months from the HV refers to purée spoon-fed only babies. If your son can self feed himself toast and so on already then you are over that issue I think.

BLW works best when you are as unstressed as possible, but of course that's the hardest thing to do when you are worried about how your baby is getting on.

I hope my thoughts on this help a bit!

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 17-Jun-13 21:32:04

What is it about finger food that makes you scared? Do do know that feeding purees does not equate with no choking don't you? And you do know that he will have to eat proper food one day? smile

As for the milk, the minimum between 6 and 12 months is 20floz of first stage formula per day. Your Lo is having much more and is sleeping, so don't worry about hunger.

Weaning is much more about trying new textures and flavours, it really doesn't matter whether any goes in or not.

You've had some great advice from ex already. Have you read the Mn weaning info too?

AlwaysWashing Mon 17-Jun-13 21:43:43

Also try mixing fruit and veg if it bothers you that he's not getting any veg ie (puréed) carrot with pear, parsnip with apple etc starting with the more acceptable sweeter fruit being the main taste and gradually making the veg component greater.
I'm a bit of a panicky pooh with blw too but a babies gag reflex is really effective and they rarely do choke to the point if needing any intervention - although it looks hideous and scary as they retch I know.
My DS2 (7 months)has been really funny with lumps until a couple of days ago when we offered, again something a bit textured and he just ate it, they just get it when they're ready. Never heard the 8 month chewing lumps thing and would feel inclined to take it with a bit of health visiting salt.

Try and enjoy weaning it's such a lovely stage grin

LittleBearPad Mon 17-Jun-13 21:52:36

My lovely you need to calm down. He's doing great. He's sleeping well, he's interested in food, he's feeding himself, he's doing good.

It's perfectly possible for a baby to choke on purée. Whereas if he's feeding himself toast then he's in control. He'll be ok. Just sit by him whilst he eats and you eat too. It's nice eating together and it will give you something else to distract you (a bit).

What do you like to eat? There isn't much a baby can't eat really as long as its not salty, whole nuts or honey really. Pasta dishes rice, veggies, omelettes etc are all good finger food and you can eat them too.

As for worrying about milk; With DD we used to give her a bottle when she woke up and then she'd have her breakfast with me about 60 minutes later. Similarly a bottle at noon and then lunch at one. Another bottle (til she dropped it) mid afternoon, tea and then bottle after bath before bed.

He will be fine, he's doing great do far so try to relax and let him get in with it.

LittleBearPad Mon 17-Jun-13 21:55:37

Finally remember with breakfast in particular that he probably doesn't associate food with stopping hunger yet. That's why he wants milk when he wakes up and brekker isn't good enough. But this will change as he's gets older. Dd (13 months) now only has her bedtime bottle. I don't think the HV approves but she'll let it go sooner or later.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 18-Jun-13 09:08:54

How are you feeling today Ky? You feeling any calmer? smile

Kyzordz Tue 18-Jun-13 17:27:16

Hi all, thanks for the replies, they've been really helpful smile

DS has managed to keep sleeping through, so he's had his four bottles a day since Friday. Weigh in today and he only put on 1/2oz in the last fortnight but I think he's a big enough lad and their gain is supposed to slow? Also the hv said at his age I should be dropping bottles, and advised me to feed him solids at 11 instead of a bottle to drop it down to 3 bottles, then do the same with the 3pm one. All the hv's say something different and I just don't know what to think. Sometimes he eats an hour after a bottle, sometimes he refuses.

jiltedjohn thanks for asking, we've done better today, well, I have. I have tried to offer a variety and let him get on with it, with the option of spoon feeding some weetabix which he decided he could do himself and got everywhere!. For lunch I didn't give any purée I just did him some cheesy tomato rice. I didn't think it through and should've realised he wouldn't be able to handle it well but he had a jolly good go and repeatedly stuffed fistfuls in even if most fell out!! He also ate an organix tomato wheel thing. Hoping to have tea done in time for him to have some spag bol. I might have to start doing tea earlier than I currently do because its frequently not ready until 6 and his last bottle is at 7, so it's probably a bit close to that. He usually has the bottle at 7, then bath then bed ATM.

To answer your earlier question I am just petrified he will choke. We had an incident when he was about 3 months old and had a sip of water with sugar in for constipation and it went down the wrong hole and he ended up gasping and choking and not breathing well for about 10 minutes which petrified me. Since then I have had a real fear of him choking, and as much as he loves to feed himself blw terrifies me!

Last night he ate about 100g of sweet potato apple and pork casserole, it was a steam pot baby food thing and he has only ever been offered baby jar type food twice before and he didn't like it both times but he hoovered this up and still had his bottle not long after. As I said though I think I need to do tea earlier and stuff if I need to be feeding him an hour after a bottle!

I'll try to make a home made version of the pork thing and hope he eats it, am also wondering how to do blw versions of what I have, for example a casserole, everything is covered in gravy/sauce. Is he likely to pick it up ok? I understand mushy food and feel 'safer' but on the other hand it's stressful when he refuses the spoon and I don't have to sit and have my dinner go cold when I let him feed himself though I spend the whole time watching him

I was going to keep going as I have been the past day or so but then the hv said the above and now I'm wondering if I have to do that now!?

LittleBearPad Tue 18-Jun-13 17:40:19

Think about what the HV said and then decide what you want to do based on their advice and your own instinct. Their advice isn't law but something to consider. As long as he's broadly tracking a centile and gaining weight I really wouldn't worry. Growth slows massively compared to th beginning as you'll see in the red book.

Re casseroles etc I make them and then pick out the pieces for DD so that whils they are still covered with gravy there isn't too much so the pieces are slippery if that makes sense.

Having some small pots of food in the freezer (pasta sauces etc) is useful when you need a quick dinner, or you can give them som of what you had the night before (obviously from fridge and then properly heated etc).

Re bottles you could try making them a bit smaller or offering a cup instead. He may object but its all a bit trial and error anyway.

He really won't choke; he's putting the food in his mouth and so he's not putting it in with too much force IYSWIM and so he'll deal with it properly. Even if this means he spits it out. I'm hoping DD will one day learn table manners [Grin].

You're doing great, truly.

QueenoftheHolly Thu 20-Jun-13 00:10:56

Everyone's given such great advice I have nothing to add really, other than to emphasise that at his age you really don't need to stress about daily amounts of food as long as the milk is carrying on as a back up.

For the choking, I guess it's worth remembering that you or I have probably choked on liquid going down the wrong way as often as solid! No reason it would be different for a baby, although their gag reflex does such a fantastic job of making then careful with what's in their mouth. If anything a purée would be more likely to get past the gag than a bit oif solid food. Both are generally unlikely as long as he can concentrate fully on what hes doing. Hope that thought helps slightly.

This isn't meant in a mean way but I think you should really chill out about it. Babies are designed to figure food out (& love the process too). It will happen smile

ShellyBobbs Thu 20-Jun-13 14:19:20

Kyz Tommy is exactly the same but breast fed. He refuses to eat anything before 11am ish. If it's on a spoon, forget it! Yesterday he only ate a tiny bit of banana all day, today he's had a spoonful of yogurt as he's refused absolutely everything else.

He never refuses Soreen though :D

delasi Thu 20-Jun-13 18:57:11

Hoping you're feeling better, just wanted to contribute along the same lines as others. DS is 27 weeks and we started mainly BLW at 25 weeks, just steamed veg 1x a day to start, now having a mix of foods 2-3x a day. For us, its been easier (lazier?!). You can leave him to play with sloppier foods (eg shepherds pie), or you can do some spoon feeding, whatever works for you and your baby. Eg last night DS had curry and rice, he has a tommee tippee bib with a catcher for the bits that fall, we load a spoon and then he brings it into his mouth. Sometimes he feeds himself 'properly', other times he scoops the food into his mouth with his fingers. With yoghurt we give him a loaded spoon which goes everywhere but inc. his mouth smile he has a long sleeved bibetta for full on protection. Or, he eats topless :D

Personally, I look to other mums/MN for experience and advice rather than HVs. Many are good, but many are confusing or even incorrect. Haven't seen one since DS was about 10 days old.

Also it's natural to worry, so ease in if it makes you more comfortable rather than throwing lumps at him with gay abandon smile

I know he's a little younger but DS also starts and ends his day with a bottle, I expect that to continue for some time. You could always save some food for the next day for your DS instead of having tea earlier, if you want to continue eating at the same time. We aren't always able to eat the same meal as DS due to other commitments/routine so we join him by being sociable, having a coffee, a snack/biscuit, etc at the same time.

Kyzordz Thu 20-Jun-13 21:20:18

Hi again everyone smile things seem to be going well, even though some meals he refuses and just throws finger food at me even, the option is healthy and is always available. Breakfast went well, he had ready brek and a slice of toast and ate some of both. He also ate some ak lovely lentils for tea along with carrots, broccoli and mange tout for finger food. He seemed to enjoy tea today, dipping broccoli in the lovely lentils! He struggled with the mange tout though bless him! He gagged quite a lot earlier on a rice cake and was coughing for ages but was still trying to eat it so I can't see that it bothered him and I tried not to flap, I just exaggerated eating one of his rice cakes and he thought that quite funny! I have tried to relax a bit and not worry about either milk or food and let him lead the way. I sometimes get jittery but make sure it's inwardly and doesn't affect mealtimes.

Thank you all so much for the advice, you've really helped me and put my mind at rest! I think I need to cook up some food as all I have in the freezer is ak lovely lentils, salmon with tomato and butternut squash pasta! I need to make something blw style as I haven't really but he really seems to enjoy doing things himself be it from a loaded spoon or stick sized pieces of things.

Do you have to cook veggies etc fresh if giving them as finger foods? I know I can purée things and freeze them but I don't know how it works with sticks of veggies, I'd assume its the same but knowing my luck it isn't, I also need to check the recipes in the blw book, I have the ingredients to do some tuna things for lunch but need the time to do them during the day or to do them at night for the next day or something.

Glad but not glad to hear that other babies are the same, shelley do you mean that soreen loaf stuff? I shall have to give it a go. I am struggling with meals, I only eat at tea time, though since weaning I have had toast for breakfast which is a start! If I can get a load of stuff whipped up and in the freezer though I might be alright! He can do lumps to an extent, baby pasta sized and obviously feeds himself things like rice cakes, toast, vegetables, chicken but that's all I've really given him. Might try normal sized pasta and perhaps fish somehow at some point. He didn't like the salmon purée thingy I did but may like to feed himself fish I guess! I might do him a curry at some point but I'm unsure how to give the rice, in balls or mixed in with the curry? Is it something you spoon feed or just give on the tray and if so do you do the meat or veggies in strips like you would without the curry?

I'll try and just sit and have a coffee or something then delasi that might help smile I think starting and finishing with a bottle will work better for us too at least for a while as it seems to be what he prefers.

Does anyone have any ideas on lunches? I daren't give bread that isn't toasted, well I haven't up to now but I guess I should give it a go sometime? Do you cut it into soldiers like with toast? Feels like lunchtimes are based around toast alot!

LittleBearPad Thu 20-Jun-13 21:32:02

Fusilli is good baby pasta I think because it is easy to hang on to. Dd struggled with penne cos it kept slipping out if her hands

She loves just picking up rice in handfuls - I don't do anything special to it. Bread too, I'm also not cutting crusts off. I think it's basic laziness and she's fine with them.

She also loves peas and sweet corn. I found frozen veg quite helpful and quick because you can just cook it very quickly.

You can cook and freeze veg. I probably wouldn't do it for adults as I think it round be quite smooshy but that's not a bad thing for a baby.

You are doing really well but you do need to make sure you eat too, even if you just steal a few bites from his plate at lunchtime.

ExBrightonBell Thu 20-Jun-13 21:34:47

Glad to hear things are going well. smile

For lunch, how about:

Omelette strips (add grated cheese too)
Eggy bread
Vegetable fritters (grate a carrot or courgette finely, mix to a rough dough with self raising flour, shape into patties and fry until browned)
Sandwiches
Hummus pitta breads
Savoury muffins
Lentil dhal
Egg fried rice with peas and green veg
Falafel
Jacket potatoes
(We're veggie, in case you're wondering where the meaty suggestions are...!)

I found that the River Cottage baby and toddler cookbook has some great recipes. The meat/fish ones also look good, although I obv haven't tried them out.

Often lunch is yesterday's leftover dinner. When I do curry, I slightly overlook the rice so it's a bit easier to squash together and then just put a pile on ds's tray. He works out how to get hold of it. I cut the veg into wedges rather than chunks to help ds pick them up.

I wouldn't bother freezing cooked veg - I steam veg and it only takes 5 - 10 mins depending on what it is.

Hope all that rambling helps!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 20-Jun-13 21:50:59

So glad you are feeling a little more relaxed. Do you really only eat in the evening? How do you cope <looks for greedy pig emoticon>

Have you tried giving the veg that you eat? Giving lightly steamed broccoli is always a laugh, as they pull such funny faces, dd also like roasted veg.

It can be difficult thinking of things for lunch can't it. Try leftovers from the night before, eggy bread with cinnamon and berries, scrambled eggs. Omellette, Dd liked bits for lunch, which was basically anything we had in, couple of baby bread sticks, dried apricots, cubes of cheese, cold meat, chopped grapes etc. there are some good suggestions here too. I borrowed this book from the library and it was useful.

With the curry and rice, we just served it. You can always mix the curry with a bit of natural yogurt to cool it down, they tend to just grab handfuls and mush it into their mouths smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 20-Jun-13 21:52:02

Appalling punctuation there sorry blush

delasi Thu 20-Jun-13 22:13:47

Glad to see it's all going well smile

Just thought I'd add that we're quite lazy with everything veg. If it's fresh, eg sugar snaps, baby sweetcorn, courgette, we just take one/a chunk, microwave for about 30secs or less to steam it and it's done. I tend to drop it into cold water or run under the tap for about 10secs after to cool and keep it crunchy. We have some frozen veg too so I'll take out a broccoli floret or two and just do the same - quick micro, cold water, serve.

We've just started with curry (we eat a lot of it...) and we mixed the rice into the curry and pre-loaded a spoon. However he also grabs clumps from the plate (even if we have a spoon in front of him). I like ExBrightonBell's advice - I've been thinking about 'clumping' it somehow as when it cools it gets all stuck together, so it would be perfect for picking up.

ExBrightonBell Thu 20-Jun-13 22:23:46

overcook the rice, not overlook it!

eggsnbeans Thu 20-Jun-13 23:18:43

Ky, My DD is 42 weeks (I think) and still essentially eating nothing. smile On a good day she might have a couple of teaspoons at lunch and a couple of slices of pear, on average, a few things get sucked then thrown at me! So don't panic, your DS is doing great!

Kyzordz Fri 21-Jun-13 21:48:01

Thanks for the lunch tips exbrighton I like the sound of vegetable fritters and I've been meaning to do eggy bread for ages!

I'll look into the finger food and river cottage books, thanks for the suggestions smile

jjj yes, I really only eat in the evenings, it's only recently I've eaten toast with ds, other than that I drink gallons of coffee all day usually!

Will he manage dried apricots? See I'm so paranoid things like that look like an ideal choking hazard to me! I daren't give him stuff like that but maybe I ought to. Is he too little for raisins still? I've given him peas but I popped them out of their shells first blush so I don't know if that counts!

Thanks for the advice about curry, was going to do tandoori tomorrow, was going to make it very very mild for ds and put a bit on some chicken but also offer plain chicken too in case he isn't keen. He loves strips of chicken, gets chunks off and really noms it! He gags sometimes but has always sorted it so far!

eggs you do very well IMO to sound so very calm, hope your dd picks up with her eating soon but either way it sounds like you're both keeping relaxed about it smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 22-Jun-13 00:20:31

Think I must have x-posted with ex again last night smile

Seriously, how do you not eat? Doesn't it make you reap ally bad tempered? I just wouldn't cope, but like I said, I am a bit of a greedy pig smile

Kyzordz Mon 24-Jun-13 21:52:10

Nope, I don't eat in the day although I have started to eat a bit of toast in the morning because of E having breakfast. I probably should eat more regularly and healthier to be fair.

I have been going as follows and it's working ok...

7:30 8oz
8:30 breakfast
11:30 lunch
12:30 8oz offered, 5-8oz drank usually, usually 7 or 8
3ish 8oz
5:30 tea
7pm 8oz before bed at 8

Another question... I offer e lots of different things for each meal and I think I'm probably overdoing it. For example today he was offered soreen, toast with apple purée, weetabix with cows milk and orange segments for breakfast. Lunch was pork and apple casserole, houmous and breadsticks, broccoli and cauliflower florets, a yoghurt and some raspberries in a mesh feeder. Tea I offered cauliflower cheese, fish in cheese sauce with vegetables and green beans, fish as finger food, sweet potato wedges and banana as finger food. He is always offered water through the day and obviously has his milk. Am I offering too many things for each meal? My mum reckons I should offer him something finger food wise and something on a spoon and he either takes it or leaves it. He does waste a lot but I worry if I don't give him so many options and he doesn't want the thing I offer him when I offer it, he'll go back to point blank refusing everything.

Today went quite well though I guess, he ate a fair bit at each meal and ate the cauliflower cheese without any protest, opened up as wide as he does for yoghurt!! Never happens for savoury food.

Also, he always always purses his lips at first, refuses to open his mouth until you manage to get a bit on his lips that he licks off and he might, just might, open tentatively if you're lucky. Am I supposed to keep trying to get a bit on his lips in the hope he likes it or stop chasing him with the spoon so to speak? I've tried a loaded spoon but until he has realised he likes the thing im offering he just throws it at me. Is there anything else I can try, or just accept he rarely likes purées and stop bothering?

I am hoping to make tuna croquettes tomorrow from the blw book for him, I haven't ever given him a meal without a purée of some sort to try but fully intend on whacking some of these on his tray when I've made them and seeing how it goes.

Thanks again all for your help and support, it's really helped me particularly with not worrying!

delasi Mon 24-Jun-13 22:50:13

Congrats!

Thought I'd chip in again grin

I have actually wondered the same thing about amount/variety of food! But personally, I figure if he'll have it or try it then fine, the amount offered isn't really a big deal whilst DS is just getting tastes and nibbles. I'll think about actual portion sizes when he starts eating proper whole meals and as for the variety, I think it's good to try lots of different things. The only thing I've been wary of is if something could potentially invoke a reaction, eg with curry, I try and make sure there's only one of those in a day so that I can attempt to work out what happened if indeed there is a reaction. I know that in theory everything could do that, but there are obviously things that are just more common in that regard.

As for getting him to taste, I do that if DS just stares at it - which admittedly happens far less now as he puts everything in his mouth, food stuff or not. I would put bits on his tray, leave him to it for at least several minutes, and if he just didn't pay any attention then I would put it into his hand or bring to his mouth to try. Then I'd just leave him to it again and if he did nothing with it then I'd just leave it. Also no problem not bothering with puree! DS has never had puree (had a yoghurt once, that was... interesting) and he also doesn't like to eat very soft foods because they just squish in his hands (eg bananas). I figure if/when he becomes more 'delicate' then he'll get onto these things.

delasi Mon 24-Jun-13 22:55:46

Forgot: don't worry however if you want to offer less variety or if some days are more and others less - just go with the flow. Eg, the other day DS had toast, gingerbread (baby version) and sausage in the morning, rice, broccoli and chicken curry at lunch, then roast pork and cauliflower for dinner, which may or may not sound a huge variety but he was also offered various bits of fruit and snacks throughout the day (didn't keep track blush family were enjoying feeding him). Today he has D&V and just had some broccoli and nothing else. But he's a person, I have days where I eat lots of different things and others where my diet is much simpler. The key for me is to eventually establish getting some basic goodies every day - fruit, veg, some dairy, some carb, and see how we go with the rest.

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