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Baby 7.5 months and still not eating solids
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#1 zara-b

Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:11 PM

My youngest son is 7.5 months and showing no interest in solids. I am exclusively breastfeeding on demand, but I have been trying to introduce solids since he was 5.5 months. I have tried rice cereal (mixed with breastmilk, and mixed with water), various pureed fruits and vegetables, and have also attempted baby-led weaning - he likes to pick food up and squish it up in his hands, but makes no attempt to bring it to his mouth. When I've tried to spoon-feed him purees, he grimaces and pulls a face as though I'm feeding him poison, even if I'm giving him pear or apple! When I manage to get a little bit of food into his mouth, he either pushes it back out with his tongue or he starts gagging. And now he won't even open his mouth if I come near him with a spoon, not that I've been trying to force-feed him!

I spoke with my early childhood nurse and she said that some babies still have a strong gag reflex at 7 or 8 months, and that it might take a while for it to disappear. She's also booking an appointment for me to see a paediatrician and a speech pathologist, but I don't think I will be able to get in to see them for at least a few weeks. Meanwhile, my son's weight has dropped from the 75% percentile (at birth) down to the 10% percentile and it seems to be dropping further... He is also waking frequently at night, and I am feeding him whenever he wakes, although I am not sure it's hunger (or only hunger) that's waking him, as he seems to be able to go for longer stretches between feeds during the day. I am feeding him whenever he seems hungry though, and am starting to feel quite physically drained myself. I think I must be producing a lot of milk, and I have an ENORMOUS appetite at the moment, but my breasts never feel that full and he doesn't seem to feed for very long each time he does breastfeed.

Anyway, I'm not sure what to do next. I would probably not be so worried if it wasn't for the fact that his weight was dropping, and that I have concerns about his iron levels dropping off too. He is generally a very healthy and happy baby, but I'm wondering if it is normal for a baby of his age to be so disinterested in solids, and whether there's anything gentle I can do to get him interested.

#2 ShoshieRu

Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:16 PM

Hi OP, my DS refused anything but breastmilk til he was nearly nine months. I then heard about baby led weaning and gave it a go. I would give him fingers of toast, sticks of steamed vegies, bits of chicken. He finally got it and by 1 was happy to eat from a spoon. He is now a strapping 2.5 year old who eats.anything and everything, whether it.be in a bowl or finger food original.gif

#3 mummaorange

Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:17 PM

all babies are different. i had one on solids at 5 months, one at 8 months, one at 10months ....

they will eat when they want to. 7.5 months is very very young still. just leave it and follow your childs cues original.gif

with the weight loss, and being unsettled:

is he having plenty of wet pooey nappies? if so he is getting plenty

has he recently started crawling? if so this is the reason for the wweight loss original.gif

#4 chookpea

Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:30 PM

I read somewhere that the first few months of solids is just to introduce them to different textures, and solids should become more of their diet as they approach 12 months.  If he has plenty of wet and the odd pooey nappy, I wouldn't stress about it too much.
Give it a week or 2 and try again then.

#5 torito

Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:33 PM

Sorry to hear that you're having a rough time and that his weight is dropping.

Just on the BLW, part of the theory is that they eat when they are ready and some don't actually consume anything until 9 months etc. The point of BLW is that they learn about food, squish it, smell it, see it (in it's true form), taste it. So from a BLW stand point he's doing fine original.gif

My DS2 didn't eat anything off a spoon, he did the same as your DS.

I went through stages with my breasts like that too. I was ravenous, chocolate helped wink.gif I think it's just the way bubs re-adjust  the milk quantities. Even with introducing BLW at 6 months he was still bf on demand 3 hourly and often the same at night.  

You're doing well, I hope you get some answers on the weight loss.



#6 antsy

Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:34 PM

I went through something similar with my DS and i'll tell you what worked for us. My DS completely refused to be spoon fed, any time I would try to feed him he would clamp his mouth shut and swipe the spoon away. So I decided to give up on the spoon feeding and focus on finger foods. He would play with the food but hardly anything would end up in his mouth. But I just persisted and kept trying every day. It didnt seem to improve though. Then about 2 months later (when he was 10 months old) I decided to try spoon feeding again. By this time he had forgotten that he hated the spoon and accepted it. He has now been happily eating food from a spoon for a month so hopefully he wont go back to hating it again. I still offer finger foods and he has only just started to get more than a tiny bite in.

So maybe try the same approach, and hopefully like my DS he will forget he hates it and will end up accepting it in the future. Just offer heaps of finger foods in the mean time, even if he doesnt get any in his mouth, it is still good to get him used to touching food.

Oh and what was always a big hit with my kids was plain crackers. They seemed to prefer putting these in their mouths rather than other finger foods. Not the best nutritionally but a good practice food for fussy kids to teach them how to eat.

Oh and I also worried about my DS's iron and growth but he seemed to get through ok despite his diet of just breast milk.

#7 Lokum

Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:53 PM

It's good that you've got appointments lined up if things don't change... but I wouldn't be worried yet.

I'd persist with the BLW - and offer lots of different colours and textures.

Not just steamed veg, but also crunchy apple (in wedges, skin still on, supervise closely), pasta spirals, little rissoles or meatballs (100% meat, no additives), toast, rice crackers, a spoon pre-loaded with hummus or natural yoghurt, roast potatoes, raw cucumber sticks, pitted olives....
whatever you're eating.

I would also make sure he gets plenty of opportunities to sit with you while you're eating - breakfast, lunch & dinner (but maybe not all 3 every day.) Let him see you eating the food, and make sure he has the same foods to try. They mimic a lot.

Don't worry if you think none's going in. It's natural to check it out carefully, feeling, squishing, smelling before ingesting. Even when it does go near his mouth, for a while it might look like none's going in, but it will probably be more than you think... and then you'll get a surprise in the nappies!

Good luck.

#8 Madnesscraves

Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:54 PM

My mum loves to tell me I wouldn't eat solids until I was about a year old.

I'm alive aren't I?

I wouldn't worry about not eating solids yet. If you're concerned about weight loss, possibly try formula top ups? Or EBM if you can express extra.

Either way sounds like your DS is normal and happy.

#9 Hootabelles

Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:23 PM

I could have written your post 4 months ago.  My DD2 started solids only at 10 months and is still now just getting better at it.  She totally refused the spoon and also any bottle so was exclusively breastfed until at least 7 months.
I made an appointment to see an allergist and have since found out she is anaphylactic to cow milk sad.gif
She is now, at 11 months, only 7 kgs and has not put on any weight for 2 months.  She is considered 'failure to thrive' and just below the 3% so that is my biggest concern.
SHe just had bloods taken to rule out coeliac disease and check for iron etc..
She is the happiest little girl who has been walking along the furniture for 2 months and crawling at the speed of light so that is one thing that eases my worry.... a bit.
We are back at RCH this Friday to do a challenge and check blood results and try and figure out what is going on with weight loss.

As toomanytoys said, my DD did exactly what hers did..refused the spoon but for the last 3 weeks is now taking to it, although still very reluctantly.  Every meal has to include apple/mango etc puree and she will only eat from a jar  wink.gif This did frustrate me as I am an organic food making kind of mum but am now over all that as so many organic jars of food for me to choose from.  As long as she eats I am happy.

I do wish you luck as I know how heartbreaking it is when you don't have a reason behind the weight loss.  Has he had formula and reacted after it?   Does he eat yoghurt at all  with no throw up or does he have eczema? Only asking as my DD turned off the spoon and bottle due to a reaction from the dairy and had a negative approach to spoon and bottle after that.
It is so difficult but ensure you see who ever you can to find out why it is happening if you are concerned.  When we did the allergy testing they were not going to test for cow milk but when I was down there I asked if they could do it.  The nurse had to get authority from the specialist who said 'if the mother wants it do it.' It was the one product that came up with the allergy reaction sad.gif  When I went to see the specialist straight after she said she always went with parents instincts as most of the times it has been right.

Best of luck.  If I can help in anyway pm me.

#10 ubermum

Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:27 PM

My second child was not all that interested in solids. She only started to try things at 8mo. We did BLW and mostly from 6mo she just squished and threw the food around. At 8mo, a little made it into her mouth, however she didn't really start eating until 12mo. Funnily enough, she is my best and most adventurous eater these days.

As long as your baby doesn't lose weight OP (actual weight loss, don't worry about dropping percentiles, your bub is moving more these days) and is meeting their milestones, don't worry. Food is for fun, until they are 1. Breastmilk will provide all your baby needs.

Sit down and eat with your baby. Make some roasted pumpkin chunks, pieces of banana, pieces of avocado and sit down together and eat it. Babies love to copy. They also like to squish and experience food. Enjoying playing with it is the first step.

Edited by ubermum, 05 May 2012 - 10:33 PM.


#11 lucky 2

Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:47 PM

I think the best placed person to work out if there is a need for concern or not is yourself and your health carers. Your CHN is helping organise a Paed review so I hope that happens soon.
The Paed will order blood tests if concerned about iron levels based on his physical assessment and his diet.
You are following the advice of your chn which sounds good.
It sounds great that no one has been pressuring you to use formula (or have they?) but making ongoing assessments and dealing with problems if and when they happen.
With bfing do you know about switch feeding and breast compressions? This may help with increasing milk intake at the feeds and will help boost calories and maximise your milk supply as it is so needed at the moment when no other food is being taken.
The growth issues for your baby haven't just occured have they? I can't imagine a drop from 75th to 10th percentile happening in the last few months or being overly related to lack of solids at 7.5 months.
A close friend of mine had a worrying time with foods, growth etc, a Paed review helped in making sure baby was really ok (ie no underlying health issues) despite the more unusual growth pattern, I hope this is so for you.
All the best.

#12 Holidayromp

Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:57 PM

No hurry OP -  DD2 was exclusively breastfed until 15 months and DS was about 9 months before introducing solids.  Breastmilk is the best thing for him.  Wait until he is a little older and perhaps offer him finger foods etc other than that don't stress about it.  Once he starts showing interested in your food then that is when you start trying.

#13 Liadan

Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:03 PM

Food is FUN before ONE.

Until the age of ONE, the MAJORITY of the nutrients that he gets, should be from breastmilk. Before one, food is for tasting, and learning about the textures.

My DD wasn't interested in food until she was about 7.5mo, and she now has a healthy appetite.

ETA: RE your breasts never feeling full, and your DS not feeding for long. They get VERY efficient with feeding, they get more faster, so they don't have to feed for as long. And you are probably making just the right amount.

Edited by Liadan, 05 May 2012 - 11:08 PM.


#14 jill1972

Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:13 PM

my dd took no interest in solids until she was 12mthis old.  Prior to that she was exclusively breastfed.  Don't worry about it, at that age especially.  Everything evens out in the end. wink.gif

#15 bluedragon

Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:15 PM

It is good that you have appointments to get everything checked out, hopefully they will put your mind at ease or if there is a problem help you get it sorted.

If there is no underlying medical problem I would continue with BLW. My DS has only really started consuming large amounts of food at 11 months. I have been through the worry and self doubt about if what I'm doing is the right thing but I'm sure it is and he is fine. He has dropped a bit percentile wise but not as much as yours, but he is strong, healthy, happy and on the go! It has seemed like he would never eat sometimes but he is getting there, just slowly.

The continued breastfeeding can be draining. I'm eating more than DH at the moment (he is significantly bigger than me) but am just making sure I eat healthily and continue to take my vitamins to ensure he is getting what he needs through my milk.

I hope you get some answers about the weight loss.

ETA was going to mention to offer food during normal family meal times to include you little one in the social aide of food. Always give some finger food at each meal and then don't concentrate on it (obviously keeping an eye out safety wise). I've found DS eats significantly more while DH and I just converse over meals than if attention is on him or on what he is eating.

Edited by bluedragon, 05 May 2012 - 11:20 PM.


#16 BabeBlossom

Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:20 PM

Dropping more than 2 percentile groups down the weight chart is grounds for declaring failure to thrive. My daughter sounds similar to your child in that she dropped 3.
Her paed said some kids just do it, especially when breastfed and there could be no cause for concern. But in our case my DD had started to sleep poorly and wasn't her usually happy self.
We took her off wheat and everything changed, she's going up the charts and sleeps through the night(YAY!) We are now looking at a wheat challenge to diagnose Coeliacs.
It might be nothing but it might be food allergies, follow up with those appointments and maybe have a hard think about what you're eating that's going through the breastmilk and if this affects your child etc.

#17 joshuakalan

Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:32 PM

I would not be too concerned at this stage. Perhaps as he is fed on demand he never has the 'opportunity' to feel hungry.

Have you tried when he has looked for the breast and offered food instead?

Or, maybe he is just not ready for it yet. I have twins and one took solids much earlier than the other. To begin with they were both slow on 'wanting' solids. It probably took about 4 weeks for them to take more than 2 mouthfuls.

#18 lucky 2

Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:51 PM

QUOTE
Until the age of ONE, the MAJORITY of the nutrients that he gets, should be from breastmilk. Before one, food is for tasting, and learning about the textures.

I don't know where this information comes from, I don't mean to be rude but everything I read doesn't say that, it talks about complementary foods starting at 6 months and covers the ages of 6-24 months.
From what I read food does have relevence before one, it isn't just for fun.
I read WHO publications on Complimentary feeding and bfing related texts, Govt health department guidelines etc.
It's not that I think it's an emergency if other foods are not taken at 7. 5 months, I understand that breast milk continues to provide substantially to caloric intake and micro and macro nutrients but as the baby grows other foods slowly increase in importance.
In general it wouldn't be concerning for an otherwise healthy baby not taking solids at 7.5 months but to minimise the importance of other foods before the one year mark concerns me.
So if anyone has any links or recommendations for me to look at which backs up the "fun until one" concept I really would like to do some more reading.
Thanks+.

#19 zara-b

Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:45 PM

Thank you all so much for the considered and very helpful responses. There is so much great advice in these posts, and I've made a list of things to try based on all your responses. I have an appointment lined up with a paediatrician, so hopefully he will be able to help further, as after a visit to the early childhood centre again this morning, I discovered that my baby's weight has been slipping even further down the growth charts (he is not losing weight, just not gaining as much as he should be, and is now between the 5th and 10th percentiles, so technically 'failure to thrive' sad.gif ). I am also going to contact the ABA to see if they can give me some advice about boosting my milk supply while I wait for my baby to become interested in solids...

Thanks again so much for all the great advice!




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