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Thread: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to work

  1. #1

    Default baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to work

    Ds is 7 1/2 months old. He starts daycare in April one day a week then progresses to 3 days a week in may when i go back to work. He'll be at daycare from about 7am to 5/5.30pm

    He is breastfed & my husband & i are having no luck getting him to take a bottle or cup of any kind. We've tried different bottles & teats, sippy cup, straw cup, regular open cup. He just doesnt know what to do, he wont suck on the teat, just plays with it. We've been trying daily for 3 weeks now



    We've tried expressed milk (even fresh as - i pumped then we offered it immediately), formula & cooled boiled water, he wont drink any of it.

    He is also barely on solids as he mostly wont eat. He clamps his mouth closed & turns his head away. If we do manage to get the spoon into his mouth he often ends up having an enormous gag & coughing till he spews. If i give him the spoon to feed himself, he brushes the food off the spoon, then puts the empty spoon in his mouth.

    Ive tried finger foods but im never doing that again. He did the biggest gag ive ever seen & i was freaking out, didnt seem like he was going to stop coughing until he finally spewed. I thought i was going to have to call an ambulance, im not doing that again.

    Does anyone have any tips or advice? Im really stressed about sending him to daycare when he wont take expressed milk, formula, water or solids.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    Hello! What a cheeky little tiger you have. 7.5 months is still early for solids- some babies take a while to adjust to solids and he may not be quite ready. Does he chew on food/take it properly into his mouth or sort of push it back out with his tongue? The latter normally means he is not developmentally ready yet.

    What sort of finger food did you try?

    As for refusing all but your boob, my girls were not like that but I know plenty who have been. Hopefully someone with experience of that will write to you here.

    Does he feed well off the breast, good weight gain etc?

    Good on you for starting the process so early on, it can be a tricky transition.

  3. #3

    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    Is 7 1/2 months early? When we went to sleep school a month ago i had the child health nurses there telling me he should be on 3 solid meals a day. They also got me all worried as they said after 6 months breastmilk no longer provides enough nutrients & that he needs solids as well so that he doesnt become deficient in iron. So im freaking out about that as well.

    he breastfeeds well now. We had attachment problems initially & had to use shields but we have weaned off them now. Good weight gains, he's a big boy.

    the finger food i tried was steamed sweet potato, it was cut into sticks but was so soft that he could mush it in his hands

    when we can get the food into his mouth he does chew it & sometimes swallows some but usually gags on it till he spews

  4. #4

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    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    According to the Australian infant feeding guidelines breast milk or formula should be your babies main food for the first 12months of life. I completed disagree with your CFHN's that your baby should be having 3solid meals a day at 7.5months. Although you would be starting to offer him solids now he does not have to eat them if his not ready or doesn't want them and this will not affect his health at this age. He will still get all his nutritional requirements through breastmilk or formula at this stage of he is consuming enough. If his not failing to gain weight and grow accordingly then his obviously getting all he needs from you. Im on my phone so can't reply in full. I'll be back later.

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    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    I agree with Mildez- your health nurse sounds out of touch. 6 months is a good place to start solids with a BF baby (and is recommended) so 7.5 months is only a breath away from that. Not sure when you first introduced solids but there is no evidence starting earlier helps them to adapt better to food.

    If he is feeding well and gaining well then there is probably nothing wrong with his nutritional balance.

    Gagging could just be he is not ready. Or it could, I've heard, more rarely) be linked to something like tongue tie or a higher palate. Which is manageable anyway, if he has the space to tackle food when he is ready.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    I agree with the others at 7.5 months they don't need to be having three meals a day. Also I would try again with finger foods (because some kids do really hate spoons), to me it sounds like the sweet potato was too soft. The idea is that they control what are eating but if food is too soft it just breaks up and they don't have the dexterity to control it in their mouths. Something they can suck on sticks of works well, broccoli, carrott, toast fingers,large strips of meat. It is suprising how much they get from just sucking and gumming on food, I remember being amazed when my first had signs of carrot in her poo because I didn't think had eaten any.

    It is kind of counter intuitive to give harder foods but because they are harder they can't get too much by accident if you see what I mean. Have a look on the Baby Led Weaning website (Gill Rapley), has lots of great info on there.

  7. #7

    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    Honestly im too scared of choking to give him hard finger food, he'll probably shove the entire thing in his mouth

    i was meant to be seeing someone this arvo to help with introducing solids but ds WILL NOT go to sleep so by then he'll be so overtired he'll be screaming & it will be like most other appointments where i end up carrying around a hysterically screaming ds & yelling to each other over his screaming. So i doubt ill get much out of this appointment today

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    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    I hope the app went ok but if not try not to sweat it too much. In another few weeks you might see a huge difference, just don't push it with your DS ( hard I know as babies/toddlers and eating can be hugely stressful) as that might make him even less inclined to like solids if he associates it with stress.

    Could you try something like a well done lamb chop/cutlet? On the bone and big enough that he cannot push it into his mouth. He can just hold onto the bone like a little handle and suck on the meat. It will be too tough to fall apart in his mouth.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    What kind of solids have you tried? My lil one is a greedy guts and shoves food into her mouth. But if it's something she doesn't like she will just refuse and not open her mouth.

    Have you tried putting some puree on your finger and letting him suck it off? That's what we do when we introduce a new flavour that she isn't quite sure of. Once she decides she likes it she'll eat it off a spoon.

    Another thing we do is not put the spoon right in her mouth. We put it onto her lips (maybe put a tiny bit into her mouth) and she then sucks it of (kinda like slurping soup). That way she controls the food rather than it being imposed on her. Also make sure she's not tired, too hungry, upset etc (easier said than done I know).

    Sorry you're going through this.

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    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    Oh forgot to ask. Is he showing any signs of readiness? Like being fascinated watching you eat/chew? Trying to grab food away from you? We can not eat around her without her eating, she gets sooo intense about food, trying to grab it away from us etc.
    I agree with the others, I wouldn't stress at this age. Food before one is fun they say. Our story is quite different. My baby wasn't putting on any weight despite the fact she was bf every 2 hours. I had plenty of milk, but she is such a short feeder she mostly got foremilk. That combined with the fact she was sooo interested in food, stealing food of our plates, sucking on carrots and swalling some, screaming when you took it away, all showed us she was ready for solids. So we started earlier than I originally planned. What I'm trying to say is that every baby is ready for solids at different times. Unfortunately that doesn't help you right now with your problem. Maybe if he is still struggling with food keep trying the milk option.

    Have you tried Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles? That's the only ones Milly will take. The teat is is really large and squishy (well the part that goes in the mouth is small, but the area around it is large). It's so squishy it kinda feels like a boob and she can latch on better. She hated the medela teat and didn't know what to do with it.

    I hope you find a solution soon.

  11. #11

    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    Yes tried closer to nature bottles, he wont take them

    ill try putting the spoon on his lips, but its hard cause he mostly turns his head away.

    when we eat he is facinated, watches intently, tries to grab our food etc

    foods we've tried:
    Carrot, pear, apple, rockmelon, banana, sweet potato, corn, peas, yoghurt, bread, baby rice, beef mince, scrambled egg

    mostly he has taken one mouthful of all above foods, more often from dh than me though, & nothing like the '4 tablespoons' that the other babies i know his age are eating

  12. #12

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    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    Hi sail_away

    I don't have any advice but I think you could do with a great big My DS was EXACTLY the same at that age. He refused EBM, never took a bottle EVER, refused a dummy and basically unless it came directly from me it wasn't on his radar. It makes for a very tough and trying time! He ate very little food although we did use the BLW approach.

    Sorry I don't have any answers except that the food side of things will get better but that doesn't help right now

  13. #13

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    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    Four tablespoons is very specific and babies are not generally specific creatures. Everyone is unique.

    Even if he is having a mouthful here and there that is great! Have you tried putting food onto a spoon and leaving it there for him to pick up himself? I have heard this can work.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    sail away - the only thing I can add to the solids part is one thing I read that help me to be able to tell the difference with baby led weaning was the 'choking' on food was with choking their is no noise, with gagging and learning how to swallow there will be noise, and I know its distressing some times to see them gag on food, but that is them learning for themselves how the tounge works.

    With regards to the BF and bottles.

    My DS2 is now 1 year old and when he started Daycare at 7 months he REFUSED all and every bottle I tried - and I pretty much tried them all (including some obscenely expensive bottles a friend had) but he just refused them all. he was however taking a good amount of solids but from 7am - 530 pm when I got home from work he pretty much had no liquids at all. He wouldn't take water or EBM from a bottle.

    Eventually at about 9 months I got him taking about 50mls from a Pigeon MagMag sippy cup (if you google it - we used the Step 2 Spout, its white and not a normal teat shape). This has a cross slit in the top as opposed to holes, which may have helped? He eventually got better and probably by 11 months was taking it consistently from the cup when at home in the arvo with his dad. But he was fine.

    I was worried he would start waking at night for extra feeds, but he didn't. Don't stress too much - I think sometimes they just manage better than we think they will.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    Sail away - another big one of these

    Going back to work can be a stressful time. How are you feeling about it? Apart from worrying about DS of course.

    With regards to feeding while you are at work - kids act totally differently around other people. He will be closer to 9 months by the time you go back yes? He'll probably be ok without you - he still might not take much in the way of milk (ebm or formula) but he will be ok. It is unlikely that he will refuse all food/water - but he might not want milk. It's also unlikely that he will still be refusing all solids by then - so much can change in the course of a few weeks.

    He might then make up for it by feeding all night or all the next day but that's ok

  16. #16

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    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    My bub is just 8 months and the MCHN said the same thing about solids. Luckily I have been going to ABA meetings so I know differently. But it's hard not to stress about it. They also told me I have to stop feeding through the night. Pfftt. I just told her I wasn't worried and she left it. My bub doesn't eat much either. Just keep offering food to play with. He will get there eventually. If it's stressful for you, it will be for him too.

    Does he sit at the table with you when you're eating? DD did with us for two months before we ever gave her food. I think it helps cause usually she's watching is eat and I put a few pieces on the table in front of her. She plays and eats. She gets more than it seems sometimes. I can tell by her nappies. Lol.

    Those professionals have a lot to answer for. It causes mums so much stress when they're so exact about stuff. Parenting isn't an exact science.

  17. #17

    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    Agreed, I think 7.5months is definitely too young to have 3 meals a day.

    My ds loved to feed himself, so i let him. I started with Farex & ebm. Fed him a little at a time while he played with another spoon. He was not too interested except to play with it, but now he is a great eater. Just takes time.

    As for not taking bottle etc, I'd say just keep trying. Not sure if it was mentioned but maybe get someone else to give it will you're not home.

  18. #18

    Default Re: baby refuses ebm, formula, water & solids - going back to wor

    We are having some small success with solids now.

    he still wont take a bottle or cup. Has anyone tried a tough love approach & just gone out for the day & left baby at home with dad & some ebm? Im contemplating it but im worried it will be upsetting for both of us & not work.

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