Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby HelenL » 14 Jan 2013, 20:21

Ladies, I don't know what I want from you really, reassurance? Suggestions?
My boy was EBF for the first six months and then BLW. He took to it very slowly indeed, well, he was always happy to taste things but just uninterested in eating - barely took in anything of any substance till maybe a year. But he was always Mr Boob so it was ok, he was getting plenty of nutrition, and I've airily told everyone "oh, it's fine, he'll get there in his own time, he's going to have such a great attitude to food because I've never pressured him".
Only now, at 20 months, he is still on the boob at least every two hours (day and night) and just won't eat. Well, he will sometimes have a go at an evening meal, but rarely anything else in the day, perhaps half a banana at some point, perhaps a snatched bit of a biscuit. I was still cool with this, and a bit smug about my coolness, but today I weighed and measured him and in the 8 months since his last HV check he's put on about 3cm in height and maybe 1.5lb in weight. His height now seems to be below the 0.4th centile and although his weight still looks ok, being between 50th and 75th, he was over the 91st at six months.
So:
1. I am terrified that I've basically given him malnutrition by this artsy hippy way of feeding, that he's going to stay this height his whole life and it will be all my fault for not just giving him mush to make sure he gets protein, etc
2. I am desperate to find some kind of way to get him to eat, I just don't think I can carry on being laid back, I know everyone says to, but they all seem to be doing it from a position of having a child who eats.

I love food myself, I cook lovely fresh things, I offer a range of meals and snacks, I always eat with him, I never praise him for eating or pressure him to have just a bit more....can't see what I'm doing wrong but I need something to change. Maybe some of this sounds a bit jokey but I really am terrified of his next HV assessment, or of the rest of the family realising how titchy he is and blaming me for not having taken control of this but persisted in what most of them see as this BLW nonsense.

Help!!!
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Re: Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby SharkiesMum » 14 Jan 2013, 20:27

I don't have any helpful suggestions I'm sorry, but didn't want to read and run. Sounds like you need (((())))

There is nothing to say it would've been any different had you given purées though.
A - April 2012
T - May 2014
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Re: Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby PerpetualMadness » 14 Jan 2013, 20:29

What does he look like? If he is below 0.4th centile for height and 50th-75th he will look very chunky? Does he? Otherwise it's likely that the height is wrong or it's plotted wrong.

Now, is he happy? Healthy? Meeting his milestones? If so, I really wouldn't worry, an oldie's youngest was the same with eating vs boob and he did get their in the end. What does your lo do when you are not together? Does he eat or wait til you get home?

And ((())) it sounds stressful.

ETA - there really is no guarantee he would have taken to purees but you could always try sooo feeding if you think it will help. That can still be baby led.
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Re: Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby HelenL » 14 Jan 2013, 20:33

Oh, thank you both - the ((())) very much appreciated.
He does look quite chunky, but not sort of marshmallow-man, just built like his dad, who is also short and stocky, just not *that* short.
And he's got absolutely stacks of energy, never stays still. I'd tell myself he was just burning off all the calories with all the moving, but in that case why doesn't it make him want more?
And we're never not together, so it doesn't arise. He eats better at dinnertimes when it's just me and him than when his dad's also there.
There's just a point when BM isn't enough, though, right?
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Re: Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby PerpetualMadness » 14 Jan 2013, 20:45

Ok, so he is growing an if your baby is anything like mine, they grow out and then up. They do slow up so much after the first year. B was 98th centile til about 9 months and has now fallen back to just below the 75th like his big bro. That kind of thing is normal.

He is happy and healthy. He just prefers boobs - my 27th month old still sometimes opts for boobs over food (usually when tired or ill). He is eating other stuff just not much yet. He will be fine - BM is magic.
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Re: Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby HelenL » 14 Jan 2013, 20:48

Thank you.
You can't know how much I needed to hear that.
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Re: Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby Lioncub's mama » 14 Jan 2013, 21:37

Just on the height thing, when lioncub had his 1year check the hv said not to be surprised if next time he was measured he didn't seem much taller or even appeared to have shrunk as when they measure them lying down (which they do up to a year or so) they tend to over-measure and they come out taller than they really are, and when you measure them standing up its more common to under-measure. So he might have actually grown more than the measuremnts suggest.
Lioncub (P) - August 2011
Baby brother (E) - December 2013
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Re: Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby ches » 14 Jan 2013, 22:12

There may be a point at which milk isn't enough, but it sounds like your lo isn't there yet. My DS1 didn't eat every day until he was close to 2yr, and he was >97th for weight/90th+ for height. Considering a mum can EBF triplets, you can produce more than enough calories and bf is a balanced diet. Enjoy the extra 500 cal/day!
BLPT Guidelines thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4477&p=48324
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Re: Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby biddyk8 » 16 Jan 2013, 03:49

Try measuring him yourself aswell. T was measured by the health nurse and then by the pediatricion the next day and there was a 4 cm difference between the 2 so there is def room for error, as I know she didn't grow 4cm overnight.
T- March 2012. Combination fed since 6 weeks due to laziness after tt sniped (her not me)
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Re: Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby BigFlower » 17 Jan 2013, 07:46

Also wanted to offer (((())))

My DD was up on in the 90s on her weight centile lines when she was small but since being about 12 months old she has dropped down and is now around the 70th (would have to check her red book but its something like that). COmpletely normal for them to drop down the lines as they get older. I think it is that birth weight and early weight is very linked to growth during pregnancy, maternal health, how the placenta functioned, week of delivery etc whereas as they get older their height and weight becomes more determined by genetic factors. It sounds like your LO is going to have his dad's build.

Main thing is that he IS growing. If he is happy and healthy and meeting milestones then try not to worry, he'll get there.
DD - Feb 2010
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Re: Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby realsLINshady » 17 Jan 2013, 08:03

Listen - BLW isn't a dogma. Its a way of presenting food. No-one is going to condemn you for presenting food in any way that you feel comfortable - assuming you aren't force-feeding!

As others have said, a speedy, active growing boy will easily burn calories. You are better off focusing on developmental milestones rather than growth charts. IF you are seeing evidence of food ingestion in the nappy than you know that something is going in!

However, if you are feeling stressed and anxious, then do try other things to see if anything else makes a difference. You shouldn't feel so unhappy or under such pressure yourself - step away from Mummy guilt.

- Try to make sure that he isn't too full of milk when he sits down for food. If he ain't a wee bit hungry, he's unlikely to be interested.
- He may be a grazer - offering small snacks often may be more useful than three larger more formal meals.
- Conversely he may load up at breakfast and not really eat again for the rest of the day.
- I always used a spoon for things like yoghurt and cereal - just fill the spoon and hand it over. Does he go for that?

How is the teeth/health situation? Both derail solids like you wouldn't believe - if he's been more or less teething constantly for the last year or had a lot of colds, then that could explain a lot.

Finally - you can't eat for him. He may be one of those people who are blatantly uninterested in food.

However, please don't dismiss the medical profession if you are truly worried. IF YOU think developmental milestones are being missed or that YOU believe that there is some underlying factor not explained by parental physiology, then you should feel able to seek advice, confident that it is not your weaning methodology that is to blame. You know your child and can make those judgement calls far better than any MW.
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Re: Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby julian » 18 Jan 2013, 08:31

Hi, I'd agree with much of what bLINg said - I also would be getting worried if our LO was eating very little in the way you describe - notwithstanding all the correct comments about breastmilk being very wholesome and all that.

For me, one of the advantages of BLW is that the kids get lots of muscle practice in the mouth, which is said to help speech, but in any case is sure to avoid some of the issues faced by kids who cannot chew well.

However, please don't dismiss the medical profession if you are truly worried. IF YOU think developmental milestones are being missed or that YOU believe that there is some underlying factor not explained by parental physiology, then you should feel able to seek advice, confident that it is not your weaning methodology that is to blame.


I much agree with this - there's no harm in checking out other options.

Also - you say you never praise your LO for eating. That seems a bit strange to me, as I'm sure most people agree that positive reinforcement is the way to go in general. It's not to say that you need to harp on all the time, but making eating fun and giving positive feedback surely can't do any harm.

Also - I agree with this
- Try to make sure that he isn't too full of milk when he sits down for food. If he ain't a wee bit hungry, he's unlikely to be interested.

Seems like if he's feeding every two hours then he's not getting much chance to get hungry - for example, you could try skipping the first morning feed and putting him straight down at the table and see what happens.
Cherub & DragonBoy
Born April 10, February 12
Happy to have chosen BLW
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Re: Worried sick about not eating, not growing

Postby sabrina fair » 18 Jan 2013, 09:30

Just wanted to say that my friend's LO has just turned 2 and is very similar, except that he moved to formula at about 8 months. Still pretty much just wants formula and eats very little. He's a healthy, thriving little boy who's meeting his milestones. Unfortunately, my friend's got very stressed about the not-eating thing, and is letting it show at mealtimes. I think that your approach is far more sensible - I think it makes far more sense to not allow food to become a battleground or source of stress in any way. As others have said, you can't make him eat, though bLINg has some great ideas for seeing if he can be encouraged.

I'm sure he'll get there, but have some hugs in the meantime ((((())))).

julian wrote:Also - you say you never praise your LO for eating. That seems a bit strange to me, as I'm sure most people agree that positive reinforcement is the way to go in general. It's not to say that you need to harp on all the time, but making eating fun and giving positive feedback surely can't do any harm.


I do understand that positive reinforcement is widespread, but you'll find a lot of people like the OP try to avoid it, particularly with things like eating. We try to treat eating and not eating in exactly the same way - both are fine, and neither are particularly our business as parents. Our job is to offer our LO healthy food. It's his business to decide what he wants to eat, how much, and when he wants to stop. And I have a fussy eater, so this is put to the test all the time! Our view is that we want our LO to grow up respecting his own judgement, and we therefore are loving and positive with him, but try not to judge too much, whether positively or negatively. Sorry if that sounds a bit self-righteous and garbled: I'm currently trying to stop toddler from shutting down the laptop (in a loving, non-judgemental way of course :wink: )
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