Author Topic: How to give solids if baby does not want to sit (almost 10mo eager to walk)?  (Read 1904 times)

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Offline LaraDaisy

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Hi everyone!
my spirited babyboy turns10mo in 10 days and the last 3 weeks have been a disater in terms of feeding solids.
Our background: I started solids as recommended by our pedn at 4 mo, first it was different kinds of puree (apple, carrot etc), but he was not really into solids.
By 6 months the situation was improving and by 8mo he was eating solids more or les ok, he was not a big fan of solids but at least one meal per day was solids.
By 9 months old he was eating 2 meals per day exclusively solids, and two meals - solids+bottle.
The last 3 weeks he has been a very bad solids eater. I am now visiting my family (staying here another 2 or 3 weeks) and the first few days I thought he was adjusting to the new environment. But we have been here for almost 3 weeks now and he still is not eating solids well. He started walking (holding to my hand) and now he would not sit in his chair even for 3 minutes (I timed!).
how our meals are going:
I would start by putting him in the chair, I would give him one or two spoons, after a couple of minutes he would start trying to get out of the chair or stand up, I would take him and put him on my lap and then he would eat a couple spoons more and then that is it - he tries to get out of my arms on the floor to walk around. Like this he eats very little amounts. I also tried giving him finger foods, but it is still the same - he would eat a few pieces by himself or from me and then he wants out.
What I do - I give him as much as I can get in (i think about 50g of solids) and then give him a small bottle to make sure he lasts till next meal.
 feed him at 7am - now only bottle, then at 11-30/12-00 - solids + bottle, then at 16ish - solids+small bottle (or just solids if I was lucky to get a bit more in him), then at 19-00/19-30 - solids+bottle.
I know that before 1 solids are just for fun, but is it  healthy that he is still taking 4 bottles per day? Because I clearly see how much he likes bottles, after he is finished with the bottle he continues to suck on it like on a pacifier (we got rid of the paci almost 2 months ago).
Or maybe anybody has any ideas how to feed my LO who just would not sit down for a decent meal? I don't really fancy running after him with a spoon anymore - that is not the feeding style I want to have. 
many thanks in adance for any ideas!
Regards,
Lara
Lara

Offline creations

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Hi there
is it  healthy that he is still taking 4 bottles per day?
Yes, it's totally normal for a LO to still take 4 milk feeds at 10 months.
It's more common to see the milk and solids feeds separated out across the day though, for example:
7 milk
8 breakfast solids plus water
11 milk
12 solids lunch plus water
3 milk
4/5 solids dinner plus water
7 BT milk

This way LO has a chance to become hungry for the solids meal (an hour after milk) but still get plenty of milk.
Around this age 10-11 months we'd often see 1 or 2 of the milk feeds switching to a solids snack with a drink of water so the mid morning (11 ish) and mid afternoon (3 ish) would switch to a small snack instead of milk.  There's really no rush for this though.

My guess is that your LO is refusing the solids because he knows he gets milk right after, he either needs the milk more than he needs the solids or he is so hungry he wants to by-pass the slow process of solids eating and get right onto that bottle so he can chug it down and fill his tummy up.
How do you feel about moving on to a routine similar to the above to see how it works out for you?  The times are a guide, you would fit them around naps as needed.

after he is finished with the bottle he continues to suck on it like on a pacifier
I'm not sure I would let him do this.  Sucking on an empty bottle he could be swallowing air and give him gas, or wind pains.  Ideally you wouldn't want him to totally drain a bottle and still be looking for more.  Depending how much milk he's taking in 24hrs you might even add some to the bottle or offer him something else to eat/drink/chew on after draining the bottle.
What is his daily milk intake?

I don't really fancy running after him with a spoon anymore - that is not the feeding style I want to have. 
No, I wouldn't be chasing a LO around with a spoon either. The ritual of sitting as a family at a dining table to eat is important to me.  Whilst I don't expect a LO to stay at the table the entire meal I do expect that is where their food is eaten and for them to be included in and enjoy the social aspect of coming together to eat food.  I sometimes changed things up for my LO and we would have an indoor picnic on a blanket in the family room, for fun, but I would still expect him to sit, have his food and only leave when finished, it wasn't a time for roaming about eating.
If you try the routine above you might find he is more willing to stay at the table long enough to take his food.

What do you think?


Offline LaraDaisy

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Hi creations! thank you for a quick reply!
How do you feel about moving on to a routine similar to the above to see how it works out for you?  The times are a guide, you would fit them around naps as needed.
I had this approach when starting solids, it seemed logical: he eats as much as he eats but gets the milk at the end to compensate in case he did not have enough... but i might be wrong...
I am a bit reluctant to go on a routine like that because basically it creates 7 meals instead of 4. Also, our pediatrician recommends 4 meals... 
Did you do this with your LOs? Doesn't it tie you to the kitchen and reduces the freedom of going out?

I'm not sure I would let him do this.  Sucking on an empty bottle he could be swallowing air and give him gas, or wind pains.  Ideally you wouldn't want him to totally drain a bottle and still be looking for more.  Depending how much milk he's taking in 24hrs you might even add some to the bottle or offer him something else to eat/drink/chew on after draining the bottle.
What is his daily milk intake?
I take the bottle away as soon as he is finished, but he is fighting me clutching the bottle and sucking on it like crazy (which he did not do before).
As for his daily intake it is around 900-1000 ml. Which I think is quite a lot. If i am not mistaken the recommendation here (we live in Swtizerland) for 9 to 12 months old is 330ml in the morning and 270ml in the evening.

If you try the routine above you might find he is more willing to stay at the table long enough to take his food.
What do you think?
I totally agree and this is what I have been doing: if he has to eat we eat all together or if the family meal does not coincide with his meal (because giving him a bottle while he is sitting in his chair is not convenient) I put him in a chair and give him something to chew on (a rice waffle or a piece of carrot or cucumber or maybe a piece of what we are eating), but now he just would not sit in the chair, he starts getting up or if he cannot get out he throws a screaming fit and then nobody can enjoy the meal anymore.
I also tried sitting with him n the kitchen floor and giving him food and it worked couple of times, but now it does not, he would not sit on the floor either. The moment he sits down he crawls to the closest piece of furniture and tries to pull himself up.
So, I am a bit at a loss how to solve it. I cannot force him to stay in the chair, because I don't belive that forcing an LO to do something is actually working, and even I dared to try I am afraid it would only create a bad association with the chair, the kitchen and food.
Maybe I made a mistake of putting this question here? Maybe it should be in a diffeent section? more to do with behaviour? if so, just let me know and I would ask in a diffferent place, no problem :)
Lara

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Even if it is a behavior it appears to be a behavior related to how he is trying to express his feelings on sitting and eating the food so they are linked. I think in creations sample routine you would not offer milk at the end of the solids meal because he will get another milk feed at his usual milk feed time. He is getting enough calories from the milk so that even though you'd like to increase his solids intake, right now I would focus more on just exposure and getting him acquainted and comfortable with the routine of eating meals rather than worrying about his intake. If you offer just a sippy of water with his meals rather than calorie rich milk at the end of a solid meal session, you may find he will slowly become more hungry for the solids.

With regard to him constantly trying to get up and move...it does sound as though he isn't really hungry, and that in and of itself may improve if you alter your feeding routine and times. But I would honor that he is not hungry at that meal and teach him a sign or signal for "All Done" or "Finished" and when he's extremely fidgety and not interested, I'd voice for him "All Done?" "I see you're All Done?" while making a sign or signal so that he can learn to express that more appropriately as time goes on. Then you can take him out of his chair and end the meal.

With a new routine and repetition of something like I mentioned above he may become more hungry and also learn how to let you know when he's not hungry in a better way. Then once he's more adjusted to sitting for some meals you can work on increasing the solids. I would not make a huge deal about them now, so that as you indicated, there is no need for negative associations with food.

I hope you have some luck!







Offline creations

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I am a bit reluctant to go on a routine like that because basically it creates 7 meals instead of 4. Also, our pediatrician recommends 4 meals...
Did you do this with your LOs?
Yes this is exactly the routine (give or take to fit around naps) that I did with my DS and is the 'standard' routine we see on BW most often.  This routine helps to ensure that milk feeds are not interrupted by solids and that LO is neither too hungry for milk to take solids or not hungry enough for either milk or solids.
A routine of only 4 meals per day is more of an adult routine than a child's, baby's or toddlers routine.  LOs have very small tummies so need to eat more frequently.
Even at 4.5 years old my DS still takes 6 'meals' and some this age still take 7, it is perfectly normal, toddler groups, nurseries and schools also accommodate to this number of feeding times by offering morning and afternoon snacks as well as lunch.

Here is my DS's current routine at 4.5 years old
7 milk in a cup (not all children have milk here but mine does and it is still normal)
7.30 breakfast and water
10.15/30 ish snack time - fresh fruit and milk are provided at school (my DS does not take milk at this time as he has milk in the morning)
11.45/12 lunch and water
2.00 snack time - fresh fruit is provided at school
3.15/30 (on a school day he often needs a snack after pick up or when we get home because he is physically and mentally tired and needs a boost of calories to get through to dinner, he doesn't need 2 afternoon snacks on a weekend)
5.00 Dinner
(some kids also have a supper before BT which is also well within normal. Mine used to have supper from between around 12 months to maybe 2.5 years old)

It is normal even for much older children to have breakfast, a mid morning snack, lunch, a mid afternoon snack, dinner, and supper which is 5 or 6 meals.

Doesn't it tie you to the kitchen and reduces the freedom of going out?
Not at all.  when taking mid morning and mid afternoon milks I would take a carton of ready to drink formula out with me, some mums take the powder, a sterile bottle and a flask of hot water out with them to make up bottles as needed.
When the mid morning and mid afternoon milks switch to snacks it is quite simple to pack a little tub of food such as:
- wedges of fruit
- cold steamed veggies as finger food (maybe something left over from the night before at dinner, I used to throw in a few extra carrot sticks and green beans etc to steam then pack them in a tub and leave in the fridge until the next day, just throw the tub in my handbag for going out)
- a couple of small crackers
- a bread stick
- cold toast or pitta bread fingers
or if you like to home bake and batch cook to freeze then:
- mini fruit pancakes
- mini muffins (sugar free made with fruit/veg)
- mini meat loaf
- mini oat chews (like flap jack but with no sugar/syrup/honey, just oats and fruit)
- mini bean burgers/falafel

I often lifted a couple of oat chews or bean patties out of the freezer the night before or the morning of going out and just put them in my bag. By snack time they were defrosted and ready to eat.

Also, our pediatrician recommends 4 meals... 
Are you sure your paediatrician suggests 4 meals *total* in the day or could it be he recommends 4 solids meals in the day plus milk feeds?  I've never seen or known a baby to be on so few meals.  I can imagine 4 solids meals at 10 months (breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner) but in addition to 3 milk feeds (WU, mid afternoon, BT).

I do feel that your LO may be so hungry by the time the meal time comes around that he is trying to skip the solids and get directly on to the milk. His body knows it is a quick and suitable source of calories and fat where as a steamed carrot stick or a bowl of puree is likely less satisfying when he is so hungry.

Maybe I made a mistake of putting this question here? Maybe it should be in a diffeent section? more to do with behaviour?
It's fine here. Perfect. This issue and behaviour is around food, solids and eating routines.  I could always move it if needed anyway so you do not need to re-post on another board. :)


Offline weaver

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Totally agree with everything creations has said about routine and timing his food/milk intake.  I would resist, too, thinking in terms of 'meals' since he is only 10 mos old. 

The thing is, at this age, he needs to move, there will be no reasoning with him about it, and no magic answer to get him to sit down. He is learning intensively about how his body works. This is not a process you could or should try to stop.

His tummy is tiny (probably the size of his fist), so getting into the small portions and snacks works well.  You can model sitting at the table at appropriate times but if he can't sit still, there's a good reason for it.  Also, I should mention that toddlers  are not necessarily going to be happy to sit still when you want them to, this will go on for a few years yet!

It's good to start to get a clearer sense of his hunger patterns and help him to eat when he's hungry.  For example, my 3 yo rarely sits still for dinner (at 5pm) at the moment.  I can predict pretty easily when she will, it all depends on how tired she is, and what else she's eaten during the day.  Generally, she has eaten enough by then.

Overall, though, be assured that he will not let himself go hungry.  He'll certainly let you know if he wants to eat.
*Anne*, loving mama to a honeybee (2010) and a sweetpea (2012).  BF for 4 proud years.


Offline LaraDaisy

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Wow! Than you ladies for your advice and input!!! I have some comments but unfortunately I do not have time now :( I will reply soon!
Lara

Offline creations

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How are things now?
Have you given any more thought to altering the feeding routine and offering him bottles and solids at different times?


Offline LaraDaisy

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Are you sure your paediatrician suggests 4 meals *total* in the day or could it be he recommends 4 solids meals in the day plus milk feeds?  I've never seen or known a baby to be on so few meals.  I can imagine 4 solids meals at 10 months (breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner) but in addition to 3 milk feeds (WU, mid afternoon, BT).
I checked with our pediatrician and it is 4 meals, more or less following the pattern of 4hr EASY that is why I never questioned this recommendation. I guess this is European way (we live in Switzerland): our friends in Belgium give 4 meal to their 1 year old and somebody I know in France has the same meal timing: breakfast, lunch, midafternoon snack and then dinner, if necessary the baby can have additional midnight milk meal but it is mostly for BFed babies. I do offer him a snack sometime mid his A time but he seems quite happy in general and his height and weight indicate that he has enough calories, he is 96% for height and 87% for weight.

I do feel that your LO may be so hungry by the time the meal time comes around that he is trying to skip the solids and get directly on to the milk. His body knows it is a quick and suitable source of calories and fat where as a steamed carrot stick or a bowl of puree is likely less satisfying when he is so hungry.
I thought about it but he does not seem hungry, quite the opposite - he seems happy and content and eager to walk around after a few spoons.

After reading about spoon refusal of 9-12 mo I started giving him pieces instead of just puree and he is very interested in having pieces! He really tries to put them in his mouth, misses a lot :) but I also put them in his mouth and he seems eager to eat finger foods! I also warm up a bit of vegetable and meat puree and give him a few spoons, he is distracted enough to allow that I guess. When he gets tied of sitting we have a break, a little walk around the kitchen, and then I try to put him in the chair again. It is not working all the time and sometimes I out him in my lap to continue the meal. I also tell him more how we need to sit in the chair when we eat. I cannot say I get consistent results but within an hour I manage to give him a decent meal.

So, I guess figer food is now the way to go for us! :)
Lara

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I don't know if you've read/heard about Baby-Led weaning, that's where you don't really do spoons and purées, rather just give finger foods.  I did it with both LOs and didn't really have any issues with them sitting still.  They found their food too interesting! I would just let him sit down and have a go, if he misses, no bother.  It doesn't sound like he's hungry at all, so I would let him regulate his own solids intake, that will also help him be a bit more interested because it's something he's doing for himself.
Baby-Led Weaning
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Offline LaraDaisy

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hello dear ladies! it has been a while but I decided to finally post some follow-ups :)
So, it turned out my spirited LO just wanted to eat by himself without mummy pushing a spoon with food into his mouth.
So now, 3 months later he eats finger foods and I do occasionally manage to get him to eat some purees, but mostly he is eating by himself! So, I guess my baby decided to have the baby-led weaning approach :) and i am off to read some finger food ideas :)
Thank you all for you support!
This forum is one of the greatest things that ever happened to me in my mom-life:)
Lara

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Yay for LO and for you for listening to him :)
*Anne*, loving mama to a honeybee (2010) and a sweetpea (2012).  BF for 4 proud years.


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Lovely update :)

I would imagine he just wants to eat the same as the rest of the family by now :)