Friday, August 6, 2010

Feeding Fiascos......Please Help!

Flashing me a look of defiance/indifference to sweet pea puree

I am petitioning you - the blogosphere - for input on this very important issue. I introduced Scarlett to solids at 6 months. We began with rice cereal, then moved to sweet potatoes. She caught on very quickly to the mechanics of eating (i.e. opening her mouth, swallowing, leaning toward the spoon). However, she is such a busy baby that she won't take more than a bite or two before she lunges for other objects on the table, gets completely distracted by other people in the room, wipes the food all over her face, refuses to open her mouth, etc. The last few days she is especially uninterested in eating. I have found some success when I let her grab the spoon and feed herself. Maybe it's because the flavor of the week is peas? Here are my additional concerns....
  • When I do manage to give her even small amounts of food, she becomes extremely constipated and goes ten days before painfully going to the bathroom.
  • When I try to "unconstipate" her with a few ounces of fruit juice, she refuses to drink it. Apparently she is one of 10 children in the United States that doesn't like fruit juice.

I need input on the following questions...
  1. Scarlett receives breastmilk exclusively. Is it absolutely essential for her to have solids? Can i just give her an iron supplement and forget about solids for the next month or two?
  2. How did you get your baby to enjoy solids? Any tricks?


Maxmomma said...

Okay first, Scralett is stinking adorable! I love these photos. Second, we just did the adjustment-to-solid-foods stage ourselves and so much of what you say is so familiar! Here are a couple of things we learned as we went...

Constipation apparently is a normal part of the adjustment for the first few weeks as their bowels adjust to using solid foods (my sweet pediatrician is so patient with my phone calls!). The prune purees are supposed to be really good. Ali would eat them, but I didn't see it help, so we also used suppositories for a couple of days to get her regular. Certain foods can contribute to constipation- like rice cereals especially. Prunes, applesauce, and oatmeal were supposed to be better for clearing their systems. My doctor told me that once she was regular to just try to balance the two kinds of foods so both were present in her meals. We really haven't had much trouble with it the past month and a half... so it sure got easier for us.

As for interest in food... Ali is so independent and beautifully strong willed, she had set her mind on eating adult food and that was why she'd give up on baby food. Ali would completely reject baby food and I would think it meant she was not hungry, but then she would lunge at a turkey sandwich in my hand. So, in the end, I have let her go for the 'big people food'. She ate longer and more if she got to be hands-on with it (like peas, those star puffs, graham crackers, canned pears, banana chunks). I also like the Campell's soups with the little stars to feed her, and she adores pasta cut up in tiny pieces. I've noticed there are even devices that look like pacifiers, but with a netted sac where the nipple would be that you put foods in for babies to gnaw at without risking choking. Haven't used them, but they look interesting.

Knowing you Marissa, you will have a fantastic solution in no time to all of this. Good luck!

Tyson and Courtney said...

I wish I had some good advice, instead I can only say that you're not alone. Colt loved breastfeeding, and hated solid foods. He still is a super picky eater (What can I say? We all know he gets it from me.), but he did take the baby food much better if I mixed it with the baby oatmeal. I guess he preferred the cereal consistency much better than pure baby food. Good luck!

Danielle said...

Hey Mariss! We had many of these same problems with our little monkey (still do and she's 18 months!). I always tried to feed her solids at least once a day at first and then would follow up that meal with nursing. Miss E got very constipated as well and we have had to do stool softeners and milk of magnesia, as well as some stimulation (nasty!). I think the most important thing is to keep trying solids a little at a time. Breast feeding is awesome, but they will eventually need to switch over to solids, so it's easiest to do it in baby steps. Good luck!!!