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My Ngala • View topic - Weaning

Weaning

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Weaning

Postby Clarabelle » Fri 19 Oct, 2012 2:13 pm

Hi there

This post encompasses concerns over both feeding and sleeping but my main concern is how to know whether my 10.5 month old son is getting enough solid food. He no longer takes food from a spoon and seemingly eats well at lunch and dinner (although a lot goes on the floor and in the dog's tummy!). He isn't interested in breakfast and will only have a spoon or two of weetbix and perhaps a bit of toast. He is however waking up at least twice a night for a full breastfeed which is where my concerns lie. I am wondering whether this is a strong indication that he's not eating enough during the day? He has approximately 3 to 4 breastfeeds during the day in addition to his solid food.

Look forward to any info you can supply.

Kind regards

Clarabelle
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Re: Weaning

Postby NgalaOnline » Fri 19 Oct, 2012 11:17 pm

Hi Clarabelle

It is very common for parents to feel concerned that their baby is not eating enough food. Many babies take some time to become interested in food, and it is very common for babies to reject spoon food and only accept finger foods. This is perfectly fine and is a good way for a baby to develop his fine motor skills as well as being able to assert some independence and choice. Many parents do find that their baby will eat well at one or two meals of the day but not so well at another meal of the day, again, this is perfectly fine. Often it can be helpful to look at the variety your baby has eaten over a longer period, such as a week rather than a day, as many parents find that their baby might "live on air" some days and eat very well on others. One reassuring way to approach mealtimes with a baby or toddler is to see yourself as the one in charge of WHAT your baby is eating (ie you can choose to only offer him healthy foods and to ensure that he is offered a variety of foods) but your baby is in charge of deciding HOW MUCH he eats. This approach is helpful as it is not possible to force a baby to eat any more than he is willing, and it is important to make mealtimes a stress free, positive time of interaction for you and your baby. Given access to a wide range of healthy foods and the opportunities to feed himself, your baby will eat enough to maintain his nutrition. It is also helpful to remember that a lot of early feeding is more about learning about food than the actual nutrition. Many toddlers can be fearful of foods and any exploration of foods (such as touching, smelling, tasting) is a positive way for him to learn about and become familiar with a wide range of textures, tastes and smells even if he is not ingesting them all.

Breastmilk still plays a very important role in the diet of a 10 month old baby, and you are providing your baby with a wonderful array of nutritional and immunological factors by continuing to feed him. The World Health Organisation recommends continuing to breastfeed till 2 years of age or beyond. You may be reassured to know that your breastmilk still provides your baby with a large amount of his nutritional requirements such as calories, fat, protein and many vitamins and minerals such as seen in this link: https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-inf ... ur-toddler Breastfeeding 3 or 4 times a day sounds appropriate, you may like to consider offering solids before a breastfeed in the morning if you would like your baby to eat more solid food for breakfast. Some babies do still require one breastfeed overnight, but it is very likely that your baby is seeking these feeds partly for comfort or to help him resettle to sleep rather than because he is not getting adequate nutrition during the day. Many parents do try to increase their child's dietary intake in the day in the hopes that it will improve their nighttime sleep, but in the majority of the cases an improvement in night time sleep is not seen. You may find that removing one of the night feeds may increase your child's appetite in the day. If you are happy to continue breastfeeding at night this is fine, but if you would like to remove or reduce them you may like to first focus on removing the feed he seems least interested and instead offering other methods of calming and resettling him to sleep. Some parents find it helpful to send Dad in to do the settling if possible as baby will not associate Dad with a feed. You may like to offer him some water in a sippy cup if you feel he is thirsty. Another approach is to reduce the amount the baby is offered at night, such as offering only one breast rather than both and see if his intake in the day increases or if he ceases waking for this feed. Typically the option of resettling via methods other than feeding is a quicker or more successful way of making changes to sleep, but reducing the feed option works for some people.

Coming into the second year of life it can be helpful to know that a child's growth rate decreases and typically toddlers do eat smaller amounts in the second year than in infancy. Under "F" on the following link there are many useful articles about baby and toddler nutrition and feeding, including dealing with fussy eating: http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthT ... px?p=121#f Ngala does offer some Parent Education Workshops on nutrition and early feeding that may be helpful for you, such as Food Glorious Food. http://www.ngala.com.au/course/Parenting-Workshops If you would like more information or support you may like to ring the Ngala helpline or the Australian Breastfeeding Association helpline on 1800 686 268.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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