struggling with feeding and weaning

DD is 6 months old tomorrow and has been having a few spoonfuls of pureed veg for two weeks now, usually around lunchtime.

The things I'm struggling with are:

1. I'm finding it hard to know when to feed her the puree... I get that the best way to do it is feed her milk then do the puree about an hour later, although sometimes I wonder whether it should be food first then milk an hour later, so the milk feed gradually gets dropped??? Anyhoo, the problem is, her breastfeeding is all over the place at the moment, no longer in a routine (sometimes feeding an hour later!), so I find it hard to plan when to do the puree so its roughly an hour after a breastfeed, but before her afternoon nap, which is also not at a set time!

2. I don't understand why she wants more milk feeds now. If its cos shes needing more to satisfy her, then I wish she'd have more of her puree - I thought that was the whole point!! We used to have a nice routine of every three to three and half hours and its totally gone out of the window! I want to be able to start a second meal in a couple of weeks, to keep things moving but really not sure how the hell to, if there's no vague routine going on!!

3. She's not taking the puree that well, she's had a couple of times when shes done well, but shes constantly spitting the food out and making faces of digust at everything! Sometimes she gets cranky - I cant work out whether this is cos shes had enough of the food, or cos shes tired or cos she wants more milk. I know I should go at her pace but I thought she'd be getting into it a bit more now!

4. Because she's taking a while to get used to this whole food thing, I'm now worrying about the iron levels in my milk depleting at 6 months, therefore shes not getting the required amounts. I can't do meat yet cos I have to do each food for 2 days in a row, cos of allergies in my mums family and me, so I'm having to do everything slowly - starting fuits in a couple of days. I just don't want her to be deprived of vital nutrients, but worry that she is.

5. She has now decided she doesn't like being in her highchair anymore, I have to feed her on my lap, which I'd rather not - don't want her to be getting into bad habits at mealtimes.

Just as I'm starting to get my head round the best foods and how to cook them, etc, its hard!!!! I've had a few months of not having to think about feeding - every three hours, get boob out and feed! Now its what food, when to feed, milk routine screwed.... feeling really confused about everything and a bit of a failure - couple of my friends reckoned it would take couple of weeks to learn how to swallow and start to happily take food... Yeah right!!

Just after some kind words of wisdom or a strong shoulder! xx


  • Hi firstly i wouldnt worry too much to begin with about where your little one is sitting to eat-i use to feed both mine on my lap to start with as the both slide down in the highchair and now Lizzie sits fine in hers and dd1 is 5 and sits fine at the table.
    secondly i feel your frustration with doing things slowly-we too have to introduce things slowly as lizzie has a few intolerences!
    personally I would try and give the purees half way through a feed of milk.
    this way babies intiall hungry is satisfied so not screaming but not too full to take the purees. it might be worth trying this for a few days and seeing how you get on xx
  • Hi sweety the first thing I need to say is dont panic or beat yourself up. This is completely normal for her to do.

    In all honesty, I would probably leave her and try next week or so. If shes spitting it right out or gagging she may not be ready yet. Also, the fact that you dont have a set feeding routine or nap routine makes it harder for you to gauge. If you were to start, maybe try first thing in the morning with some fruit or baby rice with some milk before her feed then offer her milk after...since babies are obviously hungrier in the morning she may be more willing to try.

    The other point is that you need to do it at a time when you are both relaxed and ready. Has anything changed recently like a move back to work or anything that could potentially disrupt her? maybe the cluster feeding is a comfort thing and if you address what the 'comfort' is first it could make feeding easier?

    My last point is maybe she doesnt want to be fed. My ds flat out refused food with lumps in...but will happily munch a sandwich! one of the girls in my work was astonished and said her little boy wouldnt entertain anything like that untill he was over a year so go figure! Maybe your little lady would prefer to such on some veg instead??

    Could it be teething actually? maybe shes using you for comfort? and spoons arent the nicest things when you have sore gums

    I hope things get easier..I promise they will! xx
  • hey chicken sorry your having trouble/bother, like wow baby says if the feed an hour before hand isn't working then try to 'take the hunger off her' and then start the spoon feeds, may be give her a wee spoon of her own to 'play' with.

    most of ll you are not a failure, it could be a power struggle rather than a food struggle too (im having my own with the boob bottle transition lol)

    just really wanted to send you hugs more than anything xx
  • Firstly, don't worry about iron. I know several babies that have not started eating solids until 10 months or later and are perfectly healthy. The iron myth annoys me because there is no reason for mums to panic - iron stores last well into the first year of life, and the iron in breastmilk is so dramatically more bioavailable - ie, available for absorbtion by the baby - that there is no need to freak out about iron.

    Iron in YOUR milk doesn't change at 6 months - the talk is of the baby's iron stores laid down in utero, your milk will still provide her with a good amount of highly bioavailable iron.

    This link has plenty of good information about iron and will hopefully reassure you:

    Have you considered babyled weaning? SHe may be objecting to being spoonfed, you may find that popping her in the highchair and chucking some chip-shaped chunks of cooked veggies - roast parsnip and sweet potato chips went down a storn with DD - to discover and explore at her own pace might go down better with her. If not, nothing lost and back to purees.

    Starting solids can stimulate the appetite without the skills or tolerance to suddenly take on a lot of solid food hence the increased breastfeeding. It's a short phase, it will pass, just feed on demand and ride it out!

    WIth everything being all over the place, why not set a meal time for solids and stick to that, and see how all the other pieces fall when they land around?

    DD didn't like her highchair at first, so she ate in a Bumbo on the floor with a tray. I would sit on the floor with her to pass her food or feed her (we did combo BLW with thick mashes with her, as she was a prem/sick baby) and she thought that was terrific fun. Might be worth a go?
  • Hi

    Sorry you are struggling, I have been finding weaning difficult too.

    Just thought I would echo what MrsSetters said about BLW - my LO just didn't really get on with purees and spoon feeding but now that I just let him play with finger food he's as happy as larry, and definitely ingesting plenty as I keep finding bits of food in his nappy.

    He too is needing more milk feeds now (eg back to one feed in the middle of the night, aarrrggh!) but this is also normal. At this age their digestive systems are still maturing and they can't absorb all the nutrients they need from solids, yet they still fill them up so they may take less milk at each feed - thereby becoming hungry in the middle of the night. Don't worry, I'm told it will pass!!

    Good luck!

    C image
  • Thanks for your replies girls!

    wannababy - thanks for your idea about feeding halfway through a feed, an idea I hadn't really considered!

    princess87 - I can't really do the food first thing in the morning, she wants milk very soon after she wakes and gets in a right old strop until she gets it and I worry that she'll reject food if I do that rather than milk??? Nothing unusual has happened here to make her comfort suck, although there is a part of me that thinks shes comfort sucking, but for what reason, who knows?!... Think with that I just have to be firm! Teething, god knows!! She has a slightly sore bum, is dribbling and chews everything, but doesn't seem to be in discomfort, so not entirely sure. But I'm liking the idea of giving her chucks of veg to have a chew on. Think I just kind of assumed that all babies wuld hate that!!

    Moonbeam - thanks for the hugs! I do keep saying to hubby about giving her a spoon to play with, but I keep forgetting!

    Maenad - Thanks for the info re iron levels, that has reassured me! Ta for your other tips aswell, def worth thinking about - am gonna have a cook of veg pieces for her to try...

    One more question then - if I do pieces of cooked veg, eg strips of parsnips, etc, can I pre-prepare them and freeze strips as I do with ice cubes of purred veg, then defrost and heat in the microwave when needed?

  • Just an she drinking water?? If she's not taking much water could it be that she's wanting a bf an hour later just to quench her thirst after eating the purees??? My LO loves water from a sippy cup, it always amazes me actually how much she drinks in a day.

    Probably not at all helpful but just a thought!

    Good luck and chill xxx
  • I was advised to offer food about an hour after a milk feed, so I end offering food at around 8am, 12pm and 4.30pm (milk at 7am, 11am, 3pm and 7pm). I am FF though and think it is probably easier to get into a routine than if you are BF (although I think it's amazing that you're still BF now!)

    I will increase the amount offered at meal times to encourage Adam to drop his 11am and 3pm bottles (eventually, he is still draining them!)

    Adam's naps two hours after he last woke up, so sometimes he'll have a quick sleep between bottle and food, but most times he'll go to sleep straight after a meal.

    Some days he eats everything I offer and shouts for more, other days he's not fussed. I find the inconsistency quite frustrating (I never know how much food to defrost!) but I am trying not to let it bother me!

    I'm sure it will get easier over time as your LO gets used to all the new tastes!

  • Mybutler - no shes not having water at the mo, but I do need to get my beaker out and actually do it, something else I keep forgetting to, but it might work though!

    Cornetto - I am expecting DD to keep needing lots of milk feeds for at least another month, its just the inconsistency of her feeds and demanding for boob at all sorts of irregular times!! I think its a combo of being thirsty and comfort sucking...

    Cath - Thanks for the advice, Adam is the same age roughly as my DD, so where you are is hopefully where we'll be very soon! image

    Right okay, plan of action:
    sticks of veg to chomp on
    water with a meal
    food an hour after milk
    give her own spoon to play with
    know that her iron levels are fine!
    not stress about the highchair

    thanks girls xx
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