H.E. asks from Las Vegas, NV on December 19, 2009
My 6 Month Old Refuses to Eat Solids...
My daughter is almost seven months old and every time I try to feed her solids she squeezes her mouth together and shakes her head back and forth. If I do get any food in her mouth she just spits it back out. Normally, I would assume that she just isn't ready, but she was actually eating solids very well for two weeks before she began doing this. I am still breastfeeding her and the milk doesn't seem to be enough to keep her full through the night. She is up every three hours to eat and I am exhausted. She actually used to sleep eight to ten hours at night when she was younger, but now I just think that she is hungry. Any advice???
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J.P. answers from Los Angeles on December 20, 2009
Here's my experiences:
Baby #1: Got teeth at 8 months and started solids at 8.5 months in the form of whole bananas and baby food. He was sleeping through the night at 7 months.
Baby #2: got teeth at 4 months and at 4.5 months grabbed my chile relleno burrito with black beans and green salsa and stuffed it into his mouth. He breastfed twice at 7 months at night.
Baby #3: got teeth at 11 months and never wanted ANY solid food. I'd even leave her for 8 hours at 16-17 months and she would refuse to eat at all. She'd wait for me. She had 100% breastmilk until 18 months. She was up every 2 hours at night breastfeeding. Once I abruptly weaned her, she slept through the night.
They are all different. I didn't want to force food on our daughter. I didn't need a child, especially a girl, to have an eating disorder. At 18 months and she still didn't want to eat, I figured she was old enough....so I didn't force it, but I just left for 4 days and she HAD to eat.
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M.N. answers from Los Angeles on December 20, 2009
Do not stop breast feeding she is too young. this is your life to feed and nuture her now. Sleep when you can as she naps instead of doing other things. Hope your three year old naps in the day. This will help her immune system and her mouth structure and teeth and many many elements that will help her to be healthy as an adult.
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C.M. answers from Los Angeles on December 20, 2009
I'm voting that it's teething too. Have you tried pumping? If you're tired I would highly suggest getting The Sleep Easy Solution. Our daughter was up all night too until I started following the steps in the book, and now she sleeps -12-14 hours a night, no kidding. Every baby is so different, but I would be shocked if she's that hungry. As long as you nurse her on demand and offer her food (avocados, banana, rice milk and sweet potato are filling), hopefully she will let this stage pass and let you get some sleep!- www.weelicious.com
M.K. answers from San Diego on December 20, 2009
My immediate thought when I saw both of your posts was: teething! I would suggest just continuing to offer the solids. But, if she refuses, no big deal and try again next meal. As for the sleep, I'd give it a few weeks to see if her sleep settles back down (Sorry! Not what you wanted to hear for your own sleep needs!). My younger daughter was a good sleeper, but when there was a tooth coming, she would night wake much more.
Also, while I generally don't advocate for medicating unless necessary, you could consider trying a dose of tylenol at bedtime to see if you get a longer stretch of sleep out of her. That might give you an indication of whether teething discomfort is the problem.
Good luck. My youngest is now two, and even though I still don't get nearly enough sleep. The really hard nights with lots of waking do end faster than you can believe while you're in the middle of it!
P.E. answers from Los Angeles on December 19, 2009
My only thought is - is she teething? I have always found that my son was funny about eating right before he was about to cut a new tooth. Not sure if that applies for your daughter or not...
A.K. answers from Los Angeles on December 20, 2009
Sounds like she is going thru a growth spurt and isn't ready for solids! Dont rush it... she doesn't NEED solids right now. She NEEDS your breastmilk and she is nursing more often to help up your supply so you can give her what she needs at this age. That is great!!!! And you are great for giving her the BEST! She will eat more solids in time and if teething it the culprit than nursing her will help soothe her sore gums!
Congrats to you!!!!