24 answers

My 6 Months Old Baby Refuses Solid Food

Hello Mamas,

I am having so much trouble feeding solid food to my 6 months old baby. I was told that breastfeeding was the best. It may be so for the baby but I wasn't especting the downsides of it. My first daughter was entirely bottle fed and by the age of 6 months she was eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and fruit juice.
My new baby refuses the bottle. All she wants is mommy's breast. Even with my milk in a bottle: no way. She would rather starve.
Last month I started her on rice cereal, then fruits and vegetables jars (N#1). Somedays she was ravenous, others she wouldn't touch anything. Now for the past several days she hasn't opened the mouth once. Since yesterday I managed to give her very little fruit juice in a cup, but other than that, only breastmilk will do.
What amazes me is that when I pump to get some milk to make the cereal, I only manage to extract 3 ounces at the most! How can a baby like her (she isn't exactly the skinny type) can thrive on so little milk?
Can anybody help and give me some advice? I don't want to call the pediatrician, she is hopeless. We are on medicaid so the choice is very limited, we have to deal with a pediatrician who deals with infants as if they were bags of potatoes...
Thanks in advance!

F.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

She can get more milk out than you can. Right now when you feed a breastfed baby "food" it is really just for practice. The breastmilk is so much better for her than any jar of green beans ever will be, so don't sweat it. Feed her what she will eat and let her breastfeed what she wants. I breastfed both of mine and my first was exactly the same way, but my second was not. He would just eat what ever he was fed.

1 mom found this helpful

First of all, pumping is not a good indicator of supply. Gaining weight (even a little) and wet diapers indicate supply.

I agree, you are doing a great job, mama. Don't worry about solids right now, she doesn't need them. My first son was breastfed, loved solids and took the bottle with out a problem. My daughter refuse the bottle and solids. I think it has to do with personality, more than anything.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

First of all - rest your mommyheart at ease....the amount of milk a baby will get from suckling is vastly different than the amount of milk your body will letdown when pumping. Hormones produced in your brain help the letdown process even more so no fear there.

Also - six months is the MINIMUM age for introducing solids. That means a baby should AT LEAST six months old at the very youngest before giving them solids. But many children still get all their nutrients they need from breastmilk beyond that six month mark. It's not a madical date where they suddenly need to have solids.

If she's not ready she's not ready. Continue nursing her. Try again in another month.

My oldest son was ready for solid food at 6 months 3 weeks - my second born not until well past 7 1/2 months. It varies child to child.

Is she soiling diapers every day? Wets 2 or 3 times a day minimum? A nice poopy one every other day at the least?

Does she have active, alert times throughout the day where she is happy, awake and playful?

Is she growing? Either heavier or taller? (not necessarily both at the same time!)

If yes than DO NOT WORRY. :-)

You are making enough milk for her or she would be one very pissy baby.

A. <><

ETA - don't worry about her refusing the bottle either. Both my children went straight from breast to sippy cups. They hated artificial nipples. So try the soft, rubber spouted sippy cups (Valves are bad!!) but don't push it.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi F.,

You're doing a great job nursing your baby and please don't think that the down side is that she won't eat solids! I have a 21 month old that I'm still nursing and she got very interested in eating solids at around 6 months. But all babies are different, so I encourage you to listen to the wisdom and needs of your baby and not be fearful about her eating solids when she doesn't want to. I've grown to realize that babies are SO smart about their needs, whether emotional or physical. (she may have a need that you or a doctor can't possibly know about that will work itself out if she gets what she wants - breast feeding) Even a small amount of breastmilk is more nurtritious than most baby food, so just let her nurse, if possible, until she get hungry for more. Since she isn't underweight, she clearly is doing fine. Also, breastmilk gets more nutritious and high-calorie as a baby grows, to meet their new needs. Our bodies, with God's guidance, are amazing that way!

Also, you might try "living" foods rather than the pasturized (heated) baby food in jars. My baby mostly eats a "live" food diet and at that age loved bananas and avocados, mashed very finely. Also, I have a small grater with a very fine grate that I used for mangos, which are very nutritious and tend to have a smoother texture than pears or apples that are grated. I just wonder whether, in her baby wisdom, she might recognize the difference between processed and living foods, which most of us have long forgotten. If she still isn't interested, I'd just let her nurse as long as she wants to. (I know that is easier said than done since you do have other things to do at times and need her to take a bottle with breastmilk at least) I'm still nursing my baby at night and morning and some people think that's weird, but I've done the research and it's the most healthy thing you can do for your baby as well as yourself.

Don't feel bad about not taking her to a doctor either. Unless she's sick, you will do better listening to your own wisdom and your baby than a doctor who doesn't know her or know much about real nutrition. My daughter has only been to the doctor for her first 2 well-baby visits and I just stopped going after that. Breastfeeding and eating a live food diet have kept her healthy - she's never had more than a runny nose so far. Keep up the good work and hang in there!

Hope this is helpful!

L.

1 mom found this helpful

I still breastfeed my one year old son, so the best advise I can give you is don't worry about it. I know this is a hard pill to swallow for a new mom, but you mentioned that your child is happy, healthy, and is taking solid foods. Sometime babies just go through phases so it is best to just be patient and let it pass. Keep offering the solids however, so when your baby is ready for the again, they are not foreign to her. About the pumping, I find it helpful to nurse from one brest twice in a row, and then pump the other when it is very full. You also may want to try to relax and put a warm towel on your breast to encourage letdown. Also, it is easier to pump in the morning when your supply is the greatest, aviod pumping in the evenings. I hope this helps, God Bless.

1 mom found this helpful

Some babies don't eat solids until 8 months or later! It's totally individual. Your baby is not nursing the same amount that you are able to pump. She is much more efficient and if that's what she prefers at this point then it's the best thing for her. Keep trying to give her cereal and a few other stage one fruits and veggies. She may be teething or getting sick and just feels better nursing. It won't last!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi F.!
Well, I'm not sure about her refusing solids, but I think I can help you with the breast milk concern. The baby can get out more than the pump. I have a 7 1/2 month old, and I can only pump out about 3 ounces as well, but I talked to the local LLL consultant, and she told me that your baby can always get out more milk than the pump because they stimulate your hormones. Hope that helped!

1 mom found this helpful

Congrats for doing such a great job breastfeeding!
First, how much milk you pump is NEVER an indication of how much you're actually producing. Some women just respond better to pumps than others. Babies are much, much more efficient than even hospital-grade pumps so I can assure you that she's getting several more ounces out when she nurses.
Second, delaying solids isn't a problem; some babies just aren't ready at 6 months. They really don't need to eat solids for nutritional benefits until they are 1 year old. The only reason we start them earlier is to teach them how to eat, chew, etc. Why don't you hold off on the solids for a few weeks and then see how she does? Mother's milk is all she needs the first year so don't stress about it.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is 10 months and was the same way. She refused anything other than mommy. Now though she eats everything although she still nurses for naps and bedtime. It is normal for them to go through phases of only wanting one particular thing, formula, breast milk or even a specific food. Give the solids a break for a few days and then try again. Sometimes it is less stressful for everyone to just go with their flow.
As for the amount you get when you pump, some women just can't pump a lot but they have a large supply. I am like that. I know I have a large supply but just couldnt' pump. Your body will not starve your baby. Just make sure to monitor how many wet diapers she has and you will have an idea of how much she is getting from nursing. I think about 10-11 is right on target. Also if you want her to drink other things and she refuses a bottle you might try a sippy cup with a straw. That is the only way my daughter drinks anything other than nursing. It may take a few tries for her to get it but it seems a little easier to learn than figuring how to tip a sippy cup. Good luck and if you are still worried, don't hesitate to talk to your pediatrician, that is what you pay them for.

1 mom found this helpful

My sister who is a nurse is my inspiration....she's so laid back and I've taken so many cues from her on mommy'ing. She would say if the baby is healthy and is gaining weight, give it time. Eventually she'll go to eating solids. I don't personally think that formula vs. breastfed has anything to do with it. I have three girls and all of them have responded very differently to solids and their timing has all been different. Just b/c 6 mos is the avg age that babies begin solids, it doesn't mean if they're not taking them that they're abnormal. Just make sure she's gaining weight and feeling/acting normal...as long as that's happening, I'd wait it out a few weeks and see what happens as you keep putting the solids, etc in front of her. Some babies, I've heard, don't like baby food and instead wait until they're ready for pastas and bananas and such to begin taking anything besides breastmilk or formula.

C.

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