Wednesday, April 08, 2009

She eats!

Elly, that is. We had a strong start with solids around 5 months or so. She was ready to eat, and she loved it! So much so that by 7 months, we were up to two feedings a day, almost ready to go to three. Then something happened, around 8 or 9 months. I'm not entirely sure what, but it resulted in Elly not wanting to eat solids at all. She started nursing more frequently again, and I wasn't overly concerned. Maybe her budding teeth started bugging her? They didn't poke through until 10 months, but I'm sure she could already feel them. Anyway, so she started refusing solid foods. She did like the little baby snacks, but those hardly even deserve to be called food. :p As Elly started approaching her first birthday, however, it became apparent that breastmilk simply wasn't enough for her anymore. She started picking up frequent night feeds again, every two hours around the clock. I know. Exhausting. She didn't even wake up that often as a newborn! We really needed to put more effort into getting more calories into her during the day. But feeding her was such a chore! On top of not wanting solids, she refused to sit in her highchair, as well. She had to be on a lap, and then she would eat a few bites. I did notice that on the days she ate well, she only woke up a couple of times during the night, so yeah, she needed more food! I talked about our issues with my doctor at Elly's one year check-up, and she didn't seem overly concerned. She said Elly was doing just fine, and breastmilk was just great for her. I said on principal, I totally agreed with her (and have I mentioned I love this doctor???). But the fact that I was waking up every two hours at night was not okay. :p She gave me a few suggestions, and encouraged me to just be patient and give it time. I went home feeling good about the fact that Elly was still thriving on breastmilk, but not so fond of the idea of putting up with such frequent night feeds for much longer. Then one day last week, I talked to a friend (or family member?) on the phone (or in person?). I totally can't remember who it was I was talking to. Blame it on sleep deprivation. ;o) Anyway, the dreaded feeding topic came up, and we started talking about the much-hated highchair. Then the idea came up to just take off the tray and push the chair up to the table. Maybe she just felt like she wasn't part of the action, with the tray blocking access to all the food fun. Hm, I thought, worth a try. On Monday, I finally got up the courage to take off the tray, and approach the highchair with Elly on my hip. In the past, Elly would start screaming before her feet even touched the chair. I tried every so often, always with the same result. Now, the tray was off. As we got closer, Elly curiously eyed the chair. I put her in it. Much to my surprise, she not only tolerated it, she loved it! She had a good time! I sat down and started feeding her, and she ate! Wow. A miracle. She now willingly sits in her chair, and lets us feed her. Or she feeds herself, depending on what's on the menu. Sitting in the chair helps keep her focused on eating, too, so she takes in a lot more food than she has before. Most excellent! So to whoever it was I was talking to, thank you thank you thank you! You more than likely helped save my sanity! :D

Here she is, loving the food.


Bananas, when mashed in your hands and put in your hair, make for an excellent "do". :p

9 comments:

Rixa said...

Brilliant! How funny it was more of a social issue than a nutritional one after all. Hope she continues to enjoy being at, and eating at, the "big people's" table.

kyleandbeth said...

Kaci was just like that. At 9 months she ate in a regular chair with a fork just like everyone else or she wouldn't eat at all. Her first birthday cake picture she is eating it with a fork. She always has thought she was 16. Can't wait to see what 16 turns out to be like, ah!

tearese said...

thats great that you found such a simple solution to the problem. And what an awesome doctor to say the breast milk was fine...I hear so many stories of doctors telling people to supplement when their kids are still small infants!

Doreen said...

Rixa, yep, apparently it was all about the chair. :p

Beth, first the painted toenails, now this. You're scaring me. What am I going to do with TWO teenage girls???

Tearese, that's why I love her. She looked at Elly's growth curve and development, and said she's obviously doing great. She told me just to keep trying with the food, but not to be pushy about it, and not to worry, since my milk is obviously still enough for her to thrive on. Nothing like the pediatrician I had at one time who told me I should give Kaylee a pacifier if she wanted to nurse more than every 2 hours - she was 2 months old at the time...

Kelley said...

We have the exact same high chair.

I'm going to use this idea of yours with Rachel. She has slept through the night for the past 2 weeks, but is starting to wake up again during the night. I'm exhausted and this just can't continue. I think I just need to quit being so lazy and just feed the girl some solid food. Nursing is super-easy, but not when that's all I'm doing and then she's up during the night. Thanks for the tip.

miranda said...

We noticed this with Gavin. He's much happier and compliant (with food and everything) when he feels that he is included in what is going on. He just wants to feel like a true part of the family.

Gaylene said...

Hey Doreen,

Kelsie has the same issues with eating. She has just been more picky than anything else. This is a simple solution. Thanks for the post.

Kim said...

Isn't that interesting? Thanks for the comment on my blog. I could totally try removing the tray and pushing her up to the table ... we also have a chair that attaches directly to the table and have had NO issue getting her to eat while in that ... mind you, we've only fed her in it a few times, but still, it's worth a try! Thanks for the suggestion!

Andrea said...

We have an almost identical problem with our little e. I'm glad to see it is rather common. I'm pretty sure we could solve the problem like you did, but our high chair wont go up to the table. Little e wont eat much in her chair. As soon as I let her down she climbs a vacant chair at the table and eats whatever her siblings left behind.

I think a new high chair might be worth it if she cuts back on night feedings.