How To Feed A Baby And Not Lose Consciousness Trying

December 18, 2008

My baby? Is a big baby. At 7 months old, he’s a husky, roly-poly, chubby-cheeked, fat-thighed chunk of Gerber baby who looks nearly a half year older than his age. He is, as his doctor said at his last post-natal visit, robust. Which is not surprising, because he nurses more or less around the clock. I mean, he was big to begin with, but a steady diet of booby has kept him on an upward curve on the growth charts. Which is great and all, but I’m getting a little tired of being the sole source of nutrition for a ravenous jumbo-tot. The problem is, he won’t take solid food or a bottle or indeed any source of nutrition that does not come wrapped in a nursing bra.

He just won’t do it. I’ve tried. I try every day: rice cereal, oatmeal, mashed fruits, mashed veggies, mashed fruits and cereal, mashed veggies and cereal, cereal with formula, formula with cereal, cereal with expressed milk, everything. But if it comes on a spoon or in a bottle, he just won’t take it. He’ll actually grab the spoon from me, shake the food off, and then gnaw cheerfully on it until I wrestle it away from him again and try to slip a little cereal into its bowl, at which point he hoots angrily, grabs the spoon, shakes off the cereal, and we start all over again. If I manage to get any into his mouth without him grabbing the utensil away – it just seems wrong, a little too close to waterboarding or some other Guantanamo-like exercise, to hold his arms down for the purposes of getting the spoon in – he makes a sour face and tries to push it out of his mouth. It’s a little frustrating.

It’s a little frustrating because I suspect that a rapidly-emptying belly is what keeps waking him up at night. I just don’t think my humble boobies are up to the task of keeping him filled for hours at a stretch. He’s a big guy, and I imagine that he’s got a big tummy tucked away in that pudgy belly of his. A big tummy that I can’t fill.

I’ve read that some babies just aren’t ready for food until closer to eight, nine, or even ten months. I’ve read that breastmilk is sufficient for most babies in their first year. I’ve read that some babies bypass soft foods altogether, and refuse to eat anything until they’re ready for more solid varieties of solid food (Jasper does, I should note, like organic teething biscuits. He holds them in his hand and gums happily away until they’ve turned to mush.) I don’t think that there’s anything wrong him – at least, I hope that there isn’t – but I am at the very end of my coping-rope and will soon reach the point of utter collapse if I don’t get a full night’s sleep soon. And because it has become clear to me that he is waking from hunger, I need to deal with his hunger before I can get some rest. I need that rest.

I need that rest BAD.

So what do I do?

********

UPDATE (Sunday): HE TOOK A SIPPY CUP. REJOICE.

********

Miscellany…

Congratulations to the winner of last week’s What Would Linus Do? Good Karma GiveawayMaria! Maria asked for a donation to a pediatric ward, so I’ll make the donation to Toronto’s Sick Kid’s Hospital. And because Maria asked to pass on the iPod shuffle, I did a second random draw and the winner is ZombieDaddy. (ZombieDaddy, could you get in touch with me with your address?)

Also… I need ideas on how I might pay forward the wonderful experience that Emilia and Jasper I had last week. Money’s tight, so it needs to be something that draws more upon spirit than cash. Thoughts? Leave your ideas here. Whoever leaves the idea that I choose gets a Scrabble Diamond Anniversary Edition game…

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    { 109 comments }

    Issas Crazy World December 18, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Ok, this might not work and you might think I’m nuts, but have you tried a cup with a straw? I know he seems young, but some kids pick it up fast. Breastmilk or formula in it to start. If it works, you could try adding a bit of formula. My friend did that with hers, when her daughter was about 8 months she said. Once she realized her meals weren’t all coming from Mama, she got used to eating smalls bits of other stuff.

    Like i said, might not work, but I thought I’d throw it out there. Gerber makes cups with straws for babies. Good luck though, I hope something works. If all else fails, maybe a night or two with just daddy would do it?

    I’m about to start giving mine freaking ice cream to stay asleep. What my pediatrician doesn’t know, doesn’t matter right?

    Syko December 18, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    It’s funny how all the rules change. My babies slept on their tummies, started rice cereal at 3 weeks, and went from cereal to fruit to veggies to meats and finally eggs. By six months they ate pretty much anything. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a bite.

    I think though that they had less issues because they were formula-fed. The ideas of having someone else feed him sound smart. Let Emilia feed him! Or at least have a snack of what he’s having – like you could have her eat some banana slices and smush one or two up for him.

    I found that my kids learned better from older siblings than they did from me. They relate to them more.

    Niksmom December 18, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Before you go away for a night, can you try for a few hours? Pump some milk and leave it w/dad. Then you go to a friend’s house for a nice long nap. Let Dad tough it out for a few hours without you and see how J does. **IF** that works, then try a night.

    The caloric density isn’t as important as the rate of digestion (thus the recommendation for adding cereal to bottles at bedtime, etc.).

    Another, admittedly *bizarre* idea (please don’t ban me from your website for this!): Try smearing a bit of baby food (or formula if that’s what you want to give at bedtime) on your breast before feeding him. Yes, I’m serious. Hear me out…

    When teaching kids who have feeding tubes how to eat solids (mine and many others I’ve heard about), one of the first things that is recommended is attempting to feed by mouth WHILE the pump is running to create the association of food going in the mouth equals full tummy. You gradually start to give only food by mouth FIRST then follow with the pump.

    So…if you’re truly desparate it might be worth a try. If J can start to associate the taste of other things filling his tummy thenhe might be more amenable to taking a bottle.

    Good luck!

    Heidi December 18, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    My first was just like that. No bottle, no spoon, and no finger food. At 8 months he suddenly *got* it with the solids, and then he couldn’t get enough. I finally got him to take a bottle, but only for water, at 11 months. Then, of course, at a year the Ped told me “NO BOTTLES! SIPPY CUPS ONLY!” and I almost shot myself because they would have been nice to know in advance. I was also told NOT to introduce milk since he was still BFing, and then he wouldn’t drink it at all even as a toddler. I nursed until he self weaned at 19 months, and then I obsessed about yogurt intake forever because he didn’t drink milk until 4. Grrr… He’s 5 now and a regular kid. My second just turned 8 months and only likes finger food. Hoping we have a breakthrough soon!

    Best of luck to you!

    Marianne December 18, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Google “baby led weaning” or “baby led solids” or Gill Rapley’s name.

    Essentially, it’s all about skipping purees and just introducing solids at baby’s own pace, beginning around 6 months.

    Wish I had more time to write details, but baby is calling!

    Lala December 18, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Can I borrow Jasper for a night so I can get my milk back? My 3 month old started bobbing for boobies less and less and now won’t even suckle for a second. I’m very sad about it but c’est ma vie.
    As far as paying it forward is concerned – I just packaged up and sent three boxes of gently used, donated ornaments to a friend in NB who lost all her stuff to post hurricane flooding in August. I posted a request on my blog, http://crosswind.wordyblog.com/?p=978 ,and asked the moms at my daughter’s preschool to donate trinkets for me to send. Some people gave clothes and some gave gift cards. I also entered a bunch of contests and asked that the winnings be sent directly to her. I have a whole load of gifts to send with another driver this weekend so her kids have a merry Christmas. Maybe you know a needy family that can use some grocery cards or someone who would benefit from craft supplies or maybe a few words from you will flood http://jenlemen.com/blog/?p=562 with donations.
    You are loved.
    L

    Zombie Daddy December 18, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    I don’t remember what my daughter’s first non-brains food was. I think it was cooked down apples.

    If you cook them down just right, and add a couple of Rice Crispies for texture, you’ve got yourself some pretty good vegetarian brains.

    Also, sweet iPod Shuffle win. I don’t really have a mailing address, so if you could send that to Backpacking Dad, I’d appreciate it. He’ll get it to me, and I’ll get it to that kid whose brains I won’t be eating.

    Amy December 18, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    I say this every time I comment here, but it is uncanny how similar your struggles are to mine when my daughter was the same age. That time period SUCKED. She did not sleep. She did not eat (that I didn’t mind so much). But someone else pointed out–no food is as filling as nutritious as your milk, so working at finding an alternative isn’t going to help him sleep. My daughter didn’t eat any food until she was a year. I think her birthday banana rice pudding was one of the first foods she actually ate. She certainly wasn’t ready for anything cake-like at that age.

    I can’t remember how old she was when I discovered this, but I was amazed at how little she was when she figured out how to use a straw. Also, she would NOT take a bottle–until *I* taught her how to use it. The whole idea that mama should not be around so the boobs don’t distract baby from the bottle doesn’t always work. My daughter had to get the hang of it with me before she’d let anyone else feed her a bottle.

    Once you get a bottle/sippy/straw cup figured out, then you will have more options for escaping.

    daysgoby December 19, 2008 at 12:27 am

    Could he be teething?

    One thing that worked for us with teething is to wet a washcloth, then wring it out and toss it in the freezer. Let it defrost for a few minutes before giving it to the baby (or you can just keep them in the fridge, too). I was thinking maybe if you soaked the washcloth in…say…apple juice, then maybe after he got used to that taste that it might be easier to get him interested in taking some juice off a spoon.

    Juice to applesauce, maybe?

    Anonymous December 19, 2008 at 12:31 am

    This isn’t about food, its about comfort and you. He wants YOU. You need to sleep train your baby – its time. If he is big, then he should be able to go at LEAST 8 hrs w/out nursing.

    EarthyMama December 19, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Skip the purees, skip the mesh feeder, and go straight to soft chunks. My nine-month-old started on chunks well before he had teeth. At this point, though he still needs to breastfeed for nutrition and comfort, he loves solids, and will fuss and whine each time I eat until I share.

    Try softened Cheerios, sweet potato “fries”, very well cooked broccoli spears, avacado slices, well cooked carrot sticks – anything healthy, cooked to softness, and sort of fry shaped, so it’s easy for him to get it in his mouth.

    I started Earthy Baby on purees, but he hated them. He didn’t like the taste, the texture, or having to be fed with a spoon. I was afraid he didn’t want to eat, but the real problem was that he wanted to eat real food, and to feed himself on his own terms. It was only a matter of weeks before we gave up on purees. He’s a champion eater now. He can chew and eat nearly anything (with only five teeth), and enjoys a variety of tastes and textures.

    geeklady December 19, 2008 at 1:55 am

    The only way I’ve survived with GeekBaby is sleeping with him tucked up next to my boob in bed. He doesn’t even wake up anymore to eat, and I barely wake up. I resorted to this (after swearing I wouldn’t) after I fell asleep and dropped him while up one night nursing in the rocking chair. Thank God for the Boppy, or he might have hit the floor and not lap/pillow.
    My son likes to be in control of his feeding. He wouldn’t take a bottle and we had a miserable first week of mommy back at work until I found a sippy cup he would drink from – it had handles, and so he could pick it up.

    Try the self feeding tips from all the posts, but also, try setting him on the floor (non carpeted, duh). Highchairs tend to recline babies, and that’s not a good position to eat in. Let him sit on the floor, or in a Bumbo seat, somewhere where he can lean forward and eat in a more natural posture.

    Anonymous December 19, 2008 at 2:27 am

    Soft finger foods, no purees. I’ve been there, done that with a child just like yours (actually, mine may have been fussier). He never ate pureed foods. Ever. We went straight to solids. He liked puffed kamut as it basically dissolved in his mouth and didn’t became a choking hazard. We then worked our way through various other foods, but solids really weren’t his thing until about a year old. Despite this, he was always in the 95th percentile for height/weight and exclusively breastfed. It was a huge time commitment.

    Co-sleeping saved my life and sanity. I adapted and found a way to make it work.

    Erica December 19, 2008 at 10:53 am

    I remember from a previous post that you weren’t big on CIO because you really felt that Jasper needed you. I’m in the same boat–Z just wouldn’t stop crying, he’d escalate (though to offer you a bit of hope, this has changed over the past few days, where he’ll fuss and then will fall asleep by himself for awhile). Anyhoo. What we finally did to break him of his boob habit was have my husband sleep in Z’s room and me sleep in our room. The idea was to have DH sleep on the floor with Z in the crib, but what really happens is they both sleep on the mattress on the floor. Some nights Z wakes up and needs a feeding, so I’ll go in, give him one, then leave. Most nights, he makes it through 6 or so hours w/o eating. And I get sleep. At some point, I think it becomes partially a habit and if the bar’s not open, they won’t drink.

    I also have to say that Z’s been eating solid food for about 4 months, but it’s only been in the past month that it’s seemed to positively impact his sleep. The two don’t seem to necessarily go hand in hand.

    Good luck!

    Baby in the City December 19, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Love this post and the comments are really good. It never occurred to me that this could happen. What do mean babies don’t take bottles? Won’t eat food? Who doesn’t like food? I guess that’s just me…

    Birdie December 19, 2008 at 11:53 am

    I’m probably echoing other posters (no time to read all the comments!) but I also recommend the mesh feeder…my kiddo loved that but wouldn’t take ANYTHING from a spoon, much like yours. Also just big chunks of ripe banana or baked sweet potato for him to gum might work.

    He will eventually eat food. But I understand your desire to have your boobs back to yourself, at least part-time…my little dude is almost 15 months and still nursing 4+ times a day! (I love it but am really excited to wear real bras again someday…)

    Vanessa December 19, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    I don’t know if Jasper is a dairy kid at all, but have you tried little slivers of cheese or some yogurt?

    A lot of the yogurt comes back out, speaking from experience with my niece, but after a few tries, she started to love the taste. Same with cheese…we used really little slivers of it, and put them under her tongue a few times, and eventually, if you were in the kitchen and cutting cheese, she’d swat at it, wanting some.

    Other than that, I’d still suggest a mommy-baby-sitter. I’ve done it before for a new mom. She was more overwhelmed with her older kids (baby, 2 year old, 4 year old and she was recovering from a pain birth experience, nuff said), but I still had the baby. She was in the house, but she was napping, reading a book, watching a movie, taking a bath…all without listening to “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!” because the older two were doing a craft with me and the baby was in a sling.

    She said it made a world of difference, even for a day. Just gave her that break she needed to get some real sleep and de-stress a bit. Do it, I tell ya.

    LAVANDULA December 19, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    catherine all of the others have good ideas for you to try hope something works.you really sound exhausted.take care

    Adelas December 19, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Although I think everyone above has pretty much covered it, I’m going to delurk and put in my two cents’ worth.

    One thing I didn’t see by the time I was 3/4 of the way down the comments, was anyone asking how many different kinds of bottles you may have used. I just ask because we had a lot of success (with a younger baby) using the “The First Years” Breastflow style bottles. The super wide, double-layer nipples are made to work more like boobs work (pinch pinch, squirt). So, if you’re going to make futher bottle attempts rather than going straight to sippy cup, I can stand behind this product.

    Second, I had to delurk JUST to express my shock that your son was able to unscrew the little bag thingy of the mesh feeder. My 10 month old is still working on the basics of light switches, let alone screw tops.

    Since Kibwana has been a textbook-standard eater, I don’t have any advice that hasn’t already been covered by everyone else, but I think there have been a lot of good suggestions in there. I guess the only thing I can contribute is…

    He LOVES picking up used water bottles and using his new bottom teeth to scrape a hole in the paper label, then pull it to shreds using his fingers or his mouth. Just like the dogs. (Although it’s a pain to spend all my time making sure he doesn’t swallow the paper, it’s great entertainment…)

    Anyhow, I had an epiphany: I peeled one half of an apple and gave it to him….he had a blast using those little half-teeth to scrape the flesh off the apple on that side.

    The relevance here is that perhaps Wonderbaby would enjoy something that was previously a “no-no” item. What inedible stuff does he normally like to nom? (Whoa, too much icanhascheezburger this morning….) And what foods can mimic that thing?

    Her Bad Mother December 19, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Aren’t cheerios and the like a choking hazard?

    fidget December 19, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Bo refused solids until i gave him prunes. I think he channels a 72 year old man. Maybe try rubbing bbq sauce or mashed nanas on your nipple before nursing?

    MaggieO December 19, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I haven’t read the other comments, so someone’s probably already covered this, but are you doing a “dream feed?” My son sounds exactly like yours — big baby, only wanted boob — and I would get him up to nurse again right before I went to bed at night. (So he’d nurse around 7 when he went to bed, and then again around 10:30 when I did.) He nursed half in his sleep (hence dream feed), and I think he still woke up at around 4 in the morning, but it got me a lot more sleep than when I would go to bed and then get woken up again at midnight. I was skeptical originally that it would work w/out being too disruptive to his sleep, but it was a lifesaver for me. That and having him nurse frequently during the day. Oh, and sorry to relate this part, but he pretty much refused all solids until he was over a year old…if your guy keeps this up much longer, you may want to consider iron drops, because my son ended up slightly anemic since he wouldn’t eat that nicely fortified rice cereal. Anyway, blah blah blah assvice, but I just wanted to chime in since your situation definitely sounds familiar.

    Katie December 19, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    This blogger had success starting her baby on actual solid foods — a whole peach — when he was only six months old. It may be worth a try! It’s called baby-led weaning.

    http://www.kidsdish.com/category/starting-solids/

    Good luck!!!

    imogen howson December 19, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    My daughter did exactly this, with similar sleep issues and feeding for unreasonable amounts at a time, and eventually the only solid food I could give her was a banana.
    Not mashed at all, just broken in half so she could hold it. It made the most unholy mess (down neck of babygro, up nose, in ears, in hair) but she could eat most of a banana that way and it was the ONLY way she’d have anything other than breastmilk.
    Obviously anything with chunks is a choking hazard, so you have to be with the baby all the time they’re eating, but at that age you would be anyway.
    And good luck. It’s so hard!
    Immi
    x

    LD December 19, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    I totally hear you on this.
    Chloe is 8.5 months, and we’ve been really struggling with the same thing. Our nanny starts in a few weeks and she has been pretty much nursing ONLY.
    And, I’ve been really trying for awhile.
    Anyway, I went to my naturopath for help.
    She suggested trying Sweet Pea baby food. You buy it in the frozen ice cubes. I thought she was crazy since I’ve tried ALL the different brands, but I went out and bought it, and she eats it. It really is the only kind she eats.
    So, this has been going on for a week.
    I think it’s partly the flavour and partly the fact that she’s a little older and was ready.
    She’ll eat the chicken/veggie one and loves the Blueberry/banana one.
    Honestly, I have videotaped her eating because it’s been such a struggle.
    But, also at the same time we started giving her a baby acidopholous supplement.
    We’ve also started introducing formula. we tried every kind and she’ll only take the organic kind and only warmer than recommended (not hot).

    Laura December 19, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    tape a steak to your breast. I have done it. It works.

    Backpacking Dad December 19, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Pediatrician said Erin could swallow objects as large as a dime at 6 months old, so cheerios were no problem at all. There are also Gerber Puffs that dissolve almost instantly.

    motherbumper December 19, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    I dare you to rub bananas on your nipples. Oh and I’d pay money to hear the results of taping steaks to your chest. MONEY.

    Michelle December 19, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    @motherbumper ROFL!!!

    motherbumper December 19, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    In retrospect, I’d say I’m not that helpful in these situations. But in case you are wondering, the money is still on the table.

    just beth December 19, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    we. have. the. same. child.

    My son is 8+ months old at 23-24 pounds of chunkalicious boob fed maniac.

    We co-sleep and most of the time, I just get all drunk and pass out.

    KIDDING. Mostly.

    But I feel you. This boy GAGS when I try to feed him. And then has this face like an ANGEL and is all ‘i’m trying mom, really!!!’

    My daughter was eating at 5 months and still up every two hours… in a different room, so while I can’t move and am awake much in the night with my little guy, it’s so much better than it was with her (she’s two now, so it wasn’t that long ago). I’m just happy I don’t have to get out of bed. Plus, I hang on to the understanding that this REALLY won’t last forever. It won’t. It won’t. It better freaking not.

    Having said that, i’ve heard it can help to put a shirt on (or more clothes, whatever) and turn away from him after he’s nursed a bit, so he can’t really smell you… (hasn’t worked for me, but??)

    I’m kinda into attachment parenting, so i really wouldn’t suggest the night weaning yet or sleep training, whatever… having said that, the most important thing for your little guy is a SANE(ish!!)AND HAPPY MOMMA, so you do what you need to do. :-)

    If you figure anything out, PLEASE let me know!!!!!

    xoxo

    b.

    worldmomma December 19, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    How long have you let him feel the hunger before you gave in with more booby milk? We didn’t have this problem since our little guy took to anything he could consumer with gusto. But since your baby clearly likes to eat, I bet if he was left alone with daddy for a day or two, dad would find something other than breastmilk to give him and baby would eventually give in.

    Anonymous December 19, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    I don’t know if anyone else ash suggested, but maybe a Lact-Aid from a lactation consultant with formula? You can tape the tube to your nipple, or slip it in after he latches, and he will get extra food that way. He may also start to like the taste of formula, and want to try it with cereal. Just a thought. It worked for us to learn how to BF.
    We had a heck of a time getting solids in the first few months. Lots of night wakings, I feel your pain! It’s better now, and it always help me if I repeat : everything is just a phase :)

    Good luck!

    Anonymous December 19, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    That sucks, literally. My son is almost 8 months and solid food is a daily battle, somedays he eats it some days he doesnt. I have learned not to force it. He sorta self weened onto a bottle at 6 months, so I am not as attached as you are atm…

    One fail safe food for me is yobaby organic yogurt, he’ll eat buckets of it if i let him. Give it a try!

    He also likes the broccoli and cheese casserole baby food. Not a huge fan of fruits and sweets…just a thought.

    Good luck!

    -Beth

    Anonymous December 19, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Anyone that tells you that adding rice cereal to a bottle will make them sleep hasn’t read the research that says that this does crap all for their sleep and doesn’t realize that is a choking hazzard.

    Also the tough love, sleeping training crap – is well, crap and inhumane.

    I would 2nd the motion to see if iron supplementation is needed in a month or two.

    The only other piece of ass-vice I have is to let him play with food. Put down a dollar store shower curtain, put several options of food out in front and let him go to town. Keep meal times happy (as frustrating as they can get), eat with him.

    Chelsea December 19, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    I agree with the others on Baby led weaning – try scrambled eggs, yogurt, whole pieces of peeled fruit (apple, pear) to hold and gnaw on. Just keep trying and let him play with food on his own. Neither of my kids would ever eat anything pureed or spoon fed, and my almost 4 year old still won’t eat applesauce to this day. Scrambled eggs was the first thing my kids really ate on their own and really loved. Good luck. My 17 month old is still up 3 times a night to nurse *sigh*…

    Anonymous December 20, 2008 at 4:18 am

    our babies sound like twins, except mine is now 13 months AND he sleeps from 10pm till 7am. It will happen!

    finger foods (especially steamed sweet potato), mesh feeders with banana, and rice cereal mixed with pureed peaches seemed to be what my son eventually went for.

    offer solids before breastfeeding as well

    ::::wifemothermaniac:::: December 20, 2008 at 5:08 am

    I was going to type something similar to your anonymous poster who suggested letting your guy get really messy and play with his food. My eldest was like this, she fed herself in minute amounts by squishing her food with her fingers, then licking them. Her favorite first food was cooked bananas, they are sweeter once , breastmilk is also super sweet. If he sits well, plop him on a blanket, give him some mushed cooked bananas and let him get messy, then stick him in the bath later. He’ll get some in his mouth, and probably like it! I mixed everything with Banana for that same eldest, my other 2 weren’t picky but my first really wanted sweet stuff and only if she could feed it to herself.

    Anonymous December 20, 2008 at 6:56 am

    I am sure you are doing a great job and he will eventually grow out of it all on his own.

    What helped me eventually was a bit of what you called “ferberization-lite”. I think the reason it helped, though, was because DS learnt a range of options for being helped to sleep. I could feed him to sleep, or rock him to sleep in my arms, or pat him to sleep in his crib, or pump him full of paracetamol (ok that was just for teething LOL) and in between each option, I could put him down for oh, 2-3 minutes and just breathe and take a break.

    So, my advice is to experiment. Try different ways of settling him in the middle of the night, before you feed him. let him cry for 2 minutes. Let your husband take him for a pram ride around the house. Pat him in the crib for 5 minutes before feeding him. If he is like my son, the alternatives won’t work at first. But eventually they will. Just mix it up, keep him confused – but still comforted if that is your instinct – and break the wake/feed association.

    Harder to do than to say! especially when sleep deprived. Sometimes i wonder if these things are more like busy-work to help us feel we are doing something while they grow out of it on their own.

    deb December 20, 2008 at 11:05 am

    I couldn’t get my youngest off my breast either until she was fifteen months old. Drove me crazy. What I did was trick her, I gave her a bottle of milk in the night when she was half asleep, worked well. Good luck.

    Catherine December 20, 2008 at 11:24 am

    I think that many above me are correct, Jasper knows the jugs are right there – why eat something green? Since he takes the spoon from you, maybe he could have his own and his feeder can have one too? Maybe HBS (his bad sister) could sit right next to him and also eat with an identical spoon? Maybe even out of a jar of baby food (applesauce or something) (although this might cause new issues that she wants to be THE baby). I’m sure he loves her and wants to be just like her.

    Anissa Mayhew December 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    I had the baby that wouldn’t wean but was STARVING…here’s what worked for me, good luck finding someone who would suffer through it with you.

    I had to leave said son with my friend long enough that he was SCREAMING for a boob. Then she’d give him some solids. It took about a week to just start giving in and eating without a tantrum first. It worked because the boobs were not an option at my friends house, it gave me a chance to nap while she had him and eventually he realized he liked being FULL, go figure.

    Wish I lived closer because I truly would throw myself under the bus to help you with this one. Oh, you should just come back to FL.

    That Mommie December 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    I don’t have any tipfor the strating of solids, but maybe for the sleeping part.

    Have you tried cosleeping? So that you could just roll over and pop in the booby and fall back to sleep. It doesn’t require much getting up, and you can regain your strength.

    Ex-in-the-City December 20, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I had an uber-baby. Now she’s an uber-woman and I could insensitively say it’s worth it, but what-the-hell-good would that do. Sleep deprivation is total guantanamo.
    What worked with the second child–also an uber-girl but a more cheerful version (perhaps this is my perception since I was better rested) was that I didn’t get up to feed her. I didn’t even open my eyes. My husband brought her to me, positioned her and I guess lifted my t-shirt. One necessity for this practice is a guardrail on your bed.
    Love your blog.
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    April December 20, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    my 9mo loves pasta. i give him elbow noodles cooked for about 20 minutes until they’re basically mush. mix em with cheese or baby food. he’s WAY more into it than the squidgy stuff.

    April December 20, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    oh, and he loves loves loves the gerber puffs that melt in your mouth. i started those around 7.5mo. then once he was good on those we moved to cheerios then the pasta. :-)

    Anonymous December 21, 2008 at 10:35 am

    At six months, we started trying with the purees and what not- She didn’t finish a single jar until she was 9 months, and that day she ate two and then finished off her cousin’s mac and cheese. The next day, she stole both spoons that I tried to feed her with and tried for the third, so I put some soft finger foods down and the kid started jamming them in. Maybe with the next one I will just let them figure it out themselves, because all the solid food thing did was stress me out. Of course, you have a different situation- maybe what everyone else has suggested and let him make a mess and do it himself? I would let him have the teething rusks and put a small bowl of baby food on the tray and try to get him to dip into fruits and what not? I dunno, it is worth a shot, I guess.

    cartoongoddess December 21, 2008 at 11:16 am

    I’m a bit late to the party here, but had to add this. I had one of those babies who bypassed mush.

    At about 6 months (when I was good and frustrated) I gave her teeny-micro bits of toast one day. I didn’t expect her to eat them, I just sort of dumped them on her tray and started walking away. She happily ate them.

    Next we moved on to teeny-micro bits of other foods. She just didn’t want pureed anything. Can’t blame her there. I don’t know whether she swallowed stuff whole or what (she didn’t get any teeth till 10 mos.), but she was finally interested in food.

    QuJaBaKa December 21, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    oooooo I have been there. you know I think that our sons could easily be twins!! I finally gave up on trying to get him to eat something, and then tried again three weeks later, with two spoons, he got to chew on his one and I got to try and coax bits of food into his mouth. When that failed I finally realised that he simply wanted to be the one in control. At nearly 9 months he finally started drinking from a bottle because I decided to just put him to bed with it, I know this sounds terrible but if my boy thinks there is any chance I am going to control the situation then he won’t drink it, so in his crib he goes and holds his own little bottle, I started out with only 50ml of milk.
    On the solid food thing, he started eating anything he can hold for himself, bananas, hard biscuits, rusks.
    Just a thought but maybe your boy is a control freak too just like mine, everything else about our pregnancies and children has seemed to be very similar.

    Her Bad Mother December 21, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    That Mommie – we do co-sleep. I’d be dead by now if we didn’t ;)

    It’s just that I don’t get an especially GOOD sleep with the chunkmeister kicking me in the boobs…

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