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Sunday, January 9, 2011


Besides a slight cough here and there, health has been restored in our home! Our first case of the flu was awful and worrisome and at times had me freaked out with scenarios of one or more of us not surviving. My fears can get a bit out of control when life's circumstances feel like they're out of my control. If you had witnessed the way this flu bug attacked my little Hugh, I think you'd understand my worries and fears. Watching him suffer was far more awful than having the flu myself.

I know some of my worst fears stem from our losses and recognizing that life sometimes has unexpected (and unwanted) outcomes . I simultaneously feel gratitude and fear at the reminder that life is fragile. While I appreciate the renewed reminder to live life to the fullest, I would rather not live in fear of experiencing some traumatic loss. I'm just relieved that we're all feeling better now.

On a slighty different note, I thought I'd see if any of you have had any experience with a baby being a little slower with starting solids. Hugh is almost eight months and still is mainly just breastfed. At six months I tried a few different foods - oatmeal, bananas, avocado, yams, squash. In the beginning he had a really strong gag reflex. So, I waited a couple of weeks and then tried again. Then, once he was getting more down, within an hour or so he was spitting it up.

I'm assuming he has a sensitive stomach, since cutting dairy out of my diet drastically helped him. While I'm not overly concerned about it since he's still gaining weight and is in the 80% percentile for weight (or was before the flu, anyway), I would like to get him eating more. I try to give him a little something solid everyday and he seems to be doing better, but just doesn't eat much and doesn't seem to enjoy it.

Ben was the total opposite, so I've just been at a loss of how to handle this situation. I feed both boys normal food that I make and prepare myself, rather than baby canned food, and would prefer to keep it that way, unless there is some aspect of the canned food that might help. Do any of you have any advice with foods to try or how to get him to eat more?


KieraAnne said...

Have you tried different textured food? My sister-in-laws kid had a problem with the soft and mushy texture of baby-type food and it would trigger his gag reflex often making him throw up. Maybe give him something more solid to gnaw on that he won't choke on; like bread or those teething cracker things? I can't remember what the issue was exactly with her son but I could ask. Otherwise, I'd say if he's gaining weight and the doctor isn't concerned about it then just give him more time as different kids hit milestones at different times. :)

Erica said...

My son Noah is 8 mos. old and he is just finally eating baby food like a champ. My daughter ate solids at 4 mos. like it was no big deal, but Noah had the same gag reflex you're talking about. I just kept trying week after week (at least once a week) until he stopped gagging on it. Mix in breastmilk so he recognizes the flavor. And also, Noah will ONLY eat sweet foods.. so I recently started mixing 1/2 jar of a savory food (peas & brown rice, for instance) with 1 whole jar of a sweet food, like pears. The kid has NO idea that his gag-o-riffic peas are hidden inside the delectable pears! :)

Good luck!!

Allred Fam said...

hi Megan- Brennan (our 8 yr old) also had a really strong gag reflex, if there was a half a grain of rice or a tiny lump of banana, etc. in the pureed food he would gag and throw up. That's why I went to the stage 1 baby food for him, it was so smooth. He ate that for a long time, till like 18 months. I made smoothies in the blender for his fruits after that, and he still is very picky, and still has a strong gag reflex. He doesn't like soft textures- bread, cake, banana- only crunchy- toast, crackers, apple. Still really only does pureed fruits like applesauce or strawberry sauce. Weird! I think some are just born that way. I used to think I introduced solid foods too late with him which caused the problems, but then Damon (the 3 yr old) didn't want solids either (at all) till about 8 months old. He finally got on board and now eats just about anything, no matter the texture. Maybe you can get some help/encouragement from these experiences.... I think making sure it is completely pureed is key for now. Good luck...

Kelly said...

You've gotten great suggestions! Definitely some babies are more sensitive to different textures, flavors, thicknesses, etc. One of my friends' daughters had acid reflux and she started associating all solids with a tummy-ache. Getting her to eat was a battle. I wouldn't know if Hugh has that particular issue - but I mention it to show that there can be SO many reason why kids won't eat.

I like to start my kids on solids the sooner the better and I prefer to feed them mainly "real" food. But I have to say that most 1st stage baby foods are about as real as you can get. They don't add sugars or other seasonings like they do in the stage three foods. They are the only baby foods that I buy (and I personally use them only as introductory foods before moving on to food I prepare for the baby).

Good luck! At least you don't have to worry about a failure to thrive problem! That just adds more unnecessary stress to the issue.

And on a different topic...I imagine we'll be seeing you on the 22nd at Sarah's reception? I'd love to see how the boys have grown!

Heffalump said...

I read an article about baby led weaning that said that babies will often gag if you are putting the spoon all the way into their mouths.
I have noticed this with my three month old. Not with a spoon, but with a pacifier. If I put the paci in his mouth, he will gag, but if I put it to his lips he will open his mouth to chew on the end, and then he will suck it in on his own, and he doesn't gag then. I think it has something to do with their sucking reflex. If you put the food towards the front of his mouth instead of all the way in it might help. Just an idea of course!

Liz said...

My oldest is a total texture kid too. He still won't eat most crunchy foods and I had the hardest time feeding him when he was a baby. I did pretty much what you're doing...I gave him solids once (sometimes twice) a day and breastfed him the rest of the time. I think some babies just prefer the breastmilk and it sounds like Hugh is just fine and healthy with what you're doing. I would start to worry if he turns one and still wants nothing to do with solids.

What does your baby doctor say??

Marc and Megan said...

Thanks, everyone, for the ideas! I appreciate hearing what has worked for other babies. When I talked to our pediatrician about it last month, he wasn't worried and just said to keep trying things. Since he didn't offer any specifics, I'm really grateful for the great suggestions you've given!

I'm going to do some experimenting with different foods and textures until I find what Hugh prefers. I've also been a little suspicious about him having acid reflux, for a few different reasons, so I'll have to check into that.

Thanks so much!!

Charity said...

Hey, here is my two cents. Start with the rice cereal, a little bit mixed with breast milk...when he can handle that, then move to simple veggies, carrots, he handles it, continue to introduce the other foods,...I would start with the baby food jars unless you can really get in pureed... 8 months is normal for breastfed babies...don't worry about that...he may just be getting too full...maybe try the solid food before you nurse him...or inbetween nursing so he isn't so full. I notice that Sadie spits up a lot more if she is just too full...anyway, glad to hear you're all feeling better. Take Care.