Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – Weaning/Solids

Is home-cooked organic food better than use organic jars and packets?

When I first started weaning my daughter at 4 months, I cooked and pureed all of her organic fruit and vegetables myself. However, as she is now over 6 months old, my husband wants to feed her solely on jars/packets of organic baby food (whereas I would prefer to make the meals suggested in Gina’s book of weaning). My husband thinks that the organic jars are exactly the same as what you would make yourself with the advantage of being quicker to prepare. He does concede that the amount of meat and vegetables may be less than what you would include yourself. I did make him read the case study of Emily in the weaning book (but alas, to no avail!). Is there any evidence that feeding your baby home-cooked food is better for her than even the organic jars /packets of baby food?

Now that there is such an array of organic food available on the market it can be tempting to think that using this exclusively will be an easier option than cooking fresh food. As with most things there are pros and cons to be considered on both sides. In your case why not settle for a compromise and have some ready made food in to use on the days when your time is limited, you want to be out or are travelling. When you do have time and are at home, then use home-made food so your daughter becomes used to both kinds. A lot of home-cooked food can be cooked in larger quantities and frozen into baby sized portions, which will also enable you to prepare your daughter’s meals quite quickly once they are defrosted. You may be able to spend one or two mornings a month filling up your freezer with home cooked food. Making menu plans for the next couple of weeks can help you plan and cook ahead for the days when time maybe limited but your daughter will still have home-cooked food to enjoy.
Compare both sides and perhaps get your husband to see the issues a little more clearly.

Ready made food
Home-made food
Advantages
  • Its composition is strictly controlled by EU legislation
  • Less expensive and food can be bought “in season”
  • Convenient and saves time
  • Complete control over all the ingredients
  • Easy to use when out or away
  • It will be easier for your baby to move onto family meals because they will be used to the tastes
  • Large range to choose from
  • You can alter the taste and texture to your own baby’s needs
Disadvantages
  • You are unable to change the taste and texture. You have no control over the composition or the ingredients
  • Time consuming to prepare
  • Expensive
  • May not always look so attractive
  • You cannot make use of seasonal ingredients
  • Shopping and cooking skills are needed
  • Your baby may not want to eat family food once used to the texture and tastes of commercially prepared.

Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – Weaning/Solids

How do I wean a six-month-old?

My baby boy, Tyler, will be six months old tomorrow. He was exclusively breast-fed until 24 weeks, at which point we started weaning, and my plan is to continue with breast-feeding. He has followed the contented baby routine from around 10 weeks, which suits him brilliantly, and he is a complete star. He falls asleep as soon as he is put into his cot, and feeds and sleeps when he is supposed to – he’s great!
The only concerns I have at the moment are related to weaning. All the research and reading that I’ve seen, recommends exclusive breastfeeding until six months – which we have done. The problem is, however, that although the government recommends 6 months, the meal planners/suggestions start from 4 months (I have your Contented Weaning book).
Tyler’s weight last week was 15lb 10oz (he was 7lb 8oz at birth) and although he is still within the parameters, he is dipping slightly. The health visitor said he was fine, but recommended increasing his solids. He is taking his solids brilliantly, and has done from day one, although he refuses carrot. I’ve left it for a few days and tried to re-introduce it as you suggest, but I can only get away with very small amounts mixed with rice or sweet potato. At the moment I give him the following, all of which is homemade and organic: 7am – Half breast-feed, 1 tsp baby rice, remainder breast-feed
11am – 2 cubes carrot (or sweet potato)
5.45pm – Half breast-feed, 2 cubes apple (or pear), remainder breast-feed
10pm – 2oz expressed milk
I have been giving him as much solids as he seems to want (within reason) but I’m concerned I might be increasing it too quickly; I’m still sticking to first tastes at the moment. He seems happy and loves his food. I haven’t noticed a decrease in his milk intake, although it is obviously hard to tell. I don’t know the ‘mechanics’ of his digestive system, and perhaps his body needs time to adjust, but he is only filling his nappy every 3-4 days since weaning started, compared to at least once a day previously.
I would be grateful if you could give me your view on how I should adjust the feeding plan for Tyler, in view of him not starting weaning until 24 weeks.

I appreciate how difficult and confusing it is for many mothers since the change in the weaning recommendations. It is, however, important to remember that the latest advice is only a recommendation and that all babies are different and their individual needs must be met. Looking at Tyler’s feeding details, it would appear as if you have cut out his 11am milk feed before you have increased his solids enough. The effect of this is that his overall daily intake has reduced, and this is why his weight is dropping slightly. If you refer to the ‘Gina responds’ page on the website, you will find advice for parents who decide to wait until their baby is six months before weaning; here, I suggest that babies in this category must continue with four to five milk feeds until well-established on solids.

At six months, it is also important to work through the four-month weaning guidelines that I recommend in my book more quickly, increasing the amount and types of foods every couple of days, instead of every three to four days. I would also strongly suggest that you introduce some carbohydrates to Tyler at lunchtime and in the evening; this can be in the form of sweet potato, rice, breakfast cereal or pasta. The introduction of iron-rich foods is also very important at the six-month stage, when a baby’s initial iron reserves fall. These should initially be in the form of beans, green leafy vegetables, dried fruit or fortified breakfast cereals, but red meat, chicken and fish should be introduced soon afterwards, as iron is more easily absorbed from animal sources. Please note Paul Sacher’s tip to consume something rich in Vitamin C alongside the iron-rich food to aid absorption, e.g. orange juice.

I hope you will find this advice useful and, once you have made some small adjustments, I am certain that Tyler will continue to thrive as well as he has done during his first six months.

Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – Weaning/Solids

Is it best to steam food for pureeing?

Just a quick question. When I’m preparing food for my baby, would it be better to steam the food to purée? If so, for how long? Should I use filtered water in the steamer or is it not necessary?
Thank you
Michelle

Steaming your baby’s food is an ideal way to prepare it as this helps to retain more of the vitamins which can be lost during the boiling process. As you often need to add a little liquid to the vegetables to purée them after steaming, you should use filtered water, but you don’t need to put it in the bottom of the steamer. How long? This really depends on which vegetable or fruit you are preparing. Some take longer than others, for instance carrots require longer cooking than peas. As long as the vegetable is tender and easily pierced with a knife it should be cooked enough to purée.

Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – Weaning/Solids

How do I adapt the routine for giving solids at 6pm to 6 month twins?

My twins are nearly 23 weeks so I am aware that I will need to introduce solids soon, despite them showing no real signs of being ready. How do I adapt the evening routine in the evening to accommodate two babies? At present I am feeding them alone and have to start feeding them their bottle about 5.45pm. It can become difficult if I leave it any later. Do you think I need to bring the feed time forward even further to accommodate the solids?
I do not bath them in the evening as this was too stressful for all of us, so after their feed at 5.45 they are settled by about 6.35pm.

When you first begin to introduce solids to the boys it may be better to split the 6pm feed to help you all with this stressful time of day.
Once the boys have begun to accept solids at 11am and shown no reaction, you can begin to offer solids with the 6pm feed. In order for them to continue to feed well before bed, allow 5ozs at 2.15pm and then offer 4-5 ozs at 5pm. This will be the best time to offer solids. Once they are changed and ready for bed, offer them the rest of their feed.
By splitting the feed at this time you could find the boys are able to cope better when tired at the end of the day.
When first introducing solids give 4ozs of the feed at 11am followed by the solids, then allow the boys to have as much of the rest of their feed as they want. This will help them steadily increase their solids without cutting back on their milk too quickly.
As the boys will be weaned at 6 months it is important to work through the food groups at a quicker rate than a baby being weaned earlier. They will begin to need some iron in their diet as the supplies laid down at birth are running out. For more information on this look at the article by Gina on the site:
http://www.contentedbaby.com/members-only/GR-Weaning.php
Both boys seem to be feeding well throughout the day. Once you introduce solids be aware that one baby may take to them better than the other. The easiest method to use is to make a double quantity in one bowl and have a spoon for each baby. So at 5pm in the early days have a bowl with six teaspoons of rice mixed with milk and offer each baby 2-3 spoons each.
Once the boys have been accepting solids for two to three weeks, begin to decrease the amount of milk they have at 10pm so this feed can be dropped.

Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – Weaning/Solids

What is the proper balance of milk and solids for my 6 month twins?

I am just a little confused about what the balance of my twins boys’ milk/ solids should be, as they are being introduced to solids later. In the weaning book it starts at 4 months i.e. still offering the milk first followed by 1tsb of baby rice etc. Should I be offering more solids to my boys than the book suggests for 4-5 months, as they will be 6 months next week. In the book it says they should be on 3 meals a day by 6 months and cutting down on their milk intake.
I am concerned that I am still offering them too much milk and not enough solids – what is the correct balance for babies of this age?
At present they have 1 cube of carrot puree at 11am and 2 tsp baby rice mixed with 1 cube of pear at 6pm.

Now that the weaning guidelines have changed, many babies are being introduced to solids later than before, when 4 months was the suggested age to begin. This means that the whole process needs to be speeded up. To do this introduce a new food every two days or so, always watching for any reaction. The amount you offer should also be increased from those in the 4-5 month routines. Use 2 cubes and offer the boys as much of this as they seem able to cope with. To begin with they will probably take about 11/2 cubes at a time. Your boys should now be able to progress to the “tier method ” used in the fifth month at their 11am feed. See a description of this on p<> of the Complete Weaning Guide. This is when half their milk is given before the solids and then offered again once they have had their vegetable or fruit. It means they will begin to take more solids and cut back on their milk in preparation for the sixth month when protein is introduced at this feed and the milk feed dropped.
At 6pm offer them 3-4 tsps of baby rice mixed with the either pear or apple. If they show signs of constipation with the rice, then add a little more fruit but not a great deal more, as too much fruit may be a cause of dirty nappies in the early morning.
By 6 months a baby’s iron reserves laid down at birth will be running low, so iron-rich foods such as formula (if being used), beans and lentils, broccoli and other green leafy vegetables need to be introduced. Once your babies are used to digesting these foods in reasonable amounts, it is important to progress quickly on to animal-derived foods. Iron is absorbed much better from animal-derived foods such as fish, chicken and red meat than from plant sources. If you wish to follow a vegetarian diet you will need to seek the advice of your doctor.
In general, be guided by your sons and their overall well-being. If they remain content, sleeping well and enjoying their solids, then begin to increase their amounts and the wider range of tastes more quickly, so they will be well used to taking solids in their sixth month

Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – Weaning/Solids

At 6 months I can’t seem to get my son interested in solids or taking formula

I started to wean my son at 18 weeks and followed the CLB guidelines to the letter. By 20 weeks he just wasn’t bothered with solids at all. By 21 weeks he wouldn’t take them from me at all. We were travelling a lot and I have to admit that I ended up giving in and most of his feeds went back to breastfeeding with only one feed of solids every day; even that was a struggle. I was back to totally feeding on demand. Now he is 6-months-old I really want to do the right thing for him and get into a disciplined feeding pattern – I also would like to introduce formula for the afternoon feed. Although he took a bottle of expressed milk up to 9 weeks, he has point blankly refused it since; he does take water from a sippy cup though. I just don’t know where to start and I am so confused with it all and desperately need some guidance.
From 3 weeks he would sleep from 10.30 pm through to 7.30am and by 12 weeks it was 9pm – 8am. At 16 weeks he started to wake up during the night so put him down at 7.30, giving him a dream feed as suggested. That worked for a while but now he takes his dream feed and still wakes up at night.
He has never slept much during the day.
At present he breast feeds at 8am, 11am, 2.30pm, 5pm, 7.30pm,11pm, 4am. He is given solids at 11.45am of carrot and sweet potato or baby rice and fruit puree. He eats about 3 tablespoons. At 6pm he takes carrot and sweet potato, or avocado or baby rice and fruit puree (up to 2 tablespoons). He weighs 20lbs.
He sleeps from 10-10.45am, 12.30-1.30pm, 4.30-5pm.

At his present weight, your son is hungry in the night, as he is not taking enough solid food by day. As he is now just over 6 months and still being breast fed you need to introduce a wider variety of vegetables and fruit to him and also some form of protein. As he has been demand fed, he is now beginning to be rather a milk addict and is filling himself up, thus not being interested in taking solid food. As long as he continues to have 7 feeds a day he will not want to take much else.
You will need to cut back on the amount of milk he has so he will be more interested in trying a wider variety of solids. Already you seem to have a routine in place in that give solids at 11am and 6pm. Now you need to begin to cut back on the milk feeds. Beginning your day slightly earlier could help, so your son is receiving his first breast feed by 7.30am. If you wish to continue using 8am-8pm as your “day” then you must push the next feed forward so your son will be hungry for his solids. Use the “tier” method of feeding at 11.30/11.45am. Offer him a small breast feed, no more than one side, then offer him his solids. Use the weaning guide to show you how to introduce new vegetables. Once he has finished them offer him the second breast but don’t be surprised if he cuts back on this. He needs to, as this feed will be dropped and replaced with water once protein has been introduced. You will need to speed up moving through the different foods as your son is now six months and needs protein to be introduced as soon as possible. Introduce a new flavour every two or three days, and watch for any reaction, then move onto another flavour. When you introduce chicken to him, make up a casserole recipe such as the one in the book and replace two of his vegetable cubes with casserole cubes, as they contain vegetables he is already familiar with as well as chicken which will be a new flavour to him. Once he is taking protein well, then cut out the feed he has been having at this time. Offer him at least half of his solids before offering him a drink of water from his sippy cup.

Whilst you are getting your son used to taking more solids so he is able to get through the night, you will need to cut back on the 2.30pm feed. Make this feed smaller so you know he will be hungry by 5/5.30pm. Again “tier” feed. Give him a breast feed from one side and then offer him 3-4 tsps baby rice mixed with 1 cube of fruit puree. Once he has had his bath, then offer him the second side and try to have him settled by 7pm. As he increases the amount of solids he is taking at 5pm, his need for milk in the night should begin to decrease. Continue to offer him a feed at 10/11pm. This may increase in the early days as he has dropped some of his daytime milk and is being fed by 7pm.

Once he is taking at least three cubes of vegetable puree at lunch and 3-4 tsp baby rice and fruit at tea, as well as continuing with 4 milk feeds in the day: 7am , 11am, 2.30pm and 6pm, he should not need the feed he has been waking for at 4am. Try to settle him with cool, boiled water if he continues to wake. If he takes some but will not settle, then offer him a small breast feed. Having had the water he will take a smaller feed.

Once he is onto 4 cubes of vegetables at lunch and 4-5 tsp rice with 2 cubes of fruit at tea, then begin to introduce some cereal at breakfast. Once this has taken place you will know that any waking in the night is due to habit rather than hunger and you may have to consider sleep training.
You will notice also that he may increase his 2.30pm feed a little once the 11am has been dropped with the introduction of protein. When he is feeding and taking solids more in line with the six month plan as laid out in the books you can drop the dream feed at 11pm.

Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – Weaning/Solids

Why has my 6-month-old started waking at 10pm?

I was hoping you could help, my daughter Keira is 6 months old and I have been following Gina’s routines since she was 4 weeks old. All of a sudden Keira has been waking up at around 10 to 11.30pm. Below you will find her daily routine. If you could help me with this I would be very grateful.
I look forward to your advice.

DAILY ROUTINE
7am Breast feed 15 min on each side plus two teaspoonfuls of baby porridge and two tablespoons of fruit purée. She doesn’t always want much of her breakfast. She is happy until nap time at 9am. She sleeps in the pram at this nap as I go for a run with her for 30-45 minutes. At 11.30am I breastfeed from one breast (6 to 8 min). She stops after this time and wants her solids, which are 6 cubes of 6 months recipes from Gina’s weaning book e.g., red lentil savoury, minestrone soup etc… then a very short feed from the second breast.

12.15/12.30pm She settles ok, cries for up to 5 minutes sometimes before getting
off to sleep. 50% of the time she sleeps the whole 2 hours and I then need to wake
her. The other 50% of the time she has 40-60 minutes then wakes up and cries.
I have tried to cut the morning nap down to 20 min in the hope she would sleep better at lunch time but she is then too tired to eat etc.. then gets over-tired!

At 2.30pm she is breastfed from one side for 10 to 15 min. At 5pm she has her dinner – 6 tablespoons of the same recipes as above for lunch I’ve just started giving her a tablespoon of fruit after as she is still looking for more.

5.45pm she has a bath. 6.30pm, a breast feed on each side 15 minutes. Some nights she is ready for bed right after the breast feed; on other nights she has a 5 minute roll on the floor then we go to her room while we sit together for 5 minutes and I wait for her to rub her eyes then place her in bed awake.

For the last 3 weeks she has started waking between 10-11.30pm. I have tried to settle her with a cuddle or water but she screams until I offer her the breast. Then she usually will feed from both breasts again for 20-30 minutes in total. She will then sleep for the rest of the night but then not want much milk or breakfast in the morning. This waking happens about 25% of the time.

Stacey

I am wondering if you are bringing your daughter up on a vegetarian diet as I see no mention of meat or fish being introduced. If you are it is important that she receives enough vegetarian sources of protein and iron. Speak to your health visitor or a dietician if you need some guidance with a vegetarian diet. If you are not following a vegetarian diet then you must begin to introduce animal protein now to fulfil her growing needs and to make sure her iron levels are kept up.

I think the problem of Keira waking again at 10/11pm is hunger. This feed normally needs to continue until protein is well established. As a lot of babies are very sleepy at this time and don’t appear interested in feeding, parents assume they don’t need it any more. Because weaning often doesn’t begin until the fifth month (I am unsure when you began to wean) some babies are just not taking enough calories in the day with their solid food to be able to continue to sleep through. Continue to offer this feed for another two weeks and at the same time increase the amount of solid food she receives by day.

Does Keira finger feed herself with rice cakes or mini sandwiches? These are ideal for her to have with her savoury dish and will give her the carbohydrates she needs at this time. I suggest that you begin to offer Keira some yoghurt or a milky pudding to accompany her fruit at teatime as she seems to be needing more to fill her at this meal.

Look on the site for Gina’s recent long piece about the lunchtime nap as there are lots of tips and advice on how to get this bit of the routine working 100% of the time.

Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – Weaning/Solids

My 7-month-old has suddenly become a fussy eater and won’t open her mouth

I am an older mother (nearing 40) of a seven-month-old baby girl, and pregnant with our second child (in the first trimester). Our daughter, Cassidy, is generally a very happy baby, and has been a Gina baby all her life. Her sleep patterns, her feeding, weaning etc have all been according to Gina, and this has worked incredibly well for us – if we had a wobble, going back to Gina has always sorted it out.
All Gina’s advice has worked really well for us until the last fortnight, when we were suddenly confronted with an apparently fussy eater. With a freezer full of puréed organic vegetables (as Gina advises) and her diet entirely according to Gina’s weaning book, all had been going swimmingly. However, we now have a prolonged session of pursed lips and spitting at every meal. The most frustrating thing is that if we trick her into taking a mouthful she quite happily eats it. So mealtimes are now a long series of tricks designed to get her to open her mouth.
She seems to particularly dislike mushy foods, and has taken to small sandwiches with gusto. However, we are concerned at how we get vegetables into her, and how we can vary her diet. And how we can make mealtimes a bit easier – like they used to be!
Any advice would be wonderful.
Jane

Cassidy is beginning to show her independence. I would encourage her to self-feed in a variety of ways. Try to use her love of mini sandwiches. Make her vegetable purées a little thicker, possibly mashing rather than puréeing. Spread these on small pieces of bread or rolls and serve as an open sandwich. Even something like Chicken Rissotto or casserole can be prepared and spread in this way. This way will encourage Cassidy to try a wider range of food. Begin to mash or pulse her vegetables rather than purée as Cassidy needs to get used to a denser texture. Make sure the food is not lumpy – but it no longer needs to be so smooth.

Cook a spoonful or two of mixed frozen vegetables and offer them to Cassidy on the tray of her highchair to feed herself. The colours and textures should tempt her. Make this a more nutritious meal by grating cheese over them whilst they are still hot so it melts. Offer steamed batons of carrots, broccoli, peas and other vegetables suitable for her age. Until she has teeth all of these need to be fairly soft, but firm enough for her to hold in her hand. If she feeds herself well with these you could try making dips of thick soup or casserole and encourage her to eat this way.

When feeding Cassidy give her a spoon to hold, whilst you feed her. This simple trick often works. Encourage her to push her spoon into the bowl, and try to feed herself. Whilst she is busy doing that you may find she will open her mouth for your spoonful without realising it. This stage of eating can be rather messy so be prepared. Use a bib which covers her well, the kind with arms are best. Roll up sleeves or remove any jumpers which may get messy. Cover the floor with a splash mat or newspapers and have face cloths ready.

Babies can often be tired by teatime, so make this an easy meal for Cassidy to eat. If she has eaten a good lunch, then give Cassidy things you know she can feed herself with. Rather than giving her milk at tea time, I would encourage Cassidy to drink water from her sip cup. She then should have her bath and enjoy a larger bottle before bedtime.

By encouraging Cassidy to feed herself, with some help from you, you should be able to continue offering her a varied diet. This is important at this age, as it is easy to go on serving the same meals you know Cassidy will eat. It might take a little thought as to how to present new tastes in a way that will be appealing to her.

Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – Weaning/Solids

Henry of 6.5 months refuses any savoury food unless it’s sweetened with apple puree

Help. My son is 6 ½ months old, he weighs 18lb and is extremely happy and contented. My problem, I think, has been self inflicted, but I am desperate to get him back on track. I recently weaned Henry from breast to bottle. He wakes around 6.30-7am and I give him a bottle of formula; sometimes he will take 8oz and others 4-5 oz. He then has a little play for a couple of hours and I feed him his breakfast around 8.30am which typically would be fruit puree with yoghurt or baby cereal mixed with fruit. Again, I offer him the remaining milk after making up the cereal and he happily takes this. I then put him down for a sleep which usually is for about 45 minutes. I give Henry his lunch around 12-12.30pm which is usually chicken or fish with vegetables, and this is where the problem starts. He has a little drink of water first, then he refuses to take anything savoury. I made the mistake of mixing apple puree in with this meal and he then would finish the bowl. After this meal, he takes 2-3oz of milk. He then plays for a short while and I put him back down for a sleep, which is usually for about one hour. Dinner is around 4.30pm and I usually give him a rusk mixed with fruit puree and 2 teaspoons of natural yoghurt which he finishes, followed by a bottle of formula and he usually takes around 4-5oz. He plays and then dozes for about thirty minutes in his highchair and is in the bath with his sister around 6.30pm, and ready for bed at 7pm. He is given a bottle then and usually takes 7-8oz. Henry usually sleeps right through, but he has been waking in the night and playing – I leave him and he goes back to sleep. I feel that feeding times have become a constant battleground with screaming and crying unless the option is sweet. I have been tough and not given in, but I need some help over which way to go. Do I go back to basics again?
Lauren

Henry definitely seems to have a tendency towards a sweet tooth and he will need to gradually be weaned off having his savoury food sweetened. Begin to eliminate the apple puree very gradually and use sweetish vegetables such as carrot and sweet potato with his protein as you begin to decrease the apple.

Once Henry is taking more savoury food at lunch, I would begin to offer a savoury tea, such as thick vegetable soups, pasta with vegetable sauces and vegetable bakes. Introduce him to finger food such as mini sandwiches, small pieces of roll with savoury purees spread on them and lightly steamed vegetable batons of carrot, peas and broccoli florets. Being able to feed himself may help him get used to more savoury tastes and feeding times should be more enjoyable for you both.

Now Henry is taking protein at lunchtime, I would replace his milk at that time with water. Offering milk when protein is being eaten reduces the iron absorbtion from the protein up to 50 per cent. If you think that Henry is still hungry after his savoury, then give him a piece of fruit or a natural yoghurt with fruit puree afterwards.
If you move his tea/ dinner to 5/5.30pm you may find that Henry is hungrier for it and more willing to eat a savoury meal.

Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – Weaning/Solids

My 8-month-old is refusing solids

Please help, I’m desperate! I’ve followed the routines since Ben was around one month old and we’ve not been doing too badly but for the last month, things have been going from bad to worse with feeding solids. He is now eight months old and has started to clamp his mouth shut when I try to feed him solid food. As soon as I put the spoon near his mouth, he starts getting very angry. As a result, he wants more milk feeds and is waking earlier. If I put the TV on, I can sometimes get a few spoonfuls down him but he is getting wise to this now and I don’t really want to depend on the TV distracting him to get food down him anyway. My HV said to offer him finger foods but he has no teeth and just throws everything I offer on the floor. I’ve always given him homemade food. In the last few days, I’ve tried jars in desperation but he refuses them as well. He drinks 18-20oz of milk each day. He will take sweet foods slightly better but in the last week I have cut these out, so he hasn’t had any fruit at all. I thought that might work but it hasn’t!
Caroline

As I don’t know when your son has his milk feeds during the day, it is hard to say whether his food refusal is due to having too much milk at the wrong times. In order for your son to be more interested in eating his solids, make sure he is really hungry at his mealtimes. Offer him his solids first and a drink only after he has eaten at least half of them. Try to limit how much milk he drinks at 2/3pm so he will be really hungry for his tea. You may have a discontented baby for a day or two but once his food intake increases, this should pass.

Give him a spoon to hold and show him how to dig into his bowl. He won’t really be able to feed himself yet but he may well become so interested in what he is doing that you are able to get a few more spoons down him.

Make his finger food as interesting and eye-catching as possible. Make sure you offer him things he can easily eat even though he has no teeth. Try a spoonful of cooked frozen mixed vegetables to entice him with the different colours and textures. Once he used to vegetables, offer him a finger of toast, lightly buttered, or bread sticks which most babies love to suck. Some babies will accept small pieces of bread roll spread with a puree such as chicken casserole.

Try to keep calm at meal times and if Ben refuses his food after a few mouthfuls, remove the food rather than endless cajoling. Offer him a few finger foods and then finish the meal and only offer him food at his next snack time.

Babies of this age can become difficult about solids if they enjoy their bottles more. You must keep persisting daily to get him more interested in solid food but without making mealtimes battlegrounds. Begin to cut his milk intake slightly at the feeds you feel may be affecting his appetite most. Lots of mothers find their baby’s eating habits improve once they are using up lots of energy with crawling and cruising.