Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

I think my baby of nearly 5 months has reflux, although not diagnosed by a doctor as we live overseas.  But has most of the symptoms.  He has always had problems with wind but, since starting solids, his sleep at night and during the day has become disrupted.

I think my baby of nearly 5 months has reflux, although not diagnosed by a doctor as we live overseas.  But he has most of the symptoms.  He has always had problems with wind but, since starting solids, his sleep at night and during the day has become disrupted.  Despite sleeping 11pm – 7am since he was 6 weeks old, he started waking up several times a night at 3.5 months, and will only settle back to sleep once he has been winded.  He is feeding according to the times in the CLB.  I noticed that some foods make him worse (apple, carrot). Are their particular foods that I should avoid, that would prevent him waking up with wind?

Feeding Details

7.00am – breast feed, one side for 20-30minutes
11.00am – breast feed, one side for 20-30 minutes followed by 3 cubes of vegetables such as sweet potato, butternut squash, courgette or carrot.
2.45pm – breast feed, one side for 15minutes
5.45pm – breast feed, first side for 30minutes followed by 5tbsp of potato and leek flavoured baby rice or plain baby rice and 2 cubes of pear puree
6.45-pm – breast feed, second side for 15 minutes

Daily milk intake:Five breast feeds

Nap times: 9.15-9.45am, 12.30-2.30pm and settles at 7pm.

The most common symptoms for reflux are that a baby will arch his back and scream within minutes of being put to the breast or being offered the bottle. Also, he will rarely lay flat for more than five minutes before getting upset, and often brings back excessive amounts of milk after each feed. Some babies can suffer from silent reflux, when the baby does not bring back milk but does suffer all the other symptoms mentioned above.  If your baby is showing any of the above symptoms it is essential that you have him checked over by a doctor. Babies suffering from reflux need to have special medication, to relieve the pain they experience and prevent the problem becoming more serious.

If your baby is not suffering from reflux, it is certainly possible that the pain he is suffering is being caused by certain foods that are disagreeing with him. Food intolerances can be very individual. As your baby’s problem seems to have increased since he was weaned, we would advise you to keep a detailed food diary to record his reactions when new tastes are introduced.

Introduce one new taste every three days. Unless you notice an extreme reaction after the first feeding continue to offer the new food over the next two days so you get a clear idea of whether or not he is able to tolerate it.

We would advise that you avoid giving your son apples and carrots for at least a week and concentrate on giving him the other foods advised during the first stage weaning.  A full list of these foods is given in CLB book, and in the CLBW book.

We notice that you sometimes give your son potato and leek flavoured baby rice in the evening.  We would suggest that, for the time being, you replace this with plain baby rice and a small amount of pear puree, or one of the more bland vegetables such as courgettes or green beans.  At lunchtime you should alternate the food that you give him, for example giving him baby rice and vegetables one day then sweet potato and vegetables the next day. Avoid giving him baby rice and sweet potato at the same time, as this could cause some digestive problems.

We would also advise that you keep a diary of your own food intake. A baby with a sensitive digestive system may be affected by what you are eating and drinking. You may not need to cut out the following foods but, by keeping a diary of your intake, you will be able to see if there is any connection between what you are eating and drinking and the degree of discomfort or pain experienced by your son. The main foods which may cause problems if eaten in large amounts by a breast feeding mother are tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, vegetables such as cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits and strawberries. You should also watch your intake of carbonated drinks and caffeine.

If your son is diagnosed with reflux and you have not already elevated your son’s cot, try this by placing thick books such as telephone directories under the legs at the head end. If he is sleeping at an angle rather than flat he may be more comfortable. It is possible to buy from mail order nursery suppliers special wedge shaped cushions which can placed under the mattress.

Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

My 5-month-old son, who weighs 8.46 kilos, is on day 13 of the weaning plan. When offered sweet potato and apple he has gagged and bought it all back. He enjoys baby rice when mixed with pear. He only just manages to eat carrot and pear on their own. Should I keep trying new tastes but stop again if he gags and offer them in a couple of weeks?

My son takes his formula well and since starting on baby rice he has slept through the night. I am sure he won’t like the baby rice and courgette to be offered in a couple of day’s time.

Feeding details

7.00am: 7oz formula
11.00am: 8oz formula, 1 cube pear puree
2.30pm: 7oz formula
4.40pm: 2oz diluted apple juice
5.45pm: 7ozs, 3tsp baby rice mixed with 3oz formula
6.50pm: 4ozs formula

My son naps at 9-9.40am, 12-1.20pm and 4-4.35pm. He settles from 7pm- 6.30am.

In the early stages of weaning a baby needs to learn several skills in order to get food from a spoon onto his tongue and then move the food to the back of his mouth to swallow it. At times he may gag because of an unfamiliar taste, he has too much in his mouth or the texture of the food is slightly thicker than he is used too. If you put the spoon too far into his mouth this too will set off his gag reflex.

To help your son accept a wide range of solids thin them down with some formula or use some of the water they were cooked in. You may need to make them quite runny at first but as he gains the skill of taking food from a spoon you can gradually add less fluid so the texture becomes thicker.

It is better to keep re-offering vegetables and fruit but in small amounts rather than only offering things you know your son will accept. Only offer ¼ of a cube of a new taste or something such as apple or sweet potato which he has had trouble with before. Increase the amounts as he becomes familiar with the taste. It may take several attempts for a baby to accept a new taste but this is better than limiting the range of food he eats.

Give him his food at room temperature or slightly warmed but be sure to check it before offering it to him. Your face and tone of voice have a big part to play in how he accepts new tastes. Offer him a new taste with a smiling face and using an encouraging voice. If you sound uncertain and hesitant in offering food to him he is more likely to reject it or spit it out. Once he has accepted the first spoonful tell him how wonderful he is so he is more likely to try another mouthful.

When you offer your son a new taste he may well make faces but this does not always mean he does not like the food. Many babies will screw up their faces in surprise even if they like the taste. A baby’s taste buds are very sensitive so each new taste is quite an experience. You will know if he is happy to try some more as he will open his mouth again and you can continue to offer him a few more spoonfuls until he turns his head away showing that he has had enough. This is why you need to keep re-offering tastes every few days even if the initial reaction was one of dislike. In time your son will get used to all the different flavours you are offering him.

When serving potato or sweet potato it is needs to be mashed and then pushed through a fine sieve rather than using a blender. Blending potato causes it to become “gluey” in texture and difficult to swallow. There are directions for the preparations of all the fruit and vegetables in the back of the Contented Little Baby Book of Weaning.