Wednesday, March 04, 2009

and again i am asking for your help

Changing tracks a bit here, I have a very important question for those of you who bottle-fed your children.

I am in a very weird place with trying to transition my son to eating solid foods. He loves the baby cereals and tolerates first foods (fruit and veg), and is just in the preliminary stages of trying a sippy cup. Yee haw.

The problem is, he is a little guy, still (just over 14 lbs at 6 months) and he can't take in the number of ounces of milk/formula recommended PLUS eat the amount of baby foods also recommended for his age. I have a chart that the feeding clinic and the pediatrician told me to follow, but it has my son ingesting 4-5 bottles per day at 6-8 ounces each, PLUS several tablespoons of cereal twice per day PLUS several tablespoons of first foods twice per day. Oh my gosh, he just can't hold all that food. I know he can't because he likes to eat, but turns away from the spoon if he is not hungry.

Now, the problem is that he is bottle fed, and not only that, he is also tube fed. He will drink about 1-2 ounces out of a 6 ounce bottle, then I put the rest through his g-tube. This ensures that he gets all the calories he needs for growth - otherwise he would be a 'failure to thrive' baby because he cannot ingest enough to maintain growth.

So if he were just breastfed on demand like Daughter, I would feed him solids at lunch and dinner, and then nurse him whenever else he fussed or was going down for naps/bed. Unfortunately I can't go that way, even subbing bottles for the nursing part, because he simply won't drink enough to sustain himself. So it's not like I can just wing it and not worry about the calories. I have to because he is essentially force-fed. Ugh.

I know he still needs the majority of his nutrition from milk and formula. However, I also want him to start to experience eating and regular meals with us. I just don't know how to get it all into him, though.

Anyway, all that aside, what I would like to know from the bottle-feeders out there is this: how did you go about starting solids with your children? My son wakes at 7 am, and goes to sleep at 8:30 or so at night, and I just can't figure out how to cram all this eating into the 12-ish hours he is awake during the day (aside from naps of course, which further complicate things).

When you bottle-feed, do you always automatically start the day with a bottle? Or did any of you go right to offering cereal and fruit for breakfast? If your child ate solids well at a meal, when did you then give a bottle? How many ounces of milk or formula were your babies drinking at 6 months? I would appreciate as much information as any of you can recall. Leave a comment or drop me an email (momwhoknits AT yahoo DOT com).

We go to feeding clinic again in 2 weeks, and I'm going to ask them to lay it out for me the way they think it should be done, with specific numbers of ounces and tablespoons and times, etc. I know they'll give me crappy, sketchy information like they always do. I just want to do the best I can for my son and I'm having such a hard time with this.

Any help anyone can offer me will be gratefully accepted. I'm really struggling.


Mrs Lemon said...

Hmmm... ounces of milk per day at 6 months was about 24. He just didn't seem to need as much to drink. Right now at almost a year we count ourselves lucky if he drinks a full 20 oz a day of anything.

Maybe give him half a bottle first thing in the am, wait 30 min, and try a few bites of cereal? then finish the bottle when he's ready? I don't know. Z likes to have a little bottle before he eats breakfast. Also, something that might help is yogurt - is he allowed to have yogurt yet?

Shari said...

One of my little guys was a failure to thrive and was seen by a feeding clinic.

He was on a high calorie formula (it was just how it was mixed. Less water= higher calories. There is a formula for this so don't try it on your own) and when we started to introduce solids it was more about him getting used to the textures and different tastes rather than the amount.

Once he was about a year and had been exposed to all the different fruits, veggies, cereals etc., it was about feeding him calorie dense foods such as minigo's (which are a soft cheese) rather than yogurt because they had more calories. Mixing foods to maximize the calories, cassoroles, custards etc.

I can't remember alot of the stuff we fed him but ask about increasing the calories in the formula when you go to the feeding clinic and also ask if they have a list of caolrie dense foods.

Good Luck!

kate said...

Shari - he is on fortified breastmilk and/or high-cal formula already. That is how we can keep the volume down so he doesn't get overstuffed. He is allowed to eat all the regular foods, I just don't know how to do the logistics yet...literally how much to feed him and when throughout the day.

Pam said...

Little D did not like food and refused it til he was about 10 months old. He did however LOVE his bottle. I quit nursing him after several months as I couldn't keep up with the amount he needed. When I put him on a bottle I would start the day with a bottle and end with a bottle. If I remember correctly he would take about 6 8oz bottles a day before he went to real food. I know - we called him meatloaf. Such a chubbers. After food he was down to a bottle when he woke up, one before nap and one before bed.

He's already on high-calorie formula? Maybe adding an extra scoop of powdered formula to his bottles? So instead of 3 scoops per 6 oz, you add 4 scoops with the same amount of water. Maybe mixing the powdered formula into his first foods as well? That would give you more calories in the same amount of food, just a bit thicker consistently.

I hope you find something that works:)

Karen said...

I wish I could remember exactly the amounts . . . they were all so different.

I do remember that we started the day with a bottle because they were totally famished when they woke up. However, once they started eating cereal I'd only start them out on a small bottle and then let them fill the rest of their tummy with real food.

I'm sorry I'm not much help.