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Mealtimes With Apollo

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Always look like this…

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…and this…

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…and this.

I have no idea why my baby boy cries at meals day after day. I've never had a baby do this before. He acts hungry, we sit him down to feed him, and within minutes he's screaming and crying. He's always been difficult to nurse (he was tongue tied and had a frenulectomy at age two and a half weeks). The procedure made nursing 99% easier on both of us, but he's always been a "poor" nurser. On and off the breast….frequent night waking (still at nine months). Then he gained no weight from age 4 months to 7 months…

I am happy to say he has put on two and a half pounds in the last two months! But every nursing and every bite of food feel like a struggle. For me, and him too apparently. He rarely seems satisfied after nursing, despite there being plenty of milk…nor does he seem satisfied after eating. It makes me sad to see him like this day after day…

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But when he's not eating or nursing or tired or grumpy, he's the cutest baby you ever did see! Sweet and serious with just  a hint of mischief 

12 Comments

  1. Cutzi

    Have you tried feeding him when he’s not sitting in his chair? Does he still cry? Just curious…
    Steele had a lot of eating issues. I think he has some motor skill delays – even now at almost 6. After some research I realized he could chew but he couldn’t form a bolus to swallow. So I did some more research on eating therapy – I found the best resources from downs syndrome sites – and worked with him myself and he eventually could do it. It seemed like he wore one of those Baby Bjorn bibs with the pocket forever though. He would just chew chew chew and then spit it all out. We fed him formula and then a whey protein mixture for a loooong time.

  2. Angela

    Sorry mealtimes are so difficult for you and Apollo. With my oldest, I had to nurse her on one side and then feed her solids and then nurse her on the other side. It made feeding her solids exhausting for the first couple of months, but otherwise she would get upset, almost franitc, when faced with solid foods. It was as though she wasn’t getting enough food fast enough and she would get upset.
    Hugs to you Renee, hang in there, it is bound to get easier.

  3. sheila

    Poor little guy…I hope he doesn’t have anything wrong with his stomach…it is hard when they don’t have words to tell you what hurts. Our little grandson (who spends his days with me) didn’t eat much while he was getting teeth (which was a long time)….but he did drink a lot of milk and frozen juice pops…but I believe he was “mr. crabbs” so much because he was always hungry. Now he talks, but has little interest in food….and when he gets crabby….I fill up his tummy. 🙂 I will say a prayer for Apollo’s eating issues.

  4. leslie

    Renee, does he has any food allergies or intolerences? Sometimes it hurts to eat and if you are eating foods that he’s intolerant to, then it will come out in the breast milk too. It could also be the reason that he isn’t gaining like you hoped he would. I would discuss it with your doctor or a dietician.

  5. JCF

    I’m sorry that’s what you’re having to deal with sad mealtimes!
    I’ve been wondering about my son in a similar way! He’s almost 9 months, has always been a good nurser, and has very little interest in solids. He nearly always sits down at the table happy, but then starts crying after a few bites and then refuses to eat anymore. He’s my third baby, and my other two weren’t interested in solids until about 8 months either, but then they started with a vengeance. Miles just doesn’t care/is unhappy!
    The other night, he sat on my lap and hungrily ate the bits of hard-boiled egg yolk that I offered him, and I was thrilled. But then he wouldn’t go to bed later and proceeded to vomit 5-6 times, so I’m thinking egg doesn’t sit well with him. He likes the Trader Joe’s brand (no sugar added) applesauce. That’s the only thing we can count on. We’ve always done baby led weaning, along with just a few homemade purees, but this baby is throwing me for a loop!

  6. Renee

    Leslie, I have thought about this. His doctor and midwife (who is a homeopathic doctor) are both following his case. There doesnt appear to be any issues. My first thought is of course that it hurts to eat…but who knows? When he wasnt gaining weight, they both said the next step would be testing for all sorts of digestive/absorption issues, but no one wants to put him through that if its not necessary. Then he finally started gaining weight…our midwife/homeopathic doctor has also suggested maybe it is a sensory issue…

  7. Melanie

    Confession: My now 18 year old was very similar when she was little. It continued to the point of doctor visits and she was “diagnosed” with lactose intolerance, GERD, etc., etc. None of their treatments worked and she grew up with a barfy belly and we took it as normal for her.
    Flash forward to just 8 months ago when she decided to go gluten free. All problems resolved within the month! She didn’t know what feeling good/normal felt like.
    Then we started thinking about our travels overseas and the visit to Prague when all we did was eat baked goods and she felt great then. She thought it was the excitement of Prague. Now with our new gluten free perspective, I wonder if it is not wheat flour she is sensitive to, but American wheat flour?
    So I searched and found this video.
    http://eatdrinkbetter.com/2011/03/28/food-allergy-causes/
    Who knows? I’m sure you are already on to all of those food allergy concerns. I just thought that I would share our slow learning ways. : )

  8. Corrie

    Another sad baby story here. My almost 9 month old is on a nursing strike. My other two children never did that! It’s true that God makes them all different, but still I wish I had a clue when it came to parenting!

  9. Karen

    My second born was like this, and it turned out to be silent reflux. He never threw up, but it was enough reflux to cause pain after he ate, and so he associated eating with pain. Once we got him on Pepcid (which we called ‘Normal Baby Medicine” he was fine. And he outgrew it and now eats like a horse!

  10. Rebecca Gonnella

    Our little Ben looked just like Apollo at that age-and it was frustrating because I wanted to give him wonderful, healthy foods and he would just cry at any attempt-he also went on a nursing strike FOREVER at age 15 months. He is still extremely picky at age 22 months when it comes to particular textures. The one thing I have been able to give him are smoothies I sneak fruits and veggies in…he thinks its like a special treat. If Apollo is gaining weight and seems otherwise happy, he must be doing well, regardless of what he is not eating.
    This is my first time posting on your blog and I just wanted to let you know that this new-to-homeschooling-pregnant mother of 3 under 5 gleans much insight and encouragement from reading my “Bakers Dozen” daily.
    God Bless,
    Rebecca Gonnella
    (a friend of Bridget Adams 🙂

  11. Liane

    My boy stopped growing, my sister-in-law’s boy stopped growing, and my other sister-in-law’s boy lost so much weight he almost died. It turns out they all had a problem with cow’s milk – even when exclusively on breast milk, but Mommy was drinking cow’s.
    They both had success with goats milk (ourselves, we’ve opted for rice milk).

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