Here’s the next instalment of The Journey of a Mum and a Baby who would not Eat from Jackie Procter.
Home – the best place in the world. Unless you have a baby who won’t eat!
Arriving home from the MotherCraft unit at Waikato Hospital, I am full of confidence that I can continue to get my son to eat. Well, ok, it sounds really bad – but ‘make’ him eat. It’s so embarrassing really, having to ‘make’ him eat. I don’t know any other Mums who have a baby who won’t eat. But anyway, he needs to eat to survive and come hell or highway, he will eat!
So things go well for a bit – he opens his mouth and I put the food he and excellent, he swallows it! But then we come back to a well-known reality, he refuses to open his mouth and when some sneaky food makes its way in, it is fired out at high-speed. So it is time to refer back to the tips and tricks I was taught at MotherCraft.
Tip 1 – Reduce milk feeds and only feed milk after a meal. Umm, hang on. I am already doing this. He is being breastfed three times a day, after each attempted meal and I am even keeping to the schedule of feeding at 7am, 12pm and 5pm. Better try the next tip.
Tip 2 – Use strong flavoured food. So I bring out the big guns – Dairy Food. Yes, that’s right, Dairy Food. Who in their right mind will feed their nine month old Dairy Food – it is so not a suitable food. But yes, that is what I do. I hide baby rice in Dairy Food, weetbix, mince, mashed veges, soup, egg custard, stew – you name it, in it goes. It seems to work, Mr Fussy likes the strong flavour and sweetness of caramel Dairy Food and does not realise that there is hidden goodness mixed in. Yes – one for me!
Tip 3 – Add calories to everything. So no more warm water to heat up the weetbix, its blue topped milk. Likewise when making custard or mashing veges. In fact using cream is even better. So I try mixing all his food with cream, but he hates that. Crazy boy, mashed potatoes with cream is yummy and I eat it to show him! So thinking that the cream may be too rich, I switch back to blue top milk and add sugar instead. After all, I was told that sugar adds calories and sweetness without adding quantity to their meal and with a baby that wont eat, I sure don’t want to add any more to shovel in! The sugar seems to work and I feel like such a bad mum feeding sugary food to a nine month old.
Tip 4 – Distraction. At MotherCraft there were lots of lovely nurses to help distract Mr Fussy while I sneakily put food into his mouth and he swallowed. But oh no, at home there is just me and Mr 3 most of the time. So I ask Mr 3, who by the way loves food, to make Mr Fussy laugh and play with him while I feed him. Mr 3 is having none of that, he wants to eat too. So thinking that maybe a good role model may encourage him to eat, Mr 3 is set up beside him with a plate full of food. Mr 3 happily eats and Mr Fussy loves watching him, so much so that he is too busy watching to eat. Oh man!
So things continue to prove tricky at home. Mr Fussy is not eating enough food, but I am sure not going to let him go back to breastfeeding every two hours, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So the battle continues……. Stay tuned and follow Freddie’s Food so you don’t miss what happens next!