Baby is Not Interested in Solid Foods
My son is 10 and 1/2 months and not interested in solids. He will only eat two little bites of foods if we are lucky. He weighs 26 pounds. We bed share, and he nurses during the night as well. I am proud of our breastfeeding journey and not worried about his development but should I be concerned about his Iron levels? Also, is there any supplement that you recommend for babies or nursing moms? Should I give him vitamin D, probiotics etc? Thank you so much!
How to Start an Interest in Solid Foods
Your son is “interested” in the best nutrition he can eat – your milk. His weight and development are excellent, which is a tribute to your style of nighttime parenting. Some babies don’t show an interest in solids until around nine or ten months because they are so content, and thriving, on mommy’s milk alone. Generally, we recommend starting with solids that are the most nutrient dense (contain the most nutrients per calorie) and contain the smartest fats because you are growing a little “fathead.” (Your baby’s brain is sixty percent fat). Start with gradually increasing amounts of avocado. Let him watch you eat and savor the mushy and facial-messy J avocado.
Next, try a tiny bit of mushy wild salmon. The combination of avocado and salmon (rich in the smartest fat – omega-3 fats) are a perfect combination for your baby’s growing brain. Sweet potatoes are also a favorite as a sweet and starchy solid.
Your concern about his iron level is very important, which is why pediatricians routinely check a baby’s hemoglobin level on either the six or nine-month check-up. As a nurse in my husband’s practice, I remember doing many one-drop-of-blood fingerstick tests to check iron levels. If your baby’s hemoglobin is low, and your pediatrician is concerned, give him iron-rich foods as listed on our website. Prunes are a favorite at this age.
Concerning supplements, yes we recommend both a breastfeeding mother and baby take an omega-3 supplement – 1,000 milligrams a day for you and 100 milligrams a day for baby. You can also see the supplements and probiotics we recommend on our website, AskDrSears.com/supplements.
In offering solids, go slowly, as your main goal is to shape his tastes toward liking solid foods, and then gradually increase the amount. If he still refuses them, but is still thriving, don’t worry the gut lining in some babies is “picky,” meaning it’s a little slower to mature. Smart babies listen to their gut, as smart mommies listen to their baby’s signals – as you are doing.
Finally, I’m so glad you said that you are “not worried” about his development, since worrying too much can diminish your supply of breastmilk and the enjoyment of your baby.
I wish you well,
Martha Sears, RN
Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as his “little patients” call him, has been advising busy parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. As a father of 8 children, he coached Little League sports for 20 years, and together with his wife Martha has written more than 40 best-selling books and countless articles on nutrition, parenting, and healthy aging. He serves as a health consultant for magazines, TV, radio and other media, and his AskDrSears.com website is one of the most popular health and parenting sites. Dr. Sears has appeared on over 100 television programs, including 20/20, Good Morning America, Oprah, Today, The View, and Dr. Phil, and was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.