A reader asks ,
My daughter is 9 months old. Her weight at birth was 2.7 kg and now he weight is 7 kg. She has just 2 teeth. I am a working mother. I breastfeed her in the morning and during night whenever she wakes up. In the day time her grand mother give her milk, ragi kheer, wheat flour cooked in water with salt, jeera and dhania powder mixed in it., cerelac. I give her Khichdi in the night. I started semi solids from 6 months.
When I started solids I started with cerelac, nestum rice, and khichadi blended in mixer. At that time we used to make her sleep on our legs and then feed. Now she can sit but if I try to feed her in sitting position he just takes 2-3 spoons and then refuses. But in sleeping position she eats well. My first question is is it ok to feed in this position and how to change this habit of eating in sleeping position. My second worry is that till now she is used to all soft blended, pureed feeds.
If now we give her roti soaked in dal she refuses even very small pieces of roti. I want her to eat lumpy food. But if I give her mashed khichadi she refuses. Then I have to blend it as my first priority is that she should eat. How should I make her eat lumpy food. Also every day we give her same dishes. As my mom in law says if we change her routine she will not eat and her weight will again fall which I dont want to happen. Is it ok?
Dr. Nitin Deshpande’s Reply :
You are facing a very common problem, which several working mothers have to tackle.
Your baby‘s birth weight was 2.7 kg. Her expected weight at 1year of age, is 8.1 kg. So, 7 kg at 9 months of age, can be considered to be average level of weight gain.
Feeding the baby in the upright or sitting position is the ideal option. Feeding your daughter in the lying down position, can pose risks of choking or aspiration of food ( food entering the wind pipe ). This can have dangerous health consequences. You will have to politely explain to your mother-in-law, that your daughter needs to be fed in the sitting position only, and not in the sleeping position.
Even though, your baby, does not easily eat in the sitting position; you’ll have to be persistent and have to keep in trying. Gradually, she will learn to eat in the upright position. You can place her in a feeding chair, so that she remains in one place for some time; and it’ll be easier to feed her. A baby 10 months and beyond, can be encouraged to eat with its own hands with a spoon; so that she’ll be more interested in eating. You will have to constantly talk to her, show her picture books, sing to her, & play with her, during her feeding time; so that she enjoys that ritual with you.
You need to increase the variety of foods, that you give her. You can give her Rice-Dal, Khichadi, Fruits ( mashed or pureed ), Vegetable or Non Vegetarian Soups, Kheer’s of various types, Cerelac/Farex/ Nestum Rice, Chapati soaked in Dal/Milk, Boiled Egg(Yellow), Idli, Upma, Sheera, & also Ragi(Nachani), Cheese, Curds/Butter milk/Lassi; & many other foodstuffs.
It is okay, if she is still eating pureed or soft food. You have to give your daughter more time to learn to eat lumpy food. Keep on trying intermittently, and at regular intervals. She will take some more months; but will surely develop the ability to eat solid food. Patience is the key; in all aspects of children.
Your baby can consume 5 – 6 semisolid feeds in the day, but continue to breastfeed her, till she is at least 2 years of age. Breastfeeding is very important for her brain development; & for optimizing her immunity.