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Feeding Case Studies

Daniel, 10 months - Fussy feeding

Case Study: Natalie, aged 12 weeks - Constipation: This case study concerns a baby of just twelve weeks, Natalie, who was suffering with constipation after being switched from breast milk to over-rich formula rather quickly.

Case Study: Catherine, 3 months old - Breast-fed, good milk supply but low weight gain

Catherine's mother had a good milk supply, and was being advised to start weaning her baby early, but she didn't feel this was right and no one seemed to be able to get to the root of the issue.

Case Study - Edward, 8 months: Fussy feeding during second stage weaning

Case Study - Zac, 7 months: Fussy Feeding

When Zac was around 12/14 weeks, he started to fuss a lot around breastfeeds. When his mother spoke to the health visitors about this problem, they said that he was obviously getting what he needed in the few minutes he was on the breast and not to worry. However, his mother saw that his weight gain had slowed down to an ounce a week, or not at all.

Once he was weaned it became apparent that not only was his milk feeding was very poor, but he was never very happy to take his solids and he never opened his mouth for any food either.

When Zac was admitted to hospital with severe dehydration, his mother was advised to give him 18 ounces of fluids a day, when at home. She was desparate as she knew this was almost impossible.

Case Study - Hugh, age 6 months : Refusing Vegetable Purees

By the time Hugh was five months old he was a very healthy weight and was drinking up to 11oz of formula at each feed. When Hugh was weaned he was somewhat reluctant to take solids but his parentes slowly persisted - not introducing pear until he was happily eating baby rice for a week. The fruit was a roaring success. Then it came to vegetables…Well, it was a disaster as far as Hugh was concerned. His mother tried carrot, sweet potato, butternut squash but he refused everything apart from fruit purees of any combination.

Giorgia, age 7 months: Refusing milk feeds and fussy with solids

Giorgia was initially breastfed until she was three months old and was gaining weight every week. A week after her mother stopped breastfeeding she began to refuse her milk, and ever since then feeding became a battle.

At around six months she started to get fussy with both solids and milk. She was constantly dribbling, with her hands in her mouth and she loved chewing on teething rings. The health visitor and friends reassured me that she was probably teething, and this was the cause of her becoming even fussier about her food. However, she wasn't unwell, showed no signs of teething and was happy in herself, unless it was time to eat. As soon as her mother put in her highchair and put her bib on, she started to cry.

Her mother became very stressed and dreaded meal times so much that sometimes she had to ask someone else to feed her. Her mother resorted to any number of distractions in order to to get her to open her mouth to be fed.

Dylan, age six months: Milk refusal caused by introducing certain foods too early

Dylan was breast fed on demand for the first eight weeks of his life. It was nearly three weeks before he regained his birth weight and, when he was nearly six weeks old, his weekly weight gain was very low, averaging no more than 110g (4oz) a week. He was very unsettled and crying for much of the time that he was not on the breast. His mother was becoming more and more depressed and exhausted by the endless feeding and trying to cope with not only a very fretful baby but two other children as well, and it was at this stage that she was advised by her health visitor to top up after each feed with formula milk. By nine weeks, Dylan was getting virtually all his feeds from the bottle.

Theo, age 11 months: Refusing to eat at mealtimes

Alfie, age 4 years: Refusal of vegetables

Charlotte, 14 months: Refusing food at lunchtime and teatime

Dan and Jamie, age 1 year: Only wanting pureed food

Anoushka, age 3.5 years: Still wanting to be spoon fed

Poppy & Lara, age 4 and 2: Two Fussy Eaters

Benjamin, aged 28 months: Food refusal due to demand feeding and excessive fluid intake from a bottle

Thomas - age 18 months : Rejecting lumps in his food

Thomas was weaned at 6 months. As he was having 5 x 9oz bottles of milk, his mother thought he would be a hungry baby. However, for the first month of weaning, he refused to open his mouth, despite his mother trying to feed on an empty stomach, after half his bottle feed or after a milk feed. By 7/8 months he was still only on baby rice and pureed apple and pear.

He loved breakfast and, after a 5-6oz cup of milk, he would eat one or two Weetabix and then some toast. By mid-morning he would have a couple of rice cakes, oatcakes or breadsticks, and the same in the afternoon. His lunch and tea was nearly always the same - blended casseroles (lamb couscous or chicken and veg) and soups (leek and potato or lentil). His mother kept some lumps, which he usually spat out. After most meals his mother gave him pureed apple and pear for dessert, which he liked. He had water during the day and a 5 or 6oz cup of milk before bed.

At 19 months his mother was still struggling to get him to eat lumps or a more varied diet. He started to refuse any type of savoury food, turning his head away when she tried to feed him his usual soup or casserole. As an alternative, she would end up giving him toast, which he fed to himself. He would also eat cheese triangles. By this time, his mother was seven months pregnant with her second baby. She was really concerned about how she would cope with a new baby and a toddler who was becoming an increasingly fussy feeder.

Polly, aged six months: Low milk intake

Polly weighed just over 3.6kg (8lb) at birth; she took to the breast well and regained her birth weight within eight days. She was a very placid, easy baby and fell naturally into a routine of her own accord. By the time she was three weeks old she was settling well at 6.30pm, waking around midnight, feeding well and settling back to sleep until 5.30am. This continued until Polly was  nearly six weeks old, when she suddenly started to wake up around 10pm demanding a feed. She would then wake up again around 2am and 5am and refuse to settle back to sleep without a feed. This pattern continued for a further two weeks. Caroline, her mother, was becoming so exhausted getting up twice at night that she decided to follow the advice of friends and introduce a bottle of formula at the 10pm feed to see if it would get Polly back to sleeping longer in the night.

Emily, aged eight months: Drinking excessive amounts of water in the night

Emily's mother had successfully followed the Contented Little Baby routines since Emily was three weeks old and she was sleeping through the night from the 10pm feed at eight weeks. When solids were introduced at six months Emily quickly dropped the 10pm feed and slept well from 7pm to 7am. She continued to sleep and eat well until she reached seven months. She then caught a bad cold that lasted for over two weeks and resulted in lots of sleepless nights. She also started to get very fussy about her food, refusing lots of the home-cooked meals that her mother normally gave her.

Josh, aged six months

At five months Josh's mother, Clare, was advised to begin weaning. Clare initially introduced small amounts of first-stage weaning foods, plus some other fruits. But within a couple of weeks Josh's routine began to go awry. One night he woke, unusually, at 2am. Clare tried to settle him with a cuddle and some cooled boiled water but he could not be consoled, and continued to cry. This behaviour was so unlike Josh that Clare was concerned that he might be genuinely hungry as he had only taken 150ml (5oz) at the 6pm feed, so she decided to offer him a small 120ml (4oz) feed. Josh drank this quickly but still refused to settle back to sleep until he was given a further 120ml (4oz) of formula. He then settled back to sleep very quickly and had to be woken at 7am.

Flora, aged five and a half months: a sweet tooth

Louisa approached me when Flora was five and a half months old. Flora had settled easily into the Contented Little Baby method, and was a happy little baby. By the time Flora was five months old, she was a healthy weight and was drinking up to 330ml (11oz) of formula at each feed. After a discussion with her health visitor, Louisa decided to begin weaning Flora.

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