3 Feeding Challenges and How to Manage Them

Night Feeds

There are 3 feeding challenges you are likely to face at different stages in your baby’s couple of years. You’ll probably know by now that feeding is one of the most emotive of all parenting tasks. Any mom of a fussy eater will tell you that this is a horrid challenge, at any age. In addition, research has shown that between sleep issues, colic and fussy feeding – the problem that has the most long-term consequences is fussy eating. Here are three of the most common feeding challenges and what you can do about them:

Feeding challenge #1: Breastfeeding

While breast milk is the natural food for babies under 6 months of age, many moms will tell you that breastfeeding itself does not necessarily come naturally. In fact, breastfeeding can be an enormous challenge. There are three simple tips that may help you on your journey:

  1. Have reasonable expectations – your baby will feed frequently and while you are both learning a new skill, you may have some upsets along the way. This does not mean you are not a ‘good milk cow’ or that you should throw in the towel, it’s simply part of the journey.
  2. Get a lactation consultant in within days of your baby’s birth – she will help you establish a good latch and make you feel more comfortable as you learn how to feed.
  3. Feed on demand for the first 6 weeks or until your milk supply is well established. Four hourly breastfeeds are not the norm in the early days and will impact your milk supply negatively. Download the Parent Sense app for a responsive feeding routine for your baby. 

Feeding challenge #2: Introducing solids

Introducing solids needs not be a challenge at all. Three simple tips for introducing solids:

  1. Be led by your baby as to when they need solids. If they are no longer satisfied between feeds and is waking more frequently at night,  very interested in what you’re eating and is stable in supported sitting, your baby may be ready. Ask your clinic sister at this point when your baby should start having solids.
  2. Start with either a single grain cereal or a plain veggie that has been smoothly pureed.
  3. Feed your baby their  first solid meals an hour after a milk feed, when they’re not too tired. It’s a learning curve at first and they need to be well rested so they can learn a new skill.

Feeding challenge #3: Fussy toddler

Many toddlers are fussy eaters. Remember these three tips to get you through the toddler years:

  1. Toddlers eat best in the morning, less at lunch and may eat barely anything at dinner – don’t fight at dinner time, just be sure to offer healthy options at all three meals and relax about the quantities.
  2. Give your toddler control – a smorgasboard of nibbly foods often goes down better than a bowl full of mush.
  3. Add energy rich foods to each meal – hiding healthy calories in the small amount your toddler eats. Examples of these types of foods are: full-cream powered milk in mince, potatoes and cereal; full-fat cheese or cream cheese; cooked egg yolk in white sauce and peanut butter as a healthy spread.

Want to know more? Explore the sensory experience of feeding to give your little one the best feeding experience for them. 

Meg faure

Meg Faure

Hi, I’m Meg Faure. I am an Occupational Therapist and the founder of Parent Sense. My ‘why’ is to support parents like you and help you to make the most of your parenting journey. Over the last 25 years, I’ve worked with thousands of babies, and I’ve come to understand that what works for fussy babies works just as well for all babies, worldwide.