I am struggling now.
The problem is not Wriggles being small and light. She has never been huge, and both sides of her family are on the short and slight (well, a bit wobbly round the edges once cake is discovered) side, so that doesn't concern anyone. The problem is that she is seeming to struggle maintaining weight whilst becoming mobile and exploring food. Both these things are to be expected, but the unexpected twist has been a continual slide from centile to centile. One, is a shame. Two is more frequent weigh ins. Three is really taking the biscuit (I wish!). She is pretty much the same weight she was six months ago, despite taking in more calories overall. If mealtimes (any food and milk combined) took any longer, they would quite literally run into each other. If I limit them, she does not get nearly enough to keep her going and snacks run into snacks running into meals...you get the picture! She has always struggled with volumes, which is were it makes sort-of-sense to think about an overnight tube top-up feed.
What would you do? It seems so funny just when we are beginning to have a breakthrough in curiosity and acceptance and dare I say, enjoyment, of food, to sideline it for the high calorie drink. Concentrating on milk, as opposed to exploring solids in a growing child seems just so topsy turvy. The food aspect is limited as Wriggles still struggles with so many textures and although is gaining in curiosity, will not entertain a vast number of foods. Cheese, marscapone, cream, avocado, nut butters, oil...so much I still have had no success with. Not that I am giving up that easily! So far, the best success we have had is buttered hot cross bun and a sweet potato wedge (just the one. She takes VERY small mouthfuls). I have a list of ideas longer than my arm to try, it is just finding one, or maybe more, that sticks. Wriggles, would eat crispbread or Quavers until the cows came home, but unfortunately they are mainly air!
Would having a tube allow us more room to manoeuvre with food? Knowing that by hook or by crook, the precious calories will go in, will this free up time to play and explore food in the daytime? To take the pressure off? Or will this confuse the issue by meddling with natural hunger and feeding patterns? My other hesitation is forgetting about healthy. I don't want to "fix" this with say, cake, only to have the issue drawn out years down the line trying to then get a 5 year old to look a pea in the....erm, maybe not exactly the face. My current compromise is a full fat yoghurt or custard accompanied by fruit or a fruit/vegetable puree! But again, am I just not getting it? Are the medics being too cautious or am I not cautious enough? She is still (just) on the growth chart. When is the cut off point when enough is enough? Are we really staring it in the face? How can we be when she is still so full of beans?!