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Thread: Can you wait too long to start solids?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Can you wait too long to start solids?

    Hi all,
    I am new to this BB -- been lurking off and on for a month or so but have not posted until now.

    I was SO determined to NOT start solids until DD was ready, that now I'm wondering if I missed some magic "window" of opportunity for her to learn to eat "real" food! (the rational side of my brain tells me that's just silly and that she WILL eventually decide that eating food is fun, but the other side just had to ask if anyone has any insight on this or just words of encouragement!)

    DD will turn 14 months old Sat. and is EBF. We have NO problems with weight gain!! (UNDERSTATEMENT! She's been off the charts -- WAY off, since her first checkup at 1 month -- is approx. 35 lbs and 34" now!) We've been trying solids on and off since about 8 months old and have periodically found things she would eat (pureed avocado was a big hit at around 9-10 months). However, she's had such a STRONG gag reflex that ANYTHING with any texture to it whatsoever would cause her to gag so hard her eyes would water and get red, her face would get red, and would even vomit (even just a thicker puree would cause this -- like the Peach Medley applesauce or creamed potatoes). As a result, we never really got serious about solids til about 11 months or so. Unfortunately now, of course, she pretty much refuses to have anything fed to her, and I REFUSE to "force" her to eat (not that I could manage that anyway even if I wanted to!)

    My main concern is that I screwed her up by not being very consistent with the food when she was younger. We would sit down and try eating some food once or twice a day for 2 or 3 days in a row, then we wouldn't for several days -- it was never a consistent daily thing we did with her when she was younger. My reasoning at the time was that she still just didn't seem that interested and I didn't want to force her into solids before she was ready. I hear so many people say their child just suddenly reached over and grabbed something from their plate/hand and started chewing on it -- she never showed ANY interest like that. She's always loved spoons and will let you feed her spoonfuls of ice water all day, but if there is any kind of food on it you can FORGET it! We were encouraged earlier this month when she finally picked up a piece of Special K and nibbled on it and will now PERIODICALLY put a Cheerio or a veggie puff in her mouth and bite on it, but still isn't actually chewing and swallowing it -- the piece she bites off comes back out and stays stuck to her lip. And all the other pieces get either fed to me or my husband or thrown over the side of the chair for the dog! Same goes for any other food we try to give her (and we sit down at the table together practically every night for dinner and put a little of whatever we're having on the tray in front of her -- same goes for breakfast or lunch when it's just me and her).

    So, am I worrying needlessly? Will she eventually decide to REALLY eat? She has all 8 of her front teeth and is showing signs now that we may have one of the molars about to come in. Pediatrician said that a fair number of babies WON'T eat anything textured until they get their 1yr molars, but he also says she should be eating a fairly substantial amt of purees by now as well (which she pretty much just refuses except for very rare occassions).

    Any thoughts, suggestions, or similar experiences would be VERY welcome!

    Thanks!
    Shannon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    893

    Default Re: Can you wait too long to start solids?

    Another EBF baby over a year!!! My DD is 13 months old and EBF still other than like 2 bites of Avacado a couple of weeks ago, and we cannot get her to take it since. Since Madeline has Sensory Intergation Dysfunction along with Oral/Food Adversion, we do work with a Occupational Thearpist. I asked her the same question, Did I miss that "magic window" and she very well stated to me NO. There is no such thing. I am the same way, I REFUSE to force feed my child. The doctors are pushing and have pushed for her to start solids since she was 4 months old, and I refused due to she just wasn't ready. I did attempt at 6 months old and all that did was turn into a screaming fit. We tried off and on for a few weeks and since it always ended in tears (DD and me), I quit and tried again at 8 months. Same thing. Stopped and tried again at 11 months (she could now crawl and would crawl away protesting just the attempt.). After she was a year old, she did take a few bites of Avacado 2-3 days in a row and then she totally refused it and that's where she is at now, refusing everything.
    She has not gained any weight since she was 7 months old, not due to my breastmilk or her intake on it, but due to a stomach surgery that was performed on her for sever reflux.
    That weight is AWSOME - sounds like mommies milk is doing her great. She dwarfs my DD which weighs 18 lbs 4 oz and is 28 inches long.
    Does she like to feed herself? Maybe try (this is what we have been told by the occupational thearpist) to just put her food on the tray (lay out towels or whatever, because there will be a BIG mess), pureed, chunks or whatever and let her go at it (and have a bath ready afterwards). Madeline will play with it sometimes, but none ever seems to get into her mouth, just all over her and the dogs that lurk around in waiting.....
    Your not alone in this!!! If you would ever like to chat, you can PM me also.

    Good Luck!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    8

    Default Re: Can you wait too long to start solids?

    Well, *whew* -- glad to hear that coming from an OT.

    Yes, that's where we're at -- put the food on her tray and she plays with it -- and LOVES to feed it to everybody else (including the dog- LOL). And it definitely does make a mess (fortunately our dog likes most everything she drops on the floor, so I don't end up having to clean up much from there! ;-D)But she's just not all that interested in feeding it to herself. And it is SO funny, b/c she puts EVERYTHING in her mouth -- UNLESS it's food -- she just KNOWS (doesn't matter where she is or what she's doing -- can be something that would have NOTHING to do with food and if I hand her something that is meant to be eaten it will not touch her lips!!)

    Thanks for the input!

    ~Shannon

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    893

    Default Re: Can you wait too long to start solids?

    Your very welcome. Madeline is the same way. We tried putting the food on the toys that she puts into her mouth, and she would have NOTHING to do with them until they were cleaned off. I chalk it down to she is a true Titty Baby!!! To me, everything you have described sounds perfectly normal, for others though - the comment of, OMG she's not eating yet or there is something not right? (In our case, yeah there is something not right, her problems have lead up to this & I believe a result from all the testing that they have done on her, etc). If this is something you are truly concerned about, there are programs out there that will do free evaluations with the request or referal from your pedi to just check. The OT that we see is with Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) and I believe they are nation wide (she also has a Physical Thearpist and Developmental Specialist though them).

    Funny story:
    I had to go to the doctor the other day and saw one I never had seen before. He walked in and saw Madeline nursing and asked how old she was and I told him she was just over a year. He asked me when I was going to wean and I told him, well since she doesn't eat anything else, there is nothing to wean to, but I bet she will be weaned by Highschool. I saw the question mark ( ) pop up over his head, it was too funny!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: Can you wait too long to start solids?

    Hi! I just saw your reference to this post on another thread. I must have missed this one. I have a son with oral aversion/sensitivity and would be happy to share our story and the info I have. I need to get his bedtime snack made right now though and get him to bed, so I'll try to get back and post again later tonight or tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: Can you wait too long to start solids?

    Here is a link to another thread on this forum called "Oral aversion-is this real?". You can scroll down several posts to find my response which has our story.

    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=2638

    Our situation was different from yours in that my DS did stop growing after one year and was obviously hungry yet still wouldn't eat. I think that if he had continued to grow and thrive, I would have been ok with waiting longer for him to just do it on his own. Maybe he eventually would have, but I think he would have been well over 2. He also would never have let me spoon feed him ice water, or put anything else in his mouth for that matter--so it sounds like your LO is advancing even if she's only to the occasional munch stage. I didn't like doing our intervention program, which was a bit more coersive than I would like, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Also, it was much better than the alternative, which was going to be tube feeding. Like I said, though, I don't think I'd have done it if he was stilling growing well.

    Also, I don't personally believe that it had anything to do with when we initially started solids. Aidan really never put lots of stuff in his mouth like most babies do.

    How does your daughter do with tooth brushing and such? If she is ok with other things in her mouth, you can work on oral motor skills and sensitivity (which leads to the gag reflex with textures) with a nuk brush (you can by them in the baby section of Target or other similar stores). You use the brush to touch different parts of the mouth and encourage her to move her tongue from side to side. Once she does start eating a bit, if she allows you to feed her at all, you can put food into the SIDE of her mouth (like in the pocket of her cheek) in order to reduce gagging and trigger her to chew.

    Hope this info is helpful! Please let me know if you want any more specifics about our situation or what we did. Your LO sounds healthy, though, so try not to worry too much!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    8

    Default Re: Can you wait too long to start solids?

    Thanks so much! The link to the previous thread was very helpful and informative!! I think probably she's just determined to start eating when SHE is ready, as she appears to have no oral aversions other than to food -- she will chew on almost ANYTHING that isn't food. LOVES her frozen teething chewies! Loves her sippy cup, loves to mouth and chew on spoons and (toddler) forks -- even stuck a piece of sidewalk chalk in her mouth today and tried to chew on it!

    Maybe I will try the popcicle idea -- I tried putting frozen cubes of avocado/banana/etc. in one of those mesh feeder things to see if she'd go for that since she likes her frozen teethers so much, but she would have none of it!! But an actual popcicle might do the trick. I'm starting to think she just doesn't realize all the good tastes she's missing out on and thinks all food is going to taste like the yucky pureed baby food! :-D

    Thanks again! ~Shannon

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    2

    Question ...

    Hello! I'm new here. This is my first post. I'm going out of my mind. My son (10 months) will not eat anything except Joe's O's (Trader Joe's cheerio's). I used to be able to get some purees into him but he has never liked them & basically tries to keep his mouth closed or turns his head. I always thought it was teething. He got his 1st tooth at 6 months & that's also when I started solids.

    Well he has continued to teeth a lot & now has his 7th & 8th teeth coming down, so he hasn't really had a break as far as that goes. I'm just pretty convinced now that it's not just the teething because he will eat the Joe's O's, but just not anything else. I've been breast feeding him the whole time. No supplementing with formula.

    I used to give him a bottle of pumped milk a night when he was newborn, but at 3 months he refused the bottle. I'm just wondering if I have let him dictate too much as far as eating? I'm trying not to think that way. It's helpful to hear from others that are having the same issues. Of course my pediatrician tried to freak me out when he was 8 months & I told her that he doesn't like food. She said that he should be totally on finger foods by 10 months (HA!!!! yeah right, we're not even close).

    Anyway, nice to meet all of you. I'm here to talk, trade stories, suggestions, commiserate together or whatever. Oh & I just tried to the putting the food on the ground idea. He will crawl up, eat one, crawl away & then repeat it. He'll eat those in his high chair too but nothing else.

    I had planned on weaning at 12 months. I want to get pregnant again when he's 18 months, so 8 months from now. I wanted to make sure my fertility was back & other reasons for weaning as well, but it's not looking like he's going to let me.

    Oh, as far as his development.... He's a good size baby. Probably about 23 lbs right now. Don't know his length, but pretty long. He has always been bigger. Says a few words, crawls, is about to walk, has 6th teeth w/ 7&8 on the way, basically no delays on anything else. Just the eating issue.

    Ok I'll stop writing my novel now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    893

    Default Re: Can you wait too long to start solids?

    The standards of what age are all a bunch of "whoowie" to me. Why do we want to push our LO's to grow up so quickly? Why do we want them to start eating earlier when breastmilk or formula (whichever you choose) is their main sorce till a year old? Why is there a magic 6 month mark when baby should start eating? Get the point?
    Every baby is diffrent and develops at their own rate and does things in their own time. Unless there is a actual problem, I wouldn't be concerned about it (ie: stop gaining weight/growing, which is where we are at due to a stomach surgery she had....not going to get into that, long story.).
    I know you said you wanted to wean by 12 months, but he might have you going a little longer than you anticipated. I know everyone is hounding me when is my daughter going to wean (13 months old) and I just look at them and say, "Wean to what? She doesn't eat foods, she doesn't drink anything else but breastmilk strait from the tap (me)?" Forcing the issue could lead to making eating a horriable experiance, thus delaying the eating process. KWIM? I know this proably didn't help any, just my thoughts.....Good Luck!!!

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