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Thread: Need Advice-baby won't eat solids

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Shakedown St.

    Default Re: Need Advice-baby won't eat solids

    My son is 14 months too, nurses all the time, and I've actually been feeling pretty tired lately myself! Mine is pretty hit or miss with solids; sometimes he eats a lot, sometimes he only takes a couple bites. He eats what the rest of us eat. He has never tolerated baby food (I made my own, but this lasted about a week before my son refused entirely). I find that it helps get him interested in eating if I take a couple bites of the food on his tray. I will also give him food directly off my plate so that he knows that he's getting the good stuff.

    I think sitting down together for meals, giving your baby the same thing you are eating, and letting him do whatever he wants with his food fosters a good attitude toward eating, even if it does take longer for solids to become a significant part of his diet.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Need Advice-baby won't eat solids

    I agree with everything said here so far, but just want to ask about sensory issues. Our LO was tube fed in the NICU, and though we eventually got nursing very effectively, my reading has suggested that his initial refusals of solids (until about 9 mos) may have been related to these early experiences. I was feeling so worn out, I did the thing everyone here said I shouldnt do (you can read the thread ) and introduced a little rice cereal in milk. He loved it, after outright rejection of the other starter foods. We gradually added other flavors and textures to the milky paste. It took about three weeks before he was comfortable, but then he started eating like a BLS baby, holding everything himself. But I really think he needed a gradual introduction. I'm not saying you have to use cereal like I did, god forbid, but you might try slowly slowly introducing new textures. Even the degree of puree mattered for us at first. Now, at almost a year, he still is primarily bf, but at least he happily explores what we are eating, and sometimes he eats a meal!

    Mother to a sweet boy, born at 34 weeks on 2/11/11.
    Proud that I grew 26 lbs of baby before solids, and still counting...

    We received banked milk in the NICU. Thank you, donors!!!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Oviedo, Florida

    Default Re: Need Advice-baby won't eat solids

    I have a 18 month old daughter who continues to breastfeed on demand and is currently on a strike from food. So don't feel so lonely about the situation. I am always eating and feel the need to always offer her food and even though she continues to shut me down. She is healthy and happy and that is all I can ask for. I would love to see her eat more but for the past couple of days....it's mainly breast milk but I'm also glad to know from reading the posts that I am not alone. I'm just trying to be patient and let her tell me when she is ready to eat.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Need Advice-baby won't eat solids

    I am in this boat as well -- mine is nearly 9 months and pretty much hates most solids. She will only explore new foods if she is TOTALLY in control of the experience and even then is not that interested when it makes it past her lips. I am finding it hard to let her feed herself foods that I (and it seems others here too?) consider safe/best/healthiest. IE-- no cheerios, convenience baby 'junk' food that are perfect size for finger food. What other finger foods are there that dont' just end up a smeared mess all over hte place?
    At any rate, it's nice to hear I'm not alone. Also, she is still (seemingly) quite sensitive (via breastmilk) dairy, nuts and soy, so that means food like yogurt are out I would think for a while still.
    Also, like someone mentioned, I am a bit concerned about iron levels. Any experience with exclusively bfed babies and the liklihood of that? I will most likely get her tested soon....
    Last edited by @llli*lunalupina; February 9th, 2012 at 01:06 PM.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Need Advice-baby won't eat solids

    hi everyone,
    i am a new member. sorry to bump up an old thread but it perfectly fits the problem i am having. my daughter will be 15 months old at the end of this week and absolutely will not eat ANY solid foods. im not talking about she eats small amounts or will only eat pureed stuff. im saying she eats NOTHING. she is entirely breastfed. she nurses perfectly fine. there are no issues in that dept. at 6 m.o. we tried BLW and it didnt work for us. she gagged on things several times and eventually lost interest in putting things in her mouth. she's never been an oral baby to begin with then she just stopped. she wont put any food in her mouth anymore.

    a little bit of background. she was born with a congenital heart defect and starting at 3 weeks old we had to give her meds 2x a day. i dont remember what age we were able to stop but she no longer needs the meds and in fact she basically grew out of her heart issue (the holes basically closed). at 9 m.o. my pedi did bloodwork to check for anemia and lead poisoning and she was a tad anemic so my pedi said we should start giving her iron supplements. well it must have tasted nasty because it turned into a huge fight to get her to take it and it got to the point where i felt i was literally force feeding her the iron then she stopped putting ANYTHING in her mouth. no toys no food, maybe a finger every now and then. i stopped giving her the iron because im not ok with forcing things on her. my pedi at the 12 month appt said that was ok because obviously we were making things worse. so we stopped everything. no more iron, no more vit D which she had also been getting. we stopped offering her food all together for awhile. every once in awhile we would offer her some food and she would just shove it away.
    fast forward a few months and she has started mouthing toys again. she's never been much of an oral baby like i said so this was a big deal. she will drink water out of a sippy cup too which is great. still no solids. in the morning if i have some yogurt i can sometimes get a little bit on her lips and she will lick it off but wont open her mouth for more. we've started to try to get her to eat some baby food at dinner and again sometimes we can get it on her lips and she will lick it off. once in a blue moon (like once a month maybe) she will randomly open her mouth for a tiny bit just once and then not again.
    im really worried that as she gets older she is missing some nutrients with just nursing. especially the iron. i am literally freaking out because her 15 month pedi appt is coming up and she still wont eat anything. at her 12 month appt i convinced the dr not to do anything about it and just take it at our own pace for now. she wanted to do all sorts of different things and send me all sorts of different places. i dont know what to do. im literally panicking. i feel like when she's ready she will eat but i feel like when i bring her to the pedi appt im going to be in all sorts of trouble because she wont eat anything. and im really afraid she's not getting enough nutrition.

    she's always been a very tiny baby so she is little but she is healthy and thriving. she's a bit behind in her development but has been since day 1 and i think it's due to being born with a congenital heart defect. she's more on a preemie schedule even though she was only a week early. (induced)

    reading this thread it seems like im not the only one who has experienced this issue. is it really normal for her to not be interested IN ANY FOOD WHATSOEVER? i mean literally NOTHING.
    i personally feel we've made huge strides since our last pedi appt because now i can get food on her lips and she will lick it off and she will drink water out of a sippy cup and none of that was happening before.

    sorry for the long post. im kind of freaking out

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Need Advice-baby won't eat solids

    is it really normal for her to not be interested IN ANY FOOD WHATSOEVER? i mean literally NOTHING.
    I would say it is not common for a baby of 15 months to not be in any way interested in solids. But it happens. iirc we had another mom post on here some time ago whose 18 month old never ate anything. Certainly many children this age eat very little or very sporadically.

    This is not to say your child's nutritional needs are not being met by breastmilk. They can be. Many children, not only breastfed ones, have low iron, and if it is very low, that is a potentially serious healthy issue, which is why iron levels are routinely tested. So your child being breastfed is not the cause of any issues. I would say that especially given your child's unwillingness to eat, it is very good thing your child is breastfed.

    But that does not really answer your question, which I guess is, is it ok to just wait and let baby figure this out? I am afraid I cannot answer that. Yes, your child may be having all her nutritional needs met by your breastmilk and will start eating solids when she is ready. maybe baby has some oral aversions due to her illness and it's treatment and she is working those out overtime and will soon eat. But maybe there is a developmental delay or some physical issue affecting her ability to eat and therapy would help. (it is actually a pretty complicated process, to bite, chew, move food around in the mouth with the tongue, and swallow.)

    you are offering your child solid foods. It is not as if you are withholding nutrition from your child. While it is literally possible to force feed a child, I cannot imagine when this would be a good idea. So I do not see how you can get in trouble from your child's doctor. But IF there is a deeper issue going on, you might want to find out what it is so you can get your child the help she needs?

    at her 12 month appt i convinced the dr not to do anything about it and just take it at our own pace for now. she wanted to do all sorts of different things and send me all sorts of different places.
    Were none of these ideas something you thought might be helpful?

    at 6 m.o. we tried BLW and it didnt work for us. she gagged on things several times and eventually lost interest in putting things in her mouth
    have you tried again? A 15 month old is very different than a 6 month old.

    Also, I suggest the book My Child Won't Eat by Carlos Gonzalez.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: Need Advice-baby won't eat solids

    My son ate maybe 1Tbsp of food per day other than breastmilk until he was 18 mos, and he only started being willing to eat meals around 2.5. He's now 2.75 and is still probably 40-50% breastfed.

    I strongly recommend you go back and look at the threads I started, as well as recent replies I provided on similar threads over the last 3 months.

    I will say that I was the driving force behind intervention with my son, and I had him observed eating by a feeding specialist around 13 months when he would eat a mouthful of banana and call it quits for the day. Oral motor difficulties were ruled out, and my pediatrician had us take a wait-and-see approach because:
    a) My son was always VERY high on the charts in height and head circumference, and consistently at the same weight %ile for age (usu. 25th)
    b) He was always far ahead on all social, motor, and cognitive milestones.
    c) He had multiple allergic-type responses--wheat, sesame, dairy, egg, berries--that he has outgrown!!

    We had ample evidence that he was thriving on breast milk, I began taking domperidone around 13 months to increase my supply and his intake, and he continued to thrive. What little he ate was red meat--usually cooked ground beef with spices--and he took in enough that, combined with the iron in my milk, we were reasonably assured that his iron needs were being met. Our pediatrician gave me an RX for iron drops as optional insurance, and we never felt the need to use them.

    Then, as if a switch were turned on, around 2.5 he began eating heartily--as in 2 large meals a day reliably, and a snack sometimes. Always, always with a preference for meat. I used it as his gateway food, starting with a tablespoon or two of ground beef in tomato sauce puréed with spinach per day around 13 months with a daily probiotic drop. (I wanted iron, protein, vitamin c, and vitamin k.) He began to accept other finely ground meats, like turkey, pork, and veal as long as they were in tomato sauce. Then I branched him out into berries because of their high antioxidant load and excellent fiber content. He favoured blackberries and strawberries because the juice releases so easily from these fruits and they don't require much chewing.

    We gradually worked up caloric intake. A few months ago, around 2.25, my goal was to increase his intake by one Babybel cheese daily. That's it. Your goal might be one bite. Set small, achievable targets so you can feed on success and build momentum and revise those targets quickly.

    Now, for instance, this might be a sample meal:
    -Fish oil pill
    -3-4oz salmon drizzled with olive oil
    -1oz cheese
    -3/4 cup mixed fruit--e.g. strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes
    -1/2 slice w.w. bread with butter or olive oil and balsamic vinegar
    -2/3c cow milk (I mix skim with 18% cream on days when he hasn't eaten much to make a ~6-10% fat dink) or water
    -Breastfeed both sides

    Tonight, dinner was:
    -Fish oil pill
    -1.5 pork sausages (~5oz total) dipped in mustard
    -1/4 c cucumber in vinegar
    -1/4 c watermelon

    We had always done BLS, but I decided to add a couple of social touches to our meals.

    a) Engagement--We sit down for 45-60 mins each meal and read and discuss 5-10 books. He doesn't feel rushed, and he learns (IMO) the very healthy habit of eating slowly
    b) Snuggling while eating--I observed DS tending to lean forward when I offered food and found snuggling him, massaging his back/head/arm, and kissing him simulated the loving contact he gets while breastfeeding. I think, to him, part of the "eating equation" was missing without this tactile component.

    I cannot advise you strongly enough to both breastfeed as much as your LO desires and to discuss diagnostic options with your child's doctor. Because of the unique physical circumstances you face, I'd be asking to see a feeding specialist at a minimum for some feeding therapy. Any time there are developmental delays at play, I think intervention is merited.
    Last edited by @llli*alphawoman; July 24th, 2014 at 09:24 PM.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Need Advice-baby won't eat solids

    thank you so much for the responses. sorry it took me so long to reply again. i had crazy problems logging back onto the site to the point where i had to create a second logon. not sure what the deal is.

    let me explain a few of the things the dr suggested and why i was against them. i didn’t want my first post to be 20 pages long. ;-)

    first off my daughter has been developmentally on the slower end since day 1. she is 15 months old and isn’t walking yet (soooo close!) and doesn’t have any words other than mamamamamamamama but again she’s so close. she babbles a lot. so she has been consistently on the slower end of the developmental curve but still within normal range.

    i believe she has a strong gag reflect because at one point we were having issues with her gagging on the vitamin D. that seems to have stopped but i do believe she has a sensitive gag reflex. so i think her oral development is slow too.
    this is not a kid who has ever fit into any of the “normal” ranges of anything for babies. she is truly her own self on her own curve.

    when i mentioned to the dr at 9 (?) months about the gagging she wanted to do a barium swallow which i thought was extreme. i can’t even imagine how you do that to a baby. this kid doesn’t eat anything i would literally have to force feed her the barium which I’m sure is gross then to do the x-ray part i assume they have to take her from me and put her somewhere. this would not fly with her. and i believe it would be EXTREMELY traumatic for her. she is very clingy and entered the stranger danger phase very early and had it REAL bad. even now still she is still standoffish with strangers and even some people she sees a lot. she is very attached to me. she is just now at 15 months starting to do really good with family members like her grandparents.

    when she was born she had what is called infant torticollis which is just a big word for a tightening of the neck muscles on one side causing them to predominantly look one way. very easy to correct if you catch it early with physical therapy. so we had a PT from early intervention coming to our house for that. at some point it went beyond PT for that and they were all concerned she wasn’t on track with her gross motor skills. (she wasn’t rolling and had no desire to crawl at the time). our PT was not a good fit personality wise. my daughter started the stranger danger thing around this time and the PT was very much like “we’re going to do this this this and this and then this and look at this” and was very task driven and my daughter needed space and my daughter would scream through the entire thing. i had to fire them because it was becoming too much and i didn’t think it was helping anything and deep down inside even though she was on the slower end i knew nothing was wrong with her and she would crawl eventually. i was right of course. now she is crawling all over the place and on the cusp of walking.

    so when my dr suggested the early intervention people again at 12 months for the eating thing i was hesitant because of the stranger danger thing. some strange person coming into our house and trying to put food in her mouth was NOT a good idea. it was only going to make things 10x worse. I’m not against the early intervention people i just don’t think it would have worked.

    she had 2 other options one of which I’m still considering. one was some child psychologist she said we could go see and he would give us his opinion. i thought that was a tad bonkers. i mean maybe I’m missing something here but what do you do at a child psychologist with a non-verbal child?

    the option i am still considering is there is a nutrition clinic at the hospital where she was born and my dr suggested i call them. i looked them up online and they predominantly deal with kids who are diagnosed with failure to thrive and i got really upset when i read that because i feel like such a failure as a mother. she has NOT been diagnosed with FFT and IS healthy and thriving but i don’t know it was just upsetting. i haven’t ruled that one out.

    in my heart of hearts i don’t feel there is anything wrong with her. i feel like everything else with her she will do it realllllly late. there is NO way i will force feed her obviously. i really want to let her develop at her own pace and i want to honor that about her that she is such her own person. but i feel pressure to get her to start eating but i don’t know what the magic solution is.

    as far as the breastmilk goes we are VERY lucky that i am a SAHM so we can nurse on demand. man does this kid love to nurse. no issues in that department. she is definitely getting her nutrients that way. i AM very worried a bout iron though. maybe my dr will retest her at this upcoming appt. i also read that breastmilk doesn’t cover zinc as they get older. i feel nutritionally she is getting everything else but i worry about the iron and the zinc and just the fact that she’s so far behind in the whole practicing of eating that i feel like she’s going to have issues (not basing that on anything but my own feelings)

    I’m basically straddling this very difficult position of not wanting to not address something serious and letting her develop at her own pace.

    this parenting thing sure is hard ;-)

    also! i did read that “My Child Wont Eat” book. i didn’t find it overly helpful. it seemed like it addressed picky eaters for the most part and was a lot of anecdotal evidence. i thought it was interesting and the one thing i picked up from it was that they don’t NEED as many calories as we think they do because they are so much smaller than us so their stomachs are much smaller. my daughter was 5 lbs when we brought her home and continues to be small. she’s only about 16 lbs at 15 months old so obviously she doesn’t NEED a ton of food. she has fallen perfectly onto her growth curve her entire life she is just at the bottom of the percentile range. i just felt the book didn’t address literally eating nothing.

    we sometimes get small amounts of yogurt or stage 1 or 2 baby food on her lips or in her mouth and she does not gag on it and seems to “eat” it but usually won’t open her mouth for more. this is a big step up from 12 months when literally nothing EVER went into her mouth and she would dodge a spoon like crazy.

    we have given her small table foods to explore or play with int he style of BLW but she seems to know it's food and will maybe poke it with her finger or otherwise completely ignore it.

    thank you again for reading! sorry it’s so long!

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