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Thread: sudden fussiness at food

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    206

    Default sudden fussiness at food

    My LO is 10.5 months and has been eating solids since 6 months. We started with cereal, then veggie/fruit purees, then meat at 9 months. Up to this point, he's done well with eating and is up to 3 meals a day. Generally he likes his food, but often seems distracted and just wants to play or otherwise be a busybody. Most of the time he will happily eat while playing with a toy, watching the dog or other people, or playing with the blinds from the window next to his highchair.

    However, the past week and a half he has been downright fussy at meal time. He might take a few bites, but then he presses his lips together and goes "mmmm" as if saying "no, I don't want any." Sometimes I can persuade him to eat his food, but many other times he leaves the table without eating much. He fussed at his food for a few days, then I noticed he was getting 2 new teeth on the bottom (next to the 2 front ones), so I thought maybe it had something to do with that. The next couple of days after the discovery (and a bad night of fussing and no sleep for mama or baby), he started eating really well. Three nights ago he wolfed down his food in less than 5 minutes when we all sat down at the table for dinner. But the past 2 days he has flat out refused to eat his purees. He will, however, happily drink BM from a cup or feed himself some rice cups we had to teach him how to feed himself. Today for lunch, after refusing to eat his lunch and breakfast earlier, I sliced up some banana and he gladly ate it all, mostly, except what fell on the floor or in his bib. He also ate some rice cups, some puffs, and a few pieces of turkey deli meat.

    Is this normal to have a baby suddenly refuse baby food? Is he fussing because of the teeth, or could this be his way of wanting to feed himself? Not sure what to do here. He's not that into nursing (about 7 times per day) and had previously eaten 3 meals really well each day, so I'm worried that he may not be able to feed himself the same kind of nutricious meals (rice cups really aren't nutricious at all, just for experimenting). He is about 23.5 lbs, at 90 % of growth, so I'm not that concerned just yet. Any ideas would be great. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,944

    Default Re: sudden fussiness at food

    Until a year (or thereabouts), solids are for experimenting with new tastes, textures, and motor skills ONLY. They are not necessary for nutrition; until a year, breastmilk (or formula) provide all the nutrition a baby needs. After a year, the transition from needing only milk to a majority solid food diet may be quite slow, since it's not like babies go to sleep on day 364 needing only breastmilk and wake up on day 365 needing 3 square meals of solids. Many babies do not eat much solid food until well into their second year. So you can really relax about your baby's intake- at this point, solids are still just for fun. So if he eats some, great. And if he tastes some and then spits it out, still great. And if he refuses to eat and prefers to manipulate the solids with his hands- still great, because he had a fun learning experience.

    Solids strikes are very common. Self-feeding may help your baby transition away from a strike. After all, purees are pretty boring. Not only are the fairly bland taste-wise and uninteresting texture-wise, but they also relegate the baby to being mostly a passive recipient. Open, close, swallow, repeat. If you let him self-feed, he gets to eat and also to play- he can smush the solids, he can pick them up, he can throw them , he can drop them, he can feed them to the dog... He can even eat them! It's a lot more fun that way.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    206

    Default Re: sudden fussiness at food

    Glad to know solids strikes are common. None of my friends' kids ever had this problem, so they weren't of much help. One suggested that this was his way of declaring independence, and she's probably right.

    Yes, he seems to like to feed himself. What are some good ideas of finger foods I can give a 10 month old who has 6 (almost 8) teeth and that are also fairly easy to prepare? He can bite food like banana pieces and crackers, but sometimes gets too big a bite and kinda chokes (but is able to cough it out). Should I stick to the recommendation of not giving wheat products until 1 yr? My friends gave their babies wheat foods like crackers, bread, etc.

    I gave him some pieces of banana, carrot, peas, last night--another question: is it weird/unusual that I found pieces of carrot in his dirty diaper this morning?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,944

    Default Re: sudden fussiness at food

    Solids strikes aren't really a problem. They're just a normal part of being a baby.

    Good finger foods for self-feeders:
    - smashed beans (e.g. black beans)
    - lentils
    - any steamed, mashed veggie (carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, etc.)
    - whole peeled fruits (apple, pear)
    - soft, shredded meats (e.g. chicken from a soup, pulled pork) or ground meats
    - small pieces of tofu
    - corn kernels
    - raisins
    - O shaped cereals (Cheerios)

    AFAIK, the current thinking on wheat is to introduce it at or prior to 6 months, provided there's no strong history of food allergies in the family.

    Until your LO has some molars, you should expect to see lots of chunky, more or less unchanged solids appearing in his diaper. Most of the work of grinding up food goes on inside the mouth. Just watch out if you feed your LO raisins- they will turn back into grapes! Magic!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: sudden fussiness at food

    Thanks for the food tips! Also, good to know about the solids appearing in the diaper so I won't be concerned.

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