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Thread: 15 months old breastfed toddler won't eat solids.

  1. #1

    Default 15 months old breastfed toddler won't eat solids.

    Hi,

    I have a 15 months old boy who won't eat solids. He hasn't been good at it from the beginning but I thought it would get better as he gets older. He loves fruit and eats at least 3 different types of it everyday but when it comes to meat or porridge he won't open his mouth. But sometimes he doesn't mind and eats everything offered but most of the time he eats only bread, pancakes, cookies, muffins, fruit and pasta without anything. I have noticed that when he is teething or when my husband is away for some days he stops eating completely and will only breastfeed. When he has no teething pain and when he is happy he eats better. My problem now is that my pediatrician and family are putting lots of pressure on me and saying that he won't eat because of breastfeeding. They say I have to stop breastfeeding and he won't starve himself and will be forced to eat solids. However I don't feel this is the right way. I thought as he eats solids more he will ask for milk less and eventually he will self wean. Is it possible that he doesn't eat because of breastfeeding. How do I get him eat solids without force weaning? Is there anyone with similar experience? What worked for you? Please help. I am at my wits end. Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 15 months old breastfed toddler won't eat solids.

    Is your baby gaining and growing ok, or not? Has he tested low in iron? I am trying to figure out why his pediatrician is concerned.

    If I am understanding your post, you say your child will not eat solids, then you list many solids your baby does eat. Last I looked, bread, pancakes, cookies, muffins, fruit and pasta are all considered solid foods. Lots of people do not like porridge and many kids come to meats a bit later than other foods.

    My problem now is that my pediatrician and family are putting lots of pressure on me and saying that he won't eat because of breastfeeding.
    Fascinating. And what evidence do they have for this nonsense? What studies? Does this even make sense to you? Breastmilk is food. It is incredibly healthy food. Anyone could eat breastmilk and benefit from it. Why would eating a healthy food make a child not want to eat anything else? And if your baby really has issues eating enough healthy foods, why take away the healthiest single food he could eat or will ever eat?
    Is it possible that he doesn't eat because of breastfeeding.
    No.

    How do I get him eat solids without force weaning?
    Keep offering the foods he has been eating, and every day or a couple times a week, offer something he does not eat yet. Offer it. Eat it yourself in front of him. Have him see other kids eating around him. Try different ways of preparing it. But do not force or pressure him to eat.

    If you are really feeling at your wits end that your child will not eat meat or vegetables, you can try hiding these in his pancakes and muffins etc. There are many recipes online I assume, and cookbooks that are all about hiding healthy foods for the reluctant eater. However I doubt that is at all necessary.

    An excellent book that I am sure will help you is called My Child Won't Eat by the pediatrician and breastfeeding expert Carlos Gonzalez. I strongly suggest this excellent book.

    Assuming your child has no developmental or health issues that are preventing him from eating normally, I am quite sure he will start eating more and with more variety when he is ready and needs to. This book will explain why that is.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; January 10th, 2017 at 05:02 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 15 months old breastfed toddler won't eat solids.

    Hi, thank you very much for the reply, it is very helpful.

    Answering the questions, yes he is growing and gaining weight although it isn't as much as before. He used to be on the top of growing chart but now he is in the middle. And he hasn't tested for iron deficiency. Generally he is very happy and active and I personally don't think there's anything wrong with him. But he doesn't eat as much as the pediatrician thinks he should eat. She says that he is old enough to eat three meals and two snacks and no breast milk or breast milk only in the morning and before going to bed. She also says breastfeeding after one year isn't good for teeth. She doesn't think he has sensory issues or developmental delay but she thinks he should be independent and depend on solids not on breastfeeding.

    Sorry I wasn't too clear about him eating solids I have listed. He eats those things but not every day. There are days when he won't eat anything and exclusively breastfeed. Other days he will eat a little and some days he will eat a lot. Is it normal?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 15 months old breastfed toddler won't eat solids.

    Can you get a new pediatrician? I mean seriously. She is passing on absolutely incorrect, non-scientific assertions about food intake and breastfeeding that have no basis is reality.

    Is it normal for a 15 month old to not be eating solids every day? Yes, in general I think it is. It is certainly normal for a child this age to not eat much at all overall and to have very little variety in their diet. I have three kids who are all healthy eaters and not one of them ate 3 meals and 2 snacks a day at this age! My one who did not eat any solids until he was 14 months old probably ate solids once or twice a day at this age, and the other two who started solids around 6 months were maybe eating 3 times total a day. Average, not the same every day. Yes it is entirely normal for intake to vary day to day.

    And when I say eating, I mean they sat in the high chair or on my lap or stood at a little table or sat on a blanket at the park or whatever, and they were offered food, and they picked the food up and some of it went into their mouths. But I have no idea how much exactly they ate and would have no way of differentiating a "snack" amount from a "meal" amount.

    Please read My Child Won't Eat. It was written for this type of situation. It sounds to me like your child is healthy and well cared for, and you are being made to feel badly about something that is almost certainly not a problem in any way.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; January 11th, 2017 at 12:09 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 15 months old breastfed toddler won't eat solids.

    Thank you so much for your reply again and for for recommending "My Child Won't Eat" book. I found some parts of it in Google books and while reading I felt as if it has described my situation with my boy! It is so helpful! I will order my copy soon and can't wait to read the whole book.

    I did seek the opinion of another pediatrician and she discussed it with her nurse and they both concluded that I was too soft and that I should change my approach. They said I should put food in front of him and not offer anything else until he eats it. I shouldn't give in and offer breastfeeding after he has refused eating his solids. I don't think I can do that. Maybe I am too soft as they say but I don't want to starve my boy to get him to eat. I believe it should happen naturally and he should self wean but I don't know how and when it will happen. The days when he won't it too much I feel thankful that at least he breastfeeds. I don't want to risk and lose my supply but I do worry if I am right in following my heart and what if he doesn't get enough nutrition and what if pediatricians are right.

    Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience with me. It helps a lot to know what I am doing isn't wrong and that other people had similar experience.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 15 months old breastfed toddler won't eat solids.

    They said I should put food in front of him and not offer anything else until he eats it. I shouldn't give in and offer breastfeeding after he has refused eating his solids. I don't think I can do that. Maybe I am too soft as they say but I don't want to starve my boy to get him to eat.
    Trust your instincts.

    What gets me is the idea that nursing your child if he does not eat the solids placed in front of him is seen as "giving in." This is equating breastmilk and the act of nursing a child with giving them a soda pop or a candy bar because they will not eat anything else. It is just silly. Breastmilk is only healthy and breastfeeding is comforting and beneficial. Nursing a child when they want to and mom has no objection is not "giving in."

    I believe it should happen naturally and he should self wean but I don't know how and when it will happen.
    When he is ready. It is different for every child. But it WILL happen. Sometimes a child entirely "self weans" and sometimes mom starts to feel ready and gently starts or moves along the process. Both ways are fine, because nursing is a partnership, a relationship, between you and your child. Some give and take is normal. It sounds like you are not feeling any impulse to begin moving along the weaning process, and I want to assure you that is entirely normal, and entirely ok.

    what if he doesn't get enough nutrition and what if pediatricians are right.
    as far as I can tell the pediatricians are not giving you medical advice. They are giving you parenting advice. In other words from what you have posted I am not seeing any actual medical concern about your child's health, and rather it sounds like these doctors are telling you to parent in a way that goes against your instincts and beliefs. And not only your beliefs, by the way. Nothing the two peds have said is universally agreed upon by pediatricians, I assure you.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 15 months old breastfed toddler won't eat solids.

    Thank you so much for taking your time to reply all my questions. It is very helpful and I deeply appreciate it. I will go with the natural flow and I will have opinion of another pediatrician through "My Child Won't Eat" book. I needed some encouragement and guidance and you gave me both, thanks a lot!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 15 months old breastfed toddler won't eat solids.

    with all the above. I just want to chime in with what I remember of my children's eating habits at 15 months. They were still nursing very frequently during the day and at least 1-2 times overnight at that age. Their day-to-day intake of solid foods was extremely variable. Some days they ate so much solid food that I would wonder if they had worms. Other days they were more picky, and sometimes they ignored their solids and nursed, instead. They would go through stretches of trying lots of new foods, and stretches of wanting to eat only one food. Certainly there was no way that I could have made them eat something which they weren't hungry for. If I had tried starving them into submission they just would have been miserable and starved!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 15 months old breastfed toddler won't eat solids.

    Hi. I was feeding my child 3 meals a day and 2 snack by 15 months. It didn't make him want to not breastfeed. I actually think it's a good idea to have your child participate in the ritual of 3 meals a day and snack time. So that he has lots of opportunity to eat and explore food as well as get used to the idea of sitting down for meals. But I disagree with the pressure part completely. So what we did at that age was I would serve him breakfast in the highchair and he would sit there eating/playing for as long as I was eating and sometimes I could leave him there a little bit longer... when it was clear he wanted down I would put him down and I would move his plate down to the coffee table. So he had access to his food while also being able to play. The same thing would happen at lunch. So that meal time and food didn't become a non pleasant experience or felt like there was pressure connected to it.
    We always sat down together as a family for dinner. And I did BLS to whatever we were eating he would eat only broken out you know? So of we were having tacos, he would get beans, ground turkey, shredded cheese and broken pieces of tortillas all in separate sectionals on his plate. I always tried to make sure there were between 3 and 5 things on his plate so that even if he rejected things he was still eating SOMETHING.
    And we kept things we knew he liked and would eat on hand so there were always healthy snacks available to him. Like Cucumers, celery and apples. I think it's really important to work to keep introducing new things at this age so that your baby won't get into rut of only fruit and pasta and also because IME the more things you give them to try, the larger your arsenal of liked foods becomes and also the more willing they are to try new foods as they get older. My son just turned 11 and I would call him a pretty good eater. He definitely has preferences. But he will try most things at least once and has a broader palate than I do.(In terms of I hate spicy stuff and he doesn't)
    So I would work to make interesting varieties of things he can eat himself at those meal times and remember that really? It's not much. For breakfast and lunch the plate I would fill with 3-5 different kinds of food was the side of a desert plate. So lots of variety. But not much actual food. And no purees for me. So less mess. And zero time with me spent trying to shove stuff in his mouth. He would eat/explore his food while I ate mine. Same thing at dinner.

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10

    Default Re: 15 months old breastfed toddler won't eat solids.

    My 2.5 year old pretty much lived on breastmilk alone for the 1st 12 months and only really started eating a quantifiable amount at 15-16 months. I followed rituals presenting food to play with of course but it's the milk she wanted.

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