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Thread: oral aversion--is this real?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default oral aversion--is this real?

    DS' pediatrician tells me if I wait longer than 9 mos to introduce solids my baby will develop oral aversion and will not want to eat them. Is this true? My thought was, is she seriously telling me my baby will never eat solids and I'll be nursing a college freshman? Sounds fishy to me. I figure DS will eat solids when he's ready, whether we're past that "optimal window" or not.

    Anyone have experience with this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: oral aversion--is this real?

    That is untrue and I'm not quite sure where this fallacy stems from. Many, many babies aren't ready for solid foods until they're much older. You're right on in following your gut instincts.

    FWIW, I had a son who wouldn't touch solid foods until he was 11 months old. The kid eats anything now!

  3. #3
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: oral aversion--is this real?

    I have experience with this. There is probably no cause for concern as most babies who refuse solids just aren't ready for them yet. However, some children do have hypersitivity in their mouths or delays in oral motor skills that can result in an aversion. (I'm not sure that this is really due to not introducing solids at a particular time though.) My DS was seven months when we first introduced solids, and he was not interested. I assumed he just wasn't ready and would eat them when he was. I also assumed that if he were hungry he would eat, but for him this was not true. He started wanting to nurse constantly and completely stopped gaining weight after one year (he gained no weight at all from 12 months to 21 months). Then he stopped growing taller as well. At 21 months we finally decided intervention was needed and started a program recommended by therapists. When he started eating, he immediately started growing again. (Many babies do continue to thrive on breastmilk alone after one year, but my supply dropped for some reason and was not enough even though we nursed on demand day and night.)

    For my DS there were other signs of a problem besides just not being interested in solids. Does your baby put toys or other objects in his mouth? (my DS never did). How does he do with tooth brushing or you putting your fingers in his mouth to look at teeth? (My DS screamed for any of this). On the rare occasion that DS put a bit of cheerio in his mouth or I put some pureed food in his mouth, he appeared to have no idea what to do with it. He made no attempt to chew it, move it around his mouth, swallow, or spit it out. He would just sit with his mouth hanging open and cry until it desolved or we were able to remove it for him.

    So, I'd look for these other signs of a problem, but if they aren't present your baby is probably fine and will probably eat when ready. I'd also recommend giving food frequently to play with even if baby isn't interested in eating it. This gives more opportunities to get used to the smell and texture and to experiment with it.

    I hope this information is helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    273

    Default Re: oral aversion--is this real?

    Great question! My daughter is 8 months today & hasn't started solids yet & I was wondering the same thing. Thank you for posting your question!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: oral aversion--is this real?

    My son also won't eat (9 months) and does not put anything in his mouth and we can't get in there to brush. He also doesn't know what to do with cheerios when I put them on his tongue.

    What does this mean?

  6. #6
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: oral aversion--is this real?

    My son also won't eat (9 months) and does not put anything in his mouth and we can't get in there to brush. He also doesn't know what to do with cheerios when I put them on his tongue.

    What does this mean?

    Well, your son sounds very similar to mine. He could just not be ready for solids, or he could have some of the same sensitivity issues that my son has. As long as your son continues to grow normally, try not to worry about his health. As I said before, babies can continue to thrive for A LONG TIME on breastmilk alone as long as supply continues to meet demand. As for the sensitivity issues, here are some things that I wish I had done earliere with my DS (maybe they would have helped, maybe not):

    1) EXPOSE him to lots of different foods, tastes, smells, textures on a daily basis. I don't mean try to actually feed him 3x a day, but put him in his highchair (or on your lap) and give him different foods to play and experiment with a couple times every day.

    2) Insist that toothbrushing be done daily even if he screams through it. It is important to start brushing teeth for dental hygiene, and the stimulation in his mouth will help decrease sensitivity over time. In the beginning, it took both DH and me together to be able to get the toothbrush in DS's mouth.

    3) Find other ways to get things into his mouth. Encourage him to chew on cloth, toys, teethers, etc. Get your fingers into his mouth to massage gums, cheeks, etc. You can buy a Nuk brush (available at Target or most other similar stores in the baby section). It is soft plastic with ridges and shaped a little like a tooth brush. You can use this to "brush" along his cheeks and lips and work on getting it into his mouth to touch inside of cheeks and tongue. With my DS we would kind of play a game with it, and touch it to a different part of his mouth before turning each page of a book.

    I, personally, did not want to seek further evaluation for my DS until it really became a health issue, but you can get an evaluation with an occupational therapist and/or speech therapist if you want to. (Please note I'm not saying I think you SHOULD do that, just letting you know there are people who work on these things). I didn't really like a lot of the suggestions I got, so I didn't want to do that until I ran out of other options. In the end, it ended up not being nearly as bad as I thought.

    I hope you find this information helpful. Take or leave whatever you'd like. Remember that you know your baby best, so follow your instincts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    3

    Default Re: oral aversion--is this real?

    Thanks for the advice. I just made an appointment with a pediatric GI guy, so hopefully we'll know if there are any problems. I'll try with the toothbrush.

    It's just pretty bleak. I love breastfeeding him, but I thought it would taper off and I'd get a break.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: oral aversion--is this real?

    I completely understand how you feel. I never intended to wean DS, but I thought I'd be able to leave him with someone else for more than 2 hours long before he turned 2! Look on the bright side, continueing to have an EBF child does make traveling around with him simpler. Now that my DS is eating sizable portions of solids, I have to actually bring him food when we go somewhere. In a lot of ways, BF is easier. But really, he won't BF forever. Hang in there, and try to enjoy the time BFing. 9 months is still pretty young. You never know, he may just spontaneously start eating!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    1

    Default Re: oral aversion--is this real?

    My son is 11 and a half months old and he absolutely refuses to eat solids, he loves putting toys and everything else in his mouth. He loves toast, mango, and sugar-free popsicles. He chews and swallows them easily, but when it comes to Gerber foods he looks at them like its mustard.
    His 8 month old cousin weighs more than he does and his cousin eats everything in site so this is very frustrating for me. My son eats about 8 bottles a day. I give him toast and he loves it, but I try to trick him into eating something he doesn't go for and he catches me before I even get it near his mouth! My son is extremely smart. At his last well baby appointment he weighed 18 lbs. 6 oz. but his doctor says he is following a curve so he's still doing good. He is a healthy happy baby and I wish he would eat.
    he also has an unsually fast metabolism, so that contributes to his weight as well. I am a new mommy so I am hoping the doctor tells me this is normal and if not sends my son to a specialist.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    893

    Default Re: oral aversion--is this real?

    My daughter is 9 months old and wants nothing to do with solids, we were trying everynight and have all but given up.....If I come at her with a spoon or my finger she starts to gag and choke (I'm assuming in protest). She's a champ at bf and is still gaining weight so I'm not too worried.

    A nurse that we were suppose to have a swallow function study with (it didn't happen she started insulting me due to my daughter refuses foods and a bottle/sippy cup so we left) told me that she had a food adversion and that she needed thearpy and it was my fault for not force feeding her at 4 months old and not "allowing" her to self feed (she will self feed, I take my bra off and she'll go to it without any of my help.) We have the swallow study reschedualed.

    I figure the same thing that she'll start when she is ready. She had extremly bad reflux and has had surgery to correct it (fundoplacation and g-button) so I know eating is not high on her list due to it was uncomfortable for her for such a long time. Hope this helps

    Marcie
    Mom of Madeline

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