Refusing to eat — The Bump
September 2015 Moms

Refusing to eat

I'm at a loss and seriously considering buying formula again. My LO is refusing to eat any meals. Doesn't matter what it is. Try all different kinds of things and won't eat. I'm seriously at a loss. Any ideas??!! Help!!! Keep thinking that she'll start eating again but that's not happening. 
She literally used to eat anything and everything. 

Re: Refusing to eat

  • How many days has it been going on?  Our son becomes a TERRIBLE eater anytime he's actively teething, he has his molars coming in right now (3 are in, waiting on the last top one).  It definitely affects his milk drinking too...he just wants nothing to do with it.  It does let up though for him.  Could she possibly be getting some new teeth in?  

    When all else fails we will give him puree pouches of fruits or veggies so at least he's getting something in him!

    Good luck!  Hope things get better soon!
  • DS doesn't eat well when he is teething or not feeling well. Could she have a cold?

    I also found he wasn't eating well when he was in his high chair so we moved him to a booster seat so he sits basically at the table with us while we eat. 

    He has also started eating better since I bought him his own plates and untensils. He would always grab for mine or my hubby's plate or utensil so we got him his own. Works awesome. He's so proud to feed himself like we eat and he eats a lot better.

    Hope it gets better soon!
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  • jen83mnjen83mn member
    edited January 2017
    My LO has gone through a few phases like this that thankfully haven't lasted long and he's just gotten over it - but it had me so stressed out when he was going through it (and I think he could tell!). It was very frustrating to have him chuck everything I made him right on the floor and refuse to eat anything ... both because I didn't want him to starve and because I hate cooking and all my time and effort was now on the floor!

    How are you serving food right now? On the tray, in bowls with silverware, all foods at once so she has a choice what to eat first or one food at a time? Is she eating what you guys are eating (to the extent she can), or does she have something different?

    With our little guy, we used to feed him one food at a time up until about a year when he started to refuse food. Then we started giving him options and putting at least 3 different kinds of food on the tray at once so he could choose what he wanted to eat first (including at least one thing he's had before and we know he likes - something familiar). That really helped ... I think he wanted his independence and didn't want to feel like we were "forcing" him to eat something. If he doesn't eat something, we don't force it ... we'll ask him if he's tried his "green beans" per say and point to them, but if he doesn't eat them we don't force it. Having a more laid back attitude about it has definitely helped my sanity anyways, because I was seriously stressing out at every meal time about whether he was going to eat what I gave him or not.

    A few months later, he decided he wanted to start eating out of a bowl on his own with a spoon, so we got those suction bowls that stick to the tray and started putting at least one of his foods in there with a spoon and he's still thrilled with it ... once again, wants to be a big boy now (tear). And he sees us eating out of bowls and with utensils, so he wants to copy us.

    We also make his meals identical to ours when we can with some exceptions (there's still some stuff he can't eat since he doesn't have tons of teeth yet or his molars). So last night we had baked potatoes and green bean casserole ... he got the same thing, cut up and made edible for him, along with applesauce and baby iron-fortified oatmeal mixed in (he still seems to love that stuff so we just keep buying it). Applesauce and oatmeal is his go-to and he's obsessed with it and gets it at every dinner basically, but I always give it to him last and hide it until after he's done trying and eating everything else, otherwise that's all he'd eat. So he had a good helping of his potatoes last night, refused to touch his green beans (sometimes he loves them, sometimes he hates them), and then ate all his applesauce and oatmeal along with some munchies. When we give him his food, we tell him what everything is (so he can start learning his words) and then point to the same thing on our plates and say, "Look, mommy and daddy have potatoes too!" or "Look, mommy has potatoes! Where are your potatoes?" and then he'll get all excited and point to them, then shove them in his mouth, lol. 

    It's tough! But most babies won't starve themselves. There are days my LO doesn't eat hardly anything for lunch, but then he scarfs down his dinner that night. They also go through spurts where they just may not eat much, like if they're teething or aren't feeling the best.

    I read a nice quote a few months ago that really helped me feel a bit less stressed about the whole food situation: As a parent, you're responsible for providing your baby with healthy and nutritious food options. It's your baby's responsibility to decide what he/she wants to eat. 

    Once I tried to take on that mindset, things got a whole lot easier and I stopped worrying about whether he would eat this or that and he seemed to start eating better at the same time. Obviously that may not be the case for every baby and other things could be going on, but if it helps, thought I would share!

    It's also not uncommon at this age for babies food intake to slow down as they become toddlers, as my pediatrician explained. They're also just learning that they have options and can say no and their independence, so things can become more of a struggle for a bit, so that might be a part of it.

    If it's really starting to concern you that she isn't eating anything or starts to lose weight, I would talk to your pediatrician about it and see if she recommends going on any supplements until her eating habits pick up again. I know my friend's girl when she was maybe 3 refused to eat absolutely anything but bread ... it was so stressful for them and nothing they tried worked. She's still a picky eater now a few years later, but I think they worked with their pediatrician to make sure she was at least getting the nutrients she needed to stay healthy.

    Good luck to you and sorry for the novel!
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