Thursday, May 21, 2009

My one-year old won't eat solids

Raffaele generally refuses to eat solids. By "generally" I mean that he will only eat A LITTLE bit 0.1% of the time, so hardly ever.

I breast-fed for six months, stopped when I was put on medication for gastro-intestinal issues, and he's been formula-fed ever since.

Mr. FloridaWife, mother, and I have tried ALL kinds of foods -- Gerber, table food, vegetables, fruits, meats, bread, you name it. It's as if he doesn't "get it."

So, Mr. FloridaWife took him to his 12-month appointment today (because he's a stay-at-home-dad), and he says that the pediatrician is saying that we really, really need to get him to eat solids. That he could turn anemic or whatever. My DH says, "look, I was eating solids at 7 weeks and a ONE MONTH old that was there was eating her mother's bagel. We have to get him HUNGRY and then FORCE him to eat."

Raffaele HATES sitting in his high chair. The entire experience of trying to feed him solids turns into a cry-fest with him wailing to get out of the chair. My mother (she stops in everyday for a few hours) says it's not worth the battle sometimes. We don't force it on him, we stop, and let him go on his merry-way. I've tried giving him food with him walking around, but that's another challenge, because he'd rather keep walking around and he pushes the spoon away.

Raffaele has about 16 teeth already, so he should be able to chew just fine.

My heart is breaking from this. I don't want to FORCE him to eat if he hates it so much, but maybe there is truth in that a 12-month old should be eating solids?

Any hints, words of wisdom, no-nonsense advice, tips to encourage him would be appreciated.

95 comments:

Photogrl said...

((HUGS)) This has to be tough.

My cousin struggled with her daughter on solids. She began to wonder if she would ever eat solids. The only thing that worked was cutting bottles out of ther day. And that's prolly not the answer you want to hear...

But, she is 3 now and eats just fine.

I hope someone else has some tips for you!

Cathy said...

If you break a soft banana into a few pieces and give it to him, will he eat it?

How about a cupcake?

Sounds like he just needs to realize that eating is fun and yummy, too.

Right now, it's not about nutrients. (Some cultures breastfeed exclusively for WAY longer than a year, and their kids are fine.) It's just about teaching him that eating solids is fun and new flavors are exciting.

christina(apronstrings) said...

i am so sorry. that is awful. i make c's food with the baby cook. she loves is. i make it b/c i can add stuff to it-it's nutritionally rich-and cheap and fast!
i don't know what r likes-but c can't get enough of blueberries-pureed with formula. i steam them in the baby cook and puree.
also, when she won't eat solids all day--we just add rice cereal to her bottle. you can slit the nipple with a razor. make sure to do one at a time-if it's too big he'll get mad or if it is too small.
my advice is to start on very sweet things. formula and bmilk taste like condensed milk to me.
i hope this helps--if i think of anything else, i'll drop back to tell you. sorry! how upsetting. (though, i know he'll be fine)
oh, i would only feed him solids. no milk. you'll probably end up crying-and so will he! but he won't starve he will eat solids. c only wants to eat blueberries so, i feed her pureed veggies first. if she doesn't eat that than too bad.
though, i am against force feeding-but again, i really think he'll get hungry enough.
he was eating solids? what was he eating?

FloridaWife said...

On the rare occasion, we have been able to get him to eat the Gerber's food, but it has been RARE. I can only do this on the weekends, since I am away from home Monday-Friday until I come home at 5:40pm. There is no routine here since I am not here. Mr. FloridaWife doesn't believe in routines and he doesn't feed Raffaele solids, although he attempted today with oatmeal made in water which did NOT look tasty at all. I am virtually powerless to this Monday-Friday. However, these past two nights, I have been sitting down to have dinner with Raffaele and giving him what I'm having plus his baby food stuff. He won't eat any of this, though. I keep trying on the weekends, but with me not here Monday-Friday during the day, things don't happen the way I would do them.

Katherine T. Lauer said...

Your son may have a physical issue, such as a tongue tie, or a sensory processing disorder, which is a very real thing. My son had both. He had big problems nursing at first because of reflux resulting from my milk overproduction. Reflux can result in later problems eating solids because the baby learns that consumption through the mouth leads to great pain. Then my son had an undiagnosed tongue tie that we discovered only at 15 months old. In the meanwhile, he lived (and thrived) on exclusive nursing. I started trying solids at 6-1/2 months and every time he gagged and threw up. So, at 15 months we got his tongue tie clipped, but by then John had missed an important window of learning about food, plus he had developed a lot of defensiveness about eating food. We chugged along for another year trying and trying, including coercion and force. Now John is 2-1/2 and is in occupational therapy for feeding. He was diagnosed with hyper and hyposensitivities in his mouth and sensory processing difficulties with eating. He is improving so well after a couple of months of 30 minutes of weekly therapy and my making changes at home! With *these* kind of problems, FORCE AND COERCION WILL NEVER WORK and will only make the problems worse. I would suggest you get your son evaluated by feeding professionals, not just your pediatrician. I'd seek out pediatric occupational therapists for an evaluation. Also perhaps see an ear nose and throat specialist to check for a tongue tie. If you son has a real problem with eating, you are blessed that he is this young. The younger they are, the faster they can adapt. Our therapist estimates John will need 6 to 12 months of therapy. It has been a very sad journey and I've suffered tremendous guilt over some of the times I tried to starve him out or he wept at the table for two hours when all the time he had real problems that prevented him from eating.

FloridaWife said...

Thank you, Katherine. Now you have me worried. What's a "pediatric occupational therapist?" Is that what they're called in the phone book or insurance directory?

In the time being, I've bought all kinds of interesting foods in the hopes that he will like some of these, so I'm going to give this a try.

Katherine T. Lauer said...

Don't be overly worried! I was actually trying to give you hope that there might be a *reason* behind your son's refusal to eat solids. If there's a reason, you can fix it. Yes, I think you could find it in the phone book or insurance directory under "occupational therapist, pediatric." I got my referral from my pediatrician, that's how I find my OT and she's great. Occupational therapists are often also in the same group as speech therapists, so even if you found a speech therapist, you could call her, explain your situation, and ask if she can recommend anyone.

In the meanwhile, as you're offering foods, try being gentle and making it a game. Try letting your son be "in control" by picking up the foods off the plate or tray or floor or whever instead of you feeding him. Take notes on any differences you notice in his reactions to different flavors, textures, shapes, colors, etc. That information will help an OT making an evaluation.

FloridaWife said...

Thank you, Katherine.

I've always let him lead me to what we are doing while trying to encourage him in a certain direction. Tonight's attempt of dinner kind of went well with yogurt I introduced but when I tried to give him cornbread, well, he vomited after a few bites. I'm trying not to be too worried about it -- maybe he vomited because it's all NEW to him?? Or maybe there is a legitimate, medical reason why he vomited? I don't know. I want to give the benefit of the doubt and think that he vomited because it was all new to him and it seemed weird. I'll try it again in the hope that it was a behavioral response and not a medical one.

This all gets a bit worrisome sometimes, but I try to go with the flow.

Katherine T. Lauer said...

Glad the yogurt went well. :) In my experience and from what I've researched and learned along this journey, vomiting is not normal behavior, even in response to new foods. My son vomited because his tongue was "tied" down and he didn't have almost any lateral movement. That means that the food introduced into the mouth moves too quickly and randomly to the back of the throat, setting off the gag response and it's very alarming for the baby. Even though my son's tongue got clipped, it happened so late that now he still vomits at a lot of foods because his sensitivies are all "off" and he doesn't use his tongue right. But the therapy is really easy, just takes thoughtfulness. John loves going to "have breakfast with Miss A---" once per week and he's making progress that makes me so happy.

FloridaWife said...

Thank you, Katherine. I'll post an update sometime this week on how things have gone.

Marlena said...

My daughter is 9 months and this is how we have her feeding "schedule"

7am- formula (270ml) with cereal (in bottle)
12pm- home-made solids (as nursery school)
5pm- yogurt, fruit, and one or two cookies (most times i giver her about 150 ml more formula also)
8 or 9pm- formula (270ml) with cereal

The doctor said for her to eat no less than 500ml a day. But, my babay LOVES her milk! It's so hard to give her solids sometimes. Yes, she eats them...I've done it little by little by little...because I knew that in Day Care (where I work) they're not as "nice" a real mommy. Also I live in another country and the mentality is different here. So.....I must admit that if she was staying at home with me, I'd be ever more leniant in this matter.

This is how we started:

4 months: fruit and veggies (she cried and fussed) so we'd just give her one or two teaspoons and my husband's approach was "or you eat or you eat" and I totally disagreed. So we agreed that we'd do it gradually. And we have.

6 months: inttrodueced meats (chicken, beef) again, one or two teaspoons at a time. gave her a cracker to "feed" her ownself.

Still here at six months: 7am morning bottle. noon: solids. snack: formula/cereal and dinner formula/cereal

8 months: introduced fish. here was yet another change...here we "weaned" again....not completely though...i still sneak in that bottle at snack time, even though they don't give it to her at nursery school...

now she is 9 months and is drinking formula/cereal in morning. lunch: solids (veggies, meats, fish) snack: fruit, yogurt, and a cookie ( here is where i give her formula even though my pediatrician suggested i not ) and then dinner: formula/cereal.

It's really hard to see that she prefers her bottle. I don't like to see her suffer that's why we've done it ever so gradually... and...my husband and I cook her food because the gerber-like baby food tastes totally bland over here. so, we come up with our own recipes or look for some online and they're quite yummy. if you google "baby recipes" you will find some. then we freeze them in ice cube trays. at first, we'd only defrost one cube because she couldn't even finish that. now, she'll eat like 5 or 6, each one is like an ounce, i believe...i'm all confused with ounces and ml over here.... but, that's about 150 ml...i think.

the secret for us was to do it gradually... but when she refues solids, i do give her her bottle. i'm just so soft with this issue because i don't want her to be turned off by food.

Marlena said...

Some examples of web pages with recipes.

Also, a good thing is to let baby "eat"finger foods like crackers, spiral pasta, cheese, bananas, small pieces of bread/toast...of course always under SUPERVISION. Like i said in my other message, my baby loves LOVES her formula but solids are growing on her.

http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/

http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/

FloridaWife said...

Thank you, Marlena. I always appreciate your insight and comments. Our approach has been gradual, and, perhaps, TOO gradual. I appreciate everthing you wrote. You give me hope that if all of us keeps at it everyday, that things should work out okay.

Rebecca said...

My now 3 yr old did not begin to eat solids till she was one, and my now almost 11 month old also has no interest. I know it's frustrating, but it will happen. Just wanted you to know you're not the only one!

FloridaWife said...

Thank you, Rebecca.

Alexa said...

NEVER EVER force a child to eat or try to "starve" them into taking something other than milk. This is cruel and unnecessary! And could lead to serious food issues later on. My almost 15 month old wants to nurse all day and I'm constantly trying to get her to eat baby food. The one thing she will eat and LOVES is avacado so maybe you could try that. I just think though that they will learn to eat in their own time and that we shouldn't push it. Why hurry them to grow up if they're not ready? All babies are different and at least they are getting nutrients from the milk. I worry about it too but I'm sure when they are ready they will eat solids normally. Apparently toddlers need much less food than we think anyway.

FloridaWife said...

I completely agree with you Alexa, and thanks for reading. I follow his lead and if he doesn't want solids, he doesn't have to eat it. As far as I'm concerned we are fine, and I have to keep fighting all the people that keep telling me that there is a problem. There is NO problem.

Right now, what I do, is I sit down with him and I put some food on his tray, and if he picks it up and puts in his his mouth, that is fine. If he leaves it on the tray that's fine. I don't try to get a spoon near him anymore. He isn't really eating any of it; he's playing mostly, which to me is fine.

The hard part is that I have to keep fighting all the nay-sayers.

Carson's mommy said...

Well, personally, I wouldn't worry at all. IMO, stressing about the solids will only make your kid want them less (as in he sees it as a negative thing). Our kid is 12 mo. old and isn't a great eater most days, so we have him on NextStep formula vs. cow's milk. It has all the nutrition he needs, so no stress and no battles. Then, I put food out on a little table for him. He either eats it or he doesn't. He gets a little better every day!! Also, my kid HATES his chair too!! Good luck!

Zainab said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel. I have a swarm of in-laws who are convinced that my 1 year old not eating food is a terrible terrible thing and somehow a reflection of my poor parenting skills - because I dont try hard enough! My daughter wont let me near her with a spoon in my hand - I just let her graze - whatever she eats I'm happy. She's healthy and happy and that makes me believe that she'll be okay

FloridaWife said...

Thank you so much for the support, Zainab! I'm glad that we are not alone! That helps so much.

james and andrea said...

Hi FloridaMom!
I am up at 3 a.m. and I googled for answers to your exact same predicament. Mine is a 13-month-old, nursed forever, and gags/makes himself vomit every time something that's not yogurt, goes into his mouth. This is something that's weighing constantly on me. He started out as a 10-pound baby and hasn't even doubled his birth weight (though he should be close). Katherine's advice is phenomenal. She really knows what's going on. W e just moved to a new state and are awaiting medical insurance from my hubby's new job, but our last pediatrician suggested seeing a specialist about an oral-motor delay. I've tried googling it and haven't found much but basically my son won't self-feed, won't take anything I offer him, and -only sometimes- accepts water, broth in soups, or yogurt (we buy the 32-ounce whole milk yogurt, mix in jam and honey).

Anything that is solid he'll bite into and then spit out. In the off-chance that something makes it to the back of his throat, he'll gag and then vomit it up.

People have given me advice from the "he won't let himself starve" (so I should wean him from nursing now) to the "all you've got for sure is nursing" and then the really unhelpful "give him this" or "try that" list of solids. Then there are some who say that he just needs examples of others eating. What it comes down to is he has an aversion to textures (even touching them), no hand-to-mouth contact, and then a very sensitive gag reflex.

Sorry, I may have written this out all for me. I love motherhood and it's hard to feel useless or powerless in a role that I'm trying to fulfill. There is so much joy that comes with it that I hate to dwell on the negative parts, but there are milestones like self-feeding that he's not making, as well as the issues I've known about since he was 6 months old (when he had no interest in solids and refused things I offered).

So, I think that Katherine is spot on with the therapy idea. I've heard that they use games and small activities, after carefully diagnosing them, to help them become comfortable with different textures.

You're doing a great job! There are people out there who know a lot more than us and I'd say that both of our babies have passed the point at which it's an issue of developing on their own time table.

Thanks for writing this on your blog and having it open so that as I googled for answers, yours came up. This truly is an area where most parents cannot relate, I've found, through trying to glean what I can from those around me.

FloridaWife said...

Thank you, James and Andrea, for reading my post.

As an update, Raffaele is 14.5 months old and he still won't eat solids. I have thought about the tongue tie, but that is not it -- he can stick his tongue out pretty far (like when he wants to lick anything else in the house!). I eat broccoli everyday, and he will pick it up and suck on it. Today he was sucking on a little bit of scrambled egg that I put before him. SO, he will suck the juice out of broccoli and eggs but not actually consume it as a SOLID.

When some food has made it into his mouth he has, on occasion, vomited. I'm not sure what that means although Katherine offered an explanation on that.

I spoke to the nurse at the pediatricians' office last week, and she told me formula is just FINE. I spoke to a nurse friend of mine and she told me formula only is FINE until age 2, so keep it up and don't worry. SO, that is mostly what I'm doing.

Raffaele was nearly 10 pounds at birth and he is around 27 pounds now. He is thriving beautifully just on formula so we'll just continue with that.

Nikki said...

Hi! I realize you wrote this awhile ago, but I was searching for information to help me with my own son and found your blog. I read your update that he's still not eating solids...my question for you is, did he ever eat them (as in stage 1 babyfoods) and then stop? or did he just not start altogether?

I breastfeed my son. I started him on cereal at 5 months. He didn't like it but he would eat small amounts. Around 6-7 months I introduced stage one babyfoods. He tried all 10 flavors and although there were some he didn't like (peas had to be forced) he seemed quite fond of pears, bananas, sweet potatoes, and squash and would eat a whole container in one sitting. Around the same time period we introduced juice. He loved it and it was so helpful to be able to feed him in the mall or on vacation. Also, from 6 wks - 6 months, I was in school full time (college) so I pumped and my milk was fed to him in a bottle. Again, no problem.

Suddenly around 9 months things began changing. He started refusing juice and then went on to refuse a bottle/sippy cup altogether. Even with breastmilk! He won't even drink water. I am back in school again and my mother babysits. She feeds him solids and juice because I no longer have the time, or supply, in order to pump everyday. Like I said, he started rejecting juice, and now at 10 months, he not only rejects solids (keep in mind, I'm still talking purees, not finger foods...he has no teeth) but within 2 or 3 hours of eating them he vomits continuously until he stomach is emptied. This can be 3-6 times.

First I thought it was a problem with oatmeal, maybe some type of allergy, so we cut that out of his diet. Then on Monday he threw up again. That was the first day we introduced corn so we figured that must be the problem (oats, corn, grains?)

We took him to the doctor yesterday and she thought it was just three isolated incidents, perhaps all viral. When asked why he refused to eat anything, she said he's just 'picky.' But he didn't use to be picky!

Anyway, today my mom fed him pears and squash. And 2.5 hours later, he threw it all up. I think it took 3 times to get everything out. Pears and squash used to be two of his favorites, but she basically had to force feed him today.

I in no way think that these episodes are viral. Do you have any suggestions of the next step I should take? We've already been to the pediatrician and I'm not sure how far we can get w/out a referral.

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Nikki. Thank you for reading my post. Well, he will be 16 months old tomorrow, and he still won't eat solids. However, I will add that ON A RARE OCCASION when we give him some adult food he will suck on it, but he won't actually CONSUME it, do you know what I mean? Like he just sucks some of the taste and juice out of it, but he won't bite in and consume. He had 16 teeth by the time he was 1, so teeth is not the issue.

You asked if he ate solids and then stopped. Around 6-7 months as we endeavored to get him to eat solids we had very small amounts of success in him consuming, perhaps, half a Gerber jar. This was a very short-lived period of time, and he decided that he didn't want to have anything at all to do with solids.

I asked my pediatrician's office, and they told me that it is FINE for a baby to be fed formula only until the age of 2.

I talked to a nurse friend of mine, and she said that formula only until age 2 is fine.

SO, that's what we feed him. He is practically 100% formula fed.

I will add something more: you mentioned vomiting. On the RARE, RARE occasion when he has sucked on some food item that we have given him and he has inadvertently swallowed some of it, he has vomited it. I take this to mean that HE knows what he is doing. HE knows somehow that his body is not ready for solids. AND since I've been advised that formula is fine, we are continuing on that road.

He will consume water and juices, so we are continuing with that too as well. The juice is new territory for us.

Good luck. I hope things go well with you and your Little One.

james and andrea said...

Hi Nikki!

My heart goes out to you and Floridagirl. We've been dealing with these same issues. Could your son have an aversion to textures? My 14-month-old never put anything to his mouth, never liked his hands touched. He has just now discovered loving corn on the cob and yogurt is an old standby (with lots of nursing still). But we have an appt to get him assessed by a speech/language pathologist, who will see why no hand-mouth contact and who will evaluate for oral/motor delays, sensory issues, etc.

It can be so hard! But we love these babies of ours and they are still learning, thriving, growing. These may be quite independent children who want to do it all themselves and are waiting. These things will all seem like memories of the past some day soon!

Keep up the good work!

vanessa said...

I do take comfort in knowing I'm not alone. My baby is almost 11 months. She is breastfed. We started feeding her gerber at about 5 months. She would only eat a little here and there. I would get her to eat a jar a day, then she would refuse to eat any for weeks.This has continued eversince. I feel like everytime I take a step forward I always move right back. She will also vomit or spit out any table food. She will not put any food to her mouth. She is able to stick her tongue out pretty far. She will pick up her toys and chew on them. I have been so stressed over this. I have been trying to start a schedule to breastfeed certain times a day. The past week I have managed to feed her Yo baby and gerber 2nd food 3 times a day. I am just so sick of family and friends telling me what she should be eating. I too spoke with her Dr. about it at her 9 month check. He said she'll eat when she's ready, and (she won't let herself starve). The one mom was right though about other countries breastfeeding for well over a year. Those babies are just fine. She is happy and healthy. I am just so glad to know I'm not alone. People have a way of making you feel it's shameful. So we try to handle it in secret. I will keep checking on your progress. I'm crossing my fingers for all of us with this problem!

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Vanessa. At least your baby managed to eat Yo baby and gerber 2nd food 3 times a day. At 16 months old, Raffaele still is virtually 99% formula fed.

James & Andrea, yes, he does definitely have an "aversion to textures." I've heard that phrase tossed around so many times now, but I have to ask WHY that is a problem at this stage. Surely, he won't be 16 years old and still be drinking formula. In his own time, I am certain, he will suddenly decide to eat.

I think the hardest part of this is dealing with people's comments. As I said in my update above, I have been told that exclusive formula (or breastmilk) feeding is just fine until two years.

I think too many people are trying to make this out to be a "problem" when all we have to do is give our babies the time that THEY need.

Caroline said...

My son is now 13 months old. At birth, his was tongue tied so we had it clipped right away. He nursed well and is still nursing like a champ to this day!
At 6 months, we have him cereal and he ate it up. Into 7 and 8 months, I gave him all kinds of new pureed foods (fruits, veg, meat) and no issues whatsoever. But that's where it ends. He won't eat textures. No finger foods. No matter what we try, he gags and spits it out. His doctor also told me that we really should get him eating textures as soon as possible... I felt like saying "Oh really? Cause we haven't been trying at all!"
(I too am tired of everyone telling us that he HAS to eat or else!

Anyway, here is something that you might want to try... Shakes. We found a bpa free plastic bottle with a built-in straw at our local Superstore (in Canada). I had witnessed our son drinking water through a straw once so I decided to give this bottle a try.
We blended yogurt (which he likes because it's smooth) with tiny cooked pasta, fruit and some sweet vegetables and blend the heck out of it! I strain it and serve it in that bottle. He loves it! You can always try it and add formula to it for that familiar taste but at least you are expanding his diet. Hope that helps.

What I do believe is that one day, when he's 15 or 16 and has eaten the family's dinner casserole as an afternoon snack, I'll remember how much I worried about getting him to eat when he was a baby.


Good luck to all of you. The minute my son eats something with textures, I'll let you know!

FloridaWife said...

Thank you, Caroline. Raffaele at 16 months now has begun over the past few weeks to drink out of a straw various juices or water. So, I think we'll give shakes a try and see what happens.

Thanks for commenting on my post.

mama721 said...

I read your post several months ago because I am going through the EXACT same thing!! I am finally responding with what I have learned. I too have a toddler- he is 16 months old and is exclusively breast fed. He NEVER ate anything other than breastmilk no matter how hard we tried. It is very difficult to hear people say "just stop nursing and he will eat". Do not listen to those people!!We have tried not nursing him and it doesn't work. We have also given him every kind of baby food imaginable plus we wasted so much money buying crackers, cookies, breads etc. hoping that he would eat them. My son also will suck on foods and lick them but will not consume them. When he gets a piece of food in his mouth he will choke/vomit.

Your son and mine have over-active gag reflexes. When my son was 13 months he started seeing a feeding therapist but after one month she went on maternity leave and there was a waiting list for all the other therapist. That was through All Childrens Hospital. I too live in FL- just south of Tampa. What area do you live in?

In my opinion- of course I am not a dr- everything that I have researched and read says that some children need to learn/be taught how to chew. I would suggest you look into feeding therapy. I can give you all of the information I have to help you get therapy for your son.

My heart goes out to you... I know exactly how you feel.

FloridaWife said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH, Mama, for coming to post. We are at 18 months now and same situation -- formula-feeding only. He will *on rare occasions* suck or lick food but he will not actually consume it. I would like the additional information you have.

mama said...

we also are in the same boat! my daughter is 16 months old and eats very minimal solid food, has never eaten purees or basically anything from a spoon! Although she doesnt choke or gag she just doesnt want anything but breastmilk! I am at my wits end spending so much money on crackers cereals yogurts that she doesnt eat! Also have been told by everybody and their mother i should just starve her from all milk and eventually she'll eat! We have been working with an OT for 3 months now but havent seen any improvements :-( i just pray everyday she'll start eating! Good luck to you!

FloridaWife said...

Hi, mama. Thanks for your comment.

Rafffaele is now 20 months old and still won't eat solids. We've just come to accept it now and we don't think he needs any intervention. He'll eat when he's good and ready. Sure, I try giving him food, but he rejects it each time.

Two pediatric nurses told me that breastmilk or formula only until 2 years of age is just fine, so we are just calmly formula feeding.

When I originally wrote my post, I was a little distressed about this non-eating situation, but I'm calm about it now and we no longer see it as a situation or a problem that has to be solved. Surely he won't be a teenager consuming nothing but formula. And I've been assured that until age 2 with formula or breastmilk only is fine, so we accept his non-eating now.

Now, we'll see what happens at age 2...

MomOf2Girls said...

I'm so glad I came across your post. My daughter just turned 1 on the 14th of Jan and while she will eat small amounts of baby food, she does not eat enough to stop the formula. We've had tests run, seen a GI, and even had genetic testing done as she's never been a big eater even as an infant and all has come back normal. The medical community is no help and I Google obsessively trying to find my own answers. I've now reluctantly called Baby Net and have begun to see an OT to see if that helps. She's a happy, healthy baby but everyone makes me feel like I've grown a third arm when I tell them she hates eating because of course THEIR baby came out of the womb with a sirloin in one hand and steak sauce in the other - like I'M doing something wrong. I feel like I'm giving in to adult peer pressure. I pray we all find the answers we need. Best wishes!

FloridaWife said...

Awww, momof2girls, hang in there. Look at us -- 20 months and pure formula and we are not fretting about it. He'll eat when he's good and ready. My friend at work told me that her nephew consumed nothing but formula for THREE years, when he suddenly started eating. Now he is seven and eats everything. He was perfectly fine and just didn't want to. I think it's best not to push it. Have you ever met a teenager that drinks nothing but formula?

I'm sure your daughter will be just fine. Hang in there and don't cave to the pressure! When Raffaele turns two I'm going to make an update post to report on how he's doing in the food department, but I'll monitor this thread too.

MomOf2Girls said...

Thanks for the encouragment - we had our second OT appointment today and my little girl cried thru the whole 45 minutes! If you don't mind my asking, how much formula does your son take in a day to keep his weight gain on track? That's another stigma raising kids - is your kid in the "right" place on the weight chart. As if raising another human being isn't stressful enough, right? Thanks for the response and I look forward to your updates!

TIFFANY said...

I AM SO GLAD I FOUND THIS. MY BABY IS 11 MONTHS OLD AND WILL NOT EAT SOLIDS EITHER. WE STARTED HER ON RICE AT 4 MONTHS LIKE THE PED TOLD US TO DO. SHE NEVER WAS A BIG FAN. WE STARTED FRUITS AND VEGGIES AROUND 6 MONTHS AND SHE LOVED THEM. SHE WAS ACTUALLY EATING UP A HALF TO A FULL JAR A COUPLE OF TIMES A DAY. ABOUT 3-4 MONTHS AGO SHE GRADUALLY STOPPED EATING. SO BASICALLY SHE ATE FOR ABOUT A MONTH AND STOPPED. IT WAS AROUND THE SAME TIME THAT SHE STARTED GETTING EAR INFECTIONS ALL OF THE TIME AND I THOUGHT IT MAY HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THAT, HOWEVER SHE HAS HAD TUBES PUT IN AND STILL WILL NOT EAT. SHE IS ON NUTRAMAGIN READY TO FEED WHICH COST 9.00 A CAN AND WE GO THROUGH A CAN AND A HALF A DAY. I HAVE TRIED GETTING HER TO TAKE SOMETHING OTHER THAN THE NUTRAMAGEN READY TO FEED AND SHE WONT ALLOW IT. SHE GETS UPSET IF WE GIVE HER THE POWDER SO YOU CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT SHE DOES WHEN WE TRY TO SWITCH HER TO ANOTHER FORMULA ALL TOGETHER. SO FOR NOW WE ARE EATING BETWEEN 40-60 OZ OF FORMULA A DAY. ALSO, SHE STILL GETS UP AND EATS AT NIGHT. I ASSUME THIS IS BECAUSE SHE IS NOT GETTING FULL. AGAIN, I HAVE TRIED AND TRIED AND TRIED TO GET HER TO EAT. I FINALLY TOLD FAMILY AND FRIENDS IF THEY COULD GET HER TO CONSUME FOOD THEN BE MY GUEST. THEY HAVE TRIED IT THEMSELVES AND THEY NOW LEAVE ME ALONE ABOUT THE FACT THAT SHE REALLY DOES NOT WANT TO EAT FOOD. I WORRY IF SHE DOES HAVE SOME TYPE OF PROBLEM THAT IS CAUSING HER TO NOT WANT TO EAT BUT I BRING IT UP WITH THE PED AND SHE TELLS ME THAT SHE WILL EAT WHEN SHE WANTS. DOES ANYONE THINK SOMETHING IS NUROLOGICALY WRONG?

FloridaWife said...

Momof2girls, he consumes an 8 oz bottle of formula every 2 to 3 hours. Nothing else. And there is ONE feeding during the night, typically, since he just can't make it all the way through the night.

As far as "keeping his weight up" -- I don't even think about that. He's happy as can be and is thriving and is running around climbing and is the MASTER of the playground and does everything active. His weight isn't even a consideration. He only gets weighed when we take him to the doctor at the regular, well-visit appointments. At the 18 month appointment, I think it was the 88th percentile of weight that he was in.

If your girl cried the whole 45 minutes, it really sounds like she just really does NOT want to be there. Does she NEED this OT? Does she look anorexic and just lays around looking like she's fading away? Or is she running around and is just fine?

I say, let her be and revisit this whole thing at age 2, but it's up to you, of course.

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Tiffany. You have a lot going on there. My friend from work told me her nephew consumed nothing but formula until he was 3, and now he is 7 and eats everything. I think they just don't want to eat, and they'll eat when they are good and ready. I have another friend whose little brother also didn't eat until he was 3 when he suddenly asked for eggs.

Does it appear that she has a genuine problem? With Raffaele, we think it's just behavioral and that he'll decide to eat when he wants to.

FloridaWife said...

Momof2girls, I just want to add that only YOU knows your little girl best. If you think it's really a medical problem, then you do what you have to do, but if it's just that she doesn't *want* to eat and she is thriving just fine, then there is most likely no issue. I'm not a doctor, but that's just my $.02 and what we are doing over here.

Fauzia said...

Hi, I'm faced by a similar situation my son refuses to eat anything except milk with cereal, he will munch on cookies but won't eat proper food. The only way I can get anything in is if I blend it with milk, be it peanut butter, egg, bananas or veggies. He started off at 8 pounds and weighed in at 17 pounds on his first birthday. He seems fine quite active but overall seems small, i'm really worried the lack of solids is going to effect his development, any suggestions?

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Fauzia. It sounds like he is doing fine. At least he consumes milk with other products, which is more than just 100% formula all the time.

My brother had to have everything pureed until he was about 6. It really upset my mother, but he's just fine now (at age 37).

I think just follow his lead and hang in there.

Anu M. said...

hi there,

i am so glad to have found this. i've googled a million different terms and finally found someone else with a problem similar to mine. my son just turned one and we have had major issues with feeding. he is my first and we had a lot of trouble breastfeeding. i saw that something wasn't right about his tongue, but no one believed me at home so i never mentioned it to the pediatrician. i thought i was a new mom and wasn't trying hard enough to breastfeed. i feel really guilty about that now, but honestly, shouldn't the pediatrician or LC have looked for it too after we complained that my son just would not latch on? anyway, long story short, the pediatrician diagnosed my son with a tongue-tie at 4 months. he was breastmilk fed (i pumped exclusively out of guilt) for 7 months. after meeting with the ENT, we finally got his tongue tie clipped last monday. unfortunately, he's had a stomach bug for a week and refuses to eat much, so its hard to tell if this made a difference yet or not. the ENT said that the tongue tie certainly could have contributed to him gagging, but he was not certain and said that only time could tell.

when he was 4-5 months old, he ate rice cereal just fine, but solid solids...a whole new story. he will absolutely not eat cheerios, puffs, or any finger foods. he won't eat anything from his own hands...except dirt and lint off the floor! seriously, he just won't feed himself. he would gag and gag on anything chunky at first. somehow, we have moved on to Earth's Best level 3 foods - he loves the spaghetti and cheese. i was SOOOO happy when he started handling that. but unfortunately, we're stuck there. he'll eat some mashed up/pureed food, but no table food. i hate to hear other moms talk about how their kids are running around eating bagels and toast. one of our friends's son is just two months older and was chowing down tortilla chips!!! my poor son found a small piece that had fallen on the ground and GAGGED and threw up on a tiny little piece of a tortilla chip! it was sad and funny at the same time.

i am sick of people asking how he's doing or why i'm feeding him jarred/pureed food. i feel like a bad mother every time i buy the jarred foods...but it makes no sense to cook for him and have him throw it all up.

i keep hoping that he will get better on his own. but with this tongue tie issue...i have no idea if the procedure will improve things or not. if it doesn't, i don't know what to do. i just can't imagine doing this occupational therapy business.

thanks for listening.

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Ann. I'm glad to listen. It's been interesting the people that have stumbled onto this big long thread now. Hopefully, the tongue tie clip has resolved any issues. It sounds like he is doing great, though, since he eats more (spaghetti and cheese???) than Raffaele does, and Raffaele is already 21 months old. At 21 months, Raffaele is just NOW beginning to discover solids, but it's just been yogurts and a cookie or two. He'll do it in his own time. We are being patient!

Kellee said...

I am in tears reading these posts. My baby is 12 months and I have been stressing over him not eating much. He will eat yogurt and baby food if it is very runny (like fruit, sweet potatoes, carrots). He will also eat gerber yogurt melts. Yogurt melts are the only solid finger food he will put in his mouth. Like the other post he has had an ear infection since january and will soon be getting tubes put in. Our pediatrician says that if he doesnt start eating after he feels better then we may need to try food therapy. I am so relieved to read your posts and to learn that everything is most likely fine. He also HATES his high chair and the only way we get him to eat in it is to put it about 5 feet from the TV and turn "play with me sesame" on. Of course I have read all the warnings of your child eating while watching TV but we do whatever works at this point. Usually can get a jar of yogurt or babyfood in him while he is watching his show. Oh he also has reflux bad and is on prevacid suspension but when his reflux was acting up it was the liquid that he never wanted not the solids. Formula used to be such an issue for us and he never wanted his bottle and only wanted cereal and stage 1 foods and now he only wants his bottle and never wants food! go figure!! Thank you very much for your post and advice to just relax and let him be!!

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Kellee. Thanks for reading. Your little guy eats more than Raffaele does at 21 months, so it sounds like he's doing fine except for that reflux. Poor little guy. I hope that everything (the reflux and ear infection) resolve soon. Take care.

arieschk said...

Hi, I just came across your blog trying to find some answers for a friend. She also lives in FL,is a in her 30's and has a May '08 baby that will not eat solids. He is exclusively breastfed. I believe he has gotten down half a cracker and maybe a slight piece of banana and a couple sips of almond milk. He won't take a bottle sippy cup, nothing. I think I'll just send her to your blog and she can ask you questions herself if she has any.

I kindof skipped over everyone's answers and just read yours just to see if your lil one was eating yet. After I post I'll go back and read some of the comments. Keep us posted!

arieschk said...

Hi, I just came across your blog trying to find some answers for a friend. She also lives in FL,is a in her 30's and has a May '08 baby that will not eat solids. He is exclusively breastfed. I believe he has gotten down half a cracker and maybe a slight piece of banana and a couple sips of almond milk. He won't take a bottle sippy cup, nothing. I think I'll just send her to your blog and she can ask you questions herself if she has any.

I kindof skipped over everyone's answers and just read yours just to see if your lil one was eating yet. After I post I'll go back and read some of the comments. Keep us posted!

FloridaWife said...

Hi, arieschk. We're about to hit the two year mark and I will be making a complete update soon.

At 22.5 months old, Raffaele is finally, FINALLY developing a desire for solids. It's not a lot YET. He will eat a little bit of cookie, yogurt, etc., and tonight he had a real interest in trying chicken. He's just been doing it in his own time. It's not enough to keep him full, so he's still formula feeding about every 3 hours, but his desire to at least taste solids has been picking up this past month. I think it's just a matter of time now.

sarah said...

Hi Floridawife, what a blessing to come across your blog to know that i dont feel like the only mother going through this for so long. My daughter is 18 months old and wont take any solids, if she does then she gages, chokes or project vomits, we have just spent another week in hospital on where they have ruled out anything medical, again all they say is she will eat in time and to reduce her milk yet again to make her more hungry, even though you explain to the medical profession it will make no difference, I have been trying for over a year with my daughter yet still we are no where forward, it is so reassuring to read all your comments and have found this so helpful, my daughter has a low iron count but takes a supplement for this and also has low neutrophils which is to do with the blood count and means that she is more prone to pick up serious infections, can I ask if your child lacks any form of supplements while just taking formula, many thanks Sarah England UK.

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Sarah. No, Raffaele doesn't lack any supplements. At 22.5 months old, he still drinks and 8-oz bottle of formula about every 3 hours.

As you may see from my comment just above, he has just recently begun an interest in tasting different foods. He licks and chews on food, but he doesn't neccessarily consume and swallow. He is going at his own pace. We are being very patient with him.

I never liked the advice about trying to make them hungry so that they'll eat. That won't work, because he doesn't have a desire to fill himself with solids, so he'd rather scream and starve than go that route. So, we just feed him.

I hope things get better for you.

It takes patience.

Tu-Anh said...

My son is 12 months and doesn't want to eat solids. I am still breastfeeding him with the use of domperidone. He is 29" and 19 pounds. I am not making as much milk as I used to. His diapers are not very wet. I'm afraid he's is going to be dehydrated. He was eating maybe 2 tablespoons of food for months, but then 2 weeks ago he stopped eating. Do you all have any tricks to get him to use a sippy cup or bottle? We have an appointment with a speech therapist in 3 weeks, but I can't wait that long. I'm okay with him not eating, but I need him to take in fluids.

FloridaWife said...

Tu-Anh, I feel for you. I don't really have any advice, and I understand that the appointment with the therapist is far away. I don't know...have you maybe tried the dream feed? You would have to pump, and then when he is fast asleep, you wiggle the bottle's nipple into his mouth, and he should start sucking (hopefully). That's the only thing I can think of to do in your case in order to get more fluid into him.

arieschk said...

Tu-Anh,
Have you tried using a SNS, Suplemental Nursing System? It's a tube with a syringe on the end. You can put breast milk in the syringe and you tape the tube to your breast and baby sucks on that while nursing. I think there are even types that have a bottle on the end instead of a syringe. I'm not sure how it would work out since your son is 12 months and would probably notice it but it's worth a try!
Good luck!

Anu M. said...

hi ladies and FL_Wife,

just a small update:

my son has started showing some improvement lately. i just thought i'd share the good news so that all you moms know that there's some hope out there. i hope i don't jinx it by talking about it.

i don't know if his tongue-tie surgery (done almost 2 months ago) has anything to do with it, but he is starting to eat chunkier food. he is still not interested in food, but definitely is able to tolerate more chunkier/solid food. if i break an animal cracker into thirds, he will put it in his mouth, then sort of chew it (he is still working on that), and then swallow it. the first time he picked up a gerber puff AND ate it AND swallowed it, i was soooo sooo sooo happy.

i hope that your babies start making improvement. i cannot wait for the day when i don't have to carry the stupid baby jars with me. but until then, i'll continue to work on improving his diet and eating habits.

with love,
AM

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Anu. That's a good update. My little guy (now 23 months old) is beginning to like food. He's still not big on chewing and consuming, but he's really good at licking and sucking the flavor out and just generally tasting. I think he's getting there.

Tu-Anh said...

FloridaWife and arieschk,

Thank you for replying. Sorry I didn't get back sooner, I was on vacation. I've tried dream feeding, but he knows the difference even when he's sleeping. I actually bought a SNS a while ago, but he wouldn't nurse when I was using it. I think I started using it too late.

I do have some good new though. My milk supply is back up thanks to the medicine and he started eating again on his own. He was barely eating for a month, but just yesterday I got him to eat a jar of baby food with Benecalorie in it, so he got close to 400 calories from food. Awesome! He has an appointment with the therapist next week, so I'm hoping to see more improvements soon. Wish us luck. Thanks again!

FloridaWife said...

Good luck next week, Tu-Anh. I hope it goes well with your son.

lucimama said...

Thank you Floridawife for having a blog like this which can reassure parents that they are not alone. i am truly at my wits end and found encouragement and hope in your updates.
I am surrounded by moms with babies who eat. i am actually at the point where i don't want to visit them during mealtimes, because i get jealous and wish my son could do the same. i don't want to compare babies as it isn't fair to my little guy, but i can't help it.
we are being followed at a feeding clinic and have consulted all the specialists, and nothing was found. i was grateful, and after reading similar stories to mine on your blog, i am beginning to release some of the pressure that i have put on myself, and just beginning to think that i should give him the time he needs.
the most important thing for me is to take it one meal at a time and to not have any goals to avoid the feeling of failure. so that way when he has one cheerio, i'll be grateful and happy.
once again that you!

BTW i would love an update...

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Lucimama. Absent of anything medical with them, I think some of our little babies have decided that they aren't ready to eat until later.

My update: Raffaele is now 24.5 months old and he is FINALLY really beginning to eat some foods. Today for breakfast he had half a waffle -- he has been trying waffles for a month now, and it is finally *clicking* with him. For lunch, he chewed some chicken tenders -- he chewed from all six in the container, so in total he probably just consumed two. For dinner, he chewed on some more tenders. He will eat cheese. We also enjoyed ice cream as a snack this afternoon. He drinks some juice during lunch and dinner. SO, he is eating! Ah! I think my little guy just decided he didn't want to have ANY of that baby food; he chose to jump straight to big boy food. He still consumes so little, so we supplement in between with formula, of which he still drinks a ton at regular intervals. We never took him to a specialist or anything. We've just been very patient with him, waiting for him to be ready. We could tell it wasn't medical or anything -- it was just behavioral. He just didn't feel like eating until now.

Soccergirl05 said...

Hi everyone. These posts have been very helpful. We felt like we were the only ones who were going through this....Our daughter just turned one last week. Since day 1 of introducing solids, it has been a struggle. She never wanted any jar food- be it homemade or store bought. We tried every day for months with no success. At the advice of a dietician, we decided to offer her finger foods at around 8 months. She always refused being spoon fed and wanted to do everything herself. She has gone through a few different stages. She really liked green beans for a while and now won't touch them. Right now, she eats meat (turkey, pork and chicken)but little of anything else. She will have a few crackers here and there. She will also eat my homemade french fries. She is still being nursed but my problem is that I am returning to work on Monday and won't be able to nurse her through the day anymore. She has never been willing to take more than an ounce or two from a cup. I am so scared she is going to start losing weight. We had two trial days with our daycare last week and she didn't eat anything. We have managed to get some food into her because my husband and I are very patient at sitting with her and offering food to her mouth every few minutes. We also figured that it was easier if there was a Baby Einstein video on to distract her (which I know isn't recommended but as soon as we put her in her high chair she cries and the video acts as a distraction) this way we find she eventually puts a few things in her mouth.

We are so tired of all of the people who tell us how "strange" it is that she rarely eats. To this day, there still isn't a fruit she will eat. We have tried every fruit and vegetable under the sun with no luck. If it wasn't for meat, she wouldn't be eating anything. Even with what she does eat, it is never 3 meals a day worth (plus snacks). I just don't know what to do because I have to go back to work and I really feel like my breastmilk has been sustaining her to this point. I am fully anticipating her weight to drop dramatically. I plan on continue breastfeeding her at night and in the morning and I will try to pump while at work, but I am just so scared that between 8am-5pm she won't eat or drink anything.

Anu M. said...

hi guys,

hope all of your little ones are doing ok and hopefully eating better.

just wanted to give you an update on my little one who turns 17 months tomorrow. he is actually improving by leaps and bounds (knock on wood). the only downside to it is that he HAS to watch tv while being fed. i dvr "little bear" and that's the only show we play. if we don't have tv or youtube in front of him, he almost always refuses to eat and has no interest in feeding himself. but ever since we tried tv as entertainment while eating, he eats like a champ. some ppl must think i'm a terrible mom for doing this, but they have never had a kid who will not eat for hours on end. i still mix his food with yogurt or another liquid base to keep it easier for him to swallow...but he is doing well. i occasionally give him snacks when we're just hanging out or outside, and he does try to feed himself.

i think ultimately every child will eat at least something...it really is a matter of time.

for those of you whose kids are still taking their time, just remember that they will definitely get better...be patient.

lots of love,
anu

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Soccergirl05. She eats a lot compared to Raffaele at that stage. He ate no solid food and was completely sustained by formula. (He was breastfed until 6 months, but I had to stop because I was put on medication for stomach issues.)

I'm so sorry you are going through this. I fretted so much when I wrote this post because everyone was telling me how much he *should* be eating, but he didn't eat anything. Just 100% formula every 2.5 hours from a bottle. We have never been able to get him to drink his formula from a sippy cup ever.

I totally agree with you on the Baby Einstein video. Do what works! Other people don't have our special and unique children.

Will she drink your expressed milk from a bottle if she won't drink more than a few ounces from a cup? I know all those people out there say that she should be on a sippy cup, but if a bottle is the only way she'll consume milk, then maybe you could do that and that's one less thing for you to be worried about.

I understand your point that at the daycare they may not have the patience to feed her solid food. I hope that they are sympathetic to this and will feed her your milk from cups or bottles. It'll at least sustain her until *someday* when she'll eat food more consistently and better. I assume that you have your initial day supply of milk built up already? My 3-month old consumes anywhere from 12 to 16 ounces of my expressed milk during the workday while I'm away.


Raffaele at 26 months old is finally eating SOME food. However, he's still very much sustained by regular bottles of formula. We are being very patient. It has been very slow, but he is finally eating some food and consuming a little bit less formula.

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Anu! I'm so glad to hear that he's eating better. Raffaele is eating better too, but he's still mostly sustained by formula. It has been very slow for us, but it is beginning to happen. He's eating more and more each day.

And you are NOT a bad mom for having him watch the TV while eating. We do the same thing! This will all someday pass.

Soccergirl05 said...

Our daughter won't take anything from a bottle- never would. I wish I had that resource because then I wouldn't be as worried. She does take bm from a sippy cup but only 2-3 ounces a day usually. Another day of her only eating meat and crackers. I wouldn't mind as much if she consistenly ate the meat and crackers, but even getting her to eat those is a struggle. She sat in her high chair for 20 minutes before she put the first thing in her mouth. I would give anything to know that she is going to be okay in the long run.....

FloridaWife said...

Oh, SoccerGirl, I think I'd be a nervous wreck if I was in your shoes headed back to work. I hope it all works out somehow. You'll have to write back as to how the first day / first week went.

Tu-Anh said...

Soccergirl05, I hope everything went well for your daughter. My son is exactly like your daughter, he has no appetite.

My son is now 16 months. I just stopped taking my breastfeeding pills last week, so I'm no longer producing milk. We saw a speech therapist for 2 months, but it didn't help. His GI recommended he be tubefed. We are going to another pediatric GI to get a second opinion. My son eats maybe 3-6 TBSPs of food and maybe takes 2 sips of Pediasure each day.

He's currently on Megace to increase his appetite. He's been taking it for the past 4 days and I haven't seen any change. Hopefully it works. He's below the 3rd percentile for weight for age and weight for length. I wish I knew he will be okay when he gets older. I'm so afraid his growth and development will be stunted because he's not getting enough nutrition. I'm leaning towards tubefeeding to make sure he develops normally.

D said...

Hi Anu,

Read the entire thread..I *guess* my 11.5 month old son also suffers from tongue tie. We havent met any specialists as yet, but I have gone through EXACTLY the same set of problems as described by you...Its as if someone has written them on my behalf..Breastfeeding issues (he had problems latching on initially), then eventually he was breastfed until 2 months (with great difficulty) and now at 11.5 months, he refuses solid food (gags/vomits once it reaches his throat)..Of late, we observed that he is unable to stick his tongue out (thats when I started suspecting a tongue tie problem)..I just want a reassurance that a surgery at this age will be beneficial for my little one and that he will not have any problems wrt speech/eating solids in future. Anu, can you please give me the details of the surgery..? Was it painful..? What about any side effects..? How is your son's speech now (@17.5 months)..?

Thanks
DM

Kara said...

I have been following this post for awhile and I want to share my story because it may help others. My son is now 19 months old. He was and still is breastfed. At 6 months old we introduced jar food. He would eat up to a jar a day but was never that interested in it. Then at 10 months he started getting extremely constipated and that's when he started refusing all food. He never took a bottle and he didn't take a sippy until 14 months so he was exclusively breastfed. From 10 months until 14 months he didn't gain any weight. He was only in the 5th percentile before that. Our Dr. sent us to Occupational Therapy at 13 months which was a complete waste because all they did was say keep offering and he'll eat when he's ready. Well I already knew that! The turning point for us was at 14 months he finally took a sippy and we were able to give him pediasure. Then magically at 16 months I offered him a bite of toast and he actually ate it! He loves toast! So we moved on to grilled cheese, croissants, cake, anything with that kind of texture. We also discovered he loves goldfish crackers which he will actually feed himself. He is now trying new things everyday. He still eats nowhere near what kids his age are eating, but it is enormous progress for him. He now eats something at every meal. The trick is to just hang in there and do not force them. If I offer it once and he doesn't want it then I stop. I also praise him when he does eat. He is now about 21 lbs and 33" tall at 19 months. Still not even on the chart for weight, but he'll catch up. This food struggle has been by far the hardest, most frustrating part of parenting for me. But we are the parents and we know our child better than anyone. My son just needed patience and love and time to do it on his own terms.

FloridaWife said...

"My son just needed patience and love and time to do it on his own terms." Amen to that!!! Same with us. A few months ago, I cut chicken into little pieces for my little guy, but he grabbed my chicken leg off MY plate and started eating it off the bone! He's 27 months old now. He's come a long way since I first wrote this post.

Carrie said...

Wow, what a wealth of information this whole post has been! I did a Google search about 1 year olds not eating solids and it brought me to your blog. I am so glad it did! I have 4 children, so you would think I wouldn't be clueless to some of this stuff. However, my youngest little guy just doesn't LOVE solids. He'll take a few bites every so often, but not enough to fill him up. I was wondering about the formula, though. Did you switch your son to a next step toddler type of formula or did you stick with his original baby formula. Just wanna make sure I do the right thing. Thanks so much for giving me some peace of mind today. You truly have helped me!

FloridaWife said...

Carrie, as soon as he hit that magical age of one I switched him to that Next Step formula, and it totally constipated him! I think that because he was drinking SO MUCH formula at the time, it was just too much for him. SO, I immediately had to return to the infant formula which has been just fine. I look at it this way: If he was still being breastfed, he'd be drinking breastmilk, and infant formula is the closest thing to breastmilk.

Cress said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
littlestar275 said...

I have a 15 month old baby girl with the same problem. she was born 2.5kgs and is 8.5Kgs at 15 months. This has been her weight from 5-6 months now and not a slight increase :( She is a very active baby and has met all her milestones except for teeth...her 3rd tooth is cutting now...She is a very poor eater...she does not like milk either and wont ask for food or milk...ever. She hates juices and only loves water. I give an egg with 4oz cow milk and 2tbsp cereal in the morning at 8.30 - 10.30 ...she then has her lunch split (2times) from 1.30 - 4.00 which is pureed chicken and veg with around 5-8 oz of cow milk..a cheese in the evening o morning as snack and again at dinner she has pureed chicken and veg with a 4 oz milk...plenty of water thru out the day...

I have tried feeding her solids but its a straight NO NO...I too am waiting for this phase to pass...and so agree with you when you siad that babies cant be like this even when they are a teenager..i like that...I dont want to push too much but this reallly worries me and sometimes i get so frustrated...I just hope all turns out well in the end...Floridamom thanks for this blog...was very helpful...:D

Nikki said...

Just as an extremely late update, my son whom I wrote about earlier, ended up having a condition known as FPIES (Food Protein Induced Entercolitis Syndrome). It's a non IgE mediated allergy, which causes severe vomitting, dehydration, and shock instead of the usual hives, swelling, etc.

Once we cut out ALL offending foods from his diet (which meant he ate only bananas, apples, and pears for months) he started to trust food again and has not had a problem eating since.

It was never a texture aversion, the food was literally "poisoning" him (according to the cells in his body) so he started associating eating with pain and getting violently ill.

Again, he's eaten fine ever since we got rid of all foods and started over, avoiding anything that makes him sick (rice, oats, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, and chicken). He'll be two in November.

FloridaWife said...

Nikki, that is some diagnosis! Just wow. I reread your original post about the part with all the vomiting. Oh my goodness. I'm glad you all got to the bottom of it! It must be a relief to have an official diagnosis now.

Nikki said...

It is an extreme relief, although doctors didn't help all that much with the diagnosis, I had to find the information myself online and bring it into them before they'd admit I was right since it's so "rare."

I don't actually think it's rare...I think doctors just don't diagnose it, lol. A vicious ongoing cycle.

I've found an awesome support group online of mother's of children with FPIES. There are over 350 people in one facebook group which means it's not sooo rare as they make it seem.

It is a relief though to know what's going on, and what to do when he does accidentally ingest something that makes him sick. Even with less than helpful doctors, having a name to put on his condition opens up dozens of research articles that give me a guide on how to expand his diet, etc.

Anyway, probably more than you care to know, lol.

I see in the comments that this past summer your son was starting to eat solids a lot better. I hope he continues to do so well!

rociel said...

I am so glad I found this blog. I enjoyed reading every single updates and every single situation. My Son is almost 1 year old and he barely eats solids. He is 95% breastfed. Like Floridawife, I have a monday-friday job and I dont get home until 5:00pm. I only have evenings and weekends with my son to feed him. Dad stays home with him.

At first I thought I could do better about trying to feed him solids than his daddy, but after reading everyones post, its not about who feeds him, its about when he is ready.

I've tried everything from gerber to homemade to chunky to sauces... Nothing works. All my baby wants is crackers. But sometimes he doesn't even want that. He does not vomit but cries everytime he sees a spoon. I still put him in his chair, but he only "plays" with the food and does not eat them.

My pediatrician said that I should really try to feed him solids for his brain developement and she was so shocked that he is only breastfed. I was so worried after she told me about his nutrition and that it was not okay to exclusively breastfeed him.

After research online and everyone's blog, I am not worried anymore.. He will eat when he is ready. I just make sure I take my omega 3s and vitamins.

Good luck everyone. And I love all the updates. Please keep it up.

mama721 said...

I have kept up w/ this post b/c feeding issues take a while to resolve themselves. I wanted to comment to Rociel that your dr is crazy! Breastmilk IS ENOUGH!! My son survived on breastmilk alone for 22 months!!! He would occasionally eat one or two bites of food but no more than 50-100 calories a day. He has been getting feeding therapy for quite a while now, but he had sensory issues also. For example, he hated his face being washed, didn't like his hands being messy etc... plus his gag reflex was over-active. Since being in therapy all of the sensory issues are gone but he still struggles with eating. He is now 27 months old and eats baby food (I puree everything!! For breakfast he eats a half an avacado and a wole banana... pureed!) It's been rough. It's hard to go places and not be able to just get him a happy meal. He really WANTS to eat food, he just can't... yet. He will eat a french fry but then it takes him an hour to swallow it. I really don't know if therapy is helping his eating problems, but it's more like playtime to him and he loves the therapist so I know its not hurting anything.
I do know that he will EVENTUALLY get better!! He is making progress it just takes time. And yes, he is still breastfeeding! Though now its only 3x a day since I am pregnant and can't handle anymore.

Clare said...

How are things going now? I have a really picky 11 month old and am in fear of sending her to day care starting next month. Looking for some insight and success stories .....

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Clare. Things are going much better. He is now 3.5 years old. (Amazing to believe!!) I say just hang in there and follow your baby's lead!!! Mine barely ate food until he was 2.5. Amazing. He would go days and weeks consuming nothing but formula. He had no desire for solids. Then, he desired them (albeit, very slowly). Now, at 3.5 he is still very picky, but at least he eats solid food and no more formula! He's very healthy. So, consider that -- someone who basically subsisted on milk / formula for 2.5 years! Now he eats!

Anu M. said...

Hi everyone,

So nice to hear your update, FloridaWife!!! My son is about to turn 3 next month and what a difference time makes. He eats just about anything (no meat since we're vegetarian but you get the point). He still has his moments where he'll gag on some stuff and he still prefers to just swallow things rather than chew but overall he is doing great. He will generally try new foods. He loves grapes!!! He has issues with skin on apples...so little things like that which are probably more toddler issues than anything. What a relief!

One thing I can say is that it almost started at the same time as him talking. He was delayed in his speech. We got him evaluated by a speech therapist but he didn't technically qualify because he was at the border of "normal" but I still requested help to get him going. I don't know howling speech therapy helped him bug literally 2 months ago, he decided he was ready to talk in sentences! And it was around the same time that his eating also improved. We even got occupational therapy to help with his eating but I honestly don't junk it helped one bit.

So all you moms and dads that are reading this and worried sick like I was, please have faith and patience. Your child WILL eat one day.

FloridaWife said...

That's an excellent update, Anu. It's amazing. It does happen. These are just very, very, VERY picky eaters. I'm telling you -- virtually 2.5 years on formula and now at 3.5 years old he eats FOOD!!! Sure, he's still VERY, VERY picky, but he eats, and he's very healthy. I've never even recorded a fever on him, he's never had ear infections, he's past every well-visit with flying colors. He was just (and is) a very picky eater. God bless!

Maria.C said...

You have NO IDEA how helpful this blog has been. My daugther turns one in a couple of weeks and I have been beating myself up with this whole solid-eating issue. She'll try anything and everything, she just won't take enough to actually call it a "proper feeding". Sometimes she spits it out and will try again, but she will try!! It crossed my mind she is just not ready to change the bottle for adult-food, but my family has been harsh on me, making me feel stressed and sad over this issue. My baby weights abround 18 pounds, but she's very energetic and the ped told me her weight was fine for her activity-level(the ped could see she's a little hurricane), but again, the pressure from my own family was driving me insane. My baby eats gerber foods, sometimes by itself with a spoon, sometimes mixed with formula, she loves fish, weird ah?, and she's a happy and energetic child who refuses to exchange her bottle for a serving of adult-food. I feel so much better now, and I'm so happy to realize this is not the end of the worls, that I'm not the worst mother ever, and that she'll eventually grow up this stage. Thank you all!!

FloridaWife said...

Maria, I am glad you found this helpful. I think I suffered the most stress from those around me. I could see how healthy my little boy was, but I got bombarded with all the "solid food" talk from others.

As an UPDATE to my little boy, he turns FOUR on Thursday!!! He is still a very picky eater. Here's his menu: waffles, pancakes, chicken nuggets, fries, bread. That's basically it!! To get nutrition into him, I cook the fries in coconut oil -- the most healthy oil with incredible properties. I found dinosaur chicken nuggets from Whole Foods that he will eat. I buy Pasture Butter only and put it generously on his waffles, pancakes, and bread -- trying to get good fats into him. He will eat snacks like popcorn and cheez-its. He generally dislikes sweets, but I discovered (at Whole Foods) Attune Chocolate Probiotic bars, so that's my way of getting probiotics into him. Occasionally, he will eat ice cream, and I only buy Haagen Dazs or any ice cream that only has REAL ingredients. I don't allow anything into the house that has artificial colors, artificial flavors, soy, high fructose corn syrup, or canola oil. He takes his multi-vitamins everyday.

The result is that he is incredibly healthy, very smart, he's in a high percentile for weight and height, and he is a very kind boy. He's never had an ear infection, I've never recorded a fever on him, and he's rarely ever sick. I believe that those six months of exclusive breastfeeding gave him a foundation of excellent health.

I do hold onto hope that someday he'll want to eat pizza... Someday...

Shelly Johnson said...

Hi Florida Wife,
I have been following your post and wanted to share my story. My son is 23 months now and I have been going through the same thing. It started when he was about 16 months, he got sick had a fever, and refused solid foods ever since. He was breastfed for 4 months, and did very fine. And also did well with formula. Now 22 months he still refuses to eat solid food. Every now and then I can get him to eat off my plate, like rice and he does fine with that. At 18 months the ped told us to stop bottle feeding and switch over to a sippy cup, which we did and he adapted to that very well. Now he most of he meals from the sippy cup, we just make a bigger whole in his cup and we use the 16 oz cup.With his oatmeal in the morning, my husband and I like to blend are oatmeal before we cook it so he takes it without any problem. We purred everything such as sweet potatoes and vegetables and mix it with a little of milk and he eats it from his cup. We also give him pudding in his sippy cup, or blend fruits and give it to him. He also refuses finger foods too. Every now and then he will eat gold star crackers. Glad to hear your little one is eating solid foods now. I cant wait until O start to eat solids too, its driving me crazy I thought I was doing something wrong as a new mom, but now I know I'm not the only one out there. I'm starting to believe in what you said about your son, when he is ready to eat he will. We just have to continue to pray for our little ones and each other.

Leica said...

Hi Florida Wife,
I'm just writing to let you know that my now 13-month-old daughter has been going through the same thing since I introduced her to solids at six months. I've mentioned it several times in my blog, but I wrote a recent post where I mentioned and linked your post: terriblypretty.blogspot.com/2012/07/solid-advice.html. I hope you don't mind. Since then, we've started occupational therapy on the advice of the NP who saw my daughter for her 12-month check-up. I've yet to write about it, and we've seen little success from it so far, but no one can seem to figure out the cause of the problem, so it's not the usual suspects like sensory disorder or tongue-tie. I'd never wish this upon anyone, but I am glad to know I'm not alone. Thank you for posting!

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Leica. I, of course, don't mind you linking to my blog as this particular blog post of mine has helped so many, and it's good to know that there are others out there.

It was hard to follow his lead and just wait for him to eat food when he's ready -- I say it was hard because of all the negative voices I was hearing from people around me. My intuition, though was that I could *see* how healthy he was even though he wasn't eating food so I should leave well enough alone and just keep him on the formula. It all worked out. Still a picky eater...but someday, I know, he'll eat a steak with steak sauce.

sadaf faisal said...

im a mother of 2 special needs girls .they are victims of metachromatic leukodystrophy .i lost my 8 yr old daughter in 2010 . my second daughter , just like her elder sis is now bedridden for the past 2 yrs . i have a 14 month old boy . he never ate any babyfood as such . for one month or so he use to gobble down yogurt n chicken ( so i know he can chew ) , he has 6 teeth . i started him on cows milk which he consumes like anything . for past one month he is not eating anything other than milk . i have been advised to limit his milk intake to 16 oz a day or 28 oz max and inbetween i shd try to to give him solids , ofcourse he doesnt coz he needs milk . he doesnt even eat the cereal in his bottle by making the nipple bigger . he has developed a habit of storing food in the mouth i.e if its a runny texture like half boiled egg or thin cereal , he wud just keep it there , wont even close his mouth and it slips out .if i leave him like that saying im going out as u are not eating , he wud still b sitting like a statue with a frustrated look on his face n wont swallow . if its chunky he wud spit it out ( sometimes munches a bit ) or take out with his fingers . im giving him multivitamins and only 36 oz of cows milk .i know , even drs say there is nothing wrong medically . i would like to know how much milk in that case he shd be consuming ? and how many times do u used to offer your boy food in his high chair . its the same negative voices around me that keep telling me he is also ill like my girls but i know he does not have MLD . its just that he hates food .

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Sadaf. I'm so sorry to hear about your girls! As for your son, I can totally understand when you say that he just hates food. I used to put him in the high chair everyday for each meal, but he would reject it all. At least I tried. As for milk, I don't think you need to limit it at all. It's a whole food.

sadaf faisal said...

I am giving him Buffalos milk. My dr told me that its only me who has to make him eat food by any trick . If i pend it , he will be controlling me by his Assertiveness of rejecting the food . Dont know how to do it but will keep trying . Bought Pediasure for him . Which he did not like much .

Rachana Soitkar said...

Hi,
I am having same issues with my daughter and she screams when we put on high chair.We have tried everything,homemade,Gerber all stages,tablefood..I was googling for this and came acroos ur blog.So you used to offer him solids first and then give him formule every 3 hrs? I give her about 20oz of formula and she has started to loose weight so I believe I will have to just up her formula intake..Her Pdei said that is she drinks too much formula and less solid,she can be anameic but its tough to watch them scream and not eat when they need to..:-((
She just have 2 teeth so not sure if the teeth has to do anything with it..

How is ur son doing now?He is eating everthing now..

FloridaWife said...

He'll be five next week. He is still a very picky eater. He basically only drank formula 99% of the time until he was 2.5. The incredible thing is that he is fully and completely HEALTHY. When he gets the rare cold he recovers quicker than anyone. He's never had an ear infection. He got his first fever a couple of months ago. He's very intelligent and kind. The best thing in his diet now is raw milk to which I add chocolate syrup so he'll take it. Other than that he eats bread, he'll have the occasional pancake or the occasional doughnut, and he eats no candies -- this is his current phase. For a couple of years he was eating chicken nuggets but he decided he doesn't like them anymore; now he's not eating any meat (because he finds it yucky) but at least he gets his protein from raw milk. I just keep giving his the raw milk because of all the nutrition it has. When I begin to doubt myself, I look at how healthy / intelligent / kind he is and I realize I shouldn't fret too much. I still find it odd that he doesn't really like food but we've somehow managed to make it this far with him in excellent health. Every day I keep trying.

Rachana -- he was drinking between 30 - 40 ounces of formula at that age; he wouldn't eat food and there was really nothing else I could do. He's turned out healthy. As Cathy notes in the second comment above, in some cultures they breastfeed well past a year, and those children are all fine.

Mrs. R said...

FloridaWife, thank you for sharing your story. It has encouraged me not to stress about my son! My question is about your pediatrician.When you took your son to the pediatrician during those years of him not eating, what did the pedi say? Did he ever push you to get some kind of therapy for your son? Did he ever question your decision to just "wait it out"?

FloridaWife said...

Hi, Mrs. R. During those nearly all-formula years, my pediatrician just kept telling me to keep trying to give him foods. She did a blood test on him, and he turned out healthy in every category. He's always been above 85% for weight and height. So, she would tell me, "he's healthy." I told her that he basically just drinks formula (which he did until age 2.5). She told me that she could refer us to an eating specialist if I would like to do that; somehow going to a specialist didn't seem right to me, so I didn't do it. My pediatrician didn't think a specialist was necessary anyway. So, she kept telling me just to keep trying... I think the fact that he was so healthy assuaged any concerns.