18 month old wont eat/drink himself

(12 Posts)
AlCookie Mon 23-Sep-13 10:44:19

i am going nuts. just a couple of days back i posted about my son not having milk n now here i am again...my son wont eat/drink anything himself

he has some independent thing going on where if i try to push him to eat/drink (or anything for that matter)...he just screams or says 'no...' n then thats it. nothing doing after that.

the thing is that i have been feeding him all this while n he eats well. but now that its getting tough to feed him, i thought i will give him the independence that he wants. so i just offer him the food, sit with him, try not concentrating on what he is eating (but icant)....he just has a couple of bites n says done. i dont know what to do after that. should i just let him be??

same with milk - he was breastfed n voluntarily stopped at 16 months. he used to have cows milk in a glass but he was never been a fan of milk. now he wont have milk either (not at all...really). i was so desperate that i used to give him milk 2 times a day using a syringe n he never cried about it. he would happily have 500 ml a day but with me using a syringe. just last night i was so desperate, i decided i will "introduce the bottle at 18 months" - goodness...i guess u guys can understand how desperate i m!!!

so moral of the story is - how do i get my son to feed himself - liquids and solids. and in the meantime...while he learns to feed himself (which i know he eventually will).....how do i make sure he gets all the nutrients??? i cant let go of the fact that when i feed him he eats about thrice as much as when i let him feed himself

AlCookie Mon 23-Sep-13 10:47:05

just to add...because he is trying to assert independence... i use distraction to feed him mostly. he is busy with something n i manage to stuff a whole meal or a glass of milk into him. its not a fight at all if he is distracted. but then this is not a long term solution....my hubby is really against me doing this all day. (i will be joining work in another 3 months). my hubby is of the view that we will have to let him feed himself all the time because if he knows that mommy will help at any other time then he may just not feed himself. apparently we read somewhere that toddlers can survuive even on one meal a day (survive as in they wont starve)

AlCookie Mon 23-Sep-13 12:29:39

Help help please

HearMyRoar Mon 23-Sep-13 13:25:34

First of all please stop panicking smile

Your child is not going to starve himself. I can see you are getting very stressed by all of this and it sounds like meal times are becoming a real battle. Your ds is probably picking up on your stress and therefore starting to see eating as something difficult.

My view is that if your ds goes a few days where his eating is a bit erratic this will not lead to any long term harm so stop trying to push him and worrying about getting nutrients into him for a bit at least. You need to give him the time, space and support for him to get used to eating on his own. Just do what you describe, put food in front of him and leave him to it while you eat yours (I am a big believer in leading by example when it comes to eating). Let him play with it, mush it, sit and stare intently at it. Sometimes if dd is being particularly unresponsive I will point out the different foods ('gosh, look at the lovely carrot, yum! I'm eating my carrot, are you going to eat some carrot'), this sometimes just gets her going. Eventually he will eat it, it just might take a while. If he doesn't eat much don't worry. Let him get down and offer him some more as a snack a bit later or when he indicates he is hungry. DD often has a couple of goes at dinner, one with us and then a bit more an hour or so later.

Every meal time will be different. You may find that there are times he wants to eat on his own and others he wants to be spoon fed. My 18 month dd was blw all the way but recently, when she is really tired or not feeling well she will hand over her fork and ask to me to feed her. Equally there will be times when he seems to eat non-stop and others when he barely touches anything. Take a deep breath and try to go with the flow a bit (I know, easier said then done!) grin

Fairylea Mon 23-Sep-13 13:29:11

So in a whole day what is he actually eating? And what kind of things?

Ds 16 months doesn't drink any milk either. I just feed him whatever I'm having and if he doesn't eat it I don't panic, just fill him up with cheese, yoghurt or a banana. Is there anything your lo really likes that you know he will always eat? Use this as a standby.

Fairylea Mon 23-Sep-13 13:31:49

I'd stop feeding him stuff when he's not noticing, it's not doing you any favours long term. And stop trying to make him drink milk if he doesn't want to - it really, really doesn't matter!

Would he help himself to rice krispies soaked in milk as finger food? Little yoghurts? Salmon? Toast with smooth peanut butter?

AlCookie Mon 23-Sep-13 20:23:14

firstly...thank u so much for the reassurance all of u!!

if i leave it upto him then this is what he will have...eg today -
breakfast: 1/2-3/4 egg, 10-12 berries or a little of any other fruit (one thing that he likes is fruits)
i stuffed a small yogurt pot sometime after breakfast (with the evil distraction technique)
lunch: 11-12 pasta pieces, a try at the veggies but equal to nothing, chicken (2 bites of a cutlet n done)
evening: any fruit...like 7-8 small cubes of watermelon or if i can get 200ml milk into him
dinner: something like pizza with chicken mince and extra cheese (about a 1/2 of a slice...that would be what i think 1/8th of a regular size pizza)

so if u remove the yogurt n the milk that is totally upto me...he will not have it if i just offer it to him.

he just eats so little when he feeds himself that it breaks my heart!

AlCookie Mon 23-Sep-13 20:26:20

i can try peanut butter toast again...last we tried it was a while back n at that time he didnt eat it. also we do get salmon but its not a regular feature around the house.

yogurts....i have to feed him. he will not protest n will eat it but thats going by my distraction technique which most of u will agree that i should give up now...

hmmm...i m just so stressed! everyday feels like a struggle n i dont seem to be enjoying my little baby. he is such a lovely kid n so happy otherwise...i feel so guilty when i lose my temper over food. n thats mostly what i m stressed about all day.

Fairylea Mon 23-Sep-13 21:29:12

I think you just need to relax more! He isn't starving! Reading back what you've written he is actually eating ok really. There's some of everything there. Just get creative - you say he has egg for breakfast, would he have scrambled egg made with some milk in it? Or for lunch have a cheese omelette? (Plenty of calcium in that).

He seems to like fruit - how about strawberries cut up with some yoghurt to dip in (or dip them in it for him and put on his tray as finger food) or even in some cream?

I really do think you're worrying too much. Lots of babies and toddlers grow up without milk at all, it really isn't the be all smile ... he is getting a reasonably varied diet, just keep trying new things all the time.

For an idea this is what ds has had today...

Breakfast - toast butter and jam, half a banana
Snack - orange and raisin soft bake bar from goodies (from Tesco)
Lunch - bit of a cheese sandwich but hardly anything, I just took it away as he wasn't interested, he then ate 2 Petit filous and two slices of tinned pineapple instead!
Dinner - chicken and chorizo paella portion that was our dinner yesterday and I saved him some... then a strawberry jelly pot!!

Other favourite things are omelettes with cheese or ham or both, fried eggs and bread and butter, fruit like bananas and strawberries, aubergine and lentil Bolognese, pasta in cheese sauce, fairy cakes, pancakes with lemon and sugar, custard and banana....
The one thing he hates is raw tomato!

I just offer loads and if he doesn't eat it I don't even say anything I just take it away and offer something else or give up smile

Just stay calm !

Tinymrscollings Mon 23-Sep-13 22:06:19

My son has additional needs so we spend a lot of time dealing with tricky habits and get great advice. He stopped self feeding and his occupational therapist suggested we do the following: spoon feed 1 meal a day (I chose breakfast so I knew he wasn't running on empty and made it dense and filling). Then throughout the day put him in his high chair or at the table at 1.5 hour intervals and give him a meal or snack. Picky things, some you know he likes, some of whatever you're having or what's to hand. Chat, put the radio on and leave him to it. After 20 mins remove the plate with no comment and carry on with your day. No alternatives, no pushing food at him and no pressure or worry from you. It took 10 looong days with DS and then he just started eating again. We went out for coffee with a friend and he took cake off my plate and that was it. He won't starve himself, honest. He might be foul and grumpy but that's liveable. Although to be honest what he's eating looks ok to megrin

Tinymrscollings Mon 23-Sep-13 22:08:55

DS was 18 months when he went on hunger strike BTW

Jaffakake Mon 23-Sep-13 22:31:23

The best book I've read as a parent is "my child won't eat" It helped me chill out about mealtimes. I heartily recommend it.
They'll eat when they're hungry.

Try & relax, give him lots of opportunity to try different old & different techniques with no pressure. Sneaking food into him whilst he's distracted is, in my view, just going to store up problems for his future. Food should be fun.

I'd follow previous poster's advice.

Chill, learn to trust him & it'll be fine.

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