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Twins refusing to eat(37 Posts)
Hi all, looking for any advice in how to get my twins to eat meals. They will be one next week, and every day I have to fight with them to eat meals. This has been going on for about 3 months now, I don't think it's just lack of appetite due to teething.
They will take breakfast in the morning and then just turn away at the sight of a spoon the remainder of the day. I've tried making all sorts of meals, jars, plain potatoe etc etc. They still take 2 bottles each during the night as they are hungry .
Doing my head in now fighting and fighting them every day. A year of sleepless nights.... ready to crack up!
Have you tried letting them eat finger foods or are they only spoon fed?
How do they fare with finger foods? Picnic style picky bits at lunch - tiny sandwiches, fruit, cheese cubes etc.
Toddlers generally won't starve themselves - have a look at 'division of responsibility' at mealtimes. You decide what's on offer, and when. They decide what and how much they eat. Zero pressure.
Do you have a mealtime schedule? So breakfast 7am (or whenever), small snack 10, lunch 12? As long as you are providing regular predictable opportunities to eat they will get there.
My own wasn't overly interested in food until about 13 months - he ate, but just a few bites. And it was enough though I wouldn't have believed it at the time.
With mine we did a lot of finger foods, loaded spoons etc and tended to do a lot of snacks rather than set meals. Left it to them to help themselves. Sucked up my ideas of lovely nutritionally balanced meals and let them mouth pasta. Kept up with the milk
Are they small? Dd2 was a dot and literally couldn't manage much at all but she was thriving. Now age 10 she eats like a fucking trucker.
What percentile are they on and have they dipped?
I think this is very natural and wouldnt fight them
Oh and twins is hard - often it's a real blessing but at times like this (and potty training) it's a struggle to balance.
I've been through this with my first. My health visitor was great with us. The first thing she told me to do, was relax and stop fighting a fight I would never win. How right she was.
She advised that a child will never starve themselves and I was to stop worrying. She talked about making meal times family times, where we would all share a nice time and a meal. She said that meal times should be happy times. She suggested allowing my child to explore food with his hands and to throw the spoons away. She said to ditch the bottles as the milk was filling him up and he would eat more if he didn't have it. She said that children don't need bottles after 12 months and she was right. We stopped the bottles and immediately his appetite picked up.
They are quite good with finger foods and snack away during the day, but it's meal times they just aren't having it. They obviously aren't eating enough if they are woken by hunger through the night.
They love fruit. I spoon feed them at meal times. Do you think at 1 they should be spoon feeding themselves?
1 of them will drink milk during the day, other refuses and only has it at night so he's a bit thinner. Last time they were weighed they were 25th centile.
I try give them higher fat stuff like coconut milk, avacado & cooking their meats in goose fat to get the calories into them.
I don't know when they are ever going to sleep through the night
I offer them 4 meals throughout the day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and something before bed.
DS is 14mo and happy always eaten on his terms. Sometimes he eats really well, sometimes he refuses.
The thing that 90% of the time gets him to eat is if he thinks it's mine or DH's food so when he's in a really bad spell we cook something suitable for him and feed him off our plates.
Would that work for your twins?
I've also mainly stopped worrying about the nutritional content of his food, at this point it's mainly about calories in...it helps that he eats like a prince 3 days a week at nursery!
Yeah they love eating off our plates. I had a jar of chocolate spread tonight and was literally pinned down by them both on top of me to get it lol.
My boy is about to be one and I'd say he eats 80% himself and I feed him 20%
But I don't mean with a spoon I just dump it on his tray and he grabs it and stuffs in his mouth. Only things like yoghurt and puddings I spoon feed and sometimes if I am too slow he wants to grab the spoon and shove it in. He usually holds the wrong end though!!
On 25th percentile there is really no need to worry about eating and weight.
Stop the snacking two or three hours before each meal so they can get hungry ready to eat a meal
I wouldn’t eat my meals if someone gave me snacks beforehand
My 3rd child would never eat if I fed her with a spoon. So I had to make meals she could eat herself and I’d plop it straight on her high chair tray. Lots of mash potatoe based meals with veg and meat mixed in. Soft cooked pasta with hidden veg sauces and fish/meat. Foods like this that she could shovel in with her hands. I found she got bored quickly with finger type foods that took too much chewing/gumming.
What snacks are they having between meals? Maybe reduce these or cut them out
Out may not help with the eating, but at about 1 DS was a brilliant eater... And still woke in the night for feeds. The two things may be unrelated.
I hate to break it to you, but this is unlikely to ever change if you continue trying to spoon feed them. It's very common for babies to get to a stage where they realise that they have a bit of independence and no longer want to be spoon fed. DS realised this very early on (eg @ 6 months) and other than fruit and yoghurt / sweet things he would never be spoon fed.
I had to accept that he needed to learn to feed himself and he has done ever since.
He eats the same meals as us, but they are adapted to allow for him to be able to feed himself (not with a spoon) but with his hands. We are working on trying to get him to spoon feed himself. It took a good few weeks of offering him lunch / dinner and him picking at it or completely ignoring it before he managed to get the hang of it, and now he eats almost anything. Yesterday for lunch he had quiche and sweet potato wedges with cucumber and tomato slices, and for dinner he had salmon fishcakes with broccoli and carrots. He has eaten like this since he was 8mo when he had no teeth so it's definitely something your twins will be capable of doing now.
There are some excellent instagram pages you could follow for inspiration, such as Whatmummymakes, baby led eating, baby led kitchen, etc. The best thing you can do is start offering them meals they can pick up themselves and go from there.
I will also add that sleeping through the night has very little to do with food during the day, at 1yr old it's more a case of habit than hunger. We weaned my son off night feeds (breastfed) at 6mo before weaning him. I began by offering water instead of milk when he woke in the night and then when he was down to only waking 1/2 times a night we would resettle him without feeds and eventually he just stopped waking. Their nighttime milk intake may also be hindering their daytime appetite
I would try cutting the spoon feeds altogether and just making them things at mealtimes they can hold and feed themselves with. My DS was desperate for spoon refusal. In the end he just ate everything with his hands, I would give him little bits of what we were having - eg spag bol, stews, French toast was a favourite.
Can you try not giving the milk at night? Find a different way to settle them, water?
Stick to finger foods and just keep offering different textures. They'll get there eventually.
It sounds like you have got into a pattern of grazing throughout the day so they are less likely to be hungry to eat a full meal.
Mine was definitely on mainly finger food at that age, although didn't eat huge amounts. I remember a discussion about how so many babies spoon refuse from not long after weaning, and the consensus was babies were spoon feeding was much more of a 'thing' in the past when babies weaned at 3 or 4 months. Aren't most of your friends with babies doing finger foods or letting the babies use spoons themselves? Just plonk some food on the high chair and leave them to it.
I weaned my DS when he was 17 months and he consistently woke for 4 feeds a night. He was eating during the day and probably had a couple of feeds too. I slept in with him and when he woke offered a sippy cup of water and a cuddle and his dummy. It was obviously a rough night but he has slept through from then (now 3). He was naturally waking but needing the comfort of feeding to get back to sleep. Could be similar?
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