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3.1 yr old DD not eating

(20 Posts)
HaveToWearHeels Wed 31-Oct-12 09:13:20

DD was 3 in September and had always been a good eater until about 6 months ago. We did BLW and has eaten nearly everything except mushrooms and spinach. Over the last 6 months she has stopped feeding herself with a fork and spoon, she will eat with her fingers though.
She can take over an hour to eat a sandwich and some fruit for lunch. Last night she took and hour to eat 2 fish fingers 6 chips and a tablespoon of beans. She will eat a couple of mouth fulls and say "I don't want anymore" so we have to sit and encouarge her.
Every morning we ask what she wants for breakfast and she says "I don't want anything". This morning I had to negotiate with her to eat a banana.
She still has 240ml of milk before bed and has now started waking bewtween 3am and 5am asking for milk. I do give it to her (about 130ml) as I work full time and can't cope with negotiations at this time of the morning.

She does eat a balanced diet and loves fruit (only thing she will come and ask for) but she just eats so little and I end up feeding her. I don't want to make food and issue but it is such a fine line.

Any advise would be appreciated, could this just be a phase ? It is consumming the small amount of time I have with her every evening and making it very tense.

LynetteScavo Wed 31-Oct-12 09:21:54

Stop the encouragein and negotiating.

Give her her meal (eat as a family), and after a reasonable amount of time (I'd say 20 mins- 1/2 hour), clear the table.

If she doesn't have any breakfast, I presume she has a mid morning snack at nursery/childminder, so she won't drop dead before lunch.

I wouldn't be measuring the milk she has before bed, but just giving a bit to her in a mug. (Although I did have a thrower, so he had a lidded cup until he was 4)

As you say, she's eating a balanced diet. Unless she is no gaining any weight at all, I think you can relax.

LynetteScavo Wed 31-Oct-12 09:23:31

I'm wondering if she knows that she will have your full attention if she says she doesn't want anymore...she then has a couple of hours undivided attention from her parents......

PhyllisDoris Wed 31-Oct-12 09:35:32

I would start watering down milk in the night, slowly, and eventually just offer water, so it's not worth waking up for.
However, when my DD was 2 she choked on something at the CMs, and wouldn't eat at all after that. HV said she would eat when she was hungry, but she wouldn't, and would only have milk. After over a week she'd lost weight, and I was worried, so sat down with her and explained that if she didn't eat, she'd get smaller and smaller and eventually disappear.
It worked. Started her on soft stuff after that, sauce from spaghetti hoops, then the hoops mashed up, and built her diet back up slowly. Though for months after she'd cut the ends off chips because they were too sharp!

HaveToWearHeels Wed 31-Oct-12 15:49:19

thanks all.
Lynette she does have a snack, but is taking longer and longer for her to eat her lunch at the childminders which is becoming a pain for her.
We do try and sit down as a family but as it's around 6 o'clock we have been trying to feed her around 5.30 when we get in from C/M, we are all in the kitchen together and one of us will usually sit with her while the other is cooking. We had tried us both cooking and leaving her too it but is so painful.

LynetteScavo Wed 31-Oct-12 18:58:16

I really think it will help long term, if you all sit down together and eat at the same thing at the same time. I know it's hard, though at the end of the day when you're all tired.

What kind of lunch does she have at the CM? If she just has sandwhiches, then I would aim for you all eating together. If she has a cooked lunch, then I would give her sanwhiches, carrots sticks, grapes, apricots, cheese cubes, yougurt, (finger food type nursery food), and relax about it.

I would also be tempted to water down the night time milk.

HaveToWearHeels Wed 31-Oct-12 19:06:07

would you believe it the little madam sat down this evening and ate chilli and rice by herself with her dad. I am going out tonight so wasn't eating so made myself busy elsewhere. she needed a littl help at the end with the last few spoons but much better. I think we will continue to try all eating at the same time as you suggested. She has sandwiches, carrot sticks, mini sausages and fruit at childminders.
I am going to try watering down the milk too, thanks.

exoticfruits Wed 31-Oct-12 19:16:33

It is nothing to do with food-it is a power issue. Lynette has the answer. Do not discuss-even to praise. Serve the food-remove after a certain time. Don't serve snacks. She won't starve. If she says she is hungry-just sound mildly surprised and say 'you will be -you didn't eat dinner'. It is a wonderful way to gain attention. Try to give attention to the positive.

exoticfruits Wed 31-Oct-12 19:17:39

She has discovered that she can have a mind of her own because BLW actually has nothing to do with the baby-the mother gives the food she wants to give, when she wants to give it.

ConstantCraving Wed 31-Oct-12 20:29:20

Exoticfruits - isn't that what all parents do?

exoticfruits Wed 31-Oct-12 21:59:18

Of course it is-they have always had finger food. They just didn't used to call it baby led when the baby has no choice (or only the one put forward by mother). OP's DD has now discovered she does have a choice.

ConstantCraving Thu 01-Nov-12 20:24:09

Doesn't it mean you put the food out in front of the baby who chooses which bits he wants to eat and how much, rather than spoon feeding everything in? Don't know cos I didn't do it - did finger food and spoonfeeding , so genuinely interested.

exoticfruits Thu 01-Nov-12 22:21:53

Yes- but the mother puts the food that she wants, when she wants the baby to eat it. There would be hell to pay if MIL put chocolate gateaux in front of the baby and it was really baby led! Where people get the idea from that you can spoon food down a baby who doesn't want it I don't know. It is an impossibility.

radicalsubstitution Thu 01-Nov-12 22:39:43

I did the traditional spoon feeding of purees thing with DS who is now 6. I also weaned way before 6 months. Contrary to popular 'myth' he is not obese (far from it) and will eat pretty much anything (apart from cous cous and courgettes). He also has no allergies, and no bowel problems.

I had to do BLW with DD as she just would not tolerate anyone feeding her (and wouldn't accept any solids before 6m). She is now 2.9 and is an extremely fussy eater.

There is far too much crap floating about concerning 'style' of weaning and eventual child eating habits.

Children have a horrible habit of, despite our best intentions, developing personalities of their own.

exoticfruits Thu 01-Nov-12 22:43:07

The aim is to get the DC eating a healthy, balanced diet with family meals- how you achieve it matters not one jot!

radicalsubstitution Thu 01-Nov-12 22:54:17

exoticfruits I totally agree.

Having had a DS who would eat almost anything (and still does) followed by a DD who can seemingly photosynthesise for days on end, I am still trying ot work out the best 'method'.

sigh....

exoticfruits Fri 02-Nov-12 07:50:48

There isn't a best method - there never is. What is the best method for one DC won't be the best for another- we are all different.

HaveToWearHeels Fri 02-Nov-12 11:23:04

I totally agree, I had no fixed ideas on how to wean. I read the books, waited until 6 months, made load of purees, DD tolerated for two days, then refused, so I just put odd bits of our dinner on her tray and she did her own thing. Weaning was just a means to an end, what the journey was I wasn't really bothered, she really decided purees weren't for her but then I still spoon fed her porridge and other such stuff.

Last night I left husband to it again, he is a little less "uptight" than me and we were not eating as going out. She had bacon and beans on toast which she ate. She also ate fish pie and veg for lunch for my mum, but only half what was on her plate. So I think it is probably a vibe she is getting from me lol.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 02-Nov-12 12:43:06

Our dd was like this at that age but would eat 2 or 3 helpings of lunch at nursery on the days she was there.

We did virtually the same as has been suggested on here and it's worked.

Two things I would suggest are stopping the bedtime milk altogether. We realised that dd wasn't eating her tea, but it didn't bother her as she knew she wouldn't be going to bed hungry. Once she realised it was that or nothing she became much more interested in our evening meal, just out of interest is it follow on milk?

Also, if she chooses no breakfast I'd still make her sit at the table while everyone eats.

Can't do kinks ATM but have a look on amazon at My Child won't eat!

HaveToWearHeels Fri 02-Nov-12 16:42:38

thanks Jilted will look that up on Amazon this evening.
No, she just has cows milk, went straight from breast to cows. Unfortunately we don't eat breakfast together during the week, I eat at work (don't have time) and she eats at the childminders. At weekends we all sit together though.

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