15 month old won't eat & is very aggressive(14 Posts)
I'm new to the forum & this is my first post.
I'm hoping some on here might be able to help. I have a 15month old daughter & she is recently starting to cause a lot of stress.
1) Meal time. She has bad issues with food. She refuses almost everything we put in front of her, angrily throwing it on the floor. We get hit & the the aggression she shows is worrying. At her age she should be eating a decent meal similar to us. But all we can get in her are jars. The same thing happens with beakers of water. They get launched across the room all the time. We try & get her to drink but she often flat out refuses. Then near bed time she's having a 7oz bottle.
Does anyone recommend any ways of getting her to eat calmly? Without spitting, hitting & throwing of food?
2) her levels of temper are getting worse & worse by the day. If she doesn't get her own way at the very slightest of things (e.g. picking her up to take her to change her) she has a meltdown. She screams, cries & has tears. The same thing happens repeatedly all day through. She hits out, pinches, scratches & is generally quite horrible to us. Not just us though, other children & even parents she's violent towards.
We tell her off, nothing. We brush it off, nothing. We've tried various ways of response & she still does the same thing.
Can anyone please help or advise?
Anything much appreciated.
How much sleep is she getting? Does her behaviour change depending on how tired she is?
How long has this been going on? Could she be teething (molars/canines?)
With the food, does she sit with you at meal times? So she watches you eat, and then hopefully copies you, rather than trying to coax food into her. If she throws it, just move it out of her reach, and carry on eating. Or let her share from you plate for now?
I found routine, routine, and more routine was the best thing to calm tantrums. Take the unexpected out of the equation, so she knows exactly what to expect.
Is she at nursery or childminder at all? Is she the same there?
And, yes, it might be teething if it's come on recently?
She sleeps very well. 10-12 hours a night. Plus a nap in the morning & afternoon.
She has all her teeth through & she's been teething for approx 6 months or so now so I'm not sure if the pain has just upped. Saying that, she's never been into her food.
We try eating our meals with her, but it makes no difference. 1 or 2 mouthfuls then the rage & throwing begins. She's just never calm in her high chair. Or generally actually.
When you say you've tried having meals together, what do you actually do? Do you try and feed her, or does she feed herself?
We let her feed herself with her hands. But that usually results on the food being swiped off of the high chair & onto the floor.
We then try & spoon from our plates to her & she won't even try it. Just pushes it away on temper
It sounds like there's a power struggle going on. If it were me, I would completely disengage from that fight for control, because if you're not taking part in it, there is no fight.
I would sit everyone down to eat together wherever possible, put her food in front of her and leave her to it. Either talk to each other or talk to her, but not about eating. Don't praise her when she eats and don't try and persuade her to eat, just don't mention it. Make up stuff to talk about if you have to, just to demonstrate that your attention is elsewhere! If she throws things on the floor, I wouldn't respond, just finish my meal, get her down and then pick it up and put it to one side. If she shows she's hungry later, give her the same food back. I wouldn't spoon feed her at all, even if she's eaten nothing, and I wouldn't be getting close enough during meals for her to hit me. Give her complete control over what she eats, and completely remove her control over your actions (no chance to hit, no picking up her food etc.)
You'll probably have to hold your nerve a bit. She might not be eating as much as you'd like for a while, but she won't starve. If you keep at it, and concentrate on modelling good eating and relaxed conversation at mealtimes instead of giving her behaviour attention, hopefully she'll start to find that more interesting than throwing food!
I would do exactly what Orsono suggests. If she is haying the high chair, change it to a booster seat at the main table. Turn meal times into a chatty, sociable experience, rather than about the food.
Another idea, is to sit her on your lap, and let her share your food. It can work surprisingly well.
You mention she still has a bedtime bottle OP, does she also have milk throughout the day? I'm wondering if she might actually not be that hungry if she's still having a lot of milk - could it be cut down? - although if she isn't that's that idea out of the window!
I wish i had something helpful to add.....can you get some help from your health visitor? i have found ours very useful.
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