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13 month old doesn't eat

(12 Posts)
heeblejeeble Mon 11-Mar-19 10:56:05

Hi I'm looking for some help if anyone has any words of wisdom.
I have a 13 month old little boy and we are still breastfeeding but I'm keen to wean him off, however he just doesn't eat food! We've tried so many meals, purees everything from about eight months old and he just doesn't eat anything. Flat out refuses the spoon. (Obviously we don't want to force him because I don't want to create negative connotations with food)
So we tried finger food but it ends up on the floor and even at dinnertime anything that we are eating we give to him and it ends up on the floor. It's almost like he knows he's just going to get milk so he doesn't need to eat food.

I'm really at the end of the tether and mentally not in a great place so really need some help so if anyone experienced the same/similar I'd love to hear how you tackled this. (I was going to post to ask how to stop breastfeeding him to sleep but I think that's now a bigger kettle of fish to fry facepalm)

OP’s posts: |
blueberrymuffin88 Mon 11-Mar-19 14:18:41

Hi OP I'm afraid I've not had much experience of this myself but thought I'd reply to bump up your post in case it's been missed and someone comes along who has gone through similar. I'm currently weaning my 7 month old and for the first month she would never take any food off a spoon so we are only doing Baby-led weaning now and she definitely takes more that way. Does your son show any interest in food at all - grabbing food you are holding or off your plate etc? Does he bring the food to his mouth but not eat it?
From what I have read some babies do just take longer to be interested in food. My cousins baby didn't touch a bite until 11 months. Is he gaining weight and otherwise healthy? I assume you've tried delaying a milk feed and mixing some food with breast milk? Perhaps get some advice from the health visitors team if you can access that service and don't stress about it too much - you are still feeding your baby! Are you trying to feed him 3 times a day? Make meal times as relaxed and fun as possible and keep offering as much variety as possible and maybe something will eventually take his fancy.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 13-Mar-19 23:24:21

heeble can I ask of you are feeding overnight?

Kokeshi123 Thu 14-Mar-19 00:19:16

JJJ beat me to it, but 70% of the time when I hear about a non-eating older baby/toddler, it turns out they are tanking up on the milk overnight. Is that the case for yours? You may have to get tough and nightwean if it is. In the meantime, can you get his iron tested and get a supplementary drop for him if he is running low?

heeblejeeble Thu 14-Mar-19 04:03:22

Hi thank you so much for your replies. Yes! He feeds overnight still, I have to feed him to sleep and then if he wakes and I'm not there he immediately wakes and cries so he's in bed with me at the moment too, so I guess milk is on tap overnight for him.

He is gaining weight and he has his one year health visitor appointment in a weeks time so I can ask about iron levels then. I've been on my own since Christmas as my husband works away and he's back also in a week so nightweaning should then be a little easier if we do it as a team.

OP’s posts: |
Rinceoir Thu 14-Mar-19 04:31:07

My now 5 year old was very similar OP. Weaning onto solids was the most difficult experience of parenting as the child ate nothing at all for months then almost nothing until she was around 2. It wasn’t the “Living on air” phenomenon, she was pretty much exclusively breastfed until 18 months plus! Her growth plateaued and night weaning didn’t help. We saw paediatrics who were fairly unperturbed as she was otherwise well and iron/vit d remarkably normal. Also a dietician who was as much use as a chocolate teapot (have you tried feeding her more?).

She eventually started having small amounts regularly at around 18 months, perhaps slightly older. Then eating well at around 2. She now eats very well and is happy and healthy.

People say not to get frustrated but it’s so hard. I used to leave little finger snacks around the play area, not force her to stay at the table and made no comment when dinner wasn’t eaten even though it nearly killed me. Years later I am still jealous when I see babies opening their mouths for food like little birds! Now she loves her food though and loves helping me with cooking etc.

Looking back I think she had an oral aversion- she consistently refused milk from a bottle/sippy cup, and would gag on them. She had horrible aniseed flavoured medication around the time weaning started which probably didn’t help. She also had an untreated tongue and lip tie although I don’t know if that made a difference.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 14-Mar-19 06:17:55

Definitely, definitely night wean OP. Feeding to sleep is fine at this age if you are ok with it but I'd stop the night feeds if you can. If you aren't sure how to night wean, Dr Jay Gordon's method is very popular and aimed at BFing Mums.

In the day, have you tried not feeding first thing and offering breakfast instead? My first was quite easy to distract from feeding at this age as he was so busy but my second was quite persistent. Depending on how your DS is, I'd try to cut BFs down in the day once you've cracked night weaning.

Have a read of this guide from the Caroline Walker Trust too. It gives information on nutrition, suggests portion sizes and even sample menus smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 14-Mar-19 06:20:32

Oh and to address your first problem with purées and finger food. If he's refusing a spoon, I think you need to embrace the mess smile

Buy some long sleeved bibs and put a cheap shower curtain on the floor and let him get on with --rubbing it in his hair or flinging it on the floor- eating his food while you eat yours smile

Cotswoldpoppy Thu 14-Mar-19 06:49:44

My DS refused solids at that age too. It turned out he had undiagnosed silent reflux and food allergies which had given him oral aversion. Another symptom of this was that he didn't mouth or chew toys. He started eating solids after getting occupational therapy and medication for the reflux. You have all my sympathy - I found it miserable to be making, serving and then cleaning off the floor three uneaten meals a day. One of the first foods we had success with were those 'bite and dissolve' baby snacks- wafers, stars etc. Because they melt in the mouth they're not so challenging for children with oral aversion to get started on. Also, he first started eating them in the pram facing away from me. I think it was less pressure than sitting at the table with me watching him and trying to play it cool! I used to trudge round and round the park while DS worked his way slowly through one wafer! His eating was normal by 18 months. Hope some of that helps.

Guiloak Thu 14-Mar-19 07:20:03

My first child didn't really eat solids until she was 2. We did night wean her at around 14 months, no change, pregnant when she was 18 months and she stopped breastfeeding. She didn't like normal milk (still doesn't) and did not really eat meals for another 6 months. Bizarrely she was still quite round and didn't look like she was being starved. I ended up leaving chopped up strawberries and breadsticks around the house so she nibbled. She is now 12 and eats everything and loves spicy food. My 10 year old loved purées and being spoon fed he now loves all junk beige food and is quite fussy. It is so stressful when they are not eating, I felt was failing as a mum. She only ever fed herself I gave up trying to feed her very early on as always met with a closed mouth!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 14-Mar-19 07:22:56

Sorry for the epic strike-out fail blush

DonPablo Thu 14-Mar-19 07:27:34

Yy to the night weaning!

Also have you seen the nuby nibbler things they're mesh on a stick and you put a stick of cucumber or whatever in the mesh and he can suck on it through the mesh. It's like a halfway house between spoon feeding and blw.

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