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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

How long can a toddler go without eating?

(12 Posts)
FirstOfficerDouglasRichardson Fri 20-Jan-12 08:18:55

I'm worried. DS has been I'll since Saturday/Sunday... He won't eat. Been to the GP twice and they keep saying 'so long as he's drinking'... But seriously this is daft. His face is looking thin.
I still breastfeed... Will that be helping him nutritionally?
I think I might have to go back to GP today, god they're probably sick of me!

IWantMyHatBack Fri 20-Jan-12 08:20:42

How old is he?

DS has gone without food a couple of times for 4-5 days when he was ill, once when he had noro, once when he had tonsillitis.

Is he really not eating anything at all?

FirstOfficerDouglasRichardson Fri 20-Jan-12 08:29:25

21 months. Yesterday he had a bite of bread (literally a bite), a bite of cake and 4 licks of a vanilla ice cream. The day before that about 8 licks of ice cream. The day before that a petit filous and half a cake. Before that not much since Sunday.

I've offered everything I've tried just giving and putting food against his lips.

He has 'a viral infection' according to GPs. But he isn't being treated with anything except nurofen/calpol. He has a horrendous cough.

I'm very worried and fed up of hearing 'so long as he's drinking'.

Sirzy Fri 20-Jan-12 08:45:54

Ds went 7 days eating nothing and about the same eating the amounts your describing. He was in hospital for 8 days of it and they weren't in the slightest bit concerned about the lack of food. Just make sure food is always available and he will eat when ready

ShowOfHands Fri 20-Jan-12 08:58:00

I know you're worried but they're right. As long as he's drinking, if it's viral his body will fight it and he'll probably eat like a horse to make it up afterwards. DD has had noro and a bad chest infection and not eaten for a week with both. Hydration is your key concern. The gp told me when dd had noro that she could go for weeks without food but not without liquid obviously.

Breastmilk is absolutely the best thing for him. DD went back to a milk diet every time she was ill until she weaned at 3.4. BM isn't just a regular drink either. Lots of calories, antibodies and comfort.

But you must go back to the gp if you're still concerned and don't think it's viral. Even if it is viral, it can always change into a secondary bacterial infection. There are some horrid coughs about. DD had one before Christmas which lasted for 5 long hard weeks.

Iggly Fri 20-Jan-12 09:01:26

He'll be fine! Stock up for when his appetite returns.

We had this with DS. Just have snacks out so he can take one if he wants but otherwise don't force it.

DS did lose a lot of weight - luckily he was a chunky monkey so could afford to.

Your milk will be doing wonders for him.

FirstOfficerDouglasRichardson Fri 20-Jan-12 11:13:56

Thank you.. I managed to see the Dr again this morning (they must be sick of me)... I'm slightly reassured but I'd give anything for him to just eat something! sad

bethylou Fri 20-Jan-12 21:50:39

This is surprisingly similar to my DS2 who is 23 months and had a sick bug on Sunday. Until yesterday, he couldn't keep anything solid down and was giving me fluid back yesterday too. We have also seen the doc three times! Today we have managed to get 2 pieces of dry toast in (in 32 tiny pieces, spaced out about every twenty minutes through the day) and a litle pot of fruit jelly. He has kept them down (with assistance from his old reflux meds). We took a urine sample to the GP and DS2 is in 'starvation mode' (ketotic), but even this hasn't got the GP worried, now we are getting fluids in. I guess we just have to wait it out but we too can see the weight dropping off. Unfortunately, DS2 is clearly starving and, now he's feeling a bit better, is screaming a lot! Better than floppy though, like the last few days. I hope your DS gets better soon. It's a worry isn't it?

FirstOfficerDouglasRichardson Fri 20-Jan-12 22:08:36

It's awful bethylou I'm hoping your DS starts to improve.
My DS's personality is coming back a little, he's less sleepy and has started to play with his toys again (although not for very long). And we have managed fluids for the most part, but it's just getting daft... He's hungry, he must be hungry... The weight is literally dropping off him. My doctor is reassuring, but I'm a sensible girl and for them to keep saying not to worry about the not eating makes no sense to me at all!
I made a rice pudding (with lots of sugar) in the vain hope I could tempt him bu he wouldn't let me anywhere near him with it.

FirstOfficerDouglasRichardson Sat 21-Jan-12 14:40:25

He's eaten something... Not much... It's a
start though. grin

Nomoremrtumble Sat 21-Jan-12 14:51:22

Your milk is vastly more nutritious and calorific than toast etc OP. Just let him feed when he wants and he will be fine. I know why you are worrying but this is completely normal - he knows what his body needs. Producing ketones is also a normal and appropriate response. Keep offering varied morsels until he is keen to eat - and when he is I bet he will scoff solidly for days.

verilen Mon 25-Aug-14 19:48:16

Hi I have the same issues, with my 22 month old son, it has been 3 weeks that he has not eaing anything I was told by the doctor that his 28 pounds and that his drinking ok not to worried at all, I am breast feeding him twice a day to help him but I am very worried, I show him the soup or fruits and he will take it out of his moth or run away, not even junk foot he will eat. 3

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