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Getting stressed about 14 month-old lack of eating...

(18 Posts)
Manfwood Sun 02-Feb-03 17:49:36

Having read a few of the other messages on this board feel a bit better but still get stressed out about this whole thing. My Ds usually a good eater but recently not interested in a lot - except bread and cheese and not even that now and had a few tantrums in the high chair the last few days. Obviously i realise that this is not a healthy diet and trying to feed lots of other nice things he has had before but quite often he throws on floor or takes in mouth and then spits out (even easy stuff like egg, ham etc). He eats really well at the childminder (two days a week) and maybe because there is another child to watch and he gets left to get on with it. I know i am getting stressed which doesnt help and maybe paying him too much attention? Will try the walking away approach. What can i do to calm myself down as think this may help. He is not going to starve i know but food is such an emotive subject - we all want to do our best for our child. Obviously have no problem getting him to eat sweet stuff (although recently has even refused From Frais!) like biscuits, cakes etc

Need to chill out - any advice/ideas??

P.S. currently downstairs eating 12 month jar with DH and eating all of it!

futurity Sun 02-Feb-03 18:03:10

No answers really but total sympathy! My 12 month ds is still being difficult with eating. It got to the point the other day that i threw his food across the kitchen!!

Anyway..I calmed down and spoke to health visitor and she said that if he doesn't eat then to end the fuss or anything..just to end it. Then carry on the day as normal.

Did this the other day which meant he had nothing for lunch. He then had his normal snack mid afternoon and got to tea time and woofed down his vegetables which he normally chucks across the room!!

So I am definetely of the opinion now to just end meal time if he is throwing the food around and refusing to eat (and holding out until pudding arrives!!).

My only worry is that he may wake in the night again if he carries on like this with hunger??

aloha Sun 02-Feb-03 19:09:12

I think you're absolutely right about why he eats well with the childminder. He probably likes the fact that not eating gets him lots of lovely attention from you. I agree with futurity, offer him food, if he doesn't eat it, then just end the mealtime. He will be fine! Also, maybe he's just going through a not hungry phase when he's not growing much. Try giving him really easy to prepare food, like Dairylea sandwiches. Give them to him then do something else, like put dishes away or make yourself a cup of tea. If he eats them, great, if not, at least you haven't done lots of preparation.

LIZS Sun 02-Feb-03 20:43:13

Totally agree with Aloha.

There is nothing more depressing than cooking something only to have it rejected on sight. Keep things really simple. DD eats loads of pasta, rice etc with jars of sauce, quick to prepare and not expensive if rejected. However she can still go for day or more eating very little and at 17 months now feeds herself as much as she chooses and will steadfastedly refuse any more.

Your situation could be a strive for independence (give him things to eat with fingers and a well shaped spoon and he may surprise you)or a reaction to the attention not eating gets (went through that with ds and used to get really stressed about it)or perhaps just less appetite due to teething or growth slow down.

I'm sure what has been said about the childminder feeding him is true. dd eats better because she has the example of elder ds and I have less time to fuss over what is/is not eaten than I did with ds alone.

Rest assured your ds will not starve himself if food is offered. I remember being advised to view food intake over a period of several days rather than getting hung up each time food went uneaten. Limit snacks and try not to worry or make a fuss, it will pass...


Manfwood Mon 03-Feb-03 10:04:27

Thanks for all your advice - will try to stay calm! dont know if this is anything to do with it but DS seems to have stomach bug. Didnt eat any b/fast (although this is normalish for the moment) had horribly diarrhoea nappy - went everywhere. Took milk as normal and then threw it straight up, then some more a bit later. Seemed OK (a bit whiny and clingy) no temperature, gave him some water and he then brought that up as well. Not sure what to do now as supposed to keep them hydrated but if he is bringing the water back up (although had bits of milk in as well). Drs are meant to be phoning me back. also have put everything of DS in the d/washer just to be on safe side.

Poor thing he really got upset when he had thrown up must be horrible. Also he puked over my work bag which happened to be partially open! YUK!

LIZS Mon 03-Feb-03 10:56:07

He must feel rotten poor thing. Sorry you have got this on top of the original problem.

Keep offering him clear fluids - water, preferably mixed with rehydration sachets (Milupa GES45 or Boots would do their own)- these have sugar and salts added - or we found that dd liked Fennel Tea. If he really can't keep anything down all day then dr might suggest something else.

Keep off milk or dairy for at least 24 hrs. Try dry toast, rice and cooked carrots or ,strangely, banana if he seems hungry.

Hope he recovers soon.


Manfwood Mon 03-Feb-03 11:45:16

He is now on his second sleep of the morning having also been retching after giving him water so am having to restrict him to one sip at a time. Have also got some dioralyte as well. Hope this phase doesnt last too long. we had this bug last summer and i remember having the retching thing as well which was horrible. just concerned that he doesnt get dehydrated. I know he wants to drink lots but i cant let him.


tomps Mon 03-Feb-03 11:54:35

manfwood - sorry your dd not well, hope he's sorted out soon. I have same problem with dd - seems to go in phases, will eat well (really improved just recently when she started feeding herself with spoon) then just seem to go off food totally. She's full of cold which doesn't help, and I think new teeth are bothering her, but it's so frustrating isn't it. Like you I kep telling myself she won't starve, but then I worry that she simply isn't getting enough nourishment, so she's having vitamin drops (which of course she loves !) Good luck anyway. If I have any major breakthrough I'll let you know !

futurity Mon 03-Feb-03 12:29:20

I have just had another lunch time of ds refusing all the veg and only wanting the meat so I just ended the meal and have put him to bed. It worked the other day as come tea time he ate the lot but I hate it...I feel like horrible mummy!!

He won't eat anything from a spoon anymore apart from cereal and yogurt but I always give him a spoon to chew on. What sort of age do they get the hang of using a spoon ?

elliott Mon 03-Feb-03 12:52:46

futurity, well done for sticking at it! Sometimes I find it helpful to give veg (or anything I think ds will be less keen on eating) in a little finger bowl as a starter - he tucks into it much more readily when he's really hungry and there isn't anything else on the table!
I guess the age they get the hang of the spoon will depend on fine motor skills, opportunity to practice, and motivation/personality! ds just spontaneously started spooning stuff into his mouth a couple of weeks before his first birthday, but most of his peers seem less interested in self feeding. Ds's cousin had a much longer phase of feeding herself with her fingers - and started really managing with the spoon (with active parental teaching/encouragement) at about 18 months.

aloha Mon 03-Feb-03 13:40:22

I have to say, I refused to eat veg during my entire childhood (or pasta or anything with fat on and lots of other fads). I still grew up tall and healthy! Now, I love veg & butter but still can't stand pasta. Perhaps that's why I don't worry so much about ds's diet.

elliott Mon 03-Feb-03 13:57:32

well, me too - never a veg passed my lips till I was about 14. But ds actually likes everything, (although of course he does like some things more than others), so I don't worry either

deegward Mon 03-Feb-03 19:15:18

My ds ate everything inlcuding veg upto 18 months,a nd then refused anything which wasn't either chips, nuggets, or fish fingers. He is now 34 months and is crap at eating despite being a perfect Annabel Karmel baby! I just don't get stressed anymore, I hide veg in bolognese sauce, and work on the assumption that the more I make of it the worse he will get. But just to be on the safe side, have started to give him a multivitamin.

oxocube Mon 03-Feb-03 19:28:15

manfwood, futurity and others, I think this phase of not eating must be normal (even though it is sooo frustrating!) My d.s (15 mths) is usually a great eater, a bit of a hoover actually, but for the last week has eaten next to nothing for no apparant reason. Then today, he is suddenly starving and has wolfed down cereal, snacks, 5 satsumas (think of the nappies!) a banana, plate of veggies, bread, lasagne, loads of milk and a lot more!!

Good luck to us all!!!

Chinchilla Mon 03-Feb-03 20:50:17

Mine's the same. He will eat loads if I leave his supper till a bit later, but nothing if he is not REALLY hungry. Sometimes I know that he is hungry, but he seems to get a kick out of not eating, I suppose for the attention. Of course he will always eat sweet things! I did the same as futurity, and started taking him up for a bath and bed when he wouldn't eat, and within a couple of days, he started eating everything. I used to give him something else if he wouldn't eat his supper, but now I don't. I tell him that there is nothing else if he doesn't eat what I have prepared. I too felt really horrible, and it was only the strength of dh that made me do it in the first place. But, it does work.

musica Mon 03-Feb-03 20:53:35

I worry for the opposite - ds eats as many vegetables as I can prepare - peas, carrots, sprouts, runner beans, cauliflower - but I can not get him to eat ANY meat and very little cheese! So I try and make up with yoghurt...I guess they will be themselves!

Manfwood Wed 05-Feb-03 13:23:08

Just to update you - DS has been diagnosed with an ear infection! so at least i know what it is now - went to Drs again today as was still very poorly and bringing up water. Felt i was being an over anxious mother but now glad i went. He has taken some antibiotics and although still feels poorly has eaten a bit of rice cake and some bread so fingers crossed.

Thanks for all your help. Hopefully he will be back to eating soon and i can try some of these ideas out - although i'm sure he will be very hungry and eat most things for a while!

Jimjams Wed 05-Feb-03 19:27:26

musica don't worry too much. Ds1 eats gluten free bread (I hide hempseed and flax seed in it), philadelphia, jam, honey, apples, gluten free rolls (sometimes I can hide carrot in those), crisps, yoghurt, fromage frais, raisins (and until recently dried apricots and prunes- refusing now but form past experience will probably go back to them) and apart from gluten free biscuits etc and milk and watered down juice that's it. He;s three and half and hasn't eaten meat since he was 20 months. I give him B vitamins, DMG (a bit like a B vitamin) fish oils and some form of iron (either Spatone- mineral water from Boots, or gluten free floradix daily). Anyway the point of this is to say that 2 weeks ago he had a whole load of blood tests including iron -I was really expecting him to come back anaemic but as they haven't contacted me I'm assuming (touch wood) he isn't. Actually I'm gobsmacked. (Don't worry I will ring up and check the results made it back to the paediatrician- I'm just waiting until the chromosome checks will be complete).

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