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Help with DD not eating

(15 Posts)
CakeInMyFace Wed 31-Oct-12 21:02:06

I'm sure this has been done before, but for those of you who have dc's that won't eat, how do you handle it? My DD is 15.5 months, and she used to be the most brilliant eater - she loved everything...fruit, veg, meat, fish, etc etc. Now, she barely eats anything. She won't touch anything that resembles a vegetable or a piece of fruit, throws most of her food on the floor, won't even eat snacks most of the time anymore.

As a result, she is tanking loads of milk and waking for it during the night again, after months of sleeping through. It's like she's a newborn again and needs a bottle every few hours! My DH and I are knackered, and I'm SO frustrated that she. just. won't. eat!

I try to be calm on the outside during mealtimes, but inside I am getting more and more upset about why she refuses everything. She loved food once, what's changed?

Anyone else experience this with their DC's? Words of wisdom?

RavenVonChaos Wed 31-Oct-12 21:03:41

Are you giving milk at night?

CakeInMyFace Wed 31-Oct-12 21:13:15

Hi Raven - yes, we are giving her milk at night at the moment - I've tried to cut down / stop giving it to her, but she will just cry and cry and scream for it and I don't have the heart not to give it to her. The eating fussiness started before the night milk though.

RavenVonChaos Wed 31-Oct-12 21:15:26

Sorry you are having a hard time. What does she eat?

CakeInMyFace Wed 31-Oct-12 21:18:49

She will eat some breakfast (I vary it - so porridge, cereal, toast) - she won't eat eggs anymore. It's often only a few spoons. The only thing she'll eat for lunch these days is cheese toastie, and dinner is touch and go. Sometimes she'll eat pasta, the other day she ate sausage, mash and beans, but the next day she wouldn't touch it! Most of the time she just cries and refuses food.

addictedtolatte Wed 31-Oct-12 21:20:39

no answers sorry just reassurance your not on your own. my dd has started doing the same she definately thinks shes a newborn again.

blueberryboybait Wed 31-Oct-12 21:20:57

I would cut out the bottle during the day, milk in a cup (1/2 a cup only) given with snack or food. If she throws food on the floor, pick it up put it back on her plate, no reaction, no mention about it. Offer little healthy snacks hourly or leave a plate of chopped fruit/breadsticks etc in her reach so she can help herself.

zillyzilly Wed 31-Oct-12 21:21:52

Do you eat with her? Could you make a big fuss about how yummy it is, as you shovel it into your mouth?

Beamur Wed 31-Oct-12 21:24:39

It's not an unusual phase.
I'd check she's not got a sore throat or thrush first as that could affect her tolerance of solid food.
But, I would suggest you try to cut down the milk - especially at night if that is making her wake more. What would happen if you gave her water instead?
Little and often food wise might be easier for you both.

RavenVonChaos Wed 31-Oct-12 21:26:11

Is she teething? What does HV suggest? I don't think that giving her milk at night is going to help and just setting up a bad habit. Just keep offering her the foods that you know she likes. Do you eat together as a family? Try sitting with her and just have your own and dp's plates and offer her nothing at all. Just sit and talk and enjoy your food. Only give her some of she actively asks for it. If she doesn't eat it, just remove it, say nothing. Try not to get stressed about it in front of her. It's so hard! I have this with dd2 - she only at chopped up ham and cheese for about two years!

CakeInMyFace Wed 31-Oct-12 21:44:34

Thanks everyone for the advice. I've tried some of these things. Will start family meals again. Its hard with dh work schedule. I hear you about not giving milk at night but if she is screaming for it?

Beamur Thu 01-Nov-12 12:27:22

It is tough and I do sympathise.
This was the age that I moved DD into her own room, partly beause she was waking more often at night and wanting milk - I was still bf at that time too, so it was exhausting and I was back at work too.
My partner and I decided that past bedtime we would only offer water and a dry oatcake as a snack if she was hungry (brutal!) which meant that there really was little incentive for her to demand food/drink unless she was genuinely hungry or thirsty. We were gentle but matter of fact about it - if you are thirsty, here is some water, if you are hungry you can have an oatcake or wait until breakfast. Milk at night isn't good for teeth.
She is screaming because she knows you will give in before she does. They're good at that!
I think this is a survival technique for babies - once they get mobile, if they were not suspicious of foods, they could end up accidentally poisoning themselves - so many people find their previous 'good' eater suddenly gets really fussy.
I'd also agree that it's best not to get too hung up on this, as long as she is keeping a good weight and is healthy, many toddlers eat a fairly restricted diet but it does usually get better. My DD is 5 now and whilst still quite particular about what she eats has a decent range of food and is getting much better at trying (and sometimes liking) new foods.
Don't get into battles over food, offer it and then if it's not eaten after a reasonable amount of time, take it away. Don't bribe with desserts either. At this age I still offered my DD snacks in between meals so if a meal was declined, she wouldn't be hungry for long.

forcedinsomnia Thu 01-Nov-12 12:45:11

My ds samge age as your lo is like this when he is teething! Drives me cuckoo....but we ride with it and hope that all his teeth come through at once!!!! Ha. Could this be the issue?

CakeInMyFace Thu 01-Nov-12 13:07:53

Thanks for the replies - some good ideas there. I guess we will have to give our dd some tough love - I always forget about the teeth issue when giving milk and that's a good point Beamur. The one thing I'm good at is not giving desserts. I've never given DD regular puddings except for fruit and yogurt so there isn't really any benefit to her not eating her meal.

Forced she doesn't seem to be teething at the moment, but it's sometimes hard to tell. DD's teeth just seem to 'appear' so it's possible there is some movement under the gums. I think I'll start just leaving a plate of healthy nibbles out for her to eat in between meals as well.

I just got a part time job and starting soon and I'm hoping maybe 3 days with a childminder will help. She might have a magic wand!

forcedinsomnia Thu 01-Nov-12 13:34:07

My boy eats really well with the childminder....prbably because he sees the other 'big kids' eating and joins in! Ha.
I think it would make a difference to me if I had tooth/gum ache I wouldn't want to eat either. It might be worth monitoring it. My DS will let me check his gums now....he has a good bite at the same time...and so I know for instance that at the moment he has 3 teeth pushing bread sticks to chew on and pasta/rice/cous cous thrown in when possible.
How long has she been off her food?

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