Help weaning 16 month old(9 Posts)
I have a 16 month old who is more or less entirely dependant on milk soon and im so stuck.
Started weaning at 6 months and shes never been a decent eater. Has never touched breakfast or a midmorning snack. Will sometimes eat lunch if its pasta. Dinner she mostly plays with but does eat some. Moved her onto cows milk hoping it would fill her up less but instead she just drinks 6 pints every 2 days!
She wont touch water or juice. She will happily go hours and hours if i go cold turkey on milk to stop her filling herself up on it. Have tried ketting her have milk first thing and trying breakfast a few hours later.
Am at a loss.
Only things she will eat and swallow: pasta, grapes, breadsticks, mini chedders, chips
She will chew and suck most other things but wont swallow.
Am at a loss
Tbh (and I never say this) at 16 months I think you need some professional advice. Try your HV in the first instance.
Worried thats going to be the case.
Am going to have one last attempt first as i feel like i am massively failing her.
I dont know how much of it is to do with the fact her ears are being investigated as they are blocked solid and shes obviously in discomfort with them and also massively struggling with hearing. I partly think her ears might be why she chews but never enough to be able to swallow. Obviously thats only a tiny part of a bigger problem.
Is her weight normal for her age? Is she well hydrated? Does she pee and poo normally? Is she otherwise a normal happy active child?
If so, I think you should go with the flow and draw no attention to it whatsoever. Give her tiny helpings of what you wish her to eat, and if she does not eat them, then just take them away and give her something she likes. She will be getting a reasonably varied diet form the things she will eat plus the milk.
But - if you think she is showing signs of ill health or poor development, then HV is the way to go. A friend went to the doc with a child who would only eat cauliflower and chocolate and the GP said that was a perfectly balanced diet and to go with the flow and it would pass. It did.
Above all she must not see that you are worried about it; nor must meals be allowed to become a battle ground. She is behaving perfectly normally by just eating the things she likes - she does not know about balanced nutrition - she is just doing what comes naturally, i.e. eat the things she likes. It is after all what we as adults do. If she begins to see it as a way of winding you up she will milk it for all its worth when the terrible twos arrive!
Some children have wide taste in food from the start - some take longer to get there. It is a variation, like any other e.g. how soon they walk or talk. All children are different. As long as she is fit and well, then go with the flow.
You are not failing her. If you invest this situation with an inappropriate level of emotion (like guilt that you are failing her) then it will spiral into something more troublesome. Relaxed and cheery is the way to go. Most children are pretty robust and in a very big family this would probably go unnoticed.
You are obviously a conscientious mum and well done you - but please don't beat yourself up.
When you see ENT re her ears, then mention it in case it relates to that - but please don't let this little thing spoil your chance to have fun with this little lass - it all passes so quickly and she will be a stroppy teenager before you can blink.
I would decrease the milk by half at least so she is hungrier to eat. 3 pints a day at 1 years old will leave her full. Drop to 1 1/2 pints over 3/4 drinks.
also only give the milk in a cup if she's currently using a bottle. It's harder to guzzle loads from a cup
Give her foods with similar taste also. Things like porridge, rice pudding, yogurts to start with so they are 'milky'
My dd is 16 months and very similar. She is breastfed and isn't really interested in much else. I can't get her to drink much water or cows milk so I have to give in and feed her to make sure she's hydrated. Pretty sure she knows that and just rejects food as she'd prefer milk. I'm not too worried-I'm just going with the view that she's not a big eater and it will come with time. I'm also trying to make things fun by sitting her on a chair and not in her highchair and involving her dolls. I also just offer a variety and don't worry if it's not too healthy-the only way she'll have bread is with Nutella (don't shoot me MN) but I don't really care if she has a couple of bites. It's better than nothing! Sorry I have no decent advice but you're not alone!
I had this same problem I was told by gp and hv it was a phase and he would grow out of but he didn't buy the time he was 2 he was eating 1 or 2 baby spoonful's at meals and was getting pale with bags under his eyes and tired a lot. I had to go cold turkey no milk at all no bottles at all either, he didn't eat much the first 2 days but the 3rd day he ate everything he could get his hands on. Hes been a great eater ever since and about a week after taking the milk away I started giving him milk again in a proper cup.
I don't honestly don't know the best way to deal with it at 16mo and yours could grow out of it but please keep an eye on it I wish i would have done something a bit sooner.
My DD was the same at 16mo although breastfed. A blood test investigating another issue showed that she was severely anaemic. It is easily corrected with iron supplements but it might be worth investigating because left untreated it can cause problems.
You are right to look for an underlying problem. If there is no reason for her preference for milk it might be worth asking the HV about formula for toddlers. I'd normally say this was a gimmick as children get what they need from food, but if she is not eating all food groups and does prefer milk then formula will help with vitamin supplementation.
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