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18mo stopped eating almost everything

(17 Posts)
yumcha888 Wed 12-Sep-12 20:45:44

Hi everyone,

My 18mo DS used to be a great eater. He'd eat anything that we put in front of him and at 14mo was happily feeding himself (grapes, sandwiches etc etc). Then, about 3 months ago he just... stopped eating. He will still eat porridge, fruit puree (with zero lumps), biscuits and cakes and bread but he won't eat anything savoury (the exceptions are tomato soup and butternut squash soup - both of which, in my opinion, are quite sweet). It's just so weird - it happened so suddenly. We've ruled out teeth as it's been several months now and no teeth have appeared. We all eat together and he has his little plate of bits of food that we are eating, as well as some things that he used to like but doesn't touch any more. He likes to play with his food but he feeds it to me, he doesn't even smell it himself, let alone taste it. My only hope is that sometimes I make a new soup and, although he pushes the spoon away initially, if I can get a bit on his lips and he licks it and likes it, he will eat the rest himself (happened the other day with some spinach, pea and tarragon soup - which is delish by the way!).

I know that kids go through this phase but I don't want to just feed him soup and sweet things and ruin him for life! Does anyone have any advice about how to get through this? How long it might last? Why it might be happening?

Thanks a million in advance.

WheresMyCow Thu 13-Sep-12 13:30:55

Sorry yumcha no advice for you, but bumping your thread for the daytime traffic as interested in the responses as I know what you're going through smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 13-Sep-12 14:38:04

Sometimes you can't ever work out why this happens, it just does. If its any help my DS did this and is 8 now and will eat almost anything barring fresh tomatoes.

Here's what we do:

We all eat together.
We don't comment on whether they are eating or not, we just have usual family discussions.
When we've finished we might give the last one a few minutes if they are still eating, but if they aren't eating we just clear away.
We never, ever offer alternatives. If they didn't eat their meal assume they are not hungry and offer the next snack or meal at the usual time.

You don't say what milk he is having or how much. The type and quantity of milk can dramatically affect their appetite at this age.

I haven't read this book but have had friends absolutely raving about it so it might be worth looking at too. smile.

BakingBunty Thu 13-Sep-12 15:12:34

The book that JiltedJohnsJulie mentions is really, really good, and incredibly reassuring. Worth the money spent on it purely for the drawing comparing the size of a banana with the size of a baby's stomach with a caption saying "where's it supposed to go?" smile

yumcha888 Thu 13-Sep-12 20:21:00

Thanks JiltedJohnsJulie - I've always said that fussy eaters drive me mad - never thought I'd give birth to one! It's really reassuring that this isn't a sign of a future fussy eater. I'm downloading the book on my Kindle as we speak - BakingBunty fingers crossed there's pics in the Kindle version.

WheresMyCow are you going through the same thing? If so, I have a lot of soup recipes nowadays....

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 13-Sep-12 21:17:41

I think that most children go through a phase at some time when they become more fussy. it is how you deal with it that decides whether the phase lasts.....

DamnTheManSaveTheEmpire Fri 14-Sep-12 14:01:24

Going through the same thing with my 10 month old at the moment. 4 weeks now and she is still refusing all foods bar bread and a couple mouthfuls f baby porridge in the mornings.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 14-Sep-12 14:33:11

Damn it doesn't really matter at that age as long as she is getting the recommended amount of formula or enough bfs.

It will pass smile.

DamnTheManSaveTheEmpire Fri 14-Sep-12 16:33:16

Jilted thank you, she has around 550ms of formula a day so hopefully that's enough.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 14-Sep-12 17:15:08

That converts to 18.59 ozs and I think the recommendation is for 20oz of formula per day between 6 and 12 months. I wouldn't force the issue though, it's not worth making her unhappy over 1.5 oz.

DamnTheManSaveTheEmpire Fri 14-Sep-12 17:22:04

Jilted she would have more formula if I allowed her but hv told me to cut right back on milk to 200mls a day. She was having 800mls before so abated to get her down to 550mls....should I up the formula do you think? Th told me to decrease it to get her to eat more solids but the opposite has happened! Having said that she just ate a great dinner for the first time in weeks!

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 14-Sep-12 17:26:14

Glad she's eaten a good dinner. I'm pretty sure that your HV is wrong on the amounts of formula. The NHS recommendation is 300 mls of full fat cows milk between 12 and 24 months so can't see why she is recommending only 200mls a day for such a young baby. I would let her have the 20ozs and ignore the HV. Lots of babies go through a phase of refusing food and at this age she is having a major developmental leap and maybe even some sleep regression.

Just keep offering the solids and if she refuses, just assume she's not hungry smile.

WheresMyCow Tue 18-Sep-12 12:19:14

Hi Yumcha

Yes...23m old DS is decidedly fussy but never was when he was first weaned. He would eat anything and everything but now it is just so frustrating. He loves fruit, yoghurt, raisins, biscuits and pombears grin

Sometimes he will eat pasta, sandwiches, roast dinner etc but more often than not he won't. He loves sausages and any frozen potato type thing blush.

Our big problem is that we both work full time so have to prepare his meals to take with him as we only get to eat as a family at weekends sad and most of the time he won't eat what we had the night before and re-heated...aarrgghhh. I may just have to get that book!!

highlandbird Tue 18-Sep-12 13:56:48

I was just about to post very very similar to OP....DS is 18 mo and we did baby led weaning, he's always been great at trying things, and ate really 'well' although we've never praised / told him off about food so as not to create those associations. Was feeling quite smug that I'd done everything 'by the book' then 2 months ago he just stopped eating almost everything, and stopped trying / tasting anything that he didn't like, he's even funny about touching some foods. We sit down for meals together and he has what we have but he just looks at it, squeals, empties bowl / plate then sometimes throws it on the floor. I act completely impassive and don't react to any of it, but I'm wondering if he's getting the nutrients he needs....
The foods that he'll eat are: cheese, bread and butter, breadsticks, raisins, blueberries, yogurt, potato scones, bananas, porridge, houmous and peanut butter. That's it. And the list is shrinking every week.
Sorry to hijack your thread yumcha I feel your pain, and just wondering if this book would be any use to me or am I already doing what they say in it to do? And any other advice please????
RL friends have told me to not offer him anything else and send him to bed hungry but I don't have the heart to do this, so he has a yogurt with us after dinner (which he won't have touched but the yogurt goes down really well!) He also has milk and toast before bed but only drinks a few sips of milk, he drinks water through the day time, so not filling up on juice. I did try the sending him to be with no dinner once, I felt awful, and unsurprisingly he woke up in the night.....for 3 HOURS!!!!
Also, we don't have any junk food at home, but I don't stop him having cake / biscuits etc if we are in other people's houses or out somewhere, he wolfs them down, so infuriating!

yumcha888 Mon 24-Sep-12 13:13:23

Hi everyone - just got back from holiday where I read that book recommended Jilted and I love it. I am so much more chilled out about this now. Highland my DS sounds just like your LO - even the list of foods sounds familiar (although he made a really disgusted face when I put a smear of hoummous on a corner of his bread and then wouldn't touch it until I got him a new slice).

I think everyone should buy book as it is just so reassuring but to sum up in a few bullets for everyone's speedy benefit:

1. kids before the age of 1 year are growing faster than they will ever grow again in their lives. They need so much energy to sustain this growth that they eat an astonishing amount.
2. At somewhere around year 1-2 (give or take a few months on either side) this massive grow rate slows to something vaguely normal. Kids suddenly need a lot less food. He was describing 5 pieces of macaroni and a kid sized handful of peas as a meal.
3. No kid this young has the psychological intent to starve themself so they will eat when they need to and they have a knack for choosing foods that their body needs. The only exception seems to be iron deficiencies which can decrease appetites (so I've added a multivitamin supplement to my DS's daily routine - he loves it as it's sweet). Protein comes from milk so if kids are eating something and seems to know how to eat and are taking milk then they'll be ok.

So, DS is eating just as little as he was a few weeks ago but I've changed my expectations. Instead of breakfast being a Weetabix, fruit puree and toast, I just give him half a Weetabix and a bit of my toast. He eats it all, is delighted and I'm happy too.

It's not really a solution but DS seems fine and I'm certainly happier too!

WheresMyCow both DH and I work full time too. We have nannies though so it's a bit easier but I'm in America for a week so spent an hour writing detailed instructions about what to try and feed the baby while I'm gone. It's really hard to go through these things and be at work, isn't it?

We should make this the sudden-non-eaters support thread smile

WheresMyCow Mon 24-Sep-12 14:12:40

Glad you had a good holiday and it sounds like the book is definitely worth buying.

You do forget how small their stomachs are and it's only when I'm making sandwiches and I realise that I'm making the same for DS as I would make for myself shock.

I do try not to worry about it but might do the supplement thing as I do sometimes worry about whether he gets enough iron.

Victoria2002 Sun 30-Sep-12 00:24:05

I agree with all the points above about not reacting to bad eating habits/offering a range of foods and will add my top tip that's worked with loads of kids I've nannied for: give them new foods or foods they usually refuse at a time when they are both hungry and distracted eg:a little Tupperware of cooked broccoli on the train home from swimming, Tofu cubes in the car from playgroup just before lunch, beef meatballs in the stroller as we walk home for dinner. Tell them that's all you have to offer until meal time and don't react if they don't eat it.

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