baby will not eat solids - hv worried.(31 Posts)
My DD is 10 months old and she's still not eating solid food, the health visitor has referred her to a dietician because she says she should be having 3 good meals a day and snacks, she's not putting on weight well at all, but she had always been slow to gain.
She was 6lb at birth, dropped to 5lb 2oz a week after and is now 14lb 10 oz.
She's breastfed and has a lot of milk, it's her go to over anything and the first thing she looks for.
I offer her a meal 3 times a day, either purée or finger foods the same as us,
She is put to the table with the family with her food and I've tried letting her eat from my plate and have tried spoon feeding her puréed foods too.
She picks food (and everything else!) up and puts it in her mouth, but hen she just spits it straight out, I can't even get calpol or medicine into her, she has to have suppositories.
she has 2 teeth and has had an ongoing battle with oral thrush wish I think we've sorted now. She's also had a bout of tonsillitis and a few ear infections.
When we first started weaning her she ate well, toast, roast dinner, pasta etc but that was only for a few weeks, now she's surviving on milk and very, very rarely she'll take some yoghurt from a spoon.
She's developing well in all other areas, she is taking the first few steps, she can cruise, crawl say a few sounds and words, she can clap, wave and is generally a bright and happy girl.
She just won't eat!
I'm determined not to make a big deal of it and let it become an issue but the HV said she won't develop her speech and swallowing muscles properly and she's already so tiny that my milk can't sustain her and I won't be able to sustain my supply and my health at the rate she's feeding.
Does anyone have any tips?
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If she's not eating because she's too full from milk, have you tried cutting down her milk intake?
Food before 1 is just for fun is she gaining weight steadily or dropping off centiles?? Seeing a paed dietician can't hurt either way
My ds was eating very little in the way of solids at that age, I think the HV is being unnecessarily alarmist. Why would you be unable to sustain your own health if you're breastfeeding her? She'll be getting more calories from your milk than food, so I would have thought a low weight baby would be better off on milk.
It sounds like she's had a number of issues with her mouth that would put her off eating. I wonder if it would help for her to see other babies eating, do you have baby group parents you could invite round? Or meet in a cafe? What if someone else tries to feed her, dad or granny for example?
Thanks for the replies.
She's always been very slow to gain. Sometimes I go to the clinic and she's not gained anything at all, I don't go often, every 3-4 weeks (apart from if the HV requests a check up) and I'm not sure what centile she is on but I know they've always said how tiny she is for her age. She was nearly referee back to the ward after birth because she wasn't putting on weight well for the first few weeks because sleeping was far more important to her than milk.
No joy from anyone else feeding her, I will try taking her to baby group to see if the other babies having food at snack time will encourage her.
The HV said I should not feed her milk an hour or two before meals but when she's cuddled up and rooting around I feel cruel not giving her what she's after, that might just be me being too soft!
It's really frustrating because I can't make her eat, I'm doing all the things to give her a 'positive eating experience' the the HV suggested but she's just not interested in swallowing the food, I do think her numerous problems she's had with her mouth and throat have put her off eating and since she's still in the process of getting teeth I fear it will continue.
My other 3 children ate well from a young age and have never looked back so this is alien to me!
You need to leave it an hour or two after milk to offer food so that she can feel hunger, eat and learn that it satisfies the hunger. I know the saying food is for fun before one but it doesn't happen over night so at 10 months I would have thought some food would be good.
How about things that are quite milky such as porridge?
Definitely do the toddler group thing- they do tend to just "fall in" with other kids!!
I'm sure the dietician will be able to help.
A friend says her daughter lives on fresh air and apple juice! She's petite and beautiful - delicate features, she looks like a fairy princess I think! - in any case all kids are different. Another opinion can't hurt but try not to worry, if you've got 3 older DC you obvs know what you're doing after all!!
She's tiny and that's where she started so I wouldn't worry about that too much. I too think the HV is being a bit alarmist maybe because she is already small who knows.
But DS was the same at this age just picked at food. You did say she started off well but has had oral thrush. Now that will have put her off for a bit, she'll have had a sore mouth. Just keep offering, reducing milk is not going to help often it just makes them hungry and frustrated.
Kellymom.com has good information on what radio of milk to food they should be having at this age and you'll be surprised at how little solids they really need.
Your description sounds just like my DS, who's now 4. He never really ate solids till 12-13 months. He also had to have suppositories as could never get Calpol in him even with a 40 degree fever.
He was an unusual baby because he never put anything in his mouth, not toys or objects or anything. So I always thought the eating thing was related and probably a developmental glitch.
Needless to say he's now 4 and will happily shove fish fingers in his face like they're going out of fashion. Still a fussy eater but we make progress all the time. The only issue we still have is a strong gag reflex but GP attributes that to a humungous set of tonsils.
Basically what I'm saying is don't worry about your DD. The HV is being alarmist and over reacting.
She's still really little and fine on milk for now.
Also, read "My Child Won't Eat" by Carlos Gonzalez. Nothing mind blowing in it but it will make you worry a whole lot less.
I also think HV is being a little alarmist, however I don't think there's any harm in seeing a dietician anyway.
The advice may be different because my DC had reflux but I was told to feed them some solids around their normal feed times and then finish off with milk. Possibly you are being soft, but only you really know that. If you suspect that maybe try starting with just one meal, and don't deviate from that. So say she normally feeds around 12. Be tough from 10 onwards, feed her some solids from 12 then top off with milk, and just let the rest of the day be. Get one meal time cracked then move on to other meals?
Oh yes read 'My Child Won't Eat' really wish I'd read it earlier with DS. Gave me a lot of reassurance that his behaviour was normal.
No harm in seeing a paediatric dietician.
My youngest was referred when he was 12 months old because of a battle with food ( down to reflux and strong gag reflex)
The dietician said that he needed the confidence to be able to have solids in his mouth and chew. It may be the same with you if there has been a history of mouth problems.
Take the referral and see what happens.
My DS also had enlarged tonsils ( no tonsiltus) later diagnosed with glue ear and enlarged adenoids ( noticed and wipped out on grommet op) tonsils remain in.
My DS is now nearly 14 and can't stop him from eating !
DS1 wasn't that into food until just after he was 1.
He'd nibble on fruit and veg (banana and mango firm favourites), have the occasional biscuit, perhaps some porridge for breakfast - but no way was he eating enough to sustain a person - he also was a big feeder.
Sometime around 14 months he got into the swing of things (although not spoons.. he couldn't feed himself porridge properly until he was 2!), and was downing roast dinners, snacks, the lot - and still feeding 4 times a day...
He's 5 now, and I'd generally class him as a sparing eater still - he's absolutely average weight/height though, so it seems to be working perfectly for him.
No harm seeing someone, but also it doesn't mean there's anything wrong at all, perhaps he's just not interested at the moment.
(for contrast, DS2 was unstoppable from his first taste of real food, and had entirely weaned himself at 8 months - and I don't ever remember spoon-feeding him - he just seemed to be some kind of savant when it came to getting food into his mouth)
Just had a look at the centile charts and it looks your DD was born in the 9th centile and is now on the 0.4th, which must be what the HV is worried about.
As she has crossed two centiles, that would usually mean seeing the GP or paediatrician to rule out an underlying medical cause door the slow weight gain. Oral thrush may obviously account for some of that but there may be other things too. DS has allergies which is what made his weight gain and appetite for solids poor.
It's great she is breastfed but it's a worry she is not gaining weight well. I
would definitely see the dietician and try offering food first before milk, so she has more of an appetite for it.
The eating being related speech and swallowing thing is outdated, so don't worry about that. Breastfeeding is actually amazing for muscle development because the sucking and swallowing is pretty labour intensive.
but the HV said she won't develop her speech and swallowing muscles properly and she's already so tiny that my milk can't sustain her and I won't be able to sustain my supply and my health at the rate she's feeding.
Really? The HV said all that? And what evidence does she have for these statements?
Her speech and facial muscles will develop beautifully by Bfing. Why does she think that offering her a few more purées would help in this respect?
Also, there is very little she can eat that will be as calorific as your milk so stuffing her with solids could actually make her weight gain slow down.
As for your body not being able to sustain Bfing. Who's body does she think sustained this little life for the 9 months you carried her and the 10 months you've fed her?
I can see why she is concerned about her drifting down the centiles but there is a lot more to monitoring babies than watching the scales.
Is she bright and alert at times? Is she meeting her milestones? Does she seem satisfied after a feed?
If a baby has slow weight gain your HV should be suggesting that you talk to a BFC and get them to observe a complete feed or work with a Lactation Consultant.
This on improving weight gain might help and this on Bfing and offering solids too.
Don't forget to that offering solids is just that, you offer and it really doesn't matter if she doesn't eat any of it. The BM should be her primary source of nutrition and the solids should just be supplementary. According to this on Kellymom solids should be a quarter of her nutritional intake by 12 months. If you haven't come across Kellymom before, it's all evidence based.
Your HV doesn't seem to be giving out advice that fits with the NHS guidelines either. According to the NHS you should move to 3 meals a day gradually between 8 and 9 months so God knows why she thinks your baby should be on 3 meals plus snacks a month later.
Like I said though, I'd seek the support of a BFC or Lactation Consultant. I'm just some untrained nutter on t'internet
I'd report her btw.
What happens if your not with your dd?
Will she drink or attempt to eat when shes with other people?
Our daughter wasn't quite as bad as the OP describes but ate very little. She was under a paed consultant because she was prem. He told us to cut milk to make her hungry so she would take more food. We did and she did! It was that simple. She was just full of milk.
I will preface this by saying I'm just another mum, this is not in any way particularly informed...But OP I thought the World Health Organisation says it's absolutely fine for babies to be entirely breast fed for the first two years if needs be?
I wouldn't listen to the HV as if she's the Dalai Lama, you know. They have their little rules and they like everyone to keep to them. If your baby has always been small and she's healthy I would relax, she won't live on milk forever. Far better breast milk than solid crap. If she is so tiny, it would take a long, long time for the kinds of foods you'd be giving her to build up to amounts that would make a difference to her calorific intake. I would actually wonder if you wouldn't be filling her little tummy and causing a reduction in milk intake which would end up as less calories?
No, the WHO says that 50% of a baby's nutrition should come from food by 12 months. I'm not sure where this "Food is fun before 1" thing comes from but it doesn't seem to have any basis in fact?
I would be concerned if I had a small 10 month old who was dropping centiles until they were barely on the charts and not eating food at all, so the HV is being sensible to refer you.
She also sounds like she is ill an awful lot.
I think I would want to see a paediatrician as well as/before a dietician.
What jilted said!
My ds2 was similar with eating, he started off at 9lb 3oz, gain quite a lot to begin with then we had thrush for ages then st five mths he learnt to crawl. Once he could crawl he could climb and was cruising at 7mths and walking st 8mths. He was so active his weight gain tailed off And he wasn't interested in solids. He was a boob monster, he really didn't get into solids properly until nearer to 18mths. He is now 13 and still skinny as a rake but eats like a horse, anything and everything esp spicy foods. He does have asc and that can affect his eating at times. For whatever reason he just wasn't interested in solid foods as a baby.
Definitely take the referral if you've been offered it. As others have said the illnesses could be affecting the eating.
I did have to stop myself from letting DD bf before eating, otherwise she wouldn't eat at all.
The poor weight gain and frequent infections does point towards something going on. I would take the referral.
I have a tiny one who didn't eat and do suspect there was something related to her gut bacteria though she had no other symptoms unlike her brothers who had frequent infections, terrible guts, eczema. Might not be the case with your DD but worth checking out.
Sorry I've only just seen these more recent replies. Thanks
For everyone who's taken the time to advise me.
DD is very bright and alert and playful, she's absolutely full of mischief most the time and always on the move.
If I'm not here she will just cry until she falls asleep, she won't entertain a bottle of anything or food.
I think the milk thing is relevant, she does drink a lot and she will actively pull my t-shirt up or down to try and get to feed.
I think she is always full of milk so she doesn't know what hungry is, she doesn't relate food and hunger as a thing.
I think I'm going to have to try and not feed her a while before meals.
I will take the referral of course, if that's what she needs.
She hasn't been ill a lot, she had tonsillitis and thrush, the thrush was the main issue, I think we passed it back and forth between us even though we were both being treated and then when we seemed to make a breakthrough was when she was put on antibiotics and she got it straight back again.
The other pain she's had in her mouth has been teething related so that's fairly normal.
She doesn't have any other signs of being unwell, I know the pead consultant and dieticians very well as my other son sees them frequently so I'm not concerned about talking to them about it.
She had her 10-12 month review coming up so they're going to follow it up then.
She was born at 35 weeks if that's relevant btw.
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