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Please help - 9 month old DS refusing food

(11 Posts)
SebbysMum Sat 13-Sep-08 20:53:41

My nearly 9 month old DS has never been hugely into food but seems to be getting worse by the day. He's not scared of food and seems willing to give things a try but tends to eat very little. He regularly has bad food days where we fall back on small amounts of safe (finger) foods because he's rejected other things

The last two days he has eaten next to nothing. I would estimate that his food intake over each of these days has been less than most babies his age would eat in one meal.

He has 3 milk feeds a day – 2 BF and, since last week, one bottle (only because he'd lost all interest in daytime BF).

What do I do? Apart from a slight cold he seems well enough. He is a highly active child and his calorie intake cannot possibly be adequate at the moment.

How long should I give his food refusal before I ask a professional? Should I try to give him more milk in lieu of food?

I should say that he is slim and small and has very little fat to fall back on in times of self imposed famine.

Advice would be really appreciated

Rowlers Sat 13-Sep-08 20:56:45

When do you feed him?
If he's full up on breast milk / formula he may not want / need much else.
Have you tried cutting down the daytime milk feeds?
My 10 month old is a livewire and is slim and quite petite but eats a fair amount.
I don't feed him much at all in the day.
Just a thought.

windyweather Sat 13-Sep-08 21:03:29

He may have sore throat, any chance of a look down. even with a torch.

emma1977 Sat 13-Sep-08 21:03:40

My ds has been exactly the same all last week- also 9m, small and slim.

Seems to be partially him exerting his own independence and partially his teeth annoying him.

Try not to worry too much. I just allowed him a small amount of whatever he would eat (even if it was a bite of my croissant or a biscuit with his milk), tried not to get visibly stressed or upset when he chucked everything on the floor and screamed and just offered him a bit more milk.

He's eventually cracked the last couple of days and started eating more normally again, which has been a relief.

If it goes on longer than a week or he appears to be cutting back severely on milk too I would take him to see the GP.

SebbysMum Sat 13-Sep-08 21:06:04

It's a tricky old situation. The mid-afternoon formula feed is quite a new thing and he doesn't have all that much. I can't image it is really crowding out food and if I cut back on the milk I fear his calorie intake will decrease even more. I tend to:

7am BF
8.30 Breakfast (though this is very unpopular at the moment)
12.00 Lunch
2.30 About 5 oz formula
6.00 Dinner
7.30 BF

Never strikes me as a lot though I sometimes feel I spend all day feeding him

Rowlers Sat 13-Sep-08 21:09:32

No I agree - the milk he's having at those times shouldn't affect his appetite at lunch and dinner IMO.
Have you tried writing down everything he does eat?
If he's "grazing" through the day he may be eating more than you think.
And maybe try some new foods to get his interest up?
If he is teething, things he can gnaw at might help?

SebbysMum Sat 13-Sep-08 21:09:33

Oh, and on a related note, I've been wondering how long 2 BFs a day is sustainable. I'd hate it if my milk was drying up as well as his food intake decreasing.

MrsJamin Sun 14-Sep-08 10:01:10

What kinds of food are you offering him? If he takes to finger food you could just go the self-feeding route a.k.a. baby-led weaning? Go with his cues on what he likes to eat and how he likes to eat?

SebbysMum Sun 14-Sep-08 14:55:20

I'm glad to say we've had a much better day today. I've been proud of him. Long may it continue.

SebbysMum Sun 14-Sep-08 14:55:20

I'm glad to say we've had a much better day today. I've been proud of him. Long may it continue.

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Sep-08 15:04:13

With my DD, this was common, she would go for days without eating much and there two main reasons that we have realised over time (as it does continue even now)

1. She is teething, that is one of the big signs, even if she is not crying/in pain she stops wanting solid food.

2. She is having a growth spurt. I know that might sound backwards, but whenever she had a large growth spurt, she would stop eating for several days and wanted to guzzle milk instead.

It is my belief that young ones will not starve themselves, unless they are really unwell, their bodies are designed to take many nutrients from a small amount - we find that our 2 yo, and many others that we know are so fussy they can eat less than a baby on occasions, and as it is inevitable that babies and toddlers go through phases of eating less, you have to assume that they are designed to process food well.

But, if you are at all worried, talk to GP (i say GP rather than health visitor, as ours was not only useless, she said our DD was failing to thrive, when in fact she was thriving well and the GP was baffled as to why she said this!)

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