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11 month old- fussy eater. At the end of my tether.

(28 Posts)
ScaryMartian Tue 08-Oct-13 17:50:27

My DS has never been an enthusiastic eater, we started out with purées but changed to finger foods at about 8 months as he was refusing to be spoon fed. I give him the same food as myself and my DH and we eat together however my DS has never really progressed to eating properly. He mostly throws things on the floor and nibbles at the things he is familiar with. This evening I watched him deliberately and systematically drop everything from his tray onto the floor without even trying it. He refuses to be fed if I offer it on a spoon also. He is not teething at the moment as far as I can tell. I have dropped his mid afternoon bottle in an attempt to make him hungry for solids to no avail. He currently has a bf at 4am, formula at 10am, bf at 7pm and formula feed at 11.30pm. I have a feeling that his night feeds are a result of him not eating in the day so am really reluctant to stop any over night feeds until I know he is getting some solids in the day.

Any advice will be gratefully received, he is one month off a year and therefore I can't keep wheeling out the old 'he gets his main nutrients from his milk, food is just for play' for much longer! HV have not been able to offer much advice so far.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 08-Oct-13 18:29:39

I'd speak to a BFC Scary. She will be able to talk to you about how much formula he should be having. Have you got the helpline numbers?

Not sure what she will advise, but if it was me, once he's 12 months I'd drop the bottles altogether. 2 bfs a day should be enough for a 12 month old who is offered a variety of food.

Have you tried keeping a food diary? Often at this age they will eat very little on some days and much more on others. A food diary can help you to loo at what they have eaten over the week and should help when he refuses one particular meal.

If you are worried though, talk to the BFC, then get his weight and height checked at the HV clinic so you can see if he is in proportion,

When he does throw or refuse food, how are you dealing with it?

ScaryMartian Tue 08-Oct-13 18:54:08

Haven't tried a food diary, that's a good idea- it will also help me keep things in perspective and not focus on the really bad days. I would love to drop the formula but even though we are offering a variety of foods he barely eats any of it and in my mind certainly not enough to sustain him. Maybe I'm aiming too high though? I just see other peoples babies the same age or younger eating loads and I start to worry.

When he drops the food I either ignore it or say no dropping in an even tone. I've read they are looking for a reaction by dropping? Most of the time he will drop his food without even trying it.

What's a BFC? smile

Salhal Tue 08-Oct-13 19:02:52

Try not to worry. My DD who is now 3.5 used to be a really fussy eater and some days would hardly eat anything. She sees a dietician as she has a cow's milk allergy and she says kids will eat when they are hungry. Keep doing what you are doing, don't start making separate meals. It will come together. My DD is just starting to come out of it and eat more. And try to remember that their stomach is only the size of their palm so it doesn't take much to fill them up. It is stressful though I know.

ScaryMartian Tue 08-Oct-13 19:49:29

Thankyou Salhal, it's always nice to hear from people who have been there! Glad your dd is eating better now.

Poppins27 Tue 08-Oct-13 21:48:21

Ill be watching this with interest, my Dd is 19 months and is still a terrible eater. Snacks and lunches are fine...main meals, fruit and veg however are a battle zone :-(

I can sympathise entirely, today my Dd chewed 1 piece of chicken, tried and spat out 3 peas and had 2 bites of an apple. So disheartening after cooking for an hour.

ScaryMartian Tue 08-Oct-13 22:22:37

I know what you mean Poppins. I put so much effort into thinking of and making things he might like only for it to be thrown on the floor without so much as a taste. No matter how much I try to remind myself that he is only a baby it still makes me sad! I just tell myself that he can't and won't be like this forever.... I hope?!!

PurplePidjin Tue 08-Oct-13 23:01:31

How much do you put on the tray at a time? My 10 1/2 mo good eater (rubbish sleeper!) squishes and drops if he has more than one or two items to choose from even though he's clearly still hungry. Makes blw meals veeeeeeeery slooooooooow putting one chip piece of potato at a time down and wiping when it gets too messy but definitely reduces waste. As does giving him his own spoon to play with then spooning in the mush when he opens his mouth - he finds it hilarious if i sneak a mouthful in when he's laughing, too (he can see it coming i don't force feed him!)

Morning and evening bf is plenty at this age afaik (mine has either a morning or afternoon one as well), maybe reduce the amount in the day time bottles? Different issue but i had some success with his sleeping by bf ever 1.5-2 hours for a couple of days but dropping the night feeds, seemed to trigger him into "day is for eating night is for sleeping" mode. Could you do that but with lots of little snacks, let him nibble rice cakes etc while playing rather than sitting to table in a high chair? Will he suck it straight from an Ella's pouch? Worked with my nephew and means you're not slaving over beautiful meals that get rejected which then feels like a rejection of you iyswim

Good luck. Iirc a portion is what will fit in their hand, which really isn't much.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 09-Oct-13 08:48:16

A BFC is a Breastfeeding Counsellor. There's a list of Mn acronyms here and a list of helplines here smile

I wasn't suggesting you ditch the formula now btw, but once Lo hits 12 months I would seriously consider it. A BFC will be able to talk to you about how much Lo needs at 12 months. Bottles aren't recommended after 12 months anyway and they only need 300ml of full fat cows milk per day, so 2 bfs should be more than enough, but like I said, I'm nor trained so probably best to speak to a BFC smile

Why not drop the morning bottle now and replace it with a drink and a small snack?

If you are spending lots of time preparing meals for him, could you just start sharing meals with him that you will enjoy? At least that way one of you will enjoy their lunch grin

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 09-Oct-13 17:17:30

Thought about this a bit more today. Someone on here recently described a bottle of formula having the same effect as a Sunday roast, ie extra full belly. If he's been having that 3 times a day until recently plus 2 bfs I really don't think he's fussy, he's just full! smile

ScaryMartian Wed 09-Oct-13 20:02:11

Thanks for your replies, they have been really helpful.

Purple - unfortunately I've tried all different amounts/combination of food on his tray, however it almost always ends up on the floor!
I haven't heard of the palm of their hand thing before- that makes me feel better as I wasn't sure exactly how much a portion should be. It was so easy when way back when he took purées straight from the pouch but he has stopped doing that and doesn't seem to enjoy them anymore.

Jilted - those links are really handy, thank you, I think I will contact a BFC for advice.
The meals I cook are for all of us- as we have been giving him what we eat I'm trying to be more conscious of making meals that are healthy instead of the rubbish DH and I ate before hence why I'm getting frustrated when they end up on the floor! 
I think I've slowly come to realise that he does not need all those milk feeds, last week I dropped a mid afternoon one (I know, another feed!) and he hasn't noticed, I will try dropping the mid morning one too over time. Hopefully that will make him more hungry for solids!

Thanks again for your help. 

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 10-Oct-13 15:05:37

At least you and DH are eating more healthily then smile

How are you getting on today?

ScaryMartian Thu 10-Oct-13 19:13:13

He was at my MILs whilst I was at work today so I got a break from mealtimes!! Apparently he had loads of spaghetti bolognaise (spoon fed) at lunch. They are aware that we are taking the BLW approach and have been good up until today when my mil confessed she had given him a stage 1 Ella's kitchen pouch for his tea and he had lapped it up!!! My DH is going to politely explain that we would prefer to keep going with the finger foods and letting him get on with it even if it seems like he is not eating much. I understand why she thought it was good to get some food down him but I don't want him to go back to purées!! They have always been a bit sceptical of the BLW approach but I thought they had accepted that's what we were doing. Nevermind, they are lovely generally so I don't think it will happen again! smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 10-Oct-13 19:40:26

It is hard when family don't always do what you want with your children isn't it? My DParents used to feed my DC all sorts of rubbish, and still do given half the chance, but that's the price of free childcare, well for us anyway.

It was a bit easier for us as dd did the blw herself and would go ballistic if anyone tried to go near her with a spoon.

He might push his luck for a few days if he liked being fed and having a purée but stay firm! smile

ScaryMartian Thu 10-Oct-13 19:55:16

That's the reason we stopped purées initially and switched as DS also used to point blank refuse to be spoon fed the majority of the time. Today he obviously felt different! We are not going to give in now though- it's BLW all the way. So much easier! I know what you mean re: the free childcare- I'm not going to cause too much of a fuss and some things are good to let grandparents get way with. I was ok to an extent with them spoon feeding him chopped up spaghetti bolognaise as I'm sure they didn't want the mess! Purées however just seems silly for an 11 month old!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 10-Oct-13 21:04:04

I was ok to an extent with them spoon feeding him chopped up spaghetti bolognaise as I'm sure they didn't want the mess!. Had to grin at that one. One of my DSisters friends makes her DC strip to their underwear on spag Bol night, and they're not babies either!

ScaryMartian Fri 11-Oct-13 04:44:49

Brilliant! I may resort to that when he eats yogurts- I am trying to get him to feed himself with the spoon and the mess is phenomenal! We just go straight for a dunk in the bath after.

It makes for cute photos though!!

rootypig Fri 11-Oct-13 04:54:15

Scary this is a slightly out of the ordinary answer but I would spend less time on meal prep, so that you're less frustrated when he doesn't eat it.
DD is 11mo and while not picky, exactly, she's a bit like your DS - spoon refuser so I went for BLW, she loves something one day and will toss the same thing on the floor the next. For my own sanity I've had to abandon Martha Stewarting her, it's too discouraging.

I do pretty simple things for her now - scrambled egg with veggies, pasta pieces with tomato and cheese, sweet potato chunks. She likes picking up little things like peas, sweetcorn, cheerios, so I've started giving her beans (kidney, borlotti, that sort of thing) to trick her into nourishment grin. If she eats really little I plump for a favourite standby to fill her up a bit (banana, avocado, orange segments, kiwi). She has about the same amount of milk as your DS and is a little porker on it. What she does really like is porridge for breakfast, proper stuff, made with water not milk, we spoon feed her that. The only spoon the little tinker will open her mouth for hmm

ScaryMartian Fri 11-Oct-13 20:29:38

Thanks rooty- your DD does sound a lot like my DS! I have decided I will definitely try to relax more with the meals, he must be able to sense my anxiety at times which I'm sure doesn't help.

I hadn't thought about beans, I will try them as he does like picking up peas too. At least then I know he's getting some protein in him! smile

ScaryMartian Fri 11-Oct-13 20:31:20

Also, it gives me comfort to note that you were also up at an ungodly hour this morning judging by the time you posted!!smile

rootypig Fri 11-Oct-13 22:48:02

Ha actually I am in the US, just moved, so end up talking to the poor sods with non sleeping babies on MN! grin

Beans: if you have freezer space, I soak a mix of dried beans (kidney, borlotti, cannellini), cook them, cool them then freeze them (just in a freezer bag). Once frozen if you bash them around they separate, and you can just take a handful out as needed, soooo easy and they defrost in a flash. Less wasteful than tins, and you know no salt added. You can use them as a basis for loads of stuff too, chilli, veggie bites (just make balls with chopped veggies and cheese), veggie bolognese, that sort of thing.

ilovemountains Fri 11-Oct-13 22:56:36

If he'll eat spag bol when spoonfed, perhaps he wants to be spoonfed? I'd follow his lead and feed him for a while. It's just a phase. You don't get any children starting school and demanding purees.

rootypig Fri 11-Oct-13 23:02:41

ilovemountains I try to follow DD's lead but it changes so often and you can bet that if I make a spoonfed meal she'll want to use her hands and if I make her food to pick up she will want to be fed confused

I think the technical term is contrary grin

ilovemountains Fri 11-Oct-13 23:12:32

Just feed her what you eat, if she wants to be fed she will and if she wants to feed herself she will. Provide spoons (for you and her) but also don't stress if she feeds herself. Your DD hasn't read the blw book, perhaps she likes the mix? Mine always wanted to be fed if they were tired or really hungry, other times they fed themselves. Just don't stress, mix and match, and it will be fine.

rootypig Fri 11-Oct-13 23:19:00

not sure if that was for the OP or me, but I don't have the BLW book smile. And atm DH and I are sort of scrapping and scrounging food wise (just moved, shipping hasn't turned virtually no kitchen equipment), I just can't be arsed cooking every day. So I am making DD's food separately to ensure she is well nourished. Otherwise I agree that relaxed is best - for the parent!

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