Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My nine-month-old doesn't eat solids! Help!

By Shruthi.

Hey Moms! (And Dads! And everybody else!)

I need a bit of advice from you all.

My daughter is nearly nine months old. When we started her on solids, she took to it beautifully, eating heartily. She then graduated to simple adult food, which she liked for a while, but then she rejected it and went back to baby food. Now she is going through a phase where she just doesn't want to eat anything solid. Very occasionally, when she is in the mood, she eats a load of fruit or vegetables (mashed banana, stewed apple, boiled peas), but we cannot even rely upon her to eat that regularly. She doesn't take any liquids either(except breastmilk). No juice, no formula, no dairy milk. A few days, she goes through the entire day with just a few nibbles here and there, and breastmilk.

Everybody tells me that I shouldn't worry and that I shouldn't force-feed her and that she will grow out of this phase. (We don't force feed her - just try a variety of foods to see if anything catches her interest). But the problem is that she starves through the day and wakes up nearly every hour at night and asks to be nursed.

I am told that I should limit nursing at night so that she doesn't get into the habit. But when she cries at night, I am not sure if she is really hungry or just wants a comfort feed. So I end up nursing her.

The doctors said that as long as she is playful and active, I shouldn't worry. But still I worry :)

Have any of you faced any such problem? What did you do?

One more thing. What kind of food did you feed your kids at this age?

Before I end, I have to mention that she is teething - four teeth are already out, two of them have just come out. The other thing is that she is extremely playful, restless and a very active child.

All inputs welcome. Thanks in advance!

14 comments:

scribblermom said...

Hey Shruthi

I too was facing the same prob some 10 months back.. my girl is 20 mths now...

limit nursing her at night (day time too)... give water.. if ur baby can drink thru the glass, try that.. or use a bottle... if u stayin with ur inlaws, then after the last feed at night, transfer your baby with them..

if the baby gets up in the night, your MIL can give milk or water thru bottle or a glass.. Incase your baby cries.. do not run to pacify... lock yourself in your room and ask u hubby to stay away too... Ask your in-laws to handle the baby thru the night...

there wl be few hiccups, but it wl work... if not inlaws, ask if ur mom can help...

if you are stayin alone, then u need to do the same... keep a glass of milk ready, microwave it n give it to the baby.. the kid wl refuse for some time, let the kid cry n eventually he/she wl take it...

i did the same with my girl and she gave up nursing at night within a week... It is heart breaking to see your kid cry in the middle of the night for a feed, but be strong...

all the best

ciao

scribblermom

http://scribblermom.wordpress.com

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Asha said...

She is teething! That tells you a lot. Let her have whatever she wants, as long as is at the right wt and active,you shouldn't worry too much. Good that you are nursing, that is great!:)

RJ said...

My son never ate anything regularly till he was 11.5 months. After that (thank God) he got into some routine. He was surviving on formula milk. One thing that used to work with us many times was walk in the park in the evening then khichadi for dinner. Try play @ park and then dinner.
Good Luck!

Kay said...

She's teething! I'd give her what she wants and not force anything on her at this time.

You might not want to give cow's milk at this time. She can wait till she's a yr old.

In case you ever want to wean her during the night, look for Jay Gordon + night weaning on Google.

Mimi said...

Hey Shruthi
Scribblermom has said it well... it is a tough approach but works well. Also, not sure if your little one prefers to hold things in hand to nibble? You could try and offer fingerfoods that give more independence to the child.

Best of luck!

Kavitha said...

Shruthi,
Iam facing the same issues with my 11 month old. As yours, when we started solids at 7 months, he took to it well. Although a poor eater right from the beginning, he ate something or the other, but just when he turned 10 months, he started reducing his solid intake and now its gone from bad to worse..for the past one week, he is absolutely on a NO-SOLID diet, he is taking only bottles all the time..

When I say absolutely no solids, I literally mean it, nothing at all. I have tried baby food, our home made grownup food, restaurant food, snacks etc.

At times I have even offered him some junk food, atleast to see if he would eat that, but he rejects that too. Atleast your baby is eating some fruit or veggies on and off, mine doest eat anything at all..

Every day, every meal, I offer him 3 or 4 different food items, but he eats none, and wants only bottles. So, this is what I have been doing - just offer him food on his high chair tray, he would play with it for a while, I dont force feed him.
Maybe he is smart and knows that even if he doesnt eat solids, he would anyway get a bottle.

At times, after a gap of 4 or 5 hours, even when he is really really starving, he wouldnt eat solids & would just want a bottle.

He has four teeth too, I dont think its related to teething at all, because he has been like this for a long time and if the culprit is teething, this problem should have gone away within a few days or few weeks.

His ped has asked us to goto a feeding clinic(apparently they give some tips or pointers on feeding and evaluate kids with eating issues). Will get back to you if I find it helpful.

mummyjaan said...

You did say she is teething and you also did say that she initially took to solids well.

Maybe it's just a phase that will go away.

I nursed both my little girls, and I remember their nursing would increase greatly around any growth spurts (obviously) and when they were teething.

They also did go off solids temporarily.

One other point: around 9 months or so, babies start becoming quite mobile and they are so fascinated with their environment that food is not their main priority - "starves all day and nurses all night" - *exactly* like my younger daughter.

She takes in minimal quantities of solids or milk during the day, (ok, she might eat well *once* during the day - even that isn't every day), and then she nurses well before sleep and wakes several times. And I mean *several*.

I don't know if I've written anything helpful here - other than sharing with you how my own baby behaves.

Is her weight okay?

Sandeepa said...

Wow so many good inputs !!!

I think "teething" might be the clue and then what all the other Moms are saying too.

Try finger foods, bite size teething biscuits, that she might find interesting to chew on

Shruthi said...

Thank you all for your comments!

Scribblermom, we did try something like that for a couple of days - but at the end of it, both my husband and I were zombies. I guess we should try again, with a more structured approach. Thanks so much for your detailed comment!

Asha, I hope that is the only reason and that it will pass soon!

RJ, we do go to the park/walk every evening. And no, she does not like Khichdi :( And yes, I hope it is just teething troubles!

Kay, thanks a ton for the Jay Gordon link. I read about night weaning and other stuff too. Interesting site!

Mimi, yes, I have tried that. Some of it does go into her mouth, but most of it on her clothes and on the ground! I am persisting, though.

Kavitha, gosh, it is as if you are writing about my child! Of course, yours seems to be a more extreme case. Especially the part about his knowing that he will get a bottle and hence does not eat solids? I suspect the same with my daughter too!
Do let me know about the feeding clinic. My id is shruthi dot hallucinations at gmail dot com. Thanks a ton, and all the best to you!

Mummyjaan, thanks, it is always heartening to know that you are not alone! :) Yes, her weight is just about okay. She is not a chubby child, but she is very strong, and extremely active.

Sandeepa, yeah, such a wonderful community :D Thanks Sandeepa - any recos about any particular brand of teething biscuits?

mummyjaan said...

Shruthi, "Extremely active" sounds like "extremely healthy" to me :). I hope she stays that way.

Children don't have to be chubby to be healthy. Both my kids are lean, active machines. I often get to hear comments about how thin they are, but I say, if they seem bright and cheerful, they're healthy enough for me!

Shruthi said...

exactly my thoughts, Mummyjaan! Thank you :)

Nilima Shah said...

Sounds interesting. Looks like you are a specialist on this because you just made it so easy to be with you, motivated me to learn more on the subject!
Regards
Nursery School Franchisee

Nilima Shah said...

Sounds interesting. Looks like you are a specialist on this because you just made it so easy to be with you, motivated me to learn more on the subject!
Regards
Nursery School Franchisee