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Thread: HELP - 13 months and not eating

  1. #1
    kerry Guest

    Default HELP - 13 months and not eating

    Ok I have had it. It has been nearly 3 weeks and my DD who would eat anything will now eat nothing... shop bought, home made, doesn't make a difference.

    I am lucky to get her to eat less than 1/4 of multigrain toast with vegemite (she was eating a whole slice). 3-4 teaspoons of food. A few tiny mouth sized portions of cold chicken. 1 tiny mouthful of fruit. 2-3 nibbles of a bickie with her grandad.

    I have tried different foods, I have tried all her favourites, I have given her house food and baby food... but she is just not taking anything.

    The only thing she eats anything near a decent amount of is dip with either fresh turkish bread or cheese and vegemite sticks... I have made every dip I can think of in despiration adn she loves them all, especially carrot dip and smoked salmon dip but even then I have to either dip the stick in for her or break off the tiniest piece of bread, dip it and then put it in her mouth. Heaven help me if any of the food touches the outside of her mouth, then she will just spit it out and refuse to eat it.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?


  2. #2

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    Kerry,

    I don't know what to do - my boy is the same... He has gone from being the most fantastic eater to eating like 1/3 of what he used to eat...

    Part of it is wanting to feed himself, but the stuff he can feed himself is harder for him to eat (takes longer and he gets tired/bored), and the mushy stuff he won't let me feed him

    Won't eat bread or anything, which makes lunches hard..

    The thing that helped us is basically dropping lunch, andthat way he east somewhat of a breakfast and a dinner.. If he has lunch but no dinner he gets up twice in the night cos he is hungry!

    He is just to interested in the world around him to eat

    He eats a lot of yoghurt... and the stuff he used to love (chicken soup), he acts like i'm poisening him now!

    I'll be watching here to see if there are some good suggestions... i'm finding meal times very stressful.. i don't want to teach him bad habits (that i'll make him 3 different things), i don't want him having negative attention, but i don't want him to be hungry either!

  3. #3
    kerry Guest

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    Yael, congrats on the BFP for #2.

    I only wish it was hre wanting to feed herself but I have to feed her, she wont take anything off a fork and spoons can't touch the outside of her mouth, its just silly.

  4. #4

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    I know, sometimes DA is just stupid about it

    He will be eating nicely, you take to long to get to next piece (or you refill the bowl), and he just forgets he like it and goes mental..

    Othertimes he wont even let it touvh his mouth, and i basically have to hold his head and force it into him, when he licks his lips and starts woffing it down - its just craziness!

    And if DH is feeding him and he sees me in the room, he goes mental and wont eat cos he wants to watch me

    I get really annoyed when he is silly about it.. i'm finding it quite stressful really! And the fact they used to be good... if he was always terrible, i could accept it! Its the change for no reason i can't take

    Thanks about no 2, we are over the moon!

  5. #5

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    Yeah.... Matilda has gone through this phase a few times. She did at 13 months, 18 months and 2 yrs. She went 2 months without eating dinner and with minimal food.

    When she was 2yrs we adopted a 20 minute policy. We offered her meals and ate together and after 20 minutes if she hadn't started eating dinner we would take it away. If she ate dinner we would give her a tablespoon of ice cream and if she didn't we gave her some sultanas or small amount of fruit (to try to get something in her). After 2 weeks of doing that she started eating dinner again. We get refusal one night a week now, but we just continue to do the same thing.

    When she was 2 and hadn't eated anything for 2 days, I was over trying to offer her things, I would make 3 meals every meal and just was desperate to feed her. In the end she leaned over & ate my dinner (same as hers but on my plate). Cheeky.... We got the 20 minute policy off a Triple P counsellor and like I said once we started 2 weeks later she was eating heaps better. Apparently for her its a power thing... all about control...

    So I'm not saying thats what your littlies are doing, but maybe its their way of trying to control their environment. Its a stressful thing to go through & apparently the best thing to do is be indifferent, but I find that really hard.

  6. #6

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    we are also trying to 20 minute thing

    But we don't do icecream (he hasn't basically had anything sweet except fruit), so i don't know what to do to bribe him with... i don't want to introduce sweet things unless i have to

    I do think its a control thing partly... i also think its being a lot more aware of enviroment (walking etc), and just wanting to play and not eat

  7. #7

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    Well this thread makes me feel much better as my DS is in the same position. Actually I think he is doing slightly better as he will usually eat a big bowl of cereal for breakfast and a medium sized dinner. But we have more or less given up on lunch as well. IF he eats lunch it will be some cheese and puffed wheat cereal and maybe one of the cheesy mites breadsticks. If I'm really really lucky he'll eat a tub of yogurt - but that doesn't happen very often. I imagine he will probably get worse before he gets better but what has helped is we have started letting him feed himself with the spoon. It gets VERY messy but it seems to have resolved the temper tantrums for the time being. We will just take it one day at a time I guess.

  8. #8

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    Heidi - good to know others are the same.

    He has started having a decent brekky (around 1-2 weetbix), some yoghurt and fruit for lunch, and a medium dinner also.

    You are good letting him feed himself messy stuff - i'm a mean mummy and say no way. I let him eat all the other stuff that is cut up into small chunks.

  9. #9

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    I've had the same problem with both of mine, at different times or another. I know it is really hard but I just had to keep telling myself that they will eat when they are hungry, and they do. It's stressful I know. It was bad when my DD was going through this stage as she is naturally a small person ( I went through so much when she was due because she wasn't 'average size'!!) and I often got comments about how I musn't be feeding her, which just wasn't true, I was trying! (She has just turned 2 and is still in size 0, moving closer to 1's!). With her esp. I just kept on giving her what she would eat, with her it was yoghurt. Some weeks she wouldn't even eat that. My main consolation was that she was still having at least a bottle at night, so she was getting some form of food into her. The best piece of advice I found was to keep a diary of everything she ate for a week. Once I looked at it on paper and averaged it out over a day and even a week, it was better than I thought. We still are struggling with dinner, half of the week she doesn't even eat dinner. These days as long as she has had a decent b/f or lunch I'm happy. Plus there's the bottle before bed. We also have a 20 minute thing happening, if she hasn't eaten or is eating when we are all finished and 20 minutes is up, it's gone. So don't worry, it really is normal!! If it is worrying you still get the doctor or child health nurse to check her over. All I can suggest is just feed her what you know she will eat, if it is dip, then so be it. I know you feel like you aren't feeding her a varied diet but isn't some food (even if it is the same one over and over again!!) better than none? Keep on going, you are doing great! I know it's hard to keep your cool and to keep stress levels low but another thing is also to not let mealtimes become stressful for everyone. That can cause problems too. Just offer her food, if she eats it great, if not well too bad. G/L with it!!

  10. #10
    NewmumLou Guest

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    I understand where you are coming from. It is so frustrating as what use to be a 10 min job of feeding them turns into 40 mins. Joshua is doing exactly the same thing now, but his is due to him teething, i can see the little tooth popping up......

  11. #11

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    I've been there too, although with us it went on for longer as DS took a long time to eat well. I have to disagree with some of the advice given here. I was told that I was contributing to the problem by giving him the few foods he would eat all the time, as he would fill up on those and not need the ones he wasn't so sure of. And to make it worse when I did offer him the other foods first and he didn't have them, I'd give him the yoghurt or cereal so just I knew he had eaten something. Unfortunately it also taught him he didn't have to eat the other stuff because the favorite food would be offered next. I was advised to give him what we were eating and if he didn't eat it not to give him anything else. Kids won't starve themselves I was told, so if they are hungry and vegies are put in front of them instead of yoghurt, once they know yoghurt isn't coming next they will eat the vegies. If they don't they aren't hungry and don't need the food.

    Let me tell you, as a mother this was one of the hardest things I've done. But do you know what, it worked. It REALLY worked. Within two weeks he was eating all sorts of things I would never have believed. Things that had been offered and refused hundreds of times. Just like magic he ate them. And liked them. And ate them again. And now at 2 he is a fantastic eater. He eats everything we do and good quantites too.

    So hard as it was, I'm glad I did it. And I'll do the same for Tom if need be. I do recommend this approach. BTW I did give Jack pentavite (vitamin drops for infants) until he started eating well to make up for what he wasn't getting. Apparently this can also stimulate the appetite so might have helped sort the problem out more quickly as well.

    Good luck. Believe me one day,out of the blue, you'll sit down and watch your child ask for salad, watch him eat it and then ask for more cucumber and you'll wonder why you were ever worried.

  12. #12

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    I wish it was that easy for us. Gussy stopped eating in late October (literally won't eat a thing or drink anything other than a few sips of water) so now we have to feed him a special allergy formula (neocate advance) via a naso-gastric tube (feeding tube inserted through his nose and down into his tummy) for all meals. Aghhhhh I wish I knew what caused it and when he is likely to want to eat again!

  13. #13

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    if she is still BF (or formula) i wouldnt worry.
    try to find what texture food is a favourite?
    bree was like that too when she learned to walk, but she was happy to eat in the car or pram. just make sure its safe non-chocking food and try to supervise!
    ohyes and they do love your dinner ime

  14. #14

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    Coco has days like this on and off and it's usually around teething time. Last week she went off food for about 4 days, now seems to be back on and even ate BANANA yesterday (VERY unusual). They also say after 1 year the growth slows down so they eat less. Dont' worry, just offer and Im sure Brigid will start eating more when she's ready (very stressful I know ) xoxo

  15. #15
    kerry Guest

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    Thanks everyone... at least now I know we are not alone.

    Kirsty - A huge hug to you and Fergus. I'll be sending up a prayer that things resolve themselves soon. How trying for all of you.

    B is still on formula (due to an Iron deficiency).. she still isn't eating (although last night she ate about 6 teaspoons of beef stroganoff at a friends). She has been through these on again off again stages of bad eating behaviour where she will go from eating anything to not eating anything, its just that the not eating stage is usually for a week or 2 and this has been for 7w. I took her to the CMHN and she has actually lost weight since her first birthday, not much but enough to get me worried again. At 4 1/2 months we went to co-feeding because she was loosing weight and once we started that she refused to b/f... even if i didn't offer the bottle. I felt so bad nt b/f longer... I don't know it just makes me feel like a bad mum.

  16. #16

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    LOL, got to love that mother guilt. You are not a bad mum Kerry and you will get through this. I would never have believed that Jack would become the good eater that he is now!
    Last edited by MantaRay; March 4th, 2007 at 10:14 AM. Reason: typo

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