22 answers

9 Month Old Won't Eat Baby Food

My 9 month old son doesn't seem to ever want to eat baby food. We'll get maybe 3 or 4 spoonfuls in, and then he gets cranky, starts crying and shoves his thumb in his mouth. And if we continue trying to feed him, he just gets more upset. He has no problems taking a bottle after, so I know it's not that he's not hungry.

Anyone have any advice?

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He's always been pretty independent so I'm not surprised that when I gave him some soft carrots, he ate with no fuss.

Thanks for all the great advice!

Featured Answers

I agree with the other posters that it is most likely an independence thing. Let him self feed. But if he will not then it might be a sensory issue.

Hi! Don't worry!!! They get everything they need from breast milk or formula for the first year. You are just introducing foods and teaching them to eat before that. So, keep doing what you are doing, a few bites at a time and it should resolve itself.
Also, it may just be consistancy. He is old enough for table foods, so try giving him whatever you are eating. Over cook veggies for him, shred meats (chicken, pork, beef, fish, are all great). Make sweet potatoes and mash up avacado. Finger foods let him feed himself, steam frozen veggies and let him pick them up and eat them.
It's funny how each child is different. I can't seem to feed mine enough!!

More Answers

My daughter was just as stubborn. We finally decided to just let her feed herself. We put chopped up food on her tray and let her eat. Messy, but worked like a charm!

The simple solution is to just stop feeding him baby food!

None of my kids had any baby food after they were 6-7 months old. By 7-8 months old they were totally self-feeding 100% of the time. And not with a spoon...neither were interested until after their 1st birthday. Trust me, ANYTHING can be 'finger food' - even applesauce! Is it messy? Of course. But short-lived. And it totally ended all mealtime battles. They got enough to eat (I have big kids). Babies younger than 1 year don't need alot of food -- most of their nutrition comes from breastmilk (or formula).

Don't even offer baby food at the next meal. Just cut up whatever the rest of the family is eating into pea-size bites and put them on the table in front of him. See what he does with it. You don't ever want to make the table a battleground. This is one area where their independence can really shine through... and give you a break!

Can you blame him? Have you tasted it? Give him table food. He wants what you eat. MOst of it he probably can chew or mash with his gums or I'm assuming he has a few teeth. Even if he doesn't, you'd be surprised what they can eat without any teeth. Or maybe he just isn't ready for solids yet, not all babies are at that age. It's just a supplement until they are a year old anyway. Their primary nutrition should still come from breastmilk or formula for the first year anyway, and for some babies longer. Don't force baby food on him, you want him to enjoy mealtime, not resent it.

S.:

Here I am w/my third child and I think I'm a pro. We get to that stage and my daughter did the same thing your son did. With some teeth at that age we just started feeding her table food and she loved it. Just make sure it is soft and small. For example we made soup for her, fed her gound beef when we made tacos or burgers, soft veggies and fruits & pasta. She loved the Ravioli, you know the ones in the can. She also liked applesauce and Jello. I was also told by my Doc that as long as she was drinking enough milk and didn't lose weight, she would be fine. Good luck!

My daughter got the same way at about the same age.
We just started feeding her what we were eating and offering more finger foods.
She ate great once we allowed her to eat by herself.
I know it's frustrating, good luck to you :)

Follow his clues! Stop and maybe try again a little later

S.,

I have 3 lil' ones and with my first one she only got the baby food and then with my second child she got the baby food and real food pureed. Now with my third child she only got the real food. I even pureed all the fruits and veggies when she was younger to mix a lil' cereal in. The Doc. had no problems with her not being on the baby jar food. She was getting all the vitiams that she needed from her formula. She even at the age of 9 months old stopped talking her formula. So every child goes at there own speed. She is on all table foods and loves milk! She has 6 teeth and loves to feed herself. Yes it is messy but she is a happy child! Just to so you every child goest at there own speed. My oldest two that are now 8 and 5 were walking by 10 months old. was not on the bottle at all. I breast feed them then they met the sippy cut at 7 months old. My youngest is now almost 14 months old. She has been on the sippy cut for 2 months, breast feed for 6 weeks and then had to go with the bottle. She is the only child that has a binky. She still is attached to the binky boo. To this very day she is not able to walk on her own. The only way she walks is if she is pushing a walking toy.

So Let you lil' boy try to feed himself and try the table foods. He will love it!

My son HATED baby food and frankly I don't blame him. Try mushing up steamed veggies and making them more chunky. If it has a little more texture and he is able to pick bits up himself he will enjoy it much more. I ended up freezing whatever I made for our dinner in ice cube trays and storing it so I always had a bunch on hand. It was really easy and we didn't have to use that tasteless watery baby food. We also didn't have to worry about transitioning from baby food to "real" food.

Hey S. -

Not to sound sarcastic, but would you eat baby food?! Especially with all the preservatives and ! an experation date of 2 years out!! With my son (now 2.5) we either made our own or what ever we were having I just dumped in the blender on the puree cycle and gave that to him and he absolutely loved it.

Good Luck!

Hi! Don't worry!!! They get everything they need from breast milk or formula for the first year. You are just introducing foods and teaching them to eat before that. So, keep doing what you are doing, a few bites at a time and it should resolve itself.
Also, it may just be consistancy. He is old enough for table foods, so try giving him whatever you are eating. Over cook veggies for him, shred meats (chicken, pork, beef, fish, are all great). Make sweet potatoes and mash up avacado. Finger foods let him feed himself, steam frozen veggies and let him pick them up and eat them.
It's funny how each child is different. I can't seem to feed mine enough!!

I agree with all hte advice on giving your son table food that you're eating. Canned veggies are good and soft, bananas, avocadoes, egg yolks - all good things to start on. My oldest daughter really disliked baby food as well and we got her started on these things around 7 months. By 9 months I don't think she was actually eating any baby food, even to the poitn where she wouldn't tolerate applesauce because it was too much like baby food.

My 10 month old started doing that at 7 months. We have been feeding her table food ever since. We get those few bites of baby food in her and then cut up what ever we are eating to let her shovel it in. We also got rid of the bottle except for in between meals. We put her formula in a sippy cup (the soft "nub" cups make the transition easier.) Our Pediatrician told us as long as she is eating it is fine. We also give her vitamin drops to make sure she gets what she needs. She eats what ever we are eating and only has 2 teeth. (now she has 4) Hope this eases your mind a little. This our 3rd one and I find that it is easier to let them show you what they want.

Many people have already given you this advice, but it is at this age they start to want to be more independent and enjoy starting to feed themselves. Like another poster, my daughter wouldn't eat anything from a spoon after 8 or 9 months because she wanted to do it herself. Really soft fruits and vegetables cut up in small pieces are good things to start with. By the way, baby food doesn't have preservatives in it--it is just bland for us adults who are use to so many salt, preservatives, and spices. Babies don't know the difference. It lasts so long because the way it is processed--it is just like canned food. All canned foods have a shelf life of two years. The best way to know what is in the food is to read the ingredient list.

S.:

I am going through the same thing with my 9 1/2 month old daughter as well. She has never really liked to eat baby food and has always been a picky eater even with her bottle but now I can barely get her to eat a full Stage 1 baby food jar. She closes her mouth, spits at me and shakes her head no so I just stop. She is still getting all her nutrients from her formula so I don't push her too hard. I have started giving her table food which she loves. She doesn't eat too much of it yet especially because she is still learning the hand, eye coordination.

When I started all four of my kids on 'food' I made my own easy recipe. Make a chicken or beef gravy, add frozen peas and diced carrots (in your grocers freezer) and cook the little alpha pasta. Mix this all together and see how this works. They also loved it when they started eating on their own. All the pieces are small so there is no choking hazard. Good luck.

S.:

try letting him eat what you are eating...

P., RLC, IBCLC
Parenting Coach and Board Certified Lactation Consultant
www.lactationsupportgroup.com

We had the very same problem with our little girl. We tried every kind of baby food, even made our own but she wanted no part of anything. I was at my wits end! Finally, at dinner one night, we gave her a tiny piece of pizza and she was thrilled. From then on, it was solid food only. Once she got used to eating she would take baby food. She is now almost 2 and is the best eater. She'll try anything! I guess it was a texture thing. Hope that helps!

It sounds like he wants your food. Our daughter only ate 4 containers of baby food. She just wanted our food. Share the family food in small pieces that our easy to eat. It doesn't matter if he doesn't have teeth either.

All three of my kids were off baby food and on all table food by 9 months - my youngest at 8 months. I would just give him what you are eating - chopped bite size and easy to pick up. I'll bet he'll eat a lot better.

I agree with the other posters that it is most likely an independence thing. Let him self feed. But if he will not then it might be a sensory issue.

Dear S.,
Is your son interested in what you are eating?
Get a crank baby food grinder that you can have at the table with you and put meat, veggies, pasta, fruit etc. in it and feed him from that.
Have you tasted commercial baby food lately?

I have a 7 mth old and he doesn't want to eat baby food anymore...he wants to eat things that he can feed himself. Finger foods like mac and cheese, spaghettios, peas, baked beans, etc.
It's perfectly natural...he's just growing. Good Luck!!! Baby food was so easy, now it becomes hard trying to figure out finger foods that are good for our babies.

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