16 answers

Do You Have Tricks to Teach Baby to Eat Solids?

Hi Mamas! My second son is 6 1/2 months old. I nurse exclusively and he will not take a bottle (unfortunately). When he was 5 months old, I started giving him rice cereal once a day. He hated it and didn't want anything to do with it. It has been a month and a half and we have not made any progress. I have tried adding a little apple juice, applesauce, sweet potatoes and now peaches. I have warmed it up a little and tried it cold. Nothing I do makes any difference. By now he knows what the spoon is for and turns away immediately. When I do get a little in his mouth, he shudders and keeps his mouth open until it falls out. So I have moved him from his highchair back to the bouncy seat during feedings. This helps a little only because gravity sometimes makes him swallow before he can get it out. I have tried letting him "play" with the food and the spoon. No dice.

Help! My first son (now almost 3) took a little while to figure it out (we started at 4 months) but he liked trying. I have an appointment with the pediatrician on the 29th but that seems like a really long way away. Anyone else gone through this? Any tricks to help him learn to eat baby food? I am tired of fighting this battle.


What can I do next?

Featured Answers

If he is exclusively breastfed, he is getting all the nutrition he needs. I would not force feeding on him because no good can come of it. There is no need for him to have food now and the battle is not worth fighting. If you're tired of fighting the battle, stop fighting it!

More Answers

My advice is to try other foods than cereal. Start with the veggies or you will have a really hard time getting him to eat them after you start fruits. Also, try to avoid putting juice in the cereal or whatever to sweeten it. Kids tend to be pickier if they are trained to like things sweet. My son loved rice cereal, my daughter hated it. He hated peas, she loved them (still do and they are 13 and 10!) You could also make your own baby food VERY easily. Maybe squash would appeal to him with the bright orange color. Dab some on his high chair for him to put his fingers into and taste it that way. Then, if he likes that, try using the spoon with the same stuff.

Neither of my kiddos would eat solid foods, as far as 'mooshed' foods, no matter what I did. I tried making my own mixed with breastmilk, with water, tried store bought, tried organic, tried non-organic. They never ate it. I found there was no reason to push it. They get it and want it when they are ready. Your breasmilk has all he needs, so there is no reason for it really. Many people don't even start them until a year. What I did was just wait until around 8 1/2 or 9 months when they could pick up and eat little pieces of food. They always enjoyed doing that and wanted to eat what I was eating. I also found they would eat flavorful liquid food, like cream soups, etc.... Take it slow, don't bother fighting a battle you don't need to, and everyone will be fine :).

Also, rice cereal has very, very little nutrition in it. Other things that are easy to digest, but taste much better and have much better nutritional value are avacados and bananas.

My kids wouldn't take bottles either. We went straight to the sippy cup when they were ready. Try a 'safe sippy'. They are very boob-ish and both my kids loved those the most. They are also BPA and phalate free, which is a huge plus.

Hi, my son hated the rice cereal, too. Try the single grain oatmeal. If that doesn't work, don't worry. My son isn't thrilled with it, either. I usually have to put mashed up bananas in it and applesauce. I basically add applesauce to everything he doesn't like. I don't even mix it in all the way, just put some in the bowl of whatever I am giving him. If he starts to fuss I give him a spoonful of applesauce to trick him and then he'll eat the other stuff for a few bites because he thinks it will be applesauce again!

I am tired of fighting this battle.

So why are you trying to fight?
He'll eat when he's ready. He's getting what he needs from you. The belief that babies HAVE to be on solids by 6 months is just a belief. As long as he is healthy and growing, there isn't really a need to force solids on him. If you just surrendered to what HE needs right now and understand that he isn't like your 3 yr old...how much less stressful would that be for everyone?

BTW...I really do understand the frustration about making sure out little ones are getting the nourishment they need. But it really doesn't have to be a battle. What does your inner wise mamma say when she doesn't listen to cultural beliefs and well or ill intended advice?

Best wishes...you'll figure out the right and best thing to do.

mom of 4. Married 15 years
Birth and Parenting Mentor

If he is exclusively breastfed, he is getting all the nutrition he needs. I would not force feeding on him because no good can come of it. There is no need for him to have food now and the battle is not worth fighting. If you're tired of fighting the battle, stop fighting it!

My daughter would NOT eat the cereal until well after she had begun to eat baby food. When I asked our pediatrician about this he told us that 1) not to worry and 2) that she would eat the cereal and baby food when she was ready for it, and that maybe she was getting enough milk that she did not need cereal at that point. Once your son gets hungry and milk is not filling him up anymore he will want the food.

You've gotten some good advice already. I agree with not worrying about it and just giving it time, and changing the routine completely. Some things you can do to change the routine.

1. Sit him on your lap, not in a chair.
2. Try different foods - as long as you watch for allergic reactions, any food is basically fine - pureed apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc etc (just try not to add anything). A lot of babies love carrots. Some love green beans, some love peas. Different babies love different things.
3. Use something other than a spoon - they have little "biter" things where you can put a cooked piece of potato/sweet potato/apple and he can just bite on it and it pushed the pieces through the mesh for him to eat it/taste it. Or try dipping your finger in it and putting it in his mouth so he can at least taste it (a new food).
4. I would try again to let him feed himself (but without worrying whether any of it gets into his mouth.) When my 1st son was a baby, I put him in a highchair and put the food directly on the tray. I just let him use his hands and most of the time he didn't get anything in his mouth. He just played and learned about food and textures. But eventually, he would put his hands near his mouth and some would get in there. It's ok, because he doesn't any nutrition from food right now. The goal is just to get him tasting different things and learning about how big people eat and learning to thrust his tongue.

The main thing is try not to worry about it or force anything. Continue breast feeding him (don't starve him to try to get him to eat solids of course) and I can guarantee when he's 10 years old, he'll be eating solids, not breast milk. ;)

there is no rush to push the food. HE is perfectly fine just with your breastmilk. Hang in there and just keep showing him it and one day he will eat it without any struggles:) Do not force it or it will be a battle for a long time. He knows if he is hungry or wants it and will tell you:) Hang in there, no worries!

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