16 answers

My Child Does Not Want to Eat

My son is 18 months old and I have the hardest time getting him to eat. He has a lot of ear infections and is getting tubes put in this Thursday. A few weeks ago he started eating well......and then he had to be started on antibiotics for his ears and I can't get him to eat but maybe some toast or a few bites of turkey dog. He is drinking all of the time and I am afraid that he is substituting drinks for food. This has been going on for about 2 weeks. I talked to the Dr last week and he said not to worry but at that time he was still taking the antibiotics. He has stopped now and is still not eating. It is starting to become very frustrating to me. I have wasted so much food and am almost at the end of my rope. He seems fine otherwise.....is very active. Should I wait until after the tubes are put in.....maybe it has to do with his ears? Has anyone else experienced this....any advice would be helpful.

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I just wanted to share my experience with my daughter and ear tubes and ear infections.

She had constant ear infections and we had tubes put in at 18 months old. Then one of the tubes fell out almost immediately and the ENT doc wanted to put in another tube and take out her adenoids. I then read Spontaneous Healing by Dr. Andrew Weil and his book suggested eliminating dairy and having cranial osteopathy done.

We cut way back on the dairy and were lucky enough to find a pediatrician (we lived in Oklahoma at the time) who did cranial osteopathy. It cleared up her ear infections and she has not had another since and she hasn't had to do anymore osteopathy (which is totally painless, I would distract her with a book).

You can find practitioners on this website - http://www.cranialacademy.org/

If you can't find a cranial osteopathic practitioner, then craniosacral therapy is very similar and you can find a practitioner through this website - http://www.iahp.com/pages/search/index.php

Good luck with everything!

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K.,
My son had tubes put in on July 1 this year. Before that, we went through the same thing that you are now going through. My son was on so many different antibiotics for months at a time, and his little tummy was a complete mess. Also, when they have ear infections, they can't smell very well, which suppresses the appetite. I would just wait until after the surgery- you will notice a huge change in his appetite, hearing, EVERYTHING! Until then, you might try giving him milk with Carnation instant breakfast in it. He will at least get his vitamins and nutrients this way. Or if you can try and get him to eat a little yogurt- it is excellent for his stomach. I hope everything goes well on Thursday. :)

1 mom found this helpful

If he's getting full from milk, then he won't be hungry to eat. Give him water to drink (juice is no good for kids, and fills them up on sugar) and small portions of healthy foods. They go through growth spurts and sometimes hardly eat at all, and other times eat as much as an adult. Also, many kids with excessive ear infections (that end up needing tubes) have a milk intolerance or allergy. Do a search online for milk and ear infections.

1 mom found this helpful

I just wanted to share my experience with my daughter and ear tubes and ear infections.

She had constant ear infections and we had tubes put in at 18 months old. Then one of the tubes fell out almost immediately and the ENT doc wanted to put in another tube and take out her adenoids. I then read Spontaneous Healing by Dr. Andrew Weil and his book suggested eliminating dairy and having cranial osteopathy done.

We cut way back on the dairy and were lucky enough to find a pediatrician (we lived in Oklahoma at the time) who did cranial osteopathy. It cleared up her ear infections and she has not had another since and she hasn't had to do anymore osteopathy (which is totally painless, I would distract her with a book).

You can find practitioners on this website - http://www.cranialacademy.org/

If you can't find a cranial osteopathic practitioner, then craniosacral therapy is very similar and you can find a practitioner through this website - http://www.iahp.com/pages/search/index.php

Good luck with everything!

1 mom found this helpful

Antibiotics always killed my son's appetite. He too had to get tubes when he was 3. He was on meds for about half the year prior to that. And he would never eat well. Just as his apetite would come back he'd get sick again and quit eating. MIt was very frustrating since most of the antibiotics he took said not to take on an empty stomach because they could irritate the stomach. I always let him have all the milk he wanted and a daily vitamin and didn't woory about it. As long as he's playing and acting normal, then don't worry. Once the tubes are in it will hopefully get better, if not ask your doc about it.

1 mom found this helpful

I could always tell when my daughter was getting an ear infection when she lost her appetite. She rarely had fever or pulled at her ears, but she would stop eating well and sleeping well. The tubes were a life changer for her. I'd wait til after you get the tubes and see what happens. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I think what you are experiencing is normal. Children go through so many stages. Mine eats and then she doens't. She sleeps and then she doesn't. She is easy to get along with and then she isn't. I wouldn't sink alot of time and worry into it. He has a built in timer than goes off when he is hungry and he will eat when he is hungry. At that age they are too active to think about food. Just put it in front of him and if he eats, he eats, and if he doesn't, then he will let you know when he is. As far as wasting food... we all go through that. That is just something that happens and you have to know that going into it. You have to lay it out for him, what he does with it is up to him. He will be fine. Keep healthy food out for him so he can grab it on the run when he gets hungry.
You both will be just fine.

1 mom found this helpful

My son had tubes put in when he was 10.5 months. He had chronic ear infections (typically double) from 4 months old. Anyway, everytime we would do an antibiotic, it would take about 2 weeks for him to eat normal again. He would do fine drinking his breastmilk or formula, but he didn't want to actually eat much of anything.

My son is 19 months old and he goes through eating phases though. One week, he will eat like a mad man, and the next he'll just pick at food. He seems to just naturally go through phases. So it could be his tummy just doesn't feel right or maybe he's just going through a phase.

And by the way, the tubes were the BEST thing we ever did. my son had one post-operative ear infection that we treated with ear drops, but since then nothing. His ears drained very badly for about a month or more. It was this nasty smelling brownish yellowish think fluid...so if that happens, don't let it freak you out. It's just draining all of that stuff that's been causing the infections. Once the drainage stopped, it has been wonderful. It is so nice not to have a baby who is sick with ear infections constantly. Those tubes are miracle workers!

The best of luck to you and your little one!

1 mom found this helpful

this is a "toddler symptom" it is VERY VERY VERY common for a toddler to eat well one day then for a few weeks hardly touch food. try to offer foods you know he likes. also just keep up your normal routine offer him a tablespoon of each thing you are having at breakfast lunch and dinner. he will eat again i promise but you may also be right about his ears hurting. good luck with the tubes i have been there with my now 5 year old. tubes were the best thing we ever did!

1 mom found this helpful

It could be possible that he just doesn't feel well, or that the food could make him slightly nauseous. Do not force feed him though. Offer him food and allow him to either pick at it or eat it. Offer softer foods like apple sauce, yogurt (my son and niece always loved the yogurt in the tube with cartoon characters.) Also offer juices. If you have a juicer, you could make some at home, but the V8 Splash drinks have a very sweet taste and possess vegatables.

If it is his ears, he will begin eating sometime soon after the tubes go in. If it is a stage, he will eventually grow out of it. Let the doctor know about your concerns and take your cues from his responses.

My niece had the same ear problems that I had when I was little-constant and chronic ear infections which resulted int he necessity of tubes. We both did the same way. Would eat while feeling pretty good on the tail end of antibiotics but would not eat after we finished the round because another infection was usually forming. (Not saying your son has another one forming.)

Just relax. The advice that both my mom and my cousin received was to make sure that the child was still able to use the bathroom with regularity. (Same signs as dehydration and all that.) Make sure that you let your doctor know when you see him/her.

Take care.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,

Someone said it before, yeast overgrowth causes your appetite to dwindle, execept for sugar cravings, and the antibiotics can cause yeast in just one dose. Yeast can even cause behavioral change. He needs to be on a GOOD probiotic/prebiotic and really needs a lot of fiber to cleanse his system out. All of this can cause the ear infections so you are now in the vicious cycle.

I would also recommend a good upper cervical chiropractor as they will help build his immune system so his body can fight off infection without outside help. My oldest daughter had chronic ear infections until I got her to a chiropractor and then they were gone. If one began, the chiropractor could knock it out...

Everything you said is related and all of it CAN be a simple fix. Let me know if you'd like to know more. Nutrition is so important and it's almost impossible to get these days without effort!

Regards,

M.
www.squidoo.com/ifyourbabycouldtalk

What popped into my mind was the possibility of yeast overgrowth with being given a lot of antibiotics. Even 20 years ago when my then toddler daughter was chronically on antibiotics, the pediatrician put her on PROBIOTICS.

There are also products & dietary interventions (low sugar, low simple carbs)to be used to cut down yeast growth. That can be done while taking probiotics. The probiotics had to be kept refrigerated.

Hi K... I know how you feel. My daighter is now 3 but when she was 15 months old she had to have tubes put in both ears and before hand she went thru the same exact thing your little one is going thru. I honestly belive it is the ear infections that is the cause of this. If you are worried about his nutrients he needs in food, My daughter LOVED the Pediasure.. It is alittle expensive, but so is the grosseries that are being wasted. I am really sure he will love them too. After the tubes are in and all im sure things will get back to normal with his eating habbits. Mine did. Now I also recomend that after the tubes are in gradually wing him off of the Pediasure as he will want it. Like give him alittle bit of it and set the rest in the fridge and serve him his dinner with alittle bit of something else to drink. I dont know if im explaining it all that well, but I hope you know what I mean. If ya also cut back on the liquids some, and offer him food he may take it and eat it and then get a little to drink. I hope everything will work out for you. Wishing you all the best, as I know how it is being a Single stay at home mom and know how frustrating having a child who has problems with their ears.. it is very depressing cause ya feel like there is nothing you can do to care for your child. I dont know how much your son talks, but my daughter has been in speech theropy since she was 18 months old and she communicated thru sign language until maybe 2 months ago she started talking. They say her speech came delayed due to her ear problems when sh ewas younger.. Hope all works out for ya.. And I also hope I was of help.. Take care K.... A.

My daughter started to do the same thing and my doctor suggested that I use Pediasure atleast 1x a day. We loved the vanilla one with fiber in it because it can help with bowls which can be a problem while on antibiotics. She loved the shakes and sometimes wanted 2-3 a day. Either wasy is fine. I was sckeptical at first but this only lasted for a few months then she went back to eating normal and now has a very good appatite. Hope this helps!

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this but getting a child to eat is always a struggle. Mine is almost five and somtimes she just wont eat well for weeks but then all of the sudden she will tunr around and eat like a pig for two weeks. My husband and I noticed she has been doing this ever since she started eating solids. I would just keep ofering him food and I bet he will do like mine and go through an eating phase.

You have received some good advice already, but I had to chime in since it is so near and dear to my heart. My 17mo old child also is getting tubes this thursday and has been a finicky eater since he turned 1 yr. I thought it had more to do with all of the changes in his life around that time since he had been a real good eater at daycare. anyway, just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and I echo just about everything said thus far. still offer the healthy things, V8 fusion and splash drinks are great and offer the things you know that he'll eat (even then sometimes they don't) I have found that he will sometimes eat if I offer it an hour or so later after the initial refusal. My husband and I also give pediatric drink ( the generic form of pediasure) when he doesn't eat well, that way we at least know that he is getting the nutrients that he needs. If you have krogers nearby, they have it on close out for about half price. hang in there.

K. C

It's good that he's at least drinking a lot! Try having him drink 100% fruit and/or vegetable juices (energy, vitamins, hydration) and milk products (yogurt, ice cream). Maybe his throat is sore (but with the antibiotics, I'd think that would be cured). . . Might he need his tonsils out? My husband and two of our four kids did.

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