8 Month Old Still Doesn't like Solids

Updated on October 13, 2008
S.M. asks from Ashburn, VA
23 answers

I'm looking for some reassurance. I started cereal with my second daughter around 5 1/2 months. She never liked it, so I moved on to pureed fruits and veggies. She will occassionally eat a tablespoons of applesauce or mashed bananas but generally dislikes to eat. She clams up and turns her head away. My first daughter LOVED to eat from day one, so this was sort of unexpected for me.

She is now 8 months old and has 3 teeth - she is nursing and weighs over 18 pounds so she is not small. I know she is doing well nutrionally, but I really want to move ahead here with the eating. I make my own food and have tried a variety of textures and combinations of mixed foods (cereals, breastmilk, formula). Also, her teething doesn't really seem to be bothering her. She is generally a happy baby.

Have other moms gone through this? When will it improve?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the responses. Since she was gagging on some of the baby food I dodn't feel comfortable moving into self-feeding quite yet. But I tried yogurt and she loved it!!!! And then about a week ago she suddenly decided she liked to eat. Still prefers the pureed fruits over the veggies, but she has learned to open her mouth and complains when I stop feeding her. I guess I just needed for her to hit that developmental milestone. She started crawling prior to accepting the food. So I think whe was just busy with other things.

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N.T.

answers from Washington DC on

I never had a problem with getting my son to eat baby food, but switching to real food was a chore. It took almost a year to get him to start eating real food. As long as she's gaining weight, I say give her time. She'll eat it when she's ready.

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A.F.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter did not eat much solids until she was a year old. She was very healthy. Breastmilk is a complete food. Let the child eat when she is ready. Don't push. AF

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Is there a certain time when you try to feed her? Perhaps she just isn't hungry? My daughter didn't take well to solids until around 7m. would look at me like I was stupid or something.
Perhaps she doesn't like the spoon? Try placing the food in front of her and see if she'll use her hands. Have you tried soft, steamed veggies, perhaps she want to move to self feeding?
Worth a shot.
M.

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E.T.

answers from Washington DC on

We introduced solids on many occasions, but our daughter didn't take to them well until 8.5 or 9 months. We tried yogurt and she LOVED it.

Otherwise, she started increasing her solid intake, but anything other than the yogurt was just a nibble or two.

It is fine. Nutritionally, breastmilk is what is required for the first year. The food is introducing her to textures.

Also, my daughter got really good eating prior to one year and then regressed after a year. Starting asserting herself and saying "No" even though she didn't really mean it.

Children are different, introduce and roll with it.

You may want to give her food from your plate. This was a big thing with my daughter. Chicken from my plate was better than her own plate.

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C.J.

answers from Washington DC on

does she do finger food? otherwise i wouldn't worry, just keep offering.

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N.F.

answers from Washington DC on

At 8 months, you could certainly start introducing table food in really small pieces. One of my children refused any and all baby food no matter if it was homemade or in a jar. Eventually, I gave up the struggle and just started giving her table food and she grew at the same rate as the other two. Good luck.

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C.P.

answers from Washington DC on

SM.

My oldest daughter nursed almost exclusively for 12 months, by her own choice and demand. I tried to introduce solids at 6 months and then at eight months and there was nothing she would eat or keep in her mouth. She was a strong nurser and continued to nurse till 18.5 months when I weaned her because I went back to school. She was eating solids consstantly at age 14 months. I did serve her Gerber graduates by this time because she wanted finger foods, she never developed a taste for mashed foods as a babe.

She is not picky at all now that she is almost nine and is my most adventurous eater. She loves sushi, calamari, hummus, all kinds of beans, crawdads, saurkraut,etc. We are a caucasion family from Southern roots in Texas so these are not normal foods that she would find at a family gathering.

My other two children were also breast fed but took solids earlier. My 5 year old son at 8 months but he preferred a bottle nad so I introduced a 1/2 formula, 1/2 breatmilk bottle to him at this time. He is incredibly picky nad has texture issues with cerain foods as well as taste issues with strong smelling foods. My 22 month old daughter ate like a horse from day one when I started her on solids at 6 months. She loved everthing that I gave her. She still eats more than the other two did at this age but is not nearly as adventurous as her older sister.

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C.S.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter just turned 9 months and she has a similar issue. She took to solids very slowly, and she doesn't like most of the foods I try to give her. Unlike yours, though, my baby is still small -- 15 pounds -- so the doctor is keeping a close eye on her and has advised me to see a nutritionist.

Anyway, my daughter does like to eat bananas, so I have been giving her plenty of those and mixing them in with other foods to get her to try new things. I also put lots of toys on her high chair so she can play while she eats. That has helped her to eat more.

I'm anxious to see what responses you receive. Good luck with this!

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B.H.

answers from Norfolk on

Great sounding responses, but I wanted to add: Don't forget that infant's motor control isn't really so much in their control. Turning their head or spitting food out doesn't actually mean he or she doesn't want it, it could be that she is overly excited about it and her body does something she doesn't want it to. Same about making faces. They're just babies, their muscles don't always do what they are hoping they'll do!

Good luck!

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L.Z.

answers from Tampa on

My daughter at the age of 6 months did not like and refused to eat any baby food. I started giving her table food that was soft and easy for her to gum since she also had very little teeth at the time. You may see her begin to eat because the baby food doesn't have much flavor to it so I don't blame them for not wanting to eat it.

My son ate baby food and after the transition to regular food he went through a phase where he wouldn't eat anything I would put in front of him unless it was mac and cheese or chicken nuggets. My daughter never seemed to go through that phase and sometimes I wonder if it was because she went straight to table food. Anyways I hope this helps. You may also want to see if she will need any additional vitamins to take as a supplement.

L.

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G.T.

answers from Norfolk on

She is obviously not starving. Follow her cues. Some babies are not ready for solids until closer to one year. Studies have shown that these babies may have food allergies and are instinctively staying away from food until their systems are more mature. Watch your baby and not the clock.

G. T

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Z.B.

answers from Washington DC on

We are twins! My first son LOVED solids (I made my own too) and could not get enough of them from the first bite at 4 months. My second son refused EVERYTHING until he was nine months old. We too tried everything multiple times. Finally he accepted bananas and carrots, so I ended up mixing those into everything he ate. He also liked yogurt so I mixed fruts and veggies into that. He never got into cereal, but now he eats oatmeal and cheerioes. We had been spoiled since our first child liked everything from the first bite. Our second child really did need 20 times before he would really eat it and even now he is still picky. I know it's frustrating, but I promise she will eventually eat solids:)

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K.L.

answers from Washington DC on

I used to be a nanny for an infant that refused "baby foods" but loved solid foods. Maybe try some bananas (of course, cut them in very small bites), gerber puffs, cheerios, pasta (gerber graduates has pasta for toddlers). Its possible she doesn't have an interest in the purees but would like the solids better.

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A.B.

answers from Norfolk on

I'm going through the same thing with my second child. Around 10 months she all of a sudden wanted real food. She eats just about everything now except nuts, citrus and other highly allergenic foods. It's easy to just feed her off of my plate. I didn't push her to eat. The only puree she ever ate was carrots. If she's nursing, she doesn't *need* anything but your milk for the first year. Most pediatricians know formula and the nutritional support those babies need because that's what they deal with since formula fed babies get sick more often. Solids should not be the majority of the intake until well after 12 months for breastfed babies. Tastes and textures are what solids are for at this point for breastfeeders as by comparison solids are empty calories. If you don't pressure her now, you probably won't have to pressure her to eat later on. And to the mom who said that turning the head and clamping the mouth has nothing to do with if the baby is ready or not needs to check her sources. To me it's not worth the frustration on both sides to force feed a breastfed baby. Force feeding is part of why bottle babies tend to be overweight. If you're thinking she might be teething, try Hyland's Teething Tablets.

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D.K.

answers from Washington DC on

Try letting her feed herself. I cut up soft foods (like bananas) into small pieces and put them in front of my son on his high chair and that was all it took. He instantly took to solids once he had control. Of course, make sure she's sitting up well and has all of the necessary reflexes in place, not to mention manual dexterity to pick these objects up. I think this might help. My son wouldn't even eat cereal. So I finally gave up with "baby" food at around 9 months and he's been a finger food self-feeder ever since. There are a lot of things I let him feed himself now (he's 1 yr. old). Just get creative. Remember that they have no molars of course, so anything on the plate needs to be "gummable" but don't discount Cheerios and such, they break down pretty quickly and maybe your daughter would feel better about it if she feels like she's getting to eat the same "kind" of food as everyone else.. Good Luck!

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D.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi!

My son is almost ten months and getting even a spoonful of anything into his mouth is a struggle. Our docs have told us that until he's a year old, solid foods are just for practice, and not needed for nutrition. So, we are nursing away!

The ped did say that when he's ready, we'll know, and that we could start giving him cooked green beans and carrots, slices of avocado, and bananas to see if he's interested in feeding himself.

Good Luck!
D

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M.F.

answers from Washington DC on

I had the same thing happen with my son. _Don't worry_, she'll eventually start eating solids, especially if she has an older sibling to imitate! As long as she's a happy camper and doesn't seem to be hungry, she's probably doing just fine. My son finally started eating at around one year! I nursed him for just over two years, so I wonder if that has something to do with it. In this case, I think they know best what they need! Good luck:)

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A.G.

answers from Washington DC on

My friend went through this with her daughter. Her baby showed no interest in solids until around 10.5 months (she also tried everything and had a fully stocked freezer of homemade baby food). All of a sudden at 10.5 months her daughter got a growth spurt and started inhaling basic solids like purees. Only about two weeks later she started refusing purees and would only eat finger foods - so she was in reality caught up by her first birthday. My friend ended up doing the sneaky chef recipes to use up her purees.

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S.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Keep trying. I read some studies that said that 7 - 9 months is a key window for introducing lots of tastes and textures so as not to get a picky eater later in life. Even if she will only take one spoonful, that is something.

I would also suggest avoiding commercial baby food if you aren't already... if you have tasted it... well, it is nasty. It tastes like overcooked veggies. Try real food... bananas squished with a fork, avocado, tofu, yoghurt, peas smushed and strained, oatmeal, squash, sweet potatoes... Try something new at least ten times before accepting "don't like" as a verdict. Even if she is only mouthing and tasting, that is something.

As for the amount she eats, if you are feeding her before she gets a bottle, you're probably doing what you can to make sure she is hungry... she might just be taking a break from growing at the moment, who knows. If she's still on formula, that will take care of a lot of her calorie needs, though you might want to watch her iron levels. Let her crawl/toddle around a lot, too.

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J.V.

answers from Washington DC on

My son did not want any solid food until he was 12 months. As long as she is gaining wait at a good pace there is no need to worry. I do not know how to speed up the process. Sorry. Good job with breastfeeding.

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N.R.

answers from Richmond on

For us, there was nothing wrong with not liking to change to real food at this age. My son was 10mths or so before he would do more than a banana or some applesauce once in a while. He never liked cereal and I made my own food too. (You don't think it could have been my cooking, do you? LOL!!!!) And he is a big boy now days who turned 8yrs old TODAY! YEA!!! Enjoy her while she's little. They grow up way too fast!

You are doing a GREAT job MOM!

Take Care,
N. :) SAHM homeschooling 3 boys 12, 8(as of today!) & 2yrs old and married to my Mr. Wonderful for almost 15yrs. I love to help moms, who want to become SAHMs, reach that goal! If you or someone you know wants to become a SAHM, please email me at [email protected]____.com. Thanks!

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E.G.

answers from Norfolk on

I would talk with your pediatrician. It may be a sensory issue... my son did ok with puree foods, but not textured and we really struggled for a long time with eating. You don't want to wait too long to have your child eat solids or it can make eating difficult later. you may want your daughter to be evaluated by a speech therapist or OT.

We saw a speech therapist who found that my son didn't move food around his mouth with his tongue and chew, which then constantly caused him to gag/throw up his food. We worked with her for a bit and saw so much progress. He is now eating all normal foods :)
Good luck!

'

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J.C.

answers from Lynchburg on

My daughter is similar. Most days she won't eat solids at all, she just wants to nurse. Other days, she'll eat maybe 1/4 c. like she's been starving, but then she still wants to nurse after she eats, and she'll only do that once during that day. Usually I'm giving her small bites of whatever I'm eating and she likes that, but she'll only eat a few and then she won't have anything to do with it. I haven't found a solution yet, but wanted to let you know that it seems we're in the same boat. Good luck!

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