Help! 8 Month Old Not Eating Solids!

Updated on September 16, 2011
A.W. asks from Brea, CA
22 answers

Okay, so I've been trying to feed my 8 mo. old rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, bananas, carrots, sweet potatoes, pears, etc. but he just doesn't open his mouth to eat! These are all pureed/strained, and sometimes mixed together. I've also tried putting the food on my finger and he will suck the food...sometimes. Other times he just sticks his tongue out when I feed him. I'm starting to worry if he is getting enough nutrition! He is drinking my pumped breastmilk and soon will be feeding him formula. Do I need to make an appt w/ his pediatrician? I've already called his pediatrician's office twice and the nurses said to keep trying, that it would happen in time. I've been trying now since he was 6 mo. old and not sure when he will figure out how to open his mouth. I sure hope it happens soon-I've heard there is a window of time for babies to learn! Any advice will help so much! Thanks Moms! :)

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So What Happened?

I am so very grateful to all you Mommas for each of your wonderful advice!!! Thank you all SO MUCH!! It's given me much more peace of mind, now that I see that my milk (and some supplementing of formula) is his primary source of nutrition for now. I can now relax and breathe a sigh of relief...I'm just going to keep trying every now and then, but not push him, that he will be ready on his own time. Thanks again for all of your wonderful advice!!! You Mommas all are AWESOME!!! :)

Featured Answers


answers from San Francisco on

Relax, not a big deal, all three of my (very healthy) breastfed kids had no interest in baby food, they went straight from breast to table food between about 12 and 14 months. Mostly cut up, somewhat mushy versions of whatever we were having for dinner that night :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter rejected all baby food although I didn't try feeding her that until about 9 months. She was exclusively fed breast milk until a year when she went to table food. I dont think I even tried baby food with my youngest. She went right to table food at a year also. Do not worry!

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Seattle on

The best advice I ever heard was:

"your baby is ready for solids when he starts stealing it off your plate"

If your baby has no interest in solids by the time he's 18 months old, talk to a doctor, but otherwise don't stress it. I know lots of kids who didn't eat any solids until past 12 months. They are all fine, not one of them has any eating issues.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

My son was never interested in baby food at all. He did, however, love feeding himself. I started out with "snack" items - graham crackers, Gerber biter biscuit (which melts in baby's mouth), french fries, anything that he could gum easily. I also gave him cut up apple pieces (no skins) inside a mesh bag. Munchkin makes them.

We had more success with letting him eat what we were eating. I just made sure it was age appropriate and small enough so he couldn't choke on it. He loved feeding himself. Definitely worth try!

But don't worry about nutrition. He is getting what he needs from breast milk and formula.

Don't worry, he'll get it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

It is really not that big of a deal. Stop worrying. If you are giving him pumped breastmilk he does not need table food until 1 year because he is already getting all the nutrients he needs. Why are you going to be giving him formula?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

this baby does not need to eat baby food. for the first year-- ALL nutrition comes from breast milk or formula. baby food is just practice for eating later. My ped said do not let them fill up on baby food.. nurse first then offer solids.

some babies hate baby food.. they go right to small pieces of food.. 8 months is not too young for a cheerio. he might like to pick up food and put it in his own mouth. canned veggies are soft offer canned fruit cut up and canned veggies cut up..

let him take a "bite" of your toast or crackers..

my daughter hated baby food, then hated table foods. eventually she ate food.. but it was not easy. she is 5 now.. and still picky but she does eat.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I PROMISE it's not something to worry about. I would suggest stopping and try again in a month or so. If he doesn't like it then, then stop again and try again a while later.

To assure you, first off - back in the olden days, they didn't have baby food. They could only feed babies what they were able to mush up enough for baby to eat. Odds are it was mostly bananas, avocados, and maybe soups and stuff. I really think it's a somewhat recent thing (in the grand scheme of things) that babies have even started solids at 6 months.

I don't really do baby food with my babies. I have tried a little bit with my first three. Some were a tiny bit interested at first, and others acted offended by it...hehe. It was like they were too big to eat it. So, I couldn't get them to take any. I didn't push it. I just gave them table food as they could eat it. This meant they were closer to 10 months before they were eating much at all (my kids teethe later). And, even then, they were still mostly breastfed. With my first two, it wasn't until they were 14 months old that they were taking in significant amounts of food other than breastmilk. They were JUST FINE.

I actually know a LOT of mommas who have said the same thing. I typically find these are moms who are breastfeeding longer and they rely on what feels right to them vs what the doctor says. None of them have had any nutrition issues with their babies at all. And, it was interesting to find out that 14 months was a common number for when babies would start eating more solids, though my third was closer to 11-12 months. They would graze on table food that we gave them prior to that, but it wasn't a main source of nutrition until they were older.

I'm not suggesting you have to wait until 14 months. But don't stress over it. Feed him table food - foods that he can eat (and if there are none, don't give him any yet). Mine were closer to 10 months before I did that. But I breastfed them most of the time otherwise. Your baby will be fine as long as you are feeding him enough milk.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

It's ok. He's getting enough nutrition with your breast milk and will get enough with the formula as well. As long as he's drinking his milk, he's getting what he needs at this time. My youngest son didn't want the pureed stuff either all that much. He mainly wanted milk. We gave him formula. He jumped from eating very small amounts of pureed foods, to eating, not the advanced baby foods (the diced up ones), or toddler dishes (he hated those), but what he preferred was our food. So we gave him what he was allowed at his age, and he was one year at this time, just small amounts of what we had, of the foods that were easily digested for him.
Nothing to worry about. You are doing what you're suppose to and not all babies adapt to pureed foods at the same time. Just keep trying to introduce them little by little. :-)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

My 9.5 month old son went through a phase of not wanting to eat (After he had been eating for months!). All I had to do was distract his hands by giving him 2 jar lids and he was so busy with them that he would look at them and open his mouth when the spoon got close. Sometimes I don't think he realizes he's even eating! Have you tried giving him a spoon to see what he does with it? He might want to be more independent. Also try giving finger foods. I met a little girl who hated to eat pureed food but would eat anything that she could put in her mouth herself. He is old enough to try some really small chunks of ripe banana or pear, or even baked sweet potato. I would not worry too much about nutrition as long as he is drinking 24-32 oz of breastmilk. Keep trying and bring it to the pediatrician's attention when you go for your 9 month well baby visit. Good Luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You are doing fine. As long as baby keeps gaining weight and stays on his curve, you don't need to worry. My son was not really that interested in solids until he was a good 9 or 10 months old. Right now, and you'll hear this over and over again, the best and only "nutrition" that your little one needs is breastmilk or formula. Solids are for practice, getting used to different tastes and textures. Listen to the nurses, just keep trying. Eventually, he's gonna get hungry!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

His sticking his tongue out is the "thrusting reflex" that babies have..... he just may not be ready for solids. You may have to wait a bit longer. This thrust reflex should really be gone before you try solids (even strained foods..).

He is still getting plenty of nutrition from breastmilk, don't worry.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

This is normal. A baby's mouth, throat, etc. have to be mature enough to be able to handle solid food. As with other milestones some mature later than others. Even if he were eating solid food, breast milk/formula would still be his primary source of nutrition.

I don't know what you mean about a window of time. But in my thinking the window of time is when she's ready to learn. She's just not ready yet.

I suggest that you find a way to relax so that you're not trying so hard. Your anxiety may rub off on her and make it more difficult for her to accept your offerings.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Ok my 2nd DD did the same thing! I started her out with the sweeter foods too...not sure why, because I didn't do that with my first, but anyway, a friend suggested that since I was breastfeeding her, she might enjoy the types of foods I was eating because that's what my breast milk tasted like. So (around 7-8 months) I started giving her peas and broccoli, potatoes, rice...all flavored with garlic and a tiny bit of salt.....and she fell in love! :) it wasn't love at first taste though, she did take a few times to really start digging it, but was much more receptive to those foods. Maybe this will work for y'all too! Im sure he is getting enough nutrition from your breast milk, I wouldn't worry :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Have you tried putting food on a place or highchair tray and just letting him play with it? If he is interested, he might end up eating something, and once he realizes he likes it, may be more open to trying stuff. If that doesn't work, stop for a month or so (or before if he seems interested in your food), and try again. There is no window of time for babies to learn to eat, and food isn't important at this stage for his nutrition.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My little guy didn't care for baby food other than sweet potatoes, but took to finger foods then went straight to regular food. Pureed/strained foods aren't a requirement. Another mom suggested distracting him with jar lids, or try a spoon, and offer finger foods, he may not be into you feeding him.

Also, I've read it in a few places that the average times a baby has to try a food before they like it is 15 times, that's per each food! So try finger foods and just keep offering, he'll eventually eat. Meanwhile your breastmilk is giving him enough nutrition, as will the formula. At this point his eating solids is just to get him used to them, not for major nutrients.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

At his age, his primary nutrition should come from breast milk and/or formula. Solids at this point are more for learning and exploring, as well as getting him to try things he may be resistant to trying later. My son wasn't interested in solids until right before he turned one.

There are some things you can do to maybe engage him more. Give him a spoon of his own and let him try to feed himself while you're trying to slip in bites here and there, for example.

Does your son have a temperature preference? Our youngest daughter sure did... even though everything I'd read before said that babies don't care about hot or cold, she wanted everything hot.

Another thing to consider is that some babies just don't like purees. If he has teeth, try offering him a chunk of banana, roasted or boiled sweet potato or some other soft food.

If all of that fails to interest him, I'd just let it go and come back to it later.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

Totally normal-- remember that "Normal" is just the middle of the bell curve. He'll be ready when he's ready. Breastmilk has EVERYTHING he needs for the first year. And be sure and set him up in his high chair and let him watch the rrest of the family eat, before you know it he'll be begging worse than the dog!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Maybe his intestines are not ready to properly digest solids? I never feed my kids solids until they have teeth. I figure they all develop at different rates and so far, no digestive issues, or allergies.

My daughter (baby #3) REFUSED solids. I even dropped her off at a friend's house for 8 hours and she would not eat a thing or take a bottle with breastmilk...and she was 14 months. I EXCLUSIVELY (meaning NOTHING but breastmilk) breastfed my daughter for 18 months and he's extremely healthy and not underweight or undernourished.

BTW, I would NEVER feed my babies cereal/grains. This turns into sugar when broken down and with the diabetes risk we have in today's society, it's not necessarily a good choice. Many moms tout that it help them sleep by filling their tummies - its because it is slow to digest and difficult for many people/babies to digest.

Don't stress. If he's growing well, then let him listen to his body.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,

My daughter also had a very slow time eating solids and I was worried sick about it at the time. I talked to my SIL and she gave me the best advice. She told me that all kids will eventually learn to eat solid foods, and that I never saw a grown kid eating baby food or sucking on a bottle on purpose, did I? I thought about it and realized that she was absolutely correct. I sort of just relaxed about the whole thing and sure enough, my daughter slowly learned to be weaned from milk and started eating solids, but it wasn't until 10-11 months that she did so.

Just as an idea, she enjoyed tofu. It was just soft enough for her to gum her way through and I flavored it with miso, but you could probably just cube it up into chicken stock and feed it to her. It was plenty nutritious and she couldn't get enough of it. She still loves it today, eight years later.

I wish you the very best with your son. I am certain he will learn to eat solids when he's ready.

Take care,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Even my very conventional pediatrician said that babies get all of their nutrition from formula or breastmilk for the first year. "Solids" are just for practice. My first child barely "ate" anything beyond 2-3 oz. of stage 1 purees, then when he turned one went straight for solid food. Our pedi said to just keep introducing foods to let him "test drive". My second was grabbing for the spoon at 5 months, grabbing for my plate at 7 months and weaned herself at 9 months. Our pedi sort of gently reminded me to make sure she was getting *enough* breastmilk and formula. Both are perfectly healthy.
Try not to worry. Babies will not starve themselves and seem to know what their bodies need. Your baby will "eat" in his own time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

This is totally normal. My daughter didn't eat "solids" for 9.5 months (and then she wouldn't eat purees so I had to feed her very soft veggies and fruits, chopped up into the tiniest pieces). Breastmilk is all he needs until he is at least 1 year. Offer him food occasionally, but don't sweat it if he won't eat it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I was told that solids were really not necessary in the first year of life. They get all the nutrition they need from formula or BM. In fact, my daughter was always on the tiny side, and they actually told me NOT to feed her because the solids and cereals fill her up and she won't take enough milk and thus WON'T get enough nutrition. So, I wouldn't worry about it AT ALL! And, then you can mention it to the ped at the next check up.

1 mom found this helpful
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