My 7 Month Old Will Not Eat Solids

Updated on March 04, 2009
D.B. asks from Silver Spring, MD
26 answers

Our pediatrician was very adament about not starting solids until our son was 6 months old. Not even rice cereal and at 6 months the doctor said start with veggies - no cereal needed. He seems to hate the idea of eating solids. We've tried veggies - sweet potatoes, carrots, sqaush, peas, and green beans, and now some fruits - pears, bananas, applesauce and peaches. He will not eat any of it. He gets extremely upset as if we are torturing him. We don't think it's that he doesn't like the flavors, we more think he just doesn't like eating solids. The first few times he did eat/swallow some, but not much. Now when we try to give him some solids, he keeps his mouth open so he won't swallow. We've always tried solids before a bottle (formula). Tonight we tried after a bottle. He got himself so upset, he threw up the whole bottle (and he is not a spit up baby). Does anyone have any suggestions? Should we try rice cereal - will that get him used to eating?

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J.R.

answers from Washington DC on

I wouldn't get soo worried about a 7 month old not wanting to eat. The most important thing for him to consume right now is breast milk or formula. If you insist trying foods right now pick one food and stick to it for at least a week. Don't try to give a variety of foods all at once. if you are concerned about swallowing problems let you pediatrician know so that he/she can refer you to an Occupational Therapit for an evaluation.

Good luck

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B.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, D.! My daughter, who is now a healthy 6 year old, HATED solid food til she was about 1. She was a baby who spit-up constantly, and would never take more than 2 ounces of formula at a time until she was about 6 months old. When I had a sonogram done with her they were very concerned because her stomach looked so tiny. She just couldn't handle much food at a time, and solids made her gag and throw up. It was a real struggle constantly giving her formula in small amounts, and eventually she could handle some rice cereal in her bottles. When she finally got the hang of solid foods we never had any problems.

To this day she has a very small appetite and doesn't eat a lot of food at one sitting, so I feed her smaller meals several times a day (which is actually healthier, apparently). She is VERY fit--a gymnast--and very muscular and lean and tall (everything I wish I could be!!).
Good luck, and try not to worry. B..

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R.S.

answers from Washington DC on

D.,

Your dr is following advice based on studies showing that exposure to food before 6 months has a dramatically increased risk of diabetes (we are not sure of the link). Plus I don't know your history of your baby's tummy, but some kids tummy's just take longer to mature than others. I waited with both kids till 6 months.

Okay I could be totally wrong, but it sounds like your baby boy has an issue with texture, not food itself. To overcome this sloooooowwww dowwwwwnnn and mix formula with his food (measure the amounts). Give him 1/2 to 1 teaspoon before a certian number of bottles all day every day. Once he starts swallowing work up to 1-2 teaspoons, then to 1/2 a jar once a day,then 2x a day, etc.. At that point decrease the amount of formula mixed with the food, sloooowwwly, like 20% a day (if he will let you)....If not decrease by 10%. Stick with one type of food probably apples (use organic it is consistently sweeter or make your own just steam yellow apples-preferably and peeled ofcourse and mash then add the water you steamed them in (use the microwave). Make sure it is really watery for you baby! Maybe steam in formula (if you can do that-I can't remember). I had to get my daughter to take Nutramigen at 6 months (it tastes terrible,smells terrible)...This is how I managed to do it.....And this is how I managed to get her to eat food it took months to get her to eat real food, but she does. Oh and get the mesh bag thing so when he is ready you can put avocados or bananas in it and let him mash the food with his gums and suck it out. Oh and give him a spoon so he feels more in charge.

Talk to you dr about your concerns, I really think it is a texture thing. Rice cereal will not solve all your problems most likely....

PS--I had to make all my own baby food to get my daughter to eat table food, consistently making it thicker and thicker (but no chunks). I know this sounds like a ton of work, but once your baby likes a type of food you can freeze back a ton of that in a couple of hours--using ice trays-once frozen throw in a freezer bag and label and date.

Hang in there, he is still really little just be consistent and thank God/or whomever that it isn't something much harder to deal with.

I totally understand your concerns. My son didn't eat anything besides apples, pears, carrots and cereal for months (turned out he had silent reflux--heartburn). And my daughter had the texture thing, which even now she hardly eats meat, due to texture. But eats a decent variety.
This will pass!
Rochelle

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L.B.

answers from Washington DC on

It isn't a big deal, kids can survive on just formula or breast milk till at least one year of age... however, it is nice to have them like solids.

I introduce solids to my little ones with what is called an infafeeder. I bought one at walmart. I have used it with each of my boys and had great success. They love it and it acustoms them to the texture, but the bottle is something they are use to. It allways has helped me to introduce cereal and stage one foods. I replace the nipple that comes with it, with a stage two (fast flow) platex silcone nipple (it has an x in the nipple instead of a hole)

Not all pediatricians like the idea of an infafeeder, but it has been a life saver for me. The big thing I think pediatricians don't like about it is that it would be easy to use it for every meal and quit trying the spoon... However I don't do that. I still use a spoon anytime I can, but it gets me through hectic moments.

Good Luck-

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J.F.

answers from Richmond on

Dear D.,
I have learned from a Ph.D. biochemist in my field that any one of us can absolutely change our cravings by what we feed ourselves!If we feed ourselves mostly diary, that is what we will crave. If we feed ourselves fruits and veggies, that is also what we will crave!
I am a rep for a company which markets fruits and vegetables in capsules, chewables and gummies. If your baby takes a bottle, our capsules can be opened up and mixed in with the bottle. If you nurse, you can take the capsules, and your baby can get it in your breastmilk.
Taking our product, Juice Plus+, will give you 17 fruits, veggies and grains (the nutrients of about 7 pounds of produce daily) that will cause your little one to crave the same produce later in his diet! Secondly, you are setting him up for a healthy start in life!
If you are interested in learning more, feel free to respond to this response or email me at [email protected]____.com.
Blessings!
J. F.

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S.C.

answers from Norfolk on

I would completely stop trying for at least a week maybe two and then when you start again I would try letting him feed himself. It will be messy but some kids just prefer to do things themselves and some are simply not ready for solids as early as others. Little pieces of banana, sweet potato, or very soft carrots are good first foods and then he can feed himself. You might try also giving a sippy cup of formula or water with the food. Iwould make the experience about learning and exploring and not force it. He will eat. Two of my kids would barely eat until they were over a year and they are now 5yr and 7yr and they eat just fine so my main advice is to just breathe deeply and relax and enjoy your baby.

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P.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Looks like lots of good responses here.
One thing I would add is that you might want to stop putting him in the location where you feed him (i.e. high chair, bouncy seat, etc.) for a while until he forgets about the feedings. Then try just having him sit at the table playing with something fun while you and your partner eat. You may find him taking an interest. Then you can share something off your plate with him to experiment with on his own (something safe to handle and mouth). One of my girls (at 6 months) loves to self-feed. She plays with the spoon. She loves to hold uncooked carrots and celery to suck on. She also loves the baby mum mum crackers that she can hold (and they melt in her mouth). Sometimes I give her a piece of multigrain (good quality) bagel to suck on, but watch carefully for pieces falling out that are a choking hazard. In general, try to be very unstressed if you can b/c babies can "feel" that anxiety and it can have an impact on the eating experience. If he's just not interested for a while longer...it's OKAY. Contrary to popular belief, rice cereal is not a necessary stage. I guarantee you will find something that he will enjoy eating in the next 8 to 10 weeks. If you don't, then just ask you doctor to refer you to someone for a feeding consultation. Babies get the most to all of their nutrition from milk at this young age, so he is not missing out on any nutrients at this point. He will absolutely figure out how to develop an interest in different smells, textures, and flavor as time passes. All babies just do this on their own time table. Hang in there~!

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M.K.

answers from Washington DC on

My youngest child would not do baby food or solids at all until he was around 9 months old. He is now a healthy, happy, active 13 year old doing well in school and all around. Just keep trying every week or so and I am sure that when he is ready, he will eat.

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K.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi - I read some of the other responses and noticed someone mentioned that your son may have an issue with texture. My son was the same way - didn't want anything to do with the cereal and baby foods and he acted the same way you describe your son acting. After much trial and error (and loads of frustration on our part) - we took him to see a feeding specialist (occupational therapist) and they definitely think it's a texture issue. He would only eat crackers and dry crunchy solids. If we presented him with wet pureed food, he would get hysterical. Our son is now almost 17 months old and he's eating much better, but still has some issues with the pureed foods. We have gotten him to eat mashed potatoes and chocolate pudding (recently) - but that's about it for the pureed-type foods. One of the biggest things we had to do was to start letting him play in the food and us play also to show him it's okay.

I think we finally started to see an OT for his feeding issues when he was 9-10 months old. We are in Prince William County and go through the PIE (parent/infant education) program, but we started with Good Beginnings in the Falls Church area. Just something for you to keep in mind if you continue to have problems.

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D.K.

answers from Washington DC on

I would say to wait. Maybe he's just not ready. Babies aren't ready for solids at some arbitrary age line. They're ready when they're ready. Give him a week or two and then try again, if he's still not ready, wait another week and so on. Both of my boys didn't want much to do with solids until they were closer to 9 months actually and they were both perfectly healthy. And yes, I would start with rice cereal. I don't know why your doctor told you not to. The point of cereal isn't so much nutritional for formula babies (my boys needed it for the iron since I breastfeed, but formula has plenty of iron in it already) no, the purpose of cereal is to give them something bland that you can mix their usual "milk" into for a flavor they're familiar with. Basically, you don't want to give them a new texture AND a new flavor at the same time, it's just too much for them and they can get very stubborn. Giving him cereal is giving him something half familiar and half new. This is easier for babies to deal with emotionally.

Best of luck!

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M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi D. -

At this age solids are not important and if your son does not like them I would not give them right now. Babies do not need solids until 12 months. There have been studies that if you expose infants to solids to early it can cause a host of problems. I would say relax and stop with the solids for now.

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S.J.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi,

I see a lot of other moms had the same experience that I had with my daughter. She refused to eat anything that resembled baby food. She wanted to eat what we were eating. I waited until she had some teeth to work with and then I gave her small bits of whatever we were having. She didn't really start eating solids until after 8 months or so. Don't rush it. Let your son guide you. If he doesn't want solids yet, don't force it. I also got one of those "Baby Safe Feeders". It's a little mesh bag that you can put solids fruit or veggies in and then baby eats the food through the mesh. That way you don't have to worry about choking but baby gets to feel more grown up by eating solids. They're also great for teething. Good luck and don't worry about it too much. As long as your son is still getting his breastmilk or formula, he'll be fine.

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A.F.

answers from Washington DC on

Wait awhile longer. When the child needs to eat solids he will want to eat them. He is not ready yet. The longer you wait to start foods, the less chance of allergies. My daughter did not eat solids until 8 months. Babies can thrive on milk only up to one year. AF

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B.W.

answers from Washington DC on

I have found that my daughter likes the Happy Baby brand of cereal. I can find it in natural food stores. I mix her food with formula/breast milk. When I have done it with water, we are not as successful. I dilute all of her foods like this. She also really likes "puffs". Also the Happy Baby brand. She likes to do it herself now that she has gotten the hang of it. It is good for hand eye coordination. Now that she has gotten the hang of it, I will give her little pieces of banana or bread or pasta. I also make my own food. She seems to like that better than any store bought food I have tried. If this interests you, look into books by a woman named Annabel Carmel. She has had the most step by step instruction on an actual feeding schedule. Good Luck

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L.M.

answers from Washington DC on

D.,
First of all, your doctor is right on track letting you know to wait till at least 6 mths and starting veggies and fruit first. Coming to this with my holistic wellness hat on,I'd say that this is the earliest that is best to start. I have many clients that have babies that will not eat any solid food till 1 yr. You have read other posts here from other moms with that situation. Formula and breastmilk are fine alone through a yr. I'd also encourage you NOT to feed rice cereal. It can set up all sorts of digestive issues down the line; such as constipation, IBS and tendancy for blood sugar issues. Texture is also a possiblity. I'd also suggest teaching your child some baby sign, to help with communication. As a mom, I'd encourage you to follow you son's lead. He is telling you that he is not ready. That is ok right now. Take a deep breath. There are also holistic flower remedies that you can give to help with emotional issues. Feel free to email me if you have questions.
I'm happy to help in any way I can.
L. M

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K.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Sounds like you have a lot of good responses here. I am currently dealing with exactly the same situation with a 6.5 month old. He wont eat the cereal or the babyfood. He does however like to gum the Zweibeck toast. Not sure he eats any but he has a blast. I am not going to worry about, Dr. said no nutrition in baby food anyway, it's not till 9 months that they worry about finger food.

Hang in there.

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S.B.

answers from Richmond on

I am not sure if you have tried this, but you can buy a baby bottle that you specifically use to introduce solids. What you do is put in the regular formula but add some cereal to it..just a tad...so that your baby does not notice too much ...the hole in the end is a little larger too ...try that for a week ..then add a little more ...until he is eating solids without knowing it ....I would try that and also ask your pediatrician....Good luck

S.

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

there are things you are going to have to be adamant about as your little boy grows up. this isn't one of them. why battle over things that you don't have to? there is no pressing need for a 7 month old to eat solids. respect his wishes and leave him alone until he wants to eat 'em.
khairete
S.

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I also suggest to wait a couple of weeks. Don't make eating a stressful event, it's not worth it. He'll eventually eat solids when he's ready :)

Oh...and mix it with some of his formula so he's familiar with the taste!

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E.G.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi,
I am probably going to go against the grain here, but I do think it is important to start introducing solids now that your baby is older than 6 months. It gets them ready to handle more complex digestion and proteins, practices with fine motor skills and gives them some variety to their diet. I am surprised your doctor said to not start with cereal. That is usually the first thing. It might not just be a texture thing, but it could also be a flavor issue (fruit tastes very different than formula) or even a spoon issue. Rice cereal is very bland, you can thin it out with a lot of formula so that it isn't thick, and the formula gives it a familiar taste. If you are interested in trying solids, I would say start with rice cereal and make it very watery when you first introduce it. You might want to wait a little while before you try again since your son seems to react immediately to the solids now. Good luck!! He will eat solids when he is ready.

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N.H.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter was the same way! I really had to be persistant - finally she would take pears (jarred, not homemade!) and eventually a few other things. She seemed to take to table food more. Anyhow, it took a lot of work and trying, and she is 4 now and it still is hard work getting her to eat a varied diet!

And yes - I introduced everything slowly and started with cereal - by the time she took the pears she was very close to 9 months or so....

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C.P.

answers from Washington DC on

D., my oldest never really ate solids until around 12 mnths. Up until that time she was exclusively breastfed on demand. She was very healthy and a chuky baby.

She refused any kinds of solids that were pureed and cereal. So I decided to hold off until she began to show signs that she was ready. I also didn't give her any vitamins and her iron was always good and she never had a deficiency that her ped could tell.

Once she was around twleve months she began to show interest in our finger foods and from that point on there was no turning back.. She is by far our most adventurous eater, always trying every thing once and she loves all types of food.

Her two younger siblings were also breastfed and they did start eating solids earlier, I kept trying until they ate them, but they are much more picky and will not try something if i urge them to.

I do not know if it is because i push solids on them that they do not trust my opinion or if my daughter is so adventurous because i allowed her to judge when she was ready but it might have something to do with it.

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J.C.

answers from Lynchburg on

I think it's worth a try to test eating rice cereal. Some kids need more gradually than others. My daughter is still nursing at 13 mo when my son was done with nursing and bottles at 11 mo. He never ate rice cereal, and she loves it. She's also done really well with things like vegetable soup, where the veggies are small and soft, with just a little rice cereal mixed in to thicken it. Good luck!

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O.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Do you let him manipulate the food on his own? My daughter really liked to be able to have control by picking up the food herself. So I started out with Bananas make a smiley face with them or letters... it is a great way to incorporate learning while eating. It will be fun for them to also be able to touch the food as well... See how that works... GOOD LUCK MAMI!

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M.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi! First off stop pushing him to eat the solids.
At 7 months old he doesn't really NEED solids. Babies up to 12 months only NEED breastmilk or formula for the first year.
Maybe he just doesn't like the texture of the baby food. Try chunks of food instead if you think he is developmentally ready. That does NOT mean he NEEDS teeth!! That means if he can chomp on food and properly use his tongue to push the food around and swallow.
Good Luck and if he still doesn't want anything, don't push it... May jsut push him to resist it more.

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J.W.

answers from Richmond on

We started trying to introduce solids to my daughter at 6 months. I basically threw away everything she tried- she finally go to the point where she wouldn't even lick her lips if I rubbed it on them! Then at 8 1/2 months, when I was lamenting to my mother she was going to nurse until she was 12, my mom handed her an overcooked green bean at a diner. She chowed it. We soon learned she wanted to eat things she could chew. If it came on a spoon she didn't want it. She never did eat any of those baby foods! I just bought the mixed frozen vegetables, and cooked small handfulls. I squeezed the peas out of their casings with a pinch, cut the carrots in half, and cut the greenbeans into pieces the size of cheerios.

My daughter didn't start eating off a spoon until she was a good 18 months old. Yogurt, applesauce, anything off a spoon was turned down.

I agree with the texture thing! Just give it a while. My son moved to finger foods at 8 months, and it only took a week for him to learn to self feed with his fingers. By 8 1/2 months he could eat half a banana and a whole wheat waffle torn to shreds in just minutes!

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