My Daughter Won't Eat

Updated on March 02, 2008
A.B. asks from Albany, OR
11 answers

My 9 1/2 month old has lost all interest in solid foods I'm lucky if she takes one or two bites. She is small for her age and It worries me that she isn't getting enough to eat. I am still breast feeding and that seems to be all she is interested in. Has anyone else been through this? She eats like a bird and if she dose eat its mostly ohs and bread.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for all your feedback! We just had a check up and Doc. says she is a ok just a small little girl. I hadn't even thought that teething might be the issue but that seems to line up perfectly she has been going one tooth after the other for about two to three months and that lines up with the eating issues. Thanks for helping me through.

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answers from Seattle on

Children eat when they are hungry. If you want her to switch to solids, you might want to end breast feeding. Or maybe she just doesn't like what she's being offered.

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answers from Portland on

Hey A.,

It's not uncommon for babies to take their time transitioning to solid food. My daughter was exclusively breastfed and she didn't really start eating solids until 10 months! I offered her solids two times a day from six months on, but she would take 2 or 3 bites, at most. At 10 months, she suddenly started taking most of her calories from solid foods.

As a first time mom, I was worried about this and I remember posting about it on a different board. I got over 20 responses from moms whose children took their time transitioning to solids. So, I know it's fairly common.

The only thing that concerns me is that you wrote, "my 9 1/2 month old has LOST all interest in solid foods." and "She is small for her age."

If your daughter WAS eating a lot of solids and suddenly stopped, she could be teething - babies/toddlers who are eating solids will temporarily stop when they're teething - it hurts to chew. If you're at all worried or if she continues to avoid solids week after week even though she once used to eat lots of solids, I would talk to her pediatrician.

As for being small for her age, I would also talk to the pediatrician to find out if you should be concerned. Breastmilk alone will not starve a baby - even an older baby like yours. At 9 1/2 months, my daughter was living on 99.9% breastmilk and she was pudgy! I met another mom whose son didn't get into solids until 12 months and he was in the 80 to 90 percentile for both height and weight.

You daughter may just be petite, which is fine. But if you're at all worried, talk to your pediatrician.

Good luck! M.



answers from Seattle on

If you are worried about her not getting enough, you can consider using the Medela Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). It givers your baby formula as you nurse. You attach a small thin tube to the side of your nipple and have the milk in a bottle that hangs from your neck. She is nursing and gets formula at the same time. I use it with my son as my milk supply was never enough and this allows him to continue to nurse and get enough food.



answers from Seattle on

My 3yr old was the same way very small even now she is only 28lbs. She breast fed until she was almost 2. I never fed her ohs and rarely bread because she hardly ate. She loved home made Yams and sweet potatoes, Grapes, Alvocado and bananas.
I did try breast feeding AFTER meals instead of before. That worked a little! But really I think she just ate what she needed.

I hope this helps a little. :)



answers from Seattle on

If she's gaining weight, then she's getting enough from breast milk!

There might be another reason she is not eating solid foods though... for example, if she's teething, the act of "chewing" would hurts her gums, or if she has an ear infection, the motion of "chewing" wouldn't feel good.

Good luck!



answers from Seattle on

My nephew has always been a no-eater. He has a little brother now that eats everything in front of him, but Donovyn still picks at food and barely nibbles (he's 5 1/2 now, and skinny, but tall and healthy). I've learned that children, especially babies, know when they've had enough and stop eating. You may check with your doc, but I'm sure she's fine. I asked my pedi once how much my babies were supposed to be eating when they were 1st on solids (I've got 3 1/2 yr twins) and she mentioned a handfull of protien and a handful of fruits/veggies. So it's not an awful lot that they actually need. She's probably also just getting full on breast milk. That stuff is so nutiritious! Hope that helps!



answers from Spokane on

My daughter is the same way. She has been in the lower 5th percentile for weight since she was born and is now 19 mo old. She is not unhealthy, just small. At about 9 mo she did the same thing. I still don't know if she was teething or just being picky but what helped me was what was suggested earlier, trying to feed her solids and then following with breast feeding.
I would only be worried if she is not replacing her solid meals with breast milk. If she is increasing her feeding time with you then she is still getting the nutrition she needs. If she is starting to not take in as much of anything then I would call her doctor.
The ohs and bread might also be a culprit as they can fill her up fast. My daughter loved carbs more then other food as well. She only ate cherrios, gerber puffs and breast milk for a few months. Even though she had been eating solid baby foods for over a month. I would just wait it out and let her lead the way as long as she is getting enough breast milk. And don't worry too much about her being small, all babies are differnt I have one slender skinny minnie and one chubby bubby:)



answers from Seattle on

HI my name is T. and i wanted to tell you i breastfeed my daughter for a year. And while they are breastfeeding they do not have to eat soilds only because she is getting everything she needs from you... THe only reason you feed them food is to get used to the textures of them. She will be fine don't worry yourself she will grow and gain weight fine my daughter was also small and now she is 5yrs old and weights as much as other kids



answers from Seattle on

Hi, my name is G.. This is just based on my experience with my two sons, but, if all she wants is milk then let her have all she wants, that is enough nourishment. When she is ready for solid foods, she will definitely let you know.



answers from Richland on

I too live in Ephrata...I do have a question for you, how many times a day does your baby nurse? If she is nursing to much, then that would explain why she isn't interested in eating. You could try feeding her first and then follow up with the nursing afterwards. I know easier said then done, right?
One of my girls did the same thing and all she wanted was to nurse. It took allot of patience but she finally came around to eating more and more foods. She enjoyed sittin gin her high chair with lots of finger foods at her disposal.
Good luck.
I too enjoy gardening and the outdoors. I am a mother of 4 (2 boys 2 girls) and the grandmother of 10 precious babies, the oldest one being 12 yrs. and the youngest being almost 2yr.



answers from Seattle on

Hi A.!

I've had the same issue with my daughter around that age, when just a few months prior to that, I couldn't produce enough milk to keep up with her. She's now 14 months old and still goes through a period of not eating very much at a times.
My pedio said that it's normal for girls to lose interest in eating solids at times and are sometimes more interested in the surroundings than eating. Might call your dr/nurse up and ask. But since you breastfeeding her, she's still getting plenty of nutrients. I know of some ladies who have nursed their little ones for more than a year, and they were happily chunky little punkins.
If you are feeding her solids and wish to continue so, have you tried higher protiens like eggs (scrambled or boiled) or shredded grilled or boiled chicken? (if she's not allergic, or you vegans) Scrambled eggs are great textures too!

Don't worry though, you are not alone! Good luck!
Best wishes,

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