8 month old not eating solids?

Louise - posted on 11/28/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Hi, I'm new here and just wondered if anybody could give any advice. My 8 month old breastfeeds on demand and likes her milk. But won't eat any solids at all. She just clamps her jaw shut if it's anything on a spoon and plays with the finger foods. I just worry because she started out on the 75th centile and is now on the 30th. My health visitor is very stern and has ordered me to only feed her milk twice in 24 hours so she gets an appetite (I am both ignoring and avoiding her). Help.

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Celeste - posted on 11/28/2011

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Solids before one are for fun! The main source of nutrition right now is supposed to be breastmilk. It sounds like she's not quite ready and that's fine!

It's pretty typical for breastfed babies to slow down weight gain. As long as she's getting enough diapers, meeting milestones, in good health, you're fine! And I'm glad that you're ignoring the health visitor. That is HORRIBLE advice!!

A couple of links I'm dropping off:
General info about solids:
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids...

Look at the baby, not the scale
http://drjaygordon.com/pediatricks/newbo...

Sounds like you're doing fine!

[deleted account]

If she's breastfed on demand... don't worry. She'll eat when she's ready. Just keep offering solids on occasion.



My son was a FAST grower in early infancy (gained 12 ounces in 3 days as a newborn), but naturally slowed down. By 2 he was in the 25% where he has stayed for almost 2 years now.



He did take his first bite of solids at 6 months, but was so random w/ his interest that he wasn't eating on a daily basis til around a year... and still had some breastmilk only days til a year and a half (mostly while sick or teething). There were also quite a few days after that where he would sleep through lunch. I never worried since he would nurse before and after his nap... and sometimes in the middle.



He's been weaned for about 5 months now and in the past 8 months has only gained 2 or 3 pounds, so his growth has slowed down a LOT more since he stopped breastfeeding.



I would not listen to your health visitor as ounce for ounce breastmilk has more fat and calories than just about anything else. Your baby will most likely be FINE... and much better than if you try to force feed her... which could very well prolong her disinterest in food.

Lori - posted on 12/05/2011

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I wouldn't put too much concern in your little one. You would know if she wasn't getting enough. I have 3 boys, and 3 very different eaters! My youngest sounds much like your daughter. My dr. too was concerned about the food. She didn't start to get worried until much later. I tried foods with my son at 5 months, as his sleeping pattern had changed. He spit up everything he ate. I just let it go, and then tried a couple of weeks later. I kept doing that until he had an interest in food, which wasn't until he was 9 1/2 almost 10 months old! By his 1 year visit, he had gained a fair amount, but was still under a bit. That's when my dr suggested starchy foods and other things to get him to eat. I wasn't too worried since he didn't start eating solids until after other babies usually do. I knew he would catch up, and boy did he catch up! He shocked the dr at the 15 month checkup! So not to worry unless you feel it is warranted. Remember that chart is the same one whether baby is formula or breast fed, so there will be variances. It took me a while to learn with my first son, that babies and kids will not starve themselves. Let them go at their own pace, and they will be fine. Just remember to try every so often and don't get frustrated. Babies will do so much better eating if done while not under stress, and enjoying the whole experience. Good luck, try to enjoy these days with baby, eating solids or not!

Bernadette - posted on 12/01/2011

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I only just went through this with my son a couple of weeks ago. He is nearly 8 months too. The doctor was worried that he was very underweight but he just wasn't interested in solids at all. I would try to feed and he'd fight me, screaming about it and clamping his mouth shut and turning away. We really struggled with it because he just wasn't interested AT ALL. Then I started giving him bowls of food to just play with. I'd mix up baby cereal or custard and put the bowl on his high chair tray (I used one of the bowls with the suction base so that he couldn't throw the whole bowl) and just let him play with it. He really enjoyed examining the texture and he's coat his hands in it then put it put to his face to really check it out. After a couple of days of doing this, he'd start touching it to his mouth and, because he is a thumb-sucker, bits would make their way in when he'd get sick of playing and start sucking his thumb instead. I'd also give him toast, rusks, etc, that he could chew on. I tried dipping them into the baby food, but he would crack up if I did that and throw them on the floor! Then he started crawling and, strangely enough, the very same day he suddenly started eating. I put his bowl in front of him as I would do every day, and like every other time, I'd first offer him a spoonful just to see what he'd do. I was very surprised when he opened his mouth and took it straight in, and thought "uh oh, that was an accident, he is going to crack when he realises!" But he actually swallowed it. So I offered him more and he ate it again. And again. He ate nearly the whole bowl, willingly! I was shocked. He was not only opening his mouth, but leaning forward so that he was actually putting his mouth around the spoon rather than me putting the spoon in his mouth. And he hasn't been able to get enough of food ever since! At our last check, yesterday, he was back on track - still below the lowest percentile indicated on the chart, but sharply rising back towards it.

Basically though, keep giving her as much milk as she demands. When she starts needing solids, she'll start eating them. I was also advised to offer my son food BEFORE a breast feed, so that he'd be really hungry. The trouble with this is that, before they start eating solids they DON'T KNOW that solid food fills their tummies, so they don't associate eating with filling that hunger that they feel. They KNOW that a breast feed will. So until they get it, they get crankier and crankier and refuse anything else you offer. My advice would be, offer it before your baby gets too hungry. Give it to her when she's in a good mood and she might be more receptive of it. I tried cutting back on the breast feeds to make him hungrier but he still refused the food, and he wasn't having milk either! So basically I thought "hang on, I'm trying to make him put on weight, and I'm STARVING him. Way to go!" So ignore your health visitor and feed your baby as much as she needs - and offer the solids when she is happy, not hungry. Make food a fun experience.

Sally - posted on 11/30/2011

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Your health visitor has no idea what they are talking about. As long as you nurse on demand, your milk is enough nutrition until at least 18 months. Some kids aren't interested in table food when the baby food companies think they should be. As long as she's healthy, her size is no indication of her nutrition intake.

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Anushya - posted on 03/08/2013

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Hi

I too have a similar problem, my 8 month old girl just wants to play and when it comes to food she will lock her mouth after 2 to 3 spoons. her doc has asked me to reduce the milk and make her eat solid at any cost. How do I do that? Please advice...

And one more thing my baby doesn't have a proper schedule for her sleeping and even her food time. I tried lot many things but not able to set a routine for her..... what do I do?

Roxi80mb - posted on 12/12/2011

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I would have loved to have ebf my dd until at least 6 months but at 5 month I couldnt put anything in my mouth without her trying to take it of me...so babies trully are different..she's 15 months now and she shows no signs of wanting to stop breastfeeding and Im very happy with that.but she loves her solid food too.actually,shes quite chubby for a breastfed baby...your dd will show some interest sooner or later, especially if she sees you eating.is she crawling ?standing? once she starts crawling its hard to stop them from putting everything in their mouth :) just make sure you get some iron tablets or eat some meat regularly, maybe. I dont know if u heard about this case : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-... sure its not your case but unfortunatly this happened and Im sure those parents wanted nothing but the best for their baby...its good to check with a bf friendly pediatrist too, if u get a chance...just to rule out any problems with her tummy ....and also, if I had listen to my health visitor my dd would have been on formula day 3 of her life because she was loosing weight big time at first( my milk didnt come in untill a week after)...so maybe they mean the best for your baby but I dont think they always know whats best

Laura - posted on 12/11/2011

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Tell your "health" visitor to go pound salt. Keep breast feeding on demand and keep offering finger foods. Don't worry, she won't be still nursing in high school. Eventually she will eat solids. My twins nursed on demand for almost 4 years. They showed minimal interest in solid foods until they were almost a year old. I offered but did not push anything on them. As long as your child is growing on her own curve, don't pay any attention to the percentiles!! These are based on formula fed babies who start cereal at 6 months. Trust yourself and your daughter. You will be fine.

Anna - posted on 12/02/2011

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As long as you offer solids to your baby, it's up to her to accept or refuse them. Breastmilk/formula should still be a baby's primary source of nutrition for the 1st year. I would ignore and avoid your health advisor for giving out such information, not your daughter. Does this health advisor know anything about breastfeeding? Here are some guidelines http://kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/ind...

Tara - posted on 12/01/2011

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My daughter did not take any solids until she was 12 months old. I was too was scared that she something was wrong. She is now almost four and has a very healthy appetite and rarely gets sick. My now 1 1/2 year old did not eat solids until 9 months. She never liked baby food and always self fed herself. Both of my girls have amazing immune systems and I truly think it's because I didn't force solids on them until they were ready. You are a good mom and trust your instincts :)

Martha - posted on 11/30/2011

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My kids were the same way, it seemed like they only wanted to nurse and they liked puffs. They were both smaller children, there is nothing wrong with that. You would think in a culture where obesity is becoming such an issue they would not be so quick to push you away from one of the healthiest best thing for your baby. Breast milk has what your baby needs, there is no lack of nutrition. My babies never had any trouble gaining weight when nursing the first months, but once they were moving busy active little girls they are just smaller, but healthy. My Dr is very encouraging and doesn't worry about when they are not where they should be on a chart. If your kid shows the signs of a healthy developing baby then ignore them. The charts are made by babies, babies Don't have to be on them. Personally I think that breast milk has exactly what your baby needs and not the excess our culture is used to. They can't duplicate it in formula and try to pack everything they can in. I think formula probably has more fat than baby needs, which is probably why the average baby is larger than yours. BF is not the norm. Just keep offering her different varieties of food, shell try it when she's ready :) my kids liked fresh bananas mashed up :)

Krystle - posted on 11/30/2011

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My son would not eat at 8 months. He didn't really start eating until 12 months....turns out he has a few food allergies and avoiding all food but Mommy's milk was his way of protecting himself! :)

Up to 1 years old solids are just to experiment with, not for nutrition. Celeste Clark was right! :)

Ashley - posted on 11/30/2011

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I am glad she enjoyed the feeding. You will eventually find the food she likes.

Louise - posted on 11/30/2011

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Thanks for the great ideas. She loved the sticking her fingers in the purees at her highchair and did lick her fingers so that was some progress. Although there were some faces. I keep offering finger foods and don't worry guys I am not going to deny her milk haha I think she would just pull down my top and help herself anyways.

Kristine - posted on 11/30/2011

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My 7 mo. old gags on everything, so he is not "on solids" either. I give him small pieces or "sticks" of food to hold and play with, mostly he just gets messy. I still nurse on demand and plan on doing so until he is eating real food. Google baby led weaning. basically give your baby real food, eventually they will start to eat when ready and you don't have to waste time or money on baby food. Most babys don't gain so much after 6-8 months. My first son weighed the same at 10 months and 21 months!! Good luck and follow your gut. Remember also that in other parts of the world children nurse for years, with little other nutrition, and do just fine. Your baby will be demanding food from your plate in no time!

Ashley - posted on 11/29/2011

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when both my sons were about 8 months I would put them in the highchair and place a few dollops of pureed food in front of them and they would play and lick their fingers. Eventually they both took to solids and would eat breakfast, lunch , and dinner type solids when my husband and I ate but I was still BF on demand. So keep offering the food in a fun way with a meal you would eat. and soon she will become interested in the food YOU are eating.

Heather - posted on 11/29/2011

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Try REAL food, bread, stars, cherrios, french fries, cooked carrots, peas, small bites of cut up potatoes, rice, things that are soft, but small enough for her to eat! She might not like the smell of baby food. Your daughter is also ONLY 8 months old, she shouldn't be having Milk yet. Don't with hold formula or Breast milk from her, that's wrong, and mean, and you could end up hurting your daughter in the long run. Keep trying. Maybe only give her a bottle every 4 to 5 hours during the day and once a night. Then many inbetween she will start to get hungry. Maybe in the mornings, only give her half of what she usually has, and try it in a sippy cup instead of a bottle. Then see if she will try some baby food fruit or cherrios.

[deleted account]

OMG @ your health visitor



Your daughter sounds fine to me. My son was willing to taste solids, but he often spat them completely out or only swallowed a tiny, tiny amount until he was around 11mo, when he started to eat regularly and daily, though still small amounts. Now he's almost 15mo and eats 3 meals a day!



She's just not ready. Keep offering finger foods -- one day she will eat some. :)



It's normal for breastfed babies' growth to slow down in the second half of the first year. Generally, they double their birth weight by 6 months, triple by 1 year, and quadruple by 2 years. So you see, it keeps slowing down.

Louise - posted on 11/29/2011

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Thanks Celeste and Teresa- I feel much better about what I'm doing now and the links were great.

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