Refusing solids

Briana - posted on 08/27/2010 ( 74 moms have responded )

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My son is 5.5 months old, and the last 3 days has been refusing solids. At first he would just clamp his mouth shut. Now he is turning his head away from the spoon. I don't know why he is doing this. :(

And please, no "he shouldn't have solids yet" lectures or snide or snarky comments. I am in the first week of my husband's deployment and having a really rough time "single parenting it" for the first time and just can't handle stuff like that right now.

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Jennifer - posted on 09/01/2010

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DON'T GIVE HONEY TO A CHILD UNDER ONE THEY CAN HAVE A SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION AND DIE!!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer - posted on 08/31/2010

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I gave mine a net feeder when he refused to eat solids and he loved it. A few days later he happily started eating solids again. I changed around his feeding times too which I think helped. Maybe he's just not hungry or maybe he's not happy with the puree or the flavour. Good luck!

Gabrielle - posted on 09/02/2010

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Julia, I agree completely. I'm considering doing Baby Led Weaning for my next baby instead of messing with baby food.

Julia - posted on 09/02/2010

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I know a lot of people will argue this, but my kids didn't like baby food. My youngest would not be spoon fed under any circumstances, he wanted to feed himself from the time he learned to sit up. I gave them teething cookies, cheerios, bananas, anything soft enough to gum or too hard to break off and choke.
He's getting plenty of nutrition from you still, so don't worry about it too much. Eating solids at this age is really just a learning process.

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Kayla - posted on 09/12/2010

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Try child-led weaning. My son wasn't interested in solids until 8 months, and by then could feed himself and eat finger foods really really well. :)

Rachel - posted on 09/10/2010

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my son would not take anythign but breast milk till 9 months I kept trying to feed him then found some info online that when they refuse to eat solids it can be because they might have alergies... and the refusal is a self preservation thing. not that they are alergic to that specific item but they might have some intolarance... when my son finally started eating at 9 months I was very happy but he still breast feeds some at 18 months and is big healthy and strong.

Melissa - posted on 09/09/2010

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I agree that it could be teething, or he's just not ready, or he senses something is "off" with daddy being gone. He does not NEED to eat solids now, as long as he is still nursing, or on formula, that is all he needs.

Danielle - posted on 09/09/2010

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Maybe he's on a "nursing strike" since you said he is not BF as much either. I would keep trying the solids for another week. Maybe try to feed him the solids when you know he's hungry instead of nursing him first. If after a week he still won't take the food I would just nurse him a bit and in another couple of days try the food again. Sorry you're having a hard time while your husband is away. Do you have any support in your community? maybe if another mom feeds her baby solids your little one will want to eat too. Try to eat your meal with your baby. Sometimes if they see others eating, they will want to as well.

Nicola - posted on 09/09/2010

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Both my boys went through stages like that, sometimes its just a matter of adding in a different taste to their palate, if he's refusing maybe it's time for something new a different fruit or veg, I would cut up kiwi, avocado, pear and apple and mix a variety of each into freezer portions- then for veg brocolli, cauliflower, sweet potato and butternut squash- i'd add some pear or apple to sweeting this a bit!
Every baby is different and only their mother know's when to start solids!

Nayyara - posted on 09/08/2010

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one thing I want to add, keep a close check at his weight gain. my son was not much interested in eating solids and I just didn't tried much thinking when he will be ready he will ask himself. but now I feel his weight gained slowed down bcz of my this approach. So be sure he is gaining well. If not you probably need to put more effort in pursuing him to eat. I tried different flavors and textures of food and figured out what he likes, observed and identified distractions e.g. he prefers playing than sitting and eating food.

Melody - posted on 09/05/2010

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How annoying is it when that happens! i tried to put my boy on solids at 4mths coz he was breastfeeding flat out. he loved it for a week, then went back to nothing but breastmilk, he started teething at 7mths, he is now 9mths old. he only started liking solids again 2 weeks ago. other than that just flat out milk. drove me crazy, so good now coz i dont have to sit and feed him all day.
it must be extra hard on you trying to do it on your own without your husband.. i guess just keep trying.. i gave up from 5mths to 8.5mths, he really didnt seem intersted and i couldnt be bothered fighting! but he could be teething or just not to fussed for the last couple of days. you sound like your giving it a good go and being persistent. better than how i went, lol! good on you! :)

Mary - posted on 09/04/2010

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I kinda had the same thing happen with my baby.. he's 8 mo now. he ate well at first then he would clamp his mouth shut and not want it. the doc said, he's telling you he doesnt want it. everything ive read says that babies that are eating their breastmilk or formula well, you dont have to worry about. they will eat what they need. dont force anything on them. just keep offering it to him, and maybe try a diferent temperature. i was feeding my son cold baby food and i started heating it up a bit and he gobbles it down. also keep a good variety and always start with the veggies then offer fruit. Good luck, i know how frustrating it is. just remember, dont force it. he'll eat what he needs.

Rebecca - posted on 09/03/2010

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Every baby is different.....i know of babies put on solids earlier than 5 months as they have needed it! If he is refusing solids and you feel he needs that extra to keep him satisfied i have heard of something you can add to his milk (providing you are bottlefeeding that is :) ) to help fill him up more. I'm not sure what it would be now but years ago my mum had to use it for my brother.....i think it was called Farex. She was told by the midwifes she shouldn't be giving it him but a doctor, who had a hungry baby too, told her it was fine and he used that method himself! It worked well!
Maybe trying some in front of him would encourage him to try it too?
Hope this is useful and try to not let comments off other people get you down. I'm sure you are doing a wonderful job with your son!

Katie - posted on 09/03/2010

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I think he's feeling your stress. Babies are these very in tune little creatures that know when Mom's not having a good time. Nursing releases oxytocin, which in turn relaxes us. Just go with the flow my friend. Keep offering if your so inclined, but don't get frustrated, as he doesn't need the solid food now anyhow.

Nicole - posted on 09/02/2010

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any teeth coming in? mine does that when teeth are about to pop through, this happened with both of mine....

Sarah - posted on 09/02/2010

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Hello, I would not worry, I tried cereal at 4 months mix with breastmilk like my pedi said and my little boy hated it, and would just push it right out of his mouth, so I knew he wasn't ready so. I tried again at 5 months and he still did the same thing, I thought I would never get him to eat solids and he would be breastfed forever lol. Then 6 months came and went and I was lucky if I got him to eat 3 spoons full he would shake his head at me like he was saying no way lol. I didn't give up I was trying everything and every trick which is not much me being a first time mom. Then it was like a switch turned on one day about 7 months he decided that he liked babyfood, now almost 9 months he is eating me out of house and home and still nursing lol. I do notice that he doesn't really want food when he is teething so that may be why all of the sudden there is no interest in the solids. I hope this helps and know that you are not alone in this whole thing. You do what you can and that is all you can do. I am guessing you are a military wife as am I. Keep your head up and good luck I am here if you need to talk.

Heather - posted on 09/02/2010

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Well
he just doesn't want them, and don't push it
he will later, I'd say the phrase you said not to but I tried starting my son on solids at the age while breastfeeding because I was getting married and my son didn't want them either. The only thing he would eat is mashed banana's, not the ones from a jar.
Just don't push it and he'll be ok without the solids, you'll know hen he seems hungrier

Aicha - posted on 09/02/2010

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some babies go through food strikes I wouldn't worry to much just keep offering him foods and when he wants to eat them he will

April - posted on 09/01/2010

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He could be coming down with something-- they often refuse food if they are feeling unwell and this could be from something as simple as a congested nose, to a tummy bug.

IF you are still breastfeeding, and you are healthy, then I am certain that he will get through this with the comfort and the special mix of nutrition only available thorough Mummy's milk. Dont fret about the breastmilk if that is all he wants right now either since I breastfed my son EXCLUSIVELY until a year old-- not by my choice, but by his. And before anyone has a GO at ME....the GP said it was fine if he was healthy and thriving, so if yours is healthy and thriving then this will be enough.

If you are not nursing any longer... then make certain that he will take some sort of pedialyte (electrolytes specifically, but NOT sports drinks like Gatoraide or Lucozade due to the high sugar content) regularly to avoid dehydration. Signs of dehydration in a small child are:

* the amount of weight loss, which usually correlates to how dehydrated a child is (so 5 percent weight loss likely means that they are 5 percent dehydrated)

* how often and how much they are urinating (children with diabetes may continue to urinate frequently, even when they are severely dehydrated, so this isn't always a reliable sign)

* the presence of tears, a moist mouth and tongue, and whether or not their eyes are sunken

* their capillary refill (briefly press on your child's nail bed so that it blanches or turns white, and see how long it takes to return to normal)

* skin fold recall or skin turgor test (gently pinch your child's skin on their abdomen, hold it for a few seconds and then let it go to see how long it takes to return to the normal position).

If for any reason you feel that your baby is seriously unwell and/or dehydrated, do seek medical attention through your GP or if you are in the UK (I dont know where you are located) ring the NHS Direct hotline on 0845 4647 for professional medical advice. If in doubt call them-- they will be happy to help.

Best of luck.

Diana - posted on 09/01/2010

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My son didn't truly embrace solids until he was 17 months. As long as he can breastfeed on demand and you make solids available at meal time so he can join in if he wishes to do as you do, it is fine. There is an excellent book called My Child Won't Eat, which I would recommend to any parent who is entering the period where they will start offering solids, whether there is an unwillingness to eat or not.

One other book which is extremely informative on just how important it is to 'listen' to your baby's cues when it comes to food, is Baby Led Weaning (Rapley).

Probably if your baby doesn't want to eat something, there is a reason. Try offering again at the next meal time or the next day, and don't let yourself be too stressed; it could be a long time of this yet. :)

Jennifer - posted on 09/01/2010

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Relax he's just trying to tell you that he doesn't want solids right now. Give him a few days and try again. My son is 17 months old and he never would eat baby food, but he loved eating mashed up food from my plate. I started with mashing whatever vegetable we has for dinner and he ate it much better.
My husband is deployed as well so I understand it can be ruff going solo. I have three kids and this is our second deployment. As long as you have a good group to support you it will get better.

Tine - posted on 09/01/2010

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I understand how hard it is doing the 'single mum' thing - my partner is in the military too. He is only absent for a few weeks at a time,so your situation must be really hard.
I would never insult you or anyone by lecturing about anything but Ill just share a few things from my own experience and you can take or leave what suits you.
My daughter was fullybreastfed until about 6 months. She got her first cold then, so I made up a bit of rice cereal with honey and chinese herbs in it. Some days she'd have a bit,then she lost interest.
She didn't really take an interest in solids until 8anda half months, then one day she was ready, and was happy to try things! I did 'baby-led solids' (also called baby - led weaning) which has been excellent for us and for other people I know who have used that approach. Look it up on the net if you want more info. I was wondering when she would start solids, until a woman with 5 kids told me that hers started solids (she formula fed) between 8 and 12 months.

If you feel really strongly about starting solids now, I would suggest offering variety. My daughter (21 months) just gets bored with food! Perhaps one day try cereal, the next day mashed pumpkin, the next potatoes, etc, so he doesnt get bored. Of course he still needs wwhatever milk you have been giving him for a while yet too.

Best wishes! :-)

Tanya - posted on 09/01/2010

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Hi Briana.Perhaps your son is missing his dad...he senses something is different and possibly picking up on your "tension/worry". Don't worry too much that he is refusing solids....try and stay calm and try again tomorrow. As long as he gets his milk and stays hydrated he will be alright. If he is teething it may also affect things a bit too. Just know you are the best mom to your son....go with your gut...you know what is best for him :) Good Luck.

Briana - posted on 08/31/2010

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He's slowly making his way back into solids. We've kind of done away with night time cereal because he seems to actually sleep a little better without it. Weird haha. But he's eating a little morning cereal and is back to normal eating a lunchtime veggie and nursing better than ever :) And I'm doing alright. Surviving :)

Tina - posted on 08/31/2010

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At this stage, they really just need a taste and to get the feel for foods in their mouth. If you are having peas for dinner, mash a drop up for him. Give him what you're having and it'll be more fun. I sometimes think my kids liked eating what we had and that they just didn't like jar food....bland, no salt. (my husband's a chef so he season'd their home made baby food (things they can eat mind you) :)
Just let him play with it and get used to tastes.

Jennifer Ann Saunders - posted on 08/31/2010

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We started trying solids at 5 months, and Henry pretty much refused (or would only eat a bite or two) until he was at least six months old. Just have patience. Every child is different. Just keep trying a little every day. One day he'll decide that he wants something new!

Our prayers for a safe deployment and safe return home.

MamaTo3 - posted on 08/31/2010

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Changing feeding time is a great idea to try! I never thought of that when we were in this phase.

MamaTo3 - posted on 08/31/2010

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My guess is probably a combination of factors others have mentioned. Because I know you personally and Junior's eating habits and APPETITE :) I would say it's NOT that he's not ready!! Haha. But with the new environment and living arrangement, sensing your stress over deployment, teething, and possibly a newfound boredom with the textures or flavors he's used to, it could be any combination of these or all of them. Or maybe his growth is slowing down and he's just not as hungry on top of other factors. On the teething issue, Easton refused baby food for about 6 weeks before his first tooth popped through. And since he'd been on solids for several months at that point my milk supply was no longer adequate, but we did nurse as often and as long as possible through that phase. We started giving him tiny bits of our table food too, but I'd be cautious about that with Junior because he's younger than Easton was when we went through that. He was old enough to get yogurt, eggs, cheese, and even though they say to stay away from mashed potatoes because it has milk in it, we did it and he was fine! (bring on the criticism, moms, I don't care) But again, all of that is stuff that you might be advised to wait on since Junior is younger. I'd ask your pedi first! But you can try other things that he's had in baby food, like little bits of a banana, or cooked carrots, squash, peas, sweet potatoes, etc, and see if he's just wanting to try new textures. :)

Krystle - posted on 08/31/2010

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Don't worry! Up until a year babies get their nutrition from breastmilk, they don't "need" food. It's only for them to practice and learn how to eat.

Just follow his cues. Maybe stop trying solids right now, and try again in a week and see if he's interested then.

Kelly - posted on 08/31/2010

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MY daughter did the same thing I just waited a few days and tried again if she refused I waited some more now finally at 7 months she is finally taking solids she prefers the finger foods though

Deanna - posted on 08/31/2010

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Someone may have mentioned this before, I tried to read through the previous posts but it wasn't obviously stated.

Anyways you may want to try different textures, some babies like to start with their food very finely pureed, then work up to mashed and then pieces. Maybe if you tried the same foods you are now but try different textures?

Brittany - posted on 08/31/2010

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It's not that he shouldn't have them it's that maybe he's just not ready. Don't force it, let him decide gradually introduce one solid food at at time just like you did with jared food. Good luck and don't stress too much!

Teri - posted on 08/31/2010

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I always found that feeding solids was a hassle and adding lots of extra work to the day. If your son does not want food, just stop for a few days and come back to it in a bit.



The process of eating takes 8 distinct physical actions -- and this can be difficult to learn especially if his tongue thrust is strong. Babies after 6 mos usually have a better control of this and can do better.



babies who are force fed can develop eating issues -- so I'd just relax, give up for a few days, and go back to breast or formula -- and try again next week. that's gotta be easier than feeding.



hope your hubby remains safe

Amy - posted on 08/31/2010

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I'm in the exact same boat!! She is 5.5 months, took solids great for one week, now refusing for one week. I think I am going to lay off for a few days and try again. It is important not to put pressure on the baby. My plan is to let her play with the spoon and the food, instead of holding the food to her face (which has been totally useless lately!). Since I know the solids aren't essential nutritionally right now, I feel ok about this, but it is terribly frustrating, isn't it?! Good luck!

Christie - posted on 08/30/2010

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My first reaction is perhaps he is trying to tell you to take a break. Sorry if this isn't what you want to hear. I am a pretty firm believer in waiting until close to the 6month mark to even start solids, but I'm not about to jump down your throat about it. My (now) 25month old went through a refusal stage at about 7months old when she started teething. But as it turned out she was only refusing the spoon not food. So we started BLW/BLS which worked great. Goodluck!

Jennifer - posted on 08/30/2010

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My son is 2.5 years old, and has been eating baby food, along with breast milk and formula (when it was needed since he was about 3-4 months of age) I add whole wheat baby cereals to his yogurts, applesauces and puddings just to make them more nutritious. Yes, it does say on directions you can mix them in. No, it would not be a choking hazard if you know how to mix them properly. Also, doctors recommend that you add a tad bit of baby cereal to bottles if baby wakes up hungry ALL night. I've done my homework, and have asked other parents, my parents, doctors of many, and read many magazines, articles and books. I wouldn't come up with something off the top of my head, Ladies. I may be a young mother, but I have a lot support, and medical expertise from research I've done.

Crissy - posted on 08/30/2010

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Oh and if your baby has a fav fruit or veggie, you may have to mix a lil of it in with one he doesnt like so much. the dr told me that was a good way to get my boy to eat some of those not so sweet kinds. (like i used carrots to get him to eat his peas and green beans)

Crissy - posted on 08/30/2010

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If your breast feeding then my dr said it was normal. My son hardly ate baby food, some days he'd eat a whole jar and some days just 1/4 of one. Just continue breast feeding and he will be fine. :)

Ashley - posted on 08/30/2010

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I wouldn't worry too much. He may just not want or need them right now. All kiddos are different. My boys didn't really start eating solids consistently until they were well over a year old. They just preferred to nurse. You can always try taking a break for a week or so and then reintroduce something that you know he loves like apples or bananas. Just don't try to force it on him. Right now all he is doing is practicing. As long as you haven't cut out bottles or breastfeeding he is getting plenty of what he needs. He has plenty of time to get back in the swing of things. Just don't stress out about it.

Tracey - posted on 08/30/2010

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He might just be teething. They seem to back off solids more at this time. Don't give up. He will come around. My daughter is doing the same thing. I try to give her some food then the milk. This will work if he isn't too hungry. Do it a couple times a day not just 3 meals a day. He will come around.

Merry - posted on 08/30/2010

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Doctors and other experts recommend that you never give baby cereal in a bottle unless recommended by baby's doctor for a specific medical condition. Here are some of their reasons:

•It is a choking hazard.
•The cereal takes away from the amount of milk in the bottle (adds carbohydrates and dilutes the nutrient density), and baby may not get adequate milk volume for proper growth and development.
•Baby is being given a higher concentration of calories without being able to regulate her own intake. This can lead to weight problems in the future.
If baby’s doctor suggests thickened feedings for reflux, consider asking about alternatives, as many doctors question this practice and it has the potential to cause more harm than good.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Cereal should not be added to bottles except for medically-indicated reasons (e.g., gastroesophageal reflux) because this practice deprives children of the opportunity to learn to feed themselves." Note, "there is no nutritional indication to add complementary foods to the diet of the healthy term infant before age 4 months."

just what the experts say on the matter. Id say we trust those who are paid to find out the safest ways to feed babies. They have their jobs on the line to make sure they give the best possible advise, and all say no cereal in bottles. plain and simple.
Brianna isnt even bottle feeding so this isnt an issue here so we can just drop it and get back to actually helping her.

[deleted account]

It does? I've never read that. I AM trying to help this mother. Putting baby food in a bottle is a choking hazard (YES, even pureed) and is totally unneccessary when breastmilk is really ALL that is needed for healthy growth and development in the first year of life.

Jennifer - posted on 08/30/2010

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One mother's opinion to another's. Even if you buy baby food ( I always made mine) it says you can put it in a bottle ;)

Jennifer - posted on 08/30/2010

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If someone gives you a rude remark, well, SCREW THEM! Why don't you try putting baby food in his bottle with a little formula, breastmilk, or water (whichever you're doing)? Or ask your Pediatrician. Maybe it's the taste, color, or texture? Maybe just moving a little slower because Daddy is gone, is affecting him, because we all know it's affecting you. So, why don't you try mixing it in a bottle, and try there? Is he still pooping/peeing normally?

[deleted account]

My son wasn't ready to start solids til he was 6 months. Earlier than that and he'd just sit there w/ it on his tongue. He finally figured it out, but was only interested in solids at rare random up to and even a bit past a year. I wouldn't worry about it. Just nurse him and try again in a few weeks. :)

Gabrielle - posted on 08/30/2010

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I really wouldn't worry about it. At this age, they can get all the nutrients they need from nursing, so you have nothing to worry about with him refusing solids. He'll get back to them eventually. Perhaps he's picking up on what's going on at home, and that's why he's not eating solids...? We started solids at 6 1/2 months, and my daughter hated them for a while. Eventually, she came to love food. But sometimes, she would respond in a way similar to your son with a food she'd loved before. Babies have their picky moments. Give him a couple days and try again, maybe with a different food.

Nahid - posted on 08/30/2010

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My son is 9 months now and started giving him solids at 6 months. Sometimes he would eat 1 little spoon, sometimes more. But the important thing is to keep trying new things. It can be frustrating at times, but as long as he 's nursing, he will be fine! Make sure you eat well and he will get everything he needs from you. Hang in there. You are doing the best you can!!

Diane - posted on 08/30/2010

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Sometimes babies who have eaten solids and seemed fine with them go on strike if it doesn't agree with them, I would just back off on the solids for a few weeks until he forgets that he wasn't into it and then try reintroducing them later.

Charity - posted on 08/30/2010

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Is he teething yet? My little girl is 8 months and refusing solids, I read up on it and it's most likely b/c she is teething. Check it out!

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