How do I get my granddaughter to eat?

ADavis - posted on 11/03/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I am so concerned about my 16 month old grandbaby. She is so tiny, weights 18 lbs and won't eat. Since she has become old enough to eat baby food her mom is too lazy to feed her. My son buys the baby food, however she just gives her a bottle or mostly the pacifier and lays her down, [I witnessed this behavior and saw the jars just stack up in the kitchen. She has almost all her teeth so I bought her some toddler cups to get her off the bottle before it damaged her teeth. On the rare occasions that she gives her "food", she sits her in the high chair and puts something she can eat with her fingers so my grandbaby is will not eat from a spoon, only a few bites then turns away.

Finally, I told my son that the baby food was for younger baby and he started buying the toddler foods however she won't eat. Doesn't eat a enough for one complete meal a day nor does she drink enough for 2 full cups of liquid a day. All she wants is her pacifier. Even when I give her finger foods she doesn't eat much. It is as though she has developed a habit of not eating.

I have never had this challenge before, I have 4 children and 13 grandchildren and all of them were good eaters as children, one is picky now but eats well. What can I do?

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ADavis - posted on 11/04/2013

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@Helen...

I think the pacifier has been used as a substitute for feedings, [I have seen this before the child would "gag" when given solid food because she wasn't used to it]. I don't want my granddaughter to go through this. I will try only finger foods until she gets comfortable.

ADavis - posted on 11/04/2013

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@Evelyn...she is not my daughter, she was my son's fiance' . My son tried dealing with her regarding many of her "housekeeping/child rearing" behaviors however she just became defensive and accused him of being overly critical so they broke up but he still loves her and his child. No, she does not live with me however I have agreed with my son to get my granddaughter on weekends. He buys her Pediasure nutritional drinks to assist in her intake and we try to get her to eat however she only eats a little and I am concern about her health. Especially when she gets sick because she loses even more weight and I wonder if she is healthy enough to ward off disease.

Helen - posted on 11/03/2013

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Your granddaughter needs to be weighed and measured by a child nurse or doctor to ensure that she is growing well and keeping to her percentiles. She should be offered food several times a day but giving her a variety of healthy finger food is fine. My own granddaughter was not fed with a spoon at all. She ate little at that age too but was keeping to her percentiles. A few months later she starting eating a lot more. However, it is important that she drinks milk too.
The pacifier is unlikely to stop her eating but it could interfere with learning to talk. She should be using it just to help her get to sleep and then gradually be weaned of it.
It is difficult as a grandmother to interfere. You will have to tread carefully and avoid sounding critical. I hope things improve.

Ev - posted on 11/03/2013

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You are either going to have to work with her on this bit by bit or get some help. What your daughter is doing is neglect. She needs to be turned in for this. Also is she living with you with your granddaughter? If so, you should be able to confront her about her behavior towards her child. If not, I would seek help to get this child where she needs to be.

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