What to do with my 1 year old boy who I still breastfeed and refuses to eat solid food?

Mak - posted on 05/26/2009 ( 24 moms have responded )

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My 1 year old boy really loves my breast milk and I've tried introducing all kinds of semi solids, cereals and fruits, but he just won’t eat! I've noticed my breast milk is getting insufficient for him as his weight gain almost came to stagnant – 8kg. He is still active and learning as any other kid, but I’m worried that he's not getting enough nutrition for his growth. Is this normal? My 3 year old girl wasn’t like that at all! What should I do?

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Sarah - posted on 05/28/2009

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Some of these posts are heartbreaking to me. There is nothing at all wrong with continuing a breastfeeding relationship. The average world-wide age for weaning is 5 years old. Granted that is because in so many areas of the world, good, clean water and healthy foods are hard to come by. But as your child ages, the nutritional value of breastmilk does not decrease! As long as your child is nursing regularly, you are fine! My daughter fell off the weight charts completely by the age of one. She was below the averages big time! But she was continuing to develop normally; in fact, she reached most milestone before the average ages.

What I found with my daughter was that she knew how to ask to nurse, but didn't know how to ask for food. When she was about 15 months old, she was eating small solid meals, but was still getting most of her nutrition through breastmilk. I started asking her, when she would come up to me and indicate that she wanted to nurse, "Are you hungry? Do you want something to eat?" She would say yes, and I would get her a snack. I wasn't denying her the nursing, just offering her an alternative. Children will stick to what is familiar, there is nothing wrong or abnormal about that. Continue offering the solids, and as his curiosity grows, he will choose them more. Share what you eat with him, allow him to try different flavors and textures. Finger foods are always great at this age.

By doing this with my daughter, I was able to gradually cut back on nursings. I then started saying she could only nurse every 4 hours, and only after she ate solids. Soon, it became only nursing at nap time and at night. Then I limited the night time to just before bed. My daughter also had a habit of going back and forth between each breast at each nursing session. I started telling her, "You drank it all, its all gone." She took this at face value and after finishing one breast, she didn't get to go back to it. Soon, the nap time nursing was cut out, then the bed time. She was completely weaned by age 2. We did it all gradually, at a pace that wasn't upsetting to her.

The longer you nurse, the better for your child and yourself. Your risk of breast cancer decreases more the longer you nurse. The health benefits for your child will continue as long as you breastfeed. It is important that he gets nutrition from other sources, but if he is still nursing, he will not starve! He is getting all the vitamins he needs, as long as you continue to eat healthy. As some other moms have said, if your supply is beginning to dwindle, he will be more apt to try other foods because he will be hungry. Just keep offering them. Try to only let him nurse after he has a snack. He will eat more when he is ready! Don't stress out over it, or that will cause your supply to dwindle even more.

[deleted account]

Some babys have a hard time in ajusting to solid food - especially if by 1 he has not had regular solid food. I wont go into any potental affects of speech delays, iron deficiency etc as you probably already know all of those things.



The best thing to do is introduct him to them and make it fun. Dont try and force him. Allow him to experment with food. At 1 kids love to put everything into their mouth. So allow him to experment touch and play with food.



Soft food would be better as he wouldnt be use to chewing yet. Try banana and very soft mushy carrots, or stewed apple

Put a shower curtin under his high chair and put different types of textures of food on his tray. Encourage him to play feel and touch the food. Just like he would any other toy, As eventually he will put his fingers into his mouth. This will slowely get him use to the taste and textyre of different foods.

A good thing would be farex mixed with breastmilk. As that way its a familar taste and he will be more likely to accept it.

Allow him to play with the spoon. If you encourage him he will put the spoon to his mouth and then you can dip the spoon into his food and then you can coax him to put it back into his mouth.



At 12 months him still breastfeeding is totally wonderful. WHO recommends babys still breastfeed until 2 - Australia recommends 12 months or longer as long as both mother and baby are willing. So i wouldnt stop him breastfeeding. you just have to make food as attractive and comforting to him as breastmilk is! you are doing a wonderful job still breastfeeding at nearly 12 months. I battled through the early days as well and my son is 12 months in a matter of weeks and i am still breastfeeding him.



I hope these tips help you some and i hope you both find the new world of solid food an exciting one!

[deleted account]

As a couple of the previous posters have said, it's normal for weight gain to level off around 1 year of age - especially as they become more mobile. Also, every child is different and they become interested in solids at different ages and stages. As long as he is on track developmentally and is healthy and you are both happy with your nursing relationship, there's no reason to try to discourage or stop it just because he's a year old. The worldwide average for weaning is four years old! (Most moms in the United States don't even make it to a year.)

Most breastfed babies and toddlers are healthy and do not require supplements and such. My daughter nursed a long time and my son is as well and neither has either been anemic (and I'm severely anemic and require treatment by a hematologist) and are very healthy and active.

You can introduce different types of foods of different textures, shapes, and colors and in different food groups and let him experiment with them and he'll development interest in them as time goes on.

My daughter was always interested in food food food and was eating lots of different types of foods well before a year of age though she still nursed rather frequently. My son would take a bite of food here and there to check it out, but he still very much preferred breastfeeding. I would say that his diet didn't become 50/50 breastfeeding/solids until he was 2yo. He's healthy, active, happy, and very bright (knows his letters, colors, numbers, etc.)

We all have our different parenting philosophies so you have to go with what works for you. I personally prefer not to force my child to eat a food because they're starved and that's the only option, but that works well for others, and who am I to judge? They probably think I'm a nut! :) Anyway, if the breastfeeding is going well for you and your son, I'd say stick with it!

Jen - posted on 05/27/2009

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Quoting Tara:

Just as an FYI, breastmilk is not the ultimate food for a child this age, by six months of age, the baby really needs to be getting more iron into his diet, which is why baby cereal is iron fortified, they have different needs by six months of age, which your breastmilk alone cannot supply. I would start reducing the breastfeeding & giving him plenty of time to eat when trying to feed him other foods. If he's hungry enough, he'll eat!


I must respectfully, yet strongly disagree with this statement.  At my daughter's 6 mos appointment with our pediatrician as we were discussing starting solids, I was told that for the first year of life, breast milk is the perfect food.  As Solids are introduced in this 6 mos time zone, it is soley to get the baby interested in eating and to have FUN with food.  And as I have done much research on baby food and make all my own, it is not necessary to have iron fortified food between 6 months and 1 year.  I would speak with your pediatrician about just how important solid food is and what percentage of a 1 y/o diet must come from solids.  Check out the Super Baby Food Book for great tips on making baby mush (solid?  not really) more appealing to your little one.  Personally, I wouldn't starve my child into eating solids.  This stage of life is about discovery and postitve experiences.

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Pump the breast milk and put it in a bottle to get him used to it. You can start to put breast milk with 1/8th (1oz) regular milk. Each week increase the milk and decrease the breast milk by 1/8 (1oz) until you are fully on milk. Also make sure that the regular milk is warmed. My youngest is 2 and he still prefers the warm milk to the cold but will drink both. As far as all this crazy stuff about breast milk being a meal... that is garbage after about 6-8 months of age. Once they are up and mobile, be it crawling or walking they need more. Start introducing solids in the form of home made or store bought baby foods. Usually it is best to take a little breast milk and mix it with baby rice cereal to start. This way the flavor remains somewhat familiar and it helps get them used to the consistancy. Start with very soupy and gradually thicken as tolerated. Adding flavor needs to be slow since he really hasn't had any flavor other than breast milk. Good luck. You can do it. Just don't give up and be consistant.

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Ella - posted on 03/08/2011

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I'm still breast feeding my 16 months old son and he was hesitant towards food for the longest time. I let him experiment with it and play with it a bit. I don't mean that I let him throw it on the ground but I let him get a bit messy. ;) I keep imagining myself in a different country where I don't speak the language and somebody putting something in front of me expecting me to do something with it (eat it lol) I think I'd touch and sniff it first, too.
It worked for us. He is very curious about food. Sometimes it takes a bit for him to actually put it in his mouth, or to not spit it out but to eat it. However, I think it's a gentle way of allowing him to have fun getting to know solids.
My son is also a bit on the slender side but very active and happy. Oh, he loves feeding himself, too. (hands, baby fork, spoon... he's getting better at it nowadays)

Try to stay calm :) Maybe he's teething, too? My son doesn't like solids as much whenever he's teething.

Make sure your own diet provides you with enough nutrients and vitamins, though.

Good luck :)

Rebekah - posted on 05/28/2009

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I think that perhaps there is a happy medium to be had between the all or nothing of breastmilk and solids. My son has been eating solids since 4 months (when he got teeth and had doubled his birth weight already) and he still nurses 4-6 times a day. He eats full meals between too! So start off slow. Mix up cereal with breatsmilk and make it drinkable in a bottle or sippy at first. Slowly dilute it with water or cow's milk and move to adding a smooth (not lumpy) fruit flavor to it. Add vegetables and protiens gradually. Try each new food for 5-7 days and then introduce a new one while feeding the older ones in a rotation to keep re-introducing them. As your baby gets more curious about the food you can try lumps and textures. And don't panic if he hates some of it! Just keep trying and have a back up favorite food for after tasting "yucky" ones :) Don't give up... you can do this and so can your little one!

Anna - posted on 05/28/2009

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is he happy? active? healthy? growing? than your breastmilk is still as perfect as ever! keep up the good work and don't worry!

Guggie - posted on 05/28/2009

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The WHO recommends at LEAST 2 years of breastfeeding. As long as you are letting him play with the foods and taste them, he won't have developmental issues.



Baby knows best and you will be surprised at how sudden his change will be. One day he will wake up and want solid food too.

Lara - posted on 05/27/2009

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i mix my breast milk in with his cereal and other foods. try it, see if it helps.
i also eat in front of my baby and show him how i eat. I explain that i'm putting food in my mouth and chewing with my teeth. when i'm done eating, then i feed him and he eats.

Ellana - posted on 05/27/2009

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there is no reason to stop breast feeding but your son does also need solid food as stated in tara sharps's post. I would try discussing this with your local child health nurse/doctor. or talk to a midwife at the hospital if no one else is available. check out this website. they have great tips on all things baby. this link is especially for toddlers and eating. hope this helps.. http://www.babycenter.com.au/toddler/nut...

[deleted account]

Nurse him, put him in the height chair and give him tasty food to play with - bits of banana, a dollop of thick applesauce, a bit of macaroni and cheese. Then let him alone for a bit, most kids can't resist putting stuff in their mouth anyway so you might as well use it to your advantage. : ) Try this for several days.

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Your baby will be fine on breastmilk alone (in some cases exclusive nursing is recommended, like with allergy risk is high), but obviously you need to start getting some solids into him. Are you letting him feed himself, or are you using a spoon? My son is nearly 9 months, and while he takes solids pretty well, he does significantly better when he is in charge of putting things in his own mouth. Everything else goes in his mouth, anyway. If you think he'll be picky, go with sweeter fruits (bananas, avocado, cooked apples) until you can get a routine established. I wait about an hour after he's had his milk to give him some solids to play with. I definitely wouldn't cut out breastfeeding until he's started eating more solids. At least in my experience, a hungry, cranky baby is less willing to try new foods.

Beth - posted on 05/26/2009

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I think you should talk your Pediatrician Breast feeding is fine but no solid food doesn't sounds right. But the earlier you stop breast fedding the easy it is

Kylie - posted on 05/26/2009

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its really hard but he will eat when hes hungry, you have got to be strong, gradually do it, start of in the day and then just feed him breast milk at night then eventually not at all. it will be very difficult but will be easier now then when hes even older. good luck let me no how things go. x

Mindy - posted on 05/26/2009

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try real foods just soft solids like breadstick, bannanas, those freeze dried fruits etc. have him eat on your lap and offer him what you are eating somebabies do not want mushy foods they want real food my 4 year old did not start solids til 9-10 months when he could eat it himself he hated baby food:) the breastmilk is fine he will start solids when he is ready.

Sanober - posted on 05/26/2009

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try offering him formula at night, if he gets used to it, then start adding solids to it.

[deleted account]

Just as an FYI, breastmilk is not the ultimate food for a child this age, by six months of age, the baby really needs to be getting more iron into his diet, which is why baby cereal is iron fortified, they have different needs by six months of age, which your breastmilk alone cannot supply. I would start reducing the breastfeeding & giving him plenty of time to eat when trying to feed him other foods. If he's hungry enough, he'll eat!

Ruth - posted on 05/26/2009

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Stop breast feeding him. It's amazing what kids will eat when they're hungry! Remember this: " No healthy child has ever starved themselves to death". You should never pander to a child when food is concerned. This applies to children of all ages. Fussy eaters are created by parents giving in to the child's demands. In my house, there's only ever one meal made and it's made for everyone - if you don't eat it you go hungry. Simple. They soon learn!

At 6 months old a child should start weaning on to other foods so I think it's time to be tough. You may have a few tough days ahead but it has to be done! Have you tried mixing the food with breast milk so it has some of the flavour and is more watery?

Gillian - posted on 05/26/2009

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Thats totally fine keep BF hes doing fine and just keep offering foods hes got the perfect food still.He will eat when hes ready.
OH also when you offer foods like an apple or banana offer them together and see if he chooses himself! Kids that get to choose tend to be happier to eat works for all my kids and they love a huge varity

Vanessa - posted on 05/26/2009

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keep breastfeeding him as he wants it.....remember breastmilk is "real food".
breastmilk is the most nutritionally dense subatance on earth.
i see your baby is about to have his first birthday.....congratulations!
remember breastmilk should be the main nutritional intake until around 12 months of age, so if your son is mainly living on breastmilk thats ok at this stage.
my daughter didn't really start to eat much at all until she was 14 months old. she would have a few bites here and there, but mainly wanted breastfeeding. then around 14 months her eating just took off, without any encouragement from me.
keep offering him wholesome foods and i am sure in the next few months he will start to eat more. continue your breatfeeding (you need to keep up your supply if he is not eating much yet).
also regarding his weight.....breastfed babies weight levels out around 5 months of age and again around 12 months of age.....its normal for his weight to hang around the same at 12 months of age. the average 12 month old that has been breastfed will be around 10kg.....but some will be less. and considering your cultural background, his weight is probably fine.
all the best, try not to worry, i'm sure he'll be fine.

Marg - posted on 05/26/2009

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you have to start to wean him off the breast .cut back a breast feeding and he will eat! does he have teeth? my daughter asked me when her son should come off the breast..and was he ready..my answer..was she ready @ 10mos. to stop..he is a great eater now! good luck

Marg - posted on 05/26/2009

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you have to start to wean him off the breast .cut back a breast feeding and he will eat! does he have teeth? my daughter asked me when her son should come off the breast..and was he ready..my answer..was she ready @ 10mos. to stop..he is a great eater now! good luck

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