How much food is normal for a breastfed toddler to eat?

Amrit - posted on 09/28/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My husband worries that our daughter isn't eating enough solid food. He often remarks that she is tiny, skinny, or little. We have arguments at times about feedings, because I sit her down in her highchair multiple times per day to feed her, but she is not that interested! She is 17months, 31.5 inches tall and about 23 pounds. I personally think that she appears and certainly acts healthy, but I have seen chubbier kids. She still breastfeeds on demand, and that is mostly what she seems to live on. She likes crackers, pasta, soups and certain veggies cooked in certain ways, but lately she hardly eats at all. She wakes up multiple times at night crying, and is chewing on her fingers a lot, so I'm pretty sure she is teething but this non-eating phase has been going on for at least three weeks. I am not sure what to do. It's so frustrating when she doesn't eat and my husband worries that she is too thin. We are also trying to start potty training but I feel like I am too late because she starts crying when we go to use the potty and wont go then will end up peeing her pants or going on the floor a minute later. Any advice ladies?

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Danicia - posted on 09/30/2013

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she is about the same size as my 2 year old, she's just fine :) if she is hitting the mental and physical (activity) markers, she's doing alright. my daughter goes through phases where she may eat the equivalent of one meal a day, just no appetite. some kids are smaller than others but that doesn't mean anything is wrong with them! between 12-16 months we cut our daughter down to one cup of milk with breakfast and the rest of the meals she got water. we noticed once we decreased her milk consumption, the more food she ate, makes sense- milk can be pretty filling!
on the potty training, we used this ladies' layout starting around 18 months (I had been working with her on and off for 6 months but nothing stuck til I found her solution) http://yourmodernfamily.com/potty-traini... . I also skipped training pants and pull ups during the day, they are a waste to me. we went straight into regular panties. at the beginning, she would get an m&m for success (one for pee, two for poo) which REALLY excited her! just try to make bodily functions as fun as possible and your daughter will enjoy the experience. you can make a game out of it, sit her on her potty while you sit on the big potty and sing a song or count to ten, something fun, then celebrate and praise her for sitting on the potty like a big girl just like mommy! the positive reinforcement will help encourage her to sit there longer and not resist as much when it comes to sitting. I used my phone to distract my daughter into sitting when songs/counting didn't work (download some kids games and only let her play with them if she's sitting on the potty).
your daughter is perfect just the way she is. if your husband has a problem with it, tell him to sprinkle her with magic growing dust or something b/c she will grow when she is ready. she is getting the nutrients she needs and she doesn't have to be a fat/chubby baby. happy and healthy are the goals :) good luck!

Cecilia - posted on 09/29/2013

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I did a child growth chart calculator - http://www.babycenter.com/baby-child-gro...

It says shes 25-50th percentile so she is right where she should be for her height and weight. As far as her not eating much, they eat when they are hungry. Just make sure when she wants to eat you offer her healthy choices. Mind you even if she is at 25 percentile rather than the 50.. it's okay people come in all sizes. I have a baby who after 4 months her percentile fell slowly. It stabilized at 15%. She's short and skinny.

If she is teething offering her frozen fruit is a great way to get them to have something in their body. Frozen watermelon was always my kids favorite if you can still find it now. My almost 3 year old doesn't eat when she is teething either. It hurts them to do so. Instead I offer her soft foods that require little chewing instead. Try clove oil for her gums. This was the best tip I ever got. It numbs so well and without all the chemicals in orajel.

As far as potty training, is she showing signs that she is ready for it. Many kids won't until they are past 18 months ( few will before that point) Trying to early and stressing over the process only makes it harder on her and you. If she isn't ready then back off for a few months.

I don't really agree with Jenny saying to give her milk. If you're fine breast feeding then do it. No reason to give her milk until you're ready to ween. Many people breast feed 3 year olds with no need to give them milk. Seems silly to take away your milk which is the best thing for them to give them processed milk from another animal.

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Amrit - posted on 10/02/2013

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Thank you ladies, I really appreciate your help. She is certainly a happy girl, and is very energetic and active, so I think things are going well on the whole. I guess its easy to be doubtful sometimes though. ;)

User - posted on 09/29/2013

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i would think maybe it the breast feeding maybe shes getting all that she needs from that ,, most doctor that ive been to say 1 should be the age that u start milk,, if ur breast feeding and she still ge up at night then shes just getting a baby part milk maybe slow down on that and give her real milk she will sleep longer and start to wont food my 9 month on formula and she eats 3 meals a day plus snacks and desert and trys to eat my food to she is 20 pounds and 29inches tall and yes i think breast feeding is good to a point and a year is good and my little girl is crawling and is starting to walk

Michelle - posted on 09/29/2013

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Don't force potty training, let her decide when she's ready for that. If she's teething then she's not going to be happy with being forced to do something new.
My daughter didn't potty train until almost 3! You are definitely NOT too late, you are most probably too early.
As far as the eating, if she is teething then she's not going to want to eat solids. There are other things to worry about and fight over other than your child eating.
If your husband is so worried what is he doing about it? Is he just complaining to you or actually doing something to make her eat? If he's just complaining to you then see if she will eat for him.

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