What to do with my 22 month old girl who refuses to eat???

Sara - posted on 09/01/2013 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My 22 month old daughter used to eat almost everything but in the form of smoothie or porridge until about a month ago. But in the past month she refuses to eat anything and accepts just her BOTTLE of milk or juice. I thought letting her eat by herself might help. But it didn't! She just made a mess and ate almost nothing! When I try to tell her a story and feed her, as soon as she sees the spoon getting close to her mouth, she runs away or shouts NO! I've figured that when she is watching TV or playing games on ipad i can feed her but for just 2 or 3 spoons........I think right now the major problem is she hates the idea of eating!!

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Morgan - posted on 09/07/2013

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It might just be that she is learning to find herself and is getting more independant with making her own decisions right now. I've always been told when a child is hungry they will eat and they go through periods and or phases if you will of not eating and not to be alarmed she'll eat when she's ready.

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Every mom fights with her baby when it comes to eating.Kids are really fussy eaters and you can't defeat them.Consult any baby doctor and give her some tonic to increase her hunger.You don’t need to worry much because she will start eating eventually as she grows up. Avoid hard foods and play as much as you can with her.Most important don’t force her to eat but serve food as you always do.

Tina - posted on 09/03/2013

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As a mum you have to do what you feel is right, you know your child. But also remember they will play on it if they think they can get what they want. Try introducing a pretty cup with a spout, take her to the shop and let her pick one. All children are different and mature at different rates, progress slowly and introduce something each day. She will eventually start to eat. If you're worried, get a check up at the Docs and if all clear you have no worries, a lot of children get constipation. They do eat eventually, the length of time to get them off the bottle and eating solids is dependent on how many times you give in :) If no is no, they do not ask again, if sometimes a no turns into a yes, they will fight to win! Don't beat yourself up, we all go through as parents some sort of 'am I doing the right thing, she is crying so much it is easier to give in' guilt plays a big part in parenthood. Just enjoy your young child and stop worry so much.

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Dolc - posted on 09/07/2013

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great advice above, I would also consider rationing her bottle. sounds like she prefers that to actually eating. I had similar issues with my son and saw a few specialist. I was adviced to ration bottle feeds, and no fluid at meals.
sit down with her too eat, don't make a big deal if she dont eat just clear it away but withhold to much fluid and no snacks untill next meal. and continue like this. she will give in if you can stay strong.
but I would see doctor you rule out medical before starting this.
good luck

Kim - posted on 09/06/2013

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Meal time needs to be a distraction free, media free sit down event. Be firm about it and you should see imrpovement.

Sara - posted on 09/02/2013

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Dear Tina, thanks for your recommendations. I'll try what you say and hope her attitude will gradually change. I'm always worried about her constipation! When she eats no fruit or vegetable, I know we're gonna be in trouble the next day! So I am not sure I can treat her this way more than 2 days, unless she drinks enough juice or water.
Some say that I have to teach her not to have her drinks in bottle anymore! But right now, I don't know if taking her bottle and making her eat at the same time is a good idea! I don't think it will work! What do u say?

Tina - posted on 09/02/2013

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mmm, I was going to say always make sure it is not medical, but having said that, if she eats whilst watching tv etc then nothing maybe a problem other then she is dictating the rules. It can be difficult moving from very soft food to lumps, the texture might not be nice to her and she may have got fed up with the taste. I am a parent a made lots of mistakes, you learn on the way, but I am sorry to say and not criticizing, but meal times should be at the table, not whilst playing, gradually introduce a new regime, try lots of experiment foods, little soft bits that she can hold, and gradually work up. Take her shopping and let her chose some food, make it a game, if you give in, she will know to hold out, they can cry and refuse food for days in the hope you will give in, but eventually she will come round. Try only giving her a bottle at night just before bed with a story, tell her she is big girl etc.

One of mine refused to eat, it was fine, I made sure no ill heath could come of me not giving in, so basically she did not eat for a few days, but I would sit her down she would cry, not eat a thing, and on the 4th day I did the washing up whilst placing a very small portion in front of her and she took a bite. Only a bite, but the next day more and more. Until eats most things. Children are very crafty and learn to manipulate at a very early age, you take control, you offer food if she refuses then there is nothing else. Have a check up, make sure you are happy nothing wrong then you will be at peace if she refuses to eat and you do not give in. The worst thing is guilt as a parent and giving in because we think they will make themselves ill. Good luck

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