Author Topic: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes  (Read 1765 times)

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Offline Gobolinosmum

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18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« on: August 18, 2013, 21:13:22 pm »
Hi, perhaps this is just teething related (has several molars and bottom front teeth all coming through at once!) but our little man has been getting really upset at mealtimes for the past 3 weeks and refusing to even taste many of his meals. He gets really excited when I say it's dinner time and can't wait to get in his high chair but as soon as I put the plate of food in front of him, he takes one look and bursts into tears. Often he will continue to cry for over an hour, no matter what I do. I've never forced food on him, I try to be chilled about it so it doesn't become a big deal but to no avail. I've tried offering alternative options, fruit (which he'll occasionally take but not always) and I've tried getting him down and telling him it's ok, he doesn't have to eat if he doesn't want to. Nothing makes a difference and when he gets like this, he only wants me to hold him and walk around with him. No sitting down, no playing and even the slightest offer of more food makes him get hysterical. He does however go to the snack cupboard and say "snack! snack!" but although we only have healthy snacks in the cupboard, I don't want him to think i's ok to just live on oatcakes and raisins and never even taste the meals I make him.

He's usually a good eater but this has been going on for 3 weeks. Today he only ate 2 mouthfulls of breakfast, no lunch and a handful of melon for supper and he cried for an hour at each mealtime. The only way to cheer him up is to go out somewhere and distract him. We've spent a lot of time at the playground! I've even tried packing his refused meal up and taking it with us for a picnic which he usually loves but same thing happens. He gets really excited at the prospect of a picnic, then when he sees the food, he just melts down all over again and eats nothing. I cook him a wide variety of food and he's even reusing some of his favourites too.

Do you think this is teething related, i.e. should we just ride it out best we can until we're out the other side, or could this be the onset of toddlerhood? I'm a little worried that he's made the developmental leap of understanding that there are other food options in the house (snack food!) and would prefer to just eat oatcakes 3 times a day, therefore kicking up a fuss to get his own way?? Not sure at 18 months as he's still on the shoulder between baby and toddler. Unfortunately he's too young to tell me effectively what he really wants so it's often hard to know the real reason behind the tantrums.

It's so sad seeing him so upset every day, he's usually such a jolly little man and a great eater  :'( and frustrating when I can't find a way to help!

Arrrg! Any ideas??

Thanks! xxx

 

Offline amayzie

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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 10:41:53 am »
It could be teething related- but i'm wondring if something happened in the high chair at dinner time a few weeks ago? Was there a shout, a fight, a big bang, did something else odd or scary happen? Sometimes kids can be pretty touchy if something happens like that...
Katy, Mummy to Hamish!


Offline Gobolinosmum

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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 11:29:14 am »
Hi, no I don't think anything has happened, nothing obvious that I can think of and it's not just at the dinner table, the same thing happens in other places too. That said though, he ate 3 and a half rounds of toast (all of his and most of mine too!) and a kiwi fruit for breakfast this morning and then 2 bowls of snacks at playgroup so perhaps it was just teething. We'll see how lunchtime goes! I have to take him to work with me this afternoon and I plan to get us baked potatoes in the city for supper so I'm hoping that will tempt him! He was also crying in his sleep a lot last night which he tends to do when he's teething and has been really clingy for ages. We'll see, but this morning's feast has given me hope that it might just be normal teething...fingers x'd! x

Offline amayzie

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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2013, 12:00:43 pm »
I hope it's on the improve! They go through funny little phases sometimes- perhaps a wonder week? A developmental leap...
Katy, Mummy to Hamish!


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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2013, 13:57:00 pm »
It sounds like teething to me. If he continues like this or the next time he gets bad try some meds (paracetamol) 20 mins before meal time and see if he is less upset about his meal. I know yu can't do it for every meal when you need to save a meds dose for BT etc but try, it can make a huge difference to how dinner is received.
I'd also probably give him some of his healthy snack food if you know he is teething, think about when you are poorly and just want to eat xyz whether it is healthy or not, it isn't for ever and because you will continue to monitor his teething pain and what he eats he will easily get back on track one the discomfort has eased off.  Sometimes the snack food is more comforting, sometimes it can offer pain relief, for instance mine loved a bread stick when his molars were sore because he could have a good gnaw and much on it.  You can still ask him to join you at the table for the meal, give a little of the family meal plus one of his fav oat cakes or whatever.

Poor kid, sounds inconsolable :(
Hope it improves soon.


Offline Gobolinosmum

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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2013, 18:34:32 pm »
Thanks! Yes I think you're right about the snacking. Today he ate breakfast and supper but refused lunch so spent the afternoon nibbling on rice cakes, dried fruit and apple. His nights are still really disturbed and he's ended up in our bed several nights as i'm preggers with no. 2 and too tired to sit up with him in his room all night! This is a sure sign that the teething's bad as he is usually an angel sleeper. I've counted 6 obvious teeth that are trying to come through at once, 4 of them molars and that's only the ones I can see! On the up side, while it's difficult now I guess it'll be a relief to get so many over and done with in one go. Feels like he's been teething forever as he started at 3 months, poor fella!!

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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2013, 20:59:02 pm »
He'll return to his angel independence once the really bad pain has passed too, with either minimal or no effort from you, he'll just STTN again and all will be well.
Mine's been teething the 2nd year molars for an entire year now! Seriously it needs to end, these poor tots!

Hope you get some sleep for yourself too x


Offline Gobolinosmum

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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2013, 10:06:22 am »
Thanks! We had a full night last night, hooray! Morning of tantrums again but easier to handle after a good sleep! xx

Offline Haribo2012

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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2013, 11:54:02 am »
My LO is a bit younger but I give teething powders about 10 mins before food and works a treat for us....as pp said breadsticks are amazing for teething mine loves them and if he's fussy I sit him in his highchair with a couple and some cheese cubes or grapes as an alternative to a full meal :-)
Zoe


Offline Gobolinosmum

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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2013, 14:17:14 pm »
Thanks, looks like snack bits are the way forward! After a complete meltdown at a glimpse of the cheese on toast and sausages I made him for lunch, we managed to get him to eat a reasonable meal by just letting him start with some crackers he chose from the cupboard and some tzatziki to dip it in. He then relaxed and went on to eat cheese, apple, sausage and two clementines. I think just the sight of a big plate of food upsets him at the mo. The same at breakfast time, he cried when he saw his breakfast being made but in the end I reeled him in with some slices of kiwi fruit and peach and he just accidentally ate the toast as well! Maybe we have a breakthrough!

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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2013, 16:54:37 pm »
Oh yes!  That is a great point and one I forgot to mention!  I used to give DS a few sultanas at the beginning of his meal and it made a big difference. Also we often set up two plates, one with his entire meal on, one empty and just serve a tiny bit of each thing so as not to over-face him. I really agree it does make a difference especially during teething. Amazing what they can eat once they get going.  Well done!


Offline Gobolinosmum

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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2013, 19:45:26 pm »
Yes I think you're right. His temper is so short with the teeth that he can only handle small things that aren't too challenging. Unless of course it happens to be a massive plate of chips and beans like the one he just devoured at the pub with Daddy haha! Apparently chips are always the exception... x

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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2013, 10:54:42 am »
Ah yes, kids and chips :)

If he's happy with chips maybe try some sweet potato, turnip, carrot, parsnip chips. Just chop into chip shape sticks, toss in oil (and seasoning like garlic powder or herbs something like dill if you like, rather than salt) and put them on a tray in the oven. This way he gets tasty chips but you'll be happy with the variety of veg and varied nutrients from each vegie. My LO loves them.


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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2013, 11:31:31 am »
Good idea! Think i'll be trying that one, thanks! xx

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Re: 18mo Tantrums at mealtimes
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2013, 16:57:31 pm »
Thank you Creations, you're a genius! Garlicky herby sweet potato chips with bolognese and hidden veggies went down a treat tonight. Just had to let him have a cracker to dip in it to make him feel safe haha! x