Author Topic: Baby refusing food  (Read 1075 times)

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Offline Freckles1981

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Baby refusing food
« on: July 11, 2015, 19:57:11 pm »
Hi
I need some help, as my 7 month old is refusing to be spoon fed. He has always loved food, as he has silent reflux and doesn't do well with milk. We weaned at 4 months under medical advice. He recently had an operation where after, we had to give him a lot of medicine, and since then, he clamps his mouth shut when we get anywhere near him with a spoon (or a syringe for his current medicine).

I've tried feeding him in a different room & in a different seat in case it was just a high chair issue, but still no luck. He doesn't do well with finger foods as he takes big chunks and choaks, rather than chewing. I've tried giving him his own spoon too, and varying the foods.

He was taking about 500/550g of solids a day, and now we can barely get in a few spoonfuls.

It's the same for breakfast, lunch, dinner and he's not taking extra milk to compensate for the lack of food. I'm finding it really stressful now, and I don't know what to do.

Any advice? Thanks
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 20:00:50 pm by Freckles1981 »

Offline *Ali*

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Re: Baby refusing food
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2015, 21:48:55 pm »
At 7mo I really wouldn't worry about how much solid foods she takes. It's mainky for fun and trying new textures and tastes at the moment, Some babies are barely starting at this age. I'd just offer 2-3 times a day when the rest of you are eating and let her eat what she wants.

I'd persevere with the finger foods. It's likely she is gagging rather than actually choking. Choking is where the wind pipe is blocked and you would have to take action to remove the blockage. Is that what happens or is she just learning to move food from the back to the front of her mouth do you think?

How much milk is she taking usually?

It sounds like she has been put off by all the meds so might just need some time to realise solid food is a good thing she can enjoy. Try to relax.
Cadan Dec 2009 and Colby Aug 2011


Offline Freckles1981

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Re: Baby refusing food
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2015, 09:54:38 am »
He was taking about 1100ml of formula a day when we had just started weaning at 4 months, but he now takes around 650ml a day (still across 5 bottles, 7am, 11am, 3pm, 6.30pm & 10.30pm df). His formula hasn't increased with the reduction of food, and now, to me, 650ml a day doesn't seem enough as the UK guidelines say a minimum of 500/600ml but that's with solids.

We've continued with the DF as he wakes for a night feed otherwise, but we were hoping to drop as he was doing so well with food. If he doesn't have the DF, his daily formula intake would be 500ml.

We have had to remove food on a couple of occasions where he has choked from taking too larger chunks which has made me quite apprehensive with finger foods. More recently, he just gags & spits everything back out and then won't take anything else, but we try him with finger foods at each meal.

So at his age, even though he's been taking solids for nearly 3.5 months, there isn't really anything to be concerned by?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2015, 10:01:08 am by Freckles1981 »

Offline Buttonbobs

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Re: Baby refusing food
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2015, 20:40:56 pm »
I agree with Ali, that although it seems like a big backwards step for him, some babies are only just starting to swallow food at this age, so in the long term it isn't going to cause any major problems if he doesn't take so much in. I would imagine that the bigger risk comes from trying to find ways to coax him into taking more if he's really not happy right now. I do appreciate that it is a worry for you and am here to provide hugs and support as you go through this.

So, my DD starting solids at 6 months as she didn't have major reflux issues. By 7.5 months she was taking a bit but not yet on three good solid feeds. She was still having four daytime bottles and a DF. We continued with the DF until quite late - I think 10 months ish. We used baby led weaning so I wanted to be sure she was taking more on board before cutting the DF. So don't worry about continuing this for a bit longer, if it is helping he probably needs it.

Have you tried putting puréed food and or yoghurt on a spoon and leaving the spoon on the tray in front of him? It does make quite a mess, but if he's more in control he might not mind trying things so much.

Also, I agree with Ali that finger foods at this stage are a really good way to go. We had a lot of luck with beef steak, my DD could suck and chew all the goodness out of it but didn't bite any off for quite a while. She also really enjoyed pasta and fruit and veg, chopped into thumb sized pieces at this point. If you are worried about him gagging then it can help to soften the food a little by steaming it (in the case of veggie). You seem to indicate he will eat things if he is in control so I really think it'd be worth a try.

Have you read anything about BLW? There are good books around and this link with give you some peace of mind re the choking:
Baby-Led Weaning
~ Naomi ~




Offline creations

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Re: Baby refusing food
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2015, 21:17:15 pm »
Sorry to hear you are so worried about your LO's drop in solids intake.  I really believe if he needed more milk to compensate for the reduced solids he would take it, are you ensuring there is always an oz or so left in his bottles when he's had his fill? If his bottles are drain then I'd increase what you offer.

My LO was very poorly at 10.5 months, he did not have an operation but he was in hospital for 4 nights, very worrying.  He was a BIG solids eater however during this illness he took no solids and almost not milk, a little water and milk, just enough to keep him from intervention tbh.  Once he was out of hospital he continued to take very very little in the way of solids and even asked for milk feeds in the night (which were long gone by then), which I gave as he was catching up on lost calories.  I remember how worried I was but the solids gradually picked up again (it took a month or so). I am sure your LOs will do too.  If it continues and you are concerned about weight gain/loss I would speak to your paediatrician.

Great advice from pps, the only other thing I can think to try is to change the spoon. If you have been using a baby spoon made out of plastic for instance then stop using that and switch to a regular metal spoon that you would use for yourself. Mine totally refused plastic cutlery as he did not recognise this as cutlery. You could get a small fork, this may help, he may recognise that as adult cutlery and be less suspicious that it is linked to medicine.
Also can you make a point of showing him and telling him that you are eating the same? Even eat from the same dish?  It can have a big impact on LOs to see Mummy eating exactly the same and reassuring that the food is good.

Information on choking and gagging
This may help.
It is not recommended to try to remove food with your fingers if baby is chocking (or gagging) as this can actually cause a choke and for the food to lodge further.  Is there a paediatric first aid course you could sign up for in your area?  The one I attended was just a couple of sessions and made me far more confident to know exactly how to respond in a real choking incident with my LO.


Offline weaver

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Re: Baby refusing food
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2015, 20:38:08 pm »
Great advice above. 

Totally agree, and above all, try to relax, LO will pick up on your anxiety around food.  If you're willing to try BLW, you could sit LO on your knee and put a plate of, say, banana slices in front of both you.  Share this snack together, you start eating, slowly, and see if LO wants to join in. If it works, keep going in the same way.  You can gently (and I'd say casually) pop LO back into their own chair when you think the time is right.  This is how we started BLW with my LO1, he sat on my knee for I think two weeks trying simple things like slices of pear and such like.  It's a lovely memory in fact :)
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Offline *Liz*

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Re: Baby refusing food
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2015, 20:56:28 pm »
Could the medications he is taking (or has been taking) simply be reducing his appetite? Obviously a side effect of many but a baby couldn't tell us.

Do you have any issues with weight gain at all?

My DS is the same age - also a refluxer - and he has minimal solids at this stage. He was prem so gags a lot on finger foods (I assume slightly immature), but doesn't take spoons either really. He takes about 600ml formula a day as well but since his weight gain is fine it isn't really a worry yet.