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9 month old feeding problem

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I took DD to her well visit yesterday and asked the ped. about the fact that she doesn't eat table food at all yet. He suggested calling early intervention because he thought it would be better to work on it now than waiting a few more months to see if it improves.
Does anyone have any experience with this? He said there are speech therapists who will work on swallowing.

She likes the taste of food and plays with it but really doesn't eat. I started with the baby led weaning idea and gave her small chunks of soft food and she picked it up fine and put it in her mouth but always gagged and it just came out.
So a couple weeks ago I tried applesauce and some other purees to see if she did better with them but she still gagged and spit it all out.
I don't know if it is because I'm not consistent enough in offering though.

She nurses a lot and is in the 90th percentile or weight an is great otherwise, already pulling up to stand and starting to cruise and she babbles and yells a lot.
He also had said that it could affect her speech development.

Thanks for any advice!
post #2 of 17
Your ped is wrong.. a lot of babies are not interested in solids at 9 months. Food under age 12 months is for fun and exploration, not nutrition. It sounds like your DD is very healthy and thriving on your breastmilk. My DS didn't start eating more than a bite of food here and there until closer to 14 months.. He then sort of "discovered" food and has been eating anything and everything since. Not picky at all. We too followed the BLW approach.
post #3 of 17
Yeah.

If you don't have other reason to be concerned about her development or ability to swallow, I would give it some time. She swallows breast milk just fine, right?

I'm sure you can get her help later if it turns out there is a problem, but she sounds normal to me. She may be refusing the food rather than unable to swallow it. In which case it would be better to trust her body than to "teach" her to swallow food, at 9 months anyway.
post #4 of 17
Hey Deb,

Honestly, it sounds like your baby is fine. If your baby girls weight is in the 90th percentile then I wouldn't really worry. According to my mother I wouldn't eat anything apart from breast milk until I was a year old and at my year check up I was only 16 pounds. Her ped was furious but I've turned out fine and my niece was the same way. If she isn't interested in solids just yet I wouldn't stress, that will come eventually. Good luck!
post #5 of 17
It sounds like your ped has a limited view of 'normal'. While my DS2 was enthusiastic about trying new foods at 6 months, his older brother hadn't the slightest interest in food until he was closer to a year. That's two babies in the exact same household, same exposure to foods, etc.

When DS1 did start eating more, he went right to 'table foods' and was eating small pieces of sandwich at just over a year. He's 6 now, extremely verbal -- in fact, we've often gotten comments at how clearly he speaks and how large his vocabulary is.

I'm sorry your ped worried you about this. It wouldn't concern me at all until well after a year.
post #6 of 17
Thanks for this thread...we are going through the same thing except my LO is 10.5 months.

I DID call EI. They are coming Wednesday. I'll let you know what tips they give me. Mine is nowhere near 90th percentile on weight. But she's growing OK and is developmentally fine. I kind of want to cancel EI but I figure, hey, it's free and they may have tips.
post #7 of 17
My girl is almost 9 months, and she is 99% ebf still. The 1% is every now and then, I give her a taste of fruit or vegetable. She's as chubby as ever, even though she mainly nurses.

I just wanted to say that your baby is not alone. Maybe the doctor is not used to babies who still nurse at this age?
post #8 of 17
Personally, I wouldn't be so quick to jump on the "stupid pediatrician" train here. It doesn't sound like your ped is insisting that your LO eat solids, just concerned that she has an aversion to the point of gagging. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't panic but I would keep an eye on it, maybe try offering her different things, and more often. An EI evaluation couldn't hurt - that's what they're there for.
post #9 of 17
i was just going to say something to the effect of what addie said.
i mean, i don;t have any experience with this and it does sound like your kiddo is on track and doing great with weight and yeah, food is just for fun at this point...i wouldn't worry at all about her "getting enough." but if she is gagging and there may be a minor reason preventing her from swallowing properly then it couldn't hurt to see what EI says. if it really is something that could be helped early with just a few speech-type exercises then i'd want to make sure i did everything i could.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yeah, that's the thing, she picks up food and puts it in her mouth and acts like she's eating it but then she gags and it comes out. So that's why I tried applesauce and purees to see if she would swallow them and she doesn't, the same thing happens.
She likes the taste I think, though.
My DD1 wouldn't eat more than a couple bites until she was probably a year old or so, but when she did eat, she really ate it.

On the other hand, she is so healthy and doing everything she should, even a little early for some stuff.

He's always been pro breastfeeding and when I was nursing DD1 at her 15 month appt, he said I should try to get to at least 2 years.

Pandme I hope you will post here about what happens with this appt.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2M View Post
Yeah, that's the thing, she picks up food and puts it in her mouth and acts like she's eating it but then she gags and it comes out. So that's why I tried applesauce and purees to see if she would swallow them and she doesn't, the same thing happens.
She likes the taste I think, though.
My DD1 wouldn't eat more than a couple bites until she was probably a year old or so, but when she did eat, she really ate it.

On the other hand, she is so healthy and doing everything she should, even a little early for some stuff.

He's always been pro breastfeeding and when I was nursing DD1 at her 15 month appt, he said I should try to get to at least 2 years.

Pandme I hope you will post here about what happens with this appt.
It was today, in fact.

It was an eval to see if they would take us on. She's 10.5 months and won't eat beyond a taste here or there. She hates being spoonfed and doesn't put things in her mouth though she grabs at food like there's no tomorrow. She has put things in her mouth to taste before but she's just doesn't get into it.

Basically, they said she was very borderline but they took us on. I have mixed feelings because while I would appreciate tips, they said some stuff I thought was just wrong. Like a 10 month old needs to be eating 3 full meals a day and milk is "supplemental." Everything I heard is that solids the first year are for fun and exploration, not nutrition. I doubt they have ever seen someone nurse this long and they don't seem to know much about it.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post
Your ped is wrong.. a lot of babies are not interested in solids at 9 months. Food under age 12 months is for fun and exploration, not nutrition. It sounds like your DD is very healthy and thriving on your breastmilk. My DS didn't start eating more than a bite of food here and there until closer to 14 months.. He then sort of "discovered" food and has been eating anything and everything since. Not picky at all. We too followed the BLW approach.


At 9 months I wouldn't be the least bit concerned. In fact, I was in the same boat when my DD was that age, and she didn't take to solids until after 12 months. Now she's almost 16 months and eats anything I put in front of her.

I think it's way too early to be considering therapy. I think therapy is a great thing when needed, but at 9 months I don't think it's necessary when the baby is obviously thriving on breastmilk or formula and still exploring food.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2M View Post
Yeah, that's the thing, she picks up food and puts it in her mouth and acts like she's eating it but then she gags and it comes out. So that's why I tried applesauce and purees to see if she would swallow them and she doesn't, the same thing happens.
She likes the taste I think, though.
My DD1 wouldn't eat more than a couple bites until she was probably a year old or so, but when she did eat, she really ate it.

On the other hand, she is so healthy and doing everything she should, even a little early for some stuff.

He's always been pro breastfeeding and when I was nursing DD1 at her 15 month appt, he said I should try to get to at least 2 years.

Pandme I hope you will post here about what happens with this appt.
My DD did the exact same thing - gagged on purees and chunky foods. She just didn't want to have anything to do with them. She grew out of it.
post #14 of 17
I would wait until a year before I'd get concerned about a child who gags on table foods. Only because I've seen so many babies who were still gagging at nine months, who went on to be just fine without any extra help. My DD1, for instance, or the baby my mom nannies for. A lot of babies are able to manage chunks and textures at that age, but some aren't, from what I've seen, and just need a little more time and practice.

Gagging on purees, though, strikes me as unusual. Are they thinned with liquid, the way jarred baby food is? I think I'd maybe be concerned and looking for advice, with a nine month old who's not managing purees. Some kids have oral motor control issues and other similar challenges, and a few months with a good OT can often help a lot. I think it's important too because the same oral issues can lead to speech delays and difficulties. So yeah, I guess in your position, I might think about the evaluation. I wouldn't be overly worried about it, though, and if you felt like you wanted to wait and see, I would think that was fine, too.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, she had the EI evaluation today (she's 10 months old now)
They were really, really nice and it was actually fun. They evaluated everything so we were playing on the floor doing games and stuff and we could talk while Maia was playing.

So, she scored at or above on everything except feeding. We tried very thin purees, baby food stage 1, and even those puffs that are supposed to dissolve and she chokes on everything.

She said there are a few different things and she is calling an OT to come and work with us.
First she said is a sensory issue. Like she needs more oral stimulation and that's why she gnaws on everything. I know babies put everything in their mouths, lol, but she truly is excessive compared to my other LO's. I had to get a bumper for the coffee table because she chewed off so much wood, that's just one example.
So, she suggested a vibrating teether. I never heard of that but sure enough, there it was in the baby section! I got it right away and gave it to her and she just left it in her mouth vibrating and smiling, I think she really liked it, it was so funny to watch.

She said some babies with this sensory seeking thing also like spicy food, crunchy textures, anything interesting and she thinks it stimulates them enough to allow the food to be swallowed.

Also, she said we could try thickening breast milk with cereal and start really thin and try to work it to getting thicker. She thought it would be a good idea to do it with a bottle or cup that would get it past the front of her mouth and back to where she swallows like when she is nursing and that the taste would be familiar if we used breast milk.
(ugh, that means pumping).

She thought it might be silent reflux and that we may need to look into that. The last thing was that even though it was only a faint possibility, pica might be considered. So I have to get the lead test and iron done that the dr wrote the Rx for at her appt anyway and that would give some info on that.
It isn't usual at her age because babies mouth everything anyway but only a thought because she really eats (and chokes on) crayons, wood and paper and sticks and leaves, etc...lol I swear I try to keep all that away but geez, she is fast and older DD forgets sometimes to keep her stuff put away!

I'm glad she came and it will be interesting to see what the therapist does.
post #16 of 17
I'm glad the appointment went well, but I really doubt this is at all necessary. My daughter wouldn't swallow anything other than breast milk until she was over a year old, maybe around 13 months. Then she found a tub of hummus on a picnic blanket one day and ate the whole thing, and never turned back. Our pediatrician said she'll eat when she's ready, and she did. I would think if your baby is healthy and gaining weight appropriately, why fix something that's not broken?

The EI people probably see a lot more kids with problems than those who don't, so they are kind of in a groove... kwim? I would give it 3-5 more months then call them back if you are still worried.
post #17 of 17
Glad your appointment went well! It was interesting for me to read what kinds of tests they did since my 10.5 MO DS is going through much of the same thing.

He gags on everything, even before they hit the back of his mouth. Just the other day he gagged and threw up when a miniscule piece of cheese touched his tongue. One difference between our babes, though, is that aside from paper he's not really interesting in putting things in his mouth.

I have a thread about it here. ETA: I just remembered you posted in it!

Personally, my gut tells me everything is okay and that it's normal for some babies to dislike solids for a while longer than others. I hope your babe starts enjoying food soon!
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