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15 month old still barely interested in food and falling off weight curve

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi, my 15 month old DS has never been very interested in solids. I started offering them when he was 6 months old (not purees, mostly letting him play with taste larger bits of food a la Baby Led Weaning). For a while he would taste things and then gradually lost interest and then started refusing and crying and throwing food on the floor immediately. I kept gently offering for months and in the last few weeks he has decided he likes banana and goat milk yogurt. But only very tiny amounts (a few bites) and not every day.

He is still nursing up a storm and never acts hungry. He looks fine (not underweight) and has wrist rolls and sumo wrestler thighs). He is walking and babbling, just started signing. He's fairly high need so he can be fussy but he also can be very happy.

BUT at his 15 month WBV our doc said he keeps dropping lower and lower on the chart in terms of weight. He's gone from 75%, to 25%, to 10%, to 5% and is now below 4%.

She is using the regular formula fed chart (which annoys me) but she said at this point it doesn't matter as most babies are eating lots of food whether breast fed or formula fed. I don't think that is entirely true but she wants to keep using the chart she has been using.

She is a great doctor in all other respects: naturopath, totally supportive of BFing and non vaxing and has gone to bat for us with some frustrating hospital stuff last year.

So I do not know what to think. I do not want to ignore a possible weight problem that maybe is developing. And yet I think he looks and is fine right now. I refuse to force food on him. Nor will I try to "trick" him into eating by making it a game as I think that does not foster a healthy relationship with food. I really want to let him decide when he is ready to start eating.

Of course, if he goes past 18 months I might look into whether or not he may have some sort of oral motor thing going on but I really think he is just on a slower path to solids.

Our doc wants to do a weight check in 6 weeks and gave me a list of food to try to get him to eat (chicken, fish, avocado). She said to stop with the fruits and focus on fats and protein. BUT he loves banana! And it is the one food he will reliably eat so I am not going to stop offering it! I have tried in the past few days to offer the food she suggested and he has flat our refused to have anything to do with them. Pressed lips together, pushed them away.


She also suggested smoothies with protein powder. WHAT?! For a baby? When he can have breastmilk? That seems ludicrious to me.

Anyone else have this kind of experience? Am I being a bad momma? I do occasionally wonder if I am doing something wrong since all the babies he plays with are hearty eaters. But I have offered foods consistantly and gently. He just refuses.

Oh I should add he is 30 inches and 20 lbs which I hardly think is wasting away. Right?
post #2 of 21
FWIW, a good friend of mine had a similar-sounding issue with her son, who at the time was 8 mo. Her paediatrician told her not to worry and made many of the same suggestions as your doc. Something didn't feel right for my friend so she got a second opinion and some more testing done. Turned out he had a fairly severe kidney infection, and probably had it for quite some time before it was discovered. He didn't really show any other symptoms of infection that we might suspect - fever, irritability, lethargy - he was a pretty happy, typical baby except that he lost interest in solid food and started losing weight fairly steadily. Since then, he had gained weight like crazy and is now at the top of his growth chart - even exceeding it.

Moral of the story? Go with your gut and if you aren't satisfied with the answers your doc is offering, ask for another opinion. Not saying your LO has a kidney infection, but I think mama knows best!
good luck!
post #3 of 21
Ds has been a good eater but went through a phase where he was bored with the bland "babyfied" food I was making for him. So I just started giving him our regular table food at about 9 months, spices, salt and all. He LOVES spicy food and he loves to eat off our plates (I make a pile of small pieces on one side of my plate that he can reach while I hold him on my lap). And I've found that if I make it a challenge to get to a certain food he won't try or doesn't like (putting some small pieces in the bottom of a mug) he'll eat every piece and ask for more.
Do you have meals where you all sit at the table and he can see everyone enjoying their food? Imitation can be a strong motivator.
post #4 of 21
I just wanted to mention that babies that age often start losing their baby fat as they get more active whether they are eating lots of solids or not. At 12 months ds weighed 33lbs. At 24 months he weighed 28lbs.

I also don't agree in forcing food on babies. But I don't think playing games and making eating food fun is a trick though. I guess I have always found it impossible to 'trick' a baby, if they don't want the food they will definatly let you know it/spit it out. I'm just thinking of food on a spoon and making a plane sound and making it fly into the babies mouth. If baby closes mouth tightly, they obviously don't want it. If they open their mouth, whats the harm?

How is he if you let him eat off your plate?
Make something that you like and he can have and let him sit on your lap while you eat. He might want what your eating.
post #5 of 21
What about making smoothies that you are more comfortable with?

Like, breastmilk, coconut milk and banana, or avocado and banana? Or banana fried in a little butter with cinnamon?
Or banana/b-milk popsicles- you could even add some healthy oils to them? (small amounts).

I second the idea of having on your lap when you're eating...My son wants ANYTHING that DH and I are having...in fact he wants it even more if he knows he *shouldn't* have it (salt, egg-whites etc)
post #6 of 21
being mommy: I know how you feel! My situation is a little different, since my dd will eat solids... just not that many. And what she does eat is harldy nutritional. I know a lot of kids go through the not eating phase, but it scares me a little. It's so hard to know what to do (although withholding milk sounds ridiculous, and so does forcing a toddler to eat).

I am having a similiar problem with my dd, who is almost 18 months. Unfortunately, she was not breastfedd after two months of age and is currently taking 3 whole milk bottles a day.

She is losing weight. She hardly eats anything- and definitly no veggies. She'll eat some meats (chicken, mostly), a little raison bran cereal, bread, and fruit. SHe'll eat anything sweet.

I don't want to force her to eat either. I don't even know how you would do that.... it's not like she would understand me if I said "You aren't getting out of that chair until you eat!"

I've had all kinds of advice, as well as criticism ("you never should have given her fruit"). My mom told me to stop giving her bottles and eventually she'll get hungry and eat. I tried it for about half a day and then couldn't do it. I really don't think it would help, and it would be ven worse if she wasn't at least getting the bottles.

Ugh. I told myself that I would not be one of those parents that freaked out over this stuff. At first, I didn't. But now... she looks a little skinny. She's tall, and maybe that's why her weight is falling off the "charts." She' in a 5% category for weight and a 95% for height (she'll be taller than my husband and I , I suspect).

I'm open to advice as well....
post #7 of 21
My 13 mo isn't very interested in solids, and I definitely agree with not force-feeding him. I do find he is more likely to eat heavily flavored, even spicy, things, so I feed him off my plate more. Your DS size sounds fine to me. My DS is 30.5 inches and bouces between 21 and 23 pounds.
post #8 of 21
I agree with all PPers. However, a friend of mine did have a game she played with her toddler who wasn't eating that seemed pretty harmless and worked. It wasn't a fix but it was a help. Usually someone other than the mama would do this, the adult would say slowly and exaggerated "Grandma takes a bite............and now Sally takes a bite......." and repeat. Lots of smiles and giggles too. Again, just a help not a total solution.
post #9 of 21
30" at 15 months. Where is that on the chart?

What did you and hubby look like at 15 months old? Were you nursed or FF, and were you force-fed foods?

My cousin's husband was a stick as a kid, extremely tall and slender as anything. He's a heavier man, but you can still see the lankiness. My cousin is shorter and squatter, and the ped kept comparing their son to HER. She and her mom (cousin is legally blind so mom drives them to appts) finally had to bring in pix of baby's father so the ped would get off their back about his weight.

Growth is height, weight, learning, skills, and so much more. I might be wrong, but it sounds like your son is on the taller side. 5 more inches and he can go on the Matterhorn rollercoaster at Disneyland. So maybe your guy grows in his length rather than in pure squish.

I would tell the ND to get off my back. NDs know more about nutrition than MDs, but if DS's ND was doing that nonsense I would probably have to leave her care.

As for that, why the WBVs still? If not vaxing, why?
post #10 of 21
DD was not much of an eater for the longest time. She's always been on the small side, like 15-25%. Between 10 and 17 months she didn't gain even a pound, which cause her to plummet to nearly 0% on the growth charts (and my ped was using an appropriate chart!). At the same time between probably 13 and 15 months, she nursed like a newborn again, 10 or 12 times a day if she could manage it. She didn't like most solids for the longest time.

Around 15-16mo, with no prompting from us, she suddenly decided she LOVED solid foods. Her number of nursing sessions dropped to 5-6/day by 18mo, she ate like she had 2 hallow legs, and she gained nearly 2lb in 2 months.

Since she started up with actual eating of solids, she has become one of the best eaters I've met in her age range. She has picky days, but on balance over the course of a week or month, she'll eat a wide variety of foods.

So anyhow, that's our experience. Following DD's lead worked out just fine for us.

If YOU feel in your heart that there's some issue, then I'd pursue this with your doctor, or (if you think there might be a sensory/eating issue) with Early Intervention/Birth to Three. But if you feel that he's fine, then he probably is.
post #11 of 21
He loves bananas? How about fried plantain? My kiddo will eat fried plantain interspersed with bites of butter chicken (curry). He'll eat guacamole, but not plain avocados. How about banana muffins?
post #12 of 21
My kid started solids at 2 years...he gagged on stuff and would spit it out - so I just nursed him after going though what you are now....from 97th to 1st percentile..........he also vomited a lot (sick).......but since the specialists were no help and formula or blending everything didn't either - we stuck to mamma milk so I knew he was getting what he needed...now he eats everything and nurses for nap and bed....he'll be 3 in Dec....goodluck
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions!

I do feel myself that he is just fine and is just going to be slow getting to solids. It's just so hard when the doc is making a big deal out of it and I start to second guess myself and feel stressed out about it.
post #14 of 21
beingmommy: You know, now that you mention it, I didn't start to stress until a nurse made a big deal out of dd's weight. Before that point I just figured she'd do what she needed to, when she needed to. I need to go back to that thinking I think.
post #15 of 21
My DD fell off the chart at 12 mo. She wasn't really interested in solids until 18 mo, and it wasn't until 21 mo that she began eating a "normal" amount (compared to other toddlers.) She had a huge growth spurt when she began eating. She went from about 20 lbs at 18 mo to 25 lbs at 2 years.

I emphasized avocado and cheese a lot when she wasn't eating much.
post #16 of 21
My son had his 15 month WBV today and he is exactly the same size as your little one--30 inches and 20 lbs. on the nose. This is between the 10th and 25th percentile lines for height and just about the 3rd percentile for weight (on the regular CDC charts, not the WHO breastfed charts). Our ped has been very alarmist about my son's size since the get-go, but I'm learning to trust my gut--my son is FINE. My husband was never even on the growth charts as a child. He didn't hit an "appropriate" weight for his height until he was about 30 years old. Seriously, he is one skinny dude! When we met (about 21 years old) he was just barely 5' 8" (so not short, but not very tall, either) and weighed 133 lbs. My son has no evidence of any issues that would contribute to poor gain--we've even been to a gastrointerolgist who has said that he is absolutely fine. The thing that the gastro told me was she doesn't pay attention to the regular weight-for-age chart. What tells her a better story of what's going on is the child's weight for height. My son has consistently been in the 25th percentile for weight for height (and that's where your LO would be at this point, too, seeing as they are exactly the same height/weight). Nothing wrong about being in the 25th percentile!

I do pay attention to what my son eats and I do try to give him the most nutrient- and calorie-dense foods that I can. I am very lucky that he loves to eat, and will eat a variety of foods. But he doesn't always like something the first time he tries it--I often have to offer things to him multiple times. Keep trying!! Avacodo is great. Cheese, full-fat yogurt (I find that the strained Greek yogurts have even more fat and calories than even regular whole milk yogurt), sunflower seed butter sandwiches (we don't do peanuts yet), etc. Eggs! I add flax or coconut oil to anything I can. I just made him oatmeal "cookies" with very low sugar, but heavy on the butter/oil and I added shredded zucchini and carrot. I think the smoothie suggestion is a good one--I'd like to try that myself for my little guy. Coconut milk sounds like a great and yummy addition! I think the only "yucky" thing to a smoothie would be adding a highly processed protein powder. Just skip that part. Use full-fat yogurt, that has lots of protein...and experiment with flavors (maybe fruit? you said he liked banana) 'till you find something that he likes. Quality, not quantity!

Anyway, good luck. You are NOT a bad momma! Some kids are just not very interested in food. I know how it feels to worry about your baby's weight. Worry is never fun...but I agree with the previous posters who advise to go with your gut. If you know that nothing is wrong, and especially if there are genetics at play (you and/or your husband are little), then there is probably nothing wrong. Just keep offering the good stuff...and of course, the boobies!!
post #17 of 21
Your story sounds sooooo identical to ours!! I will just say FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCT!! They tried to get me to wean and replace nursing with Pediasure. Continuing to nurse as often as baby wants to and offer (but never force) a variety of healthy foods is the best thing you can do right now. One day your DC will just start getting interested in foods. That's what happened for my DS at around 18 months, and he suddenly started growing like a weed again.
post #18 of 21
Ahh I just started another thread before I saw this one. DD is almost 18 months and still not very interested in food. She also has some reflux/GI issues and it's hard to know if that's related.

Our doctor also recommended Pediasure & weaning.

I didn't worry until the only local lactation consultant said it sounded very unusual and she should have more of an interest. However, she also mentioned that she has very little experience with toddlers. We live in a very mainstream area.

I continue to gently offer, but try to more often and with a little more variety.

Does anyone know if weighing before and after nursing is an accurate measure of intake at this age? GI doc wants a 7 day journal with ounces...recommended weaning or pumping, and I don't want to do either.
post #19 of 21
I'm jumping in here late... but my dd is just past 14 months now and is 95+% for height. She was 50+% for weight until recently, and she has dropped to less than 25%. That's over a 70% discrepancy between height and weight and I AM concerned, regardless of what any doctor or mama says. My daughter also has allergy/reflux/GI problems, as well as potential structural abnormalities. She is interested in food, not aversive at all, but she has been unable to learn how to eat or drink. We're going to see a pediatric GI doctor on October 14th. Wish us luck.
post #20 of 21
Originally Posted by lovingkindness View Post
Does anyone know if weighing before and after nursing is an accurate measure of intake at this age? GI doc wants a 7 day journal with ounces...recommended weaning or pumping, and I don't want to do either.
I've been doing this with my guy and as far as I know it is the most accurate indicator of how much they are taking in - you have to be sure to weigh him in the exact same clothes before and after so you get the most accurate weights - don't even change the diaper because that could throw things way off. He's only 8 months and I thought his intake was fine based on his nursing behavior but it turned out that he's taking in only half of what he should be for his weight. Oh and I will say my regular ped was fine with his percentile drops because his weight for height still looked good. I felt something was off and I would never had known it was a supply issue on my end if I hadn't done the weights on the recommendation of his GI.
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