DS will be 16 months tomorrow and is 99.9% exclusively breastfed. We keep trying to introduce him to solid food and he's not really interested. I wasn't worried about it when he was under 1 year or even shortly after he turned a year old because I figured he would eventually gain interest. However now I'm starting to wonder if I've been too patient. I've tried spoon-feeding and self-feeding. When I first tried spoon-feeding I noticed he wanted to direct the spoon himself so I let him, but then he mostly hated or gagged on whatever was on the spoon. Now he refuses to let a spoon near his mouth. When I try self-feeding, he'd rather just mush up the food in his hands and maybe give it a tiny taste after several minutes, but that's as far as it goes. Occasionally, I can entice him to bite off a small piece of food like canteloupe but then he's not so sure what to do with the chunk in his mouth.
He's very healthy though low on the growth charts, but he's always been low on the charts. Plus he's meeting milestones so I'm pretty sure breast milk is meeting his nutritional needs.
I just don't want to inadvertently cause him to have food issues. Does anyone else have a toddler with a similar late start to solids?
My daughter as been two steps forward, one step back with food. She refused a spoon and so we did baby led weaning. Whenever she gets sick or is teething she only bf and only now is her appetite improving after lots of bugs during winter (southern hemisphere). I would go with continuing to offer food and possibly abandoning the highchair and keeping him on your lap for meals. I think food off your plate can seem more enticing. If you think there are any other sensory issues or development issues there is nothing wrong with checking them out but I do think bf babies just take it more slowly because is really just about fun and learnning for a long time before they connect it with hunger and being full. I really recommend the Gill Rapley book Baby Led Weaning. Lots of great info and advice and very reassuring. My daughter only eats a couple of meals a day and when I say meal I mean a very small one such as some crackers with hummus and some raisins. Maybe a bit of apple and some of my toast later on and some rice and veges at dinner. She eats a lot more when she is in daycare which is two days a week as I am not there to bf her.
Due July 2012
My son did not start eating anything until 17 months. Then it was like all of a sudden he just got it. He still nurses quite a bit, but he really has started giving food a chance now!
SAHM to 5 cats, a crazy toddler and my new baby girl born at home 3/12/12.
DS is 21mos & survives primarily on breastmilk. With a lot of concentrated effort he has gotten much better at eating table food but it's still very hit or miss... Some days (like today) he will barely touch anything, and other days he might eat up to 30% food/70% breastmilk. He does like a wide variety of foods though (in fact, I can't really think of anything he DOESN'T like???) but if I dropped off the face of the earth tomorrow, I don't know how he'd survive (well unless maybe someone else tried to nurse him!!) He eats a lot more with DH (especially if I lock myself in another room!) and he also eats more when we're out or when my friends give him food. Around 18mos I actively limited nursing for my sanity (he was nursing 20+ times a day) and he did eat more solids when I did that, though 'not enough' IMO. He also likes to cook with DH -- he usually won't eat the final product, but he taste-tests lots along the way!
Thank you all for the responses. It's hard not to worry even a tiny bit when he's not even really interested in tasting anything. I think I just needed some reassurance that such a late start isn't all that unusual.
My 23 month old was quite slow to solids, even now he only has two small meals a day and a couple of tiny snacks. He also hardly drinks anything. I know from potty learning that he's not dehydrated so I guess he must still be having a fair amount of breastmilk. He will eat a lot more if there's sweet food available (e.g. when we're at relatives houses) so I think he's choosing to eat less in favour of having breastmilk when we're at home. I'm not sure at what point, if any, I should be concerned about this. But I don't think 16months is that unusual.