17 month old refusing most solids, only wants to nurse - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-27-2010, 02:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 17 month old who has, in the last few weeks, pretty much given up eating solids. She has never eaten much, she struggled with lots of food allergies. She was just starting to eat a little something at each meal and during snack time. However, 2 weeks ago she had a chest cold and stopped eating solids. I thought it was just because she was sick, but now that she is better she is still refusing to eat (except an occasional cracker) & has been nursing with WAY more frequency than she did as a newborn. Has this ever happened to any of you? What did you do? The increased demand is making me exhausted & ravenous all day. And she is waking more often at night to nurse too, so I am not getting as much sleep to make up for it.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:46 AM
 
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I would just give it some time and she'll probably go back to eating more solids again. While she may not be visibly sick she may still have some of the bug left or a new bug may have come along and it could just be her natural response to it. DS didn't start eating solids on a once daily basis until he was about 15 months old, and even then it was at MOST twice a day and it wasn't uncommon at all for him to go a whole day without solids. He just needed more mama milk than solids. IMO, babies who are breastfed on demand naturally don't have the desire to live off of primarily solids after a year. I think that's just bogus junk from the introduction of formula that has parents thinking that at a year they must be eating 3 meals a day and drinking "milk" (from another mammal), and I think a lot of nursing mums translate it to mean that it's normal for babies who are still nursing.

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Old 09-27-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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Could it be teething? I think I wrote a very similar post about DS around that age, and IIRC teething was the culprit.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:50 PM
 
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I basically could have written your post. I have a 16 month old, and he barely eats any solids. Like you said, the random cracker here and there. He is definitely teething, so I think that plays a major factor in it. It's hard when solids seem to be a milestone in our culture, and all the babies you know are devouring everything. I tend to compare and doubt everything anyway, so this has made me feel a little nutty.

Then, yesterday I decided I'm going to just let it go. Trust that whatever is going on will work itself out, know that breastmilk is highly nutritious, and follow my DS's cues. I still offer him food, try to make him smoothies, and eat well myself (as well as multivitamin, fish oil, probiotics). The night nursing is tough. I try to nurse him lots before he goes to sleep for the night, and sometimes that helps, but he still wakes at least 2-3 times. Again, it's hard when mama friends are snoozing so well at night, and here I am nursing just like the newborn days. The main thing that gets me through is that it won't be like this forever. This is just a short span in the big picture. I try to nap when he does, and go to bed when he does too. Is it convenient ? Not really, but I don't think parenting always is !

I'm sorry this has become long, but I feel for you, mama. Take care of yourself ! You're not alone. Try not to compare yourself to what is considered "normal", because that's not always what is best anyway.

Don't you wish you could just look into a crystal ball, and see that 6 months down the road everything was fine and worked out ?
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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This happens to my DD every time she gets sick. She gradually comes out of it but it takes quite a while. We just had our first illness without nursing at 30 months. And she is still not eating much. She will beg for rice, noodles, or crackers, so I am doing my best to keep that stuff out of the house. As long as those aren't an option, she will eat some more nutrient-dense foods.

Bacon and coconut water have always been some of the first foods to tempt her appetite after an illness. Hang in there! This will pass.
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I have a 3 1/2 DS who is so polarly opposite of my DD that it is hard to compare the two. DS nursed until 30ish months and when sick would go a day or two w/o solids, but as soon as he was better he was eating plenty of solids again. He never missed a meal, solids or nursing. My DD has just never been as interested in food and is significantly smaller in stature. So, I'll press on and not listen to all my friends and family who are telling me to cut back nursing ("Refuse to nurse her and eventually she will eat." is what I usually am told). I guess with her being smaller than DS I was just slightly worried about her refusal to eat solids, but then again she has been healthy all this time without eating hardly any solids, so now shouldn't be any different. Thanks Mamas for your words of encouragement; all of my other friends have already stopped nursing their babies and think I am crazy for still nursing my DD (that and many other things). Not being "normal" is sometimes lonely, it is good to have other Mamas that don't think I am crazy.
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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I would follow baby's lead and breastfeed as much as needed. Listen to your instincts.
Along the lines of Smeep's post, infants and toddlers eating a substantial amount of solid food is a recent trend (only this last century) relative to human history.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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Some children are just smaller. Not to mention girls tend to be smaller than boys and she could have also gotten a "smaller" gene that your DS didn't get. Honestly, it's not about their size, so long as it's relatively consistent and they are otherwise healthy and happy.

As for the idea of weaning her would make her eat more, that's may not be the case. Imagine if you forced her to wean suddenly and she continued to eat few solids that would be so much worse! What about the toddlers who don't nurse and don't eat many solids but they chug cow milk. It seems like the fact that people can SEE how much cow milk they get, and the fact that cow milk as seen as this amazing perfect source of nutrition (as opposed to human milk that's made for HUMANS ), people are more likely to think that's okay. Then you also have to think about other ways that forcing a child to eat could harm them. When you FORCE them to eat, and don't allow them to do it at their own pace, you're just setting them up for a lifetime of food issues. It's yet another reason why childhood obesity is such a problem right now, because we feel that they HAVE to eat this and that all the time. Toddlers graze and get their nutrition from all the appropriate sources over the span of a week to a month, depending on what study you read. Personally, I don't even believe that adults are meant to have X meals of X food groups every day. Otherwise we wouldn't crave veggies for two days straight and then protein for another day, so on and so forth. While it can often be more convenient that way I think it's more about listening to your body. The problem with adults is we don't know how to do that anymore but young children do that incredibly well when given lots of healthy options and allowed to graze as they please. We just always feel the need to force our eating habits onto them because we assume that they're just mini versions of us when that's really not the case.

- Emy . Single mom to DS nut.gif Ezra (15.12.05), angel2.gif Thames (reincarnated 18.04.08) and DD rainbow1284.gif babyf.gif Allora (11.02.11) and dog2.gif Hoppylactivist.gif  novaxnocirc.gif  waterbirth.jpg fambedsingle2.gif bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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