January 19, 2011

oh the struggle with solids

So here is how a typical 'meal time' for Ryann goes around our house.  We attempt to get Ryann in the high chair.  She kicks and arches her back and it often takes both of us to get her in that dang thing.  She throws anything we put on her tray (food, toys, her sippy cup) straight to the floor.

We get one of these scenarios...

what?  you want me to eat?  heck no!  suckers.  :o)

We can usually convince her to eat a few cheerios, or a couple of the garden tomato little crunchies.  We offer her something on a spoon.  She flips out tries to smack it out of our hands.  We can then get her to eat maybe a couple more cheerios before she is slamming her head in to the back of the high chair and throwing a fit wanting to get out.

Per her doctor's suggestions we tried giving her a giant pretzel stick.  At first it seemed like it was going to work.  She actually picked the dang thing up and stuck it in her mouth.  Once.  I ran to get my camera and she wouldn't do it again.  So we stuck it back in there just for fun :o).


A little later she bit down on it, and apparently it hurt her poor little teeth and gums (she cried), and now we don't do pretzel sticks anymore.  We also tried putting part of a pickle spear in a mesh feeder.  She LOVES to suck on it.  But only if we're holding it.  If you try to make her hold it she freaks.  And I'm pretty sure just sucking down pickle juice has no real nutritional value.

we tried to rig it so she would 'feed' (suck pickle juice) herself tonight.  she would NOT touch it.

So today we are trying a different high chair.  One that doesn't have a high back (so she didn't feel closed in) and sits closer to the table.  I didn't anticipate it making much of a difference, but we thought we'd give it a go.  Pretty much the same reaction we usually get from the high chair.

 you thought this new chair would help?  seriously?  that is hilarious.

I did read this little blurb on Wholesome Baby Foods:
Your 8-10 Month old baby might be crawling and trying to pull herself up. At this stage, your baby may not have a big interest in eating.

As we note in our Is my Baby a Picky Eater page, your baby may suddenly begin to refuse to eat. She's simply too busy to stop exploring her world and she may get quite miffed when you put her in her highchair to eat.

With her independence growing, she may also begin to show preferences for certain foods and Refuse to be Spoon Fed. Take heart - this stage of baby feeding, while quite challenging, will soon pass. Let your baby be your guide and try not to get frustrated. It's important for baby to decide the foods she wants to eat. Before you know it, your baby will be eating all the adult foods and enjoying adult meals.
Which, pretty much sums up our experience in a nutshell.  Though she has never been a big solid food eater, she used to accept the spoon and would try things.  When she started to get more mobile (just before 7 months) was when she really started refusing to eat.

And whenever I start to say something about her hating the spoon, people ask 'why don't you let her try to feed herself'.  We do.  She doesn't.  I can feed her five cheerios, then put one on her tray.  She picks it up, stares at it and will NOT put it in her mouth.  A spoon she just throws. 

I'm 90% sure that it isn't the taste of things she doesn't like.  Because if you can actually get some in her mouth a lot of times she is cool with it.  Except carrots and cheese.  She throws up (not gags, like vomits the entire contents of her stomach) almost instantly when either item goes in her mouth.

I'm trying not to get frustrated (which we all know I am, oops.  fail).  It is just tough when I see tons of kids around her age gobbling up anything you put in front of them, or at least TRYING to eat something.

I know this stage will pass, but her first birthday is approaching faster than I like, and I have no idea how I am going to wean her from the bottle when she won't drink out of a sippy or eat any food besides cheerios.

And I'm sure you've heard enough about our food drama, but I had never seen a baby who refused things like she does, so hopefully if there is anyone out there with a babe like mine, you'll know you're not alone!

11 comments:

Bri said...

I think it has a lot to do with the age too! Rilo loooves Cheerios and any kind of cracker but she won't really eat much else. I tried Baby Led Weaning but I think she does worse on her own. She sometimes likes to eat whatever I'm eating but only a few bites and then she's done. I just keep nursing and feeding her what I can and figure she'll eat someday. I hope...

Yarnie said...

My little peanut only like puffs. I'm just glad that i'm making my own purees, otherwise I'd go broke with all the untouched open jars of baby food. Then I see all my friend's chubby lil babies eat happily and hungrily with envy. At 9 months and only 15lbs, I tend to worry about her not eating enough. Her milk intake is minimal as well...only 18 oz per day. I too am at my wits end and can't FORCE her to eat. I do hope they eventually get it! We just keep on trying...

Kalen said...

Hmmm. Have you tried table food? Like mashed potatoes or shredded chicken? What about covering her hands in puree and then letting her naturally bring them up to her mouth and taste it. Maybe it would surprise her? Crap I don't know! Everly likes solids but hates drinking from bottles, so that's always been our struggle.

I did read an article yesterday that was talking about the fact that babies/children rarely ever can starve themselves. Literally they just can't do it. Eventually they get hungry enough that they eat (the article was about picky eaters). The doctor was like, "Most parents panic but really, almost every single child will eat before they get anywhere close to starving." So maybe that's hope for the future, at least? Also, my friend's little girl didn't drink from a sippy cup until she was 1 year old like exactly... and it took her one day to do it. Like she just decided she was ready & did it.

I'd be nervous about it all too, but it'll be okay. She won't be the only baby in the history of mankind to never eat solids! It'll happen. Until then, you are the cutest/sweetest mama ever for all the tricks you're trying. I loved the pics!

Erin said...

Every time you write about this, I feel so bad for you guys. I can't even imagine. Annie has screamed when put in her high chair a few times and NOTHING is more frustrating. Especially when I'm trying to give her something that I spent a long time preparing, or that I KNOW she has eaten and liked before. It's maddening. I try to take the stance that we can provide her with nutritious and varied food, but we can't force her to eat, but it is HARD to not just give her something I know she'll like. It'd be even harder if there was NOTHING she liked. I have no advice, I'm not sure what I'd do in your situation....

I did just read this, it might offer some new ideas...
http://www.janetlansbury.com/2010/01/baby-table-manners/

Erin said...

OH - one more thing. I was just reading on Wholesome TODDLER food (because we soon have to move on to that!) the shockingly little amounts of food that toddlers really NEED once they do start eating. It was really surprising!

Nikki said...

I know this is frustrating, but hang in there. She will get past it soon. Henry has his days. You are a good mommy, just keep doing what you think is right for her.

Marie said...

This is very frustrating. I was also going to suggest to cut up table food or whatever you are having for dinner and seeing if she will eat that or maybe try eating at the same time she is eating to see if that interests her anymore. Maybe she will see daddy and mommy gobbling up yummy food and she will want to try or maybe sitting in your lap while you are wearing a tarp;)

Ashley said...

I can't imagine! Lilly will eat just about anything. I agree with other bloggers to try feeding her what you guys are eating. She will want to be just like her mommy and daddy, especially if you tell her how yummy it is. Also remember that Ry will not let herself starve. I have to remind myself that a lot now that Lilly has a strong opinion on what she likes (cookies). I know that if I give her a plate of broccoli and brown rice she may throw a little fit, but if she's hungry enough she will eat it. Good luck!

Lisa said...

My second kid didn't eat solids till he was over a year old. Gagged every time. We took him to a swallowing specialist, had a full evaluation done--nothing physically wrong, just wouldn't eat. He started eating around 12 months or so. Reluctantly. Now he's three and eats like a lumberjack.

Kat said...

I can only imagine how frustrating this must be. But I will say your captions to the photos seriously had me cracking up - especially your rigged mesh feeder!

Hopefully something changes for the good soon with her eat!

Anonymous said...

what about making a plate of food with say strips of roasted chicken, wedges of sweet potato and florets of broccoli... put it in front of you and eat it with Ryann on your lap. Will she reach for the food? When she struggles put her down let her do her thing (so it's not a struggle).If you did this regularly over a week or two maybe she might get interested... my babe prefers what I have so we do Baby Led Weaning which works for us. Just a thought.... hope it works out, She looks very happy and healthy so I would not worry too much.