My 10 month old has been a very good eater since we started feeding her solids at 6 months. She has been eating all sorts of things - she has 8 teeth, so has no trouble eating most table foods. She'd had nearly every vegetable and fruit that we've been eating for the last 2-3 months.

However, for the past couple of days she is refusing all food. Last night, she wouldn't eat anything but a few slices of watermelon for dinner. This morning, she refused her regular cereal. I still nurse her once a day (she was nursing full time until 6 months, and at least 4-5 months at 8 months, but now it's just 1-2 a day); however, my milk supply seems to be drying up. When she is hungry, all she seems to want is breastmilk, but it seems to cause frustration for her because she empties it very quickly and/or nothing comes out. She'll keep crying but continue to reject any other food that we offer her. Usually she loves eating applesauce, carrots, squash, rice, lentils, peas, yogurt - but now she isn't having any of that. She has always refused formula / anything from a bottle. We always give her fluids from a normal cup.

Despite her light or non-existent meals, she had four bowel movements (although darker than usual, but that could be blueberries) and enough wet diapers. However, she seems to be very lethargic/exhausted. She isn't her playful self and seems frustrated most of the day. She isn't sleeping as much either. What can we do?

Update: Never found out what was wrong with her; she ended up with a 102F a couple of days later. We gave her tylenol upon our doctor's office's recommendation. After that she woke up and ate a large meal. Now she is getting better again. Seemed like that she was just sick.

  • In the future, if a reduced appetite is the only symptom your kid has, don't worry. It is normal for kids to go through short phases where they have bigger or smaller appetites. They usually last less than a week. But yeah, this time, your kid had other symptoms.
    – swbarnes2
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 20:33

2 Answers 2


If it continues for three full days or more, or if she has a fever, see your family's doctor. It could be anything from an illness to a food sensitivity, or something I haven't thought of.

Reduced appetite and unusual tiredness can be normal during a growth spurt, but normally kids sleep soundly when that's the case.

  • 3
    +1 for this answer. We also had to learn that mostly, our child knows quite well how much food he needs (some day it is unbelievably much and the other day he eats very few). As long as they behave more or less "normal", I would not mind. However, if you say "she is not herself" and it is not only for one or 2 days, I also would recommend consulting a doctor.
    – BBM
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 18:50
  • +1 Yes, try to see a doctor if this continues. I hope she still drinks enough fluids.
    – Tim H
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 19:07

Probably she has discovered the joy of free will. Unfortunately the discovery of free will precedes the discovery of responsibility by years. At the same time, kids often have breaks in between their growth spurts that slow down their dietary requirements significantly.

Unfortunately you now need to teach that free will is not freedom to do whatever she wants, and at the same time you don't want to put off your daughter of eating. What we tended to do with our kids at that time was to basically offer two options: The food provided, or nothing. And if they were hungry in the middle, the food was there. Kids don't starve themselves. Really.

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