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My breastfed 14 month old is barely eating any solids. We started solids at about 6 months and skipped pureeing the food and went straight to finger foods but he never really showed much interest in food at all. He'll ocasionally have some greek yogurt, some fruit and bits of pasta when we have it, but that's about it. We're not making a big deal because I'm still at home (and will be for three more months), he's chunky and healthy.

He's not being forced into anything, we usually put him in his highchair or next to us when we eat and offer whatever we're having and most of the time he just turns away his head. He tried feeding himself maybe five times but he normally just plays with whatever's on his tray. He does like to put tiny bits of lint from the carpet in his mouth though, but we haven't yet tried to put bits of food on the floor :)

Anyway, I'm going back to work in three months and he's going to be in daycare for about 8-9 hours a day. I won't be able to bring pumped milk to daycare.

I don't want to stop breastfeeding or try limiting it if I don't have to because that doesn't seem to work. I'm hoping for some advice from people who had similar experiences.

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  • How often do you breastfeed? Does he tend to eat in large quantities less frequently, or smaller quantities more frequently? When do you try to feed him solids versus when he nurses? An example daily schedule with estimated quantities (if you don't pump into a bottle that can be difficult to estimate, but give it a shot) and times would be helpful to understand.
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 17:09
  • He breastfeeds every two hours on average and I'd say he's not taking in a lot of milk during the day. He still wakes every two hours (sometimes more often and sometimes less often) during the night and to me it seems that it's during those feeds he actually eats the most. I normally try and wait some time to give him solids after he's breastfed. However, it seems to be a fine line between him being hungry enough to open his mouth and being too hungry where only breastfeeding is acceptable. I'm kind of hoping that the daycare will be the final solution, seeing other kids eating etc.
    – eagerMoose
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 15:00
  • How did this end?? I see it was posted in 2015. My 13 month old is only drinking her formula still. She refuses any solid food and other liquid as well (juice, water, etc). Doctor says nothing is wrong and to just feed her, but she seals her mouth shut and won't eat anything still.
    – Michelle
    Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 21:51
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    @Michelle it ended great - daycare helped a lot. My kid saw other kids eating and started trying things bit by bit. He's now 8 and likes a variety of foods kids his age don't want to try. I had a second child that's 4 now and is a far, far pickier eater who eats a VERY limited assortment of foods :D So while I share positive news about how this particular issue turned out - it can always be worse :D
    – eagerMoose
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 9:20

2 Answers 2

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As the mom of a 15-month-old who transitioned (slowly) from breastmilk to solids, I'll detail what worked for us.

  • Offer solids first, then milk. Stick to this even if he doesn't eat much at the solids time, since it seems from the info you gave that weight gain isn't an issue. If he's hungry when it's time for solids, he's more likely to try them.
  • Get onto a routine of meal times similar to those of the daycare. Ours offers veggies, meat, carb meal at 11, and fruit & cookie at 2.
  • Reconsider whether you can bring pumped milk / powdered milk to daycare. We did for 3 months and it helped with the transition. We slowly reduced the amount as she got more comfortable eating the solids there.
  • Stick to the "Division of Responsibility in Eating" - it was a lifesaving resource for us, we have it printed out and put on our fridge.

Parents’ feeding jobs:

Choose and prepare the food.

Provide regular meals and snacks.

Make eating times pleasant.

Step-by-step, show children by example how to behave at family mealtime. Be considerate of children’s lack of food experience without catering to likes and dislikes.

Not let children have food or beverages (except for water) between meal and snack times. Let children grow up to get bodies that are right for them.

Children’s eating jobs:

Children will eat.

They will eat the amount they need.

They will learn to eat the food their parents eat.

They will grow predictably.

They will learn to behave well at mealtime.

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  • Thanks, I appreciate your response! Regarding pumped milk, I would gladly bring it to daycare, but parents aren't allowed to bring any dairy products unfortunately.
    – eagerMoose
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 13:08
  • Wow - what a lousy policy! Good thing he got to stay home with you up until now to benefit from breastmilk goodness! Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 14:42
  • Yeah, it's a state daycare (we live in Europe) so they don't have the conditions to store breastmilk unfortunately, and the inspections are pretty tough on them so they don't take any risks. On the bright side, the paid maternity leave lasts a year, and you can take an unpaid leave until the child is three years old so there's that :)
    – eagerMoose
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 9:27
  • You should tell them that breast milk isn't a dairy product since you don't live on a dairy :-) I'm in Belgium, and we only get 3.5 months paid + 1 year unpaid, and all the state daycares had waiting lists a mile long...you're lucky! Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 9:32
  • Ah, that's just a technicality :) But I want my kid to be just like the rest of the kids, and the daycare workers are overworked as is - there's two of them and 19 toddlers, and the workers are there are alone most of the time, the two of them overlap only during lunch and nap time. I guess he'll just have to adapt.
    – eagerMoose
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 9:35
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Normally, babies when they are around 4 to 6 months they become curious about the food and they begin to reach for the food from their mother plate. It becomes enjoyable and social experience when that are eating. Mos of the babies will continuing to breastfeed and to have solids.

There are few reason why babies will refuse to have solid foods.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can result in food refusal. Sometimes it may be due to medical problems that results in inability to metabolize micornutrients. May mother has a deficiency because the mother;s milk may be lacking of vitamin or mineral.

There could be a problem in the child;s throat that may affect his willingness to swallow solids

feeding aversion may result if something about the solid food feeding experience feels unpleasant to the child.

The baby need to have a medical evaluation and the mother need be tested for vitamin b(12) deficiency. Mother need to continue to breastfeed till they figure out why the baby refuses solids.

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    Hi Deena, thanks for the answer. It would be significantly improved if you can find sources for the assertions in it; in particular, some of the specifics.
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 17:09
  • Hi, I had come across this few question which was answered by a doctor regarding this question. parenting.com/article/ask-dr-sears-refusing-solid-foods Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 13:19

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