My son is 16 months old, he is a picky eater and we are dealing with his poor eating habits from the get go (now going to a special clinic). As for now, I'm breastfeeding him 50/50 with real food. Whenever he gets sick he loses his appetite and stops eating! He demands I breastfeed him more, but I don't have enough milk to give him a full meal. It's like we need to work with him from scratch again :(. He refuses to put food in his mouth and that worries me alot! it's been 4 days since he ate something, only milk from me. He also refuses to take milk from a bottle so I can't give him formula. He is not sick anymore. and this time he is more stubborn about not eating. We are going to his doctor tomorrow morning, but I don't think she can help us.

  • 1
    Have you tried cups? There's a variety of sippy cups and straw cups designed for young children, so it can be tough to find a "match", but my boys both switched to cups pretty early. (Oldest had a lot of bottled breastmilk, but youngest has never really used bottles. He's been using a sippy cup (with help) since about 6 months old.)
    – user11394
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 21:40
  • Also try a variety of teats on bottles. One of ours was very picky and only liked one shape of teat. Worth a try. Also, when weaning, we made a very wide range of puréed foods until we found ones she liked - and temperature and texture were important! Experiment a little.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 13:34

2 Answers 2


Firstly, if you're going to a specialist clinic I would assume that they are going to give far better and tailored advice that "the internet" will be able to, especially from the few details you give in the question.

I think the main problem might be that he (very understandably) prefers breastfeeding to solid food!

Now, obviously you cannot control your child's appetite. But let's look at what you say:

it's been 4 days since he ate something, only milk from me.

The only question then is whether he is underweight. If he is, see a doctor.

If he's not underweight, then he's getting enough calories from your milk and any food he is eating. That's why he doesn't want any more food! Therefore, you have to decide whether

  • you are OK with this, or
  • you give him less breast milk.

Obviously, there are well-known benefits to breast feeding. Here's the current UK advice (my emphasis):

How long should I breastfeed for?

Exclusive breastfeeding (with no other food or drink) is recommended for around the first six months of your baby's life. After this, breastfeed alongside other foods for as long as you and your baby wish. This might be into their second year or beyond.


It sounds like he wishes it! But is it making eating harder? The ideal thing might be to limit the amount of milk he has. If not the easiest way to fix the problem might be to stop breast feeding altogether! Then he could only get calories from solid food.

This is up to you. Obviously. Good luck!


I really feel for you as have been through the same thing, my son is now 21 and still picky, (sorry) but he has two older sisters and one younger brother of 12 years. The two older ones never had a problem with them but when their brother came along wow was he different.

When he had breakfast, just toddling, he would keep it in his mouth all day, not swallow and like you wouldn't eat for days. We also went to a clinic and because he was not losing weight and was 'on the line' we got no help. 10 years later (yes!) we had another child and I vowed he would not be the same so he ate what we ate I didn't give choices. If he saw his brothers food of dry chicken and bread (woo hoo) I just told him it was not good to eat just that all his life and it was not an option and stuck to my guns and he is a brilliant eater.

What I'm trying to tell you by experience is do not pander to him, he will not starve himself, it won't happen, be strong. I was not, if he didn't eat I would panic in case he starved himself so gave him chicken nuggets and before you know it that's all he was eating. Because you are breastfeeding/bottle he is relying on that and as long as you offer it he is ok with that, why should he try hard food, to much effort. I breastfed my children but eventually you have to make the changeover (I do know people who breastfeed at 6 but am sure they eat well also).

When I went to the clinic I told them "he eats chicken, bread and chips" but that was ok with them, I said "what about the 5 a day veggies" they said don't worry, he will grow out of it but he didn't. Giving him what he wanted he never asked to try something different, he wouldn't would he?

It's been absolute stress all these years. When he was 16 we referred him for the last time and they told me what do you do when you go to restaurants and I said make sure there is "William food" on the menu, and she said so he has been controlling where you eat for 16 years! and I thought "yes she is right, every time we went out (and it was not often!) we would have to make sure there was chicken on the menu with no sauce or anything! And her advice was go Chinese, Indian or whatever and if he just has ice cream or whatever that's how it should be, he will eventually come round.

Too late advice when they are 16 I might add! Please just dish up the same, someone also told me a child refuses a food maybe 15 times before they just pick it up and eat it! Be strong, he will not starve, they can be very stubborn, and just testing the boundaries as I might add my 12 year old at the moment, and unfortunately they keep doing this.

Let me just add I'm just a mum not a doctor, but have had 4 children and they are all still alive even the picky one! Get him checked but I'm sure it's battle of the strongest here! Also remember there may be something they just don't like, 2nd daughter has never liked peas, and 4th never like mushrooms but hey I can live with that!

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