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My 11-month-old son has so far always been a good eater, although he has often had a habit of crying when his milk was finished, or at the end of meals. This has generally been ok to deal with.

However recently in the last few days he has been having a sudden full meltdown mid food, with angry crying and throwing himself around in his chair (worse than his typical end of meal crying, which is a lot more manageable). It's generally been food that he likes (and he may resume eating it once calmed down) - Is this probably down to teething, or could it be related to anything else? (it's noticeable that he doesn't seem to do this when eating yoghurt - which is one of his favourite foods).

He only has milk at start of the day (and occasionally on evenings) - he has rarely got upset mid bottle (not recently). He has got angry with similar consistency to yoghurt foods (such as mashed potatoes). He has only 7 teeth so we try not to give him anything that requires too much chewing.

Have other people experienced this and do you have any advice for dealing with this issue? It's happened 3 days in a row now. The other point to note is that we were away visiting relatives on the weekend, and he's been doing this since we have come back, could this also be related to the issue?

Update Edit: I think it was teething, it did seem to go away again. I found if he kicked off too badly, I would take him out of his chair and calm him down, then once calm again, he would go back to eating if he still was hungry.

  • This happens with milk (from a bottle?) as well as chewed foods? What about other yogurt-consistency foods? – Joe Jun 21 '18 at 14:15
  • He only has milk at start of day (and occasionally evenings) - he has rarely got upset mid bottle (not recently), he has got angry with similar consistency to yoghurt foods (such as mashed potatoes) he only has 7 teeth so try not to give him anything that requires too much chewing. – Tim Jun 21 '18 at 14:26
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    Have you checked his mouth/gums? Just to exclude physical pain and distress? – Stephie Jun 21 '18 at 15:23
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    Is he self-feeding during these meals, or are you/your spouse feeding him? If he is feeding himself it may be frustration at not getting the food into his mouth, or if being fed may be that he isn't getting food at a rate he is happy with. Either way this is probably just a phase. – Ron Beyer Jun 22 '18 at 3:48
  • After reading the first 4 lines I wondered if he may be teething because it would fit. And in line six you mention it. So this is way to typical for teething, just wait till he is out if it, it should stop then. – Etaila Jun 22 '18 at 9:59
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First, rule out medical issues. Check for cuts, bumps, and other issues in his mouth, then check if he has new teeth coming in. The answer splits from here.

Teething

Ahh BRAT, where would we be without out you. BRAT foods are awesome for teething. There soft and feel good. Remember when teething they need something "hard" to chew on so it may be time to step up to more solid foods. BRAT is Banana, Rice, Apples, and Toast. You can live by that diet as a go to when something goes wrong right up till they move out of the house.

Try more solid foods (of course introducing them slowly). This behavior is very typical of teething. I just always remember that "sore teeth" need something "hard" to chew on. As an aside, until they have teeth, apples may not work well. The other's they can gum and it will feel good. Apples present too much risk in my opinion, but applesauce it awesome (get the correct kind).

Also, try cold foods. Like chilled applesauce. Cold potatoes. That may help. If you're using hot foods like cereals, then try smaller servings. Maybe the warm food feels better.

If it is teething, then your just gonna have to wait it out, but it's ok to try something to help.

Behavior

If you feel this is a behavior, then you need to do two steps.

  1. Figure out what YOU are doing that is causing it. Did you stop making the airplane sounds? Did you pay more attention to the conversation then you were to him? Do you show your self to be more tired half way through dinner? Do you start eating your food between bites? It doesn't mean you should change your behavior, but you do need to understand it before going to step two.
  2. Teach the moment. It might be time to start, "It's not ok to scream at the table, you can get down now." or "That's not how we behave at the table" followed by placing them in their pack-n-play. They won't get what you're saying, but they will get that screaming equals dinner and special attention is over. You have to decide though if you think this is a behavior issue or something else. If it is behavior then you should look at your self first, and see what the trigger is, then decide if you want to adjust their response.

Keep in mind that if you do decide it's behavior and you want to teach that we don't yell at the table, that, especially at first, they're just going to yell not at the table. They're getting to that age where the battlefield is set, and you're about to have a good 4-5 year war. If this is behavior, then only you can decide if this is the first battle, or if it's just a border raid that you're going to let them win.

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While this may be due to teething or a general growing up phase, you should make sure he has no other concerns.

For example, check for mouth ulcers or minor cuts on his teeth/gums which can cause physical pain. Also, check if he's suffering from acid reflux. This can cause discomfort during or after his meal (Yogurt is soothing for tummy so maybe that's why that's his favorite food).

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