I really don't know what to do...

Hi everyone,

I am completely at the end of my tether and really desperatley need some help!
Ellie will be 11 months on Monday and when I had her weighed just over 2 weeks ago she was only 16lb 1oz, the week prior to that she'd lost 10oz and she has never been over 16 & a half lb in weight in her life.

She was born on her due date of 30th march and weighed a healthy 6lb 8oz. From the beginning she was a nightmare with feeding, she wouldn't breastfeed and in the end I gave up then when I put her onto bottle feeding she took an oz to 3oz every 4-5 hours. The 1st time she took a 5oz bottle in one go she was about 4.5 months old and I was so ecstatic I sent a picture message to my friend to show her the bottle because it felt like such an achievement!

I started weaning her at 6 months and she was so uninterested in the food it wasn't even funny. At around the same time I put her onto the next stage milk (she was on c&g) but she started behaving very strangely, screaming every time her bottle went near her or a spoon with anything on it. About the only thing she would take was carrot and parsnip or sweet potato purreed down to mush and even this didn't last.

At 7.5 months I finally got a doctor who had some sense and thought she was cows milk protein intolerant and so she changed Ellie's milk to a special formula called Neocate LCP and the change was immense. I stopped weaning her to let the new milk settle (on advice of the doctor) for 2 weeks and started again just after she turned 8 months. I have taken it all really slowly and to begin with she was great but of course it only lasted a few weeks then she was back to refusing food and her bottles.

I thought she was teething so was giving her nurofen and putting dentinox on her gums etc but to no avail she still refused the food. My friend suggested I tried her on jarred food so I bought some organix pots and hipp jars and she loved them. Thought to myself happy days so long as she's eating something but this too has only lasted for about 4 weeks and now she is refusing everything even her bottles.

My HV told me to come back in 4 weeks which was just over 2 weeks ago because even though they told me to come back fortnightly apparently they aren't getting a good enough reading of her weight gain/loss in a 2 week period. Ellie has always been small because she won't eat but they just keep saying oh she's slight and petite etc.
I have this morning force fed her 3 small spoonfulls of porridge and listened to her screaming each time i did, then getting so upset afterwards that she threw it back up again.

The doctor sent a referral to the hospital but the appointment can take up to 13 weeks. I am beside myself with worry because she isn't formulating words, she's trying to walk but i'm worried her bones won't be strong enough to hold her and she just generally looks like an ill child.

I have taken away all sweet foods and snacks (fruit pots, soya yoghurts and organix gingerbread men!) to see if this made a difference but it just meant she ate nothing at all for a few days.

Can someone please give me advice or some glimmer of hope that things might soon be OK because I really, really don't know what else to do!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my novel btw!
Lauren xxx


  • hi lauren, sorry to hear you are having such a tough time with eliie.;
    i havent really got many sugestions, freya was difficult to get to eat at first she would only eat broccoli for ages (strange child) but has always loved her milk and her weight gain has always been ok.
    muy friend didnt have this problem with er little boy though. he would drink milk fine but the only solid food he would have was fruit and sweet stuff, nothing savory at all. then she started giving his food to him just cut up on a plate and letting him feed him self and since then he has eaten every thing. he just didnt like being fed with a spoon, tbh freya is going the same way we had a bit of a porridge battle this morning which resulted in us both covered in it!!
    You have probably already tried this but its the only thing i can think of so i hope that its some help. xxx
  • Hi Lauren, you must feel so worried and upset, I can understand where you're coming from as Kyra's had chicken pox and this is the 5th day she hasn't eaten properly and it can be so worrying. Your medical team do not sound very supportive or helpful at all. Have they suggested seeing a dietian or nutritionalist specialising in child nutrition? I think you need to be quite strong with your HV and tell her you need professional assistance with this.

    Personally, if sweets and snacks are the only things she'll eat give then to her, it would be better than nothing. It's also very important that whenever she's around food she doesn't feel anxious or distressed so don't ever force feed her otherwise she could develop more serious problems relating to food in the future. Fruit pots, soya yoghurts and gingerbread men are all fine. When she is ready and as long as she feels positve around food you can slowely introduce a greater varity to her and see how she goes. If she shows no interest, just take the food away so she stays nice and calm.

    I hope this helps, but you definitely need to consult a professional for expert advice on this. Hugs hun, I hope she picks up soon xox
  • I'm so sorry to hear you are having a rough time.
    I have a fussy little madam who sometimes wont eat her food, although we don't have the added problems you are having. If Charlotte (13 months) refuses her food I simply take it away after a few more attempts. In the past I have forced her to eat like you have out of desparation but soon realised it makes everything a whole lot worse as they will associate eating with being upset and anxious.

    The last time I had Charlotte weighed she was 12 months and weighed only 18lb 1oz. She was only 5lb 14oz when born so has always been small. She's always been on the 9th centile for weight but is nearly on the 75th for length. My hv calls her a bean-pole!!! She has never lost any weight though - maybe not put any on for a couple of weeks. She now eats pretty well, has the few off days but nothing serious. She really enjoys feeding herself now - either finger foods or trying to spoon feed herself (very messy).

    Can you push to gp/hv to see if they can hurry your appoitnment thru, esp if your lo is not wanting to eat?

    Have you tried her with any finger foods or baby led weaning? Maybe give her some toast or pieces of fruit/veg or pieces of cheese sarnies? Then just leave her to it - even if for the 1st few times she throws it on the floor! Let her see that food can be fun rather than something to get upset over. Let her mush it in her hands and smother it on her face so she can have fun with the taste & texture of it. Don't stand over her whilst she does it just sit close by. Really praise her if she licks any of the food or eats it!

    I hope you get to the bottom of it soon
    Hayley xx
  • aw hun, this sounds awful for you! I don't have any real advise but didn't want to say nothing. Before 12 months babies main food should be milk, so maybe if you concentrate on that and not worry too much about the food, but also, as long as she eats something it wouldn't really matter if she just had the fruit pots and gingerbread men etc! Have you tried Ella's kitchen pouches, my son went through a very fussy stage and lived off them, they are full of fruit and veg and no junk, also she can eat from the pouch (just remove the screw on lid and she can eat/drink straight from it), something new for her to try. You can get them from Tesco and Sainsburys, as well as health food shops/online.


    Good luck hun, x
  • Hi Lauren, so sorry you are going through the mill with Ellie.

    Gabe is nearly 10 months and he's a pain with food too, he's quite big (21lbs, 50th centile) but has dropped 2 centiles in the last couple of months due to refusing food and milk (usually because of illnesses, teething, etc) and losing weight then putting on a bit etc etc....its nothing compared to how worrying it must be for you but I can appreciate how hard it is feeding a baby who is just not interested.

    Gabe is not a fan of solids, never has been and didn't start eating decent amount until he was 8 months...he goes through good and bad phases...Anyway these days I feed him what the hell he wants simply just to get something in him...rusks, biscuits, cakes, sandwiches, fruit purees, rice cakes and pears are the only things he really likes, he wont touch homemade meals only jar food but these days won't have hardly any savoury jars.

    Tbh I would just feed her what she will eat, even if she does live on gingerbread men, it won't last forever and at least you'll get something in her. This is what we've done when Gabe's ill and he usually goes back to eating savoury.Have you tried flavouring the milk with nesquik or similar? Again, not ideal...but at least she'd be getting some vitamins...worth a go.

    Also i think you need to call the hospital for a faster referral. I can't believe it could take 13 weeks!!

    Good luck xx

  • Hey girls,

    Thanks for all the replies and suggestions!
    I have tried almost everything to be honest, the only thing I probably haven't tried is relaxing a bit and letting her play about more with her food. Finger food is really all she enjoys like little bits of sausages, toast and roasted veg but even at that half the time they get mushed into bits!

    I spoke with my HV earlier and she is coming out for a home visit on tuesday to weigh ellie and do her length etc. and she has said if there's any more weight loss or small gain then the referral might be pushed through sooner.

    To be honest I think i've been worrying about the path i'm laying down for the future and thinking well I must make sure she does this and this because if I don't when she's older she'll be fussy but now I just feel so desperate and frustrated I am going to let her eat whatever she wants!
    It's good to hear that none of you think this is a bad thing because my best friend (and I love her dearly) frowns upon me substituting the meals ellie won't eat with snacks but then again her LO was 10lb heavier than mine at the same age so she's never had the difficulties I have! xxx
  • hey,

    I didn't want to r&r but dont have much advice to offer that hasn't already been said.

    You've said she likes finger foods so you've got a great starting point there, even if lots does end up squished and on the floor!

    Yesterday Louise was having an off day with her food, she ate half a slice of toast for breakfast. She ended up having another 1/2 slice of toast with dairylea for lunch becuase she didn't want anything else I offered and 3/4 pot of yogurt while eating cucumber sticks. for dinner she had a small amount of pureed cauliflower cheese, breadsticks and organix corn snacks. Oh and more cucumber that I held for her to see whilr trying to get her to eat the spoon food! She definatly prefers to feed herself and if she's having spoon foods has to have her own spoon! (Louise is 7 months btw)

    Do you eat with her? I find that Louise wants to eat what we're eating and will try our foods.

    I would keep trying lots of diff finger foods, have you tried soft carrot stick, cucumber sticks (Louise's eyes light up when I get cucumber out!) organix corn sticks, rice cakes? Putting a little dairylea on toast.

    I find that finger foods can take a while to eat and if I leae foods on her tray while I potter about the kitchen Louise will keep eating what is there slowly.

    I think your doing the right thing giving her foods she does like and will eat. It can take 15 tastes of a food before a baby will like it and eat it!

  • Ellie's allergic to milk so cheese and things are out the window but she's been getting all her finger foods like rice cakes, carrots, the organix crisps etc from she could hold them and she does love feeding herself but the problem with her is she messes that much she'll maybe have eaten 1/8 of something and thinks shes done!

    I have to keep a food diary for the HV so am keeping note of every morsel that passes her lips!
    Thank you for all the support, it really does help knowing that you lot think i'm doing ok...i doubt myself sometimes! xoxo

    PS she is still awake now because she wouldnt take her bottle and will not go to sleep!!!!
  • hey,

    I think you can get a soya cheese spread - a friend had a lo with milk intoralence and i'm sure he had little cheese sandwhiches.

    you may have said this already but do you give her snacks between meals? may help to add snacks in too?
  • ooooh i didnt know this but have been looking everywhere for it- do you know where she got it for him? yeah she gets loads of snacks and they end up secreted in her clothes! xx
  • My eldest was a nightmare- always below the bottom of the centile charts & it worried me for 15 yrs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    If she is happy and bright then fine but if you think she is developing more slowly or is unwell then keep nagging. Perhaps a homeopath/ alternate therapist would help. I spent years with plates of food all over the house trying to tempt him but he turned out fine and now he eats like a horse!
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