Please help, how do i get my 9 month old to eat food!!!

(also in BIS)

Please help ladies, every meal time in turning into a bit of a nightmare. My little man won't eat jars or take anything off a spoon (unless its petit filous!!) and he normally has what we have if we are having vegetables or meat. Tonight for example i cooked him carrot batons and broccoli spears as finger foods so he could feed himself, i also cooked a few potatoes and mixed it with spaghetti shapes so the potatoe wasn't dry, he sucked on the broccoli and had a little bit, he played with the carrot and had a little bit of the potatoe off me from a spoon but thats it, the mouth trapped shut and i was sat there with him for just over an hour trying to get him to eat something and in the end it all went in the bin!! Its not just tea time, its every meal time. We've been feeding him this way since he was 6 1/2 - 7 month and by now I thought he would be having full meals.

His day goes like this -
Wake between 6 - 6.30 has 7oz bottle (depending on if hes been up for a night feed then I try him with breakfast first then give the bottle an hour or so later).
Breakfast is given an hour or so after his bottle and normally consists of a suck on some toast with a little nibble, some cereal that he can pick up and play with himself eg. shreddies or cheerios but then he only has 1 or two!!)
Mid morning bottle 6oz
Lunch between 12 - 12.30 is normally finger foods but again he doesn't have very much
Afternoon bottle between 1.30 - 2.00 normally 8oz, sometimes less
Tea around 4.00 - 4.30
Finally a bottle before bed around 7, normally 8oz

Phew that was hard work!! Hes not having anything substantial enough to call it a meal and I don't know what else I can do. Everything we try seems like a waste of time and money because it just gets wasted. Any help would be fantastic.



  • Have you tried him with really smooth purees? Did you start off with purees? x
  • Hi coco25

    Thanks for your reply. When we started weaning he had purees and he was ok with them, we fed him first stage jars for a bit also, he had his favourite and would eat a full jar with no problems but if we try him with the same now, even though hes 9 month, we'll be lucky if he eats half a jar. It just feels like such a struggle!!

    Forgot to mention his naps, he has hour and half on a morning between half 9 and 11 then another hour on an afternoon between 2 and 3.

    [Modified by: aerobubbles on July 02, 2010 05:37 PM]

  • Oh I feel your pain - it is so hard when they won't open their mouths! Sam is like that when teething, but rest of the time is good, as long as we give him lots of toys and finger foods to play with whilst feeding. I'm sure you've tried that though. Maybe mix things with Petit Filous? Or one spoonful of yogurt then one spoonful of puree to keep him interested?
    Could it be teething? xx
  • Hi Aerobubbles

    I was going to suggest homemade purees like coco25 too. My DS is almost a year and it's only recently he will entertain bread or fruit as finger foods. He won't eat anything else unless it's pureed into liquid (no lumps or bits). He has never eaten anything from a jar. He will point blank refuse it and always has done. He did go through a stage of not even wanting purees (other than fruit) so I would load a 1/2 the spoon with fruit and 1/2 with his food so Coco has a great idea with the yogurt to get him going. It took less than a week to get him back into his food doing this so good luck. xx
  • My lo is 15 months old, he was slow to start-wouldn't eat anything off a spoon but would show some interest in finger foods. He's now a brilliant eater, has whatever we have.

    I know how stressful it is, all you want to do is feed your lo, there's nothing better than seeing them really enjoying their food but weaning, for some babies, is a long slow process . Up until 12 months , food is just for fun, anything they eat is a bonus to their milk.

    You have to take a big step back and make meal times a relaxed enjoyable experience, no coaxing, no hour long mealtimes. I would scrap the purees altogether, my lo never had them . It sounds like he's showing interest in finger foods which is great- have you considered babyled weaning. Basically, everything is presented as finger food. Start with broccoli, carrot battots, sticks of fruit etc and just let lo explore, he may lick it, chew it, throw it on the floor-if you're lucky he might just swallow some! Usually, when the food hits the floor it means they're not interested, pop it in the bin-no comment, meal time over. Give BIG praise for anything that gets eaten.

    I know that if I hadn't of fine this with my lo meal times would have turned into a huge battle, I could feel myself heading that way but made a conscious decision that it was a battle I wasn't taking part in and it worked.

    My lo now feeds himself off a spoon so stick with the yoghurt and offer other things off a spoon of you want but try not to trick or coax, if he doesn't want it, bin it.

  • p.bob thanks for your reply. I'm confused though because I thought we were doing BLW?My lo normally has what we have in the form of finger foods am I doing something wrong?
  • Oh sorry Hun, I read your post wrong-when you said he won't take anything off a spoon I didn't realise you were doing blw.

    Honestly just stick with it, it will come in time. My mum said to me when I was getting very stressed-all you can do is keep offering it, you can't force feed him, he's not going to starve himself, she was right. Last weekend when we were sitting in the sun and lo was inhaling swiss roll and banana she said 'remember when we thought he would never eat!'

    Just try to make things fun, leave him to it-you and oh enjoy your meal, chat and laugh, keep it all relaxed.

    Try it for a few a weeks xx
  • Just a thought but could he be filling up on the milk? Is it worth reducing the amount of milk he is getting and see if that helps his appetite? I read in the Annabel Karmel book that you need to reduce the amount of milk they get in order to give them a better appetite for solids.

  • my son is 8 months now and about a month ago i was having terrible trouble getting him to eat, i was getting very down about it. What i did was removed his afternoon milk feed so his day goes like this
    6 am milk
    9 am breakfast usually 1 oatibix mixed wioth 4oz milk
    1130 am milk
    1330 lunch equivelent of a small jar
    1730 dinner main course equivalent of small jar then pudding of same size
    2000 milk and bed

    also for 3 or 4 days when he wouldn't eat instead of trying endlessly and us both getting frustrated after 10 mins i would simply say to him that it was going in the bin and that was it till next meal!! so far tjis approach and schedule has really worked and i waill be sticking to it for now.
  • Have you tried weetabix or ready brek porridge? I mix them with BM and found that my LO took these ever so well from day 1, I think because of the familiar taste. Might be worth a try xx
  • First of all, I wouldn't worry about how much food he is actually taking. He will get all he needs from his milk for now image I think if you are getting stressed, then he will pick up on it, and mealtimes should be fun.

    My lo is the same, won't eat off a spoon, well she won't let me spoon feed her. Have you tried pre loading spoons for him? I find porridge was a great one to start with, as even when the spoon was turned upside down, it doesn't fall off. She now eats all her breakfast cereals/porridge herself.

    What kins of food are you giving him? I know you said meat and veg, but are you giving him just cooked/raw veg? What else have you tried/will he eat?

    Also, have you read the baby led weaning book by Gill Rapley? The main thing I got from that book was to not make food an issue. If dd doesn't want it, I wouldn't sit for an hour, or try and spoon feed her. Both would just wind her up. I would offer something else, or say "that's ok honey".

    My dd has only just dropped from 4 bottles to 3, and this was a natural drop of her bottle. I am confident that even if she turned her nose up at her food, she is still ok with all the milk she is having!

    Sorry if I have waffled on a bit, hopefully you can get this sorted out image
  • Hi, you've already had some great advice. So just to reiterate some points. Do offer what you are having, and try not to just sit watching lo, if it gets eaten great, if not don't panic. The think about BLW is baby's own choice, so offer something else if lo really isn't interested. It does state purees can be continued, if starting finger foods later than 6 months. But says a spoon or two, personally I think that's parents choice. I don't know how long you've been doing the finger foods/BLW but it says start by giving lo food when they're not hungry, to play with/explore textures etc. Babies won't starve themselves, they're very good at taking what they need hence baby led weaning. Hope things improve for you. Try not to stress, otherwise lo will too, and mealtimes will remain difficult. xx
  • Thanks for your replys ladies.

    Hannahs_Mummy We cook our lo vegetables although sometimes he may have a little nibble on some raw. He loves broccoli although hes more likely to suck on it rather than eat a great deal. He will chomp he way through a strawberrry and a plum, in fact he will try just about anything we give him because he can feed himself, he just doesn't have a substantial amount that I would call a meal and I don't feel hes satisfied from his food and relies a lot on his milk.

    Ive tried preloading a spoon but he gets more on his hands than in his mouth and by the time it gets to his mouth there is nothing left on the spoon, also tried giving him a spoon to play with while I try and feed him.

    Mithical I try not to get stressed over it as I realise that milk is his main source at this age however I thought at 9 month he should be having more food?
  • Hi again.

    By 9 months, he should be having a wide range of foods, anything you have bar the few things they say like honey etc. Babies can tend to drop the milk feeds they don't feel they need anymore, so might just have one in the morning, one at night.

    The food starts to fill them up, so they drop milk. But if he's not taking enough food, then the food won't be filling him. This is something they have to learn, as they don't realise to start with that food is food....iyswim?

    This is the Gill Rapley website :

    Here's what baby expert says :

    HTH. xx
  • g/c maybe you could give him a smaller amount of milk and then food or if it won't stress him out too much offer food first and then milk?

    Just an idea.
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