When a toddler refuses to eat

Earlier tonight my wife and I were in distress because our daughter refuses to eat.  My wife called her mom who started telling her we were not trying the right things to get her to eat and did not know any better; I turned to the internet, namely WebMD and Google.  At first it seemed Sophia may have an intestinal issue, but keeping true to troubleshooting protocols you always try the more simple things first.  After an hour of research I asked Coco how much milk she had given Sophia today, 3 bottles roughly the same amount of 36 ounces plus water and some juice.  Our daughter is 15 months old this week, very tall, loves to play, and seldom complains or shows any symptoms of a stomach ache but she is under weight.  The research is pointing to too much milk.  Sophia has little interest in food, other then playing with it.  She is starting to want to feed herself, which is understandable.  I did not know that at 2 kids are supposed to be off the bottle, so it seems we need to cut back on her milk/formula then alter the times we give her a bottle allowing her to have an empty stomach and be more receptive to eating. 


We will have to see how well the advice on the many parenting bulletin boards I read was.  It makes sense to me, children have much smaller stomachs, higher metabolisms, and find bottle feeding much easier and less effort on their part.  It has been hard to be away from her for so long and many of the things parents experience we have not so it ups the stress levels when things don’t go according to our expectations.  I am hopeful the old troubleshooting axiom of ‘problems most often require the simplest solution’ holds true and we just are not up to her feeding needs for her age.  The next challenges will pale in comparison to this, getting her to understand English, listen when we tell her ‘no’ in what ever language we say it, and to enjoy taking naps or going to sleep.  Less calorie fluids until she eats, then some milk for nap time and bed time, and smaller but more frequent meals/snacks over the day and hopefully she will start to eat more, drink less milk/formula, and her appetite should develop and feeding her will not take 2 to 3 hours and chasing her all over the house and fighting with her just to eat half a bowl of rice soup or noodles.

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3 Responses to When a toddler refuses to eat

  1. Sarah says:

    It\’s always so hard not to fee the sort of stress that comes from caringfor your chld. I\’m finally able to uderstand it.
    I think cutting back on the bottles might be a good idea. I\’ve been getting Conan onto solids, hes 6 months old, and if he\’s full of milk, he doesn\’t want to eat, so what I\’ve been doing is not giving him milk about 2 hours before I give him his solids. He usually eats heartily, then gets milk afterwards, to "top him off" or whatever. Granted, Sophia is almost a year older than him, but that\’s what beens successful for me. I also belong to a Mommy\’s forum, and I\’ve herd a lot of moms talking about how their toddlers don\’t want to eat, seems to be a stage as well. No child will let themselves go hungry without bringing it to attention though, so don\’t worry about starving her or something, it sounds like she\’s getting stuff, just maybe no room left over after he liquids! Remember getting told as a child nt to fll up on drinks before dinner? That was a common saying for me whenever we went out for dinner.  

  2. Sarah says:

    Oh… one more thing… I imagine yall have a pediatrition for her, but maybe they are diferent there than here.Mine told me that the best way (according to him) to introduce te child to a sippie cup, (or regular) and not alway use the bottle is just have it around for a while, let them play wth it, but then start bringing it out at meals, and helping them take a sip here and there til they figure out they can get the same stuff to drink from a cup,as a bottle. Might also help if your cup is the same color as hers. That way she\’s just like you.  
    Another good reference, ar the "What To Expect" books. The "What To Expect The First Year" and "What To Expect Th Todder Years" might be helpful to answer some of your questions and concerns and get a general fee for ways to do things and if you should or shouldn\’t be concerned. They are very popular books here in the US for parents. I remember my mom having them for my little sister.  

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