Today’s post is in response to a question I received about an older post A Solid’s Feeding Guide. Anonymous wrote:
My friend’s baby is 6 1/2 months old and won’t eat solids. She spits it right back out no matter what it is. If you even put an empty spoon in her mouth she spits “it” out. Any tips on how to get her to eat? Her Dr. said just to keep offering it and if she’s not eating by 8 mo. then she will need speech therapy.
While we did get some of the usual dislike, gagging, “messy photo-op high chair moments” when Noob Baby first started eating cereal, she eventually accepted solids without too much fuss. (Now, I’m not even going to get started on how picky she’s become as a toddler. We’ll save that for a whole other post.)
Here are some tips on how to get your little rebel to eat
old people food nasty mush pureed solids:
Wait till baby is showing readiness rather than going by age.
- Good head control
- Losing the “extrusion reflex” (tongue thrust)
- Sitting well w/support (to be able to sit in high chair)
- Significant, healthy weight gain. At least 15 lbs AND at least 4 months old (preferably around 6 months to be safe).
- Growing appetite
- Curiosity about food
Start with cereal – preferably rice or oatmeal
Try mixing the cereal with either water, formula, or breastmilk and find the COMBINATION and CONSISTENCY your baby prefers. Some prefer runny cereal, while other babies like the thicker texture. For babies with a strong gag reflex… thin, runny purees are usually preferable.
A little goes a long way
If baby is gagging, try putting just a tiny bit on the tip of the spoon. Then only place spoon at the tip of the mouth, just slightly inside. Putting spoon too far inside the mouth will trigger the reflex.
Try different foods
Some people say you should stick with one food color at a time or start with veggies first so the noobs don’t only want the sweet stuff. But if your little one isn’t eating at all, fruit is better than nothing! Noob Baby loves her fruit and will gladly eat the fruit purees over anything else. Remember to allow enough time between trying new foods (at least 3-5 days to avoid allergic reactions).
Say Oommmmm. I mean you, parents. Just breathe.
Even though you are soooooo over it and ready to throw in the towel, make sure mealtime is still relaxing and fun for your noob. Babies can develop anxiety towards the high chair if they are forced to eat (and gag) over and over again. I have been known to sing and fingerplay to get Noob Baby to eat. Shameful. I know.
If at first, second, or third you don’t succeed… try try again.
If she still isn’t eating, try again in a week or so, or even in a month (a month is a long time in noob years). It’s amazing how one day noobs like/dislike/eat/don’t eat something and the next day…. the COMPLETE FREAKIN OPPOSITE! Meanwhile, you’re sitting there with jar in hand, spoon poised, and a big WTF look on your face.
Hoodwinked Parent: But why baby why?? You swore to me that you loved peas yesterday. I went and bought 50 gallons at Costco yesterday. We had a deeaaaallll!!! I sold my soul to the devil for these peas!!!
Noob: (Smug look)
Be clever. Be tricky. Be a Jeddi.
Try dipping some food on his pacifier if he uses one… or other similarly ingenius tricks you can come up with. Suggestions anyone?
Know when something’s amiss and use your lifeline.
Ask your pediatrician for suggestions. As my reader mentioned, some babies do require medical attention, even in the form of speech or feeding therapy. I had never heard of feeding therapy until I was researching for this post. Here is an interesting link about Feeding Therapy for babies.
Well, good luck to you Anon and friends. I’m on my way to hide chicken and veggies in NB’s applesauce.