Posted in Food & Cooking, Nutrition, Toddlers

16 month old not eating


My almost 16 month old daughter is not eating very much...maybe like 3-4 bites on her own, and then I have to feed her and most times it's such a struggle, she is so distracted!!! on a good day it takes about atleast 30 minutes to feed her, this has been so frustrating for me but I need her to eat so I've been feeding her. I spoke to her pediatrician about it and he suggested that I just let her eat whatever she wants to eat and don't spoon feed her at all... we are on to day 2 and it has been super hard for me to deal with as I know she is not eating much or drinking much milk from her sippy cup which the pediatrician also suggested that she is 15 months old we should be weaning her off the bottles...I feel terrible as I want to do the right thing in teaching her how to eat on her own and getting rid of the milk bottle all together, she is tiny little thing and I don't want her to lose weight as well, don't really know what to do, my partner says give it some time when she is hungry she will eat... but how much time do I give? Am I risking my child's health? Any advice for this frustrated first time mom is much appreciated.

  • Kate
    Apr 18

    Hi there, first things first: You’re doing great. Truly! It’s a bit stressful figuring out these ebbs and flows in their eating, isn’t it? A couple of things could be at play: She could be getting some teeth in (mine got her first molars around 15 months). Or should could feel a bit under the weather. Or she may just not feel like eating that much. Whatever it is, it is sure to pass. She will most likely return to her normal portion size soon, usually within a few days. A couple of days of smaller portions will not risk your child’s health. Consider offering a few of her favorite foods throughout the day, so you know she’s likely to eat something. You could also try a couple new foods with different colors or textures that she’s not used to, so she can pick them up and check them out. I once read that we, as parents, get to choose what our kiddos eat. And they get to choose how much. This has helped ease some of the stress I feel on those occasions when my toddler doesn’t care for her breakfast or barely touches her dinner. As for the sippy cup/bottle situation - just lean into it a little and experiment! At that age, milk is no longer a primary source of nutrition, so there’s no need to worry that she’s not getting enough milk. You could help her try a small open cup. (I recommend filling it half full, let her hold it and bring it to her mouth herself, but keep a hand on it so you can make sure she doesn’t try to drink too much at one time. Embrace the mess... and put a towel on the floor.😉) Straw cups work well, too, but they can take a little getting used to. Hope this helps. You really are doing great, keep hanging in there.

  • J
    Apr 18

    i would tackle one thing at a time: eating more or weaning bottle. it probably is going to be easier to focus one one. also, if they are having a lot of milk, that may be why they aren’t eating as much. i don’t think a few days will hurt their health, unless they aren’t getting enough to drink in general. stay strong! i hope it will sort itself soon!

  • Anonymous
    Apr 18

    Thank you for your advice, I really appreciate it. According to her pediatrician she should be drinking about 24 ounces of milk at her age.. she drinks around 15-20 ounces.

  • PK
    Apr 19

    We were told 24 oz is the maximum and aim for 16 oz of milk after 1 yrs old. I think you are doing great!! We are struggling with meals too. Some times when he’s really hungry he will feed himself. Most times though, we have to play music and I have to feed him. If I don’t feed him, he doesn’t eat at all. He actually asks me to feed him 🙄. But.. if he says he’s full, he is full and I take the plate away. This is just at home.. when we eat out at a restaurant he will feed himself, always. For reassurance... my son went 5 days with just eating 1-2 crackers and fluids. He was sick at the time but he was still ok at the end of it all.