Posted in Food & Cooking, Starting Solids, Toddlers

Child won’t eat

My child is almost 20 months old and the past like 2 weeks he won’t eat more than 5 bites of anything or won’t eat it at all. He only will eat like chips or crackers between meals and wakes up 2 or 3 times for a bottle during the night. Tried letting him cry it out but he absolutely won’t give up. Any ideas would be great!

  • Kristin
    Dec 05

    I would suggest not letting him CIO if you know he’s waking up for a bottle. That means he’s hungry.

  • Alyssa
    Dec 05

    Bring him to the store and let him pick out what he wants to eat

  • Makaela
    Dec 05

    Growth spurt

  • Makaela
    Dec 05

    Exactly Kirstin it’s not like he’s crying cause he wants out of bed there is an actual reason

  • Anonymous
    Dec 05

    We had similar issues... except he is off the bottle and sleeps through the night. My son just wasn’t eating. He actually went through a whole day just eating maybe a small handful of goldfish crackers and a lot of milk. He didn’t want to eat anything but crackers and kept asking for milk. My in-laws were visiting at the time too and were concerned. My MIL made a comment that for some kids, eating is a chore so you have to distract them however you can. So we listen to music during meal times now and I sing and make faces while encouraging him to eat. We have some toys to distract him at the table (glasses that come apart and clip back together, a stamp, wind up dancing penguin, fake flowers, cards, etc etc). We were feeding him for a while... eventually he kinda went back to normal and is feeding himself again. I don’t have to distract him so much at the table anymore but we still listen to music during most meals. He’s also starting to talk so we tell him what he’s eating and when he correctly repeats after us we get really excited. So then he gets excited and picks it up and shouts what it is before shoving it in his mouth. So you just have to find some way to make it fun. I know there’s a handful of people out there that will disagree with what I am doing... but I feel like I did the right thing. Especially since he’s a skinny kid. I have another mom friend who’s child went through a similar phase however he’s a super chunky kid so she just let him do his thing.. lots of milk and some crackers. He came out of it within a week I believe. Does he normally feed himself? Does he use utensils? Some meals my son eats better with a fork because he finds it fun. Maybe talk to a pediatrician about starting a multi-vitamin.

  • Valerie
    Dec 05

    If he is eating chips and crackers between meals, those ARE his meals. Cut out the snacks and have him eat proper food when he is hungry, at actual meal times. Let him cry in the daytime when he wants chips and crackers, he’ll get hungry enough to eat something more filling and hopefully stop waking up. My son did the same thing around 19-20 months. It took a couple of days of tough love, but he got over his food issues, and FINALLY started sleeping through the night for the first time in his life.

  • Makaela
    Dec 05

    Also as long as he’s hydrated there’s nothing to worry about

  • Stacy
    Dec 05

    My oldest went through this. He would eat all of the time during a growth spurt and then hardly anything the next week. I know it is frustrating, and you feel like you need to make sure be eats. My philosophy was that he would eat when he was hungry. I just made sure I had substantial snacks/foods available to him when he decided he was ready to eat. My pediatrician wasn't concerned. Also, someone mentioned making the mealtimes more fun and exciting. This helped us as well. We listened to music, sang songs, made up silly songs/rhymes, read books, made up cheers, applied positive reinforcement, and said encouraging words of praise. Now that my son is older, he just enjoys listening to music and sitting down with the family having nice conversations (no electronics/toys at the table). He is 4.5 now, but trust me when I say I know your struggle! Here's to hoping my 4 month old is a better eater! *fingers crossed* 😄

  • Savannah
    Dec 06

    Cut out the snacks and only give him healthy/ nutritious foods. This way if he isn’t eating much you know he at least had something healthy. I would also suggest taking him off of the bottle completely... at that age there is no need for a bottle anymore and could also be the reason he won’t eat, he simply wants the bottle. We had a similar issue with my daughter when she was younger, and cutting out snacks and giving her plenty of fluids helped until she started eating again.

  • Z
    Dec 07

    Kids won’t actually let themselves starve, so if they don’t eat for a bit (or only eat a little), there’s usually a reason. They’ll eat when they get hungry enough.