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How can a baby refuse food ( milk, solids, water etc)?

  1. #1
    Konradsmom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Unhappy How can a baby refuse food ( milk, solids, water etc)?

    I know we have been through these issues before, but I have not found an answer after talking to doctors, nurses, other parents, reading through other forums etc.

    My son is a bit over 6 months and he has had this problem with feeding since 3 months. Each meal is a battle and the only way we can feed him is when he is sleepy - then we get some chance of him finishing a bottle.

    we were told by doctor that his eating will improve when we start solids - but no that has not happened. he refuses any cereal, poridge, baby food , fruits we offer him. We literally ( sorry to say this) have to force him to eat.

    He only weighs 14lbs now (or 6.4 kg) at 6 months, hes a small baby. We kept being told its Ok and he's fine, but surely a baby cannnot HATE food?

    Does anybody have any insights?

    ( we asked about dysphagia, reflux etc, and it was laughed at and dismissed)

  2. #2
    jools is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Discovery Bay

    It can be very worrying when you're little one won't eat.

    Our third child had poor weight gain. Everyone said that he was OK and he was just the weight he was meant to be. He then got a chest infection and after a number of tests it turned out he has cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition which means (amongst other things) that his gut does not absorb his food properly.

    Now please don't think that I'm saying your son might have this disease (if you are Asian then this is extremely unlikely), what I am saying is be persistent with the medical professionals. Change doctors etc. and insist that they test your son for all possiblities. It might turn out to be nothing, but the earlier a condition is diagnosed the earlier treatment can begin.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Neha is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mid Levels, Hong Kong

    There was someone who this website who had earlier written about her child having cystic fibrosis , she might be able to tell u better her experience about that.

    Poor eater our son is the same. everyday is struggle he just doesnt want to eat. he thinks eating is total waste of time. we literally have to run with him to feed him. he used to drink milk without problem.

    6 months and 14 lbs i think the weight is about right. Our son is 16 months and abt 20 lbs because her was low weight baby.

    If ur is son is active , at 6 months they dont move alot but responsive to his surroundings and hitting all his milestones then that is good sign is growing well. I remember we went for long holiday 2 months when our son was 12 months. He didnt eat for 2 months he used to only drink milk. He didnt put on any weight during that period. Our dr told us that because he was distracted at the new place so dont force him to eat.

    U can also try homeopathy

    Best of luck


  4. #4
    jools is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Discovery Bay


    Cystic fibrosis is incredibly rare in Hong Kong as only 1 in 100,000Asians carry the gene as opposed to 1 in 22 white Europeans. To my knowledge (and I am more than prepared to be corrected) there is only one other child in Hong Kong, at present, apart from my son who has this. So it was probably my posts on this site that you were referring to.

    I hope no one thinks I was suggesting that Konradsmom's little fella has cf. That was not my intention. I was trying to point out that if you have a concern that the medical profession is pushing aside, keep going, ask questions until you are satisfied.

    The problem with looking up such conditions, like cf, on the internet is you start convincing yourself that your child has the symptoms, when sometimes they can be explained away by something else (unfortunately not in our case, but there you go).

    It maybe just the case of trying to relax and allowing him to eat when he's hungry, which is not always at the times you want him to eat. It's a complex and can be a very emotional situation, and I really do feel for you.


  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    my cousin(on my mother's side) has cf. when i was pregnant here and the drs asked me about family medical history, they hardly knew what it was. luckily for me my hubby is chinese, so as jools says, it would be HIGHLY unlikely that my kids would have it.

    to konradsmum... i've met two VERY small girls in hk. they were both about 18 months when i met them(not related to each other) but they looked about 12 months. my 1 year old could have squashed them like pancakes. these girls were both perfectly healthy and happy and active, just very small. it may be that you have just ended up with a small baby.

    try not to make meal time a battleground as it could just create problems down the road.

    you are doing everything right. you are offering various food and textures. all you can do is continue. my son, was a VERY picky eater. for the longest time, he'd only eat: white bread, white rice, white pasta and NOTHING else. it was a phase that he has thankfully grown out of. but it took a good six-eight months to grow out of it. your little one is only 6 months old. you have an entire lifetime ahead filled with meal times. eventually he'll have to eat. the survival instinct in us compels us to (unless you are anorexic, in which this instinct is turned on its head!).

    the best advice is...if you are so concerned, do as jools said and ask for second, third or fourth opinions. but keep in mind it might just be a phase that your little one will grow out of.

    good luck!

  6. #6
    dfair1721 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    hong kong

    I agree with Jools too. I have two good eaters but am (or was prior to having my two kids) a pediatric dietitian. Your story certainly raises some red flags and if you are concerned, get another opinion.

    A few questions... you mentioned that he was small and that his weight is only 14lbs. What was his birth weight and how has he grown since birth. If he was small and is following a certain percentile it is less worrying than if he was at the 50th and dropped to the 5th.

    What is your feeding schedule. I am sure it is so fustrating and trying on you to get him to eat. Are you giving him time between feeds? Some kids need longer to feel hungry and if they are eating a couple of ounces every couple of hours, he may get fussier because he is not really hungry.

    There are a number of reasons why infants don't gain weight and if there are other symptoms such as excess spit up, diarrhea, vomitting, gas etc then there must be something else going on.

    I suggest make a list of everything going on and that way you will remember everything and the docter will better understand your concern (hopefully)

    Some info you should have on hand
    Birth weight and all weights since birth (both weight and length)
    how much he eats in a day (both formula and solids)
    how many wet diapers in a day and how heavy they are,
    how many bowel movements in a day/week,
    your current eating schedule
    any change in formula (or switch from breastfeeding to formula)
    any symptoms such as spitting up, diarrhea, fever
    recent illnesses (colds, stuffy noses etc)
    recent vaccinations,
    teething history and any other thing you might think is important.

    This way you are totally prepared and won't have to try and remember everything.

    Good Luck and let me know if I can be of any help.


  7. #7
    Konradsmom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    thanks for your comments and suggestions, its good to know that there are moms out there who can share their experience, rather than doctors who keep telling you every child is different.

    Bobs was born 6lbs 1oz, a small baby by birth already. in the recent 1.5 months he has gained perhaps half a lb or so. we keep a shedule of 5 hours between feeds ( thats still too short, he can finish his last bottle at 8pm, wake up in the morning and still not hungry at 8am -12 hours later). he doesn't like solids either, and sometimes I am tempted to change formula for a diff taste - we have used the same one since birth, adn I am desperate enough to try anything. :)

    he hardly spits up milk, and is generally OK except he burps quite loudly ( gas?). But other than that we notice nothing wrong with him.

    I wish he was a picky eater, at least he likes something, right now , at the sight of his feeding chair he starts to bawl and scream thje house down.

    Maybe you all are right, I just have to get a (for once) satisfactory answer to my questions. Try a few different doctors and see what they say.

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