Help! My eight-month old is barely eating!
During a routine checkup consultation with my baby's doctor, I was given a nutritional folder for my baby to follow at home. Unfortunately, my daughter did not react well to this eating plan.
The plan was called 'Eating schedules for babies 7 months and over' and discussed the importance of a child that age eating 3 meals per day. I looked at my little girl with worry as she took her time eating her lunch, leaving half of it on the tray.
My little dolly wasn't eating any of these 3 square meals a day described in the leaflet, not even a full meal per week! Instead, she was still primarily breastfeeding, and apparently more than enough; we could see the chubby rolls in her legs, and she was growing well. She was developing equally as well, in some cases better, than her peers, and they were all happy too.
Nevertheless, I couldn't get my mind off the information in that leaflet. Was there something wrong with my little girl? Was it okay that she didn't stuff her face with fruit juices, vegetable meals, and sandwiches? Or was it the case that she would just develop a taste for solid food later, as my husband insisted?
I just couldn't set my worries aside, and decided to consult a specialist. He soon concluded that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my daughter; her oral motility was good, in her development she did not rely on copying her peers, and she showed no signs of autism, which can affect a child's ability to eat.
Forums to the rescue!
With some tips from the doctor and another leaflet, I went home to consider things. My daughter ate more, but still considerably less than her brother had at the time. I told the BabyBytes-forum my story and many people there sympathised with me; they had gone through the same thing! It became obvious that not every baby is a bottomless pit where food just disappears. To my surprise, there were a great number of fussy eaters out there like my daughter.
Speaking to people with the same issue has really helped me; it's put my mind at rest. My daughter simply does not eat like her brother, but she does eat, and the doctor was happy with that. She is happy and playful and explorative. It really did come as a surprise that not every baby hoovers up food at the same rate, and they don't all need the same eating habits to develop properly. We just stay patient and give her her own time and space to discover which foods she likes and doesn't like.
Next time I think I'll take my husband's advice straight away ;-)