Reader Brielle had the following question for us:
I have 1 year old twins (11 months adjusted). My little girl is doing great, but my little boy is slightly delayed in some areas. One area that I’m concerned about is his diet. He. Will. Not. Eat. Food!!! He only wants to nurse! He won’t take a bottle or sippy cup. (I try every day.)
We first started solid foods when they were 6 months, and he has always been a struggle to feed, but there have been times when he will eat. But not anymore.
The doctor hasn’t really given any suggestions. His weight is right on track, so the doctor isn’t concerned about development. I feel like I will be nursing forever! I was hoping to start weaning them, but I can’t if he won’t eat anything else. Has anyone experienced anything similar? Any suggestions??
Brielle, it sounds like your son may have an aversion to solid food. Feeding therapy is available, usually through your local speech therapist. When my daughters’ pediatrician suggested seeing a speech therapist for dinnertime issues, it sounded crazy to me. I quickly realized that speech therapists work with children on all aspects of oral motor control.
Feeding therapy changed our lives. I am not knowledgeable enough to be able to predict what the source of your son’s dislike of solid foods, cups and bottles is. However, my daughter suffered from trouble swallowing (dysphagia) due to poor tongue muscle control thanks to a tongue too big for her mouth (macroglossia). A few months of tongue exercises at age 2 made mealtimes manageable and helped her get the calories she needed.
HDYDI author Goddess in Progress‘s youngest daughter has also been through feeding therapy and Marissa‘s son is working on it right now. Their situations sound more like your son’s. I’m pleased to report that Goddess’s daughter now willingly eats crackers, sandwiches, and other solid foods. Marissa’s son has been seen chowing down on a pickle!
- Ask your doctor for a speech therapist referral.
- If he/she is not supportive of your going down this path, get a list of available speech therapists in your area from your health insurance company.
- Document details of your feeding efforts between now and your first speech therapist appointment. Write down what you try and the details of your son’s reactions.
- Once you do start meeting with a speech therapist, make sure that he/she is someone your whole family is comfortable working with.
- Do your homework. Make sure your son does any exercises he is supposed to do. Make it fun.
Please let us know how it goes, Brielle. And HUGE kudos for having breastfed twins for a full year!
Anyone have other advice for Brielle? Your own feeding therapy stories?