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  5. Is it ok to FORCE babies to eat food?

Is it ok to FORCE babies to eat food? Rss

My 11 month old hasn't been eating properly for about 3-4 weeks...
I don't see any teeth coming through though it might be teething.
But as of lately i've decided to make him eat his food, which is only about 120 grams, he shuts his mouth and cries, but i still force him to eat it.

It makes me really really scared that if he doesn't eat he'll become sick and not have enough nutrition. He's also only having 4 bottles of if i don't give him food, i don't feel he's getting enough through the day.

If anyone else has gone through this or has gone through it, please let me know how you dealt with it and did it pass? Is it just a phase?

I'm mentally and physically exhausted and dread lunch and dinner times...

Mummy Sarah

I dont think you should force feed him, their appetites do increase and decrease so just follow his lead. My DD went through phases of this when teeth were coming and would either only take her bottle or solids but not both.

If he is still having wet nappies and pooping and otherwise ok then perhaps give it another week and then see a Dr to discuss your concerns but I think there's probably a reason behind this (whether its a phase or teething) and its obviously very distressing for both of you to force him. I worried terribly when my DD wouldnt eat what I considered to be enough but she never starved and has continued to grow at a rate of knots.

You could also try finger foods and see how he goes with them instead of trying to feed him. Maybe he'll respond better to an omelette cut into squares that he can feed himself (you can put in grated pumpkin and zuchini & grated cheese, finely chopped onion) or some good quality sausage and vegies. Toast, sandwhiches, fishcakes, pieces of roast chicken, cheese cubes... anything he can pick up and feed himself.

Everything I've read on feeding says that baby will decide when they want to eat and when they've had enough. He's still drinking his milk so its ok, he wont starve.
I personally wouldn't force it at all. Trust your baby a little more - he certainly won't starve himself. That way meal times don't become such a big hassle. At 11 months my DS had 2 cups of milk (morning and after dinner), I wonder if you tried 3 bottles would his appetite change? And do you give him the solids first or after milk?

Any times my DS has gone through a stage like this he ends up making up for it when he starts eating again by eating bucket loads!

Noodle 24/12/05 Mops 03/11/07

No, you should NEVER force feed your baby EVER. A child will never starve themselves. Trust him and his appetite.
babies go through phases with food, just like growth spurts.
DD atm wont eat, i always prepare and off NEVER forcefeed. It is cruel, she will eat when hungry. She is b/f so she gets many nutrients from milk.
Please stop ramming it down their throat, you are only creating fears and a traumatic experience for you and bubs.
Children this age snack, a little banana here a rice cracker there. It all adds up.

1 monkey, 1 diva = the love of my life


You should never in a million years force feed a child of any age certainly not a 11 month old.

Babies, toddlers and young children DO NOT need food they are fine on just liquids. You will notice that when a child is sick and they go "off" their foods a GP or Nurse is not concerned at this because a child gets more nutrients from their fluids.

How would you feel if your DP/F/H shoved food in your mouth while you were screaming and clamping your mouth shut?
Posted by: Nooey

How would you feel if your DP/F/H shoved food in your mouth while you were screaming and clamping your mouth shut?

I was coming back to add that, but you already said it!!
Definately don't force feed. It will only create issues with food, then there WILL be a problem.
I do understand a bit how you are feeling, as my DS went through a stage of about 4 weeks of not really eating. I was a bit worried thinking 'omg he will starve', but as Kate said THEY WONT STARVE THEMSELVES. The key is to always offer, but don't force.

In the end I would just offer his spoon, and also put a few tidbits like fruit etc on his tray for him to pick at.

It seems like they wont ever eat, but believe me they will. Now DS is eating quite well,(and eating meals he was refusing a while ago) and most nights eats his dinner.
But Ive learnt not to stress if he has a day or two where he doesn't seem to eat much. They are actually eating more than what you think, and don't forget they have much smaller tummies than us. Just keep up his fluids.
Hi AvaBelle and Mummagoose,

Thank you for your replies, I'm trying finger foods, like toast in pieces in the morning, and like you said omelette cut in squares and things like that...he's sort of getting used to it...
But at least his getting some solids..i took him to the doctors, for a check up, just incase there was something i couldn't see myself.

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