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my 11 month old wont eat or drink

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i am at my wit's end.. my 11 month old has stopped eating for about 4 weeks now. she is being breastfed and that is about all she will have. on good days she'll eat some banana or sweet potato.. or sometimes a bit of toast. i have made her baby food with many different types of veggies and meats and she ate very well until 4 weeks ago when she just stopped eating altogether. doctor says as long as she seems happy and doesn't appear sick it's ok but how can i watch my daughter who weigh barely 18lbs wither away?? this is making me depressed and i no longer enjoy breastfeeding. i want to wean but can't because the doctor says i should get her to switch to formula first but she wont drink that either. husband thinks that once i wean her off she'll have no choice but to drink and eat. but what if she doesn't?? she has few teeth and i just noticed three more popping out. my gut says it's probably related to teething but i can't handle watching her nibble on crackers and few chunks of banana thruout the day and then keep me up several times at night to nurse. can someone please help??? every meal sessions turns into a crying fest (me) and i no longer enjoy being her mother.. my entire day is consumed of me trying her to eat something, anything, and then trying to prepare something she'll eat.. or chasing after her to drink something.. i havent had the time to even read her books because my entire day is consumed of trying to get her to eat something..

answers (3)

That sounds so frustrating!  I'm sorry to hear you're going through such a rough time.Breast milk is still all your daughter really NEEDS, nutritionally.  My mom breastfed me and all my siblings exclusively until our first birthdays (on her doctor's advice), and in many cultures around the world they breastfeed for much longer.  It may be difficult and not very fun for you, but she won't starve.  Your doctor's advice is good.  (Your baby may also be slowing down in the rate she gains weight, which is totally normal -- if she starts LOSING weight instead of gaining more quickly, you would want to bring it up again with the doctor.)I think what I'd try to do is take care of the night feedings first, because it's probably really tough for you to handle her during the day without getting enough rest.  Breastfeed on-demand during the day and maybe try to "top her off" before putting her down at night, and gradually taper off the amount of time you spend breastfeeding at night.  She should naturally adjust to eating more during the day, when more is available.She's probably also getting cues from you with how upset you get at mealtimes -- and may enjoy the attention (even negative attention) as you try to cajole something into her.  Try offering food cheerfully.  If she ignores it, fine -- don't make a big fuss.  If she takes it, you can reward with praise and extra attention.  I know it's hard not to worry, but babies really are hard-wired to survive -- she won't starve.  Just make sure that she has healthy options to eat and try not to make it a battleground.  Good luck!
Although doctors give you recommended feeding schedules, children do everything at their own pace. As long as you are getting nutritionally balanced meals and taking some sort of vitamin then your daughter is getting all the nutrients she needs via breastfeeding.Children eat when they are hungry. They are not going to starve themselves. Try reintroducing foods that she was eating prior and if she isn't interested try again later and try not to make a big deal about it. She may just be reacting to your emotion.Teething may be why her appetite has decreased. But, her rate of growth may be slowing as well (normal).As for weaning, my children weaned themselves at 16 and 17 months. If you are going to wean, try mixing 3/4 breastmilk and 1/4 formula at the beginning so she can get a "taste" for the formula. Then 1/2 and 1/2 and so on until she transitions.Also, stress can decrease milk production so try taking 15 minutes out each day and do something for yourself that you enjoy...a warm bath, paint your nails, call a friend, start keeping a journal...anything to maybe reduce some of that stress you are feeling. Best of luck to you.  
I am going through the same thing with my 4 year old. He doesn't want to eat hardly at all. I took him to the dr because he looked like he was losing weight. It turns out that he is fine. The dr saidd it is food manipulation. She said he doesn't want to eat the foods we are having so he says he isn't hungry hoping I'll give him something else. She said to put his food up and when he says he ie hungry that is what he should eat. Also she said he wouldn't let himself go for long enough for it to do harm to him. So I started letting him help me make the food. He loves to help me cook. We will make muffins in the morning and he will eat almost as many as I do! It is tougher with dinner but if you find things that she likes and incorporate them into the meal it should help. Also let her help you with the preparation since she isn't big enough to help cook. She could hand you the food or help you wash them. Anything to get her involved with it should help her want to eat it better. Tell her it is her meal that she picked and helped you make. Also don't force her to eat. I know you feel like she is just doing so much harm but sometimes when you try to force them it can have the opposite effect on them. I know that when my kids were younger the people I lived with were always forcing my kids to eat everything on their plate and not to complain and all that. It made my kids have such a messed up way of looking at dinner time and they really didn't have an appetite anymore. They were so nervous about being yelled at and forced to eat that they really couldn't eat. It was a very stressful situation that took a lot of work to coorect. I would try not to make a big deal out of it. Try getting her to feed her babies and then make a really big deal about her babies doing it and then try to get her to do it. I hope this helps and I hope you get her to eat. I know how frustrating it can be to try to get them to eat. Good luck hun :)

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