My 11-month-old daughter is underweight, she does not want to eat or drink milk. Usually she drinks water and breastfeeds. If we try to feed her, she cries.
Tips To make Feeding Enjoyable For Baby
Underweight – a Problem or Not?
You don’t say how much your baby weighs, but normally you would expect a child to have tripled their birth weight by about 12 months.
That said, there is often far too much emphasis placed on what is considered normal.
These figures are only averages and there are lots of variables, genetic factors, her birth weight, whether she has had any illnesses, etc. Being skinny might just be how she is – which is a lot more healthy than being obese!
Only if she seems weak, ill, or dehydrated, or if she would be falling rapidly behind her weight and length scales, would be a matter or worry. Check with her health nurse!
Feeding an 11-Month-Old That Doesn’t Want Solid Foods
At her age, breastmilk is still the most important part of her diet, so breastfeeding is the best thing, congratulations on keeping it up!
Solid foods are really just introducing tastes, textures, and different experiences. It only provides a small percentage of her calories.
Babies get interested in solid foods and what others are eating at their own pace. Some babies are naturally interested early and are well developed so they can swallow solid foods easily. For these babies, the solid food introduction may be completely uncomplicated.
Other babies struggle more.
Don’t make a battle out of feeding her solids, just make it fun. You are not in a hurry!
Here are some things to consider:
- Many babies prefer to feed themselves rather than have a spoon pushed into their mouths. Let her try to feed herself – it is messy, but she will learn lots more and it avoids setting up a battle. Let her explore and play with her food.
- Lots of finger foods like pieces of cooked vegetables, fruit. Peas were a favorite of my babies, trying to pick them up one by one.
- Offering visual contrasts, like pieces of tomato sticking up out of mashed potato, or rice and peas.
- If (when) she does start to try a bit of solid foods, you can add some butter or healthy oil to her food to add calories, if you think she is a bit underweight.
Just relax about it all, she will show more interest as she gets older. Food is something to enjoy, it is a big part of our social interactions so making it fun and exploratory at this age is the best thing.
Here are a few links to finger food ideas, tips on how to avoid power struggles at mealtime, and how to help the picky eater become more enthusiastic about eating.
- Fun and safe finger foods are found here
- How to avoid power struggles at mealtime
- How to help to inspire the picky eater baby
Have fun with it all and enjoy your little girl,
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