What would you do?

I’ve written a couple times about how Monito has had a hard time eating. When he turned 9 months old (earlier this month) I emailed his pediatrician and told her that he still was only eating about an ounce (usually less) of purees at a sitting and would put a few foods (mostly just buttered toast) into his mouth and gum it around for a long time, but couldn’t seem to swallow it. Either he’d accidentally spit it out, or eventually I’d have to go in and get it.

She wrote back immediately, declaring it was “time to get some help,” and referred me to an OT. I now have an appointment on August 6th.

Except in the past week Monito seems to have turned a corner because suddenly, he can eat. He will take 2, sometimes even 3 ounces of purees at a sitting (only a few different purees, only fresh purees if I mix them with the store-bought stuff and only stuff with the smoothest textures). He can put cooked carrots, or beans, in his mouth, gum them around and eventually swallow them. He’s still pretty picky but he’s willing to put more than just two or three things in his mouth and he doesn’t automatically spit new stuff out the minute he tastes them. He went from a baby who seemed to have real eating difficulties to a baby who is just picky and a few months behind. I’m even phasing out two bottles he has been only somewhat interested in and “replacing them” with solids. (I quote “replacing them” because he was only taking 2 ounces for those bottles most of the time.)

So the question is, do I keep that appointment on August 6th, just to make sure he’s where he needs to be and I shouldn’t be doing any special work with him? Or do I just cancel it and assume he’ll be fine moving forward? What would you do?

To thank you in advance for your advice, here is a picture of Monito, gnawing at his first burrito. He actually got some rice and beans in his mouth! And swallowed them! (I had to fish out a ton of tortilla though, and he was NOT happy about that.)

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17 responses

  1. Unless it’s a lot of money, I would keep it. Better safe than sorry, and better to be armed in case there’s a backslide – since it seems there’s quite the wait to get seen.
    Glad he’s coming around though!

  2. I’d probably keep the appointment just to make sure he remains on track. And, they might have some tricks to help make things easier. Glad to hear he’s turned a corner, though! Feeding issues are so stressful.

  3. My son wasn’t interested in food until around 8-9 months when suddenly he started eating everything under the sun and not being picky at all. My pedi didn’t have a problem with that at all and said not to worry about food until he was 12 months. (My daughter, OTOH, started solids at 4 months.) The AAP says that the standard age for starting is between 4-12 months (when my son was little they said 6-12 months). Based on that, your kid isn’t behind and wasn’t having “eating difficulties”. My son was also mostly not interested in purees (he liked applesauce and oatmeal) and preferred to feed himself finger food. At age 7 he’s super healthy.

    It doesn’t look like your kid is having problems from that picture, and if it were me, I’d wait 3 months before seeing a specialist. They’re supposed to get the majority of their calories from breastmilk or formula for the first year anyway. Food is just for fun before then.

  4. I say keep it. You may still have some questions that may come up between now and then and the Dr. can provide some insight, maybe even making feeding better.
    And seriously, cute cute kid!

  5. Keep the appointment. It’s always nice to hear someone tell you your child is fine. And that way if you have problems later, you already know the doc.

    That said, i do think your pedi was bring overly cautious. Kids pick things up at different rates, and it’s not like he was eating nothing at all.

  6. I’d keep the appointment too. My son had a hard time with solids, he did fine with purees though, but I was still pretty nervous about it. Our ped actually gave 12 months as the age to look for additional help if he still wasn’t eating better and around 10-11 months he started to get the hang of it. I bet Monito’s right around the corner from eating all.the.things, but like others have said, it doesn’t hurt to go and get some helpful tools to work on along the way.

  7. I would keep the appointment. The OT should be able to help you sort out whether Monito is just going at his own pace or if there are some things you can do to help make things a little easier for him. I’m glad he’s been making some progress lately! Feeding issues can be so stressful!

  8. I’d cancel it. He is within the range of normal, and seems to be turning a corner. (I’m wearing my professional hat, here, but would do the same for my kids, I’m not into medicalizing normal development).

  9. Just to defend my pedi, I think she was concerned because it seemed like Monito couldn’t swallow and she wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a physical issue impeding his ability to do so, especially since we had such issues with breastfeeding and bottle feeding in the beginning. My guess is if I’d written her after he started swallowing gummed up bread and such, she’d have told me not to worry about it.

    I appreciate all your input. It’s really helpful.

  10. I’d definitely keep the appointment. All they may do is reassure you is that your assumption is correct (he just took his sweet time wanting to eat solids), but it’s nice to hear that it’s nothing serious. Also, they may be able to check him over to see whether or not you should expect anything else as he gets older and is eating even more solids.

  11. My two are great eaters now but didn’t bother with solid foods that much until 18 months (really before a year solid foods are just “for fun” and that’s it). I was never obsessed with food intake & it’s paid off, they now at 4 eat every veg & fruit & are the nest eaters in their class).

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