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Lesser of two evils

Warning, whining ahead!

I've been a little reluctant to ask the internet for advice on my parenting issues lately, because it seems like every time I do, something about it makes me crabby. For example, I will ask for advice about what to do with Mia's hair and will say hey, I am totally opposed to putting it in a big stupid ponytail on the top of her head and then someone will tell me that what I really need to do is put her hair in a big stupid ponytail on the top of her head and then will get all pissy with me when I don't do that. And then I get crabby because I said at the beginning that wasn't an option and I shouldn't be held responsible for your poor reading comprehension and additionally get off my fucking back already. See, crabby. (Incidentally, I have started putting her hair in a big stupid ponytail on top of her head because it is really the only option and it has taken the cuteness around here to a whole new level. Remind me to post a picture.)

That said, I have a quandry and no idea what the right answer is and this isn't the sort of thing that is covered by any of the tomes in my vast parenting library but I think there is a good chance that someone out there in internetland has been here before and can offer very good advice so I am going to ask and hope you will give me advice based on the same or related experience, but for the love of god please try not to piss me off because if you can't already tell I'm starting from a position of crabbiness and if I get any bitchier Chris is going to have a very unpleasant evening dealing with me and I will blame all of you.

Nah, forget that, I love you guys. Nothing wrong with me a bottle of vodka won't cure.

Anyway, the problem. Mia is not a big fan of solid foods. Currently, she loves Cheerios like they are going out of style and usually has a few hidden about her person in case of a snacking emergency. She also loves crackers, goldfish, cheez-its, basically anything hard and crunchy and dry. She used to be all about the avocado, but lately she wants nothing to do with it. She will occasionally eat pureed apples or pears or prunes or sweet potatoes and yesterday even ate yogurt twice. She will not under any circumstances feed herself anything soft, wet, cold, or slimy. And lately, she will not under any circumstances allow me to feed her anything at all while she is sitting in her high chair. The only way to get her to eat a few bites of anything other than carbs is to let her cruise around the kitchen and follow her around with a bowl and a spoon and cram some food into her mouth when she takes a break from making out with the baby in the dishwasher or pushing all the kitchen chairs into the living room.

I've tried the hardline highchair approach, but she just refuses to eat and then starts to howl, which does not make for a pleasant family dinner. My question is, what should I do? Is it more important that she learn to sit in her highchair and eat, or is it more important that we get some food into her no matter what it takes? Am I building a bad habit I will regret deeply by letting her eat standing up, or am I damaging her health by allowing her to eat nothing but Cheerios and breastmilk.

Anybody have the same problem or something close? Anybody have any idea what I should do?

Comments (56)

I did raise two kids, but do not think of myself as an expert.

It sounds like a contest of wills to me. You want her to sit in the chair and eat and she doesn't. You have to decide what battle you want to fight. Eventually she will eat something besides Cheerios and if she is healthy I wouldn't worry about it. Ask your doctor (hot pediatrician) and see what he suggests.

You might have to make her sit in the chair for a little bit at a time and eat and see if that works. Ask your doctor and give him a pinch on the butt for me would ya? :)

I'm not an expert either.
I would talk to the Hottie Doctor, but only because he is, the Hottie Doctor!
You know I think we obsess with eating too much. The fact is, eventually she will eat solids. In the meantime, sit her down when you and Chris sit down to eat and offer her finger foods. Maybe even something off your plates. In time she will eat. If not from hunger, than from curiosity.

I have two little girls, one (Reagan) just a few weeks older than Mia. Reagan hates her high chair as well because she wants to stand and move at all times. At Target we found this little folding booster chair that ties onto a kitchen chair. With the tray removed, she is sitting at the table with us, which she seems to enjoy as long as it's for a short time.

I feel a little bad for what I'm about to say here...
but get that kid into a highchair! If, for no other reason than one day, you'll want to go out and enjoy a nice meal someplace and you'll have a kid who can be strapped in without screeching.
You need not feed her in the highchair... you can read, sing songs, whatever. But if she associates it with fun stuff, you can at least desensitize her to it. As a parent of a non-eater (she's 6 and perfectly healthy- second tallest in her class-and we're still waiting for her to one day say: Mother, I'd like some food, please)we had her sit in the highchair with toys and books while we ate, just so we could all be around the table together. She still sits with us at meal time... even if she declares "I'm full" after two bites. We also expect her to try whatever we're eating (if she doesn't like it, she can have something else). Have you done tried grown-up food yet?
Sorry if that made you crabby.

I think that this behavior is pretty typical for her age. My daughters both hated pured food and both hated being fed by me. So I started cutting the food into small pieces and letting them feed themselves. Another thing that works well for us is always offering the solid food before the breast milk, that way it is offered when she is most hungry. Speaking of hunger, maybe working up a really big hunger by playing outside or going for a walk.

I vote with the previous comments. Experiment with what works regarding high chair or booster, etc. Maybe find some foods that do work and look for alternate times of the day when she is willing to eat them and keep meal time more peaceful. Establishing her independence is very important to her even if it just means controlling what she eats or how she eats it for now.

I remember when my daughter stopped eating any fruits/veggies, etc. She would only eat mac n cheese. I said something to the doctor about it at a check up and he said, yes, of course, that's what they do. So, if he wasn't going to worry about it, I wasn't going to.

Good luck!

Sometimes I just have to distract Pumpkin by puttnig Cheerios on her tray, and when she's eating those (between bites) swoop a spoon full of something else into her mouth. Also, since she's been fighting baby food, I dump pureed fruit into her rice (or oatmeal) cereal in the a.m. I let her hold a spoon (as I mentioned at the other place).

The thing is, carbs are easiest. It's so easy to send a kid crawling off with a graham cracker in their hands. I keep thinkin' I should get one of those mesh feeder thingys, but then I think about having to clean it, and so I don't. Banana in its natural state totally grosses me out - banana squashed into a mesh bad? I think I'd toss my cookies.

That would be mesh BAG, not "mesh bad". Whoops.

My only thought would be to give her a spoon. When P was about her age (all of 9 months ago) she demanded, in the way that not-quite-talkers do, a spoon. She has refused to let us feed her ever since. She, of course, didn't have full mastery of the spoon right away, and continued to use her fingers quite a bit, but the spoon was power.

We were all about the easy route around here. Kid #1 loved the high chair. And baby food. Kid #2 not so much. So, we let him sit in a normal table chair. Actually, he stood in it. And picked food off of a placemat that we put on the table in front of him. He never ate baby food (I bought 2 jars total), I always just put baby-safe versions of whatever we were eating on the place-mat. He'd eat noodles, potatoes, tiny tiny pieces of meat, veggies, fruit, etc... Pretty much anything he saw us eating. The trick was to pretend we didn't care. It was messy, but it got the job done.

Now he sits at the table like a normal person with a plate and a fork and eats regular food. And he's just 3.

My 2 cents (and if it makes you pissy, let me know and I'll have a bottle of vodka shipped to you)

First off, I wouldn't worry because at 11 months, a breastmilk and cheerios diet is fine. A plain breastmilk diet, is fine. Neither of my kids, by my peds recommendation, were on solid foods until they were a year old. They were breastfed exclusively, and were both happy healthy little buggers.

Regarding the walking vs highchair debate...this is my 'rule of thumb', ask yourself, 'is this the way I want to be doing it for the next 8 years or so?' and go from there. If you have a relaxed house and don't care where she eats, then let her eat where she wants. If you want her to be able to sit for a meal in the high chair, then do the high chair thing. The question of "which is more important" is really up to you and Chris.

Just remember, it's always easier to start a good habit then break a bad one. So decide which you can live with and go from there.

I agree with the highchair need -- or you'll never leave the house. Good idea on finding one that "feels" like she's sitting at the table with you. You might also give her a soft spoon to hold while she eats / you feed her.

She may surprise you and try to use it -- and she'll feel like a "big girl", which is sometimes all they want.

Hoping not to piss you off.....Give her the spoon and let her feed herself those cold mushy things. But seriously give her the spoon.

I commented at your other place a little on this. Ally hated her high chair. We never pushed it. She ate standing up (She now asks for a high chair at restaurants). Then we did the booster thing at the regular table. She liked it, but still barely ate. The best way we found to get her to eat sitting down was a little bitty picnic table in the kitchen.

We gave her a spoon, and she learned to eat some things, like fruit and applesauce. She now sits or stands at our table and eats a very limited selection of foods. I stress over it and worry constantly, but am resigned to it. I just keep telling myself that she's growing fine.

Oh and at the risk of incurring your rath: you could give her a sippy cup with water occasionally. It might keep her entertained in the chair long enough for you to eat.

I've always, if possible, followed my children's lead in situations like this. My daughter (now three) was and still is a very picky eater and I have always offered but not forced food with her. I just don't want it to blow up in my face later, you know? Babies/toddlers/kids can be really picky -- I swear to god, my daughter eats Kraft Dinner, Cheerios and yogurt. That's it. But she's healthy and happy and when I took her in to my doctor all huffy and puffy because she wasn't eating jack shit, my doctor looked at me and said, "She won't starve. She'll eat when she's hungry." And he's right. Every once in a while she goes on big fruit and vegetable spurts; I tend to think she's making up for all that missed time.

The thing I would gently push Mia on is the sitting in the highchair thing. I wouldn't go all gung-ho with her and like, strap her down (not that I think you would...), but I would try to ease her into sitting down while eating. I'd just try to follow her lead, though.

And the ponytail on the top of the head? I love that look. :)

Good luck!!

I agree with pretty much everyone else. We have a pretty lax operation here. If we're sitting at the table, the kids usually are (we have two: 2 1/2 and 9 mos) - unless they really don't want to. When Maryn (the first) was little, Mia's age to over a year, I was absolutely neurotic about her eating. It was a three ring circus over here. One of us would sing, dance, or otherwise act like a total lunatic while the other tried to sneak bites past her locked lips. Eventually, after much reading of parenting books, we gave up and let the kid breathe and just waited for her to show interest. We still put her in the high chair with us periodically but certainly not religiously, usually with a full complement of toys, and kept offering. If she gave up on one food, I'd offer another favorite. I did feed her on the run some, but tried not to overdo it. Somewhere around a year and a half, or later, she did show interest, and she generally eats like a truck now, at the table when we are and walking around when we're all just fending for ourselves. Of course, Conner, our second child, has no such issues. She'll eat anything that doesn't move out of her way first. Or maybe it's that we don't have the issues any more. I'm not sure. Anyway, cheerios and breastmilk sounds like a fine diet.

This is going to sound very mean but Mia won't starve herself and she can only eat what you give her so as far as making sure that she gets SOMETHING in, I wouldn't worry about it. She'll eat eventually. I've also heard that it can take 10-15 exposures to a food before a kid will accept it so I would keep on offering her the stuff she hates.

As for your other question, I think getting her to sit (somewhere) to eat is very important. If you think its a PIA to chase her around with a spoon now, you are going to be very sick of it when she is 3. I like the idea someone had of doing fun things in the highchair (maybe even coloring, painting, why not - she's contained) to desensitize. You really don't want to be the mother at the restaurant begging her child to come sit and apologizing to the waiters for her getting underfoot (not that Mia would act that way).

Commence being crabby if you want ;-)

I agree with the spoon comments. Something about their little minds thinking they're doing what *they* want and totally not getting the reverse psychology. ;)
It sounds like she doesn't like the texture of the pureed stuff so maybe try giving her some small diced pieces of soft things?

My daughter seemed to go some weeks and not eat one single healthy or even non-healthy thing at all, then all of a sudden she would clean out everything in the house. It used to worry the heck out of me when she didn't eat, but then I'd notice when she did begin to eat decently again, a growing spurt seemed to follow. So, I decided that they're born with a natural instinct to fuel themselves when the tank's empty and they're up for a big trip. They know better than us apparently, (at least on this, heh). The highchair, you'll figure out what works, you're just temporarily frustrated...

*ducks as you hurl that empty bottle of vodka at IW (internet world)...

Have you tried Veggie Booty? It is a crunchy snack, but made with things like kale and carrots and spinach so you can sneak in vegetables. It sounds disgusting, but it really is pretty tasty and for some reason babies seem to LOVE it. (It is a puff, so it melts pretty fast). There are other versions of this, too. (like Fruit Booty, which I actually DO think is kind of disgusting). It wont solve your problem, but maybe gradually introducing new tastes and textures will get her more interested.

There isnt a lot of logic (and pretty much zero research) behind current feeding recommendations; she's getting what she needs from nursing right now and experimenting here and there with other things. Unless YOU need things to change (want to nurse less frequently now, etc.), I wouldnt stress too much.

Wow, my 9 mo old son is exactly the same. He also gets up 2 or 3 times a night. We should bond or something. Anyway, I want to keep the high chair in play so I wait until he's in a really good mood, usually post nap. I let him see me putting cheerios on the tray and then put him in the chair. This works sometimes, and when it does, he eats more cheerios. I gave up on baby food.
Oh and he will eat french fries, hubby recently discovered. Oh so healthy.

I have no real-life advice on this one because Bennett is only 4 months old (today!) and can't quite sit in a high chair just yet. But I wanted to say that I don't think you should worry about Mia starving as long as she is still breast feeding. She's getting most of her nutrition from you.

At my daycare, they put the big infants in high chairs with toys when they need to keep them in one place (since they are too big for bouncey seats) and the kids seem to enjoy themselves. Besides, it's a great way for Mia to learn the game "Mommy pick it up!" :) So maybe that could help you.

I'm glad you're asking these questions now because I'm filing all the bits of advice away for the near future when I'm dealing with the same problems. Thanks! Of course, my hair dilemma will be when to cut, not how to style. I think my husband would frown on the ponytail on top of Bennett's head. :)

This works well for us:

This Hookon High Chair is a lifesaver because it hooks right to the table so our daughter is part of the action, not sitting apart at a high chair.

Also, we are big fans of disguising foods -- she loves cheese, so we'll put a little cheese on top of scrambled eggs to get her to eat those, etc. Perhaps avocados on top of a goldfish cracker? Something like that, so she gets some of both. Good luck!

My oldest daughter went through 6 weeks when she was Mia's age where all she would eat was raspberry yogurt. I freaked. She eventually came around to other things. She is 14 now and rarely eats yogurt, and she never smears it in her hair likes she used to.

I would put her in her high chair and put a variety of foods on her tray let her eat what she wants. Don't nurse her before meal time- because maybe she is full. My kids used to like all the stuff you mentioned if I froze it then cut it in little cubes they could pick up and feed themselves. I used to do string cheese in tiny cubes also.

I gave my kid other types of food - soft chunks of cheese, grapes, etc, at her table (small kid table) in a bowl and let her graze while she played. I also tried mking it into a game, mommy eats, then maya eats, and so on. might also try grilled cheese in small pieces, that seemed to go over well.

The good news is, your breast milk is the best nutrition ever (as you already know). I hate stupid ponytails, too, by the way.

I'm going to trust that I haven't pissed you off too badly yet, as you didn't send me any hate mail over my comment over at the other site, yesterday.

Just wanted to add that that little ponytail up on top is darling, and I'm totally jealous, as Queen B absolutely refused to have any sort of hair accessory until a month ago, so we missed the Pebbles look.

Also, on the food question, by all means ask Hottie Pediatrician for his opinion, but our ped. was fine with the high-dairy diet that B was on. She (the ped.) just said to keep offering other things, and when she (the B) decided she was ready, she'd eat them.

I had the same seat as Cam for my youngest. She was good for a little while, but did (still does) best when just sitting in my lap sharing my plate.

For the first year, our pediatrician told us not to worry about giving her real food because she was getting everything from the boobs that she needed. So, like everyone else said.... unless you are wanting her dining habits to change, don't stress too much :)

We've had these exact same issues at our house. Starting with the ponytail on top of the head thing. It used to stick straight up into a strange little point. I never could think of another option.

The highchair thing was a problem at our house too. We ended up getting a short little folding table & chairs built just right for our short little person. She loves it & will sit and eat at it (most of the time). And it fits right under our kitchen table when we're not using it so it's not in the way. As for eating out, our laps seem to work just fine. She won't use a booster seat anymore either.

As for the food? We'd usually put the things in front of her that she'd eat, but she'd inevitably end up wanting some of whatever we were eating, just because she didn't have any. It'll get better, but you're definitely entitled to your crabiness. And your vodka.

I can only tell you what our feeding specialist/nutritionist has told us (we have one because my son was a preemie).

Establish a place for eating, which can be the highchair, booster, clip-on chair, or regualr chair. She suggests that it only be used for eating.

Offer a small variety of foods. She suggested putting down cheerios, some fruit, and yogurt for dipping.

The research she reads has shown that kids gag less when feeding themselves, so if possible let the kiddo do the work. But she also favors the second spoon approach that has already been mentioned.

Her suggestion is to not make eating a fight. So offer the food. The kid will eat or not eat. Once food is thrown, get the kid out of the chair.

Offer foods at different times of day - early breakfast versus late breakfast and so on. Our kiddo likes to eat early in the morning and then has a later lunch. But she suggested trying different times just to see when peak hunger hits.

She says that kids will get the nutrition they need, so try and offer a balanced diet but don't sweat it if they only eat cheerios.

And her last suggestion is to make the small bites count. So add cream or butter or oil to things to get the fats for brain development in there (more important if not breastfeeding). So if I give him a graham cracker, I spread some almond butter on it so give him more fat and calories.

You are an amazing mom with a lovely and healthy girl. Joanne always says to look at the whole child before worrying about any food stuff. Mia looks happy. She looks healthy. Just keep trying stuff out, but don't let it get you down.

Since I have a heineously picky eater, I will not even think about commenting on the food with the exception of re-iterating what others have said in that at this age, what she is getting is fine (breastmilk and cheerios) from a nutritional standpoint. Anything else is just a bonus.

As for the high-chair, I have to admit... we cheated a bit. We insisted she sat in her high chair to eat, and later at a kid size table and chair set. But we planted both in front of the television and allowed her to watch her Baby Einstein tapes while she ate.

It sounds like getting her to eat solids has always been a pretty big battle, and now she's perhaps associating her high chair with that battle. Maybe you could forget about the eating for a while and put her in the high chair for some play time? Give her some toys, play peek a boo, show her that the high chair is fun. Then, once she's not so horribly opposed to being in there, try to shove some food in her. :)

(sorry if this has already been suggested, I'm sneak reading/writing at work and didn't have time to read all the comments ;))

I like the little table and chairs idea.

I also think chasing her around with the food is counter-productive. Put some diced cheese, and maybe some halved grapes or halved pitted cherries into some bowls on the little table and let her cruise by and eat some when she feels like it.

Also, putting her on your lap when you eat (or on your husband's lap) lets her see what you're eating and maybe get interested in that. Muffin Man got his first taste of salmon sashimi that way (he LOOOOOOVES it).

Also, kids often love to dip foods into other foods so if you have some pita or crackers, she may like to dip it into hummus (which even looks like apple sauce, which you said she'll eat)

okay, from all the comments i've read only one other person is being honest about the highchair issue...
put her in front of the tv.

distract the heck out her and feed her. i'm surprise baby einstein hasn't come up with an all food video yet to make dinner time an interactive learning event.

I just wrote about dietary/eating issues with my kid on my site, too. I say they need to start making vitamin enhanced cotton-candy.

Whenever I started stressing about what and how much my kids were eating, my husband (the wise and stable one in our relationship) would say, "He won't let you starve him." If Mia isn't interested in eating solids, then don't force it. When her body needs more nutrition than what she is getting from breastmilk, she will go for the food. My advice is to still give her the option to eat solids. I found with my kids if I didn't make a big deal out of it on the outside (I would still freak out on the inside. hello? I'm still a mother that is all too human!) the kids would be more open to different things like broccoli or whatever in their own time.

I liked the other comment about making the highchair fun. She's not interested in eating solids, so that is a losing battle. But she can still benefit from "eating" with the family even for short bursts of time, and also learning to sit in it while playing. I like those booster seats with the removable tray. Our Gracie loves to sit up at the table with the rest of us.

And, just in case I made you grumpy... here is some chocolate. :)

dont think i can help you out here. We did the high-chair thing from day one. and then moved to a booster seat (with straps) which is what we use now. There were plenty of times that my son has lived on cheerios. And nothing else. he wouldnt eat baby food for a while or solids. then when he would eat solids, he would suddenly decide that he doesnt like then anymore and eat only cheerios. (he drinks anythign we give him tho) he still is like that. I still make him sit in the chair, and i make him look at his meal for a bit & if he wont eat it, i let him have cheerios. And thats his meal. no snacks until the next meal. thats how we do it. We dont shovel the food in if he doesnt want it while he plays. When he's hungry, he'll eat.

I have a four year old and remember him going through stages of where he only ate white food for weeks on end. I'm pretty sure it's normal. There's a book called, "Baby of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense" that I remember saying that parents' job is to provide food and the child's job is to decide whether or not to eat it. I've kept that in my mind when going through stages like Mia is going through now. It also talked about how when parents decide how much a child should eat that it confuses the child and teaches him/her not to trust their own hunger/lack of hunger signals. I think keep eating fun for her, keep trying things, but if she doesn't want it, stop and wait a week and try again. Hope it helps. You're not alone!

Mia will eat when she wants/needs to. She is short, but not stupid. Refusing to eat things out of pride is out of scope for her at this point. If all she would consume was a can of Coke and an order of fries, then yeah, it's obvious she's going Karen Carpenter on you.
I comepletly agree with Kara on the highchair thing. That is really a social thing.

Ok, the Hair: My daughter also has a ton of hair, and I also put it in one or sometimes 2 ponytails on top of her head...also, there are those cute little barrette things. Or I leave it to do its own thing, which my chld will probably hold over me in years to come because she has a big afro.

The Food: My 7 1/2 month daughter swears by oatmeal and applesauce. And tofu. Yes, I have a tofu-eating child but I'm not bragging or anything... ]:)

try mixing the cheerios into the food. Maybe she'll go for them, and at least get some other stuff...

what ever will Mia do when you wean her???

My pediatrician always told me that any kid with parents who are paying attention probably has a good foundation of nutrition (especially those who have been breastfed). Some kids hit the skids and will eat nothing but peanut butter for weeks. That's natural. They get tired of it and try something else. In the long view, it will all EVEN OUT. Cheerios and breastmilk are both good for babies, so it's not like she's eating Twinkies and drinking Big Red.

Keep trying. Eventually, she'll break down.

I think you have whole lot of advise here... the only thing I am going to add is something my grandmother told me... As long as you get one good "meal" in a day... (which is really your breast milk... in my opinion) don't worry to much about what she is eating the rest of the time... eventually she will ask for food... and you will be able to give her healthy choices.

i didn't have time to read the other comments, so forgive me if i'm being stupid...

she will not starve. it doesn't really matter if she only eats cheerios for a few months. she'll grow out of it eventually, so don't worry too much.

that said, i would keep her in the highchair just so she doesn't choke on something while she's moving around, but you can't force her to eat if she doesn't want to.

at that age, my oldest son would only eat what he could put in his mouth by himself. i diced up defrosted frozen veggies -- they are soft enough that they are not a choking risk, even if the baby only has a few teeth. diced grapes and pears are soft enough, too. as long as he could do the shoveling and some modest amount of chewing, he was happy.

good luck. i'll be hitting the vodka myself this evening, so at least you know you're not drinking alone.

I sure am glad for your comments section. This morning I overheard one of the daycare workers telling some parents that they "really hope" babies are eating table food by 10 months. And Riley? Ha ha ha ha NO. The other day he choked so dramatically on a Cheerio I thought I was going to have to plunge him out with a toilet snake.

My kids will eat cardboard if I put it in front of them, so unfortunately, I have no real-life advice.

Personally, I'd give the ped a call, just to see what he says. He is the expert, after all, and will also give you that professional reassurance.

From what I understand, though, BM and cheerios doesn't sound such a bad diet to me. She's getting more than enough nutrients from your milk and the cheerios are a bonus.

I hope, for your sanity, that she finds her way into the highchair soon...

I haven't read the other comments yet, but I am going through the exact same thing this week. Lily is 10.5 months old and ate great on the weekend, but maybe got one soda cracker and two little pieces of cheese into her yesterday - all day! But when you throw your head back and tense your body into an unbendable stick when approaching the high chair, it makes it kinda hard. Today, I had to let her sit on the counter and hold a bunch of grapes while watching t.v. (to distract her) while I put grape quarters into her mouth. And that's all she's eaten today. I think she'd live on the boob if I let her... Good luck!

Ahh...the ol my kid is going to starve thing. Look I think G is going to starve because she eats like 5 bites a day but hey your lucky because Mia is nursing. Like I said before as long as she is nursing DO NOT worry about it. She is getting everything she needs! Gwyn was exclusively nursed for the first year and after that still barely ate anything. As far as the chair...hum I dont know I wouldnt let her think she can control you with it. Just let her know that if she wants a snack even of cheerios she has to get in her chair. That way she always associates the chair with stuf she likes to eat and not a prison. But really get those gerber freeze dried corn and the fruits! I bet she will love those!

As for the advice above on giving solids before the breastmilk...No way. Breastmilk is so way superior with everything she needs over any food. I was told by my doctor that very thing and have read it in books. Always nurse before offering since it should still be her number one source of nutrition...but I am sure you know that. :)

Oh, Oh and for the hair...he he...just take a bow and pull it over to the side. Totally cute. G took them out about 10 times before she realized I was just going to keep putting them back in. Now she is super anal about the bow and will cry if she doesnt have one. Weirdo.

I'm probably duplicating what three other people said. Snacks on the floor, food at the table? She's getting plenty of nutrition so the main thing is to get her used to sitting in one place with you at table. And a spoon. And bits and pieces. We fed the girls from our plates once they had enough teeth. One green bean, two peas, Broccoli? All my girls loved the look and the crunch.

The eating part is unimportant but establishing a pattern is.

Or you could let her hold one spoon while you feed her with the other.

As for toys at the highchair, I say whatever works and gets her used to it. I'd experiment without first though. Easier to add than to take away.

On the other hand, what do I know?



I didn't have time to read everyone so forgive me if this has already been said. Just remember, up until the first year or so, as long as baby is nursing, solid foods are just for fun and experimentation (which has nothing to do with salami in the pants, but can if you want). She gets everything she needs from you.

So no worries.

Unless you're not nursing.

But I think you are.


First of all, Joey wears her hair in the "stupid pony tail on top of her head" and it's the cutest! It does, indeed, bring everything up to a new level of cuteness, as you put it! :) keeps the hair out of her eyes. Everyone goes ga ga over it--which isn't necessarily a good thing when i'm out for a power walk....

Now, as for the food. I have two friends with babies who eat less than Mia. At least she's eating something. And, she's getting breastmilk, right--so she's getting everything she needs in the breastmilk. The food is supplementary--it'll help her develop speech-related coordination, etc. So, great that she's eating SOMETHING! So, don't worry about it--you're not alone, and it's not a big deal. She'll grow out of this phase. Also, talk to your Hot Doc. He'll probably have some good advice for you.

For what it is worth, my doc told me Sam needs to be seated while eating any solids as a precaution against choking.

If it makes you feel any better, I eat nothing but Cheerios and breastmilk and I'm totally healthy.

(Uh...ok, yes, that was weird. It's past my bed-time so my humour is a little wonky, and I have no "real" advice because my hubby and I are still in the 'trying-to-get-preggers stage.' But I sincerely wish you the best of luck - and I thank you for putting these questions out there, because your blog is often an informative read for the as-of-yet-uninitiated like me.) :)

I haven't read all of the comments yet, but here's my thought.

What if you try one of these little mesh feeders:

You stick the new food in the mesh part, and they can basically gum it to death. Maybe since it's a new little contraption she'll enjoy it, and she can cruise around with it. The foods don't have to be super-soft to go in there, just soft enough that they can chew it/gum it. Munckin makes them, and Sassy makes them, as do a few other companies. I've seen them at Babies R Us and Target (and even in our supermarket).

I'm not an experienced mom yet - our little one isn't due for another 8 weeks, so I have no idea what to say about the high chair.

I admit to not going through all the comments Beth, so that's my caveat! :)

I would try other foods. If she can eat cheerios and goldfish try her on little bits of your food. My daughter went straight from breastmilk only to solids, not pureed foods. She never ate babyfood at all. She just didn't like the texture. She also loves any one else's food, so that could be great. I also agree with the advice about making the highchair fun. We used to get out a set of water paints (those books with paint already in them and a cup of water and paint brushes) and she could only have them in the highchair. So it was a treat to be there and she didn't even notice she was strapped in.
Also if she's healthy don't stress too much about the food issue. Kids eat so much less than we think they should. Really. Just remember her stomach is the size of her fist. Couple of cheerios and a goldfish and she's full!! ;)

I didn't read all of the comments, so forgive me if anyone already mentioned this, but I had the same problem with my firstborn and what I did at home was cut off all eating that was NOT in the highchair.

I also made sure that I myself was eating my meals and snacks at the table, so she would get the idea. At breakfast, I would put her food up at the highchair, sit down with my own breakfast and sit her down. She cried, she screamed, she refused to eat, so I would let her down and continue eating, while she had a temper tantrum on the floor. Then I would ask her if she wanted a cheerio, or whatever we were eating that day, and she would want it, but I would say she needed to sit in her chair to have it. She really fought it for about 2 or 3 days, but she did give in and eat in her chair from then on.

I have 3 kids, and take care of 3 others during the day, I'm no expert but I have a lot of experience, and out of all these years I've learned 2 tings.

#1 Set the example, be consistent, follow through and children will eventually follow your lead, and #2 If they're hungry enough, they WILL eat.. same goes for sleeping problems, if they're tired enough, they WILL sleep (like if they refuse to sleep in their crib.) It's just being firm (but loving and fair) and being consistent. It really does work. I hope this helps, good luck with your baby , she is precious!

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