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How can I get my son to open his mouth for food?

My son is one year old, and he refuses to eat or drink anything other than his formula. He refuses to let me put anything in his mouth that is not the nipple from his bottle - not even a toothbrush. For only two or three days he let me put some baby food in his mouth and then he all of a sudden began to refuse to allow anything in his mouth.

I am concerned because the doctor said his hemoglobin is low and i need to start giving him some iron. I am nervous that giving him the iron (which tastes absolutely awful) will make it even harder to get him to accept any food or tylenol or anything other than his formula. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Answer Question

Asked by NtAngelND at 10:20 PM on Jun. 28, 2011 in Food & Drink

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • Have you tried letting him feed himself?

    Answer by MrsMWF at 10:21 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • Hahaha... plug his nose??? joking of course but most moms can see the humor... we've been there and I've even begged the toothless child to please try and peas!!! Hahaha

    i like the first poster... feed himself? Couldn't hurt since he's already refusing to eat

    Answer by MommaClark3 at 10:24 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • Either let him feed himself or do the airplane into the hangar...that is what I do with my daughter when she doesn't want to cooperate.

    Answer by AF4life at 10:24 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • I have, but he actually doesn't put anything in his mouth... which is guess in some senses is kind of good. He obly recently started opening his mouth during bath time and putting a couple of toys up to his mouth...

    Comment by NtAngelND (original poster) at 10:25 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • Does he have jaw issues? Has the doctor looked into that?


    Answer by banana-bear at 10:26 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • I have the same problem. However my daughter is younger. What helps me is when I eat something she wants to mimick me. So I pull her highchair up to the table and I take a few bites of my food and wait until I have her total attention and then she will open her mouth and take spoonfuls. I also started warming up all her baby food. For some reason she isnt fond of room temp food. But then again neither am I. LOL I hope this helps.

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    Answer by Kaye924 at 10:28 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • have you tried holding the spoon to his lips? also have you tried any sippy cups yet? my son is almost 11 months and has kinda gone threw different stages, at this point he likes to feed himself more than letting me feed him. ive also been pushing him into sippy cups and if you give the nipple a bigger whole you can mix his jars of baby food with his formula and let him use his bottle that way to eat. i guess if hes stuck on bottles and formula try mixing a jar of baby food into his formula it will just be a thicker liquid so like i said you might need to make the whole a little bigger. anyways hope this helps, good luck.

    Answer by sarah8910 at 10:36 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • My first thought was: wait until he's hungry!! But I agree with Kaye924. Sit facing him and you eat some, opening your mouth nice and wide and popping it in, and there's a good chance he'll do likewise, especially if you do it when you know he's hungry. A lot of us Moms fret about making kids eat but they actually eat as much as they need then stop. Trust him to guage how much he needs. If you want to get him off formula, give him table food first, when he's hungry.

    Answer by judimary at 10:36 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • Thanks for all the suggestions!

    I'm starting to feel like I'm at my wits end because this has been going on for a couple of months and I feel like I've tried everything... I've done the airplane, I've gotten him to laugh but as soon as the food approaches his lips he purses his mouth and turns his head away. I've managed to get a couple of things in, but he gags to the point that he spits up and typically he doesn't spit up. I've given him cheerios and puffs and put food on his fingers and he just plays with it, but doesn't put the food anywhere near his mouth...on his clothes and in his hair, yes - mouth, not so much. He watches me eat and seems interested until I offer him something and then he becomes completely uninterested.

    Comment by NtAngelND (original poster) at 10:37 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

  • @banana bear, he doesn't seem to have jaw issues. He talks and sings and cries and smiles. The doctor didn't share any developmental concerns, but he is concerned about the fact that my son is not eating because his weight gain has slowed dramatically. He only gained a few ounces in the last couple months. My son doesn't even always finish his bottles, so I don't think he's starving himself.

    Comment by NtAngelND (original poster) at 10:45 PM on Jun. 28, 2011

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