Dr. Alan Greene answers the question, Why does my baby refuse to eat solids?


I have a 12-month-old who refuses to eat solids. She only wants to nurse. What can I do?


When kids won't eat solids at all at 12 months, it is important to find out why. Sometimes it's just preference, but sometimes it is an esophagus that is too tight or swallowing that isn't coordinated. An evaluation by a feeding specialist is usually a good idea. Often, this is a pediatric gastroenterologist.

The window between 6 and 12 months of age is the easiest time for kids to learn to eat solids. After 12 months it often becomes more difficult. If someone has confirmed, after 6 months, that she can chew and swallow well and she just doesn't want to, that is fine. She can start later if she likes. But sometimes, when kids appear just not to enjoy it, the real problem is difficulty -- either with tightness or coordination.

At 12 months, the foods kids will often take first are those things they can handle for themselves and go down easily, such as Cheerios. Often, 12-month-olds do not like someone else to feed them. If she is taking some solids, just not a lot, it's fine for her to set the amount at her own pace.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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