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12 month old refusing to eat

Our 12 month old is refusing whole milk.  She will only drink water from her sippy cup.  Along with this issue the only whole food she will eat is yogurt (4 times a day) puffs and cheerios.  I know she is not eating properly, she is my third child.  She tries everything we eat but she doesn't swallow it.  She just chews for a little bit and then removes it from her mouth.  She only has the two top front teeth and the two bottom front teeth. (I took away the bottle and stopped formula).

It is not uncommon for 1 year olds to refuse to drink cow’s milk. It is rare that she is refusing both cow’s milk and the majority of solids.

Our first two children essentially refused to drink whole milk. We continued to offer them milk with their meals and after 4 to 6 months they seemed to acquire a taste for it. Remember, she should not drink nearly as much milk as she did prior to 9 months. We only want her to drink whole milk as part of a meal.

Our kids have also have considerable variation in their eagerness to start solids. Our slowest was still eating pureed foods at 12 months. With persistence she was transitioned to a variety of table foods by 15 months.

Children do not need teeth to eat solid foods. Several of our 12 month olds have been toothless and eating all table foods. The first 8 teeth children typically get are incisors (the front teeth). These first teeth are used for biting not chewing foods. Early on children mash their foods with their gums and palate.

In your daughter’s case, I am concerned about her oral motor development as she should be able to swallow better. Children with oral motor delays are often excessively drooling and slow to start talking. I would recommend you take her to your doctor to evaluate her growth and oral motor tone.


Written February 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician






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