Why is My Baby Refusing Solids?

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Why is My Baby Refusing Solids?

You’ve introduced solids into the baby’s diet but now suddenly your little one is refusing them. Naturally, you become a little worried that something is wrong and you’re trying to figure out what you need to do next. Before you begin worrying too much let’s talk about this more because the reason baby isn’t eating solids may be very simple.

Common reasons baby refuses solid foods

  1. Independence – It goes without saying that baby is aging when solids are introduced into the diet. With aging comes the desire for more independence and sometimes the refusal of solids may simply be that baby is trying to exercise his or her independence and this is the way the baby chose to do that. Simply try to be patient be baby.
  2. Feeling unwell – Similar to adults, if your baby is feeling a bit unwell and maybe has a cold or sore throat, she or he may lose their appetite a little bit. Make sure to provide the baby with the appropriate nutrients through continued breastfeeding or formula bottles. Once the illness passes baby will likely resume the normal eating pattern again.
  3. Teething – Teething can be a very uncomfortable experience for some babies and when this happens it can decrease the baby’s appetite. Continue with breastmilk or formula feedings and if needed, over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen to help with the pain baby has.
  4. Baby is bored – Make sure the food you are giving baby is age-appropriate. If your baby is getting a little older (at least 7 months) and still eating only pureed food, it is likely time to be introducing other more textured foods into the diet. Try giving the baby some puffs or other types of crunchy food that allow them to have a food adventure by exploring different textures.
  5. Constipated – Once solids are introduced into the diet it is a possible baby can become a bit constipated. Breastmilk and formula are much easier to digest so when solid foods are introduced constipation may set in because the gastrointestinal tract has to work harder. Be patient with this as well and when giving a solid try to choose foods that are easier to digest and may aid in relieving constipation (such as prunes). If you feel this is not helping always reach out to your pediatrician’s office for more guidance.

Possible solutions to refusing foods 

So, what can you do as mom and dad to help the baby eat solids? Well, first we mentioned baby may be trying to become more independent so try giving the baby a spoon to see if she or he wants to feed themselves. The baby may also be feeling stuck in the highchair so if that seems to be the case don’t force the baby to sit there for long periods of time to try to get the baby to eat. Eating time should be a happy and fun time for babies as they explore new foods and textures so don’t force the baby to eat and make food time into a negative time. In the end, if the baby is hungry, he or she is going to eat.

It is not common that a baby’s refusal to eat solids is the sign of a bigger health concern but if you feel you have ruled out all the basic and common reasons then it is always best to call your pediatrician’s office to discuss it further.


Castle, J. 5 reasons your baby refuses to eat  

Mayo Clinic Solid foods: how to get your baby started  

Watkins, S. Why has my baby gone off solid food?