Toddler Advice Please!!

Lounge By lecrn Updated 1 Feb 2010 , 2:18am by noahsmummy

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lecrn Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 5:02pm
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My son is 13 month old & I have a few concerns regarding his developmental skills. He is a completely healthy, happy boy, but we have a few issues:

I'll start with eating. I'm still having to feed him baby food b/c he has such a strong gag reflex to textured foods. He eats mostly stage 3 foods, but I'm trying to get him off the baby foods and eating mainly table foods. I've tried mashed potatoes several times, but end up mixing it with some baby food to get him to eat it.

I'm also trying to get him to eat finger foods, which has not been successful so far. He will pick up the food with his fingers, but he doesn't put it in his mouth. It usually ends up in the floor. I've tried several different finger foods, all of which he will eat, if someone else puts it in his mouth. If I hold the food in my hand, he will actually bring my hand up to his mouth or bring his mouth to my hand & eat the food.

I have been giving him the finger foods when I know he's hungry & placing them on his high chair tray.
BTW, he has 8 teeth & working on 9 & 10!

Now drinking. I can't get the boy to drink milk out of a sippy cup instead of the bottle to save my life! I've tried 4 different kinds of cups (soft spout, hard spout, straw, reg cup) & nothing works.

He'll drink his juice from a soft spout cup, but not milk. I've tried giving the cup to him with his meals & when I know he's hungry, but no luck. I know he likes the milk b/c he will usually drain his bottle. He drinks 3 bottles a day (morning, afternoon, & bedtime).

Mobilization: He's perfectly content to crawl around everywhere. He's only just started to pull up onto his knees. I know that he can bear wgt. on his legs b/c he does so in his bouncer.

We went to his 1 yr checkup a few wks ago & the pediatrician doesn't seem to be that concerned (neither does dh). He said that more than likely he will be feeding himself & walking when he gets to kindergarten.

He will reevaluate the not pulling up to stand issue (if he's not doing so) during the 15 mon visit.

Should I be concerned or should I just chill out a little? He is the only child and has never been in daycare. My dh & I work opposite to keep him home.

How do you know whether they are just lazy or if there's an issue? Any advice would be much appreciated!!

20 replies
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Kiddiekakes Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 5:31pm
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My son didn't start walking until he was 13 months..He was my first....One day he just pulled away from the coffee table and that was it..I wouldn't worry about that.My daughter walked at 10 months icon_rolleyes.gif ...

The eating is always an issue and I think everyone has there own tales to tell..If he is getting enough nourishment then not to worry.Here are a few tips to get him eating/snacking on his own.Set out a container full of cheerios on the coffee table where he can reach them.Not up high....also set out crackers etc...easily softened and shouldn't gag..if he feels he can reach them at his own leisure he may start sooner.

I just cut my kids off the bottle cold turkey at about 18 months.They whined and whined but I set out a sippy cup and shorty they figured out how to suck on it to get the milk,juice etc..It didn't take long and if they wanted it bad enough......

Daycare etc does help kids develop faster as they are around other children mostly so they can learn and pick up on things socially but I don't think it will cause any harm that he stays home with you...I wouldn't worry too much unless nothing changes in 4-6 months like the Dr said..Otherwise...he's just taking a little longer that's all!!

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lecrn Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 5:41pm
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Thanks so much! It's hard not to compare to other kids! We went to a bday this wkend & there was a 7 1/2 mon girl walking!!!! I thought I was hallucinating @ 1st!!
He is getting enough to eat & drink. He's just in the 20th percentile, but he's always been there & he eats like a piglet.

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CakesByJen2 Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 5:57pm
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I think at this age it's hard to tell if a child truly has some issues, or is just being lazy, stubborn, or just developing at the later end of "normal" in some things.

Some kids do have a strong gag reflex and have trouble transitioning to table food. For some it just takes time, others may need the help of an occupational therapist. How is his speech development? Kids that have problems with their oral musculature often have problems in eating, drinking, and speech. I would just continue offering the table food first. ONe thing I found, is that my daughter ALWAYS gaged on the stage 3 foods (except for the fruit). The texture is really unnatural, and the mix of lumps and creamy did not work for her. She went straight from stage 2 to table food, though ate a combination of baby food and table food for a while.

His fine motor skills may not be quite good enough to easily pick up small things, or he could just be lazy. My kids would still be fed by us if we would do it, LOL! My daughter still doesn't like meat that much because she's too lazy to chew, LOL! Both of mine were later than a lot of other kids about drinking from a cup. I think that varies widely and has more to do with personalities and individual preferences than development. My kids were both a little slower than others at doing things independantly, like eating, dressing, etc., because they are on the lazy side icon_smile.gif

I would just keep offering things and monitoring, but if you are still concerned by his 15 mo checkup, ask for an evaluation by an early childhood specialist, or occupational therapist.

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Loucinda Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 6:24pm
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Oh my does this bring back memories for me!!! You sound like me 34 years ago. icon_wink.gif (with my FIRST) I had an old fashiond doctor back then (no pediatrician) and he told me whenever I STOPPED doing things for her is when she would learn to do them herself. I was mortified. But, he was right. icon_redface.gif I had 2 other children after her, and they did EVERYTHING sooner. I don't think you have anything to worry about with your little one. He is a very lucky little boy that he has his Mom and Dad sharing time with him. icon_smile.gif

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kitty122000 Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 6:31pm
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I dont have much advice for you but I wanted to let you know that my 3.5 year old still gags on mashed potatos. The consistency just doesnt work for her. she'll eat just about anything else you put in front of her. maybe try out some other soft foods that aren't the same texture as mashed potatos? Listen to your Ped, all kids do things at different times, you should try not to compare to other kids. I know its much easier said than done though! Good luck to you.

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lecrn Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 6:37pm
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Originally Posted by Loucinda

Oh my does this bring back memories for me!!! You sound like me 34 years ago. icon_wink.gif (with my FIRST) I had an old fashiond doctor back then (no pediatrician) and he told me whenever I STOPPED doing things for her is when she would learn to do them herself. I was mortified. But, he was right. icon_redface.gif I had 2 other children after her, and they did EVERYTHING sooner. I don't think you have anything to worry about with your little one. He is a very lucky little boy that he has his Mom and Dad sharing time with him. icon_smile.gif

That's probably true, but I'm so afraid that he'd starve to death.
He's sitting in his high chair now holding a goldfish cracker. He's just playing with them. I'm sure that the dog will eat most of them that land on the floor. icon_cry.gif

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heycake Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 6:50pm
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It doesn't sound like anything to be too concerned about yet. Kids all go at their own pace and if the Dr. is not concerned then try not to worry yourself.

I agree with Loucinda though that kids will start doing things when we stop doing it for them. At 13 months old there is no need for him to still be having a bottle. Just get rid of them and offer him a variety of whole milk, juice or water with his meals. He will learn very quickly that drinks now come in a cup and nothing else. Changing things for kids this young takes only 3-4 days at the most. After that he will hardly remember what a bottle is for. It only becomes harder and takes longer as they get older.

The same goes for the food. With 10 teeth he should be able to eat a variety of foods. My kids never cared for the texture of the mushy baby foods. Cut up what you are eating in very small pieces and put it on his high chair tray, then sit with him and encourage him to pick up the pieces. He will likely become distressed because he's used to you putting the food in his mouth but he will get it. Unless there is some underlying health condition I've never known of a kid who would starve themselves.

As for the walking, count your blessings and enjoy the time with him before he starts running away from you. icon_smile.gif I know kids who walked as early as 7 months (oh, the horror!) and as late as 15-16 months.

You sound like a great momma who loves her little guy lots. Keep up the great work!

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TexasSugar Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 6:54pm
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Originally Posted by lecrn

That's probably true, but I'm so afraid that he'd starve to death.
He's sitting in his high chair now holding a goldfish cracker. He's just playing with them. I'm sure that the dog will eat most of them that land on the floor. icon_cry.gif

He won't starve. When he gets hungry enough he will eat.

I babysat my friend's daughter from the time she was 6 weeks old to 2 years. Her son has Austism so she was always worried about her development. I'd say trust your son's doctor. They see kids all the time and she will know if there is something to be worried about.

My friend's daughter would throw food down for the dogs because she liked to watch them get excited to eat it.

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mgwebb68 Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 7:24pm
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Don't worry. He's not going to starve. When's he's hungry he will eat. That was the biggest thing I had to learn with my daughter. I went through everything you are going through.

My daughter would never eat the stage 3 foods, she went straight to table food. She still has HUGE texture issues, won't eat potatos in any form, or rice. Just be patient. Try zweibak toast/biter biscuits and those Gerber puff things (it's been a while I can't remember what they are called). Also try baby yogurt and natural applesauce. Those were the first things my daughter ate when she started the move to "Real" food. Soon to be followed by corn on the cob, tacos, ribs and steak.

As for the cup, my pediatrician told me never give my daughter milk from a bottle, because she would never drink it from a cup. I went through every sippy cup out there before my daughter settled on the Gerber cups, and she wouldn't have anything to do with them if they had handles.

The best thing my pediatrician ever said was, "she'll eat when she's hungry". Sometimes I still have to remind myself of that when she takes two bites of dinner and says "Mommy, I'm finished".

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kaat Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 7:30pm
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Are you sure you're not talking about MY kid?
He's 5 now but we pretty much had the same issues. We just kept giving him the food (take it or leave it - no forcing, no commenting) and eventually he was fine with it. He had a real thing for textures (and still does a little) he was better with his own utensil so he didn't have to touch it with his fingers - he had a real aversion to that. It took him FOREVER to eat but he wanted to do it himself (right from the start).

Same with the bottle - he only had one type he liked and they discontinued it! yikes! We'd offer him the bottle with water and juice cup with milk or juice, putting both on the table and letting him choose. Eventually the sippy cup was no problem.

At 13 mo. he was just starting to crawl (he was HUGE!) but 15 mo he was walking.Now he's 5. He didn't starve, he didn't rot out his teeth, he's not in a wheelchair, he's not obese.... I didn't screw him up after all! icon_biggrin.gif

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ziggytarheel Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 8:55pm
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Nothing you wrote sounds like something you should worry about. icon_smile.gif

Gag reflex: I've been hearing about this lately, but don't remember hearing so much about it when my kids were little, 20something years ago. I think mashed potatoes could be "gaggy". Just take it slow. Your child WILL eat when he gets hungry, promise! The worst thing you can do is make food something you worry about because it will probably become a problem. Offer the food and then leave him at it and see what happens. icon_smile.gif

Nothing at all to worry about with the walking. Since they stopped letting you put your baby to bed on their tummies, it seems to me that the walking age keeps getting OLDER. I know of LOTS of kids who don't walk until 15 months. LOTS. No worries at all.

I want to tell you that when kids hit these milestones within the range of normal has very little to do with anything else! My son was a FAST crawler by 5 months...but he is only an average athlete. My daughter was exceptionally verbal at an age almost unheard of and comparatively , my son was slow (actually, not according to actual charts. While my daughter is extremely bright, my son is exceptionally gifted. But if you had looked at their verbal skills at the same point in time, you might surmise that my son was way behind.

The toddler years are very important for a child's overall development, but are also very hard to draw any conclusions from. Even intelligence testing before elementary years is seen as not entirely predictive, as many who have a fast start fall more in line with the norm in later years.

I hope I've eased some of your concerns. Enjoy your little boy and don't stress. Love and encourage him and he'll be fine. icon_smile.gif

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kiki07 Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 9:29pm
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You said that your son has 8 teeth. Is it possible that he is teething still and it just hurts to eat anything with texture? My daughter was like this forever and at 15 months she has 13 teeth with 3 more trying to break through.

As for the the milk, my daughter won't drink it for anything. I guess she doesn't like it but as long as she eats other sources of calcuim she's fine.

She is just barely starting to talk although she understands everything we say. Her doctor said that we only need to worry about speech if the child is 3 and no one can understand him/her.

Your son will learn to do things when he is ready. My 15 month old is VERY different from my 6 year old in every way. Each child is. Don't be so worried, enjoy this 'baby' time because it goes far too quickly.

BTW- my cousin didn't start walking until she was 2 because she didn't feel like it! And she has no problems from it.

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FullHouse Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 10:24pm
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All of the above. My 3rd did NOT want to wean, but at a year, when I put my foot (or rather my tshirt) down and cut him off he came around to regular milk, I just needed to learn to be more stubborn than he was, meanwhile my 2nd decided he was done by 8 months.

I've known babies who have walked at 7 months and others who didn't bother until 15 months. Each child has his own pace, if the dr isn't concerned I would wait and re-evaluate at 15 months. He's lucky to have you!!!

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AverageMom Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 11:02pm
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First of all, picture yourself in 10 years. Is this still an issue? No?! Relax!! Okay.

Mashed potatoes are a texture that many children do not like. Try plain yogurt, applesauce, and anything he can pick up on his own. STOP doing it for him. He will not starve. Really truly, he won't. It will take a few days, and then he will eat what he needs, when he needs it. Back off a bit and stop fussing.

As for the bottle, he clearly knows how to use a sippy cup, so the issue isn't ability, it's a habit/comfort issue. Toss ALL the bottles away. I know, I sound mean. But otherwise it is too easy to give in. Hand him the sippy cup of milk. He will either drink it, or won't! But in a few days, when he sees that you are serious about the no bottles, he'll drink it. No more juice, either, for now. Water or milk in the cup. Babies and toddlers do not need juice, it actually isn't good for them!

Good luck! Be strong!!

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LaBellaFlor Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 11:53pm
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Everyone is spot on. He is okay. Let him feed himself and give him the only option to be a sippy cup and you will see the changes. He WILL NOT starve. Walking is different for everyone. I knew this one lady who's daughter wasn't walking at 18 months. But she carried her EVERY WHERE. Both parents and grandparents. She was really concerned and took her to the pediatrician. The doctored said,"Put her down."

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kiki07 Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 1:16am
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Originally Posted by AverageMom

No more juice, either, for now. Water or milk in the cup. Babies and toddlers do not need juice, it actually isn't good for them!

Exactly! My 15 month old NEVER drinks juice and for the six year old it is like soda- a 'sometimes food'

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lecrn Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 2:23am
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Thanks to you all for the wonderful advice! I know I need to relax and just enjoy him while he's still a baby. It's kind of hard when my reply to over half of the nurse's questions is "no he can't do that yet".
I swear that I could write a book on things that they don't tell you regarding raising a child.
BTW, I really don't think he's drinking too much juice. I only let him drink 4oz (1/2 H2O 1/2 juice) per day. That is a good idea to take it completely away to make him thirsty & want something to drink.

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kiki07 Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 6:23am
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I keep a sippy cup filled with water where my daughter can reach it. That way she can drink whenever she's thirsty, plus I encourage her to drink her water throughout the day. I also did this with my older daughter and it has worked very well for me.

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mckaren Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 10:38pm
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(((((hugs))))) I know just how you feel.

Firstly, remember he's still only a baby and he hasn't read the text book about milestones - crikey, my oldest son certainly didn't!. He was referred for a follow up check because at 9 months he wasn't sitting up unsupported - he did it a couple of months later, when he was ready.

Sippy cups; he's using them for water so you know he can manage it, he's just not ready to let go of his milk bottle. Let him keep his bottle for milk for a little while if he needs to - it's comforting and familiar in a time of lots of change. My toddler was 18 months old before he gave up his bottle and we did it gradually making the bedtime one the last to go.

Walking; mine didn't walk until 18 months either. We knew he could weight bear, he just didn't want to walk. One day he surprised us and off he went - he got the hang of it ruddy quickly.

Eating; when he goes to nursery or kindergarten he'll see the other kids eating different foods and will after a while, he'll copy them and do it too, Again, my toddler didn't go to nursery until he was 2 and a lot of things have improved since.

I'd say just chill out. I think we're all too eager for our babies to grow up and hit their milestones. I've learnt to let them be babies and give them time. They can't be "on target" for everything. They'll be early with some things and "late" with others.

Enjoy him!!

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noahsmummy Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 2:18am
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I have a 13month old also, hes my first too. =)

I have a few questions to ask regarding a things;

Does he have any words? When you say he wont feed himself, can he pick other things up using the pincor grip? (thump and forefinger) Can he wave bye-bye? Can he clap hands? Can he put things into and take things out of a container? Does he stand holding onto something? Will he walk if you hold both his hands above him and wlak with him?

Sorry, I've just been through all this as well, my son was diagnosed as developmentally delayed. He has "scattered skills". He'll feed himself (not with spoons or anything tho)..gosh he eats me out of house and home! but he doesnt wave bye bye, and has no words, no idea about putting things into containers.. great at tipping them out tho!!!lol. Hes JUST learnt to clap hands.. never been prouder!! haha.

I would say trust your instincts. Never let a doctor brush you off if you are concerned. I have always had concerns, my sons half brother has autism so that has made me very aware of my sons development. I wouldnt say to stress, you said he can feed himself juice but just not water? he may just be fussy! =) My sons wont use his juice cup if his drink is too cold..cheky little

mothers have the best instincts when it comes to their children.. so use it! at this young age, if there are concerns he will probably start occupational therapy and maybe early intervention.. which isnt going to harm them in anyway. Boys usually walk later than girls as well, my sons just started standing on his own, after MONTHS of cruising. Dont worry about the walking until he is 18 months.. some babies dont cruise, they just pull themselves up and start toddeling around! =)
good luck, always here if you need to chat.=)

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