Posted by: Nats | 2004/10/04



My son is 20 mnths old, he doesnt eat anything at home. He only eats at crech. He doesnt pick up weight, he has been weighing 10kg for the last 5 months now.

He is always gettting tonsilitis, and has to get antibiotics. The antibiotices cant be good for his stomach if he doesnt want to eat.

He loves his bottle. At night he drinkd at least 4x 250ml bottles of milk, and during the day he is always drinking. he never leaves his bottle.

How can i get him to stop drinking so much, and to start eating like a baby his age should be eating. Because he doesnt eat, what i do, is i put some pronutro in his milk bottle at night when he goes to bed. So that he can get some sort of food in his system. Is this right or wrong to do.

he also doesnt sleep at night. He wakes every 2 - 3 hours. We cant take that anymore, we are so tired.

Please help, what are we doing wrong. I am very worried about my little boy. He needs to start eating.

Expert's Reply



Healthy children will eat if they are given no other choice. A child of 20 months does not need 4 bottles at night and the only way to break the pattern is not to give it to him. My advice would be to restrict him to 2-3 milk bottles/day in total and to offer him food when you eat. He will start to eat what he is offered if no alternative is available. The same with the sleeping pattern. The only way to break a bad habit is by not providing any incentive for it to continue. We have answered numerous questions on this topic before, which you may refer to.

Children who attend chreche often get recurrent infections e.g. tonsillitis and this is nothing to be too concerned about. After an initial growth spurt children weight often plateau for a while around 18-24 months. This needs to be monitored, but I will not be overly concerned at present if he well in all other respects.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Row | 2004/10/07

Hi Nats.

My son is 21 months old, is at creche and had his tonsils out about 4 months ago. Before we took his tonsils out he was always sick, thirsty(from the sore throat) and wasn't gaining weight. Now he is 10.5kg, and eats well at creche. What they do is offer small meals regularly and minimum liquids. He has a bottle of ovaltine milk when he goes to bed and a bottle of milk/tea in the morning. He eats at creche but not at home with me on the weekends. My paed said that a child will never starve itself, it is good to always leave a few pieces of apple/cheese etc at easy reach areas so the child can help himself when hungry! I suggest you ask about removing the tonsils and you should see a great improvement all round...!!!

Reply to Row
Posted by: LJ | 2004/10/05

Hi Nats - My daughter is almost 19 months now and was also a very bad eater. The clinic advised me reducing her milk to a minimum and only giving her water at night when she wakes. Also, she was drinking alot of fruit juice during the day, which also suppressed her appetite. I now dilute the fruit juice substantially with water. Her appetite has definitely increased and she sleeps much better. Also, when I stopped making a big deal about food, it was also much better, they can sense when you are up tight about something and then she also didn't want to eat. It is very difficult because you do worry, but I found it important not to let them see you are stressed about it.

Reply to LJ
Posted by: andrietha | 2004/10/04

My daughter was the same - always drinking at night. I just starting to give her water and no milk. It is really tough but after a while it was much better. Also take the bottle away during the day. He will get hungry and start to eat something. Give him his bottle of milk when he go to sleep and then only water. Also my paed told me that they wake up so much at night because they don't get enough proteien during the day from not eating well. Try to give him some proteien for supper like scramble egg, eg. The best will be to take the bottle away.

Reply to andrietha

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