View Full Version : Newborn home & my toddler WON'T EAT. I think she wants to nurse...

07-04-2010, 07:08 PM
Ack. Brought the new baby home Thursday. DD (2.3) has reacted pretty well, no tantrums, trying to be helpful, even helping me unhook my bra to nurse the baby this morning saying "baby wants food".

But she hasn't eaten barely ANYTHING in the past 3 days. Maybe 300 calories a day total. It's awful. We've been so desperate -- we've even resorted to trying to bribe with stickers. No luck.

And today she crawled onto my lap, tried to unhook my bra and said " I want to eat". She was breastfed until 12 months. I don't know if she remembers or just sees me with the new one and wants the same treatment.

I don't know what to do. How can I get her to eat? How can I nurse the new one in front of her? I feel so sad about this.

07-04-2010, 07:48 PM
My DS did the same thing when I brought DD home from the hospital, except it was with the pacifier. He begged for one, so I gave in. He used it for about 3 days and then decided he didn't like it and asked if he could throw it away. I realize it's not the same as nursing, but you might just let her try and she'll quickly realize that she doesn't want it; she just wants something she thinks is just for the baby.

You may also try to let her choose some special foods that she really enjoys, or see if she would enjoy a meal (albeit a quick one!) out, just the two of you. Explain that she's big enough to this, but the baby isn't. Praise her for the "big girl" things she does.


07-04-2010, 07:48 PM
Aw, that is sad, but I think not uncommon. I doubt DD remembers being breastfed at 12mos, but most likely sees it as a way the new baby is getting mommy attention. And she wants that too. What happens when you tell her that she nursed when she was little but now that she's big, she eats food like you do? Do you guys eat together (I know that's funny with a new one in the house...as if you have time to do *anything*, right?!)? Does she have a favorite food? I think at this point I would continue to nurse the little one in front of her, but also give her some alone time with you too -- if that is possible.

GL! Change is never easy!

07-04-2010, 07:54 PM
Try not to worry or make a big deal about it. I know that is easier said than done but your DD may just need a little extra attention and she is figuring out that not eating is a way to get it. It is highly unlikely that she will starve herself. I would just continue your meals/snacks as you always have and try to not make any comments if she chooses not to eat. She is probably sensing the baby getting more attention and close time with you when he nurses and that is probably what she is after versus actual nursing. Try to make nursing a time that is special for her too... one suggestion that helped me was to have a bin of toys/books/puzzles that were only for nursing time. I pulled out the bin when it was time to nurse and could play with the toys with my older one while nursing (of course it can take a little while before you can nurse & have a hand free). I also tried to not say "I can't now because I'm nursing the baby" so he wouldn't associate me nursing with not being able to do other things. Hope this helps!

07-04-2010, 09:07 PM
My mom has told me that she let me eat next to her while she was nursing my sister. So I'd sit on the couch eating a sandwhich while my sister nursed. My mom even tells me one story where I asked why J got to eat mustard with her milk...........and it was because my had to stuff her bra with tissues (that were yellow) and some had stuck to her!

My one friend gave her older DS a baby doll that takes a paci and bottle, so he sits next to her and feeds his baby while she nurses her DD. This is what I'm planning on doing, plus offering the offering of food to DD.

could you maybe go out and get her some new, "special" big girl plates, cups, utensils??

07-04-2010, 09:53 PM
A friend of mine with three children and one on the way has a "breastfeeding box" like a PP said. It's got things for her older DC to play with when she is nursing and is ONLY for that time. She tries to put different things in there so there is often a surprise or treat in there that they get excited about. It seems to work really well for her.

07-04-2010, 10:53 PM
Thanks all - I'll try the box, that's smart. She's being really great about the new baby and I know it's got to be strange for her. I want to do whatever I can to make the transition easy.

07-04-2010, 11:14 PM
Let us know how it works Wellyes! :)