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extreme food throwing.

PostPosted: 31 Jan 2014, 21:18
by ladyPMD
We are used to having a child that lives on air. We try not to stress too much even though she struggles to cling to the 9th centile. She has never had much appetite but at least she used to try stuff. We still offer her what we are having + something that we know she will eat, but I am starting to think 'what is the point?'

Her food throwing has evolved from clumsy, to experimenting with gravity, to seeing what reactions she can elicit (usually as close as we can manage to no reaction).

Of late she has started fixing us with a determined stare and throwing stuff to the floor without even looking at it, let along thinking about eating it. This happens with both new stuff and stuff we know she has enjoyed eating. Often the whole lot goes on the floor, even though she may have eaten next to nothing all day. Her new thing is going to bed really hungry, then waking in the early hours screaming unconsolably until she is fed (usually a banana and milk). I don't like doing it but if she is hungry she will not go back to sleep.

It is getting so boring, tiring and soul destroying. It got so bad tonight that my DH said if we had another he wanted to do traditional weaning as it could not be worse than this...

We seem to have tried everything, following suggestions on this forum. I do wonder if we have created a problem by doing something wrong without realising it?

Please tell me this is just a 18 month phase and that she will one day decide to eat properly... I know it is unhelpful to compare as all babies are different, but none of my TW friends babies do this and very few of my BLW friends are having such an extreme time.

Re: extreme food throwing.

PostPosted: 01 Feb 2014, 02:36
by Treeb
L doesn't usually start throwing things until he is "done." He will generally eat (or chew up and spit out) for a while and then once he starts getting bored he will throw. Usually now if he starts it I just take the whole tray off his high chair and the meal is done. Obviously if she is doing it at the start of the meal you may not want to end the meal, but maybe you could take the food and let her watch you eating, and then try giving it back after a few minutes?

Another thing which stands out to me is the fact that ignoring her obviously isn't working, so maybe you need to give her more of a reaction (even though I know ignoring is often recommended to handle these sorts of things.) L does the same thing where he will do something he knows he shouldn't as he is looking me straight in the eyes, and to me that says he is looking for me to confirm to him that no, he shouldn't do that. He is asking what the rules are and testing whether I am going to enforce them. You don't want to get worked up and make a big deal of it, but I think sometimes you do need to calmly and firmly tell them "No, it isn't ok to throw our food like that. Food is for eating. If you throw it again I am going to take it away." and then of course actually follow through with that.

I'm also wondering how much you give her at once? I know they can get overwhelmed with too much on the tray. Maybe try giving her only one or two pieces of food at once. At the very least she will then not have much to throw.

Good luck figuring this all out - it does sound very frustrating!

Re: extreme food throwing.

PostPosted: 01 Feb 2014, 20:03
by ladyPMD
Thanks for that thoughtful reply. I agree that not reacting is not working. It did cross my mind that maybe she was searching for boundaries. The only time so far that we have really told her no and followed through is when she throws her water cup at the cats. She has an amazingly good aim. If that happens we say no and take it away and she does not get it back, thirsty or not.

I tend to serve myself then give her a small bit from my plate. Usually just a v small bit, more if she eats it. If it gets thrown at the very beginning I return it to her once then take it away. I suppose the real trouble is that it is happening right at the beginning of the meal when surely she must be hungry?

We certainly need to try something. Maybe time for some boundary setting!

Re: extreme food throwing.

PostPosted: 02 Feb 2014, 21:58
by ChristmasGift
We've had a lot of throwing too. It's depressing isn't it. We seem to have gotten over it for the time being but at the time I thought it would never end. Can you tell when she's about to throw something? If I thought something was about to get thrown I would say 'give it to me if you don't want it' and would take it from her or catch it and praise her for giving it to me (even though she hadn't intended on doing so!). The other things that worked for us was to have a spare bowl on the table which she can put things in if she doesn't want them. That appeals to her desire to put things in and take things out of things. It seemed a slow process and I really didn't think it was making any difference until one day I realised she hadn't thrown anything and I couldn't really remember when she last had. She will still do it occasionally if she's teething or we're distracted and don't take her plate away when she tells us she's done (which she does by pushing her plate away) but she's barely thrown anything for the last few months.
Saying a direct 'no' to The Babs just makes her laugh and get defiant. I have to get creative and find ways of stopping her doing things I don't want her to by directing her to do something she does want to do (e.g putting food into another bowl rather than throwing it) but they're all different!

Re: extreme food throwing.

PostPosted: 04 Feb 2014, 22:19
by ladyPMD
Thanks for sharing all those suggestions ChristmasGift. We have tried a similar selection with variable results... At the moment I am working on 'if you don't want it, hand it to me' but she either still lobs it to the floor or lobs it at me instead. I suspect she will just stop doing it one day despite rather than because of anything we do!