Why Would an 8 Month Old Refuse Food & Bottles?

When your child is 8 months old, he is starting to develop his own personality. He's starting to do new things and is learning at a rapid rate. With that, however, may come a change in his food and bottle preferences. He might not want you to feed him pureed food or his bottle anymore, and he might outright refuse your efforts to do so. The solution to this dilemma may be found in the other changes that he's undergoing.

Birth to 8 Months

When you first had your baby, you were probably a bit frazzled by his erratic schedule. Your baby constantly needed feedings and naps, sometimes for no rhyme or reason. By now, you and your baby have settled into a fairly reliable routine, with you giving your baby what he needs whenever necessary. Your baby has probably been having pureed foods for some time now and might even be used to the different flavors. Of course, now that you've got it all figured out, it's time for everything to change again.

Development at 8 Months

Unhappy baby boy refusing to eat food.

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You may notice your baby is much more aware and alert than she used to be. Whereas she used to be content with simply sitting around, she now wants to move around and explore the world. By 8 months, most babies can roll over in both directions, many can sit up unsupported and some can even crawl by themselves. In short, your baby is rapidly changing from a baby into a more self-sufficient individual, and her behavior is changing as such.

Fussiness With Food

If your baby no longer seems interested in the pureed foods you've been feeding him, it might be a sign that he's ready for table foods. Try giving him small pieces of the foods you eat, such as chicken, pasta and fruit. He might not be ready to chew large quantities of these foods just yet, but in time he will learn to enjoy their textures and flavors. He may also find that chewing on table foods soothes his teething pains. In addition, picking up table foods and putting them in his mouth may help him develop hand-eye coordination.

Fussiness With Bottles

Unhappy baby boy refusing to eat food.

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Just as your child might seem bored with being spoon-fed pureed foods, she may want to exert a little more control over her formula feedings. Let your baby hold her bottle and see how she takes it. She might not be ready just yet -- some babies can't hold their own bottles until they're 10 months old -- but holding her bottle might help make feeding time more interesting for her. It's also possible that she's ready to take her feedings in a sippy cup.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

So often, babies do things because they don't know how else to communicate. If your baby is turning away when you're giving him his favorite foods, maybe it's because he's trying to tell you he's ready to feed himself. If he's picking things up off the floor and putting them in his mouth, it could be for the same reason. It's up to you to pick up on these cues and figure out if your child is ready for the next step. Maybe his fussiness with food and bottles is just his way of telling you he wants to feed himself.