Thursday, June 7, 2012

Change in behavior in my 13 month old son

Dear Kay:

I have a beautiful baby boy who is a joy and very easy. In the last few weeks he has begun to change his normal habits. At dinner time he refuses to eat, and he used to love his food, he waves his hands around and shoves the spoon away - I can only get him to drink milk.

During the day he goes to nursery from 7.30am - 6pm, he loves it, but I'm worried that he is used to other people feeding him, although he started when he was 7 months.

He also now won't go to me and always reaches for his father - I am worried and am contemplating giving up my work to spend more time with him.

Dear Kat:

Let's begin with his showing a preference for his dad. Infants and toddlers often begin to show preferences for one person over another. DO NOT personalize this or you will find that life will be difficult for you and your son way on up into his teen years. When parents personalize behaviors they complicate the communication between them and their child. Adds way more problems than either need to face in life.

He maybe showing a preference due to a common occurrence in most families. Often one parent becomes the person who sets boundaries while the other parent spends more time playing with the child. Make sure you are making time to just "be" with your son. You need to play and have a good time. (I don't know if this is the case or not, it is only a possibility.) If you are already doing this then just write his behavior off as a stage and let go of noticing it. He will come back to you.

As for his not eating. Check with the daycare to make sure he is eating there. Don't make any assumption. See if they have noticed a change in his eating habits. If so then I suggest having him into his doctor to see if he is ill, a sore throat, ear infection, etc...could be all possibilities as to why he is not eating.

If he is eating at the daycare and not at home. Don't worry too much. Check out the menu from the daycare to see what is appealing to him. If he is eating breakfast and lunch and not dinner, then I wouldn't worry too much. He is obviously getting enough to eat or he wouldn't be refusing to eat. Ignore his behavior and it will go away.

Relax and have fun these days go by so quickly and you don't want to spend too much time worrying so that it steals your joy at being a mom.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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