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When a Picky Eater Might Have More Going On: How to Identify and Solve Oral Sensory Processing Disorder

picky eater little girl

Do you have a picky eater? Are meal times a battle? Before you get frustrated and assume your child is just strong-willed, take a closer look at what is really going on.

Yes, some kids truly do like to feel in control and may assert this behavior at meal times. In that case it is just a phase. It is what most people refer to as a picky eater. But for many refusal to eat is not simply a choice. This is when kids lose picky eater status and instead have feeding challenges. There is a big difference.

Refusing to eat broccoli for a period of time is not a big deal. Being distracted one day by a new toy during lunch is no cause for concern. But if feeding your child is causing frustration at every single meal he or she may have oral sensitivities related to sensory processing disorder (SPD).

Do you have to convince your child to chew and swallow one bite of food after ten to twenty minutes of it being in his mouth? Does your child gag on foods with certain textures? It’s not because she is being naughty. For some kids eating is hard.

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

Sensory Processing Disorder can manifest in many ways. One of them is in the mouth.

If every meal is a challenge, here are some signs of oral SPD to look for in your picky eating child:

  • everything is “spicy”
  • gags on food easily
  • holds food in mouth for long periods of time (i.e. one bite for 20 minutes)
  • stores food in cheek without chewing
  • brushing teeth is difficult
  • nurses for long periods of time (i.e. one hour + for each feeding) or will only nurse for a few minutes at a time
  • difficulty transitioning from breastmilk/formula to pureed foods
  • difficulty transitioning from pureed foods to chewable foods
  • difficulty chewing and swallowing raw foods
  • skin/peels on food is bothersome
  • can’t take bites with front teeth/bites on side of mouth with back teeth
  • tongue is very rigid when touched
  • won’t use silverware/continues to use hands to eat at an older age
  • thumb sucking or extended use of pacifier
  • takes a drink after every bite of food/is always thirsty
  • mouth breathing throughout day and night
  • loud talking/one volume

There are many other symptoms of SPD that can go along with the oral attributes, like sensitivity to certain textures on the skin, intolerance of wet clothes or tags in clothes or hypersensitivity to lights and sounds. You may want to take note of them as well.

When Meals Are a Struggle with Picky Eaters

How do I know all of this? My oldest daughter has struggled since infancy with oral sensitivities. Every meal ended in frustration. One piece of toast could take an hour to eat. Or she might hold one grape in her mouth for thirty minutes.

Could your picky eater have oral SPD?

No amount of begging or pleading helped solve what I thought was “picky eating.” Even at ten years old she still has a hard time with some of the mechanics of biting and chewing.

But we have found ways to get through meal times now without too much of a struggle. She eats a variety of real, nourishing foods.

While SPD can impact the whole body, this article focuses on the oral aspects. In particular how to season food in a way that your child is more likely to eat it.

For most children with SPD pretty much everything has a strong flavor or tastes “spicy” (this may not be the case for everyone, but it is more common). Bland food is much better tolerated. But it’s not much fun for the whole family to have to eat bland food, which is why we tend to look at these aversions as “picky eating.” Thankfully you don’t have to eat bland food for life!

The number one way to season food for a child with oral sensory processing disorder is unrefined sea salt(found on Amazon).

Real Salt is well-tolerated for most palates. My daughter actually asks to eat it plain! So using plenty of mineral-rich sea salt is a great starting point.

What Seasonings Work With a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Diet?

After your picky eater adjusts to salted food you can gradually experiment with other seasoning. The key is to start with very small amounts (like a 1/2 tsp. for a whole meal). You may not even be able to tell the difference in taste when you add such small amounts to a dish. But if there’s sensory processing disorder in play, your child will.

Through trial and error I have found various spices and herbs that are mild to the palate but still add flavor. My top five cooking seasonings (aside from sea salt) are:

  1. Celery salt
  2. Dill weed
  3. Garlic powder
  4. Herbs – basil, parsley, rosemary
  5. Savory seasonings – cinnamon and nutmeg – these must be used in very small amounts

Sometimes adding a touch of sweet (honey (use the code Katie15 for 15% off at that site!) or cane sugar) to a dish can also be helpful. It cuts down on any strong flavors.

An easy way to experiment with seasoning for “picky eaters” is in condiments. Then your child can take one bite and the whole meal isn’t ruined if he doesn’t like it. As you learn what spices your child tolerates you can start adding them to full meals.

picky eater girl at a table

It is also important to try these mild seasonings on food of different textures and temperatures. You will get a full understanding of your child’s tolerances. Maybe he can handle a little extra spice in a casserole but will only eat vegetables with salt.

These are some great things to gradually add to your food and see how your child tolerates them. But learning what to avoid is just as important as what to add.

Cut the Heat for Oral Sensitivity & Change Mealtime for Your “Picky” Eater

Even though you may think salt and pepper are about the most basic spices when cooking, children with SPD who present as picky eaters will have a strong reaction to pepper. Its flavor lingers on the tongue. Any seasoning that is considered “hot” should be left out. This includes things like cayenne, chili powder and red pepper flakes.

Serve pepper on the side at a meal so those that want more seasoning can have it. But leave it out of the dishes you cook.

When eating at a restaurant be sure to ask how the food is seasoned. I can’t remember how many times my daughter has gotten a meal at a restaurant and would only take a few bites because it was all too spicy.

We are now very careful about what she orders. Pizza with no sauce, chicken without seasoning. I even bring our own salad dressing to a restaurant! It makes the meal much more enjoyable for her.

Cooking for Oral SPD

Here is a great interview with an expert on sensory processing disorder with tips and tricks for getting kids to eat.

If you can’t view the video above, click Sensory Processing Disorder & How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy Anyway to see it directly on YouTube.

Food doesn’t have to be flavorless for someone with oral SPD. But it does take time to get the palate adjusted to seasoning. Keep it mild. Take it slow. When you figure out what your child tolerates best, create your own spice blend for easy cooking (and watch “picky eating” disappear!). We love this homemade sausage seasoning for sensitive palates.

I season just about everything I make with sea salt (found on Amazon), celery salt and a small amount of garlic powder. We get flavor, and my daughter will eat it. Then my husband and son can add all the pepper they like to their food!

Additional Treatments for Oral Sensory Processing Disorder (that may solve picky eating too)

One final note about oral SPD. In addition to catering to your child’s needs and adjusting their food, speech therapy can be very beneficial. There are many exercises that help retrain the palate. This will allow for a broader variety of foods and flavors over time.

We also did orthodontic work for my daughter to reduce mouth breathing and help her overall oral posture. Read about our journey here.

It is important to realize that oral SPD can be related to gut health. Making sure your child is eating a nutrient-dense diet is critical.

If you are looking for more tips on feeding a child with oral sensory issues check out this post! Or the book Why Won’t My Child Eat?! is a great resource.

Oral SPD is not limited to children eating solid food. It can cause problems with breastfeeding as well. Here are some natural remedies to help with breastfeeding issues.

Feeding a picky eating child with oral SPD can be very challenging! Don’t get overwhelmed or frustrated. Be patient and make gradual changes. In time your child will be able eat better and tolerate more tastes and textures.

If this doesn’t quite sound like your picky eater, check out my Eating Styles to help overcome picky eating.

Could your picky eater have oral sensory processing disorder? Do you have any tricks for getting kids with oral SPD to eat?

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

53 thoughts on “When a Picky Eater Might Have More Going On: How to Identify and Solve Oral Sensory Processing Disorder”

  1. My son is 7 and I do believe he has SPD. He will not touch or eat anything with sauce. But does have the pizza with the sauce? I don’t believe he has made the connection with it and just thinks ‘pizza’. He does eat mostly dry foods, but I do give him choices of different foods on his plate, which he will not touch and vocally say “I am not eating that” Sometimes when I am cooking he will smell our dinner and say it’s amazing but when I show him, he immediately says no. We sometimes have given him a task to eat small amounts of our food and it is like his world is ending. I do a lot of baking with him. I even get him involved with cutting up veg and fruit, but he has no problems with eating fruit and veg. We even looked online at what recipes suitable for kids he would like, he said yes to some but the majority did not. I don’t know how else to help introduce food to him. Am I pushing too much on him or should I wait it out and hope he will grow out of it?

    1. Feeding your child can be so challenging sometimes! At this age I would recommend getting him evaluated by a speech therapist to rule out anything that requires therapy. Sometimes it’s also a nervous system thing. Some kids truly don’t feel “safe” with certain flavors and textures. If it requires therapy or is a nervous system issue, no amount of encouraging or enforcing will help. If it’s more of a taste preference or battle of wills then being firm will help. I do have a mouth assessment guide that might help you narrow it down as well:

  2. So I know this post is over a year old, but this hit me so deep in the trenches where my family is drowning/struggling right now. Thank you so much. I’m going to read and print this to digest it even further. I was well acquainted with SPD and helping my kids cope — but FLAVOR has been something I’ve been bashing my head against. My kids aren’t picky eaters — but the flavor/spicy factor just shuts them down. So thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You just gave a mama hope to go on cooking another day.

  3. My Daughter has Sensory Processing Disorder, her oral sensory is out of control. We can not do puree foods, condiments, protein foods. Yes, she packs her cheeks, she gags at puree foods(Mash potatoes, yogurt and so on) Her foods have to bland, I can put sea salt on it Parmesan cheese lol. She will try food just putting it on her chin, I don’t know why, We think she is trying to temperature, cause we are starting her to realize she don’t like hot or cold foods. Everything room temp. She is 2 1/2 now. We finally got her to eat apples cold! We limit her table time no more 20 min for feedings and little longer when we all sit for dinner. I never thought or still think she is a picky eater, she is likes yogurt and mash potatoes, she cant stop the gagging. We work with a Occupational Therapist for this. Which she has came a long way. Thanks for tips. I am going to try some.

  4. Wow! Thank you so much for this post! We have been having all of these, but 2. I’ve been advocating for our son, even when the Dr. have said to ignore it, but finally I feel like I have a clue as to what’s going on. It’s still an uphill struggle, but at least I know why. Thank you so much! God Bless!!!

  5. Angel via Facebook

    I hope so! It’s nice to see SPD getting some notice. It’s oftentimes difficult to explain to folks!

  6. via Facebook

    Wow, what a journey you’ve been on Angel Maxwell! Here’s hoping you’ve discovered all the layers, finally…

  7. Angel via Facebook

    We’ve dealt with this with my daughter since birth. She had feeding therapy at 3.5 months old with a speech therapist. She would literally refuse to eat. We didn’t actually find out about SPD until she was 6 and took her to occupational therapy. The odd thing is she is usually on the sensory seeking end of the spectrum but with foods she is most definitely an avoider.
    She also presented with two known food allergies this year (8), corn and egg whites. They, or something undefined as of yet, are causing inflammation in her throat and pain when swallowing.
    For anyone with a question about this, definitely seek out an occupational therapist who specializes in SPD. An evaluation is often very eye opening!

  8. Sheila via Facebook

    I think my eldest daughter suffered from this, and I think I may have also. My uncle and my parents’ friends commented on how easily I gagged, and how certain foods “set off” certain reactions. Thanks for the article.

  9. Mary via Facebook

    I responded to many of these on the blog post in case you were waiting for a response and didn’t see it.

  10. Jodee via Facebook

    We did therapy with an occupational therapist and it involved things like swabbing his mouth with bitter, sweet, sour, flavors (she used honey, lemon, ect). Then we did brushing his arms and him touching smooth items. He is 20 now and eats almost like anyone else. I had heard about it from a friend who’s autistic son did it and it changed their world. My son was fairly old which made it a little more challenging. Before therapy he literally choked on food or cried if made to try something. When I look back it began when he was still in a high chair and I would put items on his tray and he wouldn’t even touch them with his fingers.

  11. via Facebook

    Ygotta Lynette Stacy Did you see Jodee’s encouraging comment? There’s much hope!!! 🙂

  12. via Facebook

    No Mommy guilt Brenda – it’s impossible to catch everything, but you know now and are doing everything you can! Better than many who would miss it entirely…

  13. via Facebook

    Lynette Nelson Such a challenge! Keep working on it (smoothies? thin ones?) and I hope that you can find new ways to serve healthy foods and build his repertoire of meals week by week… 🙁

  14. via Facebook

    Does chicken broth go okay Stacy Gott? Would he drink it? That’s a really tough one – a good probiotic would be a place to start, I imagine. Mary might have some ideas too if you leave a question right on the blog post, or an OT or naturopath may as well. Did you see the link Helle left too? Looks applicable…

  15. via Facebook

    Ygotta Bkiddin I’m not exactly sure – your ped may have heard of SPD, but if s/he hasn’t, find someone, anyone, who has. Mary might have an idea of where to start if you leave a question on the blog post itself.

  16. Great article, thank you!!! Your readers might also appreciate knowing that pediatric occupational therapists around the country specialize in treating Sensory Processing Disorder- both the oral sensory issues and the other systems that are typically also involved! There are many pediatric OT’s who specialize in feeding, and specifically sensory-based feeding. Check out for more info and to find OT’s in your area. 🙂

    1. My child is 9 but he has been dealing with this since birth. basically at this age it just looks like a stubborn child who only like to eat what they want but I see that its more because his whole life has been a struggle. My doctor told me to put food in front of him and if he eats he eats. we tried that two different times throughout his life and both times turned into a life threatening situation, black eyes and lost weight and starvation. then they reject all food….awful battle. I changed doctors by the way..ugh Now I am happy he eats and let him eat as much as he wants of safe food. He still looses weight as times he just don’t enjoy eating and won’t. (usually when I have pulled a sneak and try to get a new food in there) He just shuts down on foods. He takes very good vitamins to keep his health in order, Frequent doctors visits prove that he is healthy despite his diet. thankful for the vitamins.

    2. Besides the ones mentioned….shiners, agitation and fighting food. There is one that is usually a fast indicator for me. My son starts sweating and his face and esp his ears turn RED!!! Like a tomato!!!
      Also if you can get fermented drinks like kefir (we do coconut milk kefir with dairy type grains) or water kefir….we do both. That will help a lot.
      Also cutting out refined sugars and empty starches. Often times kiddos with gut issues have a terrible time with candida. Cutting out empty carbs and juices(the sugar and carbs are more concentrated with less fiber to balance it)
      helps a lot, esp with the addition of the kefirs. We also do kombachua. Adding fruit to both makes them much more palatable.

  17. Stacy via Facebook

    This sounds like my 5 year old. If it is a gut issue, I would like to work on that, but how do I heal his gut when he won’t eat most of the healing, nutrient-dense foods because of texture?

    1. It is a challenge, Stacy. But it can be done. Try to incorporate nourishing foods wherever you can. Does your son like fruit snacks? Real gelatin is great for the gut. I always have homemade fruit snacks on hand for my kids. Does he like mac ‘n’ cheese? I make it at home using lots of broth. You can use the collagen (like gelatin) and add it to drinks. He’ll never know it’s there since it just dissolves. Will he drink a smoothie? You can add egg yolks, coconut oil, gelatin and even broth to a smoothie! There are lots of tricks for getting down healthy stuff.

      Here are a few recipes that you can try:

  18. Brenda via Facebook

    My picky eater had a dairy allergies develop. Her foods she disliked all had dairy in them. I felt bad for not picking up her cues.

  19. Lindsey via Facebook

    Lynette – my heart goes out to you. That sounds incredibly hard – for both of you. </3

  20. Jodee via Facebook

    My son actually went through sensor therapy for eating and it worked. We learned that his sensory issue was smooth foods and there were some really neat techniques the therapist used and we used at home. It wasn’t fast and took patience, but was worth it. He is 20 now & we did this when he was 10.

  21. Lynette via Facebook

    my son has sensory processing issues with food as well as issues with extreme sensitivity to sounds. the food thing has been a huge struggle for him over the years, as the texture a food dictates whether he will eat it or not and that means most soft healthy type things you might feed a toddler were and still are a no-go. he’s 5 now and he really tries so hard to eat things that he knows that taste good but make him gag or he can’t stand the texture. I have learned not to force him because I can see that it’s not his choice, he physically gets sick trying to eat things of a certain texture. I also have to constantly refill his drink as he uses his drink to wash the food that is bothering him down. He also won’t eat things like ketchup with fries or ketchup with anything for that matter, as he claims such foods are too spicy for him.

  22. Michelle via Facebook

    My son carries most of these. Just confirms what I was thinking. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Ygotta via Facebook

    Yeah… Might explain some things here, too. Do I attempt to fix this with our pediatrician?

    1. You can absolutely ask your ped. But don’t be surprised if he/she acts like it’s no big deal. You will likely have to seek help on your own. I went straight to a speech therapist.

  24. Thanks so much for writing this helpful article Mary! And thanks Katie for having her guest post! My daughter, Penelope, has SPD and has many of the symptoms you describe. When her picky eating first started manifest, I too thought maybe it was just normal toddler, exertion of power, but I knew in my gut that it was more (and later I realized that all our early breastfeeding issues were related to her SPD and oral sensory issues too!). Quick question, did you breastfeed your daughter? I noticed a significant change in my daughter’s eating habits around 2 years old when she stopped getting large amounts of breast milk and went to only comfort nursing sessions. When she was a baby, she would eat pate, oysters-anything I gave her. But then when the breastmilk stopped that’s really when it all changed. So now I am curious if it is just a coincidence, that the time it stopped is just also the time she became more vocal and could start to articulate her needs/wants. And lastly, have you tried the oral therapy? Penelope goes to occupational therapy but we have not done any oral specific therapy, I am curious to know how effective it would be.

    1. Interesting observation, Stephanie. I did bf my daughter. She went on a major nursing strike around 11 months. I had pumped a lot so I could keep her EBF until she was a year and she did still nurse at night. Then she nursed just at night until 16m. I would say some of her eating issues (with solids) really showed up around that 11m mark. We never had “problems” breastfeeding really. But she was SO SLOW. She was my first child, so I thought it was normal. Now I know that taking an hour or more to nurse is not normal. I wish I had known that and started researching when she was young.

      We have done oral/speech therapy with my daughter for a few years now. It has made a HUGE difference. It used to take her one hour to eat a piece of bread. Now she is often the first one done with a meal!

      1. You know this ties in with what I saw with my one daughter…and I have long since come to the conclusion that some of her issues were gut related….breast milk is perfect and contains lots of good enzymes and it naturally breaks down like it is supposed to. But when we tested her at 13 months…she had more allergies than I care to admit. She was so thin…and I tried extra hard to eat well…for her….and as it turned out…I was eating all her allergies.
        I believe my nasty fillings caused issues in her gut. That fact has been proven many times. Then me eating wrong for her allergies.
        I know that it wasn’t lack of milk or quality of milk…as I had lots and when I pumped…and it set for a little while it was usually at least half cream. Ironically…her speech is fine. Always has been.

  25. Thank you so much for this helpful information. Everything you mentioned rings true in my child. Appreciate the concrete advice.

  26. My son has had SPD since birth. He only breastfed and it was only to satisfy hunger no more. He skipped baby food (now we know why; texture issues) and went straight to crackers. His comfort zone is dry salty foods. He will eat more willingly if it is covered in salt.

    He won’t eat soft things like mashed potatoes and puddings, he hates things that has texture like meatloaf.

    He also has aversions such as he won’t eat or even be near physically to cereal or things that are in a bar shape (granola bar, etc)

    He also is very sensitive to brands. for example he will take gogosqueeze applesauce but no other brand or other way to eat it such as out of a cup. I even tried refilling the gogosqueeze container with other brands and he just gagged on it. same with his fish sticks and chicken nuggets (ians only)

    he eats with all his senses which are highly elevated, he can see the slightest difference even in the same foods he always eats, he smells everything and feels everything and if the taste is just a smidgen off he don’t eat it, even if its something he has been eating all week.

    what do others do to help their child eat well? I have had three difference food therapist with no help.

    1. Theresa,

      I’m so sorry to hear of your struggles! My son is like that with brands as well, no matter what I put in a refillable pouch he won’t eat it.

      Mary just had baby #3 on the 21st but I’m sure she will stop by to respond after she settles in.

    2. I feel for you Theresa! I totally get it. My daughter was breastfed…but would take 1 – 11/2 hours to nurse (we didn’t know this was not normal at the time). Then she gagged a lot when we started baby food. It took years for her to be able to chew hard foods. She could hold a grape in her mouth for 30 minutes because she just couldn’t handle the skin on it. But she would happily eat a whole pile of pretzels quickly.

      I would make sure you are trying all sorts of textures and tastes to see if there is something he will tolerate. Try thinning out purees so they are more like liquid. Try pieces of cooked foods of various textures. My daughter loves egg yolk, but at age 6 still gags on even a small piece of egg white. You just have to experiment and be patient.

      Also, speech therapy was very helpful for us.

      Have you done any allergy testing? That can help too.

      Make sure you are focusing on nutrient dense foods as well.

      I hope that helps a little.

    3. You might try posting on the yahoo group, autismmercury. A lot of parents there have issues with kids and oral issues…they might offer you some ideas.

    4. How is he with fruits…he might have an adrenal issue. Vit C helps support and improve adrenals….there are also pills and drops that will help. At least it did my son.

      Check the ingredients of the things he will and won’t eat….compare…is there something he might not be tolerating…how about homemade foods.

      I know that this is a difficult issue…it sometimes seems as if there is no rhyme or reason to it…but usually there is….just takes a LOT of detective work. Sometimes it is an additive or preservative or something else. A lot of things are corn based…and that thru my kids way off…corn is a terrible issue if the kids are sensitive. Again allergy testing for immediate and delayed for foods and spices is a must for kids with this problem.
      I know that this is a rugged problem…but we are mom’s and Jesus gave us special sleuthing skills when it comes to our families.

  27. Oh ! I wish someone had given me this information years ago. My son has SPD and it took us so long to figure it out. For those of you going through it – it really can get better! He is 14 now and doing great.
    Two notes
    – 1 We saw an occupational therapist which was a huge help. Most can help you get it covered under insurance.
    -2 Check for coexisting food allergies. In addition to everything being spicy, our son is very allergic to peppers ( and several other foods). Can you imagine what his poor mouth felt like? !

  28. As a mom of 9 and several of whom have this disorder…I have found that for us, anyway, that this was a symptom of a deeper issue, esp for the ones who are vaxed.
    ADD, ADHD, autism, or Asperger’s have usually been the real culprit. And they were a symptom of an even deeper culprit…usually gut issues and or heavy metal toxicity from shots and eating fish….like tuna. Unfortunately for my family, we didn’t learn about the dangers of some fish til there was a problem.

    The other issue that we have had is allergies…I have had kids as young as a year have many many allergies. Allergy testing was a big help…it gave us a place to start and then a food journal gave us more insight. We had both immediate and delayed tested…and spices. But there will usually be lots more that will show up later…they may be intolerances or allergies.

    When you are journaling or introducing new foods….that a delayed response to an allergy can take up to 3 days or 72 hours. So never introduce more than 1 food every other week. Sometimes it takes that long to show, as the first time eating doesn’t always trigger the response. It may take a few times…so keep a close eye on behaviors, physical reactions (sleepier, shiners, red eyes, runny nose, sneezing, congestion and other things) and refusal to eat. Allergies are hard…and if you have them plus the oral sensitivity it is very hard…yup….been there done that.

    1. Absolutely Aliyanna! All of these issues – SPD, ADD, etc. are strongly related to gut health. You have to look at all aspects of it. We have suspected my daughter as being ADHD for many years. We also have a child with many food allergies. He is a “picky eater” as well. So I get it. You have to look at the whole picture for each child.

  29. Thank you for addressing this. Like Katie, so many people think we cater to our son’s picky habits, and they just can’t understand how very, very difficult it is. He is my 6th child, and I’ve had picky eaters, but his pickiness goes beyond food to almost every aspect of his life. Taking care of him on a daily basis is tiring because of all of it, and it is hard when others just look at him as a “brat.” 🙁

    1. So sorry to hear that Amy! But I totally understand. When I say that feeding my child is the most frustrating part of my day people just don’t get it. But it can get better.

  30. Yes! My 8 year old son has SPD and I have to explain why he is so picky- people always think I just cater to him but it is so much more than that- he has major texture issues and often complains of food having”rocks ” in it. He has had therapy for other aspects of sod but I did not realize speech therapy could help this Thanks!

    1. We have done both occupational and speech therapy. But mostly worked on speech therapy. It really helps!!

  31. OMG. This sounds like my daughter! She’s 11 mo and still refusing solids. I’ve just BARELY gotten her to tolerate very small amounts of sweet potatoes. She gags super easily on any food I’ve tried to introduce, and she makes horrible faces like the food tastes super strong. She still makes faces with every bite of sweet potato, but she’ll tentatively eat a few bites before she’s done.

    She’s also been a TERRIBLE teether. Nothing helps–teething necklaces, teething tablets, clove essential oil, Tylenol. She’s up every 1-2 hrs at night just crying.

    If this is SPD, how would you recommend getting her transitioned to pureed food? And any advice for teething?

    1. By teething necklaces do you mean ones she chews on? I firmly believe in amber necklaces (NOT for chewing) – I got one after my daughter’s first tooth appeared and gave her trouble and she hasn’t complained since.
      Mary just had baby #3 on the 21st but I’m sure she’ll stop by to reply once she settles in!

      1. Yes, I have an amber necklace. I haven’t noticed it making any difference, but I don’t have her sleep in it at night. Maybe that’s why?

        1. I don’t either, but I have read you can take it off their neck and wrap it twice around their leg, under their pajamas. I also think that like any other remedy, it might not work for everyone. I hope you can hit on what works for her!

    2. April,

      Sorry to hear about your struggles. It’s hard to figure it out! I would suggest trying a lot of different textures and different foods to see what she might prefer. My daughter gagged on thick purees. But if I thinned them out she did a lot better. You could try adding broth or water to the purees and see how it goes.

      Also, there is no need to do purees really. Have you tried soft whole foods? Like pieces of avocado? Or chunks of cooked sweet potato? Try different versions of the same foods. My daughter gags on most forms of eggs. But she will eat them baked like quiche.

      Also, kids can go in phases with foods. My son devoured pureed squash for a while. Then after a while he gagged on it. So keep trying new things.

      Teething can also make it hard to eat. Maybe she would like more solid food to chew on? That might feel good to her.

      Good luck!

      1. Thanks, Mary! I’ve tried lots of different textures. She can’t handle thick purees, and she gags/chokes on cut up soft foods. So we’re sticking with thin purees for now. But I’ll keep experimenting.

        I also think what I’ve attributed to teething pain is really her just being HUNGRY. I was away from her for five hours yesterday, and when I tried to pump, I couldn’t even get a drop. So I think her constant night waking, plus day fussiness and wanting to nurse frequently, is because she’s not getting enough to eat. I’m going to start supplementing with homemade formula since she’s not really eating solids and see if that helps.

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