Eating is an important need for human survival but for infants, it's even more important, because it aids in their development. So of course it can be a bit scary for new parents when the baby refuses to eat. However, panicking wouldn't really help the situation. The smart thing to do will be to first identify the reason why your baby has refused to eat. Identifying this reason can lead you on the right path to helping your infant through this phase.
Here are some reasons why babies refuse to eat and a few tips to help you and the little one deal with these obstacles.
Your baby might not be interested in eating because she may be in some sort of pain. Pain could be as a result of teething, a sore in the throat from a cold or ear pain, which can be escalated when sucking. Good news is that he'll begin to feed normally when the illness passes.
Faddy or choosy eater
You baby might become a bit pickier than they were at some point. For some, they might be bored of the regular liquid meals and are ready to transit to solids. Usually between month 4-6,/babies are ready to begin the transition from their liquid diet to solids. Indicators may include chewing her fingers and hands, and sitting upright on a highchair without further support. If this the case, remember to start simple, usually with single flavoured food. On the other hand, some babies may be late bloomers and won't take to solids as fast as others. There is no need to fret, as every baby is unique. You can gradually introduce them through little portions of puree to see how they react and which flavour works for them best while supplementing their diet with breast milk. If the baby refuses week after week, seek advise from your baby's doctor.
This is usually occurs during the transition from liquid to solids. Because it's easier for the digestive system to breakdown down liquids than solids, it may take longer for your baby's digestive system to breakdown the newly introduced solids in their tummy. This may cause the feeling of fullness and discomfort, making your baby disinterested in feeding. You can help your baby deal with constipation by feeding her foods with high fiber (baby cereal or fruits like pear) to help stimulate bowel movement.
An allergy to something they are being fed is another popular reason why a baby might refuse to eat. Even though babies can be allergic to different foods, some of the most popular are allergies to milk, egg, soy. Milk allergy is among the most popular in this group with about 2.5% of babies of 0-3 experiencing it at some point in their lives. Some are born with it while it may develop in some at a later stage. Look out for these signs a few minutes to a few hours after feeding;
Rhynorrhea (runny nose)
If you think your baby may have an allergy, ensure to get a doctor’s appointment and have the doctor look have a look at your child and proffer advice.