Children are usually finicky eaters. Babies, even more so. Feeding issues in babies are universal. It takes enormous patience and time to put a meal in your infants’ belly. Not to speak of the mess and the bawling.
With hundreds of different foods available in the market for your baby, you may think at least one of them will be accepted. But no, babies being babies, spit out even the most gourmet infant meal. Here are some reasons why you have baby feeding problems and the possible ways to fix them-
New food issues
Babies are born to reject the food, especially when they are given something new. It usually happens when you try to wean them off mother's milk. But also happens after they have been weaned. Anything new is viewed with profound distrust. It might be the texture, taste or consistency. If only they could talk!
The best way to make your baby accept new food is with small portions. Try to make it look like the food she likes. For example, if your baby likes pureed carrots, try to give her a 50-50 mix of pureed carrots and say sweet potato puree.
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A mess is good!
By the time your baby is 10 months old, she will start asserting her independence by controlling her feeding. Allow her to make a mess while she’s feeding. She may mess up her hair, clothes or the surrounding.
Do not pull your hair out of frustration. This is a vital part of your baby's learning, growth, and self-reliance. The problem will vanish as she gets older.
Keep in mind that your baby’s digestive system is fragile and still developing. It is common for them to spit out some food. They also can get reflux (where the stomach backs up into the esophagus).
To minimize this, you can slow down the pace of feeding. Keep them upright and loosen the diapers. In time, it is normal for reflux to disappear.
Well, babies are like us. Just like us, they’ll refuse food when tired, sick, full, distracted, etc. It is not wise to force-feed your infant. Feed on demand is the new mantra. Your baby will eventually feed when she wants to. Seek the help of your pediatrician if worried.
Well, who is not? But when it comes to babies, it may be because she is teething or when you try to introduce new food. Don't force your toddler anything new while teething. Offer familiar food that she likes. Never give her any junk food to induce eating. Eventually, your baby will eat when hungry.
Allergies and intolerance
Just like adults, babies have allergies and intolerance to some kinds of food. It is found that about 8% of them have these issues. Rash, diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach pain can be some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Food intolerances can cause gas, bloating, and belly pain. You need to carefully look for these signs if your baby is particularly picky while eating. If you suspect an allergy or food intolerance issue, consult with your pediatrician.
A colicky baby and appetite
Infantile colic means your baby will cry for hours at a time. It usually starts in the third week after birth and goes away by the time your child is three months old. Colic usually doesn’t affect your baby’s appetite or the ability to suck.
A colicky infant, however, needs to be calmed down before eating. In case of vomiting, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, or blood or mucus in stool, seek medical help. These symptoms are not due to colic.
Constipation and diarrhea
Constipation and diarrhea affect appetite. Babies are rarely constipated. Babies on mother’s milk may have a firm stool just once a day. But if they do get constipated, it is hard to tell.
Constipation causes hard stools that can be large and painful, and blood around the stool. Diarrhea causes dangerous dehydration that can lead to dry mouth, decrease in urination or wet diapers, no tears with crying, weight loss, lethargy, or sunken eyes.
It is best to seek out your medic if you see any of the symptoms for constipation and diarrhea. Do not try any home remedies.
Follow These Feeding Tips: Tips For Successfully Bottle Feeding A Preemie – A Parent’s Guide.
Feeding junk food
This is almost always due to the parents feeding the baby what they eat. Feeding babies adult food is not a good idea. Foods rich in sugars, fat, and salt will make your baby unhealthy and a finicky eater. Your baby will reject proper baby foods once she gets the taste of junk food. Remember, junk foods are made to be addictive.
To wind up
There are many reasons that your baby may have feeding problems. As long as you are patient and stick with the recommended baby food, most feeding problems can be fixed. It is important to see your pediatrician if the problem persists. Better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your baby’s health.
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