Before moving on to discuss what causes loss of appetite in babies, it’s important to acknowledge that parents cherish the joy of holding their newborns. However, it can be worrisome when they notice a decline in their baby’s appetite. Amidst their dedication to providing the best for their child, including nutrition and care, it is common for parents to feel concerned if their baby eats less than usual. While health concerns may be the immediate worry, various factors can contribute to a loss of appetite in babies. Here are seven possible causes for loss of appetite in babies to consider.
7 Causes for Loss of Appetite in Babies
It’s amazing how quickly babies grow. Even before you realize, you see tiny teeth sprout in your infant’s mouth, no longer leaving his smile toothless. This milestone in your baby’s life, however, can also cause a loss of appetite due to the discomfort and pain of the teeth tearing through your baby’s gums.Babies often start teething between the 4th-7th month. You can help relieve the teething pain by giving your baby teething toys to chew on. Try feeding him cold foods like yogurt or mashed fruits. Breastfeeding and bottle feeding can further increase the pain so try feeding him with a cup instead.
2. High Intake Of Fluids
Overconsumption of fluids like water and juices can contribute to your baby eating less. Breast milk or formula provides enough hydration until they are six months old. Offering excessive water can hinder nutrient absorption and make your baby feel full, resulting in a decreased appetite.
Viral and bacterial infections could also be the cause your child is refusing food. Conditions such as flu, ear infections, and bronchitis can cause pain and rapid breathing, making it difficult for your baby to eat and sleep. If your baby is experiencing these troubles, it is imperative that you seek medical assistance and ensure he is vaccinated against all common infections. Try avoiding pacifiers as they increase the incidence of ear infections in babies by almost 33%.
4. Hot Weather
Excessive heat can affect babies, leading to crankiness, rashes, and a decreased appetite. It’s important to keep them well-hydrated, in a cool environment, and dressed in light cotton clothing. If the loss of appetite persists, consult your baby’s doctor for guidance.
5. Food Intolerance
Allergy or intolerance to certain foods like milk, eggs, peanuts, and soy can lead to symptoms such as bloating, itching, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite in babies. Identifying and avoiding the allergenic foods is crucial. If your baby shows signs of milk protein allergy, consider feeding them hypoallergenic infant formulas as they can help alleviate allergy symptoms and restore their appetite.
6. Sore Throat
Your baby’s sore throat may be a result of persistent crying or a viral infection. This can make swallowing difficult, leading to a loss of appetite. If your baby’s sore throat is accompanied by fever and swollen lymph nodes, it is important to seek immediate medical help from your doctor. They can provide appropriate treatment to ease the infection and help restore your infant’s appetite.
It is important that you know how your baby’s growth cycle works. He grows at the fastest rate in the first six months, and his growth begins to slow down between the sixth and the twelfth month. His growth slows down further between the twelfth to the eighteenth month. Thus, if your baby is eating much lesser as compared to what he used to in his tenth month, it’s probably because his body doesn’t need as many calories. Make sure to always keep your doctor in the loop about your baby’s nutritional intake and requirements.
Make sure to avoid forcing food down your baby’s throat as it could lead to further health complications. Be patient and gentle while feeding your infant, keeping the pointers mentioned above in mind. As your baby grows up, slowly introduce new variations in his diet in consultation with your doctor. Happy feeding!
If your baby has recently started on solids, you might also be wondering what kind of feeding chair is best for your baby. Check out our detailed post – High Chair Vs Booster Seat: Your Ultimate Guide to Buying a Feeding Chair.
Article by Aradhana Pandey
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.