What if my child has trouble with feeding?
KixCare provides patients with on-demand access to pediatricians and specialists, who are ready with solutions for all your child's medical needs.
It’s normal for children to not want to eat sometimes – maybe they aren’t feeling particularly hungry, or they aren’t enjoying their meal. Feeding issues occur when children refuse or are unable to eat for a long period of time. When your child begins losing weight (or has difficulties gaining the right amount), feeding becomes a problem. Baby-specific feeding issues include breastfeeding problems or your child having difficulties sucking, chewing, or swallowing. Nursing mothers may deal with mastitis (breast tissue inflammation). Older children having difficulties eating may be dealing with an eating/feeding disorder. Some feeding issues resolve themselves without the need for treatment. Prolonged difficulties with eating should be reviewed by a pediatrician.
Parents should look out for the following signs of feeding issues: • Difficulty gaining weight/maintaining a healthy weight • Frequent vomiting • Consistently taking over 30 minutes to finish a meal • Coughing, choking, or gagging when trying to eat or drink • Avoiding certain food groups or foods with specific textures • Limited variation in diet Some signs of feeding problems specific to babies include: • Refusing to eat pureed baby food at 8 months • Refusing to eat table foods at 12 months • Sticking to baby foods at 16 months • Stiffening and/or arching the back when being fed • Difficulty breathing when eating or drinking • Inattentive and/or drowsy while feeding
It's normal for your child to occasionally not want to eat. However, if your child is going through a prolonged period of not wanting to eat, or if they are dealing with any of the above symptoms, see a pediatrician for medical advice. Your child's pediatrician will be able to carry out examinations to determine the cause of the issue. In addition, your pediatrician can suggest treatment/medication to help with your child's feeding issues. Along with the initial consultation, your pediatrician will be able to schedule follow-up appointments to further evaluate and monitor the feeding situation. If you are experiencing difficulties with lactation, your pediatrician/primary care provider can also provide medical advice. If needed, they can refer you to a lactation consultant. Lactation consultants will be able to provide medical care and advice for your issue. Your consultant can also schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your issue and provide care/advice when necessary.
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