Infant Feeding Problems 

Feeding a baby who doesn’t want to eat can be quite a challenge. Infant feeding problems can be a symptom of many different conditions.

Most babies are able to consume enough food on a regular basis so when they have a bad feeding they can bounce back during the next meal and eat more. 

For babies that aren’t able to gain weight adequately on their own, it can be very stressful for parents. Feeding a baby is one of the most basic and important bonding experiences known to animals and man alike. So when your baby refuses to eat and will not latch onto the breast or bottle, or seems to vomit or have diarrhea after every feed, it can seem unnatural and unfair to you as a parent. To improve feeding time for infants with eating problems who are difficult to feed, there are a few guidelines to follow:

A problem with latching or sucking...

infant feeding problems

Inability to latch or suck is a major cause of infant feeding problems. If a baby is unable to suck, it is sometimes necessary to get different types of bottles and nipples.

Preemie nipples and haberman feeders are 2 nipples that can help your baby receive nourishment without having to suck. The Haberman Feeder is a specialized feeder designed for babies with cleft palate and other special feeding problems. It can also be helpful with colic.

This type of feeder allows babies with a poor suck to get milk from the bottle. The one-way valve prevents flooding and overwhelming the baby. The haberman feeder and preemie nipples can be purchased here.

If your child has reflux...

If your baby throws up after feeding, he may have reflux. GER (Gastro Esophageal Reflux, or reflux), is the backward flow of stomach contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Almost all babies will spit up after some feedings, whether they are breast or bottle-fed.

Spitting up alone is not a sign of an infant feeding problem. Most babies with GER regurgitate without secondary signs or symptoms of inadequate weight gain, esophagitis, or respiratory disease. Infants with GER are thriving and represent the majority who present to the physician.

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), however, is a less common, more serious problem that usually needs medical intervention and evaluation. Approximately 1 in 300 infants will present signs and symptoms of GERD. It is more common in children with neurological impairments. Complications such as inadequate growth, failure to thrive, feeding and oral aversions, and esophagitis are typical. Some atypical complications include wheezing, or atypical complications include wheezing, pneumonia, and chronic sinusitis.

Severe reflux needs to be treated with medication to suppress the acid from coming up. If left untreated, GERD can lead to behavioral feeding problems later on. Getting reflux under control is important in preventing future problems.

Or maybe it's a food allergy....

baby feeding problems

If you suspect a food allergy,you may need to switch formula from a milk based one to a lactose free one. Read this article on soy formula before switching your child to one, then she may need an elemental formula. Studies have shown up to 47% of milk allergic infants are also allergic to soy, so watch carefully for signs of allergy when you make the transition from milk to soy. If you would rather use an organic baby formula, there are now a few to choose from. Baby formula can lead to infant feeding problems, and with a little research you will be able to find the best baby formula for your baby. Baby formula coupons are available for all formulas to make them more affordable.

Infant feeding problems often arise from the child's inability to tolerate and digest a standard formula. Caregivers often turn to a baby formula without iron, but this is not the answer! If your child cannot tolerate either milk or soy based formula, a formula with hydrolyzed protein may be needed. In these formulas, the protein is broken down into smaller units so is more easily digested. Examples of formulas with hydrolyzed protein include Alimentum, Pregestimil and Nutramigen.

If your baby cannot tolerate these formulas, an elemental formula is your last and final step. Formulas such as Elecare and Neocate consist of amino acids and are completely hypoallergenic. Speak to your pediatrician if you feel your baby is not tolerating his formula well. Click here to purchase the formula mentioned here after deciding with a health professional which formula is the best for your baby.

Keep in mind...

As long as your baby is growing normally and maintaining his place on the growth chart, teaching him to trust his body is very important. When he cries in hunger, feed him. When he turns away after drinking, take his cue and let him be finished.

Although many feeding problems are real, do not create an infant feeding problem by being an anxious parent. If you feel there is a problem, consult your doctor or have a dietitian analyze your infant's diet. Unless your child is gaining weight poorly or he is younger than 3 months old, do not wake your baby up to feed him. He will be cranky and miserable as you try to get the bottle into his mouth. If he has failure to thrive, there may not be another option, however as long as he is growing adequately you need to teach him to trust himself.

Using these simple tips your difficult feeder will become a prize eater. Hopefully soon your infant's feeding problem will be a distant memory. If you have tried a few of these suggestions and are not having any luck, you should consult with a registered dietitian and feeding therapist. They can often give you tips on how to feed your babyupon observing a feed that fits your situation. If you cannot find professionals experienced in infant feeding problemsmake an appointment with us.Twins are also at greater risk of feeding problems because they are often preemies.   Check out this website if you are or already have twins.