It can be stressful if your baby isn’t interested in foods. What should you do if your baby won’t eat?
You want the best for your baby, and we all have an innate desire to feed the things we love (just see kids poking grass into a rabbits cage!). If you’re feeling stressed about your baby’s food intake read our tips on how to deal with food refusal.
How can I get my baby interested in solid foods?
If your baby is refusing foods as you introduce solids there are a couple of things to consider. (These pointers are for babies between 6-9 months in the first few months of weaning)
- Check in with personality – Some people don’t take to food straight away. Allow your baby time to explore food, putting together a sensory picture of the smell, taste and texture of each food. It can take time to build up trust in this new experience.
- Look at food intake over a week, not a day – Babies go through peaks and troughs of growth. Some days they eat more and need more energy, and other days they don’t need so much. Try to look at the trends over a week / month rather than a day.
- Try not to panic – if your baby is still getting regular milk feeds with wet and dirty nappies he is still getting enough nutrients. At this stage food isn’t a major source of nutrients. The nutrient content of milk (mum’s milk or formula) won’t compare to a bit of carrot and some banana.
- Don’t force feed – tune in to how your baby is feeling, and don’t push food into his mouth.
- Babies love to copy – Offer what you’re having every time you sit down to eat and don’t make it a big deal. Sit down at the table together for every meal. Put your baby in a highchair and give him the same as you, or offer him bits of your food whist you eat.
- Give him time for milk to go down – don’t offer food directly after a big milk feed. Eating on a full tummy won’t be comfortable for him.
- Check timings – is your baby super tired at the meal times? When babies are very sleepy they will find it hard to concentrate on eating, and may become more fussy.
- Take a break – if you’ve got to a point where you feel nothing is working and you’re really stressed then take a break for a couple of days. Go back to milk only, and then start again.
When to get further help
If you’ve got past 9-10 months and your baby isn’t interested in food it might be worth getting some additional advice. Speak to your Health Visitor or GP about possible structural issues with tongue movement, or swallowing.
Anna’s Baby Weaning consultations can help you unpick certain feeding behaviours. These sessions are held over the phone or Skype. FREE 15 minute phone consultations are available to see if you’d like to book a full session.
Contact us for more details about the consultations or with any questions on weaning – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anna is a Nutritional Therapist working with babies and children in Bristol and online. Weaning Consultations, and 1:1 Children’s Health appointments available to support the whole family.