There are so many factors that go into feeding a baby, especially if they are just starting solid food. It can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Mom may not know what foods she should start with, what she needs to avoid, and then there is always the constant fear that her baby will choke on their food. The baby is also learning a new skill, and this takes time.
Chewing and swallowing come so easy to adults who have been doing it for as long as they can remember, which can make it hard to keep in mind that babies have never done this before.
There can be a lot of challenges that arise when the baby is eating solid food, and one that may concern mom the most is if they start to refuse to eat solid foods. Moms are always concerned with what their baby is eating, and if it is enough, and that is because it is vital for their health and development.
However, is there even cause for worrying? We are going to go through the possible reasons there may be for a baby to refuse their food and what mom can do to try and encourage her baby to eat more.
Let’s Explore The Why
Unfortunately, there may not be a way to narrow down exactly why a baby has stopped eating foods, but mom can still explore the possible situations to see if there may be a clue as to what is happening. According to Solid Starts, there could be a few reasons why this is happening.
One of the most common reasons could be that your baby just doesn’t want to eat. Babies are just small humans in a lot of ways, and as an adult, we can empathize with the fact that if we are not hungry, we are not going to eat.
As long as your infant is still taking in breast milk / formula, then they will likely be fine, and mom won’t have to worry about these minor hiccups in the feeding journey. Getting babies to eat solid foods could also be more difficult if they have a history of acid reflux, bad gag reflux or if they do not like sitting in a highchair.
Baby could also be teethingwhich can diminish an appetite, mom should be looking for any clues on why her baby isn’t interested in solid foods.
If Baby Is Refusing Puréed Foods
When mom wants to feed her baby, she may want to start them off with some puréed foods. This manner of feeding has been done for decades, and mom may think that this will reduce the risk of her infant choking. According to Baby Center, if baby is refusing to eat their puréed foods, mom may want to consider switching to baby-led weaning. This method allows baby to take control, and it gives them more opportunities to explore their food.
This can be done safely, and it is important to remember that gagging is a normal response, but does not mean that your child is choking. Gagging is the body’s way of protecting itself from choking.
If Baby Is Refusing Baby-Led Weaning
If baby is refusing to eat baby-led weaning food, mom may want to try a different approach to how she prepares the food. Watch how baby interacts with their food, and if they seem like they can’t get a good grasp on it, try cutting it a different way that is still safe.
If baby gets frustrated, and cannot figure out how to get the food to their mouth, they may be more likely to just give up. Babies want to eat, but they don’t always want to have to work for it.
The Last Resort
There is the saying “food before one is just for fun,” and while food is more important than just “fun” before this age, this is an exploration stage. It is common for babies to take some time to warm up to the idea of solid foods (remember, they’ve never done this before). However, If your baby reaches the age of 7 or 8 months and still refuses to eat any solid foods, it may be time to call the doctor.
According to Today’s Parent, this is the period when infants need to develop those skills that allow them to eat, and if they are not hitting this milestone, they run the risk of falling behind. There is nothing wrong with contacting your baby’s pediatrician if you are concerned about their food intake. They may be able to offer some more ideas or tips to help.
Sources: Solid Starts, Baby Center, Today’s Parent