Moms often complain that their baby won’t eat. In this case it is worth learning the common reasons of child’s unwillingness ot eat and the ways to solve the problem.
What is the main parents’ task? Right! To feel that the child is protected, that he has everything he needs, that he is not worse than the other children, that he eats enough food. Any deviation generates psychological discomfort and the desire to change something. And this desire is very often not the subject to the laws of logic and common sense, but the instinct demands to feed the baby! To feed at any cost! And he sometimes does not want to eat. And that’s unbearable. Because it contradicts our usual basics of life, doesn’t give an opportunity to realize the parental instinct, provokes the internal breakdown and a desire to save the child immediately, urgently, at any cost. For it is impossible to live this way: the food obtained in such a hard way is unwanted, and the child needs to grow up, so how can this be? It is not possible to live this way …
Baby doesn’t want or cannot eat?
This is the first and the most important question. And nothing can be done without an answer to it.
It is clear that the desire to eat is one matter, but inability to eat is a fundamentally different situation, and parents’ actions in these situations are significantly different.
Child’s behavior demonstrates his desire to eat. He greedily sucks mother’s breast, grasps a bottle with an infant formula and pulls it into his mouth, he readily sits at the table and asks for food, after all. But immediately after the child starts eating, he becomes capricious, worries and refuses to eat.
Everything described above can be determined by:
• problems in the mouth – when sucking, chewing or swallowing causes pain: thrush and other kinds of stomatitis, inflammation of the gums when teething, common toothache, inflammation of the pharynx (tonsillitis, pharyngitis);
• problems in the intestine: there’s a very often situation in infants when after the beginning of sucking peristalsis (contractility) of the intestine increases dramatically. When flatulence is high, when there are often constipations and the above mentioned inflammatory processes in the baby, abdominal pain then can be provoked by active contractility.
• breathing violations: if the baby’s nose is stuffy, then a tangible discomfort appears in the process of sucking as breathing through the mouth becomes impossible;
• taste of the food: salty, sour, bitter, and so on: nursing mother has eaten herring with garlic, dad personally added pepper into the soup, individual intolerance of a particular product – in fact it is difficult to deny that there are children who, when taking semolina into their mouth, experience the gag reflex;
• physical characteristics of food: hot, cold, large pieces and the child hasn’t yet learned to chew that’s why he chokes;
Parents are not always able to determine the true cause of baby’s inability to eat, but it is easy to distinguish between reluctance and inability when considering the above listed reasons.
If the baby really wants to eat but cannot, it’s quite a natural occasion to ask for medical help.
Baby can! But doesn’t want!
Having eliminated (alone or with the help of a doctor) the above mentioned reasons that hinder the possibility of eating, it is possible to state: baby can suck, chew, and swallow. But he doesn’t want to! And a natural question appears: why? Why our beloved child denies the food such a tasty, so useful and so necessary for him?
First, let’s understand a very important concept that we will repeatedly talk about. It is a well-known word appetite.
Appetite is the desire to eat, urge to eat.
Appetite (lat. appetitio – a strong desire, aspiration) is a pleasant feeling associated with
When considering these definitions, it is clear that subjective desires and feelings “appetite” certainly refers to, can have various degrees of severity – from moderate decrease to complete loss of appetite, which manifests itself in the real life with total refusal to eat any food.
Now when every time asking why the baby doesn’t want to eat, we can consider not only total loss of appetite but also its decrease.
In the next articles I will discuss in more details the reasons why the baby refuses to eat, what appetite depends on, family’s lifestyle and other important issues connected with child’s appetite.