Baby wont feed just cries
My Baby Won’t Breastfeed - La Leche League GB
This page is about young babies who have never breastfed or who get very upset when offered the breast. If your baby was breastfeeding well but is now refusing, see our page on “nursing strikes”. Sometimes, a new difficulty with feeding is the first sign that the baby is becoming unwell. If you are not sure that your baby is well, please contact your doctor.
When a baby doesn’t breastfeed after birth, it can be upsetting, confusing and frustrating. You might wonder whether you’re doing something wrong, or even whether your baby likes you. It’s hard not to take it personally!
Babies are ‘hardwired’ to breastfeed – it is an essential survival behaviour. When a baby doesn’t breastfeed, it’s never because they don’t want to. Something is making it hard for them. Babies are never “lazy” or “difficult” – they always do the best they can. So do their mothers!
When it’s taking time for breastfeeding to get going:
- Keep your milk flowing
- Keep your baby fed
- Keep your baby close
If you do this, your baby is very likely to breastfeed when they are ready. Time, patience, and good feeding support are usually all you need.
This useful summary of the “3 Keeps” can be downloaded as a free A4 poster here.
You can read more about getting breastfeeding on track after a difficult start here.
Why isn’t my baby breastfeeding?
After a straightforward birth, most well, full-term babies will start feeding within an hour or so. Not all babies have such an easy start, though. Babies can take longer to start breastfeeding if:
- They had a more complicated birth. Babies born with the aid of forceps, for example, often take a few days to recover and feed well. If you had pain medication in labour, your baby may be sleepy and uncoordinated at first.
- Your baby was born early, or small for their gestational age. See also breastfeeding premature babies and late preterm babies (those born between 34 and 37 weeks). Even being born one or two weeks early can mean that your baby takes longer to start breastfeeding. It might take until around your baby’s due date, or a little longer, before they are ready to feed well.
- You and your baby were separated after birth because one or both of you needed medical care.
- Your baby is very sleepy and doesn’t yet have enough energy to breastfeed. See also sleepy baby and newborn jaundice.
- Your baby is unwell.
- Your baby is uncomfortable, e.g., some babies have a sore head or sore shoulder after birth.
- Your baby has low muscle tone (hypotonia).
- Your baby has a physical challenge such as tongue-tie.
You have plenty of time
Parents sometimes worry that if their baby isn’t breastfeeding well, or at all, in the first few hours, days or weeks after birth, it will never happen. While breastfeeding in the first hour after birth is ideal, the window of opportunity for babies to start breastfeeding is much longer than this. The feeding reflexes, which keep babies seeking and attaching to the breast, last for at least two to three months after birth. We have seen many babies start breastfeeding older than three months, too! There are even reports of children over a year old starting to breastfeed, when placed for adoption with a lactating mother. Where there is milk, there is always the possibility of breastfeeding.
Photo: Jen Valsler
First things first
Sorting out breastfeeding problems can feel overwhelming. There seems to be so much to do, and you might feel you have to do it all at the same time! It is helpful to know what is urgent and what can wait. This can help you to work out what to do in what order, and how best to use your time and energy. Feeding at the breast is the least urgent thing, at this stage.
If your goal is to have a full milk supply (enough milk to meet all your baby’s needs) but you need to use donated breastmilk or formula at the moment, or if your baby is not growing well just on your milk, then making more milk is the top priority. This is more urgent than your baby starting to feed at the breast.
If your baby is not breastfeeding at all yet, or is not breastfeeding effectively, you can express your milk. This gives you milk to feed your baby now and encourages your breasts to make plenty of milk for the weeks and months to come.
Your breasts may temporarily become swollen and uncomfortable, starting around 2-4 days after birth. This is called “engorgement” and is a sign that your breasts are becoming more active (though not all mothers feel it). It is important to treat engorgement, to keep your breasts comfortable and your milk flowing well. Read more here: Engorged breasts – avoiding and treating.
Read here about how milk production works and how to increase your milk supply.
You can find information here on how to use bottles and other feeding tools.
Expressing all the milk your baby needs is known as “exclusive pumping” or “EP”. You can read more here. Some mothers choose to do this; many do it because their babies are not able to breastfeed. You might find it helpful to join an online support group for “EP mums”.
If you need to express your milk for a baby who is not breastfeeding yet, it is important to work with a skilled breastfeeding supporter. You might also want to connect with other mothers who have needed to express milk – they can be your best cheerleaders while you do this important job! Your local La Leche League group would love to support you.
Setting the scene for breastfeeding – happy time at (or near) the breast
Most babies need only time, patience, and gentle encouragement to help them start breastfeeding. Babies are born expecting to breastfeed, with a set of reflexes to help them do it. We need to keep them well fed (with expressed or formula milk), give them lots of relaxed time near the breast, and…. give the baby time.
Here are some ideas to try:
- Hold your baby skin-to-skin. Babies use their whole bodies to feed. The more of their skin they feel against yours, the more likely they are to find the breast and start feeding. Undress your baby down to their nappy and move your clothes out of the way. If you are cold, you can put a blanket round both of you. Even if your baby doesn’t breastfeed yet, it feels lovely, and helps your baby get used to being at or near the breast. Holding your baby against your skin helps you make more milk, too! If your baby can’t tolerate being held in a feeding position, try holding them against your shoulder.
- Avoid holding your baby in a feeding position during medical procedures, especially if your baby will be having lots. Offer the breast afterwards instead, if it calms them.
- Try “laid-back” breastfeeding. Try putting your baby tummy-down, on the slope of your body as you recline comfortably (as if you are lying on a sun lounger). Placed like this, they can use their arms and legs to help themselves find the breast and attach well for feeding. This can work better than trying to “put” the baby to the breast, especially if they have already had difficult experiences of this. This video shows you how. The safest place to do this is in a bed that has been set up following safe sleep guidance. See our article on safer sleep.
- Turn up the smell! Newborn babies don’t recognise the breast well by sight, though they do recognise your face, and love looking at it. They find the breast mostly by feel and smell. The little bumps around your nipple (Montgomery’s glands) make a scented oil which helps your baby find the breast and encourages them to feed. You can give your baby extra help by expressing a bit of milk and rubbing it on and around your nipples. This can encourage your baby to feed by increasing the smell and giving them something to lick as they approach the breast!
- Try “drip-drop feeding”. Your partner or supporter uses a cup and spoon to drip milk (expressed milk or formula) onto the breast as you hold your baby. This can encourage babies to attach and feed. You can watch a video here.
- Take a bath with your baby. When placed skin-to-skin with their mother in a warm bath, some babies find the breast and feed for the first time. Some mothers even describe it as “a second chance at giving birth”. You could set the scene with low lighting, a candle or soft music. Whether or not your baby is ready to breastfeed yet, sharing a bath can help you and your baby relax together and enjoy each other. Have another adult with you to help you get in and out safely, put the baby on you and wrap them in a warm towel when they are ready to get out.
- “Wear” your baby. Babies who are kept close in a sling or soft carrier cry less, are calmer and warmer than babies who are put down by themselves. Being carried is good for babies’ physical & emotional development and helps parents and babies make strong connections. If your baby is not breastfeeding yet, carrying them close, as much as you want, is an excellent way to help them feel comfortable near the breast. Always follow the instructions for your sling or carrier and the rules for safe babywearing. You can read more about babywearing in this book.
- Feed your baby at or near the breast. If your baby will go to the breast at all, consider using a nursing supplementer so your baby can have extra milk while they breastfeed. This can be helpful when milk supply is low and/or your baby is frustrated by the speed of milk flow at the breast. If your baby is fed by cup or bottle, try feeding them skin-to-skin with their cheek against your breast. Let your baby end the feed by sleeping with their cheek pillowed on the breast.
- Consider sleeping with your baby. Some babies will attach and feed in their sleep if the breast is near enough to smell and feel. Always consider sleep safety before sleeping with your baby in your bed. It is never safe to sleep with a baby on a sofa. You can read more about sleep safety and normal baby sleep in LLL’s book Sweet Sleep.
Babies with low muscle tone (hypotonia)
A baby who has been diagnosed with a condition that makes them hypotonic, or ‘floppy’, may show little interest in breastfeeding. To make feeding easier:
- Support your breast. Tuck a rolled-up cloth under your breast close to your chest wall, or support your breast with your thumb on one side of the areola, fingers on the other side.
- Support your baby’s chin. If your thumb is parallel to your baby’s upper lip, you can use your index finger to put gentle pressure just behind the bony part of the chin while your baby feeds.
- Try upright positions. A hypotonic baby often feeds better held with their head higher than their bottom.
- Breast compression can also be helpful, but you may also need to give some expressed milk until your baby’s muscle tone improves. Breast compressions are explained in more detail in “My baby needs more milk”.
If your baby suddenly becomes floppy and you don’t know why, seek medical advice.
When you are keen to breastfeed, but your baby isn’t yet ready, it can be frustrating. Don’t forget to celebrate how far you have already come! Every time your baby enjoys being held close to your body, or falls asleep near your breast, they are taking another “baby step” towards breastfeeding. Your baby is doing the best they can for now, and so are you.
When breastfeeding is stressful
When breastfeeding is difficult for your baby, it may become stressful for both of you. Babies who have had unhappy experiences at the breast can develop negative associations with breastfeeding. This might happen, for example, when:
- A baby is in pain or discomfort e.g. from birth injury or allergy.
- A sensitive baby is handled at the breast in a way they don’t like, e.g., if a helper tries hard to “put” the baby to the breast when they aren’t ready.
- Milk supply is low.
- A baby has a physical restriction (e.g., tongue tie) that makes attaching and sucking difficult.
A baby who is finding feeding difficult may become upset:
- A short time into the feed, when milk flow slows down.
- At the start of the feed, when milk doesn’t come straight away.
- When offered the breast.
- When put in a breastfeeding position.
- When they see the breast.
When feeding isn’t going well, babies may come to associate the breast with hunger and frustration. They may develop a preference for another feeding method, such as a bottle, if they associate it with feeling full and satisfied. You can find some ideas on how to keep your baby’s relationship with the breast positive here: using donor milk & formula milk to support breastfeeding
The ideas in the previous section (“Setting the scene for breastfeeding – happy time at (or near) the breast”) can help your baby learn that the breast is a lovely place to be, and to associate it with calm, relaxation, comfort, and satisfaction rather than hunger and frustration.
Take a break
If breastfeeding has become very stressful for you and your baby, you might need a “breastfeeding break”. You could stop trying for a few days, whilst expressing your milk to keep your baby fed and keep your milk flowing. When you’re both ready, you can try again. There is no rush! Dr Christina Smillie, an American doctor who specialises in breastfeeding medicine, calls this “rebooting the baby”.
What if my baby is still not breastfeeding?
When you are eager to breastfeed, it is hard to wait. It is not uncommon for babies to need time to begin breastfeeding well. You might be encouraged by hearing the stories of other parents whose babies took time to get going.
If your baby is still not breastfeeding even with time, patience and some of the tips in this article, there will be a reason why. A skilled breastfeeding supporter can help you find out, and work towards breastfeeding. Some babies need medical care, some benefit from feeding tools such as nipple shields and a few need treatment for tongue tie. Many just need a little more time.
A few babies never do breastfeed. Some have a medical condition that makes it impossible. Very rarely, we never find out why. You don’t have to feed your baby directly from the breast to give them the many benefits of your milk or to nurture them at your breast. We can support you to have a close, happy feeding relationship with your baby, whatever form that takes.
La Leche League Leaders (breastfeeding counsellors) can help. You can find your local group, and LLL Zoom Meetings all over the country, at https://www.laleche.org.uk/find-lll-support-group/
Jayne Joyce, LLL Oxfordshire & Karla Napier, LLL Edinburgh, April 2022
Baby Fusses or Cries During Feeding: Causes & Solutions
Is your baby fussy every time you offer the breast? Do they cry, making it hard to breastfeed?
I’ve been there and know how it can be distressing when your baby is irritable while breastfeeding. It can make you question whether you’re doing something wrong and why the experience isn’t turning out how you imagined.
To help set your mind at ease and offer you some hope, we’ll share everything we know about what makes a baby upset during breastfeeding.
We’ll help you determine the cause of your baby’s fussiness. We’ll also offer our solutions so your breastfeeding sessions can return to being a peaceful experience you both enjoy.
Causes of Baby Crying During Feeding
Half the battle is finding out why your baby is crying and fussing when they should be enjoying their time at the breast. You want to know your baby is getting enough milk and thriving. But it’s hard to be sure when they always latch on and off, crying in between.
Let’s discuss some possible causes.
1. Baby Isn’t Latching On
If your baby is fussing or crying, getting them to latch on to feed can be challenging. Whether overtired, overstimulated, or just plain hungry, a crying baby is unlikely to latch.
Begin breastfeeding while your baby is calm and awake, before they get too hungry. Watch for early hunger cues such as rooting, smacking their lips, sucking their hands, sticking their tongue out, or waking from sleeping. Crying is a late sign of hunger.
Swaddling your baby and holding them close, dimming the lights, or moving somewhere peaceful and quiet might also help.
Another thing you can try is squeezing a few drops of milk onto your breast to entice your baby to latch on. The taste and smell of the milk might stimulate them to feed. Changing position or changing breasts can also work sometimes (1).
2. The Milk Flow Is Too Fast or Too Slow
Paying attention to when your baby starts to cry might shed some light on the reason.
If your baby is fussier in the morning, it could be that your overly full breasts release too much milk too quickly. Your breasts may have become engorged with milk during the night and your baby can’t cope with this forceful let-down.
Conversely, if they are fussier in the evenings, maybe the milk release is too slow and they get frustrated. They become impatient, waiting for the flow of milk that comes with the let-down, and start crying.
The Solution for Fast Milk Flow
A strong release of milk, or overactive let-down, can make your little one choke, gag, or cough when they’re feeding. They might unlatch from the breast because they don’t like or can’t cope with the fast flow. They could also be gulping a lot of air with the milk and getting gassy, which causes more upset.
These are some of the things you can do to counteract this:
- Express before feeding: Pumping some of your milk before feeding, or expressing by hand, can help slow down the flow. After you feel the first let-down pass and you see the flow is slowing, put your baby to your breast.
- Lie back when nursing: Adopting a laid-back feeding position with your baby lying on top of you can slow the flow. You could latch your baby on and then lie back against some cushions or pillows. Milk will flow against gravity and won’t pour down your baby’s throat.
- Burp regularly: When your milk is flowing fast, your baby may gulp lots of air while feeding. A gassy baby is a fussy baby, so burp them regularly, during and after the feed.
- Feed one side at a time: Alternate your breasts at each feed. That way, once the flow slows down on the breast your baby is feeding on, they might stop fussing.
- Take a feeding break: If your flow is too much for your little one to cope with, remove them from the breast for a few seconds. Let the excess milk leak onto a towel, and offer the breast again when it stops. This might make your baby fussier for a while, but it will pay off in the long run.
The Solution for Slow Milk Flow
Your baby is hungry, but your milk is not coming quick enough. Just as we can get “hangry” when we need food or drink and aren’t getting it, our babies can too!
Luckily, we have some things you can try to combat a slow flow or delayed let-down:
- Stimulate the flow: Either pumping or hand expressing a little milk before latching can kick-start your let-down reflex. Once you have a steady flow, then you can put your baby to your breast.
- Warm compress: Use a warm towel or compress for a few minutes to stimulate letdown. Place it on your breasts just before each feed.
- Massage: Massaging your breasts before and during a feed can help the milk flow faster.
- Try breast compressions: If you notice your baby is about to start fussing and might unlatch, squeeze your breast. This will give your baby a burst of milk, keeping them actively feeding.
- Get comfortable: Breastfeeding a fussy baby can be frustrating for you as well. Try and feed in a relaxing position, away from distractions. It’s a perfect time to just concentrate on your baby.
- Make sure your baby gets enough milk: All that fussing and crying might make your little one tired, and they may fall asleep at the breast before they’ve eaten enough. Try and stimulate them to continue feeding by tickling their foot or stroking their cheek. The more your baby feeds, the more milk you will produce.
- Some dos and don’ts: When breastfeeding, avoid smoking and alcohol. Also, try and steer clear of soda and coffee. All these could affect your milk production. Ensure you eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated, too (2).
3. Baby Is Going Through a Growth Spurt
There are times during a baby’s first year of life when they go through growth spurts. Their weight and length will increase, as will their head circumference.
Your baby may want to feed more often during a growth spurt and can become fussy. It’s not uncommon for a baby to suddenly feed up to 18 times in 24 hours.
While one does not necessarily lead to the other, it makes sense that a growth spurt and sudden, frequent feeding go hand in hand. Your baby will need more milk to support the growth spurt, and nursing more will naturally boost your supply.
During this time, babies can also become fussier than usual. They might appear unsettled and clingy, and they may not sleep as well as usual.
Growth spurts generally happen several times during the first year. These are the ages when they are likely to occur:
- Two weeks old.
- Three weeks old.
- Six weeks old.
- Three months old.
- Six months old.
Not all babies will follow this timetable; some might have more growth spurts or they may be at different times. For some babies, there might be no change in their behavior when they have a growth spurt.
During this time, follow your baby’s lead. Respond to their needs, whether it’s more feeds, extra cuddles, or just quiet time and a nap.
Your baby might get fussy if you aren’t producing as much milk as they want. It can take a day or so for your supply to catch up with the demand. The more you let your baby feed, the more milk your breasts will produce.
Your baby may seem hungry after normal feeding time, so don’t be afraid to nurse again. Keep yourself feeling good during this time by staying hydrated and eating balanced meals. Remember, you are not Superwoman; let family and friends help with chores and shopping while you spend time with your baby.
4. Baby Is Going Through a Developmental Stage
Your baby is constantly developing mentally and learning new skills as they go along. It can be a bit overwhelming and confusing for them, and there might be weeks when they are fussier than usual. Sometimes called the “Wonder Weeks,” it can explain mood changes in your baby (3).
You might find that during these periods, your baby becomes more curious and distracted while feeding. They might want to feed more or, conversely, not stay latched on long enough for a good feed. They can be cranky and fussy and cry a lot when you’re trying to breastfeed.
The good news is that these periods generally only last a few days before your baby returns to normal behavioral patterns.
Not all babies will fit into the pattern of wonder weeks and develop at different times.
Feed your baby in a quiet room where there are likely to be fewer distractions. There’s nothing worse than having a situation where your little one latches on, then hears their dad or sees the dog and stops feeding (or worse yet, turns their head with your nipple still in their mouth!).
Trying to get your baby to pay attention can make them fussier and be a constant battle.
You might also find that your baby is fussier and wants to feed more often during these periods. Again, take your cue from them, and give them the extra time and attention they need.
5. Baby Needs to Burp
Babies often fuss, cry, or pull away from the breast when they need to burp. A fast flow of milk can exacerbate this. They can also swallow more air when they’re fussy or gulp down milk faster than usual if they’re over-hungry.
Breastfed babies tend not to need burping as often as bottle-fed ones. However, there are times when gas can make them uncomfortable and they need to get it out.
If your baby is fussing, stop the feed and try and burp them. If you let them carry on feeding while they’re crying, then they can take in more air and make the problem worse. Eventually, it can end up with them spitting up.
It’s a good idea to burp your little one mid-feed, even if they don’t appear to be in too much discomfort. Try to do it when switching breasts or when your baby latches off the nipple.
Other Reasons for Crying During Breastfeeding
We’ve looked at some of the main reasons your baby might cry while breastfeeding. There are a few other things that can cause this, including:
- Baby prefers one side: Your milk supply might be better on one breast than the other. This may be apparent if your baby only fusses when fed on one side.
- Teething: This can be a painful and uncomfortable time for your baby, and they might fuss more when feeding. You might first realize it’s happening when they clamp down on your nipple and you feel the teeth through the gums. I’m all too familiar with that pain! But trust me, your baby isn’t trying to hurt you; they just want to relieve their pain (4).
- Baby has eaten enough: If your little one starts fussing toward the end of a feed, this might be a sign they’ve had enough. Try offering the breast again a few times. If they don’t want it, move on. If you have ruled out any other causes for their crying, their little tummy might be full.
- Baby wants to be pacified: Your little one might be full but still wants to suckle. However, it can be frustrating for them when milk is still flowing. This could be an excellent time to offer a pacifier for them to suckle.
- Thrush: This fungal infection can affect your nipples or a baby’s mouth. If your baby has oral thrush, feeding will be uncomfortable, and they can get fussy. If you suspect this, contact your health care provider (5).
- Baby has a cold: Trying to feed and breathe through a stuffy nose simultaneously can be challenging for a little one. They will become fussy and break away from the breast a lot. Use a nasal aspirator to try to clear their nose, or ask your pediatrician for advice.
- Food sensitivity or allergy: While you might enjoy eating spicy food for dinner, your baby may not. The flavor of the food you eat comes through in your milk, and your little one might not always like the taste or the smell. You might notice they are fussier when you have consumed certain foods they don’t like or are allergic to (6).
- Reflux: Although it’s not very common in breastfed babies, sometimes food comes back up from a baby’s stomach. This can make them cry and feel uncomfortable when feeding (7). Speak with your baby’s doctor if you suspect this is causing your baby to be fussy or cry during breastfeeding.
Feedback: Was This Article Helpful?
Thank You For Your Feedback!
Thank You For Your Feedback!
What Did You Like?
What Went Wrong?
If the child does not eat well: what to do and what not to do
What to do if the child does not want to eat.
- Malyusik, well, one more spoon - and that's it! Last! I ate only two, let's have a little more, here's the most delicious piece for you! - says the average mother, offering a spoon with one hand, playing the accordion with the other, showing the trick with the disappearance of the handkerchief with the third, turning the cutlets over with the fourth, while doing somersaults on one leg.
Every dad has an instinct to bring home food, and mom has to feed the baby food. And if he refuses to eat, a signal is triggered - "I'm a bad mother" or "the child is sick. "
In this case, the most important thing for a parent to understand is whether the child DOES NOT WANT or CANNOT eat?
If the baby is running around, having fun and looking good, without showing any signs of illness, then most likely he does not want to eat. There can be many reasons:
- A breastfeeding child prefers milk and dairy products, intuitively understanding that he needs calcium, and now milk is healthier for him than soup.
- The child wants a cookie, not vegetables.
- He really wasn't hungry. For example, his metabolism is slow, breakfast has not yet been digested, and lunch is already being offered. Or the child was sitting in front of the TV after breakfast and his appetite had not yet had enough time to play out. Compared to the boy next door who was outside all day.
- If a child is not genetically destined to become Uncle Styopa, then he can eat much less than his peer, who has tall parents.
- Psychological problems. If earlier you accidentally gave your child a bitter cucumber, then he may refuse any green food. Or you yell at the child during the meal, and for him the food is perceived as a trauma.
If your child is lively, but at the same time he has a "bad appetite", then this is not his problem, but yours - the psychological problem of an unsatisfied instinct. If a child jumps, jumps, he has healthy nails, hair, etc., think less about what he lacks. Better think about something nice))
An active child = not a hungry child.
Wait for the natural desire and correctly distribute energy costs - walk more often, send the child to the sports section, or simply say: “If you don’t want to, take a walk, dinner is not earlier than seven and no snacks.” That is, if your child simply does not want to eat, normalize feeding - strictly at a certain time and without snacks. The body will get used to secrete gastric juice strictly according to the schedule.
And one more thing. There are no rules about how much a child should eat. He can eat a kilo (and make you very happy) and 9Send 00 grams to the toilet. Or eat 100 g and learn everything.
But it is much more difficult if the child CANNOT eat.
- If you are breastfeeding, you may have “tight breasts”, when it is very difficult for the baby to suck milk.
- The child has a runny nose, and when he eats, he begins to choke.
- Food hot, cold, sour, bitter.
- He has sores in his mouth (for example, from toys), and they hurt when food gets on them.
- Teeth are cut, gums hurt.
- Bowel problems. The stomach starts to hurt while eating.
- The child simply fell ill (cold, SARS, poisoning, influenza, etc.). If the child is sick, and he is not dystrophic, then you should not force him to eat. The body fights infections better when it's hungry. But be sure to drink.
If a child at first shows appetite and interest in food, but refuses to eat through a spoon or two, then, most likely, the process of eating causes him certain difficulties.
If the baby CANNOT eat and you can't identify or eliminate the cause, the best thing to do is contact your pediatrician. The doctor will accurately determine the problem and give the necessary recommendations.
Our clinic has a wonderful pediatrician Yuliya Vladimirovna Sinyagina with 17 years of experience! You can sign up to her))
Bon appetit everyone! As well as strength, patience and satisfied instincts!
Back to article list
SOS! The child does not eat anything! What to do?!
“Give me another spoon and that's it! And now a spoonful for dad, now for mom, and now for grandma…”
Many parents are familiar with this story of persuading their child to eat.
I am often asked what to do if the child does not eat, and, to be honest, this is one of the most simple and difficult questions at the same time.
No, everything is just simple with a child - usually you just need him to get hungry. But the real problem with parents is that it’s hard for them to survive if they don’t feed the child. Here, for example, is what the mother of a one-year-old daughter says: “At first we did not force-feed her!!! Do you think I don't feel sorry for my child when he cries? Until six months she ate when she wanted, then refused to eat. I endured the day (KEY PHRASE - I SUFFERED THE DAY!), then I force-fed, because I can not look at my child without tears!!! Skin and bones, all the ribs, the spine are visible! Listening to this mother, I could hardly resist asking her: “What should she look like at 6 months old? Swimming in fat? Children are different - chubby and thin. Mine, for example, were born thin, the son grew up like that, and when the youngest daughter gained 1700 g in the first month only on breastfeeding, I was seriously scared, because there was nothing like this with the eldest - I added the “required” 700 g per month and all.
Isn't he hungry?!
The simplest and most obvious reason why a child does not eat is simply that he is not hungry!!! We try so hard to feed our kids that they don't even know what hunger is. Once I witnessed how my friend forcibly fed her 8-month-old son with cottage cheese - Ivan sobbed, but swallowed, to all my questions why she was doing this, Natalya answered: “I feel so calmer.” Just think! Calm down from what? From the fact that he will have a full stomach, but at the same time he is crying and she is committing violence against him?!
What to do?
Let your child get hungry!
To do this, you need:
1) remove all snacks from the reach of a child of any age: cookies, fruits, juices, compotes, sweet teas, sweets, sandwiches, etc. - everything that contains calories and can interrupt appetite;
2) offer the child to eat and be prepared that he will refuse;
3) stay calm and friendly
4) wait until the child feels hungry and asks for food or agrees to your offer!
In this situation, the most difficult thing is to control yourself so as not to panic and start feeding the baby when you think he is hungry, and not when he really wants to eat. Children who have never experienced hunger cannot even identify
If a child does not eat anything for 1 or 2 days, he will not die!!! Everything will be fine with him! As soon as he realizes that he is hungry, he will come to you and ask you to eat.
When my son Nazar was about 2 years old, we rested in the Crimea. On the way to the sea, probably on the train, he caught stomatitis - these are small, but very painful sores in the mouth. It was very painful to swallow and chew food, and therefore Nazar did not eat anything for 6 days, he only drank water. The infection went away on the fourth day after special treatment and treatment, but for two more days my son was simply afraid to eat. Knowing that he likes dumplings and french fries most of all, my husband and I took him to our favorite cafe and took both dishes, as well as ice cream, cake - whatever he could like. At first, the son refused to eat - we didn’t persuade him, we just said that we were hungry and decided to eat, but he didn’t have to if he didn’t want to. They ate dumplings and watched their son: at first he just sat, then burst into tears, and only then, after probably 40 minutes, he carefully ate the dumpling. Then another and another... We were happy - now the main thing was not to overfeed, because Nazar's appetite woke up and he was convinced that the pain was gone!
When a child is sick, the body does not perceive food - all its strength is spent on fighting the source of the disease, and the brain simply does not send signals about hunger. That is why the child does not want to eat. But as soon as the baby begins to recover, the brain immediately sends a signal: it's time to eat!
Is food evil?!
For various reasons, we, adults, sometimes don’t want to eat either: trouble at work, it’s hot, we’re busy doing something interesting, we’re just not hungry yet… But for some reason we are sure that children simply must always eat with appetite! And therefore, we are ready to persuade the child to eat for hours, and if persuasion does not help, we begin to entertain - cartoons, talking dolls, dancing relatives . .. Threats do not help either - you won’t go for a walk, you won’t buy a toy, you won’t watch your favorite cartoon, you won’t get up from the table until you eat it ... Somehow, in my childhood, I spent the whole day over a plate of borscht and by the evening I was already hungry, but I never asked to eat, because somewhere inside I understood that if I eat, I will lose and I will always have to eat .
We ourselves teach children that food is boring, that it is violence, that it is evil…
What to do? Simply understand that a child, like us, can have many reasons why he does not want to eat at the moment, and be ready to feed when he has an appetite. It's so easy - take a bottle of milk, yogurt, puree, fruit or even a thermos of your favorite soup with you for a walk and feed your child quickly and easily when he gets hungry, right on the street! Fortunately, civilization provides us with all the opportunities for this: wet wipes, dishes, thermoses . ..
How can I send him to kindergarten if he does not eat anything?
Before going to kindergarten, my son Nazar had never experienced being forced to eat. Even at 2 months, being bottle-fed, he ate only 4 times a day, not 8, and gave back any attempt to feed the fountain. Fortunately, I realized that this is his way of signaling satiety. When he went to kindergarten, one of my main requests to the teachers was not to force him to eat under any circumstances. For the first few weeks, they lamented and said that he did not eat anything except bread and compote, then, with surprise and delight, they began to say that Nazar eats soups and cereals best of all. No wonder, after all, soups and cereals are my son’s favorite dishes, and when he got used to the new environment, people, children and the daily routine, he began to eat with pleasure what he liked to eat at home!
Don't panic! Peace, only peace!
This is the main motto of the mother and close relatives when the child suddenly stops eating! One of my friend's 2-month-old daughter suddenly stopped breastfeeding! For 1. 5 days, Katya called up several times with breastfeeding specialists and, trying to remain calm, followed their instructions. Only on the second day, her daughter agreed to drink a little bit of milk from a teaspoon, then more, but in order not to wean her from breastfeeding in this way, Katya put the baby to her breast again and again, and if something didn’t work out, she called the specialists in breastfeeding again. breastfeeding. The young mother was able not to panic, to find the strength not to listen to the “useful” advice of relatives and friends, and to find support in the face of specialists. Now her baby is almost a year old and this wonderful creature drinks her mother's milk with pleasure and does not know what a lack of appetite is.
Tasty? Is not a fact!
Another reason why a child does not want to eat is simply that he does not like the taste of the food or its appearance. We sometimes find it hard to come to terms with the fact that our children turn up their noses at food.