I have a six months old daughter who cries whenever I attempt to feed her. We tried the spoon and that has not worked. She only willingly accepts water, anything else is refused. I don’t know what else to do.
A worried Father
Baby Help Line:
Baby Refuses Any Kind Of Food Or Formula
If your baby is really refusing to eat anything at all but water, she is likely to be ill. A sore throat or an ear infection are common reasons for nursing or bottle-feeding strikes. It simply hurts to eat! Water is easier to swallow, which may be the reason why she accepts that. She may also have a stomach bug or a cold on its way to start. You should take your daughter to a doctor to have her examined. Babies can’t live on only water for long without losing significant weight.
For how long has this been going on? It is good that she at least accepts water; that will keep her from becoming dehydrated, but you should switch to a Pedialyte solution, so that your baby gets the right amounts of minerals and sugars to keep her hydration in balance. Ask in the Pharmacy for a solution appropriate for your baby. Too much water and especially if not consuming anything else at all, can quite easily lead to water intoxication in babies, something that can be very dangerous for them. You can read more about water intoxication here.
Some babies, when on a nursing or formula strike will still take the bottle or breast when asleep. You can read about how to feed a baby while asleep here. In addition to spoon feeding, you can also try a syringe, cup or dropper or even let your daughter paly with some fruit puree and hope she sticks her fingers into her mouth after dipping them into the puree.
I don’t mean to scare you, and since you don’t mention if the situation has been going on for a day or for many days, I answered to cover both situations.
Once she is not ill anymore, she is likely to have a period with huge appetite, catching up whatever weight she lost, so don’t worry too much fo the lack of appetite, unless it has been going on for a while. But get her to a doctor to find out why she isn’t eating.
I hope this helps,
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