Has your baby stopped eating or drinking? A baby’s loss of appetite can be quite worrying.
Let’s look at common reasons and red flags that your baby is ill and may need medical attention.
I have a 4-month-old baby who suddenly stopped eating. She was a very good eater, she used to drink 3-4oz every 2-3 hours, but out of nowhere, she lost her interest in drinking her milk. I am very worried about her at the moment; it has been 1 week since she started to have no interest in drinking.
She plays, and she is still a happy baby.
Reasons Why A 4-Month-Old Baby May Lose Appetite
It is easy to relate to your worrying – how much the baby eats is probably one of the most common reasons for parents worrying about their babies, me included.
I don’t know how many times I’ve rushed off to the doctor with my babies – only to find out that they are gaining weight as they should, or that the next day they are teething or a cold has started.
Possible Reasons Why A Baby Loses Their Appetite
There are many reasons why a baby loses his or her appetite:
- At four months old, one reason is actually that they start growing less rapidly and hence might be less hungry than earlier.
- Another reason at this age may be teething.
- Also, the minute you start introducing solid foods, some babies become less interested in their milk.
- In addition, babies that have recently been ill or are about to become ill often have less appetite.
- And then finally the appetite simply varies– just like for adults!
It is a very good sign that your baby is happy and playing. Is she also wetting her diapers as usual? If she is, then all these are very good signs that she actually gets the milk she needs.
How Much a 4-Month-Old Baby Should Be Eating and How to Know if They Eat Enough
A 4-month-old baby can consume 6 to 7 ounces of milk, averaging 6 to 8 feedings in a day. But this can vary since not all babies have the same appetite. The appetite varies per age, and per baby.
Many parents start introducing solids at this age. Look for the baby’s readiness and his capability to receive solid foods (i.e., good neck control, can sit on a high chair without falling flat on his face).
It is common for babies to lose interest in milk once they start eating solids. However, solid food at this age is just supplemental. Usually, the baby gets enough nutrients from breast milk or formula before 6 months of age and even up to around 1 year old. Moreover, if your baby is active and playful as usual, this means that he is getting enough milk.
Red flags to watch out for when your baby stopped eating or drinking
If she isn’t wetting her diaper or showing other signs of dehydration (poor skin turgor, sunken eyeballs, dry mouth, unusual drowsiness, or sunken fontanels, dry eyes when crying, or not gaining weight), then you need to take her to the doctor immediately.
Look for other signs or symptoms that may come with the loss of appetite:
- Vomiting or vomiting after feeding
- Bloody stools
- Progressive cough
- Difficulty in breathing
- Incessant crying
All these symptoms point to a serious infection or disease. It is best to visit your baby’s doctor immediately.
However, if she doesn’t seem ill at all, I’d probably observe for a few more days. One of the most common reasons why they lose appetite during this age is that their gums become swollen, and a tooth is about to break out.
Another thing you can do is to bring her to your health nurse to weigh her and see if she is losing weight. There you can also discuss if you should start introducing solid foods to her or any other actions needed if her lost interest in milk prevails.
I hope this helps! Unless your daughter shows signs of illness or is losing weight, just relax and enjoy her and trust that she knows when she is hungry.
Here is another discussion about 4-month-old babies that won’t eat.
Hope this helps,
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing is based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians that you find here. They write or review all health-related articles.
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This Post Has 4 Comments
I am having a similar time with 4 1/2 month old twins (one of each). Both were having between 200 and 220 ml per feed four times a day but now they’re stopping at around 100 to 140 ml. This has been the case for about a week. Both are happy, lively babies. I have noticed they watch us eat with increasing fascination. Maybe they want something other than just milk.
My baby wants to eat all night because will not eat during the day. I’m exhausted. Anyone having same problem?
Hi, I have the same problem my baby is 15 weeks old and normally took 4 to 6 ounces every 2 to three hours up to 3 weeks ago and this has changed. He now only takes 3 ounces at a time and refuses point blank to take any more therefore taking a lot less than a couple of weeks ago. He is not sick and is very happy, not sure what to do. Any advice welcome, do they grow out of it, don’t want to wean him too early
Hi, very similar to the other baby, My baby is 3 1/2 months old and until very recently was getting through 5 – 6 Oz’s of milk every 3 – 4 hours, now he just stops at half a bottle, I have also stopped giving him Infocol in the last week, could that be a factor?