My 4-month-old baby use to eat 5 oz every 3-4 hours, but the last week he will only eat 2-3 oz and he is really restless during the feeding.
He moves his head away from the bottle and cries after 2 oz. I am worried about him losing weight. He is happy and smiles a lot but never seems hungry.
Baby Not Eating – When To Worry
I can totally relate to your worrying! I don’t know how many times I scheduled appointments with my babies’ health nurses to check their weight development since they suddenly didn’t eat anything. Usually, they followed their curves and if they didn’t, they either got sick or they started eating again a couple of days later.
If your baby is happy and smiling and wet his diapers, he is likely to be fine. Babies’ appetite can vary a lot; they have growth spurts when all they want to do is eat and then they have other periods when eating isn’t very interesting at all.
One possibility, even if it is quite early, is teething. You can read about teething symptoms here.
Also, if your baby is about to get ill, he will most likely have a period later on when he compensates for the weight loss.
When to actually worry if a baby is not eating is:
- The baby does not wet his or her diapers or shows other signs of dehydration You can find signs of dehydration is this post.
- Baby loses weight over a time period. Some babies can actually lose a bit of weight at around 4-6 months when solid foods are introduced, but it should be only a short period of time. Some babies also lose a bit of weight when they start moving around. The long-term trend should however definitely be up.
- If the baby is not eating and it is combined with a cranky baby without energy. This could mean that the baby is either ill or simply weak from eating too little.
- Baby shows other signs of pain or illness.
I wouldn’t worry too much. But do go ahead and schedule a checkup, to keep track of his weight. And of course continue to watch for signs of illness, as well as dehydration.
What NOT to do, is to try to force your baby to eat. The tension and bad experience for both of you can easily become a problem of its own, and all of a sudden, your baby won’t eat because feeding is associated with bad feelings.
I hope this helps,
P.S.Here are two excellent reference books for baby health issues and injuries:
- My Child Is Sick!: Expert Advice for Managing Common Illnesses and Injuries
- Caring for Your Baby and Young Child by The American Academy of Pediatrics
More Babies That Won’t Eat
- Signs Of Dehydration When Sick Baby Not Eating
- 4 Month Baby Stopped Eating And Drinking
- 5.5 Month Baby Won’t Eat
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