Home > Baby Helpline > Breastfeeding & Formula Questions > 5.5 Month Old Baby Wont Eat As Much As Before

5.5 Month Old Baby Wont Eat As Much As Before

by Sarah
(Toronto, Ontario)

My 5.5 month old refuses to eat, I’m only getting about 15-20 oz into her every day this week. She shows the normal signs of hunger, but will only finish up to half of her formula before refusing the rest. I started her on 1 tsp of rice cereal 2 weeks ago. She seemed fine with it at the start, but now refuses that as well.

She shows absolutely no signs of teething or illness. I’m afraid she’s not getting enough to sustain herself, but she’s generally happy otherwise and sleeping well. What should I do?

Baby Help Line:

Tips When 5-Month-Old Baby Refuses To Eat

It is worrying when your baby doesn’t seem to eat enough. However, babies go through growth spurts when they seem to eat all the time, then at other times; they seem to need very little. If your daugher is healthy and hungry, she would be crying and showing signs of wanting more to eat.

A rough guide to a baby’s milk needs is multiply your baby’s weight by 2.5 oz, so a 13lb baby would drink roughly 32.5 oz in a 24 hour period. However, this can vary a lot depending on whether or not she is well, teething, about to do a growth spurt and just normal variations too.

Usually by six months, on average babies have doubled their birth weight, but there are huge variations to this too.

If your little girl has been putting on weight gradually, a plateau is nothing to worry about. If you are really worried, then take her to your health nurse, but if she is happy and feeding until she chooses she has had enough, then I think you can trust she will let you know when she is hungry. Who knows, next week you could be up half the night with extra feeds while she catches up! My youngest was just like that and actually still is, although he has now started school! Some weeks he is starving around the clock and other times he eats almost nothing. When he was a baby, he had me worried many times until I realized this was just his hunger pattern. I took him to his health nurse for weighing on several occasions and he was always just fine. 🙂

The one sign to worry about in the short-term is if she is showing signs of dehydration. In such case, take her to a doctor immediately for examination and advice. Otherwise, wait her out, do a lot of activities with her, especially outside, since activity and fresh air are great for appetite, and make sure you don’t make her eating into a power struggle.

You’ll find another thread with a baby refusing to eat here.

I hope this help,

Paula

Comments

Feb 27, 2014

6 month old boy refuse to drink milk
by: courtney


I’m having the same problem and it has been going on for almost a month now. I went to doctor for his 6 months check up and the doctor said that everything was fine. He will be fine as long as he drinks 24 oz per day; however my boy only drink 20 oz per day now…he used to drink 30-40 oz when he was 3 months- 4 months…any advices? thank you very much for your help


Feb 27, 2014

5.5 month WONT EAT!

by: Anonymous


My 5.5 month old baby boy only gets about 12 oz of formula a day, thats including his cereal intake…I’m really worried abt his weight. He seems pretty happy and sleeps well. But refuses to drink or eat, he use to really like his cereal before and always wanted more..but now a few bites is a lot and he doesn’t even open his mouth. I am planning to start him on sweet pototatoes/ carrots? Maybe he’s bored of his cereal?? He was teething..now his lower 2 teeth are a little out already. If his refusal to weat is because of his teething, how long does it usually last???


Mar 01, 2014

similar situation

by: Anonymous


Going through the same situation with my 6month old..has been 3-4 weeks that feeding her milk is a battle…she used to drink 30-32 oz before 5 months and now i am lucky to get her to have 24, tried cereal at 5 months..worked 1-2 days and then refused to eat..tried them all even with fruit. Went to MD and since she gained weight not much to worry about, will try solids tomorrow again. I am still worried!


May 22, 2014

6 mo old not wanting to eat WORRIED
by: miranda


im having the same problem my 6 mo old, she was taking a bottle great up until last week, she’s under weight by the average but was also 4 weeks early. we went for y\her 6mo check up and told me not to be feeding her as much baby food but more milk well every since then shes not wanted to take a bottle. not sure if i should just go back to feeding her her baby foods or what to do.


Jun 03, 2014

6 month old wont eat

by: racquel


my 6 month old was 3 wks early weighing 7lb 4oz, he use to eat alot all the time. for the past month he will not eat much. He cries at every feeding. bottle, jar foods juice whatever. it is so frustrating. he will go 8hrs refusing to especially at daycare. his pediatrician gave me zantac(antacid) to try today at his 6 month visit. we will see how that goes. He 17lb 12oz but his percentile is dropping compared to birth


Jun 13, 2014

wont eat

by: nicole


my son is 5 months old and he refuses to eat baby food i have tried every fruit there is and sweet potatoes and i have tried cereal and he just spits it all out ugh what to do!


Jun 13, 2014

my 5.5 month old use to eat solids now won’t

by: nikkobug68


I started my son on cereals in a bottle at 3.5 months. Formula wasn’t enough, he wanted to eat every 2 hours or less. I started him on baby food and spooned cereal at 4 months. He use to eat just fine, got the hang of the spoon right away without pushing the food out of his mouth. By 4 months he was eating 2-3 1st food jars a day along with his formula.

He’s 5.5 months now and I can’t get him to spoonfeed anymore. The last 3 days I’ve tried and he’s cried his way through eating only a few bites. I’m a little worried, I’m going to go back to bottled cereal and try a spoon again in a few days. I was thinking it may just be teething, but his gums aren’t swollen and I don’t see any cutting in. When I use orajel he tends to calm right down when he’s fussing. Could this just be teething? I don’t think it’s because he’s not ready for food, he’s done fine for 2 months on food.


Jun 17, 2014

5 MTH 3 WKS REFUSING TO EAT

by: Anonymous


I have a baby girl of 5months and 3 weeks but she has refused to take breastmilk or cereal since yesterday.

But she is generally hapi but cries when we try to feed her, what do you think is wrong with her? Or could it be part of the teething symptoms?


Jun 21, 2014

Teething or a cold
by: Paula (Baby Help Line)


Hi,

Yes, your baby may very well be teething. Have you checked her gums to see if they seem to be red? You can read about teething symptoms here.

You baby may also have a sore throat, be on her way to get ill or maybe she simply isn’t hungry. If the weather is hot where you are, babies can get a reduced appetite just like adults.

Try not to force her to eat, but offer her the breast of formula (as well as baby food if she eats that) often. Also watch out for dehydration. As long as she wets her diapers as usual, she is likely to be OK for a few days with reduced appetite.

Hope this helps,

Paula


Jul 21, 2014

feeding habit

by: Sonia


I have a almost five months and he only consume 2 oz every 2 hrs. Concern as he normally takes 6 ozs every 2 hrs.


We have changed to a new commenting system. Add your comments below or return to Breastfeeding and Formula Q&A.