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.
I hope this help,
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