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Poor feeding babies: Why they need special attention

February 22, 2021

I recently learned that World Health Organization (WHO) estimates show that under-nutrition causes 45% of child deaths. This is an alarming rate; considering there are many mothers who take poor feeding casually and only get concerned when the pediatrician shows cause for alarm.

Mothers should take poor feeding habits with seriousness and take remedial measures.

Babies should not only eat sufficient food, but it must also be well balanced. Nutrition either boosts or lowers immunity. A well-balanced diet is extremely essential as it ensures the baby has all the nutrients required for growth.

Children have bad days too. When should you conclude your baby is feeding poorly?
– If they go for four hours or more without giving hunger signs while they have not eaten or drank anything.
– If they are generally stubborn at every feeding time and refuse to swallow willingly.
– When their weight reduces or remains constant for several months.
– When the child vomits frequently after meals.

There will be times when poor feeding is prevalent, such as:
– At birth, especially if the baby is born prematurely; it takes times for some babies to learn to latch.
– During teething
– During sickness for example; colds or stomach upsets
– Transition periods that could cause anxiety; like starting school 
– When the mothers are stressed when introducing solid foods (this is preferable at months).

While there are other serious issues that will need medical advice, most scenarios can be handled at home with simple remedies. You need to consult the pediatrician though; if poor feeding is accompanied by other symptoms such as:
– Fever
– Consistent coughs
– Diarrhea 
– Vomiting
– Hard or bloody stool
– Constant crying
– Inactivity; when the baby looks bored and does not want to play among others.

What if the baby is alright and is just a poor feeder from birth? The following tips can help:
-Change the feeding schedule: having a consistent feeding schedule is perfect but when the baby is not eating willingly, you can make some exceptions and feed multiple little portions so as to ensure you meet the nutrition needs of your baby.

-Switch the feeding items and place: there are times the baby will just be bored. One of the working tactics is making use of colorful playful items for feeding, for example using a syringe for milk instead of the bottle. You can also move from the table to the floor for a while so it looks playful and easy.

– Introduce lots of finger foods. Place them on the table and let the baby pick at will. Include drinks as well. Babies tend to snack to their fill if the food looks like just a bite.

– Make the food colorful: colorful food is more appetizing and may make the child cooperate better.

– For infants who refuse to breastfeed, you can express the milk and use a bottle or spoon to feed.

– Allow the child to feed on their own: some children find it fun when you wash their hands and give them their food to mess around with. Sit with them and sneak in some as you play. You can spread an easy-to-clean floor mat to make it easier for you to clean afterward.

– Let someone else feed her. Sometimes babies are stubborn towards their moms and cooperative while someone else is with them.

– Manage your stress: most mothers get overly concerned and get stressed when poor feeding persists. This can cause breast milk to change the taste and become un-pleasant to the baby. It will help if you just take a few minutes off and take a deep breath. Also, get support from family and friends and preferably take a nap.

Struggling with a poor feeding baby can be a nightmare. I have a slight experience and it’s crazy. One thing I wouldn’t advise a mother to take as the norm: It’s not okay for a child to underfeed.

Every meal contains essential nutrients for your child’s development. Supplement with multi-vitamins if you must but do not let them starve. The results of low immunity are frequent sicknesses and you don’t want that. Do you?

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