Causes of Anorexia in Babies

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One of the problems faced by most mothers is the loss of appetite in babies. This situation usually occurs in the transition to solid food and is a mother’s nightmare. In this blog post, we have listed the main reasons that can cause loss of appetite in babies.

Among the leading causes of loss of appetite, which often occurs in babies, it is possible to list the following:

  • Constipation
  • Chronic disease
  • Anemia
  • Transition to additional food
  • Teething
  • Food allergy
  • Hot weather

These are only the first problems that come to mind; there are many other possible reasons for anorexia in babies.

Feeding the baby. Mom feeds the child vegetable puree with a spoon. The crying baby sits on the highchair, strapped on. The child does not want to eat

1. Constipation in Babies

Constipation, one of the leading causes of loss of appetite in infants, is a common condition in babies. In cases of constipation in babies, lumpy, hard, foul-smelling, and dry poop occurs under the baby. However, a decrease in the frequency of the baby’s poop, swelling in the abdomen, and a decrease in appetite indicate constipation.

2. Chronic Diseases Cause Anorexia in Babies

Chronic diseases such as diabetes, celiac, and thyroid insufficiency are other factors that cause loss of appetite in infants. Early diagnosis is of vital importance in these diseases.

3. Anemia and Anorexia in Babies

Anemia, which is one of the most common causes of loss of appetite in infants, is caused by iron deficiency and anemia due to the incomplete nutrition of the baby. Among the symptoms, fatigue, tiredness, skin fading, and being sick frequently are observed. In this case, you should consult a doctor.

4. Switching to Complementary Food in Babies

In babies, it is necessary to switch to supplementary food after 6-8 months. In this process, in cases where you do not take critical care in feeding the baby, various ailments and diseases occur, which causes the baby to lose appetite and not eat. In addition, babies who do not start the necessary additional food during this period begin to react to the nutrients in the future. Short-term loss of appetite may occur in infants given supplementary food, but this is temporary.

Unhappy little Caucasian child boy with dirty messy face sitting in high chair. Baby cry, capricious, refuse to eat

5. Effects of Teething to Anorexia in Babies

Another process in which anorexia on babies is the teething phase. At this stage, a short-term loss of appetite may occur in your babies. You have to be a little patient for this situation to pass.

6. Food Allergy

Allergic reactions to foodstuffs occur in infants as well as in adults. If the baby has a possible allergy to the most common foodstuffs such as milk, eggs, peanuts, and soy, this will cause loss of appetite, vomiting, or itching. However, when you switch to solid food and introduce your baby to a new food, do not switch to a different food for a few days, which is among the factors that can cause loss of appetite.

7. Hot Weather

Hot weather affects babies as well as adults. So much so that the baby, dressed in more than one outfit to protect the baby from the cold, is more affected. That causes anorexia in infants as well as in adults.

8. Suggestions to Stimulate Babies’ Appetite

A baby in a pink bib contorts his face and does not want to eat porridge with a spoon

It is much more important to put the meals in a particular order to stimulate the babies’ appetite, rather than focusing on delicious foods. However, keeping the baby away from unhealthy foods can be considered the second important step. You can follow these suggestions to open your baby’s appetite while feeding:

  • You should eliminate the distractions in the eating environment.
  • If your baby doesn’t like the food you give, don’t insist; change the food and make it taste different.
  • If the appetite for all foods continues, you can wait until the next meal.
  • Do not force the baby to eat right after sleep; this will cause loss of appetite and refusal of food.
  • Observe the foods that your baby eats willingly. It is essential to present to your baby the types of foods that are loved and healthy.
  • You can present food as a fun activity.
  • It will also work very well to decorate the food or put exciting things in its appearance.
  • Be careful not to give too much liquid before the meal.

Loss of appetite in babies is a situation that can directly affect the baby’s development, so you should stay calm in the face of this question as much as possible and do whatever is necessary. In addition, loss of appetite in infants may be a family delusion rather than a disease. For this, you should follow the process well and observe your baby. If this loss of appetite persists, be sure to seek medical support.

Reference and citation:

  1. Infantile Anorexia and Co-parenting: A Pilot Study on Mother–Father–Child Triadic Interactions during Feeding and Play
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5355430/
  2. Eating disorders mothers and their children: a systematic review of the literature
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7368867/
  3. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
    https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/childrens-hospital/developmental-disabilities/conditions/feeding-disorders.aspx
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