How Do You Feed a Baby Who Refuses to Eat?

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According to WebMD, offering the breast, a bottle or familiar solid foods frequently throughout the day encourages babies to eat. Identifying the problem is important if a baby refuses the breast or bottle for an extended time.

WebMD states that babies may not eat because of sickness, when they don't like the food offered or when their feeding schedule is different from the times when food is offered. Serving familiar foods and offering foods throughout the day, rather limiting food to regular mealtimes, are solutions to try when a baby won't eat. Babies aged six months or older may need to be offered the same food several times at different feedings before they eat the new food.

When babies won't accept the breast, they may not be comfortable and may need to be repositioned, according to La Leche League. Kid's Health states that breastfed babies may prefer small, frequent feedings in the first months, rather than one big feed every few hours. Offering the breast or bottle frequently promotes establishing a healthy feeding schedule.

Baby Center recommends contacting a doctor if fever or other signs of illness are present. According to WebMD, babies aged six months and older may refuse solid foods for a variety of reasons. Babies who gag when eating solid food may not be ready for solids, while infants refusing the breast or bottle for several consecutive feedings require a visit to the pediatrician to determine the reason for not eating.