11 Reasons For A Poor Baby’s Appetite – What To Do If A Newborn Eats Poorly?

Problems such as poor sleep, low weight gain and poor appetite often make mums and dads anxious in the first months of a baby’s life.

See also: What is needed to feed a newborn – a complete list.

But young parents should not be intimidated or panicked! Responsible adults must find the root cause of the problem and fix it.

The content of the article:

11 causes of poor appetite in babies – why does a newborn eat poorly?

Your toddler may eat poorly for many reasons., the most serious of which are health problems. Even with a slight malaise, the appetite disappears even in adults – what can we say about fragile children’s organisms!

To determine what worries the baby, you need to know the main symptoms of the most common childhood ailments


  1. With otitis media the baby cries, shakes his head and does not allow touching the base of the ears. If you suspect this particular disease, then be sure to seek help from a specialist doctor, and if the child is constantly crying and anxious, call an ambulance.
  2. If the child has colic, then he jerks his legs, bends and constantly, monotonously cries. To help the baby cope with gas formation, you need:
    • Use simecticone preparations or dill infusion. Apply warm items to your tummy, such as an ironed diaper or towel. Place the baby on your hand with your stomach, shake and shake slightly. Vibration helps gases escape.
    • Doctors advise to perform massage: in a circular motion around the navel in a clockwise direction, stroke the tummy with your hand and bend your knees to your chest. Such manipulations help the baby not only go to the toilet, but also just fart.
  3. If the child has snot – this is immediately clear. The kid squishes with his nose and mucus flows out of the nostrils. With a runny nose, doctors recommend moisturizing and ventilating the room so that the dry and hot air does not dry out the nasal mucosa. It is also helpful to instill saline in each nasal passage. But vasoconstrictor drops are prohibited for newborns, they can be used only after a year.
  4. For diseases of the oral cavity the mucous membrane of the mouth is covered with either a curdled bloom or white spots. In this case, it is difficult for a baby to swallow and suck, therefore he refuses to eat. Traditional medicine recommends lubricating the damaged mucous membrane with a soda solution. But to prescribe adequate treatment, you need to consult a pediatrician.
  5. Poor appetite there may be a change in the diet of a nursing mother. The fact is that the taste of milk can change from some products. So, after garlic, spices, alcohol or smoking, children most often throw their breasts. Stick to your diet and your baby’s appetite will not be a problem.
  6. Cosmetics can be the cause too. After all, children love how their mother’s skin waves, not deodorants, perfumes and cosmetic oils. Therefore, do not overdo it with perfume in the pursuit of beauty.
  7. A newborn can not only eat little, but also give up breast altogether… This is a disaster for breastfeeding, because in such a situation the baby is rapidly losing weight and constantly crying from hunger. Failure can happen from bottle usewhen the child realizes that it is much easier to suck milk from her, and chooses the simple way of feeding. It also contributes to breastfeeding pacifier. As with the bottle situation, the baby finds it easier to suckle on the nipple and refuses to feed naturally. Solving this problem is far from easy, therefore it is better to seek help from a breastfeeding consultantwho have sufficient knowledge and experience to establish feeding of such wayward kids.
  8. Poor appetite can be the result of a stressful psychological environment within the family. If you have disagreements in relationships with your household, or your family is overwhelmed by troubles, then all you need is to calm down and devote more time to your baby. So the child will feel calmer, and his appetite will return.
  9. Or maybe the child is just a little kid? Many parents and doctors are based on tabular rates of weight gain and the amount of milk eaten by age, but each baby is different. Therefore, it is worth letting go of your doubts and not force-feeding the child. Moreover, if there are no apparent reasons for concern – the baby is cheerful and playful, sleeps well and has regular bowel movements.
  10. Another reason could be inconvenience of feeding… With the correct body position, the mother should sit or lie extremely relaxed, while the child should touch the mother’s belly with her belly.
  11. Also, many kids prevent themselves from eating, waving their arms. In this case, the baby should be swaddled before feeding.

What to do if a newborn does not eat well – feeding tips for a poor baby’s appetite

  • The main recommendation is to walk more. Because fresh air and oxygen stimulates hunger.
  • Don’t overexcite your child. If guests often come to you to nurse a newborn (and this happens in the first months of life), then it is worth forbidding them to visit you until the feeding problems are resolved.


  • Pay more attention to your child, carry it on your hands, swing it. After giving birth, the baby feels lonely. After all, his old world has collapsed, and he is not yet used to the new. When the baby’s skin comes into contact with the mother’s skin, the baby seems to return to an intrauterine state. He again hears the pounding of his heart, feels the warmth of his mother’s body, and this calms him down.
  • When bathing, add decoctions of a string and chamomile to the water. They have a calming effect on the child’s nervous system, and therefore the baby has an appetite faster. See also: Herbs for bathing newborns – the benefits of herbal baths for babies.


If the reason for refusing food is not clear to you, then be sure to contact your pediatrician! Together, you can help your baby and restore his long-awaited appetite.

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