How To Deal With Anorexia In Infants

By Subodh / June 5, 2015

When a kid is born in the family, parents get overwhelmed with mixed feelings of joy, fulfilment and hope. However, dealing with a newborn boy or girl is not easy by any means. Infants can develop several complications, have to be attended at all times and parents may find it hard to realize their needs as well. Feeding the infants properly can be a difficult task as some parents find out. The problem intensifies when they show reluctance to intake food or liquid. Amazing as it may sound, anorexia can affect the infants too!

Basics of Infant Anorexia

Infant anorexia can be described as an eating disorder that takes place after birth and can affect the kid until he or she turns three. The infant refuses to swallow foods when he or she is afflicted with it and when left unattended this can have life threatening consequences. It is a condition that leaves parents really anxious. Sometimes, infantile anorexia disappears without medical intervention -as it has been seen.

Anorexia In Infants

As a matter of fact, infant anorexia develops like a chain reaction. The infant refuses to eat foods and parents try in various ways to administer foods and it turns into a struggle, both at mental and physical level!

What causes Infant Anorexia?

Infant anorexia can be caused by a number of factors:

  • A number of infants find it difficult to eat when there are plenty of distractions around. If this is repeated he or she may feel less inclined to eat. It can affect development and health.
  • At times, certain abnormalities in mouth lead to onset of infant anorexia.
  • Some infants find it hard to eat food owing to childbirth related issues.
  • Infections in throat region can make the infant, refuse food and the habit may persist for some time.

Tips to ensure your kids eat better

The solution for infantile anorexia lies in analysis of the root cause. The doctor will examine what is actually leading to food refusal by the baby. If the issue is an infection, medications will be administered. However, some simple methods can be adopted by parents to overcome eating reluctance of infants in most instances:

  • You can try changing the existing feeding Schedule of the infant. It may help if you feed the baby several times a day with a small amount of food rather than giving a few large meals.
  • If the baby refuses breast milk, parents can try giving him or her formula milk.
  • Sometimes, keeping the infant in playful or light mode helps in feeding him. Playing music he likes or giving toys to play can be useful in this regard. A relaxed kid is more likely to eat than tensed one, under any situation.
  • Sometimes, body pain can make the baby reluctant to eat foods. Try distracting his or her mind so that feeding becomes easier.
  • Babies sometimes have an unexplainable fondness and a reluctance to things and persons. Some kids may not want to have food when someone else is around or it could be the opposite when a pet or family member is around.
  • You may also need to check if the infant is refusing a particular type of food. He or she may be allergic to a certain flavour or does not like it simply.
  • If all of the methods do not yield any result and the baby still refuses food, it is time you get in touch with a paediatrician. There could be an underlying factor you may not be able to spot.

The importance of keeping calm

One thing that many parents do not pay attention to is the need to act stress free. The moment the baby can sense you are tensed, he or she may find it a sign of struggle. It paves way for the onset of a vicious circle of food refusal and force feeding, accompanied by mental stress. Do not react differently or emotionally to food refusal if you want to keep the issue under control. In other words, do not let the tension mount between you and the kid. If the kid is not tensed or disturbed, he or she may show the desire to eat again.