When a child is very young, he expresses his hunger spontaneously. He cries when he needs to eat, he is full when he has eaten enough. Depending on the child’s age, a refusal to eat does not have the same meaning:

 

  • With newborns, the refusal to eat can be contributed to a physical discomfort and unsuitable formula milk. Reflux may be the cause of the discomfort. If after several examinations, everything appears as it should, then this can be translated as a psychological suffering. A refusal to eat can be caused by a mother’s depression or by a separation from the mother (death, desertion). The baby’s suffering is therefore apparent. Care must be organized by a team of specialists.

 

  • With nutritional variety, baby is perhaps not quite ready to accept new foods. He may need extra days or even weeks. Above all, this must not become a conflict. Listen to him and introduce nutritional variety when it is the best moment for him and rest assured, maternal or formula milk certainly covers his needs. There is no urgency to introducing variety.

 

  • Around the age of 8 months, when he realises that he is a person and his mother can leave, he sometimes develops an anxiety called “fear of being abandoned”. Not eating is a way of keeping his parents by his side. You need to reassure your baby you are leaving but are coming back. Never leave him without him knowing. On the contrary, tell him that you are leaving and when you will back.