10 month old has stopped eating solids and taking bottle

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Re: 10 month old has stopped eating solids and taking bottle

Postby NgalaOnline » Tue 04 Dec, 2012 10:34 pm

Hi there

Thank you for your post. It is very common for babies to go off their food when they are unwell, particularly when they are suffering constipation. This is usually no cause for concern and most parents find that their child will return to a good appetite when they are well again, often eating with gusto to "make up for lost time". Generally it is best to just keep offering foods but not be concerned if the child does not eat very much. The focus when children are unwell is to keep up with their fluid requirements. It is quite common for breastfeeding children to revert back to fully breastfeeding when unwell. Breastmilk is an ideal source of fluid, nutrition and comfort for an unwell child and has the added benefit of providing many antibodies and immune factors that will help the child fight their illness and recover quicker. Breastmilk is more easily digested than formula and can also assist the child to "clear out" the bowels and recover from constipation. It is therefore common for unwell children to tolerate breastmilk better than formula - this is likely the reason why he is preferring to breastfeed rather than receive solids or a bottle of formula at the moment. Usually a mother's milk supply can quickly increase in response to several days of increased feeding. Offering the breast as often as possible whilst your child is unwell is very wise and likely to be helpful for your child. It does sound, however, as though you still have concerns about your child's hydration status.

There are several indicators of dehydration in children including lethargy, sunken eyes, skin that "tents" when gently pinched rather than springing back, a dry mouth and lips, and reduced urine output. Dry nappies (or less than 4-5 heavy wet nappies in a 24 hour period) is an indicator that a child is dehydrated. As you say, a child's hydration needs during the hot weather are increased. Some strategies to increase hydration (other than offering frequent breastfeeds) include offering fruits with lots of fluid such as watermelon, offering fluids in alternate methods such as from a syringe, off a spoon or from a cup, or offering a child spoons full of crushed ice. If these methods do not result in a rapid increase in the number of wet nappies, if you are worried about your child in any way or if your child is displaying any of the symptoms of dehydration above it is important to seek medical advice and attention for your child. Given your child has been displaying dry nappies after a night I do feel it is important that you have your baby medically reviewed or ring Health Direct on 1800 022 222 for more medical assessment and advice.

It is very likely that your baby will return to good eating after becoming well again, but I do feel that is important to have your baby's hydration status further assessed with medical professionals at this time. I hope this information has been helpful.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
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