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Sometimes food is one of the biggest concerns parents encounter during parenting. But how much truth is there in the recurring phrases 'this child eats little' or 'it is bad to eat'?
It happens to all of us that for a few days, and even seasons, we are more or less hungry. What is totally understandable in adults, is absolutely reprehensible for babies and children. The important thing is not so much the amount that the child eats, but his weight depending on their age. Experts recommend seeing a doctor when a child loses weight or gains significantly less weight than normal.
In the case of infants, each baby, like each person, is different and their behavior must always be assessed globally. Although it is obvious, we must also remember that we should not compare babies, since each one grows at its own pace; And, of course, the genetic heritage of the parents must be taken into account in terms of size and their aptitude for food.
Throughout the evolutionary rhythm of the child, it is very common that there are moments of lack of appetite for breast milk. It is due to the so-called 'lactation crisis' or 'lactation strike', which is related to their growth rate. They are around 3 months and experts recommend calm, patience and perseverance so that eating habits return to normal. Encouraging skin-to-skin, trying to nurse him at night when he's more relaxed, and seeking help from breastfeeding groups are some practical tips for doing so.
Other important milestones to take into account in the development of a baby can be the incorporation of the mother into the work, the teeth coming out or that towards the first year of life, its growth speed decreases and, therefore, it is normal The amount of food you eat is reduced.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the baby be exclusively breastfed until 6 months of age. In fact, until the baby is one year old, solid food is considered complementary to breast milk. Although it is true that from 6 months, children need to incorporate iron into their diet, so they must be offered other foods rich in this element.
It is necessary to remember that the spoon and the new textures and flavors are strange for the little ones, who have to adapt little by little, which will depend on their maturity and curiosity. So it is not necessary to be totally orthodox and inflexible with the punctual introduction of purees and fruit porridges.
Another totally valid option, and that is taking more and more prominence, to start savoring new foods, is the so-called baby-led-weaning or complementary feeding 'on demand', which consists of introducing solid foods into the diet, allowing the baby feeds himself without using spoons or purees. In this way, the baby sits with the rest of the family at mealtime and joins the others when ready, using first his hands to eat and then the silverware.
Once again, patience and respect for our little one will make us feel more relaxed and globally evaluate their temporary circumstances in relation to their lack of appetite. It is not advisable to force eat, since like any living being, the child is the only one who knows what he needs to eat.
Susana Torres.Collaborator of our site and lactation consultant.
You can read more articles similar to When the baby does not want to eat, in the Eating Disorders category on site.