Bottles and Beyond
Robin S. Pollak M.S.CCC/SLP
Being a good parent is synonymous with feeding your child. When your baby or toddler is a slow eater or a “fussy” eater meal times become stressful. Every Mom, Dad or caregiver wants to provide an environment filled with everything a child needs to grow. Feeding your baby is an activity that creates a unique bond. Rejection from your child is difficult and it puts parents in a vulnerable position where they can feel frustrated in their ability to care for their child.
The solution may be as simple as changing a nipple or buying a booster seat. Parents need to know when their child is just fussy and when they need help for their child.
When you watch a baby eat, they are excited and wriggle their toes in anticipation of the bottle. They are interested in eating. They anticipate the food they are going to eat.
For these babies, eating is enjoyable. Not all babies find eating enjoyable. Some even find it scary and difficult. Eating is an activity we all do every day. It is a fundamental skill we do as parents for our children.
Common concerns when feeding your infant:
My baby falls asleep when I feed her. She doesn't seem to have the energy for feeding.
This is a fairly common problem in the first weeks at home for some babies. It will take some patience to get through this period.
My baby isn't able to take very much at each feeding.
Smaller babies have a very limited stomach capacity. This problem can be approached with changes in schedule to provide smaller, more frequent feedings or concentration of formula or breast milk to increase calories delivered with each ounce of formula.
My baby isn't getting enough total formula or breast milk in a 24-hour period.
Some babies are easily fatigued because they have trouble getting enough calories from food and a cycle of inadequate intake and low endurance for feeding can begin.
Feeding is very hard work.
For infants with lung disease or difficulties coordinating sucking and swallowing, mealtimes can be very tiring.
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