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Loss of Appetite in Babies

By Rose Welton ; Updated July 18, 2017

Your baby’s loss of appetite may be attributed to his mood, but it can also be the sign of an underlying problem. In addition to continuing to offer him food and beverages, you can try to determine what is causing his appetite loss. Determining the cause will help you know what you can do to get your baby’s appetite back.

Teething

According to Babycenter, your baby may experience a loss of appetite while teething. Other teething symptoms include gum swelling, discomfort and sleeping problems. Your baby may get her first tooth between four to seven months of age. If she is old enough for solid foods, you can try feeding her applesauce or yogurt, which can be more comfortable for her to eat. You can also relieve her discomfort and help bring her appetite back by giving her a teething ring or cold washcloth to chew on. Ask her doctor about giving her acetaminophen or teething relief gel.

Sore Throat

Your baby may have a loss of appetite due to a sore throat caused by a viral infection or strep throat. The loss of appetite may also be accompanied by a fever and swollen glands. Call your baby’s doctor if he has sore throat symptoms, especially if he also has a fever, difficulty breathing or trouble swallowing. The doctor may do a throat culture to test the cause of your baby’s sore throat so that it can be treated with medicine or home care.

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Overheating

Overheating can cause a loss of appetite, and may also cause your baby to be flushed, irritable, sweaty or develop a heat rash. If you suspect that your baby is overheating, take immediate steps to relieve her. Take some layers of clothing off of her and get her out of the warm area, whether you are in a closed car, warm room or in direct sunlight. Call your baby’s doctor if her symptoms do not improve.

Other Causes

Your baby’s loss of appetite can also be caused by a cold, which is common between the months of November and April and is often accompanied by a cough or stuffy nose. An ear infection may also be the culprit and may include a fever higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, crying and drainage from one ear. Your baby’s doctor can help you determine the cause of the appetite loss and suggest remedies.

Warnings

If your baby is experiencing diarrhea, vomiting or a rash, call her doctor. MayoClinic.com also suggests you call the doctor if your baby refuses several feedings in a row. If her loss of appetite is accompanied by bulging of the soft spot on her head, she may have meningitis and her doctor needs to be called immediately.

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