11 answers

4 Month Old W/ a Sudden Decrease in Appetite

I need to see if anyone had this happen to them. About 4 weeks ago my daughter became sick for the first time, with that her appetite was not the same of course. She was sick off and on for about 2 weeks. Once she got better everything was great except we noticed she was not eating as much as before. Here were are 4 weeks post sickness and she is only snacking here and there. She is very happy and doesn't act sick at all. She did gain weight between her 2 mth and 4 mth visit, but I just have this feeling something is not right. When I feed her she takes a few gulps them spits out the nipple and pulls away. It is battle to get her to eat a few oz most of the time. Then she has a few feedings when she just chugs 6 oz. I am not sure what to make of this since she seems perfectly fine other than the decrease in appetite. Any suggestions?

- she was eating 6 oz every 4 hours. We have tried spacing them out every 5 hours and that worked out okay, but today she went almost 7 hours with no food. When she got cranky I finally was happy to feed her except she would only take 3 oz...

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I am going through the same thing right now with my 4 month old son. He is getting over a cold that he caught from his siter 2 weeks ago. The crazy thing is that he still ate really well throughout the rough part of the cold and this decrease in appetite just happened over the last few days. I was just going to call the doctor's office tomorrow to see if they had any advice. Good luck!

More Answers

Make sure she is continuing to meet milestones and maintaining growth. If her poop changes consider what else has happened like vaccinations, antibiotics, infections. Most likely she is fine but keep the mommy gut radar up because we really do instintively get what is happening with our child

While I always say that you should trust your own intuition first, my experience would tell me that you dont need to worry yet. The problem is that at 6 weeks, and then again at about 3 months, babies hit some pretty big growth spurts, and eat a ton. She got sick right at that change over, so you did not see a gradual change, but at 4 months all 4 of my children slowed down. But by 6 months, they were eating tons. Your schedule sounds great, every 4 hours, whatever she wants to eat as long as she is happy, growing, reaching her milestones, and sleeping well, you should not have need to worry. It is great that even while she was sick she gained some weight. Watch her growth pattern, like if she has always been in the 95% for her weight, but now is in the 50th, I would question. As soon as she starts moving around more, like crawling etc, she will burn more calories and need more food. I hope that helps some. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Like I always say, I dont claim to be an expert, but 16 years in childcare, and 4 kids of my own has at least taught me a few things:) ~A.~

Something that hasn't been mentioned yet is possible teething pain. I realize she is young, but their gums can begin to hurt LONG before they actually produce any teeth. My oldest got teeth pretty early, but I didn't realize that the feeding changes I was seeing before that were related. By all means take her to the doctor to make sure all is well.

Did she get sick after a vaccine? This is common and a doctor will not tell you that! Get Dr. Sears book called The Vaccine Book. Has a lot of info. You could try taking her to a homeopath.

We had a similar situation and the doctor assured us it would pass and not to worry. Her appetite did pick up after some time, but she just isn't as consistent an eater as her big sister. I think as long as she is happy and your only concern is the quantity of food don't worry. They seem to know what they need.

trust your instincts, i've learned that lesson over and over again. take your baby to see the peditrician, get her weighed and talk over your concerns with the doc. with babies, it could be a million things, from absolutely nothing to well, something. it will ease your mind to get her checked out. if you are still worried, just stop by every week to make sure she is gaining weight.
good luck!!

she may be teething - have you noticed an increase in the size of her gums. My kids started teething at this age; however, didn't actually show teeth until 5 months - 6 months. My kids eating habits change when teeth are getting ready to come. However, as long as she is not sick she will eat when she is hungry. If she is gaining weight, then things seem to be normal. However, you can always check with pedi if you have concerns.

I agree with most posts here. Trust your mother-instinct. TAKE HER TO THE DOCTOR! If she is not eating properly at 4-months, and she was doing ok before the illness ... something is going on. I hope she feels better soon!

There is nothing wrong with you baby. That is perfectly normal. One thing you should do differenty now that you probably have not thought of is space out her feedings, she does not need to eat as often now and can go longer between feedings. What you are describing is a classic case of feeding too soon! Wait longer until the baby is hungrier. It is normal for a 4 month old to go a few hours between feedings. Even a breastfed baby, (which it sounds like your baby is not breatfeeding) can go 3 hours between feedings. Your baby would probably eat more at a feeding if you spaced them out. However long you have been waiting between feedings, start extending it by 30 minutes to an hour. I can tell she is being fed too frequently by the comment you made about sometimes she chugs 6 onces. That is very possibly the amount she would drink at every feeding if you waited longer. I am not saying make your child cry between feedings to space it out, what I would do though is wait until they get to the point of being fussy about hunger, you know, when they start to suck their thumb, fuss, whine. It's just like if you have to sit down at a meal before you are hungry you don't eat much, the same it true for her. She will not starve, she knows when she needs to eat, and she will let you know when. Right now though, she is probably just eating so often out of habitual behavior, not hunger, I would just space them out slowly so that she deosn't really notice. Set a time to help you. For the 2 weeks she was sick, those were probably the 2 weeks that she should have gradually started to naturally space out her feedings, but since her appetite wasn't good, you didn't get that gradualness and now that she feels better, you are expecting her to go back to the schedule she was on before the sickness without recognizing that that was a whole month ago and her stomach and digestive system have matured a lot over the last 4 weeks. You are doing great and there is nothing wrong with her. It just seems like you may be forgetting that she is growing and changing, easy to do when they are so young, you just want time to stand still.

I am going through the same thing right now with my 4 month old son. He is getting over a cold that he caught from his siter 2 weeks ago. The crazy thing is that he still ate really well throughout the rough part of the cold and this decrease in appetite just happened over the last few days. I was just going to call the doctor's office tomorrow to see if they had any advice. Good luck!


My only advice is to follow your instincts. If you continue to feel something is wrong, continue researching and monitoring until you figure it out, even if the doctor says there is nothing wrong. You are the absolute SMARTEST person in the world regarding your own baby. Good luck!

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