Feeding problems in babies and young children include problems taking in food or keeping it down or getting the wrong amount of food (either too little or too much).
Common feeding problems include:
Feeding problems are common and usually minor, but sometimes your baby or young child may need to be seen by a doctor or treated in a hospital.
Spitting up is when the formula or breast milk your baby has just swallowed comes back up and flows out of the baby's mouth or nose. The flow is usually gentle, not forceful like throwing up.
Spitting up is normal for babies.
Almost all babies spit up and almost always stop by 12 months
Spitting up happens because babies can't sit up after eating, and because the valve that keeps the food in the stomach is weak
Spitting up that causes pain to your baby, doesn't go away, or keeps your baby from eating or gaining weight is called acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux Gastroesophageal Reflux in Children "Gastro-" means stomach, the esophagus is the tube that connects the throat to the stomach, and reflux means flowing backward. Gastroesophageal reflux, also called acid reflux, is when: Stomach... read more )—your baby may need medicine to treat it
Go to a doctor right away if your baby’s spit up is green or bloody or makes your baby cough or choke.
Throwing up is food in the stomach being forced back up your baby’s or child’s throat. Most throwing up in babies and children is caused by a stomach virus.
Throwing up too much can cause dehydration Dehydration in Children Everyone needs water and certain chemicals (electrolytes) to be healthy. Normally, you drink fluids to meet the need, and being thirsty tells you when you need more fluids. But babies and very... read more , which is not having enough water in your body.
Go to a doctor right away if your child is throwing up and has any of these warning signs:
Overfeeding a child is giving more food than the child needs to be healthy and grow. This can cause children to spit up, have diarrhea, or become overweight or obese.
To prevent overfeeding:
Underfeeding is not giving your child enough food to be healthy and grow. It usually happens if a baby is too fussy to feed or has trouble sucking or swallowing.
A child who is underfed may have failure to thrive Failure to Thrive Failure to thrive is when a baby or child doesn't grow or gain weight as expected. Babies and children with failure to thrive are underweight, lose weight, or stop growing at their expected... read more .
To make sure your baby gets the right amount of nutrition, always mix formula according to the instructions
Community social agencies, such as the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program, can help you pay for food and formula and learn the best ways to mix formula and feed your baby
If your baby is very underweight, doctors may care for your baby in the hospital to make sure your baby gains weight