The early stages of a child’s life are crucial for their overall development, but common feeding difficulties can impact both your child’s growth and your peace of mind. Keep reading to learn more about common infant and newborn feeding difficulties and how pediatric feeding therapy can help your baby overcome these challenges for healthy growth and development.

Trouble Latching to Breast or Bottle

Difficulty latching occurs when a baby struggles to properly attach to the breast or bottle during feeding. This can affect your baby’s ability to get enough milk, leading to issues with weight gain and potential nutritional deficiencies.

Signs of Trouble Latching

  • Fussiness during feeds
  • Frequent feeds without satisfaction
  • Pain in breast or nipple when nursing
  • Cheeks sinking in while feeding
  • Frequent head movement

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder where stomach acid flows back into the esophagus during or after feeding, which causes your baby discomfort. This can lead to feeding aversions, poor weight gain, and disrupted sleep patterns.

Symptoms of GERD

  • Frequent spitting up
  • Irritability after feeds
  • Arching of the back during feeds
  • Refusal to feed
  • Choking, gagging, or trouble swallowing
  • Frequent coughing during feeds
  • Recurring pneumonia
  • Poor weight gain, or weight loss

Low Birth Weight

Low birth weight is when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces. It generally happens when a baby is born prematurely, but some full-term babies can also have a low birth weight. This can contribute to feeding challenges, developmental delays, and a higher risk of health complications due to poor nutritional intake.

Symptoms of Low Birth Weight

  • Difficulty latching
  • Slow weight gain
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Appears thin with minimal body fat

Tongue Ties or Lip Ties

Tongue ties and lip ties are conditions where the strip of skin beneath the tongue or upper lip is shorter than usual, which limits the movement of the tongue or lip. These conditions can affect the baby’s ability to latch and breastfeed effectively.

Signs of Tongue or Lip Ties

  • Difficulty latching to breast or bottle
  • Feeds for long periods of time
  • Poor weight gain
  • Pain in the breast or nipple when nursing
  • Trouble swallowing milk or formula

How Pediatric Feeding Therapy Helps with Newborn and Infant Feeding Difficulties

Our pediatric feeding therapists collaborate with parents to identify the root causes of feeding difficulties and develop strategies for your baby’s unique situation. We thoroughly evaluate your baby’s feeding behaviors and oral motor skills to determine the cause of their struggles and create a custom therapy plan to build their feeding skills.

Through simple stretches, exercises, and advice, we help babies overcome feeding difficulties so they can get the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. We also empower you with tips and strategies you can use at home to ensure your baby can feed more easily for better overall health.

Free Developmental Screening

If you’re concerned about your child’s development, you can take advantage of our free online developmental screening. This tool is a convenient way for parents to know with certainty if your child is achieving their developmental milestones or if they need extra support to achieve their brightest future.

Take our free developmental screening

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