As an occupational therapist that specializes in working with babies and feeding therapy, there are four things that I know for sure. Parents who have babies that struggle with eating often:
  1. Feel guilty and blame themselves
  2. Feel a sense of isolation
  3. Express desperation and just want their babies to eat
  4. Can’t understand why this is happening
Most people that find me when their baby won’t eat typically say, “I have never even heard of a feeding therapist before. Can you help us?” Yes, I can.

Babies can have trouble with their eating for a wide range of reasons. They might have been born prematurely, they may be medically fragile or have long hospital histories, they may have food/milk allergies, oral motor difficulties, suck/swallow/breathe coordination issues, trouble with their swallowing mechanism, oral sensory differences or they may have a combination of any of these at one time.

When do you need to find a feeding therapist? When your baby:
  • Won’t latch onto a nipple
  • Refuses to suck or needs distraction to eat
  • Has poor weight gain or no weight gain
  • Has poor sucking strength
  • Gulps or coughs with feedings
  • Consistently takes over 30 minutes to finish a bottle or breast feeding
  • Will not explore items with their mouth (beginning around 4-5 months of age)
  • Is having trouble transitioning off of pureed foods to increased thickness or texture
  • Refuses Cheerios or puffs in a natural progression
  • Worries you at each mealtime