My daughter is now almost 6 months old. she has a stuffy nose since last week and for 2 days she had high fever, but it's gone now. since she had the fever she started refusing the bottle, only when she is half asleep (especially at night) she is drinking, at night even a greater amount. she ate solids when she had fever (Joghurt and Fruit glasses) but didn't wanted any drink. now the fever is gone, but she is refusing the bottle and also starts to refuse the solids. I try to offer her water in a cup or just give her a bottle with milk to play as she like to put everything in her mouth and in my hope that she drinks something, but no luck. Today she had one bottle (about 150 ml) in the morning around 11 am and a little bit of a fruit glass at around 3 pm. thats all until tonight 8 pm where we tried to giver her solids and bottle, but barely any luck. she just doesnt want anything, and she cries a lot more than usual. Last night again she cried like crazy, wakes every few hours and everything starts all over again. she just takes 2 or 3 sips of water then, thats it.We went to the A&E on sunday because of her high fever and the doctor checked everything, ears, tummy, mouth and didn't find anything, he said it's just a cold. I'm worried now that she doesn't get enough fluid. any idea why she could be refusing everything?

asked 18 Mar '10, 09:08

Tanja's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 18 Mar '10, 10:50

Is she nursing? If she's nursing normally, then you may not need to worry about other sources of nutrition, but if she's bottle fed then call the doctor back and let them know that she's not eating normally. Infants can become dehydrated very quickly, which leads to fever and worse illness.

It's important to make it clear to them that your infant's eating and behavior has changed significantly, and that this is not a normal illness. If you can't get her to eat and drink and she does become dehydrated, then eventually a trip to the hospital for an IV (fluids and often sugar directly into the bloodstream) will be necessary.

Also, something to consider, it that babies start getting their teeth about this time. Most of mine were fine with the process, but one really had a hard time, and would refuse to eat. This can be determined by feeling the gums gently - if they pull away and start crying then they probably hurt. For that child we used an oral anesthetic (infant orajel in the US) and that really helped. Rags with a corner wet and frozen for chewing, and other chew toys are also helpful.

Tricks we've used in the past that have helped:

  • I would spend a lot of time carrying the baby, and pop the bottle in his mouth every minute or so - even a drip now and then can help, though he pushes it away immediately.
  • Try a straw - sometimes they'll go for something new.
  • We've also used fast flow nipples in the bottle - we found that at a certain stage the baby would get frustrated with how much work was required to get such a little amount of food, and push it away. Although in your case a cup would have fixed this. But a fast flow nipple helps with the first idea above - they get more than a few drops each time.
  • Try other, more tempting foods. Our babies almost never refused straight apple sauce. Sometimes juice works well.

But don't go more than a day with poor eating - we found with some of our kids that they could get into a cycle where the more dehydrated they became, the less they wanted to eat. They have enough body fat to get energy for a short period of time, but liquids are so important.

One of the ways to determine whether they are dehydrated is if they don't have a wet diaper every 3-6 hours (varies per child/age/etc). Let the doctor know if that's the case.

Lastly, trust your instinct. The doctor can only spend so much time thinking about your case before moving on. If you believe that there's still a problem, insist on another checkup and consultation.


answered 18 Mar '10, 14:08

Adam%20Davis's gravatar image

Adam Davis
accept rate: 31%


+1 for take her back to the doctor, sounds like she's hungry (waking often and fussy), but something is keeping her from eating. I'd certainly want them to at least check her thoat and ears again!

(18 Mar '10, 17:04) Neen
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Asked: 18 Mar '10, 09:08

Seen: 5,704 times

Last updated: 18 Mar '10, 14:08