Fussy eaters: tips for making this work

It is very normal for your baby to go through a fussy period - don’t feel like it’s a reflection of your parenting skills. Of course it can be frustrating, but the key is to be patient with them - they’re too young to understand what they’re doing. Here are a few tips to help you deal with a fussy baby in a positive way.

How Do I Tell if My Baby is Full?

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Spoiled appetites - Your baby is getting most of their nourishment (and liquid!) from breastmilk (or formula) at this stage. You can start to offer a little water with or after a meal so baby doesn’t get too full. Don’t offer sugary drinks like juice, and cordials as these provide sugar with not much other nutrition. Try to recognise when your baby has had enough to eat- signs they are full might include turning their head away, refusing to open their mouth, crying and pushing the bowl or spoon away. 

Keep it low key – try to keep meal times relaxed, and don’t let them drag on for too long. Babies usually won’t want to eat for more than 20 minutes in one go.

Small is good - keep portions small and include a variety of tastes, textures and colours where you can. 

Don’t force it – by forcing your baby to finish what is on their plate you teach them to ignore their own fullness signals which can lead to overeating when they are older.  Your baby has an inbuilt appetite for food and knows when they have eaten enough.  It is important not to force your baby to eat. Mealtimes should be enjoyable.

Smile! - babies read their parents faces. If you have a frown or grumpy face as you are offering food to your baby, they will think there is something is wrong.  Remember - there’s no need to stress about your baby's eating habits. Babies will actually pick up your anxiety. If on the odd occasion they don’t seem to eat much, it’s not a big deal. If they’re gaining weight and seem well, then they’re probably getting enough food.


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