My four-month-old baby is eating less than before. Does he have a problem?

My four-month-old baby is eating less than before. Does he have a problem?

In the first two to three months of life, most babies are growing fast and eat more. When the growth spurt ends, the amount of nutrients your baby needs reduces, so his appetite may decrease accordingly. This is a normal phenomenon.

The baby next door doesn’t have this problem and feeds even more than my baby. I’m very worried!

The amount of milk needed by each baby is unique. It depends on the pace of each baby’s growth, the rate of metabolism and activity level, so the amount of milk intake can be vastly different. For two to four months old babies, the difference in milk intake can be up to fifteen ounces!

In addition, a baby’s appetite differs per meal. His body will naturally adjust to the amount of food needed. If he has more in one meal, his appetite may naturally decrease in the next meal. If your baby has a big appetite for several days, then he might have a small appetite and eat less in the following few days.

So, parents should not depend on a single standardized recommendation or compare with other babies to decide whether your baby is eating enough or not. If your baby appears satisfied and lively, together with a satisfactory growth, the amount of milk he had should be enough.

Then what should I do?

Since babies can adjust their amount of intake according to their body needs, we should believe in them. Feed them according to their signs of hunger and fullness. When a baby sucks increasingly slower, falls asleep while feeding, exhibits no interest in sucking anymore; this means he is already full and is time to stop feeding. Parents must not force babies to continue feeding. Also, parents should not feed their babies when they are sleepy. Otherwise, the babies may depend on the bottles to fall asleep and get choked. Furthermore, drinking milk from a bottle while sleeping increases the chance of tooth decay when your baby has teeth.