Should feeding your baby be so difficult?

Sometimes when my baby is 'eating', or more usually 'not eating', I just feel like crying. Is feeding supposed to be this hard?

This sounds incredibly tough for you. First up, you are definitely not alone. So many parents find feeding their child to be hugely stressful, from first foods all the way through to family meals for school aged children. However, you shouldn't have to struggle through mealtimes. Feeding should not be a nightmare. There are always reasons that things might not be going to plan in the high chair or at the dinner table, and we can definitely figure these out!

The most important thing to know is that this is NOT your fault, nor is it your child's fault.

I like to think of mealtimes as a jigsaw puzzle. For mealtimes to go smoothly, we need to look at the big picture (of the puzzle), understand what's happening and then put all of the little jigsaw pieces into their place. The little pieces of the jigsaw might be things like mealtime routines that aren't working, your child's ability to bite or chew properly, or an undiagnosed food intolerance. If these pieces aren't in their right places then mealtimes get harder and kids get fussier. Just like with a jigsaw, it's hard to put the pieces in place when you don't know what you're looking for. When you're stressed or worried about feeding your child, then it can be even more difficult to do this. That's where I can do my job to help you work out where to put those pieces and get back to enjoying successful mealtimes with your bub.

It is so important for parents or carers to enjoy sharing meals with babies and children. The atmosphere at mealtimes plays a big role in shaping how children feel about food in the future. Kids look to their caregivers to help them understand the world around them. If mealtimes are making you worried, upset or stressed then please get in touch. You don't have to do it on your own. And it doesn't have to be so hard.

To submit your own question about fussy babies, picky toddlers or child nutrition then please click here. If you live in Perth and you'd like an appointment in your own home, please email Kyla (kyla@mealtimes.com.au)

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