Is a decreased appetite normal with solid foods?

Q: My baby seems to be hungry less often now that she's started solids -- she only wants to eat every six to eight hours. Is this okay?

A: Babies' bodies are remarkable little machines -- they know exactly when they're hungry and how much they need to eat. As long as your pediatrician is happy with your baby's weight gain and growth, her eating habits are likely totally fine. Also, your baby's appetite may fluctuate from day to day, and there may be times she's hungrier than others (like during a growth spurt). Don't force her to eat if she's not hungry, but do try to keep her on a regular feeding schedule.

Although your baby probably enjoys her solid meals, it's important that they don't interfere with her consumption of breast milk or formula, which should still be her main source of nutrition for the first year. After 4 months, most babies should drink between 24 to 32 ounces of breast milk or formula a day spread out over four to six feedings. To make sure solids aren't spoiling her appetite, spread them out over two to three feedings and offer them only after she's taken the breast or bottle.

Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.


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