11 Common Baby Feeding Problems – Solved!|Ready. Set. Food! (2023)

How to handle 11 of the most common feeding problems and difficulties from birth to 3 years of age? Whether you’re trying to balance breast and bottle, your little one isn’t eating, they’re a picky eater, or you’re having difficulty feeding them for another reason, we’ve got you covered!

1. Baby is spitting up

When it could occur: Most often, in the first 6-8 months of life

What it looks like: Baby often regurgitates breastmilk, formula, or food during or after a feeding.

How to solve it: Spitting up is perfectly normal – it happens because baby’s digestive system is still developing, and the muscle between baby’s stomach and esophagus doesn’t always close tightly. This means it’s easy for the contents of baby’s stomach to come back up. As long as your pediatrician says baby is thriving and gaining weight well, baby seems happy when they spit, and baby is wetting around 6-10 diapers daily, you don’t have to worry.

There are ways to reduce spit-up, though. Burp baby regularly during and after every feed, and keep them upright during feeds and for at least a half an hour afterwards. Don’t bounce or engage in active play with them for 20-30 minutes after a feed. You should also feed them only when they are hungry – don’t overfeed your little one.

2. Baby is forcefully spitting up, and they seem distressed

When it could occur: Most often, in the first 6-8 months of life

What it looks like: Baby often regurgitates breastmilk, formula, or food during or after a feeding – and they usually cry, appear to be in pain, or even choke. Baby might also spit up very forcefully, followed by crying.

How to solve it: Baby might have GERD – gastroesophageal reflux disease. Visit your pediatrician as soon as you can for a diagnosis (and treatment, if they do have GERD).

Since around half of GERD cases are caused by milk allergies or milk intolerances, you might also need to switch formulas under a doctor’s guidance if you’re feeding baby a milk-based formula.

3. Baby prefers the breast over the bottle

When it could occur: If you want to feed your breastfed baby pumped breastmilk, and are trying to introduce a bottle

What it looks like: Baby has no problem breastfeeding. But you’d also like to pump your breastmilk and introduce a bottle for flexibility, including so your partner or another caregiver can bottle feed baby. When you try to introduce the bottle, though, baby won’t take it – they fuss and will only feed from the breast.

(Video) How to help a child having a seizure (epilepsy) #FirstAid #PowerOfKindness

How to solve it: Try leaving the room or house while someone else feeds your little one, as baby might not want the bottle if they know your breasts are available. You might also try varying bottle feeding locations or positions, or choosing a bottle that more closely mimics your breasts. Our list of tips for overcoming bottle refusal might help you out as well.

4. Baby prefers the bottle over the breast

When it could occur: If you have introduced a bottle to your breastfed baby

What it looks like: Once you’ve introduced a bottle of breastmilk (or formula as a supplement) to your breastfed baby, baby only wants to drink from the bottle. They fuss and refuse the breast when you try to nurse.

How to solve it: Choose a bottle that’s designed to closely mimic the feel of your breasts, as well as the flow of milk from your breasts. This way, it won’t be easier for baby to get the milk out of the bottle – a factor that often leads to breast refusal. A breast-like bottle will have a slow flow, and will require baby to work to get the milk out, just like they must do during a nursing session. It will also require the same type of latch that baby needs to drink milk when nursing.

In addition, you might try using the same routine when giving the bottle and starting a nursing session, including skin-to-skin contact. Or, try switching up your feeding position. Our article with tips for stopping nipple confusion has even more strategies to try.

5. Baby favors breastmilk/formula and won’t eat much solid food

When it could occur: Between 4 and 12 months of age, once you’ve introduced solids

What it looks like: Baby is drinking lots of breastmilk or formula, but doesn’t want much – or any – of their solids when you try to feed them solids.

How to solve it: Breastmilk or formula is still baby’s main source of nutrition in their first year of life, so it’s normal – and expected – for the bulk of baby’s diet to be breastmilk or formula. Still, baby should start exploring a variety of different solids once they’re developmentally ready.

Start out a meal with breastmilk or formula, then follow that up with solids. Solids are still new to your little one. If baby’s too hungry, they might prefer breastmilk or formula because they don’t have to use the new skills of munching and chewing (and breastmilk or formula is an easier way to satisfy that hunger).

6. You’re not sure how to balance baby’s breastmilk/formula and solids intake

When it could occur: Between 4 and 12 months of age, once you’ve introduced solids

(Video) How Stopping Breastfeeding (Weaning) Affects the Mother and the Baby

What it looks like: When you introduce solids during the first year, you’re not sure how much breastmilk or formula baby should consume per day, and how much solids they should eat in a day.

How to solve it: As long as your baby is following a healthy growth pattern, and you’re introducing solids when baby is ready, there’s no need to worry.

As a general rule, babies 4-8 months of age (who have started solids) should drink 3-5 servings of breastmilk or formula in a day – up to 32 ounces per day. They’ll also have 1-3 small solids meals per day.

Babies 8-12 months of age should drink 3-4 servings of breastmilk or formula in a day – around 16-32 ounces per day. They’ll also have 3 small solids meals per day.

For more details about how much to serve when introducing solids in the first year, check outour guide to what baby eats in a day.

7. It’s difficult to introduce common allergens to baby

When it could occur: Between 4 and 12 months of age

What it looks like: As landmark studies and medical guidelines show, it's important to introduce common allergens to your little one in their first year of life – as early as 4 months of age – to give them the best chance at a healthier future. (Common allergens include peanut, egg, milk, tree nuts, wheat, soy, and sesame.) When introducing these allergens, consistent exposure is key. But it can be time-consuming and frustrating to introduce these foods starting as early as 4 months of age, especially if baby is a picky eater or isn’t yet ready for solids.

How to solve it: Ready. Set. Food! is an easier way to introduce common allergens and help give baby the best chance at food freedom.

Our Stage 1 and Stage 2 Mix-Ins introduce peanut, egg, and milk, and can safely mix with a bottle of breastmilk or formula (as well as baby’s favorite purees). So, it’s easy to consistently introduce those allergens daily, as early as 4 months of age – even if baby isn’t yet ready for solids.

Then, for babies eating solids regularly, Ready. Set. Food! Stage 3 Mix-Ins and Organic Baby Oatmeal are easy ways to consistently introduce 9 top allergens (peanut, egg and milk, plus wheat, soy, sesame, and three types of tree nuts).

(Video) I GOT ADOPTED BY GIGA RICH STAR || New Life of Broke Girl in Millionaire Family By 123 GO! TRENDS

8. Your little one refuses to eat

When it could occur: Between 1 and 3 years of age

What it looks like: Your child eats a good amount of food one day, but the next day, they refuse meals outright.

How to solve it: Your little one might not be hungry. Compared to their first year, they’re growing a lot less, so their appetite could vary greatly from meal to meal and from day to day. They might eat more when they’re going through a sudden growth spurt, then not be hungry for nearly as much once that spurt is over.

Other reasons your child might not be hungry are if they haven’t been active enough to work up an appetite, or if they’ve had so much milk that their drinks fill them up too quickly. If they are sitting around all day, or drinking lots of healthy-but-filling cow’s milk, they won’t be nearly as hungry at mealtimes. So, make sure that they have plenty of playtime and that they’re not filling up on milk.

9. Your little one is grazing

When it could occur: Between 10 months and 2 years of age

What it looks like: Your baby or toddler would rather fill up on quick little snacks throughout the day than larger meals, because they want to move around and play. (After all, they’re able to move around more easily as they learn to crawl and then walk!) As a result, it’s harder to get them to eat a balanced diet.

How to solve it: Think of snacks like parts of a day-long meal – give your little one healthy snacks like fruit pieces, veggie matchsticks, and shredded cheese. (This is a great idea even if your little one isn’t a grazer!)

It’s also important to encourage your little one to be at the table for family meals, since meal food tends to be healthier than snack food and healthy habits are formed in the first few years of a child’s life. If your grazer is 2 years old or older, it’s best to limit them to 1-2 snacks per day and then offer them lots of different foods at the table for meals.

10. Your little one doesn’t want to try new foods

When it could occur: Usually, between 18 months and 3 years of age

What it looks like: Your little one enjoys the meals that they’ve had many times before, but won’t touch anything new that you put in front of them.

(Video) Baby First Aid: How to save a choking baby

How to solve it: Keep serving new foods to your child, and don’t give up if they don’t want to eat new meals. It often takes 10-15 exposures to a food before a child learns to love it. Showing how much you enjoy the food (“modeling” your love for the food) is another great strategy, and so is letting your child sniff and touch the new food with no pressure to eat it.

11. Your little one is a picky eater

When it could occur: This often happens in the toddler years (18 months-3 years)

What it looks like: Your little one only likes to eat certain foods, will only eat foods that aren’t touching, or otherwise will only eat a limited assortment of foods.

How to solve it: Picky eaters can be picky for several reasons, including because they want control over the situation and because they feel more comfortable with the familiar. The best ways to encourage your picky eater to try and love new foods depend on the type of picky eater they are.

Find strategies for helping your picky eater enjoy lots of different foods in our guide to the types of picky eaters.

Here are some strategies that work well for encouraging several different types of picky eaters to be more adventurous:

  • Putting a small amount of food on your little one’s plate, but giving them control over whether they take a bite or not.
  • Giving your little one a bit of the new food to look at, sniff, and touch outside of a mealtime, to get them used to it.
  • Involving your little one in simple meal prep tasks.
  • Serving small amounts of new food alongside old favorites (again, with no pressure to eat the new food).


All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

(Video) Ninja Kidz Movie | Season 1 Remastered

See the FDA Peanut Allergy Qualified Health Claim at the bottom of our homepage.


What are common baby feeding problems? ›

About 25% to 40% of infants and toddlers are reported by their caregivers to have feeding problems, mainly colic, vomiting, slow feeding, and refusal to eat. Although some of these difficulties are transient, some problems, such as refusal to eat, are found in 3% to 10% of children and tend to persist.

How do you solve feeding problems? ›

Feed in the best way
  1. Maintain a division of responsibility in feeding. ...
  2. Get started with family meals, if you aren't having them already. ...
  3. Don't let your child have food or drinks between times, except for water. ...
  4. Have the same meal for everyone. ...
  5. Make wise use of “forbidden foods.”

Do pediatricians recommend Ready. Set. Food? ›

Yes, Ready. Set. Food! is safe. Feeding allergenic foods to babies under 1 year of age is safe and is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Did Mark Cuban invest in Ready. Set. Food? ›

In 2021, PRN Newswire reported that the Shark Tank company had raised $3.5 million and had a new investor on board, Edward-Elmhurst Health. Along with the new investor, Danone Manifesto Ventures and Mark Cuban were also part of the 2021 funding round.

How can I improve my baby's feeding? ›

Consider these tips for feeding a newborn.
  1. Stick with breast milk or formula. ...
  2. Feed your newborn on cue. ...
  3. Consider vitamin D supplements. ...
  4. Expect variations in your newborn's eating patterns. ...
  5. Trust your instincts — and your newborn's. ...
  6. Consider each feeding a time to bond with your newborn. ...
  7. Keep feedings consistent.

What are 2 issues with formula feeding? ›

formula fed are 16.7 times more likely to have pneumonia than children who are given only breast milk. harmful bacteria in contaminated formula. increase respiratory and food allergies which can cause eczema, rashes and diarrhea. likely to have asthma and wheezing.

Why is my baby feeding problems refusing to eat? ›

There are many reasons infants may be finicky about food. They may be teething, tired, not yet ready for solids, or just don't need as much food as you're feeding them. Familiar foods provide your baby comfort in stressful, busy times. Although picky eating may linger awhile, it rarely lasts.

What are the three main options for feeding an infant? ›

There are many options for feeding your baby—from breastfeeding to mixed feedings to using donor milk to formula feeding.

Is Ready Set food FDA approved? ›

Ready. Set. Food! is a dietary supplement that doesn't require FDA approval. There are only 100% non-GMO, organic ingredients in our packets: peanut, egg, cow's milk, wheat, soy, sesame, almond, cashew, and walnut.

Is Ready Set Food recommended? ›

We recommend using Ready. Set. Food!, for at least 6 months, or until your baby is regularly eating the allergens at least 3 times a week. We designed Ready.

Is ready food good for babies? ›

Meals which parents make at home for their baby or toddler are often less healthy and more likely to lead to their child gaining weight than shop-bought ones, a new study has found.

How much does Ready Set Food cost? ›

Ready, Set, Food! is a reasonable cost, with plans as low as $29 per month.

Who owns Ready Set Food? ›

Ready, Set, Food! was founded by Daniel Zakowski and Dr. Andrew Leitner in May 2018 after Dr. Leitner's son and Zakowski's nephew, Abe, suffered an allergic reaction to peanut butter before he was one year old.

Does Ready Set Food prevent allergies? ›

If your baby has a confirmed food allergy to cow's milk or egg, we do offer dairy-free and egg-free options, and you can click here to view our peanut and egg, and peanut only product. It's very important to note that our product is not to be used to treat existing food allergies.

What am I feeding my baby with the formula shortage? ›

What to give your baby if you run out of formula:
  • Similar alternative brands. Most babies can tolerate switching to any available formula brand. ...
  • Animal milk or alternative milks. ...
  • Incorporate more purees/solids.
May 18, 2022

Why is my 2 month old not eating as much formula? ›

Loss of appetite in your baby at two months might also be because of a lull in growth, but it's more likely due to a change in the composition of your breastmilk. Until about six weeks, your breast milk contains colostrum, which has a laxative effect on the baby.

What are the side effects of Similac Stage 1? ›

Constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach may occur. These effects are usually temporary and may disappear as your body adjusts to this medication.

Why do babies refuse feeding? ›

Stress or distraction.

Overstimulation, delayed feedings or a long separation from you might cause fussiness and difficulty nursing. A strong reaction from you to being bitten during breastfeeding might have the same effect. Sometimes a baby is simply too distracted to breastfeed.

Why do babies struggle after feeding? ›

Some reasons why your fed baby cries after feeding can include acid reflux, food sensitivity/allergy, gas, formula, or colic. You should not breastfeed every time your baby cries. Instead, it's best to let the baby tell you when it's had enough flow of milk.

What happens if baby doesnt feed enough? ›

Babies who aren't getting enough milk will have low energy. Baby regularly will sleep 4 or more hours at a time. Baby takes too little or too much time at the breast. A baby who is not feeding well may fall asleep shortly after beginning to feed, or may take longer than 30-40 minutes per feed.

What are the two methods of feeding a baby? ›

Infant feeding may consist of direct breastfeeding (DBF), pumping and bottle feeding (P&F), formula feeding (FF), solid food feeding (SFF), and any combination. An accurate evaluation of infant feeding requires descriptions of different patterns, consistency, and transition over time.

What are the two types of infant feeding? ›

The three types of feeding are: (1) exclusively breastfeeding; (2) replacement feeding receiving no breast milk; or (3) mixed feeding with breast milk and replacement feeding.

What are the 5 major components of feed? ›

The major components of feedstuffs are moisture, lipids, protein, fibre, carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins.
  • 1 Moisture. Moisture (water) is an important diluent of the nutrients in feedstuffs. ...
  • 2 Lipids and Fatty Acids. ...
  • 3 Proteins and Amino Acids. ...
  • 4 Carbohydrate. ...
  • 5 Energy. ...
  • 6 Minerals 4/

What is the best feeding method? ›

The AAP recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for infants for at least 6 months. As solid foods are added to the infant's diet, breastfeeding should continue until at least 12 months. Breastfeeding may go on after 12 months, if desired by the mother and infant.

What is the best feeding option? ›

A number of health organizations — including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) — recommend breastfeeding as the best choice for babies.

What are the four feeding strategies? ›

Filter feeding: obtaining nutrients from particles suspended in water. Deposit feeding: obtaining nutrients from particles suspended in soil. Fluid feeding: obtaining nutrients by consuming other organisms' fluids. Bulk feeding: obtaining nutrients by eating all of an organism.

Does Ready Set Food have heavy metals? ›

Ready. Set. Food! products exceed all standards and guidelines with regard to heavy metals, and we verify post-production that our products do not contain harmful levels of glyphosate or other chemicals.

Is FDA approved food grade? ›

What Does "FDA Compliant" Mean? "FDA compliant" means that a material meets all of the FDA's guidelines for safe, direct contact with food. It's essentially an official way of saying a material is "food grade." To be FDA compliant, a material must be able to withstand the environment it will be used in.

Is Ready Set Food FSA eligible? ›

Ready, Set, Food! can now be purchased with your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) card. Early allergen introduction has never been easier! Organic.

Does Ready Set food expire? ›

It is recommended to purchase when you are ready to begin using Ready. Set. Food!, and not in advance. You can view the expiration date on each packet, and it will be located next to the lot number.

How much milk for ready set food? ›

You will need a minimum of 2 oz of breast milk, formula, or baby food to mix with Ready. Set. Food!. If you typically feed your baby more than 2 oz you can continue to prepare the bottle, or food as you normally would.

When should I start my baby on Ready Set food? ›

Starting as early as 4 months of age, Ready Set Food introduces baby to 9 of the top allergens safely over a minimum of 12-months.

What is the best first food for baby? ›

Solid foods may be introduced in any order. However, puréed meats, poultry, beans and iron-fortified cereals are recommended as first foods, especially if your baby has been primarily breastfed, since they provide key nutrients. Only one new single-ingredient food should be introduced at a time.

What is the best baby food for the first time? ›

Here are some great first foods for Baby to try:
  • Pea puree.
  • Carrot puree.
  • Mashed banana.
  • Mashed avocado.
  • Mashed or pureed beans.
  • Mashed or pureed lentils.
  • Pureed meats (beef, chicken, or turkey)
  • Soft, falling apart meats (salmon, beef, chicken, turkey)

How do I introduce peanut butter to my baby? ›

Offer the first taste on a small spoon. For babies and children under age 4, mix peanut butter with 1 safe food at a time. Do not give plain peanut butter to any baby or child under age 4. Do not push your baby to eat more than he wants.

What baby foods test for heavy metals? ›

Although the metals occur naturally in all foods, the high levels in nearly all baby foods cause great concern among researchers. Brands tested include HappyBABY, Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, Earth's Best Organic, Gerber, Parent's Choice, Sprout Organics and Plum Organics.

Is ready food healthy? ›

Whatever your reasons, ready meals aren't always as nutritious as cooking a meal from scratch. This is because they don't always provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Ready meals can be high in salt and fat and low in other nutrients.

Is ready to eat food healthy? ›

A major concern with these meals is their nutritional composition. Unfortunately, most ready-made meals are high in energy, saturated fats and sodium and are often low in fibre and micronutrients.

Who is the CEO of Ready Set Food com? ›

Daniel Zakowski - CEO - Ready, Set, Food!

Do pediatricians recommend ready set food? ›

Yes, Ready. Set. Food! is safe. Feeding allergenic foods to babies under 1 year of age is safe and is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Are food allergy tests worth it? ›

But medical organizations, including those in the United States, Europe and Canada, have recommended against using food sensitivity or intolerance tests because there is no good evidence that they work. “There isn't anything in your hair that would tell you anything about your sensitivity to food,” Dr. Kelso said.

What can I feed my baby with allergies? ›

Cereal foods such as bread, crackers, pasta, and iron fortified cereals. Offer a variety of grains including wheat, rice, oats, and corn. Dairy foods such as yoghurt, cheese, and cow's milk on cereal. Cow's milk should not be given as the main milk (instead of breastmilk or formula), for babies under 12 months of age.

How do I know if my baby has a feeding problem? ›

Feeding problems occur when babies refuse food, eat small amounts of food, eat a limited variety of food, or have problems digesting food. With infants who are still on breast milk or formula, this can mean things like ineffective sucking, spitting up too much, or refusing the nipple or bottle.

When should I be concerned about baby feeding? ›

Signs That Your Baby Isn't Eating Enough

They would rather sleep than eat. They won't latch onto your breast, or they pull away from you. They are fussy right after feedings. They wet fewer diapers.

Why is my baby so difficult to feed? ›

There are many reasons infants may be finicky about food. They may be teething, tired, not yet ready for solids, or just don't need as much food as you're feeding them. Familiar foods provide your baby comfort in stressful, busy times. Although picky eating may linger awhile, it rarely lasts.

What are red flags for infant feeding? ›

Here are a few "Red Flags" for feeding problems in infants. Doesn't latch well and/or consistently to the breast or bottle. Has a lot of milk coming out of their mouth during feedings. (They might soak through a burp cloth or bib with each feeding) Coughing or choking with breast or bottle feedings.

How long is too long between baby feeds? ›

As newborns get older, they'll nurse less often, and may have a more predictable schedule. Some might feed every 90 minutes, whereas others might go 2–3 hours between feedings. Newborns should not go more than about 4 hours without feeding, even overnight.

How long is too long for a baby to feed? ›

Duration. During the newborn period, most breastfeeding sessions take 20 to 45 minutes. However, because newborn babies are often sleepy, this length of time may require patience and persistence. Feed on the first side until your baby stops suckling, hands are no longer fisted, and your baby appears sleepy and relaxed.

When can babies go 4 hours between feedings? ›

Newborn: every 2 to 3 hours. At 2 months: every 3 to 4 hours. At 4 to 6 months: every 4 to 5 hours. At 6+ months: every 4 to 5 hours.

Why do babies cry when feeding? ›

When your baby is having trouble managing your flow, they will often cry in protest. The milk may be coming out so quickly and abundantly — sometimes spraying down their throat — and they may not be able to coordinate breathing and suckling, which can make them quite upset.

What does comfort feeding look like? ›

Comfort nursing is the name sometimes used to describe breastfeeding for reasons other than for food such as breastfeeding a baby to sleep, calming a crying baby or because baby enjoys sucking. Babies will still get a little milk while they are comfort nursing and it's a great mothering tool.

What are the three types of infant feeding? ›

Foods fed to infants, including breast milk, infant formula and solid foods.

What are 3 signs that your baby is hungry? ›

Your child may be hungry if he or she:
  • Reaches for or points to food.
  • Opens his or her mouth when offered a spoon or food.
  • Gets excited when he or she sees food.
  • Uses hand motions or makes sounds to let you know he or she is still hungry.


1. Gumball | Darwin's Potato Diet | The Potato | Cartoon Network
(The Amazing World of Gumball)
2. What Happens To Your Body After You Die? | Human Biology | The Dr Binocs Show | Peekaboo Kidz
(Peekaboo Kidz)
3. Her brother wasn’t going to stop her. 👏 #shorts
4. Teen Titans GO! To The Movies Exclusive Clip | Time Cycles | @dckids
(DC Kids)
5. P!NK - What About Us (Official Video)
6. Ex-Sumter daycare worker charged with hitting, throwing 5-year-old child
(News 19 WLTX)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Virgilio Hermann JD

Last Updated: 01/25/2023

Views: 5899

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Virgilio Hermann JD

Birthday: 1997-12-21

Address: 6946 Schoen Cove, Sipesshire, MO 55944

Phone: +3763365785260

Job: Accounting Engineer

Hobby: Web surfing, Rafting, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Ghost hunting, Swimming, Amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Virgilio Hermann JD, I am a fine, gifted, beautiful, encouraging, kind, talented, zealous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.