There are a variety of causes for feeding difficulties with Infants and young toddlers.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than half of all newborns experience reflux within the first 3 months. Symptoms include spitting up, vomiting, poor feeding, and coughing. In almost all cases, GERD in infants resolves itself by 12 months of age without treatment. If the baby is not gaining weight or otherwise refusing to eat due to the reflux, medication may be required. Protein Pump Inhibitors are usually effective in improving feeding.
Feeding requires strong oral motor skills. This allows the child to bite and break the food, as well as shift it from side to side.
Sensory difficulties are common among young children and may lead to an aversion to certain textures or food types. The child may also have an aversion to touching certain kinds of textures, such as mashed potatoes or cheerios.
Fine motor skills are required for picking up small pieces of food, and for developing appropriate self-feeding skills.
The bottom line is correlation does not prove causality. The use of thickening agents with premature and young infants obviously requires further study.
To contact our Brooklyn Feeding Therapists, click here or call 347-871-8533.