Teething and Loss of Appetite

A lack of interest in food is one of several signs of teething. As the teeth push through the gums they cause pain and discomfort which often stops the baby from eating. Teething babies often find that the pain increases in their gums as they feed from a bottle or eat food. They stop doing so and prefer to chew on a teething ring or other teething items as this also soothes the pain.

This biting or chewing also counters the pressure on the gums caused by the newly emerging teeth. They are able to consume liquids but find solid food difficult because this tends to irritate their gums. And remember: a baby's gums are very sore and inflamed during teething which makes them extremely sensitive. Even the slightest touch is painful so your baby will avoid anything which is likely to cause this pain.

Find out more about this in our teething and sore gums article.

Is there a health risk from this loss of appetite?

If your baby is refusing to eat then your first concern will be whether this is likely to affect your baby's health. Particularly as a baby needs all of the nutrients at this time as these aid with personal growth and development. But a temporary lack of appetite is common amongst teething babies and usually resolves itself after a couple of weeks. Ensure that your baby drinks plenty of fluids and try and tempt with a few treats to stimulate his appetite. A few ice lollies or some chilled fruit might persuade him but if not then try cold, sugar free drinks. Plus these can be act as suitable objects to chew on during teething. If your little one refuses food and drink and has not regained his appetite after two weeks then speak to your GP.