Teething Babies Who Refuse to Eat: What Do You Do?

What do you do when you're dealing with teething babies who refuse to eat? Check out our tips for getting past this rough patch in your baby's life!

Teething babies who refuse to eat, this is my son.  He is teething and is often refusing his bottle.  Even refusing to eat his normal foods he likes!  Of course, as a mom this is upsetting, as I don’t want him to go hungry.  He just seems to want nothing, even me.  

I was glad to see I wasn’t alone when one of our mom readers contacted us about the very same thing.  She wrote to us concerned that her 4.5-month-old little one is refusing to take a bottle now when teething.   She is mostly breastfed but takes a bottle at night sometimes or when with other family members.  Is this normal?  Is it a phase?

Related: Help! My Teething Infant Stopped Feeding Himself!

Teething Babies Who Refuse to Eat: What Do You Do?

Can you imagine something as hard as teeth, pushing and poking their way through your gums?  I might not want to put anything in my mouth either!  But the boy has to eat right?  

When he refuses his bottles and other foods, it is my first clue he is teething.  Instead of getting frustrated (which is super easy to do!) I am just there for him and follow his lead.  I give him small amounts at a time.  Does he push it away at times?  Yes, but I know he is hungry, so (please don’t judge) I fight with him for a minute, me trying to put the bottle in his mouth, and him pushing it away.  It takes him a minute, but he eventually realizes that he needs to eat, and he will feel a little bit better.

What is a breastfeeding mom to do?  It is not a secret that breastfeeding, whether actually eating or not, is comforting to your little one.  If you breastfeed and bottle feed, while he is teething, you might want to just stick to the breast for a few days.  Of course, it is always nice to be able to pass off the cranky tot to someone else for a few, but you are a mom, and he wants mom.  You actually have one up on me if you breastfeed because we never did that!  I can’t soothe my son, in the same way, you can.  

Whether you breastfeed or formula feed, your baby is going to eventually have teeth coming in (cringe).  My personal suggestion (because I am no expert) is to just surrender to your baby’s needs and crankiness for the time being.  He will eat.  Rest assured that it is a phase and it will pass.  Once the pain passes for him, he will eat like a growing teenager!  I can say this because my son just did this, he ate all of his leftovers from the fridge that he refused while uncomfortable.

Every child is different.  So just when you think you have experience from going through the teething stage with an older child, your baby will throw you a curveball.  

How did you handle your child refusing to eat when he was teething?  All of us moms, new and not so new, could use the helpful suggestions!  Share your stories of what works and what doesn’t below in the comments!

16 thoughts on “Teething Babies Who Refuse to Eat: What Do You Do?”

  1. The teething stage can be so hard! My little one is going through this right now and at this point he is still pretty happy. If he does get cranky I’m willing to do what I can to soothe him because I can’t imagine how bad it feels to actually get a tooth.

  2. I am lucky that my daughter’s teething wasn’t too bad. I used to freeze bananas and strawberries and put them in these little teething mesh bags for her to chew on.

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