Here is a list of the 10 most important warning signs of a feeding disorder in your child. This list is not exhaustive and there are other signs. You should seek professional guidance from a Qualified Feeding Specialist if your child exhibits any of the following symptoms:
- Vomits frequently and the vomiting is associated with pain and discomfort. Many infants “spit up” with no pain or nausea, this is not a concern. They may start “spitting up” as early as newborn and will subside between 6-18 months.
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea.
- Choking, gagging or retching that interferes with eating and/or nutrition.
- Difficulty advancing to textured foods.
- Difficulty chewing leading to reliance on pureed foods. Both child and parent may develop anxiety around eating when child is having difficulty chewing.
- Excessive mouth stuffing and/or pocketing (storing) of food in the mouth for long periods of time.
- Stressful mealtimes filled with power struggles (while this is most often behavioral it can and should be addressed to make mealtimes better for everyone)
- Excessive congestion, irritability, skin conditions. All these symptoms may be due to food allergies and should be explored.
- Consistent and excessive drooling in the absence of nasal congestion or teething.
- Does not mouth toys or explore with his mouth. All babies should go through a stage of mouthing.
If you have not already done so you should read Feeding Milestones for Children for information about your child’s feeding/eating development.