Causes Poor Feeding in Infants

Poor feeding is a nonspecific symptom seen in newborn and young infants. It can result from many conditions, including infection, metabolic disorders, genetic disorders, structural problems, and neurological disorders. Poor feeding is not a sign of the severity of the disease, but it requires close watching of the infant.

Poor feeding is not the same as “picky” eating. Many children between ages 2 and 4 are picky eaters. Parents only need to give children what they like to eat at this age. However, children must continue to drink milk or an appropriate milk substitute.

Causes

  • Any disorder that causes damage to the nervous system or causes muscle weakness
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome
  • Birth-acquired herpes
  • Congenital hypothyroidism
  • Galactosemia
  • Group B streptococcal septicemia of the newborn (late)
  • Hypoplastic left heart
  • Infant botulism
  • Infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
  • Newborn jaundice
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Premature infant
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Total anomalous pulmonary venous return
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula, a birth defect in which there is a connection between the trachea and the esophagus
  • Transposition of the great vessels
  • Truncus arteriosus
  • Viral gastroenteritis

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