Many infants and toddlers experience feeding difficulties – up to 50% in some studies. This suggests that they can be a "normal" feature of development. Only a small percentage of children have severe feeding difficulties that can impact on growth and development. Feeding difficulties can be due to many reasons including allergy, illness, infection, discomfort from feeding with vomiting and choking – even anxiety can alter infants and toddlers feeding. It is important to exclude organic illness such as milk allergy, simple infections, cardiac and respiratory disorders, congenital abnormalities of the mouth, larynx (voice box), trachea or oesophagus; this can be done by seeing a paediatrician. Sometimes no physical cause is found and the infant is in a cycle of poor feeding and negative experience which compounds the problem; a paediatrician will be able to help, often in conjunction with a team of allied health practitioners with experience in this field.
The following practitioners at CPMG can be of service in helping investigate and managing infant and toddler feeding difficulties: