Baby fussy and crying after feeding
Why Is Baby Crying After Feeding?
The question of “why does my baby cry after feeding” is a question that can typically drive mothers and parents crazy.
Oftentimes, it can be hard to know why your baby is crying after feedings. Not knowing how to identify the problem and not having a solution can have a significant effect on the physical and mental health of both your baby and the entire family. This can include increased stress, lower quality sleep, and the physical health of your baby. However, if you identify the cause and solve the problem, you will be able to significantly improve the parenting and breastfeeding experience for you and your child.
That’s why we decided to write an article on this topic – Why does my baby cry after feeding? This is an important topic and should be known by all mothers so that you can get the best results when feeding your baby.
This article will cover the following topics:
- Why Babies Cry After Feeding
- Should You Breastfeed Every Time Your Baby Cries?
- How Do I Comfort A Newborn?
Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Why Your Baby Cries After Feeding
The first major reason babies cry after feeding is known as acid reflux. Acid reflux happens when the content in the stomach gets pushed back into the esophagus.
It’s estimated that more than half of infants experience acid reflux at some point. The condition usually peaks at 4 months and goes away on its own between 12 and 18 months of age.
Some symptoms of acid reflux include:
- Spitting up and/or Vomiting
- Refusal to eat and difficulty eating or swallowing
- Irritability during feeding
- Wet burp / hiccups
- Failure to gain weight
- Abnormal arching
- Frequent coughing
- Gagging or choking
- Chest pain or heartburn
- Disturbed sleep
If acid reflux symptoms persist past 24 months, it may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) when combined with weight gain.
Food Sensitivity / Allergies
In addition to acid reflux, some breastfed babies may be allergic to certain food particles that their mothers are eating. According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, some of the most common foods that lead to food sensitivities and allergies in babies is cow’s milk protein in the mother’s milk, egg, corn, and soy.
Some symptoms of food sensitivities in your baby include the following:
- Extreme irritability after feedings
- Bloody stools (poop)
If your baby has the following symptoms, you should speak with your healthcare provider about getting them tested for allergies.
Additionally, you can also follow a restricted diet that removes common allergen foods such as eggs, dairy, corn, caffeine, and seeded fruit. Be sure to speak with your doctor before changing your diet significantly.
Start by eliminating one food at a time and analyze the effects of removing certain foods on your baby’s behavior. That way you can really see what effect each individual food has so you can isolate the diet problem.
The next reason your baby may be crying is gas. Gas can also be known as a buildup of air swallowed while eating. In particular, bottle feeding can lead to your baby swallowing a lot of air during feeding. This will cause gas to be trapped in the stomach and will potentially lead to baby hiccups and discomfort for the baby.
In order to help prevent gassing in your baby, you may try to change or improve your breastfeeding position. Try to keep your baby upright after feeding. Also, allow your baby to burp gently from the bottom of their back and up through the shoulders to work the gas bubbles up and out of the body. Burping your baby can significantly reduce the chances of gassiness.
Not every baby gets fed directly from breast milk. For formula-fed babies, a change or switch of the formula you use may be your solution to your baby crying after feeding.
Every formula brand may affect each child differently, so trying a different formula for your baby may be a good solution to solving your babies crying problem. It is important to talk to your own baby’s pediatrician about whether some other formula options can be better for your child.
If you see no change or improvement by switching your baby’s formula, it is unlikely to help for any other brands.
Colic is also another reason why babies cry after feeding. Essentially, colic means persistent and excessive crying for a baby under 3 months old. More specifically, your baby is doing the following:
- Is crying a lot, for at least three hours a day
- The baby is crying at least three days per week or more
- Is under 3 months old
If all 3 of those boxes are checked, then your baby is likely colic.
Should You Breastfeed Every Time Your Baby Cries?
This is a question that is very popular among moms in regards to their baby and crying. For that reason, we wanted to address this directly because it seems to be a topic that is debated out there.
In short, no. You do not want to breastfeed your baby every time he or she cries. Contrary to some beliefs out there, some babies cry because of a bloated stomach, gas, or some of the other reasons we talked about already in this article.
Ultimately, the best solution is to let your baby decide when she’s had enough milk. When your baby has had enough milk, it will give you signs to let you know it will be done feeding. Including stopping feeding or turning your head away.
How Do I Comfort a Crying Newborn?
Now that you know that you shouldn’t breastfeed every time your baby cries after feeding, I’m sure you’re also wondering how to comfort your crying newborn. With that being said, there are multiple ways to comfort a crying newborn when he or she cries.
Some of these ways include:
- Offer a pacifier for sucking – this can help your baby relieve stress without crying.
- Try gently rocking your baby – this can calm your baby down and relax them.
- Quietly singing to your baby – like rocking, singing may calm your baby and get them to stop crying. You can also put on a rhythmic song or music to have the same effect.
- Cuddle and hold your baby close – Touching, holding, and cuddling your baby makes your baby feel safe and secure. You can also put your baby in a blanket to get a similar effect.
- Try walking or taking your child out for a walk – this can result in a positive change in your child’s mood.
These are some of the main ways that you can comfort your baby when crying. As mentioned above, breastfeeding is not always the answer when your baby is crying. If your baby is crying and it has had enough feeding, try the things that we’ve listed above and see if it helps and improves your baby’s mood.Why does My Baby Cry After Feeding – Key Takeaways
If you’re thinking, “Why does my baby cry after feeding?” hopefully this article is helpful for you. Knowing why your baby cries after feeding is extremely important for the health of your child. Some reasons why your fed baby cries after feeding can include acid reflux, food sensitivity/allergy, gas, formula, or colic.
You should not breastfeed every time your baby cries. Instead, it’s best to let the baby tell you when it’s had enough flow of milk.
It’s also important to comfort your crying newborn when he/she cries.
Knowing how to answer the question “why does my baby cry after feeding” can help your breastfeeding experience and the health of your baby. Whether it is with bottle feeding, direct breastfed babies, your baby will be better off if you understand these basics.
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Baby Cries After Feeding: What Should I Do?
Medically reviewed by Karen Gill, M. D. — By Chaunie Brusie on October 3, 2018
My daughter, the “crier”
My second daughter was what my oldest fondly referred to as a “crier.” Or, in other words, she cried. A lot. The crying with my baby girl seemed to intensify after every single feeding and particularly at night.
It was those hellish hours between darkness and dawn when my husband and I would take turns walking around the house with her in our arms, praying and, mostly in my case, sobbing because we couldn’t console our baby.
I didn’t know it then in my sleep-deprived state, but my daughter’s crying after feedings wasn’t that uncommon. In combination with her frequent spitting up, it was pretty much a classic textbook case of colic.
Colic, in technical terms, simply means a “crying, fussy baby that doctors can’t figure out.”
OK, so that’s not really the definition, but in essence, that’s what it boils down to. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) lists one criterion for colic: A baby that cries for at least three hours a day, three or more days a week, and is under 3 months old. Check, check, and check.
There isn’t one single known cause of colic. Even the actual clinical incidence of colic, estimated by BMJ to be around 20 percent of all babies, can be tricky.
One of those causes of crying after feeding and spitting up in babies is actually acid reflux. This condition is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) if it also causes significant symptoms such as poor weight gain.
When my “crier” daughter was 5, she frequently complained of her stomach hurting and as a result, had to undergo a series of testing with a gastroenterologist, a doctor that specializes in the GI system.
At our first appointment, the very first question he asked me was if she had colic as a baby and if she spit up a lot, to both of which I practically shouted, “Yes! How did you know?!”
He explained that acid reflux or GERD can manifest as symptoms similar to colic in babies, stomach pain in school-aged children, and later as actual heartburn pain in adolescents.
While many infants spit up, fewer have actual GERD, which can be caused by an underdeveloped flap between the esophagus and stomach or a higher-than-normal production of stomach acid.
In most cases, a diagnosis of infant reflux is simply based on your baby’s symptoms. If your doctor suspects a severe case however, there are several different tests that actually diagnose infant reflux.
Testing can involve taking a biopsy of your baby’s intestine or using a special type of X-ray to visualize any affected areas of obstruction.
Food sensitivities and allergies
Some babies, especially breastfed babies, may be allergic to certain food particles that their mothers are eating.
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine notes that the most common offender is cow’s milk protein in the mother’s milk, but even a true allergy is very rare. Only about 0.5 to 1 percent of exclusively breastfed babies are thought to be allergic to cow’s milk protein.
The other most common culprits, according to the ABM, are egg, corn, and soy, in that order.
If your baby is displaying symptoms of extreme irritability after feedings and has other symptoms, such as bloody stools (poop), you should speak with your healthcare provider about getting them tested for allergies.
Aside from a true allergy, there’s also been some evidence that following a low allergen diet while breastfeeding (essentially avoiding those top allergy foods, such as dairy, eggs, and corn) may be beneficial for infants with colic.
Strict elimination diets can have their own risks, so speak with your doctor before significantly changing your diet.
In our situation, I found that dairy, caffeine, and certain seeded fruit exacerbated my daughter’s crying and spitting up. By eliminating those foods and substances from my diet, I was able to help lessen her discomfort.
If you have a baby with colic, you might want to try anything at all to help ease your baby’s crying. If you’re curious to see if your diet has any effect, you can start by logging your food in a food journal and writing down your baby’s reactions after each meal.
Next, you can eliminate one food at a time and see if reducing your intake of certain foods seems to make a difference in your baby’s behavior. If you hit on one you feel helps your baby to cry less, this does not mean they will not be able to eat that food in the future.
Just be sure to keep in mind that a true allergy is rare. Also, be sure to monitor for any additional symptoms, such as blood in your baby’s poop.
If your baby is crying a lot after every feeding, it may simply be a buildup of air swallowed while eating. It’s thought that bottle-fed babes in particular may be more prone to swallowing a lot of air during a feeding. This can trap gas in their stomachs and be uncomfortable.
In general, breastfed babies swallow less air while eating simply due to the way they eat. But every baby is different and even breastfed babies may need to be burped after a feeding.
Trying keeping your baby upright after a feeding and burping gently from the bottom of their back and up through the shoulders to work the gas bubbles up and out. Also check out this illustrated guide to burping a sleeping baby.
If your baby is formula-fed, swapping out the formula you use may be a simple solution to a crying baby after feedings. Every formula is a little bit different and certain brands make formulas for more sensitive baby tummies.
If you decide to try this, talk to your baby’s pediatrician about whether an elemental formula would be a good choice to try for a week. If you try one different brand and you see no change in your baby’s fussiness, continuing to try different brands is unlikely to help.
Colic, along with a few other common conditions, might be the culprit if you too have a “crier” on your hands.
If your baby doesn’t find relief after dietary changes or additional burping, then make an appointment to see their doctor.
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Chaunie Brusie, BSN, is a registered nurse with experience in labor and delivery, critical care, and long-term care nursing. She lives in Michigan with her husband and four young children, and is the author of the book “Tiny Blue Lines.”
Last medically reviewed on October 3, 2018
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How we reviewed this article:
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- ABM clinical protocol #24: Allergic proctocolitis in the exclusively breastfed infant. (2011). DOI:
- Harrel MC, et al. (2015). Is there a correlation between maternal diet in breastfeeding mothers and infantile colic? DOI:
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Infant reflux.
- Rosen LD, et al. (2007). Complementary, holistic, and integrative medicine.
- Saavedra MA, et al. (2003). Infantile colic incidence and associated risk factors: A cohort study. .
- Sung V, et al. (2014). Treating infant colic with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri: Double blind, placebo controlled randomised trial. DOI:
- Symptoms & causes of GER and GERD in infants. (2015).
Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.
Oct 3, 2018
Nizam Khan (TechSpace)
Medically Reviewed By
Karen Richardson Gill, MD
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Why does a baby cry - an article in the newspaper of the EMS clinic "On Health"
— The simplest answer to the question about sedatives is definitely: no. Parents should not use painkillers, sedatives, herbal “bye-bye”-fees and other means to calm the baby. In any case, until it was recommended by a neurologist after a comprehensive examination. Giving a sedative to an infant is like hiding your head under a pillow when the alarm goes off: it won't stop time and you'll be late for work anyway. You need to try to understand your baby, make sure that his most basic needs are met, and only then proceed to the exclusion of more complex and rare problems.
Try to remain calm and act only in the interests of the child
Up to three weeks of age, the most common cause of constant crying of a child is banal malnutrition. A common mistake of parents is the desire to stick to the schedule when breastfeeding in the first month of a child's life. A baby can suck out 150 ml of milk in three minutes, or maybe 20 ml in an hour, and a nursing mother is not able to understand how much has been eaten by the sensations of "emptying the breast". With free feeding in the first month, record the dynamics of the baby's weight gain. When feeding on a schedule, conduct a series of control feedings with measurement of body weight before and after feeding, so you can make sure that the amount of one feeding is sufficient. If the baby's crying stops instantly as soon as you give the breast, this is absolutely normal.
What to do if the baby cries even after you have changed the diaper, tried to feed, picked up? If this happens often and the mother does not succeed in calming the child for more than an hour, you should consult a doctor. It is not always obvious to parents, especially good ones, in what order to seek medical help: should I call an ambulance or go to see my pediatrician in a couple of days, or maybe it’s better to grab the child and the CHI policy and rush to the nearest city hospital? Try to remain calm and act only in the interests of the child. Here are some tips to help you.
- If the baby cries and cannot be calmed for more than two hours, call emergency services. Pre-measure the baby's temperature, check for rashes on the baby's body, and remember if there was a stool within the last 12 hours. Also make sure you have enough breast milk for a single feed. Report this information to the emergency services
- If a child often worries , sleep is short, but there is no monotonous crying-crying for more than two hours, then this can be dealt with on your own, and then with the help of a doctor at a clinic appointment or by calling him at home. The better prepared you are for your consultation, the more productive it will be. Things to do before the consultation:
- Determine breastfeeding volume by three to four checkweighs before and after feeding
- See if there is a connection between baby crying and feeding. When does the child worry and cry - immediately after eating, during feeding, an hour later, etc.?
- Recall the circumstances in which anxiety and frequent crying appeared: vaccination, errors in the mother's diet, starting to use or changing formula?
- Note accompanying symptoms and their relationship to crying: regurgitation, constipation, frequent stools, flatulence, appearance or increase of skin rash
- Assess the change in stool frequency and consistency
- Observe whether restlessness and crying persist after passing stool or flatulence
- Find out if there is an effect when placing a gas tube or a glycerin suppository.
The task of a pediatrician when complaining of frequent and prolonged crying of a child is to determine why the child is crying, whether he has any disorders (including digestive disorders) and what kind they are - functional, that is, this is a conditionally normal condition associated with the growth and development of the body or a reaction to changes in external (primarily nutritional) factors, or it is a pathology that must be suspected, diagnosed and treated.
Three types of crying
Experts say that babies have three types of crying:
- Basic . This is, in fact, a means of communication between the child and others. This cry is intermittent, smooth, the sounds are not sharp.
- Angry . This is how babies cry when they really don't like something or they really want something. In this case, parents may notice how the child's facial expressions change. He roars loudly, confidently, mostly on the exhale. Angry crying is usually the longest.
- Painful . With his help, the baby reports that he is in pain. At the same time, he screams to a screech, with piercing notes until he exhales completely.
Why does the baby cry - articles from the specialists of the clinic "Mother and Child"
Bondarenko Margarita Gennadievna
Clinic "Mother and Child" Kuntsevo,
I want to eat!
Most often, the baby cries because he wants to eat. And to understand that he is hungry is the easiest way. At first, the baby shows concern, smacks his lips, turns his head to his mother's hand, stroking his cheek, tries to put his own fist in his mouth. All this means that there is very little time left before the hungry cry. Noticing such signs, you should not wait: feed the baby on demand. Otherwise, starting to cry, he will have to spend a lot of energy trying to calm down, and therefore, he will eat less and the next time he will get hungry again too soon. In general, for children who are breastfed, during the first month of life there is no clear feeding regimen. A newborn can be applied to the breast up to 10-12 times a day.
I want to sleep!
The next reason for screaming is, oddly enough, the desire to sleep. Many parents think that a baby can fall asleep anytime, anywhere, and even in almost any position. No, it's not like that - he needs help. How do you know if your baby wants to sleep? It's easy to guess. At first, he will behave restlessly, cry, push out the pacifier, rub his eyes, yawn. And then he starts crying. Here, too, it is necessary to try to calm the child as quickly as possible so that he does not disperse in crying, otherwise it will be more difficult for him to fall asleep. Rituals will help: you can shake the baby, sing a song, put it in the usual sleeping place.
Crying can be a signal that the baby is uncomfortable: for example, his diaper is wet. Cold and wet, they irritate the skin, so he screams: “Mom, dad, change me quickly!” Crying about this is whimpering, incessant, although it sounds either stronger or weaker, it may be accompanied by hiccups, as the child freezes in wet diapers. If the diaper is changed, and the baby is warmer to cover, he will calm down. If the child is not in diapers, but in reusable diapers, you should not relax either: they can leak or get wet inside. So, the baby is also wet and cold. If the child sleeps in one diaper all night, then he may be disturbed by a greatly increased diaper volume. And of course, children do not like to be in dirty diapers (diapers): feces quickly irritate delicate skin.
If the baby is hot, he will also cry about it. He will begin to whimper, scatter his arms and legs, his skin will turn red, a small red rash (prickly heat) may appear under his clothes. At the same time, the temperature of the baby sometimes even rises to 37.5 ° C. This is what saves here: the child must be undressed (and removed diapers, especially disposable ones), wiped with a towel moistened with water at room temperature, and allowed to lie in the air for several minutes. Then you need to dress the baby, but in other, clean clothes. In the fight against overheating and prickly heat, a reasonable amount of clothing and a comfortable room temperature - no higher than 24-25 ° C will help, first of all.
The reason for the inconvenience can be any: the child may scream when the temperature drops, when he is changed, his diaper is changed or his buttocks are wiped with a damp cloth. Newborns feel more comfortable when they are dressed or wrapped in diapers, because the touch of air on the skin is not always pleasant for them. In addition, children often do not like to be changed, especially if it is winter and you have to wear a lot of clothes. There is only one way out: learn to act as quickly as possible, causing the crumbs a minimum of inconvenience.
A few words about clothes. It is better not to buy clothes with fasteners on the back and coarse seams inside - the baby may not like it. And sometimes even the slightest thread or hair caught between the clothes and the skin of the baby causes him great inconvenience.
I want attention!
Attention and tactile sensations are very important for a child. He loves to see the faces of his mom and dad, hear their voices, communicate with them. But so far, the baby cannot ask his parents to take him in his arms, read him a fairy tale, sing a song, play - but this does not mean at all that he does not need it. Therefore, crying, the baby wants to be paid attention to, requires communication. Do not worry that the baby will get used to the hands too much. While he is so small, he needs to feel a sense of security - it is this that will later help him gain confidence in his abilities. Well, different cradles, deck chairs, playpens, child seats will only help mom and dad free their hands and at the same time place their beloved child next to them.
Once you learn to understand your baby's “language”, you will see that there are different reasons for crying in each case. A little time and patience - and very soon you will understand what the child wants, already from the first seconds of his discontent.
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