Wriggly baby when feeding
16 Reasons Behind a Baby Squirming When Breastfeeding
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Do you ever feel like your baby is constantly squirming when you’re breastfeeding? It can be really frustrating but don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many mothers experience this phenomenon. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the possible reasons why your baby is squirming and how to deal with it. We hope that this information will help make breastfeeding a more enjoyable experience for both you and your little one.
When breastfeeding, it’s normal for your baby to squirm and move around.
Babies often squirm when they’re breastfeeding because it feels good and they’re getting milk. However, if your baby is squirming a lot, seems to be in pain, or is just being a fussy baby, it may be a sign that something isn’t quite right.
In most cases, baby squirming is nothing to worry about. However, in this article, we’ll discuss possible causes behind squirminess during feeding time and important things you should keep in mind.
Table Of Contents
- Reasons Why a Baby Squirms While Breastfeeding
- Slow Letdown
- Fast letdown
- Growth Spurt/Developmental Leap
- Uneven Breasts
- Finished Eating
- Is baby squirming a cause for concern?
- How can I make breastfeeding more comfortable for my baby?
- What should I do if my baby is in pain while breastfeeding?
- More Articles You May Enjoy:
Reasons Why a Baby Squirms While Breastfeeding
There are some common reasons why breastfed babies squirm while breastfeeding. In most cases, baby squirming is just a sign that they’re comfortable and get all the milk they need. However, there are a few things that might be the culprit your baby is squirming excessively or seems to be in discomfort.
These are the top reasons:
- Slow letdown
- Fast letdown
- Growth Spurt/Developmental Leap
- Uneven Breasts
- Finished Eating
If your baby is squirming and seems frustrated, it could be because your milk is taking too long to let down. When the baby begins to nurse, they stimulate the release of oxytocin, which causes the milk to let down. In some cases, this process can take a few minutes. If baby gets impatient, they may start to squirm.
To help with a slower letdown, you can :
- Do breast compressions/massage before and during your nursing session
- Hand express to a letdown for a particularly fussy baby
- Switchback and forth every 1-2 minutes to keep baby engaged and to help elicit the letdown
If your baby is squirming because of a fast or overactive letdown, it may be because the milk is coming out too quickly for them to handle. Managing a fast letdown can be tricky – sometimes they happen because of an oversupply of milk, while other times it just happens.
Certain positions can be better for a fast letdown than others. Some women find success with blocking off a milk duct by gently applying pressure in a “karate chop” position to the breast.
Another common reason baby is squirming might be because they have a lot of gas in their tummy. This can sometimes make the baby feel uncomfortable or bloated, which can lead to excessive squirming.
This is common in the early days of breastfeeding, due to infants having immature digestive systems. It can also happen if they have a poor latch which makes them bring in a lot of air, from a fast letdown where they get a fast flow of milk, or because of food allergies/intolerances.
Here is a great article about the different causes behind a gassy baby. But sometimes, all you need to do is help your baby get a good burp to help with gas issues.
Your baby might just simply be hungry – which might make them more impatient for a letdown. If you find that this is happening frequently, you may want to pay closer attention to early hunger signs to ensure you are feeding your baby when they are in the early hunger stages – not the late.
If the baby is squirming and seems to be falling asleep, it could be a sign that they’re tired. When a baby is tired, they may start to fuss and squirm. They may settle and fall asleep as they start to nurse, or they may just not want to eat right then. Try giving them a short nap and try to feed them again later.
Another common reason for baby squirming is overstimulation. When a baby is breastfeeding, they are also taking in all the sights and sounds around them. This can be overwhelming for them, causing them to squirm and try to escape the situation.
Growth Spurt/Developmental Leap
The baby may be squirming because of growth spurts or a developmental leap. During these times, babies may be extra hungry and need more milk to keep up with their growing bodies.
During these times, they can be more interested in the world around them and have less patience. In this situation, just try and offer the breast as much as you can and be patient – this stage will pass!
A wet or dirty diaper can also cause the baby to squirm. If a baby’s diaper is full, they will squirm and cry until you change it. Some babies are more sensitive to soiled diapers than others, so you may want to make a habit of making sure your baby has a clean diaper before feeding.
Your baby may squirm if they’re getting distracted while breastfeeding. This is common if the baby is trying to look around the room or if there’s something else going on that’s grabbing their attention.
Here is some great advice on how to manage distracted nursing – 14 Tips for Surviving Distracted Nursing.
Most women have a “slacker” side, or one side that seems to have a slower flow or produce less milk. If your baby doesn’t like that side as much, they may squirm more to show their dissatisfaction.
More on this topic – Lopsided Breastfeeding? How to Fix a Slacker Breast
If a baby has gastroesophageal reflux disease, they may start to squirm and cry at the breast. This is because the acid from their stomach is coming back up, causing them to feel uncomfortable.
Laidback nursing can be helpful as it keeps your baby in a more upright position. Chiropractic adjustments can also be really helpful for helping with reflux.
If a baby is squirming because of thrush, it’s important to take them to the doctor for treatment. Thrush can make the baby uncomfortable and fussy while breastfeeding, so it’s essential to get medical help right away.
Sometimes your baby just doesn’t like the position they are in, and they are squirming to get more comfortable!
There are different positions you can try and experiment with. While a newborn baby can’t tell you why they are uncomfortable, sometimes a different position is just the trick. I am personally a fan of the cross-cradle hold and side-lying.
The baby may start to squirm and cry when they’re teething. This is because the pain from teething can be uncomfortable and the baby may want to find a way to relieve it.
If a baby seems to be fussy all the time, it could be a sign that they are sick. the baby may start to squirm if their illness is causing them discomfort or pain. Ear infections are one of the more common ailments to cause a disruption to breastfeeding.
If the baby seems to be done nursing, it may be a sign that they are full and no longer need any more milk. In this case, you should try burping the baby and then putting them down for a nap or cuddle session. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is pay attention to the baby’s cues and respond accordingly to their needs.
Is baby squirming a cause for concern?
The good news is, this type of behavior while breastfeeding is not usually a cause for concern. However, if you have any concerns, make sure you reach out to a lactation professional or your child’s care provider.
Here are a few signs that maybe this squirming is more than just normal infant behavior:
- baby’s fussiness occurs all day long
- poor weight gain
- drop in diaper output
- frequently falling asleep at the breast before taking in a full feed
When you are trying to determine the cause of the squirming, here are a few questions to consider:
- Is it happening at the start, middle, or end of the feed
- Does it last the whole feed or just for a short time?
- Will they still nurse?
- Is it combined with other fussy behavior?
- Are you experiencing cracked or damaged nipples?
How can I make breastfeeding more comfortable for my baby?
There are a few things you can do to make breastfeeding more comfortable for your baby. Here are some things to try:
- Try a new position
- Remove distractions
- Do skin-to-skin contact
- Nurse in a bath
- Burp baby
- Stop and try again later
- Ensure a good latch
- Determine underlying causes
What should I do if my baby is in pain while breastfeeding?
If baby squirming is accompanied by signs of pain or discomfort, such as increased agitation, pulling away from the breast, and grimacing, you should consider reaching out to a medical professional In some cases, baby squirming may be a symptom of an underlying condition that requires treatment.
To get help for your baby, speak to your doctor or a lactation consultant. They can help you identify the root cause of the baby’s discomfort and work with you to come up with an appropriate treatment plan.
If your baby is squirming a lot, it could be for any number of reasons. Hopefully, the tips in this post have given you some ideas on how to troubleshoot and alleviate the problem – most of the time, this is just a normal stage that will get better after a short time.
Always remember to consult with your pediatrician if you’re concerned about your baby’s health or well-being. And please share with us what solutions worked best for you in the comments below!
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Katie Clark, CLE, CBS
Katie Clark is a Certified Lactation Educator, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, and IBCLC student. She has helped thousands of mothers and families around the globe navigate breastfeeding challenges and questions since 2015. She has a passion for creating research-based, helpful breastfeeding education and helping parents find a way to make breastfeeding work for them. Katie is a mom of three little boys and lives in the great state of Colorado. She also has a degree in Communications with an emphasis in print journalism.
Bottle Feeding Problems - Why Your Baby Squirms, Appears Uncomfortable – Baby Care Advice
When your baby squirms, appears uncomfortable during a feed, fusses, cries or refuses a bottle, seemingly fights the bottle despite being hungry, it can be challenge to figure out the cause. The timing and type of behavior she exhibits provides vital clues. This article discusses potential reasons for troubled feeding behavior.Signs of bottle-feeding problems
Does your baby display troubled behavior in relation to bottle-feeding, such as….
- Refuses a bottle
- Turning away from the bottle.
- Refusing to close her mouth around the nipple.
- Holding nipple in the mouth but not sucking.
- Taking only a small amount and then refusing more.
- Screaming when placed into a feeding position or at the sight of the bottle.
- Milk pouring out of baby's mouth.
- Feeding too quickly.
- Feeding too slowly.
- Falling asleep before the feed is completed.
- Coughing and spluttering when feeding.
- Not consuming as much milk as expected.
- Wanting more milk than expected.
- Throwing up large amounts of milk.
Then there may be steps you can take to remedy the situation and get your baby to calmly and happily take a bottle.Behavioral reasons
‘Behavioral’ means baby’s behavior is in response to the circumstances rather than a physical cause. Behavioral reasons are the most common of all reasons for infant feeding problems. There are numerous behavioral reasons for a baby to experience feeding problems and/or display problematic feeding behavior. Common reasons include:
1. Misinterpreting baby's cues as signs of hunger
Does baby at times refuse feeds?
Does she take only a little and not want more?
Babies are in an oral stage of develop. Sucking is the primary way babies soothe. They also learn by sucking and mouthing objects. Many babies have a strong desire to suck for reasons that extend beyond hunger, such as tiredness, boredom, discomfort and soothing. There may be times when you mistake your baby’s desire to suck for these reasons as hunger.
Newborn babies have an active sucking reflex. This means a newborn baby may accept a feed even when she’s not hungry, and she might guzzle down the bottle because she cannot choose to not suck when her sucking reflex is triggered. Once her sucking reflex has disappeared (usually by 3 months of age) she will willingly take only the amount she wants to take.
If you have mistakenly interpret her fussing or desire to such as hunger and offer her a feed, she might take a little and refuse the rest, or she refuse from the start. If you try to make her drink more than she wants, she will understandably get upset and fuss, cry and pull back from the bottle.WHAT TO DO
See Hungry baby for more reasons why babies often appear
See Infant reflexes2. Unrealistic expectations
Is baby not drinking as much as you expect?
Is she fussing if you try to get her to finish a bottle?
In around one third of consultations I have had with parents regarding an infant feeding problem, I found that parents were trying to make their baby drink more than he or she needed. In some cases, this was because of errors made their health professionals. They either failed to adjust calculations as baby matured or failed to consider baby as an individual. As a result, overestimated baby’s milk requirements.
If you think your baby is not drinking enough milk (breast milk or infant formula) you’re naturally going to feel concerned. If your concern translates into trying to pressure her to drink more than she wants or needs (gently or otherwise), you’re going to upset her. So it is very important for your peace of mind and your baby’s enjoyment at feeding times that you have realistic expectations about how much she needs.WHAT TO DO
See How much milk does baby need for standard estimations for age and weight, and reason why a baby might take more or less than recommended.
Follow your baby's feeding cues. Don't try to make her take more when she indicates she has had enough.3. Tiredness
Is your baby at times too tired to eat effectively?
Does she often fall asleep while feeding?
Sleeping and feeding are closely related when it comes to the needs of babies. Both are equally important to a baby's health, growth and development and feelings of wellbeing. You are no doubt aware that if your baby does not feed well she might not sleep well. But are you aware that the opposite is equally true. If she’s not getting enough sleep this has the potential to negatively impact on her feeding.
Physical fatigue can cause baby to fuss during feeds or falling asleep before the feed is completed. If you have a hungry/tired baby on your hands, tiredness will usually win out.WHAT TO DO
Ensure baby gets enough sleep.
Feed her before she becomes too tired.
Aim to establish a flexible feeding and sleep routine to minimize the risk of feeding and sleep times clashing.
If your baby is often irritable and not sleeping enough, (see Overtired baby for signs and symptoms) you might find that resolving any underlying sleeping problem will cause feeding difficulties to spontaneously resolve once she receives adequate sleep.
See our sleep section.
Download or order a paperback copy of my infant sleep book Your Sleepless Baby: The Rescue Guide. There you will find comprehensive information on the reasons and solutions to various infant sleeping problems.4. Distractibility
Is your baby too busy looking around or trying to play to want to feed?
Is it hard to keep her focused on feeding?
Babies over the age of 4 months can easily become distracted while feeding. They are often much more interested in the activities going on around them than they are in feeding.WHAT TO DO
Feed your baby in a quiet environment away from noise and distractions of other children.5. Feeding management
Some feeding problems can be related to what may appear like insignificant details but which can make feeding difficult or uncomfortable for a baby. For example, how you hold your baby will affect her ability to feed from a bottle. If her head is too far forward or too far back or her neck is twisted this can make it difficult for her to suck or swallow.WHAT TO DO
See How to bottle-fed a baby6. Feeding aversion
Does your baby refuse to feed even when hungry?
Does she scream at the sight of a bottle or when placed into a feeding position?
Have you resorted to trying to feed her while asleep?
A baby can develop an aversion to feeding when past feeding experiences have taught her that feeding is unpleasant, stressful or painful. Typically, baby is diagnosed with reflux and/or milk protein allergy or intolerance to explain her aversive feeding behavior. However, a behavioral feeding aversion (related to feeding management rather than a physical cause) is a far more common cause of infant feeding aversion.
A feeding aversion is the most complex of all infant feeding problems. An effective solution relies heavily on accurate identification of the cause.WHAT TO DO
See Feeding aversion for more information. Or purchase or download a copy of 'Your Baby's Bottle-Feeding Aversion: Reasons and Solutions'.7. Feeding equipment
Does your baby gag, cough or splutter during feed?
Does baby make clicking sounds while feeding?
It could be the nipple is too long, too short, too fast or too slow.
The most important piece of feeding equipment is the nipple. The nipple needs to be the right size and speed for your baby's size, age and sucking ability. If the nipple is too long, too short, too fast or too slow for your baby, she may experience feeding difficulties and express her frustration by fuss or crying.WHAT TO DO
See Feeding equipment for more information on choosing a feeding nipple.
Experiment with nipples of different lengths, shapes and speed.8. The nipple ring is screwed too tight
Does the nipple collapse in your baby’s mouth as she feeds?
Do you find that air rushes into the bottle once the bottle is removed from her mouth?
It's possible her feeding difficulties could be due to the nipple ring being screwed on too tight.
In order to maintain a neutral balance in air pressure within the bottle air needs to be able to enter the bottle to replace the void left by the milk the baby is removing. If the bottle is vented, this is achieved via the venting system. However, in the case of a non-vented bottle, the only ways air can enter the bottle are between the nipple ring and the rim of the bottle and through the holes at the end of the nipple. While sucking, a baby will maintain a seal over the holes at the end of the nipple with her tongue and prevent air entry in this way. If the nipple ring is screwed down tightly this also prevents air entry.
If air is prevented from entering the bottle, this causes a negative pressure to build in the bottle. As the pressure builds, baby need to work harder and harder to extract further milk, until such time and the air pressure is returned to normal. The effort required to suck against the negative pressure can cause a newborn baby to tire and fall asleep before completing the feed. An older baby may simply give up or express her frustration.WHAT TO DO
The nipple collapsing (not all will) or stopping to burp baby allows air to enter through the holes and neutralize the pressure. But you don’t want to wait for this to resolve the problem. By then baby is already tiring or getting frustrated. See ‘Collapsing nipple’ for ways to manage this problem.9. Feeding patterns
Is your baby often take only small amounts, refuse more, but then wants to feed again an hour or two later?
Some babies develop a grazing or snacking feeding pattern where they will only drink small amounts of formula at a time and then want to be feed frequently, possibly every hour or two. Although this will not cause any problems for a baby, provided she drinks enough formula in total over a 24 hour period, it can become very tiring for parents to keep up with her constant demands for feeding.WHAT TO DO
Try to encourage your baby to take as much milk as possible within 45 minutes. But don't try to make her feed if she doesn't want to. Stop sooner if she does not want to continue.
Ensure baby gets plenty of sleep.
Avoid allowing baby to fall asleep while feeding.
Support your baby to extend the time between feeds, by offering a little water, a pacifier, a nap, playing with her, or taking her for a walk. Aim to encourage her to wait at least 3 hours from time you started her previous feed, but only if its reasonable to do so without distressing her. If necessary extend the time between feeds gradually. As your baby gets used to going longer periods between feeds she will gradually take larger amounts at each feed.10. Excessive night feedings
Is baby feeding more often at night than you would expect?
Unless your baby was born prematurely or is very small for her age, developmentally she no longer requires feeding during the night beyond the age 6 months. If nighttime feeding continues past this age its not going to harm her but it could have a negative effect on her appetite and feeding patterns during the day.
Your baby only needs a certain number of calories in her day (24 hours) to provide for her growth and energy needs. If after the age of 6 months she continues to receive calories from nighttime feeds this will dampen her appetite during the day and she will not need to drink as much formula during daytime feeds. You might find she is content to go for long periods of time between feeds (which is usually what would happen at night). She might fuss or refuse some of her daytime bottles when they are offered simply because she's not hungry at the time. Or she might graze during the day.
Nighttime feeding will cause your baby no harm, so if you're happy to continue feeding her during the night there's no reason to change a thing. However, it is important that you don't expect her to consume as much milk during the day as she may have otherwise taken if she did not feed at night.
Many babies will give up night time feedings on their own accord, but others will continue to wake and demand feeds overnight for months and possibly years while parents continue to provide feeds at night. Usually the reason babies continues to demand night feeds beyond the age of 6 months is because they have learned to rely on feeding as a way to fall asleep, or because their internal body clock gets turned around - where the baby has decreased appetite during the day because of the continued night feeds and as a consequence of small feeds during the day the baby wakes hungry during the night. Body clock problems can easily become a cyclical pattern that will continue over the long term unless parents take steps to change the situation. Healthy, thriving babies who continue to demand feedings at night beyond the age of 6 months often require guidance and support from parents to cease feeding at night and turn their body clock around to a normal day-night feeding pattern.WHAT TO DO
Aim to cease overnight feeds after 6 months of age. However, before attempting to do this it's important to address any feeding to sleep issues your baby might have. She would need to learn to fall asleep in a different way before you will be able to successfully encourage her to cease night feeds.11. Starting solids early
Have you started giving your baby solids before the age of 4 months?
Have you been advised to start solids early?
6 months is the recommended age for starting solid foods. Although a small number of babies may benefit from solids prior to this age, it's generally not recommended to start a baby on solid foods before the age of 4 months. An early start on solids has the potential to cause bottle feeding problems because solid foods may decrease the baby's appetite for milk (breast milk or formula).WHAT TO DO
If your baby is less than 6 months old, either cease or reduce the amount of solids you offer to see if this helps to improve the situation.
See our article on starting solids.12. Solids eaten before or between formula feeds
Do you give baby solids between or before bottle feeds?
If solids are offered prior to bottle feeds, either directly before or mid way between feeds, when it's time for your baby's bottle feed she might be feeling full from the solids, in which case she's probably not going to take much milk from her bottle.WHAT TO DO
For babies 4 - 9 months (when milk is still the most important food) offer solids 15 - 20 minutes after bottle feeds.
For babies 9 - 12 months (when solids are becoming increasingly more important to a baby's diet) offer solids shortly before or shortly after her bottle, whichever you find works best. Babies at this age are often down to 3 bottles per day plus 3 main meals and 1 or 2 snacks.13. Too much solids
Does your baby love solids so much that she would rather eat solids than drink milk?
In these early stages of learning to eat solids (4 - 7 months) solids are not needed to add value to a baby's nutritional intake, rather they are offered primarily to provide learning experiences. The baby is exposed to new food proteins that help prime her immune system. She gets to discover new tastes and textures and become accustomed to eating from a spoon. It is at this age that babies are most willing to accept new tastes. So variety rather than quantity is what solids are about.
Many babies, particularly very young babies, experience difficulty self-regulating their dietary intake. Some babies will continue to eat solid foods for as long their parents keep offering. Some babies will prefer eating solids compared to drinking formula. However, too much solids and not enough milk is not a balance diet for a baby. It may be necessary for parents to limit the amount of solids they offer in order to encourage their baby to have a greater appetite for milk feeds.WHAT TO DO
See our article on estimating how much milk your baby needs to make sure she's getting enough.14. Weaning difficulties
Does your breastfed baby refuse bottle-feeds?
Does your baby have a breast preference?
While some breastfed babies willing accept milk from a bottle many will not, at least not straight away.
Difficulty weaning from breast to bottle is rarely resolved by finding the 'right' feeding nipple. (All feeding nipples will feel equally foreign to a breastfed baby.) Nor does a solution lie in finding a formula with the 'right' taste. All formula will taste strange to a breastfed baby). The difficulty associated with weaning to a bottle most often lies in the fact that bottle-feeding requires a very different sucking action to breastfeeding. While breastfeeding the movement of your baby's tongue milks the breast, where as bottle-feeding requires a sucking action. A baby who has been exclusively breastfed beyond the age of 3 months will often refuse milk from a bottle because it "doesn't feel right" and she doesn't know how to suck from a bottle.
It takes time and practice before a breastfed baby learns how to suck on a bottle.WHAT TO DO
Try offering expressed breast milk in a bottle initially. (Don't be too optimistic and put too much in to start with. It would be a shame to waste it.)
A soft flexible nipple often works better.
NOTE: Many breast fed babies will refuse to accept a bottle while they are still being breastfed at times. They will simply wait until a breastfeed is offered. For these babies it will be the case of breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, but not both.How we can help your baby take a bottle
- Your Baby's Bottle-feeding Aversion book
- Baby Care Advice consultation
- Rowena Bennett's Online Bottle-Feeding Aversion Program
In my book, ‘Your baby’s Bottle-feeding Aversion’, I have described physical and behavioral reasons for babies to develop an aversion to bottle-feeding. How to identify the cause and the solutions to match. Included are step-by-step instructions on how to regain your baby’s trust and resolve a feeding aversion caused or reinforced by repeated pressure to feed.
While the book was written for bottle-fed babies, many nursing mothers have found that applying the same strategies has also helped them to successfully resolve a breastfeeding aversion.
You might find that reading this book is all you need to do to understand the steps you need to take to resolve your baby’s feeding aversion and get him back to the point of enjoying eating until satisfied.Baby Care Advice Consultations
If you would like an individualized assessment of all reasons for infant feeding problems, not just feeding aversion, we also provide a consultation service. Baby Care Advice consultants have extensive experience in pinpointing the cause of feeding aversion and other behavioral feeding problems such as those related to equipment and the parent’s feeding practices. (For more on what’s included in a consultation).
By Rowena Bennett, RN, RM, CHN, MHN, IBCLC.
Copyright www.babycareadvice.com 2021. All rights reserved. Permission from the author must be obtained to reproduce all or any part of this article.Rowena's Online Bottle-Feeding Aversion Program
Six time-saving modules to help your family enjoy feeding again with Rowena's step-by-step plan. Enjoy additional tools to manage anxiety, troubleshoot any issues, introduce new carers, how to manage illness/teething and much more.
- Module 1: Understanding feeding aversions
- Module 2: Identify the cause
- Module 3: Prepare for success
- Module 4: How to resolve your baby's bottle-feeding aversion
- Module 5: What to expect
- Module 6: Troubleshooting
- BONUS: Guided meditations
Breastfeeding in the first month: what to expect
Not sure how to establish lactation and increase milk production? If you need help, support, or just want to know what to expect, read our first month breastfeeding advice
Share this information
The first weeks of breastfeeding are a very stressful period. If at times you feel like you can't handle it, know that you are not alone. Feeding your baby all day long is completely natural and helps produce breast milk, but can be quite tiring at times. Be patient, think about yourself and remember: after the first month, when milk production stabilizes, it will become easier.
How often should a baby be breastfed?
Babies are born with a small stomach that grows rapidly with increasing milk production: in the first week it is no larger than an apricot, and after two weeks it is already the size of a large chicken egg. 1.2 Let the child eat as much as he wants and when he wants. This will help him quickly regain the weight lost after birth and grow and develop further.
“Be prepared to feed every two to three hours throughout the day. At night, the intervals between feedings can be longer: three to four or even five hours, says Cathy Garbin, a recognized international expert on breastfeeding. Some eat quickly and are satiated in 15 minutes, while others take an entire hour to feed. Do not compare your breastfeeding regimen with that of other mothers - it is very likely that there will be nothing in common between them.
At each feed, give your baby a full meal from one breast and then offer a second one, but don't worry if the baby doesn't take it. When the baby is full, he lets go of his chest and at the same time looks relaxed and satisfied - so much so that he can immediately fall asleep. The next time you feed, start on the other breast. You can monitor the order of the mammary glands during feeding using a special application.
Why does the child always ask for a breast?
The first month is usually the hardest time to breastfeed. But do not think that because the baby is constantly hungry and asks for a breast almost every 45 minutes, then you do not have enough milk.
In the first month, the baby needs to eat frequently to start and stimulate the mother's milk production. It lays the foundation for a stable milk supply in the future. 3
In addition, we must not forget that the child needs almost constant contact with the mother. The bright light and noise of the surrounding world at first frighten the baby, and only by clinging to his mother, he can calm down.
Sarah, mother of three from the UK, confirms: “Crying is not always a sign of hunger. Sometimes my kids just wanted me to be around and begged for breasts to calm them down. Use a sling. Place the cradle next to the bed. Don't look at the clock. Take advantage of every opportunity to relax. Forget about cleaning. Let those around you take care of you. And not three days, but six weeks at least! Hug your baby, enjoy the comfort - and trust your body."
Do I need to feed my baby on a schedule?
Your baby is still too young for a strict daily routine, so
forget about breastfeeding schedules and focus on his needs.
“Volumes have been written about how to feed a baby on a schedule, but babies don't read or understand books,” Cathy says. - All children are different. Some people can eat on a schedule, but most can't. Most often, over time, the child develops his own schedule.
Some mothers report that their babies are fine with scheduled feedings, but they are probably just the few babies who would eat every four hours anyway. Adults rarely eat and drink the same foods at the same time of day - so why do we expect this from toddlers?
Offer your baby the breast at the first sign of hunger. Crying is already the last stage, so be attentive to early signs: the baby licks his lips, opens his mouth, sucks his fist, turns his head with his mouth open - looking for the breast. 4
What is a "milk flush"?
At the beginning of each feed, a hungry baby actively sucks on the nipple,
thereby stimulating the milk flow reflex - the movement of milk through the milk ducts. 5
“Nipple stimulation triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin,” explains Cathy. “Oxytocin is distributed throughout the body and causes the muscles around the milk-producing glands to contract and the milk ducts to dilate. This stimulates the flow of milk.
If the flushing reflex fails, milk will not come out. This is a hormonal response, and under stress it may not work at all or work poorly. Therefore, it is so important that you feel comfortable and calm when feeding.
“Studies show that each mother has a different rhythm of hot flashes during one feed,” Kathy continues, “Oxytocin is a short-acting hormone, it breaks down in just 30-40 seconds after formation. Milk begins to flow, the baby eats, the effect of oxytocin ends, but then a new rush of milk occurs, the baby continues to suckle the breast, and this process is repeated cyclically. That is why, during feeding, the child periodically stops and rests - this is how nature intended.
The flow of milk may be accompanied by a strong sensation of movement or tingling in the chest, although 21% of mothers, according to surveys, do not feel anything at all. 5 Cathy explains: “Many women only feel the first rush of milk. If you do not feel hot flashes, do not worry: since the child eats normally, most likely, you simply do not understand that they are.
How do you know if a baby is getting enough milk?
Since it is impossible to track how much milk a baby eats while breastfeeding, mothers sometimes worry that the baby is malnourished. Trust your child and your body.
After a rush of milk, the baby usually begins to suckle more slowly. Some mothers clearly hear how the baby swallows, others do not notice it. But one way or another, the child himself will show when he is full - just watch carefully. Many babies make two or three approaches to the breast at one feeding. 6
“When a child has had enough, it is noticeable almost immediately: a kind of “milk intoxication” sets in. The baby is relaxed and makes it clear with his whole body that he is completely full, says Katie, “Diapers are another great way to assess whether the baby is getting enough milk. During this period, a breastfed baby should have at least five wet diapers a day and at least two portions of soft yellow stool, and often more.”
From one month until weaning at six months of age, a baby's stool (if exclusively breastfed) should look the same every day: yellow, grainy, loose, and watery.
When is the child's birth weight restored?
Most newborns lose weight in the first few days of life. This is normal and should not be cause for concern. As a rule, weight is reduced by 5-7%, although some may lose up to 10%. One way or another, by 10–14 days, almost all newborns regain their birth weight. In the first three to four months, the minimum expected weight gain is an average of 150 grams per week. But one week the child may gain weight faster, and the next slower, so it is necessary that the attending physician monitor the health and growth of the baby constantly. 7.8
At the slightest doubt or signs of dehydration, such as
dark urine, no stool for more than 24 hours, retraction of the fontanel (soft spot on the head), yellowing of the skin, drowsiness, lethargy, lack of appetite (ability to four to six hours without feeding), you should immediately consult a doctor. 7
What is "cluster feeding"?
When a baby asks to breastfeed very often for several hours, this is called cluster feeding. 6 The peak often occurs in the evening between 18:00 and 22:00, just when many babies are especially restless and need close contact with their mother. Most often, mothers complain about this in the period from two to nine weeks after childbirth. This is perfectly normal and common behavior as long as the baby is otherwise healthy, eating well, gaining weight normally, and appears content throughout the day. 9
Cluster feeding can be caused by a sharp jump in the development of the body - during this period the baby especially needs love, comfort and a sense of security. The growing brain of a child is so excited that it can be difficult for him to turn off, or it just scares the baby. 9 If a child is overworked, it is often difficult for him or her to calm down on his own, and adult help is needed. And breastfeeding is the best way to calm the baby, because breast milk is not only food, but also pain reliever and a source of happiness hormones. 10
“Nobody told me about cluster feeding, so for the first 10 days I just went crazy with worry - I was sure that my milk was not enough for the baby,” recalls Camille, a mother from Australia, “It was a very difficult period . I was advised to pump and supplement until I finally contacted the Australian Breastfeeding Association. There they explained to me what was happening: it turned out that it was not about milk at all.
Remember, this is temporary. Try to prepare dinner for yourself in the afternoon, when the baby is fast asleep, so that in the evening, when he begins to often breastfeed, you have the opportunity to quickly warm up the food and have a snack. If you are not alone, arrange to carry and rock the baby in turns so that you have the opportunity to rest. If you have no one to turn to for help and you feel that your strength is leaving you, put the baby in the crib and rest for a few minutes, and then pick it up again.
Ask your partner, family and friends to help you with household chores, cooking and caring for older children if you have any. If possible, hire an au pair. Get as much rest as possible, eat well and drink plenty of water.
“My daughter slept a lot during the day, but from 23:00 to 5:00 the cluster feeding period began, which was very tiring,” recalls Jenal, a mother from the USA, “My husband tried his best to make life easier for me - washed, cleaned, cooked, changed diapers, let me sleep at every opportunity and never tired of assuring me that we were doing well.
If you are concerned about the frequency of breastfeeding, it is worth contacting a specialist. “Check with a lactation consultant or doctor to see if this is indicative of any problems,” recommends Cathy. “Resist the temptation to supplement your baby with formula (unless recommended by your doctor) until you find the cause. It may not be a matter of limited milk production at all - it may be that the child is inefficiently sucking it.
When will breastfeeding become easier?
This early stage is very special and does not last long. Although sometimes it seems that there will be no end to it, rest assured: it will get easier soon! By the end of the first month, breast milk production will stabilize, and the baby will become stronger and learn to suckle better. 2.3 Any problems with latch on by this time will most likely be resolved and the body will be able to produce milk more efficiently so inflammation and leakage of milk will begin to subside.
“The first four to six weeks are the hardest, but then things start to get better,” Cathy assures. It just needs to be experienced!”
The longer breastfeeding continues, the more benefits it brings, from saving on formula and improving sleep quality 11–13 to boosting your baby's immune system 14 and reducing your risk of certain cancers. 15
“When you feel like you're pushing yourself, try to go from feed to feed and day to day,” says Hannah, a UK mom. “I was sure I wouldn’t make it to eight weeks. And now I have been breastfeeding for almost 17 weeks, and I dare say it is very easy.”
Read the resource Breastfeeding Beyond the First Month: What to Expect
1 Naveed M et al. An autopsy study of relationship between perinatal stomach capacity and birth weight. Indian J Gastroenterol .1992;11(4):156-158. - Navid M. et al. , Association between prenatal gastric volume and birth weight. Autopsy. Indian J Gastroenterol. 1992;11(4):156-158.
2 Neville MC et al. Studies in human lactation: milk volumes in lactating women during the onset of lactation and full lactation .Am J Clinl Nutr . 1988;48(6):1375-1386. at the beginning and at the peak of lactation." Am F Clean Nutr. 1988;48(6):1375-1386.
3 Kent JC et al. Principles for maintaining or increasing breast milk production. J Obstet , Gynecol , & Neonatal Nurs . 2012;41(1):114-121. - Kent J.S. et al., "Principles for Maintaining and Increasing Milk Production". J Obstet Ginecol Neoneutal Nurs. 2012;41(1):114-121.
4 Australian Breastfeeding Feeding cues ; 2017 Sep [ cited 2018 Feb ]. - Australian Breastfeeding Association [Internet], Feed Ready Signals; September 2017 [cited February 2018]
5 Kent JC et al. Response of breasts to different stimulation patterns of an electric breast pump. J Human Lact . 2003;19(2):179-186. - Kent J.S. et al., Breast Response to Different Types of Electric Breast Pump Stimulation. J Human Lact (Journal of the International Association of Lactation Consultants). 2003;19(2):179-186.
6) Kent JC et al . Volume and frequency of breastfeedings and fat content of breast milk throughout the day. Pediatrics. 2006;117(3): e 387-395. - Kent J.S. et al., "Amount and frequency of breastfeeding and fat content of breast milk during the day." Pediatrix (Pediatrics). 2006;117(3):e387-95.
7 Lawrence RA, Lawrence RM. Breastfeeding: A guide for the medical profession. 7th ed. Maryland Heights MO, USA: Elsevier Mosby; 2010. 1128 p . - Lawrence R.A., Lawrence R.M., "Breastfeeding: A guide for healthcare professionals." Seventh edition. Publisher Maryland Heights , Missouri, USA: Elsevier Mosby; 2010. P. 1128.
8 World Health Organization. [Internet]. Child growth standards; 2018 [cited 2018 Feb] - World Health Organization. [Internet]. Child Growth Standards 2018 [cited February 2018].
9 Australian Breastfeeding Association . [ Internet ]. Cluster feeding and fussing babies ; Dec 2017 [ cited 2018 Feb ] - Australian Breastfeeding Association [Internet], Cluster Feeding and Screaming Babies; December 2017 [cited February 2018].
10 Moberg KU, Prime DK. Oxytocin effects in mothers and infants during breastfeeding. Infant . 2013;9(6):201-206.- Moberg K, Prime DK, "Oxytocin effects on mother and child during breastfeeding". Infant. 2013;9(6):201-206.
11 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services [Internet]. Surgeon General Breastfeeding factsheet; 2011 Jan 20 [cited 2017 Feb] - Department of Health and Human Services [Internet], "Breastfeeding Facts from the Chief Medical Officer", Jan 20, 2011 [cited Feb 2017]
12 Kendall-Tackett K et al. The effect of feeding method on sleep duration, maternal well-being, and postpartum depression. clinical lactation. 2011;1;2(2):22-26. - Kendall-Tuckett, K. et al., "Influence of feeding pattern on sleep duration, maternal well-being and the development of postpartum depression." Clinical Lactation. 2011;2(2):22-26.
13 Brown A, Harries V. Infant sleep and night feeding patterns during later infancy: Association with breastfeeding frequency, daytime complementary food intake, and infant weight. Breast Med . 2015;10(5):246-252. - Brown A., Harris W., "Night feedings and infant sleep in the first year of life and their association with feeding frequency, daytime supplementation, and infant weight." Brest Med (Breastfeeding Medicine). 2015;10(5):246-252.
14 Hassiotou F et al. Maternal and infant infections stimulate a rapid leukocyte response in breastmilk. Clin Transl immunology. 2013;2(4). - Hassiot F. et al., "Infectious diseases of the mother and child stimulate a rapid leukocyte reaction in breast milk." Clean Transl Immunology. 2013;2(4):e3.
15 Li DP et al. Breastfeeding and ovarian cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 40 epidemiological studies. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev . 2014;15(12):4829-4837. - Lee D.P. et al., "Breastfeeding and the risk of ovarian cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 40 epidemiological studies." Asia Pas J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(12):4829-4837.
Behavior during feeding. Your baby from birth to two yearsBehavior while feeding. Your baby from birth to two years
Your baby from birth to two years old
Break the schedule. By two months, if it hasn't happened before, you will understand that the feeding schedule is an illusion of the authors of books for parents who are not part of the intimate circle of people who directly feed the children, especially when it comes to breastfed babies. For example, some breastfed babies like to give themselves crowded feedings, suckling several times for an hour or two and then going three to four hours without feeding. Forget the hard word "mode" and think in terms of "harmony » : Paying attention to your child's signs rather than the clock and being more flexible in your response to your child's individual temperament and lifestyle. We prefer the more flexible term "feeding in response to signs of suckling" to "feeding on demand".
Now that the child can see clearly at a distance of two to three meters, he looks not only at your face while feeding and is distracted by other visitors to his restaurant. Your baby may suckle for a bit, then stop and look at an interesting scene or a person walking by, and then go back to work. When a baby is regularly weaned from the breast or even the bottle, the feeding process becomes lengthy and troublesome.
This text is an introductory fragment.
Feeding technique How to breastfeed your baby • Turn the baby with his tummy towards you so that the head and body are in line. If you try to feed the baby lying on the back, then he will have to turn his head to the chest, he
Breastfeeding regimen Up to 3 months: about 17 breastfeeds per day. 3 months: 5 feedings per day, plus nightly. 4–5 months: 4–5 feedings, plus some solid food. 6 months: 3 breastfeeds per day: early in the morning, at bedtime and once a day. 9 months: 2 infants
Preparation and feeding process
Preparation and feeding process What do you need to feed your baby? milk mixture; bottles and nipples; a plate and spoon designed specifically for feeding babies;? sterilizer for bottles, nipples and other accessories;? detergents
Feeding mode Artificial children should receive food exclusively according to the regimen. Therefore, in maternity hospitals, the “hourly” feeding regimen is established from the first days of a newborn’s life: 6 or 7 times a day (for healthy full-term babies) at intervals of 3–3.5 hours and
During feeding Setting the table, inviting the kids to breakfast (lunch, afternoon snack), helping them to eat, the teacher must necessarily accompany his actions with speech: name serving items, dishes, ask the children what they eat, whether they like soup (cutlet,
First feedings You can put your baby to the breast just a few minutes after birth. Unless a complication prevents this (such as breathing problems), immediately after delivery your baby should be placed on your chest, stomach to stomach, cheek to
Nursing pillows These pillows are designed specifically to lift the baby to breast level and securely support him in the lap of a nursing mother. They comfortably wrap around mom's waist and help her relax her back. Nursing pillows are especially comfortable for
Feeding strategies To make sure your child gets more food than hits the floor, mix your child's developing skills with a big pinch of patience and drizzle in some laughter. Introduce table-talk. Eating is communication. When you offer
Additional feeding strategies
Additional feeding strategies How to open a locked mouth. Never spent precious hours preparing your 1 year old's favorite meal only to sit down at the table, scoop up a delicious morsel with a spoon and stumble across
Sling breastfeeding positions
Positions for breastfeeding in a sling The cradle position is the usual position for breastfeeding in a sling for a baby of any age. However, the sling by itself does not hold the baby close enough to the breast to ensure a proper latch. Requires
Night feedings Due to their small digestive systems, babies need to be fed in the middle of the night; but how to bring night feedings to naught when they have already become more of a habit than a physiological necessity? Some moms ask, "My
Snacks and feeding times
Snacks and feeding times One-year-olds are not limited to breakfast, lunch and dinner: they will not refuse snacks between feedings. Some children "graze on the forage" during the day, while the amount of food they eat each time they come to the table is
Check feeding technique
Check your feeding technique If you are breastfeeding, make sure your baby is latching on properly and not swallowing air.