Baby feeding issuesHowever you feed your baby, be it breast or bottle, there might be the occasional niggle. Which is hardly surprising when you consider that feeding is a brand new experience for you and your baby. But more often than not, any little problems you encounter can be remedied easily. So try not to worry too much if things don’t go as smoothly as you’d imagined.
When it comes to feeding time, your baby will show you they’re hungry with signs such as sucking their fists, getting restless and eventually crying. In some cases your baby will continue to cry after a feed. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something wrong, it might just be that they need winding or even that they’re still hungry. Also, posseting is fairly common in young babies after a feed and nothing to worry about in the majority of cases. However, regular vomiting and weight loss are more serious issues that will require support and advice from your doctor or health visitor.
ColicThe symptoms of colic include a flushed face, clenched fists, and legs pulled up to the chest with 3 hours of crying, three times a day, three times per week. Although no-one really knows what causes it, colic is common in young babies with up to 1 in 5 suffering from it. If you are concerned, speak to your health visitor or doctor.
If your baby cries before feeding, it’s usually just to let you know they’re hungry. Some mums say that this type of cry sounds different to other crying. Don’t worry if it all sounds the same to you now, you’ll soon learn to distinguish between them and understand what your baby’s trying to tell you.
Crying before feeding
If your baby cries after their feed, it could mean several things and not necessarily that something is wrong. Winding your baby properly after every feed may help, as could offering them more milk to see if they’re still hungry – however, it’s worth noting that breastfed babies will probably need less winding than those who are bottlefed. If your baby still seems distressed, your health visitor should be able to offer some advice. Or you can give our experts a call anytime on 0800 996 1000.
Crying after feeding
Poor weight gainMost newborn babies lose a little weight straight after birth, but they should soon begin to put weight on if they are feeding correctly. Since your newborn’s stomach is quite small, they will need to feed a little and often. Anything from every 1 to 5 hours is quite normal. But each is different, so listen to your baby’s needs and feed them accordingly. There’s also no ideal amount or rate at which they should gain weight – again because they’re all different. But your health visitor will monitor your baby's weight gain, and let you know if there’s any cause for concern.
PossetingPosseting and regurgitation are terms given to the little bit of milk a baby brings up after feeding. Although a little posseting is natural, if it happens regularly – more than 4 times a day – and your baby brings up more than just a little bit of feed, there may be a chance that they have reflux , although in other cases this is just normal. If you suspect your baby is posseting too much, you should speak to your health visitor.
VomitingVomiting is when your baby brings their entire feed back up. It's different to the effortless and gentle action of posseting, which tends to happen immediately after a feed. Vomiting happens a little longer afterwards and is a more forceful action with a larger volume. It often smells unpleasant too. You should contact your doctor if your baby is vomiting regularly, if it’s a large amount, if you ever notice blood in their vomit , if they also have diarrhoea or if they’re younger than 3 months.
DiarrhoeaWith breastfeeding baby’s, it’s normal for them to have runny stools and to pass them quite frequently – this is not diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is usually caused by either a bug or a feeding issue – if you’re at all worried about it, speak to your health visitor or doctor.
Medical problemsIf your baby has a cold or is feeling poorly, it can put them off their food. For example, a blocked-up nose can make it difficult to breathe and leave your baby reluctant to close their mouth to feed. If this happens, ask your health visitor to show you how to safely relieve your baby’s congestion.
Food allergies and intolerancesFood allergies and intolerances can be another explanation for weight loss or difficulty in feeding. If you suspect something’s wrong, it’s always worth taking your baby to see the doctor.
If you have any questions about feeding your baby, contact our baby feeding experts, anytime, on 0800 996 1000. Or use our confidential instant messaging service, Live Chat.