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Do you notice that your baby squirms and cries while bottle feeding? Does he or she seem to fuss, squeal, kick, or even outright refuse to take a bottle when it is offered? Having trouble with your baby fussy during feeding bottle problems? If so, then we’ve got answers for you. There are many reasons why your baby might squirm while bottle feeding, and the reason your little one seems discontent might not be what you think. Join us as we delve into why your baby could be so grizzly around bottle feeding time.

Baby Fussy During Feeding Bottle: Why is my baby uncomfortable during feeding?

The truth is that some feeing won’t always go well, even if your baby had been feeding like a champ in the months prior.

If suddenly you find that your baby seems to be suddenly more grizzly during feeding than any other time, it is imperative that you find out the root cause. Your little nipper could be signalling that something is wrong, but since your baby is unable to speak, it comes out as fussing, crying or squirming.

If your baby is displaying any of the following cues, you’ll want to get to the bottom of what is going on with your little one sooner rather than later:

  • Baby Is Sucklnig Too Slow, Too Fast or Not At All
  • Baby Kicking Legs While Bottle Feeding
  • Baby Gulping Bottle and Crying
  • Baby Crying When Feeding Bottle
  • Baby Turns Away From Bottle
  • Baby Takes a Little Milk But No More
  • Baby Coughs During Feeding
  • Baby Vomits Up Milk
  • Baby Squirms Constantly During Feeding Time
  • Baby Shows Other Signs of Distress During Feeding Time

Why Is My Baby Fighting the Bottle?

There are many reasons why your baby could be fighting the bottle. These reasons include:

Your Baby Is Teething

At 3-4 months of age, it is possible that your baby could be experiencing some pain that can be attributed to the growing of new little teeth. This pain can be highly uncomfortable for many babies, and as such, your little one may change his or her normal feeding habits for a temporary time.

Thankfully, there are plenty of soothing teething toys here in the UK that can help. This Mother Goose Teether With Rattle Handle and Mother Goose Teether Ring Toy are great items to have on hand when your baby isn’t feeding to help soothe sore gums.

Your Baby Isn’t Very Hungry

Did you know that it is possible for your baby to seemingly display hunger cues even when he or she isn’t hungry? Indeed, your typical cry and squeal isn’t always linked to wanting to eat.

Even if it seems this way and your baby does take the breast or bottle, it is true that he or she will eventually turn away or become uncomfortable during the feed, as this wasn’t the reason for the behaviour to begin with.

Other reasons for crying include a wet nappy, illness and the need for sleep.

You’re Overfeeding Your Baby

Yes, it is true. You can overfeed your baby, but this isn’t always your fault.

Indeed, there are times when health professionals may recommend a certain intake of milk for your baby that isn’t on target with how much your baby needs. Look for cues and don’t pressure your baby. Doing so will make the experience more uncomfortable and your baby may begin to associate negativity with the feeding experience.

Your Baby Is Overtired

If you’ve been a mum or dad to a wee little one for any length of time then it is likely that you’ve heard the term “overtired”. This means that your baby has become so fatigued that he or she may begin to display behaviours that are unusual for them.

During feeding, this may manifest as your baby falling asleep or sucking slowly, or even as your baby becoming hyper, squirmy or overactive during feeding times, especially at night. These behaviours may be due to over-tiredness and should prompt you to begin brainstorming ways on how to get your little one more sleep.

Your Baby Is Distracted

Around 4-6 months of age, you may notice that your baby seems a bit distracted. Chalk this up to the fact that he or she is just beginning to discover the lights, sounds and daily bustle of the world around them. As such, your baby may seem more disinterested in taking a bottle and more enamoured with that pup that just passed by.

To counter this, consider taking your baby into a dim, quiet room for his or her feeding, especially during the day.

Your Baby Doesn’t Feel Comfortable

Sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference. Is your baby uncomfortable with the way he or she is being held? Is the nappy too tight? Have you switched to a new formula and your baby doesn’t like the taste?

Though seemingly minor, these things, as well as others, can have a big impact on the way your baby feeds. If nothing else seems to work, try to pin down other possible causes for “baby fussing during feeding bottle”.

Baby Nipple Too Slow or Too Fast

Hopefully, you are already aware of this, but if you aren’t, nipples that are to be attached to bottles come in different flow speeds. F

or younger babies, a slower flow is necessary. Older babies may take a faster flow. Other considerations include whether or not the baby is also being breastfed.

Speak to your paediatrician about the right flow for your baby. A nipple that flows too fast or too slow can have detrimental effects on your baby’s ability to have a comfortable meal.

You’re Giving Too Many Night Feeding Times

Waking up often to feed at night? This is a common occurrence but it can also be a hindrance to your baby’s daily feeding schedule. If you can, try to limit baby’s night feeds whenever possible. This isn’t to say that you should cut out all feeding at night right away. Rather, you should make sure that you aren’t overdoing it as babies only need a certain amount of calories per day

Baby Cries After Feeding Formula

How do you know formula doesn’t agree with baby?

A lot of times, your baby may grizzle simply because he or she isn’t taking formula well. It is well documented that breastmilk is indeed the optimal milk choice for babies, however, there are many reasons a mum might choose formula over breast milk.

If you notice that your baby is crying during or shortly after a bottle feed, is having difficulty taking a poo, is pulling his or her legs up to their chest whilst crying, is vomiting, having diarrhea, has mucus or blood in the stool or is exceptionally windy following feeding times, it may be that your baby is having a negative reaction to the formula you are attempting to feed him or her.

For more ways on how to spot negative reactions to formula and what to do about it, check out this expert bottle feeding and baby formula Q&A. Currently breastfeeding but thinking about switching baby over to formula bottle feeding in the nighttime? See this article about whether or not you should feed your baby formula at night.

Baby Fighting Bottle at 3 Months

Why is my baby fighting the bottle at 3 mos?

Maybe your baby fusses halfway through a bottle or maybe your baby refuses a bottle and cries. If all of this crops up at around 3 months of age, there could be several components at play.

One of the most likely scenarios is that your baby is teething. Although this may seem a bit early, 3 months is around the time that many babies begin to sprout their new teeth. As such, it is possible that because of the soreness and discomfort that teething often brings, your baby might not be interested in feeding during normal bottle times. That, or he or she may simply drink less than they used to.

The next factor that could play a role in why your baby is resisting a bottle is that he or she may be experiencing a condition known as thrush. Thrush is an oral fungal infection that affects many babies. This condition can cause pain, redness and burning in the mouth, and can even cause a loss of taste altogether which can adversely affect your baby’s eating habits.

Lastly, if you begin feeding your baby a bottle at 3 months, it may simply be too late. Babies that were formerly breastfed and are introduced to bottle feeding much later tend to reject the bottle. For information on how to overcome this hurdle and other barriers to bottle feeding speak to your local paediatrician.

Baby Fussing at Breast Milk

Baby Fussy During Feeding Bottle Breast Milk

Why is my baby fussing at bottled breast milk?

More times than not, a baby fussing at being fed bottled breast milk is likely more perturbed by the bottle itself and not the breast milk.

Having said that, if the breast milk is too cold, spoilt or if any of the aforementioned occurrences are going on, then it is possible that your baby will refuse to eat.

For information about whether or not breastfeeding or formula feeding is best for your baby, check out the pros and cons of breastfeeding versus formula feeding

What Do I Do When My Baby Cries While Feeding?

If your baby is crying while feeding, you will need to immediately stop feeding your baby. First find out what is wrong. Is it that your baby isn’t hungry just yet? Could he or she be overtired and ready for bed? Is he or she in pain?

As previously reported, there are many reasons that a baby could be crying during a feed. It is imperative that you address the matter so that you can adequately feed your child.

How Do You Feed a Fussy Baby With a Bottle?

  • First, ensure that there are no wet nappies or other impending issues. These may be causing the child to cry in the first place.
  • Next, check the bottle itself. Make sure that the ring around the nipple of the bottle isn’t screwed on too tight. Also make sure that the nipple isn’t flowing too fast or too slow for what your baby can handle. Make sure the formula or breast milk you are feeding your baby is at a comfortable temperature, between 35-37 C.
  • Third, position your baby in such a way that he or she is comfortable. Never lie your baby all the way down as this causes ear infections. Simply cradle your child in your arms at a semi-upright position while tilting the bottle. This way, the milk fills the nipple entirely to prevent your baby from suckling air.
  • If you find your baby begins fussing at the bottle or is crying during a feed, simply stop the feed and assess the situation. Try to address any concerns that may be cropping up. Look for cues such as baby gulping the bottle and crying, baby pulling legs up, baby looking wild-eyed and kicking legs. These are all signs that something is off.

Tips For Proper Bottle Feeding

  • Always keep the baby in a semi-upright position, never lying flat.
  • Never prop up a bottle in a baby’s mouth. Also, never leave the bottle in his or her mouth when they aren’t actively sucking.
  • Speak to your paediatrician about switching formula if your baby doesn’t seem to agree with it.
  • Make sure not to twist the ring of the nipple too tightly around the bottle.
  • Check the flow of the nipple on the package it came in. This will ensure it is the proper speed for your child. The younger your baby is, the slower the flow will need to be.
  • If your baby fights the bottle but is still hungry then the chances are high that they are experiencing another ailment. These can come as over-tiredness, a dirty nappy or another conundrum. Try to solve the issue before attempting to feed again. If needed, put the baby down for sleep and continue feeding an hour or so later.
  • Always make sure the formula or breast milk is at, or slightly below, body temperature, around 37 C.
  • Never continue to feed a baby that is resisting feedings. Stop and try to assess the issue. Try again later if needed. It could simply be that your baby isn’t hungry yet or has already gotten enough calories.
  • Speak to your paediatrician for extra advice. Especially if you notice that your baby is losing or is gaining an excessive amount of weight.

Baby Fussy During Feeding Bottle? Baby Cries During Feeding? There’s Plenty You Can Do

All in all, while baby fussing during feeding isn’t fun, it can be overcome with a little patience and persistence. For more information on a baby who cries during bottle feeding, see What to Do When Baby Cries During Feeding Times

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