Why Does She Cry During Feedings?

Jan Gambino Health Guide


    Your baby with Gastroesophageal reflux may cry all day and all night no matter what you are doing-holding, bathing or changing her diaper. It can be especially frustrating when she cries during and after her feedings too. It seems like she doesn’t like to eat and it takes longer to feed her as you both struggle to find the best position and techniques to settle her. It can even feel like she doesn’t like you or your milk when you are nursing and she cries and turns away. How can you feel like a good mom if you can’t feed your baby?


    Rest assured that you are a wonderful mom. Your baby is communicating as best she can that something is wrong. Her crying is saying something is wrong but she just can’t tell you exactly what is wrong. There are so many reasons a baby fusses and cries during a feeding. I am sure you have heard the simple, straightforward reasons:

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    •  Gas
    •  A burp
    • Too full
    •  Hungry
    •  Sleepy
    •  Wet Diaper


    If only it was so easy-just change her diaper and bring up a burp. What do you know, she stops crying. That is exactly what happens to all of the other babies-you know, the ones without reflux!


    It does make sense to try all of the usual techniques and add a few more things:


    •  Swaddle (especially if she is under 2 months of age)
    •  Burp more often-as often as each ounce or two
    • Take a break from the bottle or breast and look in the mirror or walk around the house.
    •  Reposition her.
    •  Check her suck-a noisy suck may indicate she is taking in too much air.
    •  Check the flow-too fast or too slow may be a problem.
    •  Not enough milk-if you are nursing, make sure you take care of yourself to maintain your supply.
    •  Overfeeding/too full.
    •  Read her cues. If she turns away, she is saying she needs a break or isn’t ready to eat.


    An experienced mom, lactation consultant or nurse can show you some of these techniques and add their own mom-tested ideas.


    If your baby is still fussing and crying during and after feedings, it is time to check in with the doctor to rule out other causes of crying:


    • Colic
    • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
    • Food allergies/intolerances
    • Milk Soy Protein Intolerance
    • Constipation
    • Illness/fever









Published On: December 02, 2010