Since a baby has little else to do in life besides eat and sleep, it would seem logical that eating would be something that presents little difficulty. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Many new moms run into feeding issues that while common, can be extremely frustrating. For an exhausted new mom, feeding problems can escalate into a major issue quickly. Take a look at some of the most frequently encountered feeding issues and how to resolve them.
Baby Won’t Latch On!
Breastfeeding moms are often discouraged and frustrated when what seems like the simplest of baby care tasks just doesn’t seem to be working. Poor latch is responsible for all kinds of problems, from gas in the baby to blocked milk ducts in the mother. Babies are born with the ability to suck, but latching on is just as new to them as it is to mom. It takes some practice, and sometimes requires some help.
First, try a different position, such as a football hold, to see if this helps baby access the nipple better. If you have tried everything and are still struggling, call in a pro. Make an appointment with a lactation consultant who can help you to get it figured out. Your obstetrician or the hospital where you gave birth should be able to direct you to a consultant.
Baby Won’t Take the Bottle!
Especially if you are introducing a bottle after breastfeeding, you might have some difficulty getting your baby to accept the different look and feel of the nipple. This will likely just take time, and some experimentation with different bottles. If your baby has been on the bottle since birth, however, and suddenly starts to refuse the bottle, there may be something else going on.
Refusing a bottle can be a sign of several possible problems, from teething to ear infections, both of which make sucking painful. It could also be a sign of an upset stomach. If a reason doesn’t present itself quickly and your baby continues to refuse the bottle, it’s best to put in a call to the pediatrician. An examination might reveal the reason for the refusal, and avoid potential dehydration from refusing fluids.
Formula Upsets My Baby’s Tummy
From the first day of formula feeding to a later transition from breast milk to formula, there can be problematic responses to some of the ingredients. The proteins in formula are more difficult for a baby to digest than those in breast milk, and can cause problems like gas, constipation and diarrhea. Fortunately, there are many different formulas on the market, and you should be able to find one that works for your child.
It’s possible that the reaction is being caused by an allergy to something in the formula, whether it’s cow’s milk or soy; in this case you may need to try a hypoallergenic formula. If problems persist, see your baby’s doctor.
My Baby Falls Asleep During Feedings!
Babies sleep a lot, and it doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong if your baby is falling asleep during feedings. It could be simple fatigue, or baby has had enough to eat and is satisfied. If you are worried that your baby is falling asleep before ingesting enough, try feeding in a brightly lit room that discourages sleep. Unwrap baby from any blankets or sleep sacks; the cooler air will also encourage wakefulness. It might not be pleasant to have to turn on the lights for a night feeding, but if you don’t think baby is eating enough it might be required.
During the day, try to pick a feeding time when your baby is most alert, generally shortly after waking up. You might also find baby is the hungriest right after a nap and will eat more.