Reasons for newborn squirming while breastfeeding can vary and may include issues like gas, an uncomfortable latch, or a need for burping, which can be addressed with patience and care.
Nursing a baby successfully is a noble task, no doubt. It is an uphill task, one that demands consistent, deliberate, and conscientious efforts on a daily basis. The growth, good health, happiness, and overall welfare of the baby are enough rewards for any mother.
However, babies fuss at times, expressing their discomfort or anxiety. Since they can’t speak or clearly express their feelings, it becomes quite worrisome when they squirm.
Should mothers worry when their little ones squirm while feeding? Usually, mothers are anxious whenever their kids are unhappy, but this matter isn’t quite straightforward. Any of several factors or a combination of some of them could be responsible for this disturbing habit.
Why Do Newborns Squirm While Feeding?
We will endeavor to be comprehensive regarding this as many factors are involved. Sometimes, there might be things wrong with the baby. On discovering this, you must swing into immediate action.
In many other instances, it could only be natural. Perhaps the baby is going through a phase. They may or may not need medical attention. All you can do is do nothing but wait out the moment.
1. Your Baby Is Constantly Undergoing Developmental Spurts
Initially, you felt you understood your baby, or you were both getting along until recently. They are fussing a lot. Please understand that they will begin to experience new things by the day, things we might not even be aware of. Since they are new to this world, certain realities begin to get clearer to them by the day.
Some things could fascinate them, others worry them, and others get them curious or distracted. In this context, it’s natural they squirm. It shouldn’t always only be while feeding, though.
2. Age Matters Too
Sometimes, babies cry more at certain ages and stop later. Some more experienced parents will attest to how certain periods in the lives of their babies were trying. Ultimately, everything changed almost magically a while later. It could just be a phase in their life.
For instance, many toddlers are quite a handful until they get to five, six, or seven. The truth is no one can completely tell all the reasons why babies fuss. We can only try to give it our best shot.
3. They May Be Teething
Here is one trying and painful moment for babies. This may be one of the reasons for newborn squirming while breastfeeding. Those tiny white enamels start to manifest and disrupt the original surface of their gum. While we may see it as a welcome development, the baby may not because of the pain.
Fussing during feeding may be due to this. They use the entirety of their inner mouth to latch. Hence, they would feel pain while feeding from the breast or bottle.
4. Tiredness Could Be Another Factor
Babies could be exhausted, you know? At such times, all they need is to be left alone to sleep or pampered to sleep so they wake up recharged. Babies are different, just like adults. Some are happy to doze off on the breast or bottle, while others will complain and protest.
There’s only one way to ascertain the cause and resolve the problem. Put the child to sleep. If they go easily, then that is it.
5. Your Menses Could Be The Problem
Maybe this may sound strange to you, but it’s a fact. The taste and texture of breastmilk of women can change whenever they see their monthly period. Your baby is the best person to realize that, right? After all, that’s their constant meal.
They can readily detect any slight change in the nature of their food. Some more expressive babies may want to vent their displeasure. Adults still act so when their foods change unfavorably.
6. They May Have Thrush
Any discomfort in their mouth is enough to cause this behavior. Thrush in babies occurs as fungal infections in their mouth, evident with white patches. So, any whitish coating on the tongue or mouth that can’t be cleaned off might be this.
Seek professional help at this point because the infection can still spread to your nipples if untreated. You can open their mouth to inspect it. Seek appropriate help if you are unsure of your discovery.
7. You May Have Conceived Again
It may or may not seem too soon for you, depending on what you prefer. You may be pregnant. Even without your knowing, your baby may begin to sense that in his food.
Yes, your breast milk changes in taste and maybe texture, too. This scenario is quite similar to having your menses. Please understand that some newborns will just adapt and continue peaceably. Others will make a show of the whole thing.
8. Your Baby May Be Satisfied
They may be reacting because their little tummies have had enough food and are over-stretched. When we are overly full, it can be quite discomforting. It’s possible to assert that we know their average ration or gauge, but things change. They may not be as hungry as we expect them to be.
So, a bit of their normal intake is sufficient. At other times, they keep going, to our amazement. We must be observant and adjust to these nuances.
Read Also: Why Does My Baby Shake When Excited?
9. They May Be Experiencing Stomach Upset
This one is enough to make anyone, including you, fuss. Your baby isn’t to blame because they can’t talk yet. They can only cry or protest. It gets even worse when we are forcing more food on them in this excruciating condition.
The presence of gases in their system can be quite inconvenient until they fart or pass out feces. If you suspect this, you can suspend the feeding and endeavor to remedy the situation.
10. It May Be Colic
Colic is an intestinal or stomach complication associated with young infants. Babies would cry ceaselessly at this for hours, days, and even weeks. They may be crying intensely and screaming due to the pain.
This condition normally goes on its own after they are three to six months of age. You must take your baby to be examined and administered the appropriate medication. You will not be able to know this when you are home all by yourself and your baby.
11. Your Baby May Be Sick
We have only mentioned stomach upset and colic, but there are still countless other illnesses. Typically, most sicknesses drain a person’s appetite. Thus, your baby may detest feeding whenever you attempt. Also, they would express themselves by crying or acting all fussy.
Apart from the loss of appetite and squirming, watch to see if they are themselves. Are the smiles, warmth, and playfulness still there? If they are all gone, get to a doctor as quickly as possible.
12. They Could Be Distracted By Their Environment
As your baby grows, they become more conscious of their surroundings and the events unfolding. The amount of distraction they may have to cope with can be overwhelming. Some newborns can get so curious that even feeding may be regarded as a distraction. This may be one of the reasons for newborn squirming while breastfeeding.
Thus, disconnecting them from the elements of their fantasy or puzzle can warrant this reaction. As a solution, take them to another space or room with nothing to distract them. A cool music and nursing cover can also help.
13. Preference For One Breast Over The Other
Here is another possibility when your little one has realized the difference between your breasts. One may be larger than the other or produce more milk than the other. They might be able to latch better to one than the other.
If you observe this, simply switching over to their chosen one can solve all the problems. This one ought not to be difficult for you, right?
14. Variance In The Flow Or Supply Of The Milk
When there’s excess flow, the baby may struggle to cope. So they cough, choke, gulp, spit up, frequently latch and unlatch, and even have a buildup of excess gas in their stomach. If the supply is too low or slow, they may get frustrated because they want more.
Maybe a few will be patient enough to keep sucking and progressing gradually. Those babies who are already aware of the second breast may want it over the first.
15. Your Baby May Be Starving
Perhaps you stayed too long before the next meal, or their metabolism was simply overworked. Now, the child may be famished. Some babies may be composed enough to gradually suck until they are filled. Others may not be so calm.
Suppose they are quite hungry and still experience any of the above challenges. In that case, you should understand why they have to protest their displeasure. In such situations, hugging your baby tightly while they feed could help. Let your bodies be in contact.
Read Also: How to Increase Breast Milk Supply
Conclusion on: Reasons For Newborn Squirming While Breastfeeding
You are not alone in this. Countless other parents experience the same, maybe even worse than you. Imagine feeding triplets, and they are all squirming due to the same or various reasons. That babies act this way indicates that something is not right.
So, it’s best we observe, detect, learn, and resolve the situation. Please involve your doctor whenever you have to, and do that swiftly. Ultimately, you and your baby will be fine.