Baby Doesnt Want To Breastfeed At That Moment
If your baby cries when brought to the breast, or for sucks a bit and then comes off crying, it may be that she doesnt want to feed at that time or maybe she has had enough.
Older babies often become very efficient at feeding. Some may be finished within a couple of minutes. Your babys frustration may simply be an indication that shes done and wants to move on.
Sometimes it may be that your baby wants to suck for comfort, but doesnt want to get the flow of milk let alone another let-down reflex occurring.
If this is the case, trying to settle her in another way such as rocking or skin-to-skin contact can help.
How Do I Know When To Expect A Fussy Baby From Developmental Leaps
All of the above signs can help you confirm whether your baby is experiencing a wonder week, but you dont have to rely on them alone to know if you are in the thick of one!
There is an official Wonder Weeks book that can offer far more extensive information from real credible sources explaining what the wonder weeks are and how to detect them. However, my favorite way to stay in the know with our daughters developmental leaps was by using the The Wonder Weeks App.
Using the Wonder Weeks app saved me a shred of sanity throughout our babys first year as the periods of fussy mental growth came and went.
A few features we loved in the app include:
- A calendar of when to expect your babys wonder weeks to hit
You can enter your childs due date into the app and it will generate a week by week calendar to show you when to expect your baby to hit the fussy wonder week periods. It uses cloudy skies,thunderstorm skies, and sunny skies to exhibit when your baby will be fussy, extremely fussy, or happy.
- Explanations of new skills to expect after wonder weeks
I highly recommend using the Wonder Week app. I am one mom who saved a small piece of sanity by using it.
If you are in the middle of a wonder week with your little one, the bad news is that there is no magic answer to ease your fussy babys demeanor or make bedtime a smooth and happy experience.
Hang in there mommy! Your exhaustion and tears are worth it and things will get easier to manage!
Is Your Baby Ready For Solids
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeed your baby up until she is 6 months old. After which, you can slowly start introducing solids as a complementary food with breastfeeding.
Check these signs before starting solids:
- Your baby has lost her tongue-thrust reflex that pushes the food out of her mouth.
- She has good head control and can sit up on her own at least for 10 seconds. If so, you can place her in the high chair. If she cant sit on her own, then feed her while keeping her on your lap.
- She is interested in food and reaches for your food or spoon.
- She can draw in her lower lip to take food from a spoon.
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How Do You Calm An Overtired Baby
An overtired newborn will need lots of sensory soothing strategies to settle to sleep, particularly if she is already crying:
How To Tell If Your Baby Is Truly Hungry
As you get to know your baby better, you may notice some of their typical hunger cues. Once you know what to look for, it gets easier to feel confident about whether or not your baby needs to eat.
Here are some common hunger cues to look for:
- Your baby begins rooting as if to nurse.
- Your baby is crying.
- Your baby puts their hands near their mouth.
- Your baby ramps up their fussiness, even if you are holding or attending to them.
- Your baby sucks on their hands or clothing.
- Your baby turns their head from side to side.
The American Academy of Pediatrics , which recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, advises parents to tune into hunger cues and feed their baby on demand rather than using scheduled feedings once their baby is gaining weight well and the breastfeeding mom has no issues with low milk supply.
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Nursing On A Schedule
If you are trying to nurse your baby on a schedule, you might have a very unhappy baby on your hands.
Breastfeeding is so different from bottle feeding. Babies do not simply nurse for nourishment. They nurse for COMFORT.
Allowing your fussy breastfed baby to nurse on-demand is so helpful, and beneficial. It helps you maintain a healthy supply, allows your baby to feel safe, helps your baby to bond with you and helps your baby begin to realize the difference between being hungry and full.
Solution: Give on-demand nursing a try.
What Is Normal Baby Fussiness
Whether breastfed or formula fed, during their first few months, many babies have a regular fussy period, which usually occurs in the late afternoon or evening. Some babies fussy periods come so regularly that parents can set their clocks by it! The standard infant fussiness usually starts at about 2 to 3 weeks, peaks at 6 weeks and is gone by 3 to 4 months. It lasts on average 2 to 4 hours per day. Of course, there is a wide variety of normal.
To distinguish between normal and a problem, normal usually occurs around the same time of day, with approximately the same intensity responds to some of the same things each time, such as motion, holding, frequent breastfeeding, etc. and occurs in a baby who has other times of the day that he is contentedly awake or asleep. Normal fussiness tends to occur during the time of the day that the baby usually stays awake more, the most common time is in the evening right before the time that the baby takes his longest stretch of sleep.
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Your Baby Doesnt 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 doesnt 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.
Im Worried About Spoiling My Baby
Your baby will not be spoiled if you hold him and nurse him often quite the opposite, in fact. Studies have shown that when babies are held often and responded to quickly, the babies cry less, and the parents learn to read babys cues more quickly. A young childs need for his mother is very intense as intense as his need for food. Know that your child really needs you. It is not about manipulation or something you can fix with the right discipline. Often a baby who is perceived as fussy is simply a baby who needs more contact with mom and is content once his needs are met. See the links below to read more about spoiling.
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Why Babies Need So Much Help In The Evening
Many pregnant women notice that their unborn baby seems most active when they lie down at bedtime. This could be because they have stopped walking around and lulling their baby back to sleep!
It is common for newborn babies to continue this pattern of evening wakefulness during the first few weeks after birth. By about 6 weeks, most babies are learning that the night is for sleeping, and will begin to settle to sleep more quickly after a feed. You can gently help your baby learn the difference between night and day by taking him out in the daylight, especially in the morning, and keeping the lights low at night.
Another reason for babies to be unsettled by the end of the day is that their brains feel like they are on fire! Babies brains are growing amazingly fast they double in size in the first year. Every day, they take on lots of new information and experiences, and by the evening they are so excited by the days learning that it takes them a long time to wind down towards sleep.
In busy households, with other adults and children coming back at the end of the day, some babies may find all the extra activity overwhelming, too. And if its been just you and the baby all day, by the evening you may be feeling frazzled yourself, and in need of nurture and care, just like your baby! Unlike adults, babies cant just switch off and relax they need lots of help from calm, loving adults.
Your Baby Is Hungry And Soon Theyre Going To Get Grumpy
A hungry baby will become fidgety. Being fidgety is one of the first signs of a baby being hungry.
Ask yourself when the last time you fed your baby was. If its been a while, try giving them something to eat.
A little milk might do the trick, and they will become less fidgety.
Youll know for sure if the reason why theyre so fidgety is because of hunger because it will soon turn to grumpiness.
If your baby becomes grumpy after being fidgety, you can almost guarantee that its from being hungry.
The easy solution is to feed your baby. This is one of those situations where you have to drop everything that youre doing and take care of your baby.
If your baby is hungry, youre not going to be able to persuade them from not wanting to eat.
Find a comfortable place to sit and give them a bottle, or find an area with a little privacy and breastfeed them.
You arent going to be able to distract a hungry baby to get them to stop crying.
First, its being fidgety, and then its total meltdown mode if your baby is hungry.
There is no way of dealing with this situation other than to feed them.
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Why Do Babies Cry After Feeding
Have you been dealing with an inconsolable child after feedings? You may notice some of the following symptoms of abdominal discomfort:
- Crying: Babies seem to experience more discomfort during the evening hours. If youve heard the cry before, you know its unmistakably a cry of pain. There is an urgency and intensity that suggests its more than just complaining.
- Pulling up or extending their legs: Is your baby bringing its knees up to its chest or fully extending its legs in a rigid way? They are likely experiencing abdominal pain.
- Distended bellies: Much of post-feeding discomfort can be linked to an excessive amount of gas in the babys system. If its trapped in their digestive system, it may lead to a hardened or swollen tummy. Their crying may be exacerbating the discomfort theyre already experiencing.
Many things may be causing the discomfort your baby is experiencing. While this is not an exhaustive list, well look at some of the main causes of digestive discomfort for young babies.
Your Baby Is Teething
Theres a lot of variance here, but most babies start teething around six months.
Some babies are overachievers my son cut his first tooth at only three months old! Meanwhile, my daughter is six months and shows no signs of teeth anywhere in sight, and my friends son is a year old with only two teeth.
Common signs of teething include red, swollen gums, lots of drool, chewing on their hands, and extra fussiness.
Cutting a tooth is painful, so be patient with your baby, especially at night when youre exhausted and your little sleeper turns into a night owl quite suddenly. Some parents explain any fussiness with the explanation, oh, hes just teething.
While it might make you feel better to have an excuse for his cranky behavior, true teething only lasts a few days per tooth. If the gums arent red and swollen, then the fussiness is probably due to some other motive.
Once youve determined that budding teeth truly are the problem, there are several ways you can help soothe the discomfort.
Some parents dampen a clean washcloth and put it in the freezer for a bit before giving to the baby to gnaw on.
If your baby has begun solids, you can try putting some frozen fruit in a mesh feeder like these from Munchkin and let baby suck and chew on them like a soothing popsicle, or give your baby a silicone teething toy to help them massage their gums as they chew.
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My Daughter The Crier
My second daughter was what my oldest fondly referred to as a crier. Or, in other words, she cried. A lot. The crying with my baby girl seemed to intensify after every single feeding and particularly at night.
It was those hellish hours between darkness and dawn when my husband and I would take turns walking around the house with her in our arms, praying and, mostly in my case, sobbing because we couldnt console our baby.
I didnt know it then in my sleep-deprived state, but my daughters crying after feedings wasnt that uncommon. In combination with her frequent spitting up, it was pretty much a classic textbook case of colic.
Your Baby Is Uncomfortable
When you are hot, you turn on the fan. When youre cold, you throw on a sweater. If you have an itch, you scratch it.
Your baby cant do any of those things and the only way that they can communicate to you that something is wrong is by fussing.
Check your babys chest. It should feel warm and dry, and while it is normal for hands and feet to be cooler than the trunk, they should not feel cold. Sometimes all it takes is to add or remove a layer of clothing, or turn on or off a fan to make your baby comfortable.
If your baby doesnt seem to be hot or cold, check for anything that could be causing discomfort.
It could be a scratchy clothing tag, a diaper that is wet, or a hair twisted around a finger or toe.
If you cant find anything, try taking all of his clothes off and give him a warm bath and some snuggles.
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