The question of “why does my baby cry after feeding” is a question that can typically drive mothers and parents crazy.
Oftentimes, it can be hard to know why your baby is crying after feedings. Not knowing how to identify the problem and not having a solution can have a significant effect on the physical and mental health of both your baby and the entire family. This can include increased stress, lower quality sleep, and the physical health of your baby. However, if you identify the cause and solve the problem, you will be able to significantly improve the parenting and breastfeeding experience for you and your child.
That’s why we decided to write an article on this topic – Why does my baby cry after feeding? This is an important topic and should be known by all mothers so that you can get the best results when feeding your baby.
This article will cover the following topics:
- Why Babies Cry After Feeding
- Should You Breastfeed Every Time Your Baby Cries?
- How Do I Comfort A Newborn?
Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Why Your Baby Cries After Feeding
The first major reason babies cry after feeding is known as acid reflux. Acid reflux happens when the content in the stomach gets pushed back into the esophagus.
It’s estimated that more than half of infants experience acid reflux at some point. The condition usually peaks at 4 months and goes away on its own between 12 and 18 months of age.
Some symptoms of acid reflux include:
- Spitting up and/or Vomiting
- Refusal to eat and difficulty eating or swallowing
- Irritability during feeding
- Wet burp / hiccups
- Failure to gain weight
- Abnormal arching
- Frequent coughing
- Gagging or choking
- Chest pain or heartburn
- Disturbed sleep
If acid reflux symptoms persist past 24 months, it may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) when combined with weight gain.
Food Sensitivity / Allergies
In addition to acid reflux, some breastfed babies may be allergic to certain food particles that their mothers are eating. According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, some of the most common foods that lead to food sensitivities and allergies in babies is cow’s milk protein in the mother’s milk, egg, corn, and soy.
Some symptoms of food sensitivities in your baby include the following:
- Extreme irritability after feedings
- Bloody stools (poop)
If your baby has the following symptoms, you should speak with your healthcare provider about getting them tested for allergies.
Additionally, you can also follow a restricted diet that removes common allergen foods such as eggs, dairy, corn, caffeine, and seeded fruit. Be sure to speak with your doctor before changing your diet significantly.
Start by eliminating one food at a time and analyze the effects of removing certain foods on your baby’s behavior. That way you can really see what effect each individual food has so you can isolate the diet problem.
The next reason your baby may be crying is gas. Gas can also be known as a buildup of air swallowed while eating. In particular, bottle feeding can lead to your baby swallowing a lot of air during feeding. This will cause gas to be trapped in the stomach and will potentially lead to baby hiccups and discomfort for the baby.
In order to help prevent gassing in your baby, you may try to change or improve your breastfeeding position. Try to keep your baby upright after feeding. Also, allow your baby to burp gently from the bottom of their back and up through the shoulders to work the gas bubbles up and out of the body. Burping your baby can significantly reduce the chances of gassiness.
Not every baby gets fed directly from breast milk. For formula-fed babies, a change or switch of the formula you use may be your solution to your baby crying after feeding.
Every formula brand may affect each child differently, so trying a different formula for your baby may be a good solution to solving your babies crying problem. It is important to talk to your own baby’s pediatrician about whether some other formula options can be better for your child.
If you see no change or improvement by switching your baby’s formula, it is unlikely to help for any other brands.
Colic is also another reason why babies cry after feeding. Essentially, colic means persistent and excessive crying for a baby under 3 months old. More specifically, your baby is doing the following:
- Is crying a lot, for at least three hours a day
- The baby is crying at least three days per week or more
- Is under 3 months old
If all 3 of those boxes are checked, then your baby is likely colic.
Should You Breastfeed Every Time Your Baby Cries?
This is a question that is very popular among moms in regards to their baby and crying. For that reason, we wanted to address this directly because it seems to be a topic that is debated out there.
In short, no. You do not want to breastfeed your baby every time he or she cries. Contrary to some beliefs out there, some babies cry because of a bloated stomach, gas, or some of the other reasons we talked about already in this article.
Ultimately, the best solution is to let your baby decide when she’s had enough milk. When your baby has had enough milk, it will give you signs to let you know it will be done feeding. Including stopping feeding or turning your head away.
How Do I Comfort a Crying Newborn?
Now that you know that you shouldn’t breastfeed every time your baby cries after feeding, I’m sure you’re also wondering how to comfort your crying newborn. With that being said, there are multiple ways to comfort a crying newborn when he or she cries.
Some of these ways include:
- Offer a pacifier for sucking – this can help your baby relieve stress without crying.
- Try gently rocking your baby – this can calm your baby down and relax them.
- Quietly singing to your baby – like rocking, singing may calm your baby and get them to stop crying. You can also put on a rhythmic song or music to have the same effect.
- Cuddle and hold your baby close – Touching, holding, and cuddling your baby makes your baby feel safe and secure. You can also put your baby in a blanket to get a similar effect.
- Try walking or taking your child out for a walk – this can result in a positive change in your child’s mood.
These are some of the main ways that you can comfort your baby when crying. As mentioned above, breastfeeding is not always the answer when your baby is crying. If your baby is crying and it has had enough feeding, try the things that we’ve listed above and see if it helps and improves your baby’s mood.
Why does My Baby Cry After Feeding – Key Takeaways
If you’re thinking, “Why does my baby cry after feeding?” hopefully this article is helpful for you. Knowing why your baby cries after feeding is extremely important for the health of your child. Some reasons why your fed baby cries after feeding can include acid reflux, food sensitivity/allergy, gas, formula, or colic.
You should not breastfeed every time your baby cries. Instead, it’s best to let the baby tell you when it’s had enough flow of milk.
It’s also important to comfort your crying newborn when he/she cries.
Knowing how to answer the question “why does my baby cry after feeding” can help your breastfeeding experience and the health of your baby. Whether it is with bottle feeding, direct breastfed babies, your baby will be better off if you understand these basics.
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