Post # 1
I am so stuck with what to do or who to call so I wanted to see if any of you have any insight or advice you could give about this issue.
my newborn is just shy of 6w old and he is doing great! He is gaining weight and the pediatrician is happy with his progress. I am pumping and feeding him breast milk and supplementing with formula.
There is one big issue lately though and it is how he is doing with the bottle. This doesn’t happen with every single feed I would say about 60% of the time he eats really weirdly. Like he’ll be eating and calm and then all of a sudden he start squirming, moving his legs and arms around, choking on the milk/formula or crying suddenly.
we are using dr browns bottles size 1. We’ve tried avent bottles and nuk bottles and he seems to do the best with the dr browns. At first when he started doing this I thought that maybe the flow of the nipple was too fast so I switched to a slower nipple and he just gets even angrier. Starts screaming and crying because it’s taking forever for him to eat. With a slower nipple it can take him over an hour to eat! But with the sr browns bottles it takes him about 20-25 mins.
anyway. I am worried because it’s becoming miserable to feed him and I’m worried he is aspirating on the formula when he chokes. I would like to see someone and have them watch me feed him and tell me what I’m doing wrong or explain to me what is happening so we can enjoy feedings. Is there any professional person who I could go to for help with this? Would a lactation consultant help or is there someone else?
Any ideas or advice? Anyone been through this before?
please help! Thanks bees!
Post # 2
I think some lactation consultants do bottle consults. I would ask other moms in your area, Google it, ask the local La Leche, etc., to find someone who does this. I struggled with feeding issues, too, it’s so frustrating. Good luck!
Post # 3
I’m so sorry he is struggling with this!
Does it seem like he might have reflux issues? Are you burping him in the middle of feeds? Is he doing it both with breastmilk and formula bottles? It seems like you are definitely on the correct nipple size now so good call with that. Do you have a 6 week visit with a doctor/pediatrician/midwife you could ask about this?
Post # 4
All of the lactation consultants I worked with also showed me how to do paced bottle feeding. There are also some great videos on YouTube. Most of us default to leaning the baby back and tipping the bottle up, but I had much better success with pacing the feeds, particularly for my puker.
Post # 5
I was young to recommend paced bottle feeding, it’s what is recommended to nursing moms that switch between breast and bottle so as not to cause bottle preference and it mimics more the feed a baby would get at the breast. Keep him angled for feeds, let him larch onto the bottle instead of putting it in his mouth and keep the bottle at an angle so he needs to actively suck to eat instead of having it flow into his mouth
Post # 6
Has the doctor checked for tongue tie? This recently happened to my SIL and feeds were hard in the beginning because of a tongue tie. Could be worth asking the doctor about.
Post # 7
I am not sure in your case but my baby had similar actions sometimes when breastfeeding. She would kick and move a lot, pop on and off my breast more and more frequently, and cry, but then immediately be rooting for the breast again, almost desperately! I kept thinking she was just hungry hungry hungry. Then one night, she was extra fussy and fed for like an hour and a half… then suddenly starting throwing up. Not spitting up, but multiple rounds of a large amount of milk. She was totally fine but I felt sooooo guilty. I realized then that my fast let-down caused her to take in a lot of air, and she was reacting to the pain and discomfort from bad gas. But because she was in pain and uncomfortable, she wanted to nurse for comfort. I therefore kept feeding her, unknowingly making it worse!
After that night, any time she started to act really fussy and uncomfortable, I stopped her and burped her. Sometimes I had to burp her every minute or two because of it. She was always unhappy that I interrupted her meals but it did really help. I would only burp her for a minute or so, often less if she burped sooner. If no burp but she was still acting hungry, we’d go back to feeding. It really really helped and she got sooooo much better. So I also recommend paced feeding and to try more burping or helping baby to pass any gas (I also did bicycle legs with her if burping wasn’t helping).
Sometimes she will also keep eating even if she’s full so I still have to watch her to see if she is eating peacefully or acting off… sometimes I will even tell her I’m cutting her off and then burp her and go do something else for a bit. Usually she is totally fine with that. If she’s still acting hungry, we just go back to feeding. So he may also not need to finish the full bottle. Some days babies are more hungry than usual and other days they are not all that hungry. Overfeeding is definitely possible, especially with bottle feeding. Our girl is measuring quite a bit ahead in both height and weight, so I’m pretty sure the burping or occasional early ending of a feeding are not having any negative impact.
I do hope it gets better very soon! It was distressing to me to see my baby acting so uncomfortable and upset. I hated that she was practically screaming in what I thought was hunger but feeding her seemed to not make it better. I actually thought I was under feeding her and she was starving at first. That was what it looked like! It also got better as she got older because she was better able to manage the fast flow.
Post # 8
how are you bottle feeding? are you holding him in the cradle position so he’s laying back? you can try bottle feeding with him sitting on your lap, with his back to you, so he’s more in a upright position and bottle feed that way.
Post # 9
My baby behaved similarly when nursing when she was that age. I would call it “rage nursing.” It was worst in the evening during her witching hour time. Then in the middle of the night she would feed totally normally, maybe because she was sleepy during those feeds? One thing that sometimes helped was if I walked around with her while nursing her…not sure how doable that would be with bottle feeding, but the motion seemed to help her settle down a little bit. By the time she was 8-9 weeks she seemed to move past it and feeds got much easier.
If you are worried I dont think it would hurt to reach out to a LC or even ask your pediatrician if they have suggestions.
Post # 10
If you suspect your baby is aspirating during feeding, I’d talk to your pediatrician, and they can refer you for a swallow study to confirm. My daughter had Laryngomalacia and a poor sucking reflex, and we had the swallow study done after she aspirated during a feeding and turned blue. We got her into physical therapy and they taught us techniques for paced feeding and to help improve her suck reflex. It greatly improved nursing and bottle feeding for us.
Post # 11
thanks so much for the rec’s I will look into these.
he definitely had reflux as he spits up occasionally and the pediatrician suspects that is part of the issue. I do burp him a few times in between feeds and it seems to help reset him sometimes but other times he just gets really angry and cries when I take the bottle out of his mouth to burp him 😞
Post # 12
I will look into this thank you!
I do make sure he is angled up higher so the milk is not going down his throat but he still chokes sometimes. I will look into the paced bottle feeding too.
no one has checked him for a tongue tie I don’t believe. This is something I will mention to the doctor next time we go.
thanks so much for sharing your story and I’m sorry you went through something similar it is so miserable and I really just want us both to enjoy feeding and it’s not happening so I feel like a failure. I definitely think sometimes it’s gas because I do end up burping him when he goes crazy and he will often let out a huge burp. But then other times it doesn’t seem like it’s just gas… idk I wish they could talk to us and tell us what the problem is 😐 I am glad your daughter is getting better with feeding as she gets older. I am hoping we can get past this stage too.
Post # 13
I’m sorry you went through something similar. It’s really been rough and I dread every feeding but it’s not supposed to be like that. I read articles all the time about how to feed properly and it says things like you should talk to your baby and grab his toes and touch him, and I’m like yea right I’m so focused on whether he is going to choke that I can’t even enjoy any part of it. 🥺
this is very interesting thanks for your advice. I know he has reflux issues but when I brought up the aspirating to the doctor he didn’t seem worried at all and said his lungs sound great. But of course that doesn’t help my problem. I will reach out again to the doctor and ask about the swallow study.
Post # 14
Are you keeping the bottle more level instead of tipping it upwards? I also second the sitting him more upright. Maybe try burping him before the bottle too, in case he is gassy.