There are a variety of reasons your baby may be fussy after eating, and luckily, there are things parents can do to ease their baby’s discomfort.
Newborns are usually fussy until they reach three months old when the fussiness reduces. If you have listened to your baby fuss for two months straight, you might decide to let her cry it out till she passes out. However, please check what your baby is missing or suffering from whenever they are fussy. Read on to find out what it means when your baby is fussy after eating.
Many things can make your baby fussy; boredom, loneliness, diaper rash, low supply of milk, forceful let-down, fatigue, thrush, teething, and more. Fussiness after feeding could indicate abdominal discomfort. To determine whether your baby’s fussiness is caused by abdominal discomfort lookout for the following signs and symptoms:
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- A painful cry after feeding.
- The baby curls and pulls their knees to the chest, or extend the limbs rigidly (while crying).
- Rigid and swollen tummy. It is a clear indication of bloating, which hurts the baby.
Reasons Why Your Baby Cries After Feeding
If your baby is below three months old and cries up to three hours a day for three days a week or more, they have colic. Colic is very common in infants. It affects one out of every five babies globally. Half of the colicky babies outgrow colic by the third month. Most babies outgrow the condition by their ninth month.
Scientists are yet to determine what causes colic. However, it is believed that digestive problems cause colic. Before the baby’s digestive system develops fully to digest anything, the baby goes through a lot of discomforts.
How to help a baby with colic:
Food And Formula Intolerance
Sometimes the contents of the breastmilk or formula could upset the baby’s stomach. According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, most babies are allergic to cow’s milk, egg, corn, and soy. Your baby could be sensitive to other foods not listed here, so you will have to do diet elimination to find your baby’s allergen.
Signs of food intolerance include irritability, extreme fussiness, and spitting up after feeding. If you notice symptoms like skin rashes, redness, or blood in stool after feeding, contact the baby’s pediatrician.
How to help your baby with intolerance:
- If your baby reacts irritably to a formula, consult your pediatrician about switching to another manufacturer.
- Have a record of the foods you eat. You will work with your pediatrician to eliminate the food that is causing problems for the baby. It works by cutting out food one by one while observing any changes in the baby’s behavior after feeding.
Reflux occurs due to underdeveloped esophageal sphincter. The muscle between the stomach and the esophagus (food pipe) is called the esophageal sphincter. It prevents the contents of the stomach from moving into the esophagus. Sometimes, the stomach contents that pour out are mixed with stomach acid, which hurts the baby.
Reflux causes fussiness and excess spitting up after feeding. Severe reflux results in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which causes weight loss. GERD symptoms are colic-like in babies, and they develop into stomachache in school-going kids and heartburn pain in adolescents.
Babies outgrow moderate reflux by the time they are one-year-old. Reflux that does not resolve requires medical attention. You must take your child to the hospital to get a precise diagnosis of the condition. A gastroenterologist will run tests like biopsy and special X-rays.
How to help babies with reflux:
- Always feed the baby while they are upright, and keep them upright for at least 20 minutes after feeding.
- Avoid overfeeding your baby. Go for small and frequent feedings.
- Consult your pediatrician about medication like Ranitidine.
Feel your baby’s tummy for any signs of bloating. A swollen and firm stomach indicates gas, which could be hurting the baby. Bottle-fed babies are more prone to swallowing gas because bottles are more difficult to latch on. Breastfed babies also swallow a little amount of gas as they feed. A bloated baby is squirmy and cries with their back arched, and knees pulled towards the chest.
How to help a baby with gas:
- Burp them after every feeding. Hold the baby upright and gently rub their back and tummy from the bottom up, pushing any trapped gases up and out.
- Lie the baby on their back and do gentle bicycle cycles with their legs, one at a time.
- For bottle-fed babies, switch to a bottle with an insert. Inserts prevent much of the air swallowing.
- Nurse the baby with their head above the stomach.
When To See A Doctor
See the doctor if any of the following occurs:
- If none of these solutions relieve your baby’s fussiness.
- In the case of vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody stool.
- The baby loses weight or fails to gain weight.
- The baby develops hives, red spots, or skin rashes.
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