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Baby Fussy at Breast

Sometimes, your milk lets down so fast that your baby can have trouble swallowing the amount of milk that’s being released. Because of this, your baby may act fussy at breast or choke and sputter at the breast, and he or she may be quite gassy. 

Try different positions that will allow your baby to better control the milk flow. The following suggestions may help:

  • Lie in a recliner to feed your baby.
  • Lie down on your back to feed your baby.
  • In a cradle position, hold your baby's head higher than your breast.
  • Use a side-lying position to feed your baby.

If positioning still doesn't help, try to pump or hand express a little milk before starting the feeding. This way your baby won't get more milk than he or she is able to swallow. Other helpful suggestions to feed a baby fussy at breast include:

  • Increase the frequency of nursing.
  • Allow your baby to feed on one breast per feeding. And if your baby wants to nurse within 60 to 90 minutes, offer the same breast.
  • Burp your baby frequently during each feeding.
  • If your baby is spitting up a lot after each feeding, talk to your baby's doctor. The doctor might find that your baby has reflux.

Reflux and gas can also cause your baby to act fussy. If your baby has reflux, milk will move from the stomach through the esophagus (the tube leading from the throat to the stomach) and out into the mouth, causing your baby to spit up.

To help alleviate your baby’s reflux and gas, think about changing your diet. Certain foods like dairy products and orange juice and other acidic foods can cause many babies to act fussy and cry. Broccoli, cauliflower, beans, chocolate and strong spices can cause further discomfort.