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Baby Whisperer: Fussy feeding - 30 March

How to solve Fussy Feeding for your baby

Babies often go through periods of fussiness when you are trying to feed them, mostly from the breast but also when using a bottle as well.

Being able to recognize some of these signs early on can help to prevent the longevity or severity of the fussiness.

Solving fussy feeding is a little harder as it normally means there are other reasons in the day that are contributing to their fussiness.

Fussiness can often start around 6-9 weeks of age and it is hard to tell why with any certainty, however these are some possible reasons why babies start to fuss:

- Lack of sleep (most babies need sleep to feed well, to give them enough time to be hungry and then to drink enough to be able to sleep!)
- Awareness (babies have become more aware, like to look around and maybe distracted by activity in the house when feeding)
- Wind (babies that are pulling on and off the breast will get more wind with the on and off feeding)
- Reflux
- Illness (babies may have picked up a cold or illness and are not interested in feeding as much or struggle to breath through their nose)
- Formula choice (the formula you have chosen might not suit your baby, talk to your doctor about other options)
- Teat size (the teat flow needs to be suitable for their age, moving to bigger teat size if needed)

Ways to prevent or solve fussy feeding

- Choose a quiet space to feed while babies go through this phase
- When you sense a baby about to fuss at the breast, try to distract with a comforting "Sssh" and gentle rock from side to side.
- Distraction with movement and sound
- Remember to relax, babies pick up on tension and stress (do not force feed, have a break and cuddle your baby, trying again when you are both happy)
- Wind when they pull off the breast and will not go back to the breast, trying then to offer more after you have checked for wind.
- Look at your baby's sleeping patterns, are they sleeping long enough and having enough space between feeds (often snack feeding starts when babies only sleep for short sleep cycles)
- Talk with a Lactation Consultant/your local Plunket Nurse

Where to go for further info
Contact your midwife or Plunket nurse or contact a lactation consultant for one-on-one advice.
Winding demonstration and feeding positions - Baby Whispering DVD 0-3mths: