breastfeeding

5 Signs Your Baby May Need Help With Feeding

Baby sleeping on the parent’s chest.
  1. Sleep problems

    Baby sleep is undoubtedly very different from adult sleep. Their sleep patterns involve a lot more light sleep than we see in older children and adults. They have shorter sleep cycles and need a ton more sleep than we do!

    Babies need to nap frequently (about every 45min up to 3hrs) and they should sleep about 90 minutes to 3 hours. After 8 weeks some babies are ready for longer sleep stretches lasting 4-5 hours at night.

    If your baby isn’t napping well or is sleeping much longer stretches it can indicate feeding difficulties.

  2. Lots of spit up

    While spit up under 4 months is pretty common in newborns, it should just be a dribble most of the time. If baby is having big spit ups after most or every feed or they tend to launch it across the room, a visit with your Lactation Consultant should be considered!

  3. Not pooping every day

    After 1 month, baby may poop less frequently but we should still be seeing about 1-4 stools per day.

    I remember being told about my own baby that breastmilk was such good stuff that they absorbed it all and there was no waste. That’s just not how digestion works. There are always products left over and if baby isn’t stooling every day they may not be getting enough milk or they might have a digestion problem which is slowing down the process or even constipating them.

    There’s plenty we can do to get baby pooping regularly! You can try these exercises to help with gassiness and pooping!

  4. You notice they tend to turn their head only one direction

    You might also notice they prefer to breast/chestfeed on one side and not the other. This can be a sign of tight muscles on one side of the body. You can try doing some baby massage or see a provider who does bodywork for infants.

  5. Leaking or dribbling while eating

    If baby is “springing a leak” while eating it lets us know they haven’t formed a good seal on the nipple. This can be due to lip tone or tongue movements. If you are bottlefeeding it could be that we need to try a different bottle or we need to switch to paced bottle feeding.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to check in with your Lactation Consultant for an evaluation. We’d be happy to help ❤

Megan Dunn, IBCLC

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