20 Things That Make A Breastfed Baby Uncomfortable

There is a spirited campaign to encourage new mothers to breastfeed their baby, as opposed to formula feeding, unless one has medical issues that would prevent that. The reason for this campaign is that breastfed babies have numerous benefits that most formula fed babies do not enjoy.

The greatest of these benefits is that mothers who breastfeed take fewer trips to the doctor, with breastfeeding being seen as the reason their babies have better immunity. Breastfed babies are also believed to have a higher IQ than formula fed babies. However, the best part about it is that mothers who breastfeed their young ones tend to have an easier time bonding with their children. This is because breastfeeding releases feel-good hormones that are beneficial to both the mother and the child.

According to Tummycalm, babies who are weaned early or those who are formula fed or even breastfed tend to have lots of discomfort or tummy issues. However, the problems that are associated with feeding bottles and utensils is that they are not hygienically maintained. The majority of these mothers know what to do and how to deal with these issues. This is opposed to breastfeeding mothers who think that theirs is the miracle food with no side effects. These mothers are often caught by surprise when their babies begin to display signs of discomfort. The list below is meant to enlighten breastfeeding mothers on the things that make breastfeeding babies uncomfortable.

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20 Baby Has Reflux

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For those of us who have been through this, we have gone months without proper sleep as we spend the night holding the baby for fear of placing him down. We breastfeed and the baby seems quite comfortable and full, but the minute we place him down, he starts gagging and spitting, with milk coming out of the nose and mouth. For most of us, this is a troubling experience.

According to Baby Center, “Reflux, also known as posseting or spitting up, happens when the milk your baby has swallowed comes back up into his food pipe (esophagus). The full medical term for this is gastroesophageal reflux or GOR.”

19 Your Baby is Tired

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New mothers are often overworked and tired before they go to sleep and even more tired when they wake up in the morning. We may think that this is a preserve of mom only, but the baby too gets tired and for him, this can be quite frustrating.

Newborn babies need to sleep a lot but sometimes visitors come to the house and disrupt this sleeping with kisses and cuddles. While this is all well and good, skipping a nap can make the baby overtired and the more tired the baby is, the more frustrated and uncomfortable he gets.

18 Baby Isn’t Getting the Right Flow of Milk

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Breastfeeding is not easy, neither is it every mother's cup of tea. Even though some women seem to have been born with this art ingrained in them, most mothers go through harrowing experiences that leave them scared and sleepless. When a mom is doing everything right but the baby still seems uncomfortable while breastfeeding, it could be that he is not getting the right milk flow.

According to Belly Belly, “If your baby pulls [off] soon after your let-down and is [coughing], you may have an overactive let-down reflex. Some babies get impatient if your milk is slow to let down, or when the flow slows down after the initial let-down. Your baby might pull off, [knead], arching her back and cry."

17 Baby is Teething

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Mothers may go through all the baby’s milestones without a second thought but the most anticipated milestone is the baby’s first tooth. Unfortunately, when the baby’s first tooth begins to sprout, he undergoes periods of pain, swollen gums, and intense discomfort. Teething turns an amiable baby into an irritable mess with heavy drooling.

This situation is because the sharp teeth are sprouting from the baby's soft gums, leading to pain and swelling. To help ease this pain, Parenting says that, it is okay to give the baby a cold clean washcloth to relieve the pressure. Using a clean finger, the mother can gently rub the baby's gum to relieve the pain.

16 He Doesn’t Want to Breastfeed at that Moment

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We have been taught that the baby should be breastfed on demand. Unfortunately for most of us, we tend to think that every time the baby is fussy or crying, that it is a cue we have been taught to look for.

According to BellyBelly, “If your baby cries when brought to [be breastfed], or sucks a bit and then comes off crying, it may be that she doesn’t want to feed at that time or maybe she has had enough. Older babies often become very efficient at feeding. Some may be finished within a couple of minutes. Your baby’s frustration may simply be an indication that she’s done and wants to move on.”

15 Boredom

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Imagine having to spend your days having to alternate between sleep, waking up and feeding and then the cycle continues. Then imagine having to smile at total strangers who insist on making silly faces at you and tickling your cheek just because it is chubby. Just like you would get bored, babies get bored too and with boredom comes fussiness.

Being tiny humans, babies are social animals and they require some stimulating bonding time. When the baby is about a month old, it is a good idea to put some toys in his peripheral vision to help keep him entertained. According to Dailyparent, lullabies have also been known to stimulate a baby and for an older baby, peek-a-boo games are a great way to keep him entertained.

14 Baby Has a Blocked Nose


When the baby has a blocked nose, just like grown-ups, he gets very uncomfortable. Newborn babies have not mastered the art of breathing with their mouth and hence they rely on their tiny noses to do the job. Unfortunately, due to the fact that they are susceptible to colds and cases of flu, at times the baby's nose may get blocked even when he does not have an illness. At those times, the baby finds it hard to breathe and even to suckle.

To help ease this discomfort according to WebMD, “Try saline drops. Put a few drops into each nostril, and then use a bulb syringe to remove some mucus. It's safe to repeat this as often as you need.”

13 Clogged up

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Most of us think that a breastfeeding baby does not get constipated, after all, he does not eat any solids. While the argument is viable, it is quite wrong. Breastfeeding babies are also prone to constipation, but this is quite rare. A breastfeeding baby can go for over a week without going number two, something that is quite normal.

According to Very Well Family, “Though constipation is uncommon in babies who are breastfed exclusively, it is common once solid foods are introduced into their diet. At that time, even bowel movements which occur as frequently as every other day could be considered constipation if a child strains or otherwise lets you know that passing her bowels is uncomfortable.”

12 Wet Diapers

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New mothers often forget to change the baby’s diaper. It could be because they are not used to doing so or that it's all a bit too much and these minor details just pass them by. The baby may be well covered without a single layer out of place, but if the diaper is full, this baby will be uncomfortable.

Sometimes we feed and re-feed in an effort to stem the fussiness, but it is not until we check the diaper that we come to find that the baby is leaking and wet. A wet bum means the baby will not sleep or settle down. According to Dailyparent, It is imperative to keep diaper changes consistent and regular to prevent diaper rashes that can graduate to very painful wounds.

11 Baby Prefers One Over The Other

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This one can be quite irritating, especially because as most mothers will attest, this preference tends to leave us a bit lopsided, says Kellymom. Most of us find that our babies prefer the left breast. It is a situation that has been encouraged by the fact that for most, cradling the baby on the left feels natural and easy. In so doing, we tend to feed the baby from that side and as time goes by, the baby develops a preference for the left. Whenever we try to feed him from the right side, he gets cranky and uncomfortable. That is why most mothers wind up with an engorged right one while for others, it just dries up.

10 Temperature Changes

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Before changing a baby or even bathing him, it is recommended that mom heats the room to a suitable temperature, not only to ensure that the baby is not exposed to the elements but also to keep his body temperature constant.

According to BabyCenter, mothers are advised to ensure that the bath water is the right temperature as too hot or too cold may lead to discomfort. On a typical day, it is important to keep the baby layered up to keep him warm. The rule of thumb is to ensure that if one feels cold and requires two layers to feel warm, the baby should have the same layers with one extra.

9 Baby Has Gas

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Bottle-fed babies are more prone to gas than breastfed babies. This may be because they tend to take in the air as they suck on the bottle. While this may be true, breastfed babies also experience gas. For either situation, this can be helped by burping the baby between and after a feed or giving the baby bicycle rides during a bath.

According to Bounty, “Wind in babies is caused by trapped air bubbles in their stomachs that they are unable to expel themselves and therefore need someone’s help in doing so. The pain from trapped wind typically manifests in babies drawing their legs up to their chests, thrashing around and screaming after a feed and breaking off in discomfort halfway through a feed.”

8 Baby is Feeling Emotional Stress

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A new baby sometimes brings emotional stress to the family members, as well as the mother. There are mothers who sometimes go into postpartum depression, something that can also affect the newborn baby. WebMD says that babies tend to sponge off of our emotions.

If the family and caregivers are happy and relaxed, so is the baby. However, if the family is going through some emotional stress, he sponges off of that and he, in turn, gets stressed. As much as it may be hard to control our feelings, it is important to try and stem any stress, as a stressed baby can be quite difficult.

7 Baby is Distracted

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According to Bellybelly Babies who are over the age of three months can get distracted by the environment. A baby may move from being happy during a feed, more so when he is younger, to be a very distracted and curious human being when he hits the three-month mark.

Any noise or flutter of an insect may have him dropping the breast, curiously trying to see what is happening around him. Mom should let the baby do so because stopping him and trying to put it back in his mouth before he satisfies his curiosity may lead to a very frustrated and cranky baby.

6 Baby Has Thrush

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If the baby has oral thrush, it may make him averse to breastfeeding and he may pull off and cry because feeding hurts his mouth. Babies with oral thrush have a cottage cheese white material in their mouth on the tongue, back of the throat, or inside of the cheeks.

According to Medical News Today, "Thrush is a common infection in the mouth of infants. It is caused by a yeast-like fungus, Candida albicans. It can be irritating but it is treatable.” It is advisable for mothers to check their baby’s mouths and to clean them too. If they suspect thrush, they should visit the doctor for appropriate treatment.

5 Baby is Tongue Tied

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Babies who are born with a tongue tie are not able to obtain a deep attachment to the chest during breastfeeding. These babies tend to slip off before they are full, which leaves them unsatisfied and crying.

According to Breastfeeding USA, “Tongues and lips are only considered *tied* if their movement is restricted, impairing mobility. It is important to note that many people have frenums which do not cause any problems at all. We are all born with some of this issue, but for some babies, it is so tight that they cannot move their tongues properly. This can affect their ability to breastfeed, or even take a bottle or a pacifier. Tongue tie can also have other serious health effects."

4 Baby Has Food Sensitivity

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Exclusively breastfed babies rarely exhibit signs of food sensitivity. However, babies who have food sensitivities are more restless than those without sensitivity. These babies experience bouts of stomach aches and wind that leads to him coming off of breastfeeding to cry.

According to Tummycalm, whenever mom suspects that the baby is food sensitive, it is important to see a dietician who specializes in lactation and food allergies. Mother can also try to make the situation better by eliminating some food items from her own diet so those foods that cause gas or are made of wheat and gluten as this has been shown to cause discomfort.

3 Baby is Having A ‘Wonder Week’

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"Wonder Weeks" are best described as instances when the baby has a growth spurt, either mental or physical. This baby may start to cry after breastfeeding. Kidspot says that this is because he is experiencing and making a lot more connections in her brain in order to bring together the new knowledge she has collected or is in the process of collecting.

This could be when he has acquired a new skill like rolling over or crawling or when he has acquired a new idea or concept. Because of the increased brain activity, this baby may be unable to process the new information as seamlessly as before and this may lead to crying.

2 Baby May Be Getting Too Much Milk

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While some mothers struggle with different beverages and questionable herbs to increase their milk supply, there are those mothers who experience inadequacy. According to Romper, for the mothers who have an oversupply, a good thing sometimes tends to lead to tears from the baby.

These large volumes of food for the baby can sometimes make him gassy and unsettled and can make him come off of breastfeeding crying. There are ways to stem this problem. One of them is to begin to pump milk before a feed and storing it safely for use at a later date. This ensures that not only does the baby get the right amount, but he also gets the hindmilk that is more nutritious.

1 Baby is Colicky

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Any mother who has ever had colicky baby shivers at the thought of a second child. Colic in babies is the most devastating situation that can befall a new mother. Treating flu is a snap as it has a remedy, but when it comes to colic, it is all trial and error and a lifestyle change that sometimes just frustrates.

According to Wikipedia, “Baby colic, also known as infantile colic, is defined as episodes of crying for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week, for three weeks in an otherwise healthy child. The cause of colic is unknown. Some believe it is due to gastrointestinal discomfort like intestinal cramping.

References: BreastfeedingusaBellybellyBabycentreVerywellfamilyBounty

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