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How to Fix Common Baby Feeding Problems Quickly.
Problems with breastfeeding babies or introducing them to solid foods are common.
Many parents struggle with getting their baby to eat or breastfeed, but most problems have simple solutions.
Difficulties with breastfeeding, like latching and biting, can be addressed by switching up your technique.
When introducing babies to solid foods, avoid forcing foods and try to transition them gradually.
If your baby has an issue like gas, dietary changes can help.
Addressing Breastfeeding Problems
Watch for signs your baby is hungry before attempting to latch.
If you’re having trouble getting your baby to latch, you may be feeding them before they’re hungry.
Try to schedule breastfeeding sessions when your baby is actively displaying signs of hunger.
Your baby may suck on their lips, finger, or fist.
They may fuss or fidget.
Babies cry if they’re very hungry, and a hungry, distressed baby will be harder to breastfeed.
For the best results, try to address hunger when your baby first starts fussing or sucking on their lips, fingers, or fists.
Position your baby correctly prior to latching.
If you’re still getting used to breastfeeding, or are struggling with latching, sit on a good chair that provides back support and rest your feet on a stool.
To encourage the baby to get in the right position, use a breastfeeding pillow or a pile of pillows in your home.
You and the baby should be tummy to tummy at all times.
The baby’s ears, shoulders, and hips should be in alignment.
Make sure the baby’s nose is opposite the nipple.
If this position is not working, you can try using an alternate position.
For example, you might try cradling the baby across your lap as they breastfeed.
Encourage a good latch.
Once you’re in position, you can encourage the baby to latch.
A baby that’s struggling to latch may need some guidance.
Keeping your fingers away from your nipples, turn your breast toward the baby in a “C” or “U” position.
You want your baby to latch naturally, so aim the nipple at their nose or lip. Do not try to force the nipple in the baby’s mouth.
If your baby still hesitates to latch, tickle the lip with the nipple gently.
When your baby does open their mouth, gently slip the nipple in.
Most of the lower part of the your nipple should be in their mouth and the baby’s nose should be sunk slightly into the skin above the nipple.
The baby’s lips should be fleshed out on either side, like fish lips.
Recognize when your baby is latching correctly.
You want to make sure the baby is getting enough food while latching.
You may have to encourage the baby to latch again if they’re not latching properly.
The following indicate a good latch:
You can see the baby’s tongue at the bottom of their lip.
Their ears wiggle.
Their jaw is wiggling.
You can hear swallowing noises.
There is little discomfort.
Cope with the pain.
Breastfeeding can hurt some women.
If you experience frequent pain when breastfeeding, take steps to reduce tenderness and soreness to your nipples and breasts.
Tuck cabbage leaves into your bra between feedings.
This may reduce some swelling and soreness.
Treat your breasts with care between sessions.
Wear breast pads if you leak between sessions and change them often.
When bathing or showering, avoid getting harsh soaps or shampoos near your breasts.
Fix issues with biting
Unfortunately, some babies do bite when they breastfeed.
If biting is an issue with your baby, do not pull back as this can cause your baby to bite harder.
Instead, push the baby into your breast as this is more likely to cause them to let go as it reduces airflow.
If you notice the baby getting ready to bite, gently stick your finger in the corner of their mouth to prevent biting.
See a doctor for intense pain in your breasts.
Breastfeeding should not be intensely painful.
There may be issues with you or your baby if your have very sore, sensitive breasts and nipples during breastfeeding.
Certain problems should be addressed by a medical professional.
Plugged ducts can cause very sore spots on one area of the breast.
They can also cause red spots to appear on the breast.
Such issues should be handled by a doctor.
Pink nipples and shooting pain in your breasts can indicate an infection of you or your baby.
You should consult a doctor for evaluation
Seek outside support.
If you continue to struggle with breastfeeding, you should seek outside support.
Find a lactation support group in your community by checking at your local hospital.
You can also seek lactation support groups online.
If you’re worried your baby is not getting enough nutrition due to breastfeeding issues, make an appointment with a lactation specialist.
Be vigilant about mastitis
Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that can be caused by breast feeding.
It is marked by tenderness, swelling, redness, burning, and pain in the breasts.
You will also experience flu-like symptoms, including a fever.
Mastitis should be addressed by a doctor.
Usually, painkillers and antibiotics are used to treat the infection.
You should take all the pills as directed to properly treat mastitis.
Your doctor may also want to talk over your breastfeeding techniques with you.
They may have suggestions about preventing a reoccurrence of mastitis.
Fixing Issues with Solid Food
Introduce your child to the right foods at the right time.
You should not attempt to feed your baby solid foods until the age of six months.
After this, you can expose your baby to small amounts of healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, in addition to breast milk.
Pureed fruits and vegetables are usually good foods for babies, as they’ll help your baby get a taste for healthy food early on.
These may be labeled as “stage one” on store-bought baby foods.
Some pediatricians encourage introducing vegetables before fruits.
Grain cereal is also a popular choice, as it’s a healthy finger food your baby can easily eat.
Baby foods made with meat can be helpful if your baby has been breastfeeding.
The vitamins may be easier to consume in meat.
Use formula or breast milk to stop spitting issues.
If your baby is spitting food out with every bite, they may not yet have outgrown their tongue-thrust instincts.
These are instincts that prevent a baby from choking.
You can address this issue by adding breast milk, formula, or water to whatever food you’re serving.
Adding liquid will help thin out food.
This will make your baby less likely to feel they have to push it out to prevent choking.
Instead of using a spoon, dab some food on your finger and feed your baby this way.
Avoid forcing food if your baby's not hungry.
If your baby is turning their head away when you offer food, they may simply not be hungry.
You can try offering a different type of food, but if your baby still refuses do not push it.
Your baby will likely eat once they’re hungry.
Children often have a better sense of when they need to eat than adults.
While adults may eat out of boredom, very young children are still developing a relationship with food.
They’re often more likely to listen to their body’s cues, so respect when your child does not seem hungry.
Be patient with new foods.
You want your child to develop for a variety of flavors. However, it’s not uncommon for a child to make a face or refuse new foods.
Have patience when this occurs. Remember, your baby is probably wary of the food because of how it looks or smells.
If you can coax them to give the food a chance, they may like it.
Keep trying with new foods, especially healthy ones that are important for a baby’s diet.
Do not stop feeding your baby something like spinach simply because they seem to dislike it.
It can take up to 15 tries for a baby to accept a new food, so have patience.
Keep introducing the new food at meal times and encouraging your child to eat a little bit more each time.
Consult your doctor if issues persist.
If you continue to struggle with getting your child to eat, talk to a doctor.
It’s important your baby make a healthy transition into solid foods.
If your child is refusing food long term, this could indicate a medical problem that you need to address.
Changing Feeding Methods
Correct changes in the taste of breast milk.
If your child suddenly starts refusing breast milk, think about whether you’ve made any changes to your lifestyle recently.
This can affect the taste of breast milk.
You may have to adjust your diet or habits to get your child to take breast milk again.
Medications, new foods, or changes to your level of physical activity can all affect the taste of breast milk.
Lotions and creams applied near the breasts can also affect the taste of breast milk.
If your child is not taking breast milk, try cutting back on any new foods or habits and avoiding lotions and creams.
If medication is the culprit, talk to your doctor about switching or lowering your dosage.
Give vitamin rich foods to a baby who grazes
Some babies prefer to snack all day instead of eating one single meal.
It is often easier to let a baby eat when they want instead of forcing meal times.
However, if your baby does not eat regular meals, break up nutrient-rich meals into small chunks instead of just feeding your baby snacks.
Take what you would normally prepare for breakfast, for example, and feed it to your baby throughout the morning in small portions.
For example, if you normally give your baby a serving of fruits, vegetables, and carbs in the morning, try breaking this up.
Early in the morning, offer your baby fruit.
Later, feed them vegetables.
Once it’s almost afternoon, offer the carbs.
Change your feeding practices to address gas. If your baby is very gassy, diet or eating habits may be to blame.
Try adjusting your baby’s diet and see if this improves gas.
This may be particularly important if your baby gets fussy or uncomfortable in response to gas.
Try opting for smaller, more frequent meals instead of three big meals a day.
This allows more time for digestion, reducing gas.
You might also try burping the baby more frequently.
Make sure that your baby’s head is above their stomach when feeding them.
If you are breastfeeding in a cradle position, this means that the head should be higher than the rest of their body.
If the baby is fed with a bottle, tilt the bottle when adding milk or formula, and fill it completely to prevent air from being trapped in the bottle
If using powdered formula, give it a few minutes to settle after you shake it.
Talk to a doctor if a food causes rashes.
Rashes around the bottom, similar to diaper rash, and around the mouth can indicate a food allergy.
Allergies may also be accompanied by vomiting, wheezing, a running nose, and watery eyes.
A pediatrician should evaluate your baby is you suspect a food allergy.
You want to make sure you properly identify an allergen to keep your baby safe.