Feeding problems

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Newborn baby feeding Problems – List of top 10 baby feeding problems relate generally to baby refusing to eat, or refusing to drink milk or refusing to take solids or tongue problems, regurgitation, Vomiting, Sucking and swallowing difficulties.

List of top 10 newborn baby feeding problems

Most mothers complain about one or the other feeding problem of the infant at some stage. Most of these feeding problems in infants are encountered with the newborn baby.

What is remarkable is that almost all of these are preventable.


Several babies bring up a little of the feed along with swallowed air. This condition is known as posseting.

With some newborn babies posseting becomes a babit. They relish bringing back some milk and chew it just as a cow chews the cud. This is what is know as remination.

Though harmless, it does make the baby somewhat “smelly”. To prevent him from inhaling any bit of the regurgitated milk into the lungs, you should put him on his side.

newborn baby feeding problems

Never, never make the mistake of putting him on his back. If put on the side, it will also become difficult for him to regurgitate and to continue rumination.

You do no have to bother about regurgitation unless it seems to be interfering with the nutrition of the baby. Also, if the newborn baby brings back the entire food, particularly more than once, you should seek the opinion of your doctor.

Many people say that regurgitation is because of the “wind production”. The fact is that, the wind in his stomach is the result of the excessive air that he swallows with the feed or because of excessive crying.

If you are well trained in the technique of burping and if you are putting it into practice, the solution of the problem is round the corner. In fact the problem is round the corner.

In fact the problem should not occur if you are doing good burping. You may well check up with your doctor how to do it properly.


It may be due to overfeeding, prolonged burping, too much of swallowed air, gastroenteritis or some other infection.

Persistent vomiting is an indication for looking up the doctor. Also, if the baby shoots the milk halfway you must consult the doctor. The projective vomiting may well be a manifestation of hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, a disease needing specialized care and in all probability an operation.

Sucking and swallowing difficulties

Remember, some difficulty in sucking during the first few days after birth is normal. This is the time when you are the baby are still trying to master the technique.

Certain mechanical problems, such as cleft palate, cleft lip, very large tongue or obstruction in the nose may interfere with the feeding.

newborn baby feeding problems

Local conditions of the breast like sore and cracked nipples, retracted nipples or engorgement also cause sucking difficulties as was discussed in the last chapter.

A premature or preterm baby has greater chances of having poor sucking and swallowing difficulty.

If your newborn has developed jaundice (yellow discolouration of the skin and white of the eye), has poor activity and has stopped sucking well, do not delay reporting to the doctor.

Dehydration fever

Disinclination to feed, fever and drowsiness may occur in some newborn babies about the third or fourth day of life. Though you do not have to panic about this association of manisfestations, its persistence is a case for seeking medical advice.

The doctor may like to rule out urinary tract or any other infection. Most child specialists, even if a specific site of infection is not detected, like to prescribe antibiotic cover to such a baby, particularly if he is immature or is at a special risk because of one or the other reason.

The very suspicion of a fulminant infection is considered an indication for such a treatment.

Dehydration fever usually comes down following addition of extra water for about 12 hours to his intake.

Excessive crying

Crying in a newborn is almost always a manifestation of hunger or thirst, chilliness, need for the mother’s handling, or a wet nappy.

Repeated crying may begin to get on the mother’s nerves. An insecure mother may fail to develop the much-needed warm emotional relationship with such a baby.

newborn baby feeding problems


Sometimes a baby begins crying soon after birth and keeps doing so, particularly towards the evening, during the first three months or so. This condition has been christened three month colic.

Excessive intestinal mobility (activity) is said to be the cause.

You may consult the doctor who would reassure you and, perhaps, prescribe a mild antispasmodic agent.

Change in bowel habit

Infants on cow’s milk, especially if underfed and given inadequate fluids, may pass constipated stools (the stools which are hard in consistency), causing a good deal of straining and discomfort.

As a result, the fear of pain may further aggravate the condition. Retention may occur. Passage of such a stool on its own or following rectal examination may lead to anal crack or fissure. Some babies may have spurious diarrhoea.

You should give such a baby plenty of water, some brown sugar, honey or glucose.

If constipation persist, medical opinion should be sought. Cretinism (deficiency of thyroid hormone) and congenital megacolon (constriction of the distal portion of the large intestine) need to be ruled out.

Recurrent episodes of loose motions are often due to poor bottle hygiene. If you are fully satisfied that there is no such problem, ask for doctor’s advice.

The baby newborn or premature, may be allergic to milk or may be suffering from cystic fibrosis – a hereditary disease of the pancreas, called sweet-bread, which is situated in the abdomen and plays an important role in digestion.


A highly diluted formula, often due to ignorance or economic considerations, is a well-known cause of failure to gain weight. Such a baby is underfed and takes his food quickly showing that he has been hungry for long.

Dissatisfied with the amount made available to him, he usually cries and cries until he goes to sleep. After a few hours, usually much before the due time for feed, he wakes up and cries.

Do not let such a thing happen. It is a sign of bad mothering.


Most infants, as a rule, refuse to accept excess feed. And pushing the feed forcibly is quite a difficult job.

But, then, some mothers do manage to give the baby larger feeds. These babies are likely to suffer from infantile obesity. In our experience, in this country too, incidence of infantile obesity is on the increase, especially in well-to-do families.

Mind you, pushing the feed more than the baby’s needs does not always cause obesity. Some infants just stop gaining weight. Such a baby is unhappy, vomits large amounts of feed, has fatty diarrhoea and keeps crying.

newborn baby feeding problems

Inadequate mothering

Not all mothers are good enough and well prepared for the newborn or premature baby. Some are sadly wanting in self-confidence and unsure as to how to handle the baby.

They are not well-versed in what is called mothercraft. They worry too much and are very apprehensive. Their nervousness somehow influences the baby. As a result, he becomes more demanding and cries at lot to the mother’s further annoyance.

This interaction may lead to a rather unhealthy relationship between the mother and the baby. Eventually, his feeding suffers considerably and he fails to thrive.


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