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feeding problems: how to handle them
Feeding time can be an amazing experience you share with your baby, but it can also have its share of challenges. Concerns like fussiness, gas or frequent spit-up are common whether you’re breastfeeding or formula-feeding, especially during your baby’s first 3 or 4 months when his digestive system is still developing.
 
More often than not, there is nothing to be overly worried about. Here are some tips that might help ease your baby’s common feeding challenges, but please talk to your baby’s doctor if you have concerns.
Fussiness and Gas What causes it? Your baby may be fussy or gassy as his digestive system is still developing. Or he may be swallowing large amounts of air when he feeds or cries; if this air is not burped back up, it can become trapped in your baby’s digestive tract, making him really uncomfortable.
 
Signs to look for. Your baby’s stomach looks bloated or is hard to the touch. Or he pulls up his legs (or locks them out straight), clenches his fists and passes gas.
 
What can you do? Here’s how to help ease your baby’s fussiness and gas:
 
• Burp him to expel air from his tummy.
 
• Give him smaller and more frequent feedings.
 
• Make feedings as calm and relaxed as possible.
 
• If your baby is swallowing air during feeding, make sure the nipple isn’t clogged; if it’s not, he may be ready for a faster-flow nipple.
 
• Check how you’re holding the bottle during feeding. Always tip it downward into your baby’s mouth at a 45° angle with the nipple full of milk, not air.
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Frequent spit up What causes it? A tiny stomach and still-maturing digestive system that lets stomach contents back up during or shortly after feedings.
 
Signs to look for. The spitting up of one or two mouthfuls of breast milk or formula. Larger spit-ups can occur after overfeeding. Normal spitting up usually does not cause any crying.
 
What can you do? Spitting up is very common. A little is harmless, but if you feel it is causing your
baby some discomfort, you can try these tips:
  • Keep your baby in an upright position for 20 to 30 minutes after feeding.
  • Burp her frequently—about every five minutes throughout feeding time. This will keep air from building up in her digestive tract.
  • Avoid activity after feeding that might keep food from settling in her stomach.
  • Check the flow of her bottle. It should be coming out one drop at a time, not in a steady stream. You can adjust the tightness of the bottle-top screw ring, or change to a slower flow nipple.
  • Reduce pacifier time. Your baby might be swallowing too much air.
  • Calm your baby down before feeding. If she is frantic, stressed or rushed, it may contribute to spitting up.
  • Give smaller feedings more often to reduce the chances of spit-up.
  • If you are concerned, talk to your baby’s doctor.
A guide for dealing with common feeding time challenges including fussiness, spitting-up and colic
Feeding time can be an amazing experience you share with your baby, but it can also have its share of challenges. Concerns like fussiness, gas or frequent spit-up are common whether you’re breastfeeding or formula-feeding, especially during your baby’s first 3 or 4 months when his digestive system is still developing.
 
More often than not, there is nothing to be overly worried about. Here are some tips that might help ease your baby’s common feeding challenges, but please talk to your baby’s doctor if you have concerns.
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Fussiness and gas
What causes it? Your baby may be fussy or gassy as his digestive system is still developing. Or he may be swallowing large amounts of air when he feeds or cries; if this air is not burped back up, it can become trapped in your baby’s digestive tract, making him really uncomfortable. Signs to look for. Your baby’s stomach looks bloated or is hard to the touch. Or he pulls up his legs (or locks them out straight), clenches his fists and passes gas. What can you do? Here’s how to help ease your baby’s fussiness and gas:
  • Burp him to expel air from his tummy.
  • Give him smaller and more frequent feedings.
  • Make feedings as calm and relaxed as possible. If your baby is swallowing air during feeding, make sure the nipple isn’t clogged; if it’s not, he may be ready for a faster-flow nipple.
  • Check how you’re holding the bottle during feeding. Always tip it downward into your baby’s mouth at a 45° angle with the nipple full of milk, not air.
Newborn_inBlue_C44R7379sumpage-background-shape2
Frequent spit up What causes it? A tiny stomach and still-maturing digestive system that lets stomach contents back up during or shortly after feedings.
 
Signs to look for. The spitting up of one or two mouthfuls of breast milk or formula. Larger spit-ups can occur after overfeeding. Normal spitting up usually does not cause any crying.
 
What to do? Spitting up is very common. A little is harmless, but if you feel it is causing your baby some discomfort, you can try these tips:
  • Keep your baby in an upright position for 20 to 30 minutes after feeding.
  • Burp her frequently—about every five minutes throughout feeding time. This will keep air from building up in her digestive tract.
  • Avoid activity after feeding that might keep food from settling in her stomach.
  • Check the flow of her bottle. It should be coming out one drop at a time, not in a steady stream. You can adjust the tightness of the bottle-top screw ring, or change to a slower flow nipple.
  • Reduce pacifier time. Your baby might be swallowing too much air.
  • Calm your baby down before feeding. If she is frantic, stressed or rushed, it may contribute to spitting up.
  • Give smaller feedings more often to reduce the chances of spit-up.
  • If you are concerned, talk to your baby’s doctor.
A guide for dealing with common feeding time challenges including fussiness, spitting-up and colic
feeding problems: how to handle them
feeding problems:
how to handle them
Newborn_inBlue_C44R7379
"[Enfamil A+] Gentlease has been a blessing for us! Within days of starting Enfamil A+ Gentlease, my daughter was a different baby—happy! Thank you for such a great product."

—A Mom from Ottawa, Ontario
If your baby's doctor suggests changing to another formula, here's how to make the transition:
  • You don't have to introduce the new formula gradually by either alternating or combining it with the old formula—you can switch over to the new formula right away.
  • Mixing formulas is not recommended, because if your baby does not do well on a feeding, you don't be able to tell which formula or ingredient is causing the problem. Also, the formulas may not mix well.
  • Make sure you give your baby enough time to try the new formula, usually 3 to 5 days. Some babies will adjust right away. Others may have slight changes in stool pattern, gas and/or spitting up until they become accustomed to the new formula. If you have questions or concerns, check with your baby's doctor.
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Switching formulas
Colic concerns What is it? All newborn babies cry—it’s how babies communicate. But some newborns cry louder and longer than others and are much more difficult to soothe. If this is true of your baby, you’re not alone. Many infants suffer from colic, a pattern of excessive and prolonged crying with no known cause. Colic is generally defined by the rule of 3: your baby cries uncontrollably at least 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, for 3 weeks or more.
 
Signs to look for. If your baby has colic, she may pull her legs up to her belly, arch her back, stiffen her limbs, pass gas, and have a tense, bloated belly. These symptoms—punctuated by inconsolable crying—typically start a few weeks after birth, peak around week six, and mercifully go away on their own by month three or four.
 
What can you do? Having a baby who is constantly in tears is enough to make any parent cry, too. Here are some techniques that might help soothe your baby:
  • Swaddle him, especially if he’s a newborn. The feeling resembles the tight embrace he felt in the womb.
  • Calm him with a white noise machine or the sound of a vacuum cleaner.
  • Walk with him in your arms while patting or rubbing his back.
  • Soothe him with the motion of a vibrating chair or infant swing.
Should I talk to my baby’s doctor? Your baby’s doctor can diagnose colic. More importantly, she can rule out a more serious condition. For example, colic can be a sign of cow’s milk protein allergy, especially if your baby has other symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, or a skin rash. To prepare for your doctor visit, keep track of when your baby’s symptoms occur, list what he’s eating plus any medications he’s taking, and make a list of questions you have for the doctor.
 
Food allergies and intolerances What is it? About 6% of infants below the age of 3 have a food allergy. A food allergy is a hypersensitivity of the body’s immune system to the protein found in the offending food. This then manifests as an allergic reaction in different parts of the body. The most common food allergens in young children are cow’s milk protein, tree nuts, peanut, egg, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.
 
Signs to look for. Signs of an allergy can include hives, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, eczema, and blood or mucous in the stools.
 
What can you do? Food allergies and intolerances can be serious, so discuss any concerns you have with your baby’s doctor.
Got a question? Get expert help for common baby feeding issues. Call our care team at 1 800 361-6323 or chat with an Enfamil expert at enfamil.ca/solutions.