SO WHAT’S WRONG?

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There will be times when an infant starts fussing during feedings, chokes, or gets overtired. When that happens, stop and check what’s wrong.

Fussing

Baby gets restless, arches his back, bites down on the nipple. Check whether he is properly latched on (breast areola or bottle nipple base) such that the milk flows easily when he sucks. Comfort the baby, try to put baby’s arms and legs in fetal position and make sure the back and head are well supported.

Choking

The baby coughs and sputters. Stop feeding and let the baby catch his breath. Check for proper positioning and that the milk isn’t flowing too fast. Then start feeding again. If that doesn’t work, try feeding the baby lying on his side and pace the feeding so that the baby pauses for breath every few sucks.

Exhaustion

The baby’s oxygen saturation drops and/or the heart rate goes down (bradycardia). Pace the feeding so the infant pauses for breath every now and then and learns to self-pace. It may be helpful to give smaller amounts at each feeding and feed more often. Over time, you can gradually increase the amount per feeding and see how the baby reacts. Feedings should generally not last more than 30 minutes, or else the baby will get overtired.

Falling asleep during feedings

If the baby falls asleep while feeding, it’s best not to wake her. Try to ensure that the infant is wide awake before you start feeding. For instance, you can begin with a diaper change, a gentle massage, or a playful rolling from side to side.

Falling asleep at the bottle

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