Ways to deal with a squirming baby

Reasons and steps to manage squirming babies.

baby squirms while breastfeeding

Does your baby squirm when breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding your baby is an intimate experience that provides the baby with nourishment and provides you with the psychological satisfaction of being connected with them. This beautiful experience can quickly become ugly, however, when the baby starts to throw a tantrum.

Some babies will cry and even pull off the breast during breastfeeding. This type of behavior is typical for babies when they are 6-8 weeks old, although it could start at a different period in your child. Bear in mind that as your baby grows older, the fussing will reduce.

What is the cause of this, and what can you do to keep it under control? In this article, we’ll let you know what is going wrong and how you can fix baby squirming when breastfeeding.

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    Possible Reasons for the Baby’s Squirming

    Positioning and Attachment

    Babies are little humans that can feel almost everything you can feel, maybe not just as pronounced. Babies are at a disadvantage to you, though, because they cannot communicate their feelings vocally with words. They can only do it via one tested and trusted means; crying.

    You can feel uncomfortable in any position, and if that discomfort is coming from others, you can tell them to stop as calmly as your pain would let you. Babies simply cannot say stop. That is why they would throw a fuss till you get the message.

    One way you can make a baby voice out their opinion is to hold them in a breastfeeding position they just don’t like. It may be comfortable for you, making you unwilling to switch. A baby can sense this unwillingness and proceed to show you who is the boss by letting out some decibel of noise that would get you in line.

    When your baby cries while breastfeeding, consider changing positions to one that would make him/her comfortable, doing this could be what stops the tear

    Milk Flow

    If you’ve observed your baby, you should have discovered they want nothing messing with mealtime. It is a time when the world around them doesn’t matter, and all they want to focus on is the meal in front of them. 

    If there is a disruption in milk flow, your baby may let out a cry that would scare your breasts into doing what the boss wants. Milk flow disruption doesn’t sit right with babies. On the other hand, it could be an over-active let-down that is making them all fussy. They love it steady.

    But how can you tell? If your bay coughs and gags while suckling, it might be because your let-down rate has increased significantly. However, if your baby pulls off and kneads against your breast, you can take that to mean you have a slow let-down.


    Teething might be the reason why your baby is squirmy. Some babies experience discomfort in the gum when sucking. It is one of the things to check for if your baby pulls off right after starting to nurse.


    Also known as spitting up, it is common in babies and usually expected. Babies’ digestive system isn’t adequately developed, and their stomachs aren’t vacuous. Their stomach contents can easily flow back out of their mouth due to this. 

    If they also get tossed around too much during and immediately after breastfeeding, they can spit-up. Babies would rather spend their time sucking in breastmilk than spitting it out, so you can understand why they get fussy when this happens.

    Feels Tired or Isn’t hungry

    Just because you feel good every time your baby suckles at your breast doesn’t mean the feeling is mutual. Sometimes, a baby just wants to be left alone undisturbed. Other times, a baby just isn’t hungry (or could be trying to stay in shape). 

    When you try to force them to feed on your time, they simply won’t tolerate it, and to let you know, they throw a fuss. If your baby keeps moving their face away from your nipple, you should take it as a sign that they aren’t hungry.

    Growth Spurt

    You will see babies act differently and nurse more often at random times. They will be fussy and want to be breastfed almost every hour. You can pin this down to a growth spurt. Growth spurts are common during the first few days of returning home. It can last up to a week, and your baby can become irritable during this period.

    Getting through this period requires that you follow your baby’s lead. Your body will automatically increase milk supply to meet his/her demand. You don’t have to supplement your baby’s diet with formula.

    Managing the fussing

    It can get very tiring to manage your baby when they are fussy. Here are some ideas to help you cope with a squirmy baby.

    Naptime Routine

    Set your baby a sleep schedule. If your baby sleeps right after getting fed, watch for when they start to get fussy and choose that time to feed them. If they happen to fall asleep before their regular mealtime, wake them up to get nursed. If you don’t, they might wake at a time that is uncomfortable for you.

    Take a break

    Sometimes, all you need to do is just take a break from your fussy baby. A pang of motherly guilt might creep over you and have you feeling you aren’t ‘mother material’ – don’t let yourself think that way. Taking a break keeps you refreshed to nurse your baby better. If you’ve got a partner, ask them to take over from you. A baby is only as healthy as its mother.

    Change Positions

    Your baby might feel uncomfortable in one feeding position. Changing positions can get them to stop crying.

    Try Pumping

    Feeding your baby from a bottle is different and arguably better than feeding them directly from your breast. A bottle offers a steady milk flow, meaning a baby won’t experience a slow-letdown until there is no longer milk in the bottle.

    Bottom Line

    In the beginning, it is scary to see your baby throw tantrums like that. With some effort and over time, you will get better at managing such situations.

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