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Why Does My Baby Squirm While Breastfeeding?


When expectant mothers consider breastfeeding their child, they rarely picture a baby moving and writhing in their arms. Many new mothers may be unaware that, while breastfeeding is natural, it is not always simple.

Photographs of nursing mothers can be misleading since they frequently portray a happy infant contentedly feeding. In actuality, babies do not often sleep peacefully in your arms when breastfeeding, and it can be difficult to keep them motionless throughout a feed.

Breastfeeding can be a surprise for many first-time mothers. There are numerous hurdles for nursing mothers and their newborns to conquer, one of which is how to help your baby quit wiggling and wriggling while being fed.

If you’re a new mom, you might be wondering why your baby squirms during nursing. Don’t worry, we’ve looked into why this might be happening in this article.

My Baby Is Behaving Insanely While Breastfeeding!

If you’ve ever felt like your kid is acting nuts while you’re breastfeeding, know that you’re not alone.

Strange behaviour when breastfeeding is more common than you may believe. In fact, if you have a mom friend whose baby constantly stays still when breastfeeding, she is quite fortunate.

There are several reasons why your baby may be wiggling, wriggling, and fussing during feeds, and this behaviour is fairly common.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why babies wiggle and “act a little wild” during nursing.

Why is my baby squirming so much during nursing?


There are a variety of reasons why your baby may be squirming and fussing when nursing. While this is a typical occurrence, it should not be overlooked because it is usually your baby’s way of indicating that something isn’t quite right. The following are the most typical causes of baby squirming while nursing:

1. Your letdown is too quick.

Your baby will suckle quickly at the start of a feed to stimulate your body to release oxytocin and let your milk down. When your breastmilk begins to flow at the start of the feed, this is referred to as a letdown.

This milk normally comes out faster than the rest of the milk, but it can occasionally be too fast for babies to handle. If you have a strong letdown, your milk can enter your baby’s mouth rapidly and powerfully.

It may be difficult for your baby to take the milk quickly enough, causing them to fidget and fuss at your breast. If the flow is excessively swift and forceful, a heavy letdown might cause your baby to cough and choke.

2. Your slowdown is excessive.

Some nursing mothers experience the opposite problem: their milk does not begin to flow quickly enough. If your milk isn’t flowing quickly enough, your baby will twitch and squirm at the start of the feed.

They may become frustrated because they are sucking but the milk is not flowing; this is when they will whine and wriggle. A hungry baby does not want to wait for food, and if your letdown is slow, they may fidget and wiggle to let you know they are unhappy!

3. Your latch or location has to be adjusted.

A healthy latch is essential for your baby to acquire enough milk during a feed and for moms to feel comfortable when nursing.

If your baby is not properly latched on, he or she will not receive the same amount of milk from the breast as a properly latched infant. Your baby may begin to fuss since they aren’t enjoying the feed and aren’t getting enough milk from the breast.

Furthermore, your baby may become uncomfortable in certain positions and may begin to move around to suggest to you that they wish to be placed in a different position.

4. They are overly hungry

Even if you are already nursing your baby, they may be fussing because they are hungry.

If your baby hasn’t been fed in a while and is famished when you breastfeed them, they may appear frantic at the start of the feed until their need is filled.

When babies are particularly hungry, latching them on might be challenging because they flail their arms and legs about, arch their back, and move their head from side to side.

This usually occurs when your baby becomes overly angry and hungry, and once they have calmed down and their tummy begins to fill with milk, their squirming should subside.

5. They are all full.

On the other end of the spectrum, your baby may begin wriggling when nursing because they are full. If your baby’s appetite has been filled, he or she may begin squirming to indicate that it is time to cease feeding.

Nursing mothers become accustomed to their infant’s feeding patterns, and if their baby begins nursing for shorter periods of time, they may become concerned and attempt to latch them back on.

Squirming can occur at this point because your baby may be less hungry than others and will wriggle and complain if you try to give them more when they are already full.

6. They are experiencing stomach problems.

If your baby is constipated or has colic, he or she may wriggle during feedings due to an upset stomach. Colic can be painful for babies, and feeding might aggravate their agony if their stomach is inflamed.

Trapped gas can also make nursing difficult, causing infants to squirm and wiggle.

Also, the rule about avoiding using the restroom while eating does not apply to babies! Your child may be wriggling at the breast as they try to fill their diaper.

7. They are ill or have a medical problem.

Your baby may be wiggling when breastfeeding because they are poorly and do not want to feed, just as adults do not always feel like eating when they are ill. Your infant could be suffering from an ear infection or a fever, for example.

If your baby is wiggling when nursing and appears ill, take them to the doctor. If your child has been squirming during feeds due to illness, the fussing should stop once they are feeling better.

8. They are inquisitive and exploratory.

Your kid will begin to investigate the world around them as they grow. As your baby grows more attentive and curious, he or she may start wriggling and moving around a lot while nursing.

Your baby is simply attempting to see more or to experiment with various bodily motions. Older babies and nursing toddlers will occasionally try to continue playing or toddling while nursing!

9. They’re teething.

Teething may be excruciatingly painful for babies, and feeding can sometimes exacerbate the pain.

Teething can cause your baby’s gums to become irritated and inflamed, and because your baby must use their mouth to feed, they may find nursing painful, causing them to wiggle and fuss.

Babies can begin teething at any age, but if your baby is also exhibiting other teething symptoms, their squirmy feeds could be the consequence of those fresh new teeth beginning to emerge.

10. They’re after the other breast.

Some newborns are picky and prefer to feed from only one breast. If you’re trying to nurse your baby on one side and they’re twisting and squirming, it could be because they’re not feeding on their preferred side.

Also, wriggling near the end of a feed may indicate that your baby has finished on that side and wants to nurse from the opposite breast.

How Do I Stop My Baby Squirming While Breastfeeding?


The first step in preventing your infant from wriggling when nursing is determining what is causing the problem.

It will be easier to find the ideal remedy if you can figure out why your kid is wiggling during breastfeeds. Here are some methods you can attempt to prevent your baby from wriggling when nursing:

1. Before feeding, express milk.

Pumping or hand expressing until the forceful letdown is over can assist make nursing simpler and more comfortable for your infant if your letdown is too fast.

You can save the milk in the freezer or refrigerator to give to your baby later. Pumping or hand expressing may also aid babies who are wiggling due to a sluggish letdown.

Hand expresses or pump before latching on your infant to get the milk flowing so they don’t grow impatient and weary attempting to initiate your letdown.

It is, however, always preferable to obtain professional counsel from a lactation specialist because pumping too much or too little can affect your milk production.

2. Reposition and re-latch the device

Squirming can be caused by a weak latch and an uncomfortable position. If your baby wriggles while feeding, take them off the breast, switch their position, and latch them back on.

Check and double-check their latch, and perhaps they will stop crying and moving so much once they are more comfortable and eating efficiently.

3. Go to the doctor

If you are concerned that your child’s wriggling when nursing is caused by poor health or illness, take them to their doctor.

Infections and fevers might cause your baby to complain while breastfeeding, and the wriggling will stop once your baby has been treated for their ailment.

4. Face-to-face

Because they are overly agitated and upset, your baby may squirm during feedings. Holding your baby skin to skin can help regulate their temperature, keep their heart rate consistent, and soothe them down.

Regular skin-to-skin contact can help your baby feel safe and calm in your arms, which will hopefully lead to more tranquil and content nursing sessions.

5. Burp your child

It is a common misconception that breastfed babies do not require burping. Nursing newborns can still swallow air bubbles on occasion, especially if they have recently eaten, resulting in unpleasant trapped wind.

Burp your baby frequently after and between meals; this should help lessen belly pain and wriggling the next time you nurse them.

6. Remove all sources of distraction.

Because they are interested in everything going on around them, older babies often move around a lot while nursing. There are several things that can distract your baby when nursing, such as your television show, their sibling playing, or the dog barking.

If your baby wriggles during feeds because they are nosy, consider nursing them in a distraction-free room. Dimming the lights and turning off the television may be all that is required to keep your baby from fidgeting when nursing.

7. Avoid bottles as much as possible.

It is entirely up to you whether or not to introduce a bottle to your kid. However, if possible, wait until breastfeeding is established and both you and your baby are confident in your nursing skills.

Babies do not have to exert much effort when feeding from a bottle because the milk comes out quickly when your baby sucks on the plastic nipple, as opposed to nursing, where your baby has to work to get the milk to let down.

If your baby is used to the flow of a bottle, he or she may fidget while breastfeeding because the milk isn’t coming out as quickly.

8. Establish a feeding schedule.

Breastfed babies are notoriously difficult to keep to a feeding schedule. However, it is a good idea to try to establish a loose feeding regimen so you know when your baby will be hungry.

If your baby squirms while nursing because they are impatient and hungry, you might potentially eliminate the problem by offering them a feed before they reach this stage.

9. Make use of a soother

Babies will occasionally utilize their mother as a human pacifier. Is it possible that your kid is full yet continues to nurse for comfort?

If your infant suckles at the breast, milk will come out, which may cause writhing and wriggling because they are no longer interested in the milk and are only sucking for comfort.

If you give your baby a pacifier after feeding, their squirming may stop.

10. When your infant wriggles, stop nursing.

If your baby is squirming and kicking, consider educating them that their actions have consequences. When your baby begins to wriggle, remove them from the breast until they stop.

When your baby has calmed down, replace the latches and resume feeding. After a few repetitions, your baby will learn that if they start wiggling while nursing, you will take away the breast.

Your baby will eventually realize that if they want to continue nursing, they must quit writhing and wriggling during feeds.

Final Thought

Babies frequently fidget and squirm when breastfeeding. The easiest approach to stop your kid from squirming when nursing is to determine what is causing the wriggling and then use one of the remedies given above.

Babies wiggle when eating for a variety of reasons, and in most cases, the problem is simple to resolve.

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