Baby Fussy During Bottle Feeding


It is extremely common how babies and toddlers can become very fussy during feeding, which can be very frustrating for parents. The most common problems and fussiness happens during switching or changing from breastfeeding to bottle feeding. There may be a number why your baby becomes fussy to the point that they reach non-stop crying and squirming, and before you switch your formula, it is important to note that this can be due to other reasons as well.

Fussiness during bottle-feeding is not new and may happen frequently than you think, and mealtimes often turn to tantrums and bribery. But trust us when we say that you have to observe and just be patient since fussy eating is considered a normal phase in a toddler’s development. However, suppose your baby has become extremely fussy and refusing the bottle or formula milk all the time. In that case, problems need to be addressed or underlying issues such as allergies or other conditions.

If you want to effectively determine what has been causing or making your baby fussy a little more than he or she normally is, then read on.

How to bottle feed a fussy baby: Bottle-feeding problems and their solutions

Misinterpreting and assuming signs of hunger

Misinterpreting hunger is the most common and easily corrected problem related to bottle feeding. Many parents think that their babies are hungry once they start to suck on their thumbs or other objects, but that is something that infants normally do out of boredom or tiredness. So if your baby is refusing to feed and grows fussy when being forced to, you might just have to stop and understand that you may have misinterpreted hunger. Just relax and soothe the baby to calm down and go back to what they were doing.

Going overboard with the feeding volume

Miscalculating the feeding amount is also a very common problem when it comes to bottle-feeding. Parents usually prepare too much milk, thinking that their babies would want more or simply want to be ready. Babies can be fussy if you continue feeding them even when they have had enough and are already full. All you need to do is estimate feeding suggestions and observe how much your baby usually consumes.

Distractions and noisy environment

Babies are naturally very curious, and they tend to get distracted easily; they can also become fussy if they want to do another thing instead of feeding. They can be distracted by other people, pets, even music, and television. To effectively feed your baby, you may want to calm your baby and find a relaxing or quiet place for feeding.

Tired and sleepy baby

Your baby can be extremely fussy and refuse to bottle-feed simply because he or she is tired or wants to sleep. To solve this, just let your baby sleep and resume feeding when they wake up. Also, you have to make sure that your little one has been getting enough sleep so that they will not easily get tired during the day.

Feeding aversion

Feeding aversion can cause fussiness in your babies, resulting in refusing to be bottle-fed. A feeding aversion is something that is a complicated issue and has no simple, straightforward solutions. If you think that your baby has feeding aversions, the best thing to do is consult experts or your baby’s pediatrician.

Baby bottles and other feeding items

If your baby is not comfortable with the baby bottle or nipples, they will be fussy and refuse the feeding bottle. If you force to feed your child even after showing signs of discomfort, he or she will be fussier and will continue to cry more. You need to check the flow of your nipples and try to change your baby bottle. You may want to use anti-colic bottles or experiment with different brands.

Starting solid foods

If you have started feeding your baby some solid food, this can also be why they tend to get fussy when given a bottle of milk. This can cause fussiness and bottle refusal because solid foods may decrease your baby’s appetite for milk. If this happens, you may want to slowly incorporate both solids and milk and do a feeding schedule wherein you bottle-feed your baby during a certain amount of time.

Weaning difficulties

Having difficulties in weaning can also result in a fussy and hard to feed the baby. Weaning difficulties can be resolved by finding the right nipple that is soft and flexible and resembling a mother’s breast. Another good thing to do is to maintain skin-to-skin contact with your baby during feeding and be a lot more comfortable for your baby.

Nighttime feeding

Avoid too much nighttime feeding for your babies since excessive feeding can result in too much bottle-refusing that comes with fussiness. You may want to stop or go slow on night feeding once your baby reaches six months of age. But before attempting this, you have to make sure that your baby will still be able to sleep soundly while encouraging cessation of feeding at the same time. This will help you have a more smooth feeding session during the day.

Why does my baby squirm when feeding

You must observe your child’s behavior during feeding time; in that way, you will be able to understand and therefore resolve whatever problem your precious little one might be experiencing. Here are some reasons why your baby might squirm when feeding.

  • Babies tend to squirm when the baby bottle is letting down the milk a lot faster than it should.
  • Squirming can also be a sign of being too impatient from being too hungry.
  • When your baby squirms a lot, and they still have not finished the bottle, that means that they are already full and ready to finish feeding. However, if they continue to squirm when the bottle is already empty, that might mean that they need more.
  • Squirming during night feeding tends to be normal, it shows that your baby is finding a better or good position for them to settle in for the night.
  • Your babies may also squirm because of the environment, they may not be very comfortable with the place, or it might feel warm or hot.
  • Babies also tend to squirm a lot when they are frustrated. In this event, try to take a pause, calm your baby down, and try to determine what is the cause of the frustration.
  • Teething can also be a reason why babies squirm when feeding.

What to do if a baby is fussy after feeding

Here are the things that you might need to do if your baby is fussy even after feeding:


You might need to feed some more, burp your baby, change his diaper, or check your baby’s clothing.

Comforting touch

This is a very effective way to calm a fussy child; all you need to do is hold your baby some more, carry him while giving a back rub, laying your baby across your lap, or just by simply massaging your baby.

Reducing stimulation

You can effectively reduce stimulation by swaddling the baby and dimming lights while reducing noise.

Peaceful sounds

Soothing music and singing to your baby is a good way to calm your baby. White noise can also be very effective.

Rhythmic motion

You can offer a change of pace by bathing your baby, rocking them gently, or putting them in a sling or carrier while walking around the house or outside. Taking the baby outside to let them look at other things will also calm them down.

Final thoughts

Caring for a fussy baby can truly be stressful and can be a lot of work to do, but don’t worry because, with proper help from family and a supportive partner, you can easily get through it. Tender-loving care is always the best thing you can give your baby when they are not in the mood or become fussy. If nothing works, never hesitate to seek help from health professionals.