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Thread: Baby seems to be sucking in a lot of air when feeding

  1. #1
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    Nov 2015
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    Default Baby seems to be sucking in a lot of air when feeding

    My baby (Oliver) is 8 days old. He was 39 weeks. Came out at 7lb 6oz and went down to 6lb 9oz. At the 1 week Dr appointment he went up 3 oz to 7lb 2oz.

    I have been trying to EBF but he doesn't seem to be getting enough so I have been supplementing with 1oz of formula. When BF and using bottle he makes these loud air gulping noises that I can hear from his mouth and go into his stomach. When I take my breast or bottle away he sometimes still makes the noise right after. That makes me thing it isn't swallowing but actually air.

    If my husband or I don't stop him from doing it he will need to burp and he usually spits up a lot of formula. I assume because the formula didn't make it to his stomach because of the air. He took the video while bottle feeding because it was easier to cover me up.

    My husband took a video to show what the sound is https://youtu.be/6Oc7mrhPUVY

    Anyone have any idea on why he does this? It is tough to supplement when he spits it up.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Baby seems to be sucking in a lot of air when feeding

    Hi and welcome. Congrats on making it this far!

    First, some questions to better understand your situation:

    What makes you think baby isn't getting enough from the breast? Is he losing weight? Not pooping or peeing enough? How many wet and how many dirty diapers a day?

    How many times in 24 hours does baby nurse?

    Does he get 1 oz of formula after every nursing session, only some, only one? How many oz of formula per day, do you think?

    What kind of nursing positions have you tried? The standard cradle, cross cradle, football? What about leaning back, or side lying?

    Do you get very full between feedings? Does milk spray or leak when your milk let's down?

    For the mean time, if you continue to give formula, I would suggest trying to sit baby upright more so the bottle is horizontal, almost parallel to the floor. The reason for suggesting this is that maybe the nipple flow is too fast with the bottle and he's struggling to swallow correctly, which leads to him gulping. I would watch a video on YouTube about paced bottle feeding. This will help prevent nipple confusion, and allow baby to set the pace for nursing. This being said, I'm not sure you need to supplement! Answering the above questions can help clarify this.

    As for why he makes that sound while nursing, it could be that you have a lot of milk flowing at once and, again, it's hard for baby to manage. I would suggest learning how to nurse while reclining. You can lean back as much or as little as you'd like, and have baby on top of you in anyway that feels comfortable. The goal is to have gravity help slow the milk down so baby isn't overwhelmed. If this seems like it's too much with a squishy newborn, you could try laying on your side and have baby on his side, facing you. This allows him to dribble milk out of his mouth if he's getting too much.

    As another note, spit up is very normal in babies, breast fed or not. Don't let spit up from breast milk convince you that something is wrong. If baby isn't screaming in pain or visably upset by the spit up, then it's just a laundry problem.

    Hopefully these tips help, and after we get more information we will be able to offer more specific advice. Hang in there, momma!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Baby seems to be sucking in a lot of air when feeding

    Looking at the video of baby being bottle fed, I think what you are hearing is gulping. The bottle is positioned in such a way that baby must drink very quickly to handle the flow of milk. This type of feeding position is called gravity feeding and is perhaps causing some loud gulping. It is important to give baby a bottle with the correct positioning and adding in pauses to the feeding to help the feeding be more like at the breast.

    If this is also what baby sounds like at the breast, again is sounds like gulping, suggesting baby is getting plenty of milk at the breast (?) Weight gain as reported is normal, baby is well on way to regaining birth weight by 2 weeks.

    Anyway, I agree with midnightsangel, it would help to have a bit more info. If you keep bottle feeding, make sure the bottle and baby are positioned correctly. See below info on paced bottle feeding. When nursing, try laid back or sidelying positions as these help if baby is getting lots of milk all at once. Again see link below. Encouraging frequent nursing sessions also helps with to lessen the flow at the breast if it is 'too fast' for baby to handle. Unless supplements are required due to poor gain, stop supplemental feedings (not at the breast ) is my suggestion.

    Swallowed air happens to all people of all ages. It is why we burp. It is not a big concern, usually.

    Paced feeding: This is a good video as it shows an actual newborn being bottle fed correctly by an IBCLC. Yes baby cries at first but then you can see how well this works. Ignore ignorant comments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykdFuEOIdeE
    Paced feeding description: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    Helping baby handle a fast milk flow at the breast: http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog?tag=Fast+Milk+Flow

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Baby seems to be sucking in a lot of air when feeding

    Wow, thank you both for the great responses. Let me try to answer all the questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*midnightsangel View Post
    Hi and welcome. Congrats on making it this far!

    First, some questions to better understand your situation:

    What makes you think baby isn't getting enough from the breast? Is he losing weight? Not pooping or peeing enough? How many wet and how many dirty diapers a day?

    How many times in 24 hours does baby nurse?

    Does he get 1 oz of formula after every nursing session, only some, only one? How many oz of formula per day, do you think?

    What kind of nursing positions have you tried? The standard cradle, cross cradle, football? What about leaning back, or side lying?

    Do you get very full between feedings? Does milk spray or leak when your milk let's down?

    For the mean time, if you continue to give formula, I would suggest trying to sit baby upright more so the bottle is horizontal, almost parallel to the floor. The reason for suggesting this is that maybe the nipple flow is too fast with the bottle and he's struggling to swallow correctly, which leads to him gulping. I would watch a video on YouTube about paced bottle feeding. This will help prevent nipple confusion, and allow baby to set the pace for nursing. This being said, I'm not sure you need to supplement! Answering the above questions can help clarify this.

    As for why he makes that sound while nursing, it could be that you have a lot of milk flowing at once and, again, it's hard for baby to manage. I would suggest learning how to nurse while reclining. You can lean back as much or as little as you'd like, and have baby on top of you in anyway that feels comfortable. The goal is to have gravity help slow the milk down so baby isn't overwhelmed. If this seems like it's too much with a squishy newborn, you could try laying on your side and have baby on his side, facing you. This allows him to dribble milk out of his mouth if he's getting too much.

    As another note, spit up is very normal in babies, breast fed or not. Don't let spit up from breast milk convince you that something is wrong. If baby isn't screaming in pain or visably upset by the spit up, then it's just a laundry problem.

    Hopefully these tips help, and after we get more information we will be able to offer more specific advice. Hang in there, momma!
    The reason for supplementing is because he was nursing for hours at a time. Usually he would nurse for 2 hours. Sometimes it was 3 hours. I would make sure he wasn't getting lazy or falling asleep the whole time. After the 2 or 3 hours he would still show signs of being hungry. I decided to give him 1oz one night and he took most of it. Another part to it is I was trying to pump every few hours and I was getting less than .1oz each time. I would only get drops and nothing more. I know pumping isn't the same as a baby latching but with the long feed times, him drinking the oz after and the drops during pumping I just assumed he wasn't getting enough.

    He does have a good amount of wet and dirty diapers. Every time we change him, his diaper is wet and dirty and sometimes will pee while changing. I know he was getting some milk just didn't think it was enough to make him full.

    I feed him every 2 to 3 hours.

    No, the 1oz was only once a day at night when I was too tired to sit with him for 3 hours breastfeeding.

    I have tried multiple positions while I am leaning back on my couch. He seems to only like cross cradle (which has turned into regular cradle).

    No my milk was not spraying out which is another reason I thought he wasn't getting enough.

    He doesn't scream in pain but I can tell he isn't comfortable. After he makes that sound he gives off some good burps but usually followed with a good amount of formula. I'm not overly concerned with the spit up because I do know it is normal and it doesn't bother him but I fell he wouldn't spit up as much if he wasn't taking in so much air (if that is really what that noise is).

    I should have mentioned before, when we take the bottle away from him when he starts making that noise, he continues to try to suck on something and continues to make the same noise. Without breastmilk or formula in is mouth to swallow, this makes me think the gulping noise is air.

    EDIT: I did pump again and this time I got .5oz within a few minutes. After that .5oz it did stop coming out though. Maybe my milk wasn't/isn't fully in yet which is why he made the gulping sound more with the bottle than my breast? The 2 to 3 hour breast feeding times were wearing me out.
    Last edited by @llli*bboliver; November 5th, 2015 at 01:39 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Baby seems to be sucking in a lot of air when feeding

    I think the most likely explanation for what you are experiencing is that you're getting thrown by things which are normal, but which people don't generally know about newborn babies.

    First, they can be noisy feeders. My second daughter sounded like a squeaky hinge when she nursed. When diaper output and weight gain are normal and mom is comfortable when baby nurses, a weird noise means nothing. Having the noise continue after the feeding is interesting but doesn't necessarily tell us much- it could be that your baby is sucking noisily on his own tongue after the feeding ends. Some of them do!

    Second, they can nurse for a really long time and then still act hungry afterwards. It's very normal for one feeding to run into another. It can feel like hours and hours at the breast, and often it is! When diaper output and weight gain are normal and mom is comfortable when baby nurses, long feedings mean nothing.

    Third, babies are supposed to regain birthweight by their second week of life. A baby who has regained birthweight by his first week is doing quite well!

    Fourth, babies will often take a bottle after a perfectly adequate feeding at the breast. It has little to do with being hungry, and lots to do with the newborn's instinct to suck on whatever is put near his mouth. And when a baby sucks on a bottle, he has to swallow or he's going to choke- particularly when baby is being gravity-fed, as in your YouTube clip.

    Fifth, pumping does not necessarily tell you much about milk supply. Pumping is a learned skill, so most moms don't get much the first few times they pump. Also, pump output varies based on time of day, when the baby last nursed, the make/model of the pump, and on how mom responds to the pump.

    Sixth, not every mom has milk spraying out. You're likely to see that only if baby pulls off the breast while a letdown is happening, or if you have way too much milk. A dribbling stream or a drip-drip-drip is often all you will observe, even when pumping in place of a feeding.

    What do you say to shelving the formula for a while and simply nursing as much as possible, while watching diaper output very carefully?
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; November 5th, 2015 at 07:35 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Baby seems to be sucking in a lot of air when feeding

    Thanks for all the information mommal!

    1) He does make a lot of other noises when feeding. This noise he makes just seems different to me. I can here it starting in his mouth and travel to his stomach. And like I said, him making the same exact noise with a bottle, BF and with nothing near his mouth is what made me think it was air. Earlier I sat him up to do the paced feeding and he actually started making that noise as soon as I sat him up. I have been a typical new parent, looking up all new symptoms just to find out they are all normal. This is the one thing I couldn't find much info about. The noise just seems odd to me but like you said, it could be his normal feeding noise. If it is, I'm ok with that. It just seems weird that when he makes that noise he burps a lot more and usually more spit up.

    2) I actually happened again today. It must have been 3 to 4 hours of feeding. I think what he does is cluster feed but never unlatches. He will feed, use me as a paci, go to sleep, wake up and start feeding again. I think I need to be more diligent and keep him awake while he is feeding.

    3) He is on his way to go back to birthweight by his second week which is a good sign that he is getting milk from me. It was thsoe 2 to 3 hour feedings that made me think it actually took him that long to get full not thinking he was actually feeding a few times.

    4) That is a good point that I didn't think about though if I remember correctly when we gave him the supplement formula, he was crying for it and making the hungry cues. Again, I think this has to do with him cluster feeding and making feedings run into one long one.

    5) Pumping has gotten a little better. Last night I got .5oz. Today I was able to get .75oz in one sitting. That is mostly from one breast as my other one doesn't seem to be making as much.

    6) With this last pump I was seeing some spray. I'm fine with drips as long as there is enough for him to get full on.

    I do want EBF and will continue to try. It just gets hard at 3am when I have been up feeding him for 3 hours and he is still latched on and sucking. Those are why I am trying to pump.

    He does seem to have good diaper output. Last few days he has had over 6 wet diapers and 3 or 4 dirty ones. Though today he has only had 2 dirty ones but 5 wet ones which I think is what is more important.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Baby seems to be sucking in a lot of air when feeding

    I do not know what to tell you about the noise. weird eating noises might indicate a tongue tie, and maybe some other physical issues with palate, maybe. But you would really need to take baby and see a good board certified lactation consultant. (IBCLC.) Of course, that might be a good idea anyway if baby is really not able to get enough milk via breastfeeding.

    But from here, everything you say baby is doing sounds normal to me. This is a good article on what to expect in the early weeks: http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/newborn-nursing/
    Many moms have found this article helpful as well: http://www.lalecheleague.org/nb/law45com.html

    Nights are tough for new parents. Is there someone else there who can take baby so you can get more sleep? Not take baby to feed baby, but to comfort baby? There are many ways to comfort a baby aside from nursing/feeding, although of course nursing works great too.

    I am not sure why you are preventing baby from falling asleep while nursing? This is entirely normal and fine. Sometimes babies need to be kept actively nursing longer if they are having trouble getting enough milk at the breast. But I am not sure this is what is going on? And even then, eventually it is fine to allow baby to fall asleep while nursing. Most babies do this.

    Also you may consider bedsharing, many moms have found this greatly increases their sleep.

    Here are two nice articles on comforting fussy baby: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf and http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ybabyideas.pdf

    info on how to bedshare most safely: http://www.llli.org/sweetsleepbook/tearsheets (From the book Sweet Sleep)
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; November 5th, 2015 at 09:06 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Baby seems to be sucking in a lot of air when feeding

    Wouldn't the hospital and/or pedi check for tongue tie, cleft or soft palate, etc? I do want to see an IBCLC anyway.

    The baby sleeps very well and isn't all that fussy when he isn't hungry. The problem is, my husband can't help me feeding since pumping isn't working all that great right now. At night when he wakes up, all he wants is food, diaper change and he goes back to sleep. My husband does a great job of comforting him when I am sleeping but at some point the baby can't be comforted anymore because he needs food.

    Thanks for the links. I'm not a big fan of bedsharing. Not saying it doesn't work for others. I just get nervous and since he sleeps fine in a Sleep and Rock, I think that is what we will keep doing. Sleeping isn't an issue for him. He sleeps great (which my husband and I both love).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Baby seems to be sucking in a lot of air when feeding

    Wouldn't the hospital and/or pedi check for tongue tie, cleft or soft palate, etc?
    No. Sure they look for severe things, like a cleft palate. Some peds might check for a very severe, very visible tongue tie, maybe. Someone probably had baby suck on a gloved finger to assess suck. But in general physical issues that might or might not adversely affect nursing is not something that is typically even considered as a potential issue by most medical practitioners. And in fact, unless the physical issue IS adversely affecting nursing, it would not be an issue. KWIM? These things can be visibly present but baby nurses fine. The last thing I would want is someone telling a brand new mom "Looks like baby has a high palate, so breastfeeding might not go well" Ugh. Shudder. No these are things that are diagnosed (or simply suspected) later, when and IF there is a breastfeeding issue.

    The baby sleeps very well and isn't all that fussy when he isn't hungry. The problem is, my husband can't help me feeding since pumping isn't working all that great right now. At night when he wakes up, all he wants is food, diaper change and he goes back to sleep. My husband does a great job of comforting him when I am sleeping but at some point the baby can't be comforted anymore because he needs food.
    Well, yes, of course. This is all 100% normal. Can't fix normal. I am certainly not suggesting your husband feed your baby with a bottle milk that you have pumped. I am suggesting that you nurse, and then there are many other things new dad can do. Sounds like that is already happening, and that is great. Good job dad!
    Unless supplements are required due to poor gain, Pumping is simply making extra work for you. Who needs that?

    I guess if baby sleeps great, and is apparently gaining fine, I have absolutely no idea what the problem is. It sounds like you are doing really well, in that case.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Baby seems to be sucking in a lot of air when feeding

    I definitely get that. Some people may get worried if they hear something bad about their baby right after birth. That may make them give up without trying. Me, personally, would like to know so if there is a problem it can be looked at right away.

    Well the reason I have been pumping is so my husband can feed him breastmilk at night when I am extra tired. I know every BF mother goes through it but cluster feeding at 2am is extremely tiring. I figured it would be best to give baby breastmilk with a bottle so I can get a little sleep so in the morning I am not died. Do you not like using a bottle with breastmilk?

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