How a Simple Change in Feeding Position Solved our Issues with our Babies Wind, Colic, and Feeding

When we brought our newborn baby (Mia) home from the hospital almost 8 weeks ago, we were having problems with attachment when attempting to breast feed our daughter, and we had to implement plan B and feed her with formulae. With the help of my mother who is a retired midwife, we managed to get Mia to attach after about a week. However after a few weeks, we began to believe that while we wanted to breastfeed our daughter without the use of formulae that she was going to need to continue to top up with formulae at least until she can handle solids.

At 2 weeks (approximately) little did we know that our quiet daughter would then become a handful. At first she would not want to be put down in the cot, and at night when she woke up for a feed it would take 2 or 3 hours to get her to sleep, only to find it wouldn’t be long before she woke up for the next feed. Hence we were rather sleep deprived. With feeding we found that it didn’t matter how long she sucked at the breast (a couple of hours at times), she was never satisfied with the breast milk. We needed to top up with formulae.

Around the 5th to 6th week we were starting to get a little desperate. We believed wind was the likely cause of her behaviour, so I did a bit of searching on the internet. I came across a forum on the topic, and someone there had suggested that she had success with the following method:

  1. Keep the baby upright (or vertical) as possible when feeding.
  2. Make sure you let the baby break the suction herself, because if you break the suction for her the crying will cause her to gulp in air.

So we followed this advice, and kept her as upright as possible, while at the same time making sure that the teat of the bottle was full with milk (we had to gradually lower her to a more horizontal position as the bottle became empty to make sure this happened).

At this point we had only applied it to her bottle feeding, because we had understood that wind does not normally come from breast feeding, and yes we had some major success. For a few days she was peaceful, and I was able to figure out a routine that reduced the time that it took her to get to sleep. We could now get her breast fed, bottle fed, and back to sleep within an hour. We thought we had it all worked out, until the beginning of the 7th week.

This was when her behaviour got to its worst, at least during the day. She would sleep well during the night still, and still follow the same routine fairly well, but for 3 days straight she cried her head off. We were at a loss as to what to do. After a bit more searching on the internet, I was starting to conclude that our baby had become colic, and probably severe colic. However we then worked out that this episode had started about the time my wife had made a change to how she was breast feeding.

It was at this point we decided to trial another change, and apply the advice we got above to the breastfeeding as well. Hence we breast fed her while keeping her as upright as possible.

We didn’t expect the results we got. This is the 4th day since the 3 days of straight crying. We have had a much quieter baby. Maybe this part didn’t surprise us as much as the effects it has had on her feeding habits. Almost instantaneously did Mia start drinking more from the breast, and she has now significantly reduced the amount of formulae she has been drinking. In fact last night she slept from around 9:00 pm right through to 3:30 am which equalled the record she set the night before. Her previous record was 3:00 am which she had set during the first 2 or 3 weeks when she was still quiet after birth. However last night was different to the previous night. The feed before going to bed she had no formulae at all when we put her in her bassinette asleep.

One simple change of position in feeding solved our problems, and while I would not know how many people out there will have success with the same methods, I believe this is a clear indication that the position the baby is in when feeding is or can be important. Maybe the position we found won’t work for everyone, but it demonstrates that experimenting with the position you hold your baby in while feeding to find out what works best for your baby may help solve some of your issues.

Yes we are still topping up with formulae at present, but we are now quietly confident that her formulae days are soon to come to an end.


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