BabyFeedingWhy Does My Baby Squirm and Cry While Bottle Feeding? Solutions and...

Why Does My Baby Squirm and Cry While Bottle Feeding? Solutions and Tips for New and Expectant Moms

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As a new or expectant mom, you want to give your baby the best care and nourishment possible. Bottle feeding is a great way to provide the nutrients they need, whether breast milk or formula.

However, you may sometimes notice that your baby squirms and cries while bottle feeding, which can be distressing for both of you.

This comprehensive guide will explore the common reasons for this behavior and offer helpful tips to address these issues.

Recognizing the Signs: Baby Cries, Squirms, and Fusses

Squirming and Kicking Legs

When your baby squirms or kicks their legs during bottle feeding, it could be a sign that they are uncomfortable, experiencing a growth spurt, or struggling with the milk flow. Pay attention to these behaviors to help determine the underlying cause.

Crying and Fussing

A baby fussing during bottle feeding could be a sign of several different issues. These can range from hunger, discomfort, or even colic symptoms. You must recognize the signs of a baby crying to address the root cause and help your baby feel more comfortable.

Flailing Arms and Arching Back

Baby flailing arms or arching their back during feeding can signal that they are trying to communicate discomfort, possibly due to gas, tummy ache, or an incorrect feeding position.

Identifying these signs can help you adjust your approach to make feeding time more pleasant for both of you.

Common Causes and Solutions for Bottle Feeding Problems

Milk Flow Issues

Too Much Milk

If your baby fusses or cries during bottle feeding, it could be due to too much milk flowing from the bottle nipple.

This can overwhelm younger babies, leading to discomfort and even choking. To address this issue, consider using a slower-flow nipple or a paced bottle feeding, which allows your baby to control the milk flow better.

Not Enough Milk

On the other hand, your baby may become frustrated if they’re not getting enough milk during feeding.

This can happen if the bottle nipple is clogged or the flow is too slow for your baby’s age and eating habits. To resolve this, ensure the nipple is clear and switch to a faster-flow nipple if necessary.

Gas and Tummy Issues

Colicky Baby

A colicky baby cries excessively and is difficult to soothe, often due to gas or digestive discomfort.

Colic symptoms can make bottle feeding time challenging for you and your baby. To help relieve colic symptoms, consider using a high-quality baby bottle with a venting system to reduce air intake and ensure you’re burping your baby regularly.

Gassy Baby

A gassy baby may squirm, cry, or fuss during bottle feeding because of trapped gas in their stomach.

To prevent this, try feeding your baby upright and burping them frequently.

Hunger and Growth Spurts

Your baby’s eating habits and diet may change as they grow, leading to periods of increased hunger and fussiness.

Newborn babies and those experiencing growth spurts may need more frequent feedings to satisfy their hunger.

If your baby is fussy, ensure they are getting enough milk and consider increasing the frequency of feedings to accommodate their growing needs.

Feeding Position and Latching

Incorrect Feeding Position

An uncomfortable feeding position can cause your baby to squirm and cry during bottle feeding.

Ensure you’re holding your baby at a comfortable angle, supporting their head and neck, and keeping them upright.

Take a look at our guide to breastfeeding positions.

Latching Problems

If your baby’s mouth isn’t correctly latched onto the bottle nipple, it can cause discomfort and difficulty feeding. To help your baby latch properly, ensure the nipple is fully in their mouth, and the bottle is tilted at an angle that allows for adequate milk flow.

Adapting to Your Baby’s Needs: Introducing Solids and Other Changes

Introducing Solids

As breastfed babies grow, they’ll eventually need to start eating solid foods in addition to drinking breast milk or formula.

If your baby is around six months old and showing signs of readiness for solids, such as showing interest in food and sitting up with support, it may be time to include baby solids into their diet.

This can help address some fussiness and hunger-related issues during bottle feeding.


Teething can make your baby fussy and irritable, which could affect their bottle-feeding experience. Offer your fussy baby a cold teething ring or a cold, wet washcloth to chew on before feeding to help alleviate their discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I continue bottle-feeding breast milk while introducing solids?

Yes, you can continue to bottle-feed breast milk while introducing solids. Many bottle-fed babies continue to drink breast milk or formula as a primary source of nutrition until they are around one year old.

How do I know if my baby gets enough milk during bottle feeding?

To ensure your baby gets enough milk, monitor their weight gain, wet nappy output, and overall growth. If you’re concerned about your baby’s intake, consult your pediatrician for guidance.

Can I use a baby carrier while bottle-feeding my baby?

Yes, you can use a baby carrier while bottle feeding your baby, provided you ensure they are in a safe and comfortable position, and you can adequately support the bottle and your baby’s head.


Bottle feeding should be a comfortable and nourishing experience for your baby. By recognizing the signs of discomfort, understanding the potential causes, and implementing the solutions provided, you can help make bottle feeding a more enjoyable time for you and your little one.

Remember, every baby is unique, and their needs may change as they grow. Stay in tune with your baby’s signals, and don’t hesitate to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Written by

Anna Thornhill
Anna Thornhill
Anna is one of our expert writers and, as a mom of two lovely kids (a daughter and son), she has plenty of practical experience to draw on when writing guides and reviews. Anna writes about techniques she's used both during pregnancy and as a new mother, such as combination feeding, and guides to products that have made feeding and care of her kids a little easier.


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