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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Common feeding problems

Slow to Feed

This includes falling asleep before taking their required amount, taking more than half an hour to finish their feed, or taking part of a feed and waking a short time later ready to finish it.

Usually changing to a medium flow teat will solve the problem, these teats allow the baby to take the milk at a faster rate, they will be able to finish the feed without being too tired. Please ask your Midwife or Health Visitor for advice.

You may find your baby still likes to have a nap before finishing the feed, but do not reheat the milk or re-use an hour after starting the feed.

If your baby has taken a lot of air into their stomach whilst feeding, this will make them feel full so they may fall asleep. You may need to wind them, or change their nappy in the middle of the feed (being careful to wash your hands before feeding again) in order to let them finish their bottle.

If your baby is lethargic or reluctant to feed and has taken less than half the normal amount of feed in 24 hours, or more, you should immediately consult your GP to rule out illness.

Frequent Feeding

This may include waking early for a feed or not being satisfied after finishing a feed. Usually making up an extra 30mls (or one ounce) at the next feed will satisfy your baby, as if they are draining each bottle this is an indication that they need a little more milk.

Check that you are making up the feeds correctly, if you are making the feeds too weak by adding extra water this will make your baby hungry. On the other hand if you are making their feeds thicker by adding extra scoops of powder this is extremely dangerous as you are making them thirsty by dehydrating your baby and putting them at risk of kidney damage. If you are having a problem ask your Midwife or Health Visitor to advise you.