Ask the Expert: Why does my baby cry constantly after feeding?

A baby’s constant crying after a feed could be caused by colic or an allergy, says Dr Sarah Jarvis.

Why won’t my baby stop crying after feeding?

GP Dr Sarah Jarvis says: “Coping with a crying baby, particularly one that seems inconsolable, can be emotionally and physically draining. But it’s important to remember it’s not your fault.

“All babies cry and most of the time it’s harmless and part of their natural instinct.

A crying baby (Thinkstock/PA)
Tears after feeding (Thinkstock/PA)

“Feeding problems such as colic can cause babies to cry more than normal, particularly around feeding. Feeding issues affect up to half of all infants, and colic affects up to one in five babies – so it’s probably more common than you might think.

“As well as the intense crying, other symptoms of colic can be clenched fists, an arched back, and a red or flushed face in an otherwise completely healthy baby.

A baby drinks a bottle of milk (Thinkstock/PA)
Feeding: Comforting or irritating? (Thinkstock/PA)

“Reflux and regurgitation, when babies bring up their feed during or shortly after feeding, and constipation, are also common baby feeding problems which cause excessive crying, general irritability and discomfort.

“Cows’ milk allergy, albeit less common (affecting around 2 to 7.5% of babies under one year of age), can cause a very wide range of symptoms such as rashes, failing to gain weight, reluctance to feed, diarrhoea and vomiting.”

“Don’t worry, if it’s colic or another feeding problem there are things you can do to help, such as feeding techniques and dietary changes. If you suspect a feeding problem such as reflux or cows’ milk allergy, you should speak to your GP, pharmacist or health visitor.”

An online symptom checker is available at C&G BabyClub

 

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