A few of our readers were worried about their baby arms flailing while nursing. Here’s why it happens and how you can fix it!
Baby Arms Flailing While Nursing
If you are a first-time mom, then your newborn can be both a pleasure and a puzzle! As babies can’t talk, it becomes quite a task trying to decipher what your baby wants and what s/he is trying to communicate through their actions. While crying usually denotes distress of some sort, other actions are both amusing and confusing.
One such action is your baby flailing their arms while nursing. Some babies flail their arms or fling them about rather aimlessly while feeding. This can be accompanied by leg kicks too. These actions may sometimes make them lose their latch on the breast. It is difficult for you to get them to latch again while avoiding their flailing arms.
There have been many studies by researchers to understand baby actions. One opinion is that your baby could be flailing their arms if their nursing position is uncomfortable. S/he could be full and is trying to tell you that they need a break or has finished feeding. Sometimes your baby could have tried to suck too fast and needs to burp. Another reason could be that the milk flow is too fast for him/her or no milk in your breast. Some babies may have a silent reflux problem, and it causes discomfort. You will soon figure out what to do to calm down your baby. Your baby can be distracted by their surroundings and become too restless to feed. It takes time and patience to understand what your baby is trying to communicate.
- Try to find a feeding position that suits both you and your baby. Sometimes your milk flow could be too fast or too slow. Try to switch breasts and see if it calms your kid. If your milk is plentiful, then there is a letdown where the milk flows down too fast; in that case, try manually extracting it for a few minutes before letting your baby feed. This will ensure that the milk does not flow out too fast. You can also try leaning back so that gravity doesn’t aid fast flow.
- You can also try seating your baby on your lap, facing you for a feed, to have more control over his/her arms and legs. If your baby is flailing and thrashing about, check if s/he needs a nappy change or if they need to burp.
- You can try tucking one arm of your baby under your arm and covering his/her body and another arm tightly with a blanket. Also, try the reverse swaddling method, where you can place a blanket or cloth over your baby’s tummy and tuck the ends behind their back. You can loosen the swaddle once s/he starts feeding calmly. Sometimes all you need to do is stop, give the feeding a break and restart again.
- If you feel your baby is simply distracted or not too hungry to concentrate on feeding, then stop and try feeding them after some time. Always choose a quiet place that is free of distractions to feed your baby.
Being a mom is hard, but it is well worth the special bond you create with your baby, which is precious and unique.