Mom’s Question:

I have a 7 week old, bottle-fed baby, and every time he feeds he is in pain. It takes forever to get him to burp and his stomach you can hear gurgling. His poo is also dark green.

I never had this problem with my other 2 children and they were bottle-fed as well. I don’t know what to do anymore.


Baby Helpline:

Reasons For Painful Feeding For Formula-fed Baby

I would check with your public health nurse or doctor on this one since he appears uncomfortable. All babies are different and he may not tolerate the kind of formula he is on the way your other two babies did. The formula ingredients may have changed too.

Green poo is actually fairly common, sometimes the iron in the formula can make poo greenish. However, if your baby’s formula does not contain iron and the poop is almost black, the talk to his health care provider since black poop can be a sign of bleeding. Green poop can also be due to a stomach bug or some food sensitivity, but that is less likely for such a young baby. Most likely, the poop color is of no concern. Still, when you can hear gurgling and you think he is in pain then definitely get it checked out.

Some babies are sensitive to dairy-based formulas, so soy formulas can be an option, but some babies also have a sensitivity to soy so there are special formulas available for those babies (so-called hydrolysate formulas, where the milk protein is broken down in such small pieces that even infants allergic to cow’s milk or soy can accept the formula). I think you have to have it prescribed in Australia.

Your baby may also have a bit reflux, which makes the formula travel back up into the throat – painful. In such a case, feeding in smaller portions and in a more upright position should help.

You could try a lactose-free or soy formula to see if he is more comfortable, but I would still get him checked out by a professional.

All the best,

More Babies With Feeding Issues

Find comments below.

Comments for “Baby In Pain While Feeding”

Jan 10, 2013 baby in pain whilst feeding
by: miss Lissi

hi Natalie, My baby Julian had similar behavior, your baby might suffer from reflux or colic or he could be intolerant to the formula. To start within the supermarkets they sell products to reduce the pain( In the baby section), if that doesn’t work go to the doctor and there are prescription medication. good luck.

Feb 06, 2013 Help

by: Anonymous

Did you ever find a solution to this? My son who is going to be 3 months next week is going through the same thing right now. He was drinking fine 6oz every 3.5-4 hours and now maybe only 2-3 oz. Sometimes he would be in pain from the beginning of the feeding so he won’t drink much and sometimes he would drink fine but when I burp him In between he will not take the bottle again. He looks like he wants more and sucks on the nipple but once he swallows he pushes the nipple out and cries. He has been on the same formula he started with and was tolerating it fine before.

Mar 10, 2013 discomfort when feeding
by: Anonymous

Hi, can anyone help, my baby is 8 weeks old and really struggling when feeding, he is fine with the first 1-2 oz but after that, he goes red in the face twists his head side to side he arches his back it’s awful? I’m starting to dread feeding time cause he looks so much in pain. my son is also tongue-tied, but I got told his tongue wouldn’t cause this discomfort when feeding. any advice would be really helpful.

Mar 10, 2013 Burp him
by: Paula (Baby Help Line)

Have you tried to burp him immediately when he starts squirming? I’ve seen many babies react like that when they are about halfway through their bottle, and it is usually because they have swallowed enough air by then to make the feeding painful.

You can also try to feed him in a slightly more upright position, as well as invest in a bottle that is designed to reduce air bubbles, such as Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Bottles.

Another thing, if your baby has a tendency for acid reflux, then do not try to feed him large amounts at one time, rather less and more frequently.

Hope this helps,


May 16, 2013 Reflux
by: Danielle – Australia

My baby was the exact same from birth. I breastfed for a short while then went to formula. He has reflux and at 4 months we’re still trying to find a solution. He’s medicated, on prescription formula and thickener. Find a pediatrician that will help you.

Jul 28, 2013 Answer to colic babies
by: Laress

When my bub was around a month old (now four months), she would hold down her burps so I went to a chemist and bought Infacol which has helped wonders, they do tend to start burping easier as they get older, it would take me and hubby up to an hour to burp her, try burping her also every quarter through her feed helps keep less wind in the belly.

We have changed to a new commenting system. Add your comments below or return to Breastfeeding Q&A.

Leave a Reply