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Why Does My Baby Pull Away And Cry While Breastfeeding?

Why Does My Baby Pull Away And Cry While Breastfeeding?

Breastfeed is the most nutritious food for an infant. It is a natural arrangement of food for a baby for healthy and faster growth. An infant enjoys breastmilk a lot. But why does my baby pull away and cry while breastfeeding? A baby gets fussy when he/she faces some issue. Overflow of milk, swallowed air while breastfeeding, and gas in the tummy can be the most highlighted reasons for it.

This blog is all about finding clear reasons why does my baby pulls away and cry while breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding time is not just to give food to the baby. It is the time when a baby feels his/her mother very closely. He can feel love, affection, warmth, comfort, and security. The baby breastfeeding time is so relaxing for both mother and the baby. During this time, they generate a strange type of bounding that never ends.

Still, why does my baby pull away and cry while breastfeeding? This is a question asked by most of the mothers. Sometimes family says, is the quantity of milk is ok for the baby? Is the baby still hungry? Is your milk taste well? You should give a bottle of formula milk as well. These questions are really pressurizing and upsetting for a mother.

How to determine that breastmilk is fine?

Today, we will figure out are these myths really true? Or there are some other reasons which trouble a baby while breastfeeding. First of all, you have to notice the time duration. If your baby spends 15 to 20 minutes on both sides of the breast, it shows he is getting enough milk. Normally, a baby spends 8-12 minutes on each side of the breast every 2-3 hours.

You can hear the sound of your baby while taking breastfeeding. The sound will tell he is taking milk properly. Once the baby is done, check your breasts are they softer or fuller? If the breasts are soft then the baby has taken enough milk. You can also check the wet diapers. When a baby produces 4-6 wet diapers per day, it means the quantity, taste, and quality of milk is fine.

If everything is fine, then the reason why does my baby pull away and cry while breastfeeding is something else. Let’s dive deep and find out other reasons than these foolish myths.

Why Does My Baby Pull Away And Cry While Breastfeeding?

It is totally different drinking milk from bottle and breast. In bottlefeed, the baby sucks and gets the milk quickly. Whereas, during breastfeeding, a baby has to struggle more, sucks more to get the milk. It is a nutritive way to drink milk from the breast. A baby is also involved in the exercise of jaws and gums as he has to suck with more pressure than a bottle.

Moreover, sucking from the breast is more satisfying than the bottle. Still, if your baby cries there can be numerous other reasons which we are going to discuss in the next portion of this article.

  • The baby has swallowed air
  • A tired baby
  • Wonder week
  • Emotional stress
  • Teething process
  • Baby is distracted
  • Overflow of milk
  • The tummy of the baby is full
  • Oral Thrush
  • Blocked nose
  • Tongue-tie
  • Food sensitivity
  • Reflux
  • Has disturbed sleep

The Baby Has Swallowed Air

It is natural to swallow air while drinking milk. But when a baby drinks milk so quickly due to hunger, he swallows more air than normal. This air irritates him and the baby started to cry. This is the time when a baby wants to burp, fart or poop. This is the answer to why does my baby pull away and cry while breastfeeding? A mother should notice it and must take quick action.

Being a breastfeeding mother you should know the nature of your baby. If he does it in a routine like he cries and pull away while breastfeeding. Then you should burp the baby in between the breastfeeding. For instance, if your baby has stopped taking milk from one side of the breast burp him. Then you can allow him to take the rest of the feed from the second breast.

A Tired Baby

Most of the babies take breastfeed and fill their tummies. Once their tummies are filled they enjoy a long and sound sleep. Whereas some of the babies also take a proper amount of feed but start to cry afterward. Parents can not find out any apparent reason for their baby’s cry. This is called an unsettled period of time. And they cry due to tiredness, they cry because they want to be in the lap more.

My daughter also did the same with me for at least three months. She used to take milk properly and fell asleep. When I used to place her on the bed she started to cry. And she did it again and again. There was a cycle of taking milk, falling asleep, crying, diaper change, and then again taking milk.

So, basically, she started to cry because she used to get tired after taking breastfeeding. Because taking milk from the breast demands a clear amount of struggle.

Wonder Week

Wonder week is a time in which a baby takes a leap in his mental and physical development. It means he is making faster connections in his brain. He is consolidating what he has observed in the world and is observing. Wonder week may take place when the baby is learning a new skill, like rolling, crawling, etc.

Due to this new learning, the brain increases the speed of its activities. And the baby could not process things as usual. So this can be another reason of why does my baby pull away and cry while breastfeeding?

Emotional Stress

A baby is so sensitive to his family and especially to his mother’s feelings. If the mother is fine and happy he also remains active and peaceful. But when the mother is upset he also gets upset. Therefore a baby cries more when his mother is emotionally disturbed and does not take milk properly.

Teething Process

Most of the researches has reported that a baby cries a lot when the teething process is at its peak. He also cries while taking breastfeeding. During the teething process, the baby experiences soreness in the gums. And when he sucks nipple it becomes a painful process for him.

why does my baby pull away and cry while breastfeeding? due to teething process.
A baby is crying due to the pain of the teething process.

You have to check the time does he fuss in the evening or in the day? In the evening and nighttime, the flow of hormones becomes faster. The baby feels more soreness and pain in the gums. This is another answer to why does my baby pull away and cry while breastfeeding?

Baby is Distracted

A 3-4 months-old baby can easily be distracted by the environment. When you bring him closer to you for breastfeeding he becomes very happy. But as he hears some noise or sound of some relative he turns his face to that sound. A mother wants the baby to quickly finish his meal so that she performs the rest of the tasks.

A mother brings him back to get breastfed and the baby pulls away. But the baby wants to observe the environment while being in the lap of his mother. This conflict can cause a fuss. This is another solid reason why does my baby pull away and cry while breastfeeding?

Overflow of Milk

A baby is very new to the world and he does not know how to handle the outer environment. Sometimes he needs a small amount of milk. But the supply of the milk is much more than his demand. This is called overflow of milk. Overflow of milk can make a baby unsettled and gassy and he starts to cry.

What you can do is squeeze your breast so that the milk flow becomes easy. You can waste the extra milk or can save it in the bottle. This saved milk can be used later on to feed the baby via bottle in your absence. Settle down your baby, which can take ten to twenty minutes. Once the baby gets settled you can feed him again.

The Tummy of the Baby is Full

Sometimes it happens that a mother feels irritated due to the milk storage in the breast. And she wants the baby to breastfeed so that she becomes relaxed. As she brings the baby to the breast he starts crying. This becomes a reason for worry and the mother gets upset. Why does my baby pull away and cry while breastfeeding?

Why does my baby pull away and cry while breastfeeding? Due to food sensitivity
A baby is crying due to pain caused by food sensitivity.

The answer to this question is the tummy of the baby is full. He is not feeling hungry that’s why he is pulling you away and crying. Sometimes a baby cries because he just wants to suck for comfort. When the milk also comes by sucking he starts crying. Because this was not his demand of that time and he does not want milk.

Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is a yeast infection inside the mouth, tongue, or cheeks. When a baby cries while breastfeeding and pulls the mother away then check his mouth carefully. If your baby is having oral thrush this can be the answer to why does my baby pull away and cry while breastfeeding?

Because oral thrush is irritating and causes an issue for the baby while drinking milk. Once you get confirmed that your baby is having oral thrush do visit the doctor. The doctor will recommend you proper treatment. And your baby will become normal while breastfeeding.

Blocked Nose

If the nose of the baby is blocked due to a bad cold and flu this can be problematic. A blocked nose makes it a little harder for the baby to drink milk properly. Nose blockage makes it difficult for the baby to coordinate his breathing and sucking while breastfeeding. Therefore, he cries and pulls away while the breastfeeding process.


Tongue-tie is also called ankyloglossia. It is a condition in which an unusual band of tissue tethers the bottom of the tongue. And it restricts the movement of the tongue. Tongue-tie is a serious problem because a baby can not hold the breast tightly. And can not obtain deep attachment to the breast. The breast slips off and the baby cannot satisfy his need and can not fill his tummy. This dissatisfaction makes him aggressive and he starts crying.

Food Sensitivity

Sometimes a baby has a food sensitivity. If a mother eats something which requires a strong digestive system it causes a problem for the baby. A food-sensitive baby experiences more pain and air in the tummy than other babies. This pain and air irritate him a lot and he starts to cry and pull away during breastfeeding.

The mother of such a baby needs to be high alert in choosing food items. She should eat that food which is good for her and her baby. She must consult a dietitian to add nutritive food to her table.


A baby experiences more reflux than an adult. Because his digestive system is not that much strong as adults. Moreover, it happens to a baby more because he is on a liquid diet. Reflux is equally common in healthy, normal, and unhealthy babies. It happens when the contents travel up to the esophagus from the stomach. It causes burning and acidity. Sometimes it comes out of the baby’s mouth.

Some babies experience pain along with reflux. This pain makes them cry as the milk moves upwards to the esophagus. This is another solid reason why does my baby pull away and cry while breastfeeding?

Has disturbed sleep

A baby is a sensitive creature. He can not communicate verbally. The only way of communication is to cry. The baby needs a complete sound sleep for healthy growth and development. But due to his sensitive nature if he gets disturbed while sleeping he becomes fussy.

Noise, shouting or the high volume of the TV can easily disturb a baby. And once his deep sleep gets break he feels pain in the body and head more than an adult. If you place him for breastfeeding at this moment he will definitely cry and pull you away.


It is very easy to conclude from all this discussion that there are numerous reasons for baby crying during breastfeeding. New and already mothers should read all these reasons to find out solutions. Because finding the issue is a half solution. And then we can consult a doctor or can use home remedies to fix the problem.

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About The Author

Qurratulain Nabeel

This is QURRATULAIN - an M.Phil in Applied Psychology. Being a mother of two I tried to put my knowledge into practice, which proved very beneficial for me. By using the platform of I am so pleased to share my experience with people all around the world.

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