Baby Clicking When Breastfeeding – Is This Something To Worry About?

Breastfeeding is quiet tricky in general, for both first time moms and even for more experienced moms. It’s probably because each baby latches differently, for some babies it could be as easy as breathing but others might struggle for the first few tries. Mainly, the goal is to feed our babies and to make sure that they are getting the nutrients that they need in their early years. Along the way, your baby will develop a certain way on how he latches. Some nursing habits could be normal but others could be a sign that they are not feeding properly.

For a growing baby, it’s pretty normal to play around with all the new things that they are learning, one of which is sound. You might notice that your baby does all these different sounds when latching and it translates to how they are feeding. Usually, a clicking sound while breastfeeding indicates that baby is repeatedly breaking the seal or suction.

Why would baby have problems maintaining a seal?

The suck-swallow-breathe coordination matures at different rates and completely mature coordination may only develop at 42 weeks gestation for some babies or even in the weeks following birth for other babies. There can be lots of different reasons why a baby lose the seal while nursing, it could simply be due to immaturity which should develop in the next few weeks.

Possible reasons for baby clicking

Possible reasons for baby clicking
  • Breast Engorgement – can be difficult for both the mother and the baby, it would be painful to the mom and baby could have a hard time maintaining suction.
  • Poor Latch Position – it is important that your baby is positioned properly when nursing for them to maintaining a good seal at the breast. The possibility of your baby angled in a wrong or difficult position might cause for them to retract or curl their tongue up that could cause the clicking sound.
  • Tongue Tie – this stops the tongue from moving as it should and can certainly cause frequent seal breaks.
  • Oversupply or Fast Letdown – your baby will break suction if the flow of milk is too much for them to handle. The tongue is a muscle, muscles get tired.  Sometimes they just can’t keep up in the first few weeks of nursing.  They will get stronger for the next few weeks and same activity should not be an issue.
  • Teething – could cause temporary clicking due to mouth being sore, he may try to relieve teething pain by not getting as tight of a seal around the breast or by repeatedly breaking the suction, causing the clicking sound.
  • Ear Infection – this could also cause temporary clicking due to the pressure sucking would cause the ear. He may try to ease ear pressure pain by not sucking tight around the breast or by repeatedly breaking the suction, causing the clicking sound.

Normal Breastfeeding Sounds

  • Gentle sucking – It might sound a bit like “kuh kuh kuh “ or even a “ck ck ck” sound.
  • Swallowing – Happens at the back of the throat, it’s a sound of the tongue at the back of the throat so it makes a guttural type sound which can absolutely have a “k” sound to it.  It might sound a bit like a “g” sound “guh guh guh“.
  • Inhaling – babies might stop and take in air though their nose as sucking for few minutes could make them out of breath.
  • Exhaling – babies might stop and let out air though their nose as sucking for few minutes could make them out of breath.
  • Grunting – A grunt is a short, deep sound. If you think about the noise a pig makes, you’ll have a good idea of what a grunt sounds like.

How to know if your baby is eating enough while breastfeeding?

How to know if your baby is eating enough while breastfeeding?

For breastfeeding moms out there, may it be exclusive or mixed (with formula milk), I want you to know that your sacrifices are seen and are appreciated. It’s a selfless decision, breastfeeding. It is fully accepting the responsibility and privilege of providing the best food (milk) for your baby, and knowing the cost that it will take to their personal being. That is the main goal of breastfeeding.

Making sure that your baby gets the best nutrition possible, and that they get enough amount for them to grow healthy. Having an enough supply for your baby’s growing need is not always easy though, their stomach will get bigger rapidly and your milk supply will need to catch up! Here are some ways to make sure your baby is feeding enough according to their age.

  • Nursing Style – Each baby has their own way of nursing, this is the most comfortable way for them to get the most milk in the breast and it’s important that you know how your baby prefers to be fed. Notice how they stop then swallow, each one of these pauses corresponds to a mouthful of milk and the longer the pause, the more milk the baby got. If your baby nibbles only, or has the drinking type of suckle for a short period of time only, he is probably not getting enough.
  • Frequent Nursing – With frequent nursing over the first few days, your body will transition from the super-rich colostrum to mature milk to match your baby’s changing needs. Your baby will continue to nurse often and start to gain weight.
  • Happy Baby – Baby will look content and happy after a feed, releasing the breast on their own. Fussiness usually indicates that they are still hungry.
  • Weight Gain – Baby’s gain of weight is not only an indication that they are getting enough milk regularly but is also a sign that they are in a good shape, sleeping long, and is being well taken care of.
  • Wet Diapers – They may not pass much urine at first but this increases each day. By day two look for two wet diapers over 24 hours, by the time your baby is five days old, wet diapers should be more frequent, usually six or more within 24 hours.
  • Poop Count and Color – After their first poop which should be odorless and usually color dark green, stools transition to yellow with a loose and seedy texture by day five. Baby should have 3-4 stools every day by four days of age.

How do I know if baby is pacifying or breastfeeding?

Babies breastfeed for many reasons other than to get breast milk.  Baby wants to feel close to mom and hear your heartbeat, enjoy the warmth and comfort of mom’s breast, and enjoy the action of sucking.  It can be beneficial to both mom and baby to spend time at breast, however it is also important that baby spends time effectively pulling milk to ensure adequate weight gain and to protect your breast milk supply.

Besides nursing, babies breastfeed to feel safe, to calm down, to warm up, for reassurance, to connect with mother, for pain relief, to fall asleep and because they love to suck. They are sometimes called breastfeeding for comfort, comfort nursing, comfort sucking, “non nutritive” sucking or even “using the breast as a dummy” or as a pacifier.

Take aways

Anything that looks out of normal/ordinary that our babies do tends to worry us, and that’s completely valid. It’s better to always observe and consult that to be sorry because you brushed something off. Our top priority is to make sure that they are well fed and are safe, it is always beat to consult your doctor to get professional advise for any concerns with regards your baby.

I hope this article helped you learn a thing or two about your baby and their breastfeeding habits. If there’s anything you want to share that might help other moms out here, suggestions, or any questions, feel free to comment down below.

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Currently located in the Philippines. Mother of an active curly boy whose energy rarely runs out. When I am not busy keeping up with my son, you'll find me reading, cooking, or most of the time keeping the house clean.

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