Mum spoon feeding baby

Common feeding problems in babies

Last reviewed: 19th January 2022

Reviewed by Nutricia’s Medical and Scientific Affairs Team

In the early days, your little one’s tiny tummy is still getting used to digesting food. While some babies get to grips with feeding and filling their nappies pretty quickly, it’s not that straightforward for everyone. Common feeding-related problems include Reflux, Constipation, Colic and Allergies and Intolerances

Common digestive problems


Most babies bring up a little milk during and after feeding – it’s commonly known as ‘posseting’. Remember, in the early days your baby’s tummy is tiny, growing steadily in size as they develop. So it’s no surprise that sometimes, your baby’s eyes are bigger than their belly.

Some babies, however, are repeatedly sick after feeding. This can be a sign of reflux, which happens when milk or food comes back up from their stomach into their oesophagus, causing them to bring up whole feeds or small amounts on a regular basis.

Whether you’re a first-time mum or a seasoned pro, reflux can be worrying, so it’s worth mentioning to your Health Visitor during your next appointment. In the meantime, why not read more about baby reflux and what you can do to help.

Dad and crying baby


If your baby cries or is irritable for prolonged periods for no obvious reason, they could be suffering with colic. It’s very common and occurs in up to one in five babies1. Find out more about colic and what you can do to relieve it.

Sleeping baby


Once your baby’s born you’ll no doubt find yourself thinking, and talking, about their pooing habits quite a lot! It’s a standard feature of parenthood. If your little one is pooing less than three times a week, and has poos that are either large, hard and difficult to push out, or small, hard and pellet-like, they could be constipated. Learn about baby constipation and things you can do to relieve it.


Milk allergies and intolerances

Despite their similarities, allergies and intolerances are different. A milk allergy occurs when your little one’s immune system reacts to the proteins in milk, whereas an intolerance is when your baby can’t break down certain substances, such as lactose in milk. Learn more about identifying milk allergies and intolerances and what to do if you think your baby might have one.

If your baby’s struggling and you can’t put your finger on why, try our Baby Symptom Checker.

When to see a doctor

It goes without saying, if you ever have any concerns about your baby, it's always best to speak to your health visitor or GP.

1. Vandenplas Y et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2015;61(5):531-7

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