Why is your baby making smacking sound while bottle feeding

Have you noticed your baby making a smacking sound while bottle feeding? Have you wondered why the baby is making such sounds? 

The baby can make smacking sounds while they are awake, asleep, breast-feeding or bottle feeding.

We are discussing specifically about noise they make when they are bottle feeding

This blog post will give you answers to all your questions and also help you to handle the issue in the best possible way

This smacking sound occurs because the baby is breaking the tight seal around your bottle nipple which they create with their lips. The Sound caused due to the air and the breaking of the section is what you hear. It may be an indicator of a breastfeeding problem

Some babies make clicking sounds during feeds. This is hard to distinguish from a normal sucking or smacking noise.

Reasons why your baby could be making smacking sounds during feeding

There could be various reasons why this is happening and you will have to carefully investigate the issue and act accordingly

Some of the possible reasons for this could be-

1.It is a natural reflex

The sound is a natural reflex that may happen when your baby’s mouth or tongue touches their lips while bottle feeding. The sounds are not harmful and will most likely go away on its own over time as they get used to it 

2.Acid reflux

Your infant might have acid reflux, which can cause the baby to make the sound when they are drinking from a bottle.

acid reflux

3.Sore mouth

It could also be because of their sore mouth due to teething or general discomfort 

Or it may be that your baby is experiencing pain while eating and making these sounds as a symptom of this condition

4.Tongue tie

This is a condition where a thick tissue connects their tongue to the floor of their mouth, which restricts the movement of their tongue . The baby might tilt their head back in order to get the nipple into their mouth, but this will cause them discomfort.

The tongue automatically goes back every few seconds, which causes smacking sound or the clicking sound.

The other side effects of a tongue tie are that the baby may not be able to latch on properly, which means that they will have a difficult time getting enough milk

Their mouth might also become dried out because of how much movement their tongue is restricted 

Your pediatrician or lactation consultant can help you with these problems by clipping your child’s frenulum (the part of the tongue tie)

5.Lip Tie

This is a condition where the connection between the upper lip and gum is not released. The cause of the lip tie is unknown, but it can lead to difficulties with breastfeeding/ bottle feeding because when your child sucks on a breast or bottle, their tongue presses against this tight connection which in turn restricts milk flow

If you suspect that your baby has a lip tie then speak to your pediatrician

6. The flow of milk is too fast. 

It can be stressful for the baby to keep up with fast flow of milk and this can cause them to make smacking sounds.

The main cause of the flow of milk being too fast is that you are using a very high nipple setting. The Nipple flow rate has to be correct for your baby.

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Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You can also check out these other Slow flow Stage 0 nipples which our readers use

You should not use one bottle nipple while you are bottle feeding your baby. You can purchase nipples with different flow rates as your baby grows.

I was surprised to learn this as a new mom! .Each bottle has a range of nipple flow rate options.

When you start off your baby with the first bottle, you should choose a slow-flow nipple. Each bottle manufacturer labels nipple flow rates in different ways and it can be quite confusing. And, to confuse you further, the same flow rating doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing from one bottle brand to the other. You can start with one of the following: preemie flow, extra-slow flow, slow-flow, 0+m, 1+m, or size/level/stage 1.

Once your baby has become comfortable with bottle feeding, you can then upgrade to using stage 2 nipples or 3+ M nipples.

Dr. Brown's Options+ Wide-Neck Baby Bottle Nipple, Level 2 (3 Months+), 6 Count
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Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here are some other favourite Stage 2 nipples once your child has grown up a bit , which are loved by most of our readers

Babies suck differently from a bottle than they do with the breast, and it can take them just as long to figure out. You don’t want them feeling like you are flooding them while they are learning.

If your little one has progressed through nipple flow rates as advised by the bottle manufaturer (requiring an increased nipple size about every 3 months), congratulations! 

If not, don’t worry–your baby may still be using a slower progression for feeding. 

Pay attention to your baby’s cues to know when to adjust the flow rate.

There are various other signs of distress that may indicate that the flow rate is too fast. On the other hand, below are signs that the flow may be too slow.

4. Poor Latch

poor latch

. If you notice signs of a bad latch while you are trying to bottle feed your baby,you should gently break the latch and try to get a deep latch. 

You can also adjust positioning of the baby while feeding.

5. High arch on their mouth

Some babies have a high arch which can cause the baby to make a smacking sound while feeding from bottle.

This can cause the nipple to slip out of the baby’s mouth.

This is more common in premature babies who are not coordinated enough yet to drink from a bottle. 

If you notice this,remove the nipple and reposition it with downward pressure on top of their tongue until they open wider for better suction before giving them another try.

6. Baby playing with nipple

.As per Dr Colin Kerr, smacking lips is usually just a result of the baby generating suction around the bottle nipple, then suddenly letting it go. Sometimes it can just be the baby playing with the nipple. Nothing to be concerned about.

7. Exploring the sensation of touch

 They are exploring touch and probably are amused by the sensation, and secondly they – can hear themselves making the noise and want to repeat it.

8. Wrong positions during feeds

. Try to change the positions while you are bottle feeding the baby

9. Sucking on air and milk at same time

Babies make a smacking sound while bottle feeding because they are sucking on the milk and air at the same time 

10. Baby sucking hard

It could also be that your baby is trying to suck on the bottle nipple as hard as possible in order to get milk out of it, which might make a smacking sound 

If the problem is not one of the above, you should consult Lactation Consultants

Frequently asked questions

What are the normal sounds a baby makes while feeding

While feeding babies make the following sounds

  • Gentle sucking.
  • Swallowing.
  • Inhaling.
  • Exhaling.
  • Grunting
  • clicking sound 

Does baby still get milk with a bad latch?

Without proper latching on the bottle’s nipple, your baby will not get enough milk.

If you are breastfeeding then not only will she get enough milk, but also your breasts won’t be stimulated to produce more, creating a vicious cycle of poor milk demand and poor milk supply. Further , your  nipples can get cracked and painful when the latch isn’t right.

It is important that you get a proper deep latch while feeding.

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Carrie Walters is a young mother of Nina and Tom, who along with her husband Jake is passionate about helping moms and families find modern solutions to common parenting and lifestyle questions. Together with a team of real moms and medical experts, this young couple share sound advice and proven tips to help make your life easier.
They manage this blog along with other blogs and Youtube channels on similar topics