Are feeding times fussy times? Some issues can be addressed with a simple change in feeding techniques. Other cases may require you to switch formulas or alter your diet if you’re breastfeeding. Either way, you might want to talk to your pediatrician. To make sure you have the information you need before you visit, here are three helpful tips to make speaking with your newborn’s pediatrician a bit easier.

1. Keep a Feeding Behavior Log

It’s a good idea to note your baby’s behavior before you see the doctor. Here are some things your doctor will want to know:

  • Feeding time. Note the type of formula you're using, how much your baby eats at each feeding, and the time each feeding starts and stops.
  • Behaviors. Write down what you notice during or after each feeding regarding fussiness, gas, spit-up, prolonged crying, skin rashes, diarrhea, or constipation.
  • Sleep patterns. Note hours of uninterrupted sleep, number of times your baby wakes up per night, length and frequency of naps, and whether they’re fussy before falling asleep.
  • Bowel movements. Since your baby's stools can reveal a lot about what's going on, try to keep track of frequency and consistency.
  • Daily assessment.  At the end of each day, rate your baby's day on a scale of one (very good) to five (very bad), and highlight behaviors that especially concern you.
  • Breastfeeding mothers.  Note how often you feed or pump. Record how much breast milk is produced during a typical pumping and if there has been a change in your diet. For example, have you stopped eating dairy or had new or spicy foods?

2. Organize Your Findings

Once you’ve recorded any issues, highlight the key points you’d like to discuss. Try to rank the most important ones to make sure you get answers in case you run out of time during the appointment. The doctor will want to hear about your baby’s most severe, recurring behavior, including how often it occurs and how it affects your baby. Here are some additional questions your pediatrician may ask:

  • When your baby spits up, does it seem to be painful?
  • Does your baby cry inconsolably for hours, even when being held or entertained?
  • Have you tried any soothing techniques? If so, which ones?
  • Is there a family history of allergies?

If you’ve done some research about the formulas designed to ease feeding issues, it will be helpful to let your doctor know what you’ve found.