My baby makes clicking noises when breastfeeding

My baby makes clicking noises when breastfeeding

When a baby makes clicking noises while breastfeeding, it sounds a bit like a “click-click” sound produced by the baby’s tongue while suckling. Sometimes, the clicking is so obvious that it is quite loud, and mothers become concerned. In this article, we will look at the possible causes of clicking, when it may be best to take action, or when you should be patient and just wait for it to pass.

Why does it happen, and what can be done about it?

The moment when the clicking happens and the age of the baby can give a first idea of what may be the cause, but there are several possible causes:


This happens in the first days after birth when the mature breast milk comes in, and there is poor drainage of the breast as well as because of an excess of intravenous fluids given during childbirth. All of these things can cause breasts to become very hard to the touch. When the breast is so hard, babies cannot latch on, as they cannot make enough force with the tongue to suck and remove the milk. In this case, a clicking sound alerts that there is a problem to be solved: the breast engorgement.

Bad latch-on

A baby who breastfeeds in the wrong position or latches on poorly at the breast cannot perform the necessary seal around the nipple-areola area in its mouth. Therefore, the solution will involve improving the baby’s attachment at the breast.


When a baby has a short lingual frenulum, a so-called tongue-tie, they tend to try to compensate for the suction, which means they look for a way to overcome these difficulties by suckling in another effective way, a different way of suckling that can cause the tongue to move or differ from the position that would be needed. In this case, the first thing to do is to improve the latch (see previous point) and if this does not work or does not work enough, it would be best to see a specialist, such as an IBCLC lactation consultant. There is more information about tongue-tie in this article, as well as in the LactApp app, where you can take a test to find out if your baby has a tongue-tie.

Lip tie

The frenulum of the upper lip can also be extremely short (lip tie) and make it impossible for a baby to perform the seal for suckling and this causes them to constantly lose the latch. This can be improved by simply modifying the posture and, if necessary, intervention can also be performed.

Overactive milk let-down reflex

When a mother has a lot of breast milk coming out of the breast all of a sudden, babies can have difficulties managing this flow of breast milk quantity. They then use their tongue as a stopper and can swallow more slowly. When they are doing this, we can hear the clicking noise, and it even seems that they are choking. Here are some ideas to reduce this reflex.


It may or may not be due to a medical condition, but there are babies who have a very large tongue. Because it is so big, they find it difficult to place their tongue correctly, and when suckling, they move it to try to place it well, which causes the clicking noise. Improving breastfeeding posture can help in these cases, but this will change significantly over time as the baby’s mouth grows bigger.

Soft palate cleft

Babies with a cleft palate may lose the vacuum when sucking and therefore make this characteristic clicking noise with their tongue.

Should I be worried?

The clicking may also not be of any relevance if this does not affect breastfeeding. If you are not in pain and your baby is growing and gaining weight properly, the noise they may make with the tongue is just a curiosity. It is possible that it is quite loud, but if everything works it is fine.

A disadvantage that the baby’s clicking noise may have is that they can swallow a lot of air when they do so and may then have slight belly discomfort.

And if all is going well, when will this noise stop?

Babies’ mouths grow, just as they grow, and with there development, after around three months of age, the clicking tends to improve until it disappears completely.

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