Basics of Breastfeeding: Part Two

*This post may contain graphic information. These are real stories*

If you missed last weeks post, go ahead and check out Basics of Breastfeeding: Part One before reading here!

So, if you are a breastfeeding Momma, I am sure you have experienced as babies grow that they start to get a little acrobatic with their feedings. This is one of my huge struggles right now, as Lily has gotten bigger she gets so distracted and does all kinds of crazy things while nursing.

She wiggles so much, and grabs at everything possible – her feet, my skin, my hair, she pinches me, scratches me, rubs me… its comical sometimes. Her worst move is ripping her hair out in clumps. I especially hate this one because I get sad watching her hair go! My only way to distract or divert her from doing this has been to give her this stuffed monkey that she absolutely loves, and I think it is the funniest thing!

She holds on to this monkey for dear life and cuddles him instead of pulling her hair out! It is actually super cute, but now we have to nurse with him or else she gets too wild.

 

Different Personalities

Upon research, I actually found it pretty neat that there are all sorts of feeders. Every baby is so unique. I am sure there are even more than this, but here are some examples from Dr. Sears:

The Marathoner

The Marathoner is always hungry. This breastfeeding baby seems to want to feed continuously and can never get enough. This usually happens when baby goes through a growth spurt and they need more nutrients. Babies also go through high needs periods where they need to suck and be held frequently. If your baby is going through a high needs day don’t feel guilty about putting aside other responsibilities. Baby is more important than any chores around the house.

Mr. Suck-a-Little, Look-a-Little

Mr. Suck-a-Little, Look-a-Little usually pops up between two to six months. This curious little guy will suck for a minute, look away for a minute, go back to sucking, and then get distracted again. This is because baby’s vision is developing, and they are noticing more things in their surroundings. Dad walking by, or the family pet scurrying into the next room peak baby’s curiosity, and he will look away from feeding time. Try breastfeeding baby in a dark room with no distractions. A sling can also help because it shields him from what is going on around him.

The Nipper-Napper

The Nipper-Napper breastfeeding baby likes to eat and sleep on and off. He will feed for a couple of minutes, take a short nap, and then go right back to feeding. This occurs in the early weeks when some babies prefer sleeping to eating. As he grows older he will get the feeding finished before he nods off.

The Gourmet Feeder

The Gourmet Feeder savors every last drop of their meal. She will do anything to prolong a meal. Baby licks, sucks, fondles, nestles, and goes to great lengths to draw out feeding time. If you have the time let her indulge herself. Breastfeeding is a phase of life with baby that passes all too quickly. Enjoy your time with your little foodie.

The Yanker Breastfeeding Baby

The Yanker is a painful breastfeeding baby personality. He will turn his head while sucking but forget to let go. This may be amusing the first time but the novelty wears off quickly. Use the clutch hold to secure the back of baby’s neck in your hand. This will stop his eager little head from turning at inopportune moments. Feeding baby in a sling also has the same effect. The sling will secure the back of his head and stop him from making sudden jerks. Be on your guard with the Yanker. Be ready to insert your finger into baby’s mouth to break the suction just as baby begins to pull away.

The Chomper

The Chomper is a close relative of the Yanker. This one tends to bite down while feeding. She does this because babies start to experience gum pain around five to six months. When they feel this discomfort in their gums the tendency is to bite down on something for relief. Before feeding, let baby gum your index finger or a teething ring so she can get the chewing out of the way ahead of time. Also use your index finger to depress baby’s lower jaw if you feel her start to press down.

The Twiddler

The Twiddler is a sometimes amusing and sometimes annoying breastfeeding baby. Between six and nine months babies love to use their hands to pinch the breast (annoying) or grab the face (amusing). Be sure to discourage them from grabbing the other nipple while feeding. Try putting a favorite toy in her hand to keep her busy little hands occupied while feeding.

The Gymnast

The Gymnast is the most physical of breastfeeding baby personalities. This prospective Olympic swimmer kicks his leg as you begin feeding. Babies’ legs are surprisingly strong, and it doesn’t feel very good when they kick you in the chest during a feeding. Feeding in a sling helps contain this guy. The “toddler tuck” is an effective maneuver to use as well. This works by wedging baby’s legs between your arm and body while baby is in the cradle hold. Babies can also kick because they feel their legs dangling. Try to hook his leg over your arm to give him a feeling of security.

The Snacker

The Snacker makes an appearance as the breastfeeding baby turns into a toddler. She likes to eat on the run. Toddlers like to move around a lot more so they have less patience for long feedings. The Snacker gets into this habit of short feedings as a sort of pit stop. She likes to run around and play more but needs to return to a familiar place in the midst of her adventures.

The Pouncer

The Pouncer is the other breastfeeding baby personality that happens as they mature into toddlerhood. This toddler will descend upon you while you are resting and go right underneath your shirt for a feeding. This can be one of more painful personalities if she doesn’t pounce gently. This urge to pounce will usually happen when she sees you sitting in a place where she is used to feeding. You may need to become a mobile mommy and rest in unfamiliar feeding places to baby.

How to discourage bad feeding manners

There are several things to do that I have discovered in order to discourage bad habits while nursing.

First and foremost, start early on while trying to get rid of these habits. Discourage it from the beginning. I know I didn’t at first, and I am paying for it now because she had thought it is okay. Babies are incredibly smart and they will catch on to “no”. If she has gotten to the point where it is too bad, I have set her down and give her a minute and restart and that way she sees that is not okay.

Next, enter the toy for a distraction. My friend had told me to give her something else to hold so that it keeps her calm, and that has worked so well. That is where the cute little monkey comes in. She likes to cuddle soft stuffed animals anyway so this one works best for her.

When we are at home, I try to have a spot just for us, so that she knows it is feeding time. We have a rocking chair we sit in, with a pillow and her little monkey. Every time I even walk up to that chair, she knows she is about to eat and she gets all excited for food! I typically try to nurse her before leaving the house and plan our trips around her nursing schedule because it has just gotten way too difficult to even try to feed her in public anymore as she gets way too distracted. If I do have to feed her while we are out, I will sit in the car and that works so much better. I have learned for our breastfeeding journey specifically, that she leads and I follow, and I try to just do what works for her and keeps her comfortable to make sure she eats enough and gets everything she needs.

 

pregnancy skincare gifts

 

So, as part of this breastfeeding series, each week I am going to feature a mom or two that has successfully breastfed, is breastfeeding, or one that has chosen not to breastfeed with each of their stories in hopes that whatever struggle you may be having, that you can find a mom to connect with on that level. Of course, I would like to thank those of you who have already reached out to me with your stories and struggles, and I am always willing to lend an ear.

Here is Sarah Hocks Story

“My name is Sarah and I am a mama of three.  I have been very blessed to be able to breastfeed all three from the moment they first arrived to when they each chose to wean themselves.  I am currently still nursing my youngest at 16 months.

Though I have been able to breastfeed all three, I can’t say they each didn’t come with their own issues at times.  The hardest was my second born, Nolan.  I had very little issues with my firstborn.  Only what I would consider to be your typical stuff, such as sore nipples and slight latch issues in the beginning.  Nothing that lasted long or caused me needing to supplement. 
With my second born, I had very intense nursing aversions. I had experienced nurse aversions slightly with Anna but it was when I began my postpartum menstrual cycle and then when I became pregnant while still nursing her.
This time with Nolan, it was a lot more intense and it started when he was just a few months old.  That is when I had at least noticed and could put a name to how I was feeling.  Looking back, I now believe I also was dealing with slight postpartum depression.  I didn’t see that at the time, however.  I just knew there were nights that I would be nursing him and I would be crying and clinching my fists praying to God that he would be done soon.
A little about Nolan.  He coslept with us for his first year.  We lived in a two bedroom townhouse when he was born and so his room was our room.  We always start our babies with us and all I knew was how Anna was.  At a few months old, I learned that she didn’t like sleeping in our bed or in our room.  She went from an amazing sleeper to hardly sleeping and being very fussy.  Oh a whim, I decided to try to lay her in her crib in her nursery.  She went right to sleep and slept amazingly.  She was right back to being a great sleeper.  Harper was/is the same way.  Nolan as a baby just didn’t require much sleep I suppose.  He didn’t sleep long and woke often to nurse.  He also squirmed a lot!  As well as, he nursed ALL. THE. TIME.  He was like another part of my body since he was always attached.  So, the lack of sleep, nursing a squirmy baby who hardly gave me a break, having to take care of another toddler, and having hormonal imbalance with nurse aversions caused for a not so fun breastfeeding journey.  How could I go from having an amazing breastfeeding bond with my first to…this??  What’s wrong with me?  What’s wrong with my baby?
It made my bonding with my son really hard too.  Admitting that still makes my heart hurt.  I only recently admitted that to myself and actually sat with my son and told him sorry.  Even if he doesn’t understand, (he’s three, almost four years old now), I felt I needed to do so regardless.  Even though I bond with my son and have no resentment that I sadly felt I had when I was nursing him, I still didn’t want any of what I felt then to carry with him for his life.  Being a Christian, I also prayed over us and asked God to heal any brokeness that might have lingered.
Even though my breastfeeding journey with Nolan was hard, it went on for 24 months.  He had self weaned when I was pregnant with Harper.
What would she I have done different? There’s really not much I think I could have done with what I knew.  The only thing I had wished I did do is talk to someone.  Perhaps I then would have known that I wasn’t alone in those feelings.  Or that someone could have had shed light that maybe I was dealing with postpartum depression.  I am so thankful for God’s grace and that He was with me every step.  Even if I didn’t see it all then.  Seeing the bigger picture now, there’s no denying.  I know things could have been so much worse.
I also choose to be so open about it all in hopes that if anyone else is going through the same thing, they know they aren’t alone.  There is support out there!”

You can check out Sarah’s blog here.

Do you have any advice for these acrobatic feeders? If so, please comment or send me an email!

 

Join me next week as I  go over best foods for nursing and feature 2 more awesome Moms!

In the meantime, be sure to check out my recent post, Mom VS. Mom: The Great Debate!

 

 

About The Author

Lauren

2 COMMENTS

  1. Victoria | 11th Sep 17

    Lol!! This is hilarious 😂 I love your writing style. My son was a Mr. Suck a Little, Look a Little 😂😂😂 he was also a yanker 😫 And yes, the novelty DOES wear off, quickly!! Hahaha

    • Lauren | 12th Sep 17

      Bahah thank you!!

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