3 Ways to Help Mommies Breastfeed Older Babies
Growing babies have different nursing needs. Moms need to adjust as their babies reach new stages of infant development. Feeding an older baby is not as easy as feeding a new-born one, wherein crying often equates to milk time. From dealing with teeth and curious hands related scenarios to knowing when it’s already time to wean, we’ve summarized helpful tips to guide you with various concerns of nursing the older babies.
Teething and Biting
At around 4th to 7th month of your baby, teeth will start to grow. It is a common notion for new moms to believe that teething can be a sign to end breastfeeding. The thought of getting bitten is not at all enticing. But there are proper ways to a good latch wherein growing teeth will not be a problem. Of course, there will be chances that your babies might bite, but even so, it is seldom rare for your little one to cause damage to your skin.
Biting can also be a tricky issue for new moms. It normally happen at the start of breastfeeding before the sturdy flow of milk has begun or at the end of your session which can signify your baby had enough. Older infants are fascinated with cause and effect, that’s why the reaction from moms could be a bit of a game.
One way to discourage biting from your baby is to immediately remove her from the breast and say “No biting.” Put her on the floor or in her playpen and do other things. Eventually, she will learn that biting means no more attention from mommy and she should phase the habit out.
Growth Spurts and Moving Hands or Toes
Getting used to the nursing habits of your child takes time and just when you have mastered her behavior already, new growth spurt comes in. Growth spurts timing is usually frequent in earlier stages of baby development. Though it will be less often in older babies, say every three months, they are still going to happen. Just let your baby lead you as to her nursing needs during the transitions. Luckily, it usually last a few days.
Mommy’s milk is baby’s best friend. It is essential for their growth and surely tastes good, but when your baby learns to see the world and develop mobility, there will be lots of competition for her attention. Mommy’s hair, earrings, baby’s own foot or toys, there are plenty of things to pull or pinch!
It can be frustrating but you should remember that such progress is good and healthy for your child. To lessen movement and distraction, new moms use a nursing necklace or a special toy for baby to keep them quiet during their nursing sessions. You can also put off nursing until your baby is at ease and quiet.
Nursing Strikes and Weaning Time
Sudden refusal of a baby to nurse or nursing strike happens without any warning. It usually lasts a day or two, so just keep pushing. There could be different reasons for your baby’s nursing strike, say you tried eating something strange, changed your body care products like lotion, soap or deodorant, or you are pregnant. Your child is more cooperative and willing to nurse when they are sleepy, so try to breastfeed her during naptime or bedtime.
If they are still saying no after two days, it is best to visit your pediatrician to ensure that your baby has no ear infection or other medical concern that’s causing the interference in nursing.
On the other hand, when baby shows less and less interest to mommy’s milk, it could mean that it is now OK to wean. Other signals of weaning time is when nursing sessions make you angry or annoyed, you started working again and your baby likes it more to take milk from a bottle, or when you are having a hard time conceiving again. Weaning can be emotional both to the mom and the baby, but knowing the signs and preparing yourself and your baby to be ready will bring you pride and joy.