Being a parent is full of challenges, full of responsibility for needs that you have to fulfill. It doesn’t help when the baby doesn’t seem very willing to play along. Sleep is going to be one of your hot-button issues, but for some women, feeding can be a trial, too. Some babies latch on without issue and give their mothers very little hassle. Others, however, seem to like making a test. Here are a few ways you can encourage a little cooperation and make feeding a little less stressful.
Get them comfortable
Chairs from manufacturers like The Rocking Chair Company have obvious benefits for helping you get your baby off to sleep at night time and for making it much easier to sit back and feed. However, the motion of rocking makes it a much more pleasant experience for the baby as well. Young children can work themselves up and genuinely stress out when they need to be fed. If a baby is stressing out, it might not be as likely to notice the fact you’re trying to feed them, rather content to stay fussy instead. Helping them calm down can make them much more likely to latch onto you without being too rough.
Support them properly
You might always be careful to support your baby when you’re holding them, but for them to feed properly, they need a little more gentle care on top of that. Slings and baby wraps, as suggested by Breastfeeding Magazine, can help you keep them in the perfect position even when you’re tired out and your arms feel like they could fall off. Babies can take plenty of time to both latch on and feed, so getting comfortable with them and gently brushing the nipple against the baby’s lips while waiting for them to do so is important. They might not do that if they’re not upright, and able to both breathe and swallow comfortably.
Know if you need a little help
Once they latch on, things might go swimmingly. However, there are signs of trouble that you should be on the lookout for, as well. Soreness and tenderness are usual when breastfeeding first starts. However, if you feel pinching, biting, or prolonged soreness, it might be a sign something isn’t going right. Similarly, if your nipple is looking cracked or is bleeding after a feed, there may be an issue. Women with flat or inverted nipples can have trouble feeding, which is bad for them and the baby. However, doctors and lactation consultants can help you work around those problems. It’s not normal for any of these signs of discomfort or difficulty to occur, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have solutions. Just be on the lookout for them.
There’s nothing wrong with relying more on pumps and formulas if you’ve tried all the above but your baby still isn’t latching on. Babies bond just fine with their mother whether they’re fed from the nipple or artificial nipple. The act of feeding, touching, and paying attention is what’s important.