Watching babies develop is so incredibly fun, but for the mama, can make things more difficult as your little ones become distracted when it’s time to nurse them. Inevitably, baby will discover that there is more to the world than just mama or, he is so busy mastering his new skills (like crawling right now). This can cause concerns for any mama, but there are things you can do to try and help.
Find a quiet place to nurse baby. While in theory, this is a great idea, it isn’t always possible. Having a 2 year old to keep an eye on means not leaving the room to go nurse baby quietly. And, well, that 2 year old sister is usually the distraction! If however, this does work, finding a quiet, dark place to feed baby may be all that you need to help him stay focused.
Use a shawl, nursing cover, blanket, etc. For some, this is fool proof and works every time. For others, baby will have nothing to do with being covered up. For us, what works best is to cover his ear with a blanket. That seems to cut down on the things he can hear and he is able to nurse without as many distractions.
Try nursing baby in different positions and holds. Sometimes, by changing the position of babies heads, they don’t see whatever is is that was distracting them in the first place.
Nurse more often. If baby gets distracted every time you nurse him, try offering the breast more often. This way, the shortened nursing sessions because of the distractions don’t cause a drop in your milk supply or for baby to end up being hungry.
Maintain eye contact with baby during each feeding. Sometimes, just keeping baby focused on your face is all that he needs to keep from being distracted.
Try feeding baby when he is the most hungry. If you offer the breast too soon, baby may quickly become bored and distracted. If you wait a bit longer, but not to the point where baby is starving or crying to eat. Because he is more than a little hungry, he will focus more on the task at hand.
Nurse in motion. Sometimes simply walking around or bouncing or rocking is all that baby needs to keep from getting distracted.
Wear a nursing necklace. Last but certainly not least. This has been the most effective for us. I wear my necklace every single day and it’s awesome. They make them so cute that long after our breastfeeding days are over, I will still wear this necklace. But it doesn’t have to be a necklace, it could be a toy or something else. Just something to keep those little hands busy while baby nurses.
What are your tried and true (or not so much) tricks for breastfeeding the distracted baby? While nothing works for every baby, I hope some of these tips help make breastfeeding a little easier for you and your little one.