Breastfeeding may be “natural” but that doesn’t mean it always comes so naturally. We’ve got answers to all the breastfeeding basics – from how to help baby latch correctly to working through nipple confusion, we’ll get you schooled on how to be a breastfeeding pro.Here are some tips,
Ready for Food?
Babies have their own ways of communicating. When your little nurser grabs the banana from your hand and begins to slurp on it, it might be time for their first bit of solid food. This should never be before six months of age. If concerned about nutritional gaps that solid food will leave, start with rice cereal.
Bottle Training Ahead of Time.
Before going back to work and leaving your baby at the sitter’s or at daycare for the first time, you may want to introduce them to the bottle first, just so that transferring to the bottle will not be an additional shock to their sense of security. It shouldn’t take too much time to pump and feed with the bottle once a day so that it is not completely new to your baby, and nurse the rest of the day. This will also help you and your breasts get used to the pump quicker too.
Open Baby’s Mouth Properly.
Some mothers have reported trouble with proper latching techniques because their babies keep their tongues at the roof of their mouths. Pushing the tongue up is normal. If you take a close look at your child’s mouth as they nurse, you will see that the tongue helps extract the milk by pushing upward. The easiest way to combat this is to lure the baby’s mouth open. Cupping your breast, guide the baby’s mouth open by using the nipple and tracing a line downward from just under her nose.
She will instinctively open her mouth as this is done and have her tongue down for at least a tad, just enough for you to get her latched properly.
Importance of Burping.
Although breastfeeding, as opposed to bottle feeding, usually means babies take in less air, they still need to be burped. Not burping after nursing can give babies uncomfortable gas pains and make them fussy. Some babies find it easier than others and some must vary positions. The most common position is holding the baby over your shoulder and gently patting her on the back. If this doesn’t work you can sit her up on your lap, using one hand to support her chest and head from the front and the other to gently pat her back. You can also try holding the baby laying down across your lap. After burpring, she may want to nurse more, as she realizes that her tummy was filled with more than just milk.
During growth spurts you can expect your baby’s nursing to increase. This could mean an increase in the number of feedings per day or the amount of time the baby nurses to increase. Many times babies go through growth cycles at around two weeks, around one and a half months, three months, six months and so on. Take note of when your baby becomes more demanding for milk and they will likely be about to grow.
What To Do About Biting.
Although they understand that they are part of you again when nursing, babies do not comprehend that they might be hurting you. As you nurse older babies or teething babies, biting can then become a problem. Instead of letting your baby bite you because they don’t know any better, teach them better. Tell your baby ‘no’ gently and remove them from the breast. After you’ve composed yourself again, you can allow them back on. If the baby continues to bite, take a break from the baby so that they associate biting with losing nursing priveledges. Make sure you are helping with teething pain in other ways as well with either teething tablets, toys, or other soothing methods.