Breastfeeding Your Distracted Eater

For most breastfeeding moms, life is a series of great successes and new challenges. In the early days, many moms experience difficulty learning to latch and trouble with over- or under-supply. Towards the end of nursing, there can be challenges with balancing solids and milk weaning in a way that makes sense for both mom and baby. And, often, a few months into their nursing journey, many moms deal with a very distracted eater.

distracted eater
Image via Pixabay

{ MORE: Pro Surfer Bethany Hamilton Celebrates the Beauty of Breastfeeding }

Around a four to six months of age, most babies become more aware of their surroundings and start to enjoy interacting with their surroundings, even when they're supposed to be nursing. For moms who need their baby to eat, this can be frustrating.

If you’ve got a little one who squirms, peeks, and plays when they're supposed to be eating, check out the tips below to help focus your distracted eater!

Take them somewhere quiet

One of the simplest tricks for helping a distracted baby focus is to take them somewhere quiet and calm. While you’re at home that might mean their nursery and, while you’re out and about, that might mean a quiet corner of the mall or a nursing room.

Dim the lights

Even if you can’t remove your baby from a distracting room, you might be able to dim the lights to create a calmer setting. If your babe cranes their neck to see what’s going on or continually latches and unlatches, try pulling the curtains or flipping the switch.

Give them something to hold

Sometimes, all a distracted eater needs is something to focus on. Your baby might be able to nurse without pause if they have a small textured blanket, a chunky necklace or a small toy to hold and pat as they eat.

Be patient

Like most breastfeeding challenges, this too shall pass. Count on nursing taking a few extra minutes for a few weeks or months and then, as baby grows more efficient, count on them to refocus on eating.

Get comfortable with changing routines

When you become a parent you quickly realize that you’re going to have to be flexible. As your breastfeeding relationship with your baby grows and evolves you’ll likely have to keep changing your routine, keep troubleshooting challenges and keep changing things up. 

{ MORE: Attention Moms: It's Okay to be Proud of Breastfeeding }

Good luck out there mamas!

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Breastfeeding Your Distracted Eater

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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