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Thread: Sucking Reflex

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    16

    Default Sucking Reflex

    My son is now 9 weeks old and has recently started to find his fingers. He keeps shoving his fist in his mouth and is really looking for his thumb to soothe himself.

    He gets very frustrated when he makes progress and some how his hand mysteriously disappears. It's very cute to watch.

    Anyways, after an hour of this in the evening, as he was trying to badly to fall asleep, I decided to give him my breast so that he could satisfy his sucking reflex. He nursed for about 5 minutes and then let go because he was obviously saying "i'm not hungry, i just want to suck".

    But shouldn't my breast be his source of comfort? Is this the end of comfort sucking for us? I thought that babies could do different sucks in order to get milk or not get milk. I thought he'd prefer my boob over anything else to suck.

    I tried the pacifier for the first time just to see how much he wanted to just suck and rejected that several times as well.

    So what's the deal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,262

    Default Re: Sucking Reflex

    The deal is that he's 9 weeks old. He has a lot to figure out, and this is a big one for him. Fussy evenings are par for the course at this age, and babies often just can't decide how to get to sleep. Suck on fingers? Nurse? Cry? It can leave mom and dad tearing their hair out, but it's normal. It doesn't necessarily mark the end of comfort nursing- but it could mean that your LO is transitioning into a stage where comfort sucking is less time-consuming, and just a couple of minutes will get the job done, or where he has discovered alternatives to nursing to get his needs met. Maybe at one particular moment he wants to rock in the rocking chair, or have a bath, or go outside, or take a ride in the stroller, and save nursing for another time.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,110

    Default Re: Sucking Reflex

    This is my 3rd baby and I thought I knew it all. Well, DD3 doesn't like to comfort nurse which is a big problem for me as I'm used to nurse my babies to sleep. I feel like a first time mom that can't figure out how to put her DD to sleep I'm still hoping this will change, she's only 11 weeks old.
    Keep trying different things, that's all I can suggest

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon
    Posts
    916

    Default Re: Sucking Reflex

    I say keep trying to comfort nurse, I think many times we (yesnincluding myself here, lol) misread baby cues. He's only 9 weeks old, I'm sure there is much more comfort b0nursing in your future. He may just be getting a bit frustrated at the breast as he waits for letdown, or as it letsdown and is forceful, just try again and see if it helps.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,744

    Default Re: Sucking Reflex

    Agree with all pps, this could be anything or nothing. It is wonderful you are happy to have your baby comfort nurse and that is what is important. Sometimes babies have other plans, and those plans change with great rapidity.

    For long term unwillingness to comfort nurse, I would consider if forceful letdown or some other discomfort when nursing is the issue.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Sucking Reflex

    Yes, I am definitely still having forceful letdown issues. So much so that I don't like nursing in public because it sounds like is that I'm drowning my child. He spits up, chokes, fidgets, etc.
    It's quite embarrassing for me.

    I do laid back nursing at home, but it's hard to get in those positions in nursing rooms or in public bathrooms, kwim?

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