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Thread: Need to fix a bad habit

  1. #1

    Default Need to fix a bad habit

    My baby had a 7 month long nursing aversion. She's a million times better, but I have allowed her to develop some bad habits in effort to get her back to the breast. She's 9.5 months old. She nursed in the dark for 7 months, so she's essentially seeing my breasts for the first time since she's been an older baby.

    Anyway, she sucks her thumb at my breast before latching. And pinches and plays with the nipple/breast right before latching. Maybe she knows it helps the milk get there faster, maybe she's just playing, I don't know. When she started doing this, I encouraged it and made silly sounds when she did it because I saw it as a good sign that she was actually showing some interest in my breasts instead of violently refusing.

    But her nails are sharp and sometimes she even leaves little scabs, and it's impossible to nurse her in public if I have to let her do all that before latching. I nursed her at a restaurant and was really exposed while she was doing her thing.

    I've tried a necklace and that just distracts her from nursing altogether.

    OR, if I could teach her to nurse with a cover, it would help. Anyone have luck teaching an older baby to nurse with one?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,110

    Default Re: Need to fix a bad habit

    Have you tried a cover? You might be surprised and she might not notice it

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,417

    Default Re: Need to fix a bad habit

    First off, I am really impressed that you are still nursing after all you have gone through! So happy to hear things are so much better!

    So, just FYI, not that this is particularly helpful, but the pinching and playing at the breast are normal and often crop up in later baby hood or early toddlerhood. I personally think it is a combo of a kneading behavior and playing/learning-baby has developed a nice pincher grip, and wants to try it out and lets face it, momma's nipple is the perfect size and shape for this.

    For the ouchy nails, I know this sounds obvious-but can you cut & file them shorter and blunter? I always cut and filed my babies nails in thier sleep.

    For prolonged play prior to latching-Just prior to and during latch on is typically the hardest part of NIP to do "discreetly." Maybe you can turn away from the room, or cover up just for that time, or strategically place a diaper bag or menu or something in front of you (I have had my husband hold up a newspaper) during this time? Once baby is latched and nursing you can turn back or drop the cover or 'screen' as you like.

    For the thumb sucking, do you have to be 'out' for this? If thumb sucking helps baby latch, can you ask/signal her to do this prior to uncovering your breast? Sometimes when I was not sure if my kids were going to nurse or not in public, I would kind of start to uncover-unsnap the strap of my tank or bra, and then bring baby to my breast-'assume the position' so to speak, and then judge by ther behavior/interest at that point if they were going to go for it or not. Maybe some move on your part would start the thumbsucking but let you keep covered until your baby is ready?

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