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Thread: The Apex of Distraction

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Oregon
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    95

    Default The Apex of Distraction

    Hi there,

    Just checking in for some feedback about my technique to make it through what appears to be the most intense height of distraction yet for my LO. He will be 10 months old this weekend. Breastfeeding has become a workout! I seriously have to wrangle him, like he's a bucking bronco, or a gymnastics champion, back to the breast. Once he gets there, he nurses ravenously. Up until that point he wrestles, fights me and even screams. He can keep that suck going for about 5 minutes and then he's off again, and I just keep pulling him back. All very embarrassing when we try this in public. (My friends are probably thinking "he doesn't want to nurse, quit forcing him!") And then there's the milk spray when he suddenly pulls off. Lots of fun in public. The best sessions we have are on walks after we reunite from my work day, in the ergo carrier. He gets singularly focused and nurses like a champ. At bedtime he is pretty good side lying, IF and only IF he is tired, but if I'm trying to work him down he twists and turns and it's just sooooo annoying. He's also good int he early morning feeds. Most dream feeds are okay but if he wakes up next thing I know he is sitting up looking at me smiling (super cute but not at 3 am).
    This morning before work we did manage to get the wake up feeding in without distraction. But the one before I left was really difficult. I think I clocked 18 minutes, which sounds good, but so much of it was putting him back on.
    Here is what I am doing to minimize distraction:
    Bringing along a toy: his "BF Bunny" (Best friend or breast feeding Bunny). He ends up tossing this off me and it seems to cause more trouble lately.
    Dimmer room: our bedroom, which has less natural light. The trouble is no room in the house is boring to him. Everything is an adventure!
    Being patient: not freaking out, using a very calm voice and lots of snuggles, caressing and reinforcing the "milk" sign. I will usually say "No, it's time for milk".
    I can't always nurse in the carrier, obviously. I do believe that when I'm with friends I will have to leave the room. And I can't even imagine restaurants.
    This is frustrating because I love breastfeeding, I love our BFing relationship, and having to leave the room or hide makes this take more time and I want to seamlessly blend breastfeeding into our regular routine. Ha, maybe I am asking too much.
    We are going to be on a plane for 4.5 hours in a month. I am shuddering to think how that is going to work! I'm thinking ergo there too?
    Please tell me your tips in case I haven’t tried them. And long term breastfeeding mamas, please help assure me this is only a phase! My goal is definitely at least 2 years, even with working full time outside the home. I know at some point he will calm down but that time can’t come soon enough!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,924

    Default Re: The Apex of Distraction

    Yes, it is just a phase. My LO got a lot more focused after she turned one, and a phrase I commonly hear about young toddlers is "nursing like a newborn." As for getting through this distractible phase... personally if LO was too distracted, I gave up on nursing at that particular moment. At the end of the day these are little animals (at least that's how I think of it!) and they'll eat when they're hungry - unlike the first few weeks of life, when it's really vital they eat every couple hours, for an older baby who has been growing well it's okay if they eat short snacks during the distracted periods and longer meals at other times. ie, don't feel you need to keep baby on the breast for X number of minutes each time - he'll even things out! My LO definitely nursed more avidly at night during this phase, which was tiring for me, but at the end of the day, she got what she needed. And, if you work outside the home (I do as well), that nighttime nursing is great for boosting supply at a time when lots of mothers struggle with their workday pump output. I think dimmer room, nursing in the carrier, being patient are all good. You're doing great mama!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: The Apex of Distraction

    Mine is 8 months, and I don't think we ever have nursing sessions that last more than five minutes, except for the bedtime nurse down. We just have a LOT of sessions. A lot of really acrobatic sessions, ha!

    The frequent short sessions are actually helpful before the work day for me--have a sip, take a shower. Have a sip, get dressed. Have a sip, pack my bottles. Have a sip, pack lunch. She gets her meal, we get ready, she gets to play...because all of those sips are with her on the floor doing something else, of course!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: The Apex of Distraction

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*garsmum View Post
    Hi there,
    Here is what I am doing to minimize distraction:
    Bringing along a toy: his "BF Bunny" (Best friend or breast feeding Bunny). He ends up tossing this off me and it seems to cause more trouble lately.
    Dimmer room: our bedroom, which has less natural light. The trouble is no room in the house is boring to him. Everything is an adventure!
    Being patient: not freaking out, using a very calm voice and lots of snuggles, caressing and reinforcing the "milk" sign. I will usually say "No, it's time for milk".
    I can't always nurse in the carrier, obviously. I do believe that when I'm with friends I will have to leave the room. And I can't even imagine restaurants.
    You said your LO was 10 months ... well at about that time with my LO, his nursing behavior was similar. He was just so busy busy busy all the time -- some nursing sessions were focused (usually the same ones you mention -- early morning, the after-work "we're reunited again" nurse, bedtime, and overnight) and the rest were kind of catch-as-catch-can with a lot of gymnurstics. He was so efficient at nursing though that even a very short session seemed effective. We also just couldn't nurse in public anymore -- baby just had zero interest in it, because the world was much too fascinating. So I would make sure to nurse before we left the house. So that might just be how things are for now.

    The BF Bunny idea is good -- you say he tosses it a lot though. I use a lovey for this (I have one that LO never took to but it comes in handy for this purpose) -- it's a plush frog with a four-cornered blanket body, each corner has a little knot in the fabric. I tuck one corner under my bra band (in the center between my breasts), so the knot is anchored securely and the lovey rests up over my chest. LO can play with it (with some gentle redirection and praise from me when he uses it) -- squeeze it, pull on it, and yes sometimes he likes to thump it against my chest a bit -- but he can't throw it. A nursing necklace or a scarf with bright colors and/or interesting textures can also serve this purpose.

    Another thing that helps sometimes is if I hold and play with his hands, do a little patty cake or kiss them (this makes him laugh, it's like we're playing a game), and sometimes massage them a little. Also, I can usually stop the wild bicycling of the feet by holding his foot and giving him a foot massage while he nurses!

    You mentioned being patient -- yes, definitely, this helps us. I also just don't try to force it though. After about 30 seconds of squirmy worm behavior, with me patiently trying to to redirect and calm his body, I'll say, "Calm down buddy, you have to be still if you want to nurse." And then if it keeps going, I'll say "Let's play for a little and get the wiggles out" and sit on the floor with him and play. Then in a few more minutes, he'll ask or I'll offer to nurse again, and then usually the second try, he's calmer.

    Good luck mama, hope you find some helpful tools for your rodeo baby

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,500

    Default Re: The Apex of Distraction

    Yep. This was the distractible time for us, too. I couldn't NIP for a couple months, because DS3 would pop off every other second, leaving me exposed. It got better, though, and eventually I was able to start NIP again, but only when DS3 was really asking for it.
    ~Sylvia~

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!


    Daughter of God

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: The Apex of Distraction

    I never kept my boys at the breast whenever they were like this, I felt they probably weren't actually hungry, more like nursing for a bit of comfort or mummy time in between other more inportant stuff! I'd just wait until they settled down, and actually nursed properly when they were hungry, however, I imagine that if you are working, you definitely want to try to get a good nursing session in before leaving for work.

    I would probably tell bub this, talk to him about getting a nice full tummy of milk before you go. He may not understand it now, but eventually he will.

    The phase does definitely pass though.

    All the best.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: The Apex of Distraction

    Thanks everyone - it hasn't improved yet, but we've found that nursing in the Ergo carrier is the best way to get him to focus and he can still check out the world. I would definitely just put him down and try later if I didn't have to walk out the door, which I do on weekends when he can make it up later. But yes, working moms need to get tht good last feeding in before leaving and after getting home! With the Ergo I just put the hood up and I'm not as exposed while I walk around. This is my plan Wednesday when we catch two long flights across the country. Hope it works!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: The Apex of Distraction

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*garsmum View Post
    Thanks everyone - it hasn't improved yet, but we've found that nursing in the Ergo carrier is the best way to get him to focus and he can still check out the world. I would definitely just put him down and try later if I didn't have to walk out the door, which I do on weekends when he can make it up later. But yes, working moms need to get tht good last feeding in before leaving and after getting home! With the Ergo I just put the hood up and I'm not as exposed while I walk around. This is my plan Wednesday when we catch two long flights across the country. Hope it works!
    I hope it works for your flight! I totally agree, nursing in the carrier helps a lot. When we take my baby on walks or even just in my kitchen, she seems interested in nursing. Today she was in her Ergo and I literally ate my lunch standing in the kitchen while feeding her some chicken for her lunch, and then would would nurse in between bites ! It was convenient and so funny.

    I hope it gets better for you eventually! Mine just started crawling and pulling up on furniture, and there is no way she will just lay down and nurse unless she is starving or tired, so the carrier definitely helps. Also offering very frequently, I've found she often will change her mind within 30 min- 1 hour.
    and Mama to two little girls

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