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Thread: Trouble with Cradle Hold

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    112

    Default Trouble with Cradle Hold

    Since my LO was a preemie and had trouble staying latched at first, the lactation consultant in the NICU had me start off breastfeeding with the reverse cradle hold. Now I have trouble with the regular cradle hold, because my LO likes to do this head bobbing thing when he first starts a nursing session (I think to control the flow). He can stay latched just fine while doing this if I am holding him in the reverse cradle, so I end up doing this during the initial let-down until he settles down. Then I try to quietly switch him into the regular cradle hold while he is still nursing. Sometimes it works with no problems, but most of the time he will start to head bob again (probably because has been disturbed) and will pop off.

    Sometimes I think that if I started him off in the cradle hold, he would stay on just fine (I would just put my other hand behind his head for a minute until he settles), but I have a really hard time trying to steer him onto my breast this way. Anyone have any tips? It would make nursing in public much easier because I would have a hand free to hold the blanket up like a screen (he doesn't seem to like having it draped over his face while nursing).

    I hope I'm making sense. I'm really sleepy today. :P

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,770

    Default Re: Trouble with Cradle Hold

    Hmmm. We did this too. I had to start her with the reverse cradle so I could help her latch on, and then I'd switch to the regular cradle. Eventually I was able to start her with the cradle right away, but it took some practice before we were able to latch successfully. I learned how to use my arm to firmly guide her forward to the breast, and she learned how to find the breast a little more on her own.

    I'm not sure I have any suggestions other than to keep working at it. It might just take some practice. Do you use a Boppy or some other nursing pillow? I think that helped me early on because it gave me some support under my arm for the regular cradle, so I could hold her head a little steadier. In the reverse cradle, I kept my hand firmly on her head until my other arm was securely under her head and supporting her tightly against me for the cradle hold. Then I'd let go with the reverse cradle hand.

    I'd say keep practicing. With time, you'll both catch on and get more comfortable with it!
    I love my kids. I care for them accordingly. What more can I say?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    791

    Default Re: Trouble with Cradle Hold

    Is the reverse cradle the same as cross cradle? I think so. Anyways, I think I used that pose for at least the first 3-4 months. I was kind of disappointed because I had watched other friends use the cradle hold, and felt like we would never be able to. However, that of course changed, just like everything always does with our little ones. Just stick with it and it will get better!!!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Trouble with Cradle Hold

    Thanks - that makes me feel better. I do have a boppy, but that seems to make it more difficult. I have a short torso, so it lifts the baby too high for me to get my arm in underneath him. I had a really successful cradle hold nursing session today. I don't know if it was because I fed him while he was barely awake, or if it was because I decided to try cradling him in a blanket while nursing. Maybe it was a combo of the two. I saw a friend doing it with a blanket the other day, which is what gave me the idea. Maybe it makes him feel more cozy and secure. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this type of successful session will soon become the norm.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,701

    Default Re: Trouble with Cradle Hold

    FWIW, I've never been able to do the cradle hold because of the geography of my nipple. The latch feels wrong. We're going on 9.5 months of cross-cradle nursing in our house!

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