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Thread: daughter won't open wide

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default daughter won't open wide

    My daughter won't open her mouth wide, but instead purses her lips as if she is going to drink from a straw. She is almost 4 weeks old now. I got a nipple shield from our lactation consultant, but that still doesn't seem to encourage her to open wide, since it can just slide in. Does anyone have any good tips?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: daughter won't open wide

    Try talking to your baby and telling her to "Open" as you show her what to do by opening your own mouth really wide. It's amazing how babies can imitate our facial expressions! And this really seems to work a lot of the time with small mouth latches.

    Dr Jack Newman's website actually has videos of latches, including the assymetrical latch which may help you with your little one ...

    See "Third Latch" here.

    What really helped my baby when her latch wasn't wide enough is making a nipple sandwich (I know ... weird name )? To get a correct latch tickle your baby's lips with your nipple. Then you wait until he/she opens wide. Then you smoosh down your areola (the dark area surrounding your nipple), this will make it fit easier and help baby take in more of your breast. Your areola should hit your baby's bottom lip first, then the top lip. Your baby should have more areola on the bottom in their mouth than on the top (so baby's bottom lip is farther away from the nipple than the top lip). You should find this makes nursing much more comfortable for you. Essentially you are shaping the nipple to get more breast tissue into your baby’s mouth.

    Here are some more really helpful pages on latching correctly ...


    Latching and Positioning Resources

    Latching: Thoughts on pushing baby's chin down to aid baby opening wide when latching

    Regarding the nipple shield, I would caution against using it ... especially if only to try and get her to latch wider (I'm not exactly sure why the LC thought that would help??). Nipple shields can introduce a host of all new problems nursing and are sometimes very difficult for the baby to wean from.

    I'm sure other mamas will be along shortly with more good advice and tips for you ... let us know how things progress for you. Good luck!

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

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