What to do if a baby is distracted during breastfeeding?
Baby latching, sucking for a few minutes, pulling off, and getting ready to face the world?
You're dealing with a baby who is distracted!
A distracted baby when breastfeeding is very normal, despite the difficulty and extreme frustration it might cause, and the stage typically passes fast.
Additionally, it's developmentally normal for older babies, so you may relax.
Mama, you'll get through this trying time! To get through this short phase, all you need is a little bit of patience and a few techniques on your sleeve.
Why Do Babies While Nursing Get Distracted?
Simply put, as babies get older, all they want to do is look around and interact with the new world they are experiencing rather than eating.
When so many interesting and novel things are vying for their attention, they struggle to focus on nursing!
At what age do infants become distracted during nursing?
After a baby turns two months old, distracted nursing can occur at any time. It can happen at any time after that, although it often peaks between 3 and 5 months.
The Positive News
A baby under the age of 15 months is extremely unlikely to self-wean, and your infant is not yet ready to stop nursing entirely.
How To Manage A Distracted Infant While Nursing
Is it occurring after feedings? This can indicate that your infant is no longer hungry. As babies get older and more efficient, they frequently produce more milk in less time.
Do they consume too much solid food? Babies may eat too much solid food and become too full to receive any more breast milk.
Any significant changes to your surroundings? Your infant may occasionally withdraw from nursing due to anything as simple as a new perfume or deodorant.
Tried and Tested Expert Tips to Feed A Distracted Baby
Allow your infant to pause. When they have finished taking in everything new about them, gently nudge their head back to the breast to see if they will continue to nurse.
Get away from any outside influences. Is there anywhere peaceful and quiet where you can nurse? You may even try to dim the lights.
Play with the volume. Some infants respond well to feeding while listening to music, while others want total silence. You might try singing gently, "shushing" your child or speaking in gentle, comforting tones.
It might be teething. When teething, babies may feed less frequently. Consider giving your child a frozen teething ring or something else chilly to gnaw on before a feeding.
Adjust your posture. You can breastfeed in a relaxed manner while lying down. You might try nursing while moving (like walking, swaying, or walking). Consider nursing while wearing a baby.
Carry out a nursing cover. Use a shawl, scarf, or nursing cover to conceal any visual disturbances as a quick and simple way to eliminate distractions.
Create a nursing schedule. Try nursing in the same chair, same room, and while doing the same thing so the baby associates that environment with actively breastfeeding. We know this isn't always possible.
Establish eye contact. Sometimes keeping them focused on eating and soaking up the mama love during breastfeeding is as simple as maintaining eye contact.
IF NOTHING WORKS, WHAT THEN?
If all else fails, try again later when your baby will likely be more hungry and engaged.
And keep in mind, if they go too long between sessions, you can always pump to maintain your milk supply (and for relief!).