Baby starts to wiggle when breastfeeding once they become more alert by their surroundings. Their sensory developments are constantly increasing and as they discover them all they want to do is to try out their new skill. Frankly, they are fascinated by it.
The distractible baby can kick, toss, turn, pull off and then suck again a few times while breastfeeding. This generally happens around 2–3 months and might increase again by around 4–5 months. The problems are generally not seen in older babies but it can knock the door again at around 9–10 months when the baby will start to walk or crawl easily. Mothers can also experience the problem at the time when the baby is going through a wonder week or is colicky.
When any skill develops baby will have a hard time concentrating on nursing especially if there are distractions around. He will turn his head around a lot without realizing that the nipples are no longer in his mouth, which can be quite frustrating especially if the baby is young and you have to, again and again, latch him on.
Even though this problem will not be solved completely, try to do these things to make him latch on for a while without wiggling.
- Nurse more at night: It doesn’t matter when the baby gets it’s calories as long as he is getting it. At night time there are less outside noises and less light. Also, the baby might be tired due to his day shenanigans so he will have less energy to get into any action while feeding. Night time is also a good time to make up for all the missed out day sessions.
- Nurse in a boring dark room. This will have the same effect on the baby as above. There are fewer chances of him pulling off if there is nothing more interesting he can find.
- Keep all the distractions at bay. This includes his toys or anything which soothes him. Babies are generally not asleep while feeding especially at the start. They are very active and love to move their eyes around or sometimes turn completely. And if during the process he sees something highly precious to him like a pacifier or a stuffed toy then getting him back to have your breast will be a little difficult.
- Try to nurse when the baby is either sleepy or just woke up from sleep. Babies are more willing to nurse when they are either half asleep or when they wake up because they are already hungry. So, it’s best that you feed him then.
- Cover the baby with a shawl or a sling, so even if he will wiggle a lot, all he can see is dark boring shawl or sling.
- Try to nurse while rocking him or move your hands around his head in slow motion. Babies love their mother’s touch and this might bind them for a while. Also, talk to him slowly or read something, this way the soothing and calming mother’s voice is already a distraction to the baby and he will easily breastfeed.
- Try football position/straddle position or lying down position so that the baby has less room to turn his head around. When the baby pulls off, he might pull your nipple too which can hurt. And breaking the suction, again and again, is not easy. Which is why football position or lying down position is such a life saver for you.
Remember, the wiggling baby is just a phase and will come and go as the baby goes through development. So, don’t worry, it’s nothing to be concerned about. As long as your babies pee and poop count is normal and he looks happy, things will probably be okay in a while.