More Breastfeeding Tips?
Yes, because the learning never stops with breastfeeding! That’s what makes it so cool. When your baby reaches 6 months old, there are a few milestones that happen. These infant milestones affect their breastfeeding habits and you should be prepared for the changes because as breastfeeding moms, we often wonder what’s normal and what’s not.
I’ve shared a few tips for breastfeeding before, but what about the next leap? This is my list of ‘that’s totally normal’ things that will happen during your breastfeeding journey as your baby grows.
Keep in mind that 6 months old is just a round about number. These things can start happening a bit before 6 months old, or a little bit after.
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So what happens at 6 months old?
A lot is happening around 6 months of age. Baby is most likely teething, learning to move around on their own, and probably being introduced to solids.
They start to feel more independent, although they’re still completely dependent on your (“their”) boobies.
Baby is becoming a lot more active and not wanting to sit still for long periods of time.
What used to be a quiet, calm, sweet, 30-45 minute nursing session will now become the complete opposite.
I’m going to walk you through a few things that’ll happen during these next few months. Of course each baby is different but these are a few ‘good to know’ changes that can happen when breastfeeding a growing infant. Let’s get to it!
1. Baby will act fussy at the breast as if there’s no milk left.
This is usually just baby being impatient with a slow letdown. Don’t let this worry you into thinking your milk supply has dropped. Stay hydrated and your body will work with baby and his cues.
To help your letdown come a bit faster, try looking at your baby, thinking baby thoughts, rubbing their back, and holding their free hand while nursing. Looking at and thinking about your baby always helps milk production.
If you have a breast pump, and the time, you can also pump for a few seconds before latching baby to get the stimulation going. This may help with their impatience.
2. They’ll start to pop on and off the boob to avoid falling asleep.
Your baby is at the age now where he realizes milk = sleep.
Of course at this age they’re more interested in what’s going on around them and they don’t wanna take a nap. So they do everything in their power to stay awake.
But uh, nice try baby, we all know you need one! Hang in there mama. Baby will get to sleep eventually! Try nursing in a dark, quiet space to help calm baby and encourage sleep.
3. Your boob and your face will start to become the victim of scratching and pulling.
Baby is definitely using his hands by now and learning that he can touch whatever he sees. Your boob, chin, and mouth area will become prime targets while nursing.
Keep those nails trimmed and try to distract baby by holding their free hand or grabbing one of these silicone nursing necklaces to keep baby busy.
If it becomes painful (yeah, they can get rough!), unlatch baby, say no no, and keep reinforcing those manners. They’ll catch on eventually that they have to be nice or the boob goes away.
4. Teeth will be coming in soon if they haven’t already.
That’s a scary thought right? A mouth full of teeth launching towards your nipple? But don’t worry too much. Those bottom teeth come in first and they’ll be covered by baby’s tongue.
The only time I ever feel them is if baby is falling asleep at the breast and their latch starts to get lazy. But if I wiggle myself a bit, baby will wake up and fix it – or just get off completely.
5. Biting might happen.
I’ve only had two breastfed babies so I can’t say for certain, but I’m sure this is just different with every kid.
I’ve read all the breastfeeding tips ever written I feel like and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone openly admit this part.
My first breastfed baby bit me one time and my reaction alone was enough to make her never do it again. I think she was probably around 10 months old? I’m not quite sure. But it was rough. The neighbors probably heard me scream.
My second nursing baby is a different story. It’s happened a few times with him. But it’s usually only been when he’s falling asleep. He starts to stretch, bites down, and man oh man it kills me every time.
But when it happens, just stick your finger inbetween your boob and baby, unlatch them, and explain that heck no that can’t happen.
And give your poor nip a break for a minute.
6. You’re doing awesome.
That’s the last thing you need to know. You and your baby have come so far. They are still receiving sooo many great benefits from your milk. Don’t get discouraged with these next few months and the obstacles you may face. You and your baby will overcome these changes. Keep reinforcing positive breastfeeding manners and you will prevail!
To read more breastfeeding tips and advice, check out these articles below.