Why I Can’t Live Without My Beluga Baby Wrap (and You Shouldn’t Either!)

As a new mom to the sweetest little 8-week-old boy, a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old, life is busy! It’s hard to get everything done and give all my sweet babes the attention they crave and deserve. This is why I literally could not live without my wrap carrier. Baby wraps do more than just allow you to be hands-free, they help the baby (and you) in many, many ways. They promote bonding between mother and child, help with sleep and breastfeeding, calm a fussy baby, reduce overall crying, and encourage increased learning. If you have a new baby or if you are expecting, I recommend getting yourself a baby carrier. This post will explain how wearing your baby benefits both you and your little one and will give you a chance to win my favorite carrier the Beluga Baby Wrap.

Why a Wrap?

There are a lot of different types of carriers. The most common are soft-structured, ring slings and wrap style carriers. They all have different benefits, but for my newborn, I prefer the wrap style. A lot of carriers are not safe for a baby under 12 lbs or require a special newborn insert, so make sure you check the specifications of each carrier before you purchase.

I have a few different styles of wraps and carriers but my favorite right now is the Beluga Baby Wrap. It is made from bamboo fabric making it SO soft while still having a good amount of stretch. I love how breathable the fabric is as I found I got really hot in some of my thicker wraps. It is easy to use, fits all different body types, and rolls up small enough to tuck in your diaper bag. It also makes it easy for me to get things done while being close to my baby.

Wraps Free Up Your Hands

I often hear from new moms that their newborns “want to be held ALL the time”. This is completely normal for a newborn but can be incredibly overwhelming as a new parent. The first few days are glorious, snuggling your sweet baby, taking in those tiny toes and newborn smell. But after a few days, the reality sets in and it is hard to get much done when you are holding a newborn ALL the time. Babywearing offers the solution by providing your baby the closeness they need and freeing up your hands so you can eat a meal or throw a load of laundry in. Wearing your baby can also decrease how much they cry.

Wraps Help Calm a Fussy Baby and Reduce Crying

Babies go through fussy periods and evenings can be especially tough. I’ve been there, you go through the checklist: diaper’s clean, they’re fed, warm enough …what can be wrong? Sometimes they just need to be held. When my little guy is really fussy I put him in our wrap and he settles. It is magical. It is also scientifically proven, a 1986 study found that infants who were carried more had a decrease in crying by 43%. In turn, reduced infant crying is shown to increase the maternal sense of well-being and happiness. Basically, a happy baby equals a happy mama and babywearing makes everyone happy. To top it off, it also can help your baby learn more!

Babies Worn In Carriers Learn More

Wearing your baby decreases their overall crying and fussiness. This means they have more time to absorb social cues from you and the world around them. When babies are worn, they are closer to the wearer making it easier for them to pick up on their facial expressions and use of language. They also go where the wearer goes, so they are exposed to new and varied environments more than if they were to remain in one place. All of this adds up to more opportunities for the baby to learn, which might work up an appetite. And it doesn’t stop there, babywearing can improve your little one’s digestion!

Baby Wearing Can Improve Breastfeeding Success and Baby’s Digestion

Wearing your baby keeps them very close to you. This closeness increases your prolactin levels which in turn increases your milk supply. It’s the same reason that skin-to-skin at birth helps encourage your milk to come in. 

Being close to your baby also enables you to pick up on your baby’s hunger cues quicker allowing for more frequent feedings. Good thing you can nurse your baby while they are in the wrap! The upright position of your baby while in the wrap can help calm gas and colic and decrease reflux and its associated symptoms. Decreased discomfort can help your little one sleep better. 

Wraps Can Help With Sleep

Newborns sleep a lot. Their little bodies are developing at such a fast rate that they need frequent feedings and sleep to keep up. This can make going anywhere difficult. I love to use my wrap when I have errands to do. My little guy is not a fan of his car seat and won’t fall asleep in it. In the wrap, he will easily nap on the go while I shop, visit with a friend or take a walk. 

How To Use A Wrap Carrier

When I had my first baby I was nervous to try a wrap carrier. It seemed complicated but it actually isn’t that difficult. Some tips if you are new to babywearing are to watch an instructional video first, use a mirror the first few times to see what you are doing when tying your wrap and to tie it tighter than you think as the fabric will stretch to accommodate your baby. Whether the Beluga Baby Wrap or another carrier, make sure to follow the safety guidelines of the product you are using. 

Beluga Baby has some great tutorials on their site showing how to use and tie your wrap carrier properly. You can check them out here! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the Author:

Robin Forslund is a Registered Nurse, Lactation Counsellor and runs The Mama Coach in
Edmonton, Alberta. After welcoming her first daughter and struggling with sleep and
breastfeeding, Robin became passionate about helping other women find their confidence and
joy in motherhood. When she isn’t in the ER or helping other mamas, Robin can be found
enjoying all that life can offer surrounded by her two beautiful daughters, new baby boy, and
fabulous husband (probably with a coffee in hand).

Photo Credits
1 (Beluga group) –Credit: Sasha Blaney Photography
2 (Beluga Beach) -Credit: Sasha Blaney Photography
3 (baby crying) – Stock Photo ID: 305944762 Copyright: Rachaphak
4 (smart baby) – Stock Photo ID: 240351256 Copyright: inarik
5 (beluga sleep) -Credit: Sasha Blaney Photography
6 – (Beluga giveaway)- Credit: Sasha Blaney Photography

The Best Toys for 1 Year Old Boys – 25 Great Options

These 25 toys for your 1 year old boy keep him active, learning, and busy while crawling and playing on the floor. Let’s be pretty honest and upfront here, these toys are perfect for girls as well, but our sample size was 15 playful boys and their parents. Many of these toys have music, sounds, and lights to keep his attention while teaching them the basics like numbers, letters, and shapes.

best toys for 1 year old boys

Toys for 1 Year Old Boys That Encourage New Skills

Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube

best toys for 1 year old boys

This fun cube toy has light-up buttons that allow small hands to play a variety of musical instruments and even has a setting to bring them all together for eight Mozart compositions. With a simple design, this is an easy way to add music to mealtime, bath time, or playtime and baby can learn how instruments come together to create music.

Baby Einstein Discovering Music Table

best toys for 1 year old boys

Another great introduction to music is this music table. This toy has two settings, from a flat floor toy for 1 year olds to a standing music table toy once your baby can stand and play unassisted. The table as a variety of buttons that light up and teach baby about sounds, numbers, and songs.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

best toys for 1 year old boys

One of the most simple toys for a 1 year old is a classic stack up cup set. 1 year olds want to bang, stack, and play with all sorts of things. These cups offer quick entertainment from using them with other toys to playing with one or two during errands or mealtime. They are easy to clean and even have numbers on the bottom to introduce counting.

Developmental Bumpy Ball

best toys for 1 year old boys

1 year olds are always learning and developing. This developmental bumpy ball is great for developing motor skills, from grasping and holding to transferring and playing. The variety of textures and shapes helps baby learn about variety and sensitivity. The bright patterns help with vision, making this a great toy for learning and playing.

VTech Sit to Stand Learning Walker

best toys for 1 year old boys

Grow with me toys are great for 1 year olds, as they learn to walk and as they develop it’s good to have toys that they won’t outgrow for a few years. This grow-with-me learning walker goes from a floor toy to a wheeled walker, which gets baby moving as well as learning. The play panel is full of buttons that light up, make noise, and play songs.

LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book

It is never too early to start reading with your baby! This book is great because it will help to expand your one year old’s vocabulary. 

Fat Brain Toys Baby and Toddler Learning Toy Sensory Roller

Sensory toys are great for little ones, especially if they are brightly colored and safe to chew on! These little rollers are made of 100% food-grade silicone and BPA free. I especially love that they have chimes inside, which will catch your baby’s attention. 

Cars and Other Toys on Wheels

LUKAT Friction Powered Push Cars

Crawlers tend to be always on the move and these push cars will help channel their energy into playtime. This set of four cars are big enough for little hands to handle and offer your crawling 1 year old some support while they play. The fun colors and simple design make these a great toy for a 1 year old boy.

VTech Drop and Go Dump Truck

Some 1 year old boys are fascinated with trucks and this interactive dump truck provides the perfect opportunity for driving their very own truck and learning how a dump truck works. This truck has flashing buttons and a set of balls that goes into the cabin and ends up in the truck bed. There’s also a string in the front for pulling the truck while playing.

VTech Sit to Stand Ultimate Train

Riding toys are a great addition to any 1 year olds toy box. This sit to stand train grows with your child. First, it is a sitting toy where they can press the buttons on the train’s engine then it is a full standing and walking toy with a car to ride on. Any 1 year old boy can get years of play from this toy and learn a variety of skills with the interactive engine car.

Melissa & Doug Stacking Train

Your one year old is just figuring out how to make things move (including themselves!) making it a great age to get them their first train. This little wooden one will be the perfect addition to your playroom. 

VTech Baby Rattle Singing Puppy

This last toy is great for on the go because it’s fun, brightly colored, and easy for baby to hold onto while in the car or out and about. There’s a rattle in the bottom with a brightly colored dog top and a few buttons for playing music. There are no parts to go missing and it offers just as much fun all in one piece.

Best Toys That Will Keep Your 1 Year Old Boys Attention

Playskool Play Favorites Busy Poppin’ Pals

best toys for 1 year old boys

As a child approaches 1 year old, infant floor time turns into floor-based playtime. These Poppin’ Pals are a great interactive toy for playing on the floor. Your 1 year old can sit and learn the buttons to make each door raise, as well as how to close the door and watch their pals reappear.

Playskool Explore N’ Grow Busy Ball Popper

best toys for 1 year old boys

Another great Playskool toy is this ball popper. With a simple design, 1 year olds can learn independence as well as work on their motor skills. The balls pop up from the top and roll down the slide into the bottom, which gets them moving to gather the balls for more fun.

Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toys

Once the baby can sit unsupported in the bath, bath time becomes another place to play. For 1 year olds these float and play bubbles are a great addition to any bath. Each ball floats and has a fun sea creature in the middle along with bits that rattle. These are easy to clean, dry quickly, and can be fun outside of the bath as well.

Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat

The sprinkle and splash play mat allows children of any age to enjoy a splash pad in the backyard. This mat connects to a garden hose and the water pressure creates a fun sprinkle feature. The durable mat can last a few summers and provides the perfect place for splashing and enjoying the warm weather.

3 in 1 Pop Up Play Tent

best toys for 1 year old boys

For 1 year old boys that are full of energy and seem to be always on the go, this play tent is the perfect addition to any playroom or backyard. There are two ball pits, one on each end, with a tunnel connecting them. This is perfect for crawling around and playing in the balls. The tent folds and stores well, saving space in the playroom or storing in the offseason.

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Magical Lights Fishbowl

best toys for 1 year old boys

This fishbowl themed toy comes with removable fish and a bowl that has lights, sounds, and music. This is a great toy for playing with anywhere. All the fish fit into the bowl and this along with the interactive components make for hours of entertainment and fun.

Nursery Horse Rocker

Every child needs their very own rocker! I think this plush option from Pottery Barn is absolutely adorable, but it is also functional. It is easy for little ones to get on and off and rocks just the right amount. 

Gray Hippo Nursery Plush

I just can’t get over how adorable these plush hippos are. They are perfectly soft and cuddly. Your one year old might seem to be growing up alarmingly fast, but they still love to snuggle on occasion!

Twilight Buddies Lamb

Your baby is probably sleeping in their own room by this point, and this little lamb is the best way to give them a night light. They will love seeing the stars projected on the wall, and it might just distract them long enough to put them fast to sleep. 

 

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Cracked Nipples [The 8 Healing Tips You Need to Survive!]

Unfortunately, there’s a side to breastfeeding that isn’t often reflected on television or in your favorite celebs’ Instagram Stories: the grueling, day-to-day work moms put in to make it work, and the honest struggles you’ll face as a nursing mom. One of those struggles is cracked nipples, a condition that would be terrible under any circumstance, but which is particularly problematic when you have a little one desperate to eat every few hours – or sometimes non-stop!

Did you imagine breastfeeding to be an effortless, beautiful experience that would come naturally to you and your baby? Are you finding it more challenging than you imaged? You’re not alone! Breastfeeding can be a truly special experience. After all, it allows you to bond with your little one in a way that no one else can, and you can use your body to nourish human life – pretty amazing stuff. Unfortunately, chances are, if you commit to breastfeeding for any length of time, you’ll face this hardship (and possibly some serious nipple pain). All this means is that it is important to find ways to cope. Let’s start by taking a look at some of the common causes!

cracked nipples

What Causes Cracked Nipples?

There are a few culprits behind cracked or bleeding nipples.

  • Shallow Latch

    This is incredibly common, and it means the baby isn’t taking your nipple all the way to the back of his palate. Instead, it’s getting crushed against baby’s unforgiving gums or a hard part of the palate. This causes abrasions and breaks in the skin.

  • Tongue-Tie or Lip-Tie

    A tongue-tie is when a difference in your baby’s anatomy takes away some range of motion for her tongue, while a lip-tie means a piece of tissue behind baby’s upper lip is too thick or stiff to allow for the full range of motion. Both conditions often lead to a shallow poor latch.

  • Thrush

    This fungal infection can happen anywhere in the body, but it commonly affects babies and nursing mothers. It can cause severe pain and inflammation in the nipple area before, during and after feeds.

  • Bite

    Your baby loves to bite down on toys to lessen teething pain, and he may treat your nipple no differently! Though their teeth may be small, little ones can break the skin on your nipple fairly easily, leaving painful open wounds.

  • Milk Blister

    This common ailment is, essentially, a blocked nipple pore. It happens when a small piece of skin grows over the milk duct opening and milk flow becomes backed-up. It can cause pressure and pain, and it often makes breastfeeding more difficult. When these blisters “pop” they can leave a small, but painful injury.

cracked nipples

How to Survive Cracked Nipples – Eight Healing Tips

Cracked nipples can show up quickly, and you’ll want to take care of them with just as much haste. Pain from cracked nipples can jeopardize your breastfeeding success, but there are solutions that will allow you to continue nursing your baby.

1) Breast Milk 

You may already be familiar with the healing properties breast milk can have on everything from baby’s diaper rash to her ear infection, but this “liquid gold” can help breastfeeding mothers, too! After a feeding, spread a little breast milk on your sore nipple and let it air dry.

2) Lanolin

Many moms recommend this salve for cracked nipples, and you’ll want to get the medical-grade strength. It will keep the nipple surface moistened and promote healing. You can buy the salve here!

(NOTE: Lanolin is made from sheep products, so avoid it if you’re allergic to wool or if you need a vegan option.)

3) Organic Nipple Butter 

This ointment mimics the same healing properties as lanolin but is vegan-friendly. It’s also paraben-free. You can find some of our favorites here.

4) Hydrogel Pads 

These cooling gel pads are great when paired with either Lanolin or Organic Nipple Butter. You can place these on top of the ointment and they will act as a barrier between your nipple and your bra. Check out these soothing hydrogel pads that you can find at your local Walmart!

5) Nipple Shields 

This handy apparatus is typically used to help the baby develop a proper latch, but it can also be used during a nursing session to protect a painful, cracked nipple.

Check out our article about the pros and cons of nipple shields if you’d like more info!

6) Nipple Shells 

These are similar to the nipple shield, but they aren’t used while nursing. Instead, place them inside your bra to give your injured nipples breathing room and space to properly heal. Here is a great nipple shell option.

7) Switch to Pumping for 24 Hours 

If none of the above methods seem viable, your cracked nipples may simply need a break from the baby in order to heal. If your little one will take a bottle, consider pumping for 24 hours (or hand-expressing). This allows needed time for healing.

8) Long-Term Solutions for Cracked Nipples

While the above healing tips will help in the short-term, cracked nipples can easily reoccur. You’ll want to investigate the source of the problem, whether it be a shallow latch, thrush or something else, and determine a solution.

Cracked nipples don’t have to mean the end of your breastfeeding journey. With the proper short-term healing tips for cracked nipples and smart long-term solutions, you can overcome this painful nursing hurdle. Talk to your lactation consultant about these methods or any other possible treatments.

 

Please reach out to our Facebook Group if you are having any struggles with breastfeeding! We are here to help and there is a whole tribe of mamas who have been where you are.

The VERY Best Pumps for Hands Free Pumping

If you’re pregnant and planning on nursing, you probably already have a long list of items you will need for feeding. Make sure to add a pump for hands free pumping! They are quiet and discreet making pumping a breeze wherever you are. Plus, expressing breast milk is a great way to increase milk supply or maintain a schedule when away from the baby and allows busy moms to multitask.

best pump for hands free pumping

Types of Breast Pumps

There are three types of breast pumps: manual, battery-powered, or electric. Manual is good on the go with little equipment, but it can be very tiring on the hands to always squeeze a handle or lever. Electric provides consistent power but requires mothers to be attached to a power cord. 

Wireless breast pumps are the latest trend for breastfeeding mothers or mothers who express their milk. With quiet, wearable pumps that fit inside special bras, like a nursing bra and undershirts, moms can discreetly pump in milk bags without being tethered to a cord. Hands are free for childcare, work, or whatever they choose.

What to Look for in Hands Free Breast Pumps

When researching hands free breast pumps, you should consider the qualities you want. The different brands all have varying qualities. Preferences range from physical attributes to costs.

best pump for hands free pumping

Wireless vs Hands Free Breast Pumps for Pumping

Just because the equipment says hands free, it doesn’t mean that it is wireless. Some devices will allow you the freedom to roam around your house or office while others connect you to an electrical source and leave your hands free for reading emails or playing with an older child.

Breast Shield Size

It goes without saying that breasts come in all shapes and sizes. When purchasing a breast pump, the size of the shield is important for fit, comfort to the nipples, and suction capabilities. Since pumps and accessories cannot be returned, consult the sizing charts that many companies provide to ensure the right shield for the user.

Maintenance on a Hands Free Pump

Do you know why some people post negative reviews about some pumps? It is too difficult to clean. Are there too many pieces or is it a challenge to clean and sanitize the parts? The life of some parts lasts longer if it is hand washed.

Storage

Storage can cover two parts: equipment and milk storage. How big or heavy is the pump? Can you carry it on you or do you have to use a bag? Some pumps have reusable bottles or cups that attach to the shield while others sell milk bags for easy storage. 

Power Life

Electric pumps will provide consistent power so that you can control the pump settings. Battery-powered breast pumps can last for a few cycles or last all day. Determine how often the battery needs to be charged and how long it will last during the course of your day when you need to be hands free.

Cost of the Best Hands Free Pumps

A breast pump can be an investment for one child or for all of the siblings thereafter. Price includes one pump, so if you want to double pump, then you want to purchase two. In many cases, a breast pump is covered by insurance, but there are always conditions. If any pump is covered, it may only be one of the insurance company’s choosing. Pump rentals may be an option over purchasing. Check to see if insurance allows for an upgrade for an additional cost. Another option is to use FSA or HSA to pay for the pump.

Attention must also be given to the equipment as milk bags are an additional cost that reflects your usage. Storage bottles can be washed and reused, but the bag will have to be purchased out of pocket.

Warranty

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months. Many companies cover the pump for at least a year while some will cover parts for a shorter period of time. This will take care of your investment for the first child.

In need of customer support? There is always customer service numbers on the box or in the paperwork. You can direct any questions to the toll-free number, an email address, or even 1:1 coaching.

Online Features

Customer service can be contacted online, but some of the wireless or high-tech devices let you use your free hands to check on your process through their app. Once you connect your pump to the app, it will track your milk output.

Best Pumps for Hands Free Pumping

There are plenty of hands free breast pumps on the market, and all of them have their qualities and features. Five of the top-rated brands include:

Out-of-pocket costs for these hand free breast pumps can be pricey. Be sure to check for sales and to see if your insurance will cover one! 

1. Elvie

best pump for hands free pumping

Elvie is one of the best hands free breast pumps on the market. The breast shields that come with the pump are 24mm and 28mm, but the smaller 21mm size is available to order separately if needed. It also comes with 5oz bottles that can be reused after washing. The pump battery can last the whole day with a full charge. The pump parts are dishwasher safe on the top shelf.

One really cool feature of the Elvie pump is that you can check your milk output in real-time with the app on your phone. Customer support is also available via email. Plus, Elvie’s warranty lasts for two years! Check it out further here. 

2. Medela

Medela is well-known in the world of breast pumps. The Freestyle Breast Pump is made for moms who choose to pump multiple times a day. The digital display keeps track of pumping sessions. The double pumping kit comes with 24mm breast shields but has shields that range from 21mm to 30mm. The battery life is 3 hours when fully charged. The kit comes with 4 – 5oz bottles and a cooler system to keep the milk cold when pumping is finished and mothers are away from home. The MyMedela app connects moms with customer service as well as lactation support for free for the first 30 days. All of the parts that come in contact with milk can be cleaned with warm soapy water. Medela also sells a bustier to support hands-free double pumping.

Medela has a one-year warranty on the pump motor from the date of purchase and 90-day warranty for parts and accessories.

3. Willow

best pump for hands free pumping

Willow is another popular wireless breast pump. It comes with the 24mm breast shield, though the 27mm size is available to order separately. It uses its own milk bags for easy storage, but it is an additional cost, especially if you are exclusively pumping. There is less to clean with the Willow: the shield and tube that connects to the pump. These are also dishwasher safe. Users report that the battery will last the whole day if it is fully charged, which can take about two hours.

Customer service includes 1:1 coaching as well as the app for tracking milk supply. The warranty is good for one year from the first use. Buy your Willow here!

4. Freemie

Freemie Liberty is a lightweight hands-free breast pump that is known for its discreet design and quiet function. It comes with 25mm and 28mm funnels with other sizes available for order. It allows the user to program shutoff time or intervals of pumping periods when considering power pumping. Milk is stored in reusable 8-ounce cups. If on the go, the battery can be charged with a USB cord from a computer or car charger. The pump is so small that it can be worn with the detachable belt clip. Cleaning is easy as it can be washed with warm, soapy water. Rubbing alcohol can also be used with the tubing.

Customer service is available via email. The pump collection system has a 60-day warranty for defects in materials and workmanship from the date of purchase. The Freemie is currently on sale at Walmart, check it out!

 

 

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How Much Milk Will My Baby Need? A Guide for Year 1!

Unfortunately, babies do not come with an instruction manual. This leaves many new parents wondering just how much milk their baby will need. A newborn’s stomach is not very big, just about the size of a cherry at birth. This may seem to indicate that your baby will not need a great deal of milk. However, their stomach quickly empties and they will require frequent feedings. Furthermore, an infant’s stomach rapidly grows, and their milk intake will increase with their stomach size and activity level. On day one their stomach can only hold 0.2 ounces of milk, but this increases to 5 ounces by the end of their first month.

This can all seem a little confusing, but don’t worry we’re here to help! So how much milk will your baby need over the first year? Let’s break it down.

how much milk will my baby need

How Much Milk You Baby Needs in the Newborn Stage

At birth, your baby’s stomach is the size of a cherry and can only hold 0.1-0.2 ounces of milk. However, their stomach will process and digest the milk rather quickly and your baby will require near-constant feedings. If you are nursing you will be producing colostrum, a thick, rich version of milk that is full of nutrients. Your baby’s stomach can only accommodate a teaspoon of colostrum at a time! This means you will be nursing A LOT.

By three days, an infant’s stomach has almost quadrupled in size, approximately the size of a walnut. They can now handle 0.8 – 1.0 ounces of milk. Your baby’s pediatrician will be monitoring them closely to ensure they are properly gaining weight. To maintain adequate growth, your newborn will require around fourteen to twenty-two ounces of milk per day over the course of ten to twenty feedings.

Breastfeeding can be really difficult in the beginning. Having some nursing essentials handy from the beginning will make this process so much more comfortable for you and your baby. You can shop some of our favorites below!

Things to Keep in Mind About Your Newborn

how much milk will my baby need

Your baby’s milk intake during this breastfeeding initiation phase (the first few days following birth) is dependent on how well your baby latches and learns to nurse. Some babies may struggle with getting the hang of nursing or have an improper latch, resulting in less milk intake.

Because of this, your baby may lose a little weight. Some weight loss is considered normal and your pediatrician will likely keep track of any losses or gains. By day three your milk should come in and replace the colostrum, combatting any weight loss.

Your baby will indicate to you when they are hungry and full. Hunger cues include crying, lip-smacking, sucking on hands, wriggling, and fussing. Alternatively, when he has had enough he will turn his head away, become disinterested, and may even push away the bottle or breast.

By the end of the first month, an infant’s stomach can accommodate two and a half to five ounces of milk. They will likely need to eat every two hours or so. By this point, your baby will probably have had a growth spurt. You can expect the number of feedings and the number of pounds gained to slow down for a bit.

Moving Up to Month Two

At two months your baby will be ingesting about three to three and a half ounces per feeding. This means they will require a total of around 26 ounces per day.

This means that you will need to feed or nurse your baby around eight times a day, or every two to three hours. You can expect to go longer in between feedings, especially at night, as your baby begins to sleep for longer periods.

How Much Milk Your Baby Will Need from Month Three to Six

Many babies will continue requiring three to four ounces at each feeding and feeding every two to three hours, gradually stretching to every three to four hours. Most babies experience growth spurts at 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, and 6 months. During these phases, your baby will probably want to nurse longer and/or more frequently.

The good news is that if you are nursing or pumping your body should adjust to meet your baby’s new demands within a couple of days. It is important during the beginning of your breastfeeding journey, and during growth spurts, to nurse on demand.

If you are formula feeding your little one may require a few more ounces at each feeding. Remember to follow their hunger cues and try to feed them on demand, especially during the stages commonly associated with a growth spurt. If you are exclusively pumping you may want to add in a few extra sessions when your baby is indicating they are hungry more often and taking larger quantities of milk.

Months Six to Eight

By six months your baby will likely be eating some solid food, as some little ones begin solids as early as four months. This will account for some of the nutrients your baby needs each day but milk or formula is still vitally important. Most babies drink between four and six ounces of milk at each feeding.

They can go for longer periods between nursing sessions and should receive about 32 to 36 ounces each day. Follow your baby’s hunger cues and stop when they indicate that they are full.

Months Eight to One Year

Even though you are incorporating more solid foods, your little one will still want around five to eight ounces at each feeding and will nurse approximately every three to five hours.

Your baby may take additional milk before bed. For many babies, this bottle is really about soothing them and it’s how they put themselves to sleep.

As your baby grows the nursing sessions will become less frequent but greater in duration. The total amount of milk per day can vary depending on your little one’s growth needs, their efficiency at nursing or taking a bottle, whether they have a cold or illness, and even their developmental stage and interest in other activities.

The amount of milk ingested by a baby each day can be anywhere from 17 ounces to 45 ounces. Because of the large discrepancy in milk intake, it is best to follow your baby’s cues and feed on demand as much as possible.

Your pediatrician will be able to assist you. They will monitor your baby’s growth and weight gain, guide you as to when to introduce solids, and help with any nursing or feeding difficulties. Before you know it, you baby will be moving on from the milk and bottle stage.

 

If you are looking to be part of a tribe of mamas going through the same things as you, please reach out to our Rookie Moms Facebook Group! 

 

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Baby Refusing the Bottle? 14 Tips to End the Strike!

Whether you are trying to transition your breastfed baby to a bottle or your longtime bottle-fed baby is suddenly turning away, when your baby is refusing the bottle it can be a very trying time. There are a few reasons why your little one may be refusing to take the bottle and thankfully there are a few things you can try to end the strike.

baby refusing the bottle

What Does It Mean When My Baby is Refusing the Bottle?

Bottle refusal can be a relatively common occurrence. It happens with babies who are transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding, with those who have always been bottle-fed, and even with babies who regularly seamlessly switch between nursing and bottle feeding.

Turning away from the bottle, refusing to suck, pushing the bottle away, and even screaming when a bottle comes near are all signs of bottle refusal. It is characterized by your baby staunchly refusing to take milk from the bottle.

It can be a very frustrating time for both you and your little one, especially when you rely on a caregiver to feed your little one while you are away. There are some key items to consider when addressing why your child is refusing the bottle.

Why Might My Baby Be Refusing the Bottle?

baby refusing the bottle

The comfort of nursing

If your baby has been exclusively breastfed until this point, they may not be too pleased with being offered a bottle. Some babies take to bottle-feeding quite easily while others resolutely refuse.

Your breastfed baby associates eating with being close to mom, comfort, and bonding. If you, the mother, are the one who is trying to feed them the bottle they will likely want to hold out for the breast.

Bottle and nipple type

 Depending on the age and nursing ability of your child, the bottle itself may be to blame. There are many styles of bottles; some are angled, some have drop inserts, and some have vents. You won’t know which type your baby prefers until you try them out. It is possible that the bottle you are using isn’t adequate for your baby’s sucking style, pace, or preferences. Check out some of our favorite bottle options here!

Similarly, there are different flow rates of nipples. Nipples range from a preemie flow to an all-stage or “fast” flow. A slow flow nipple may be best to start with or when your little one is preferring a bottle over breastfeeding. But as your baby grows and becomes more adept at sucking they will want a faster flow.

Distractions

 Growth and development can also play a role when it comes to distractions. As your baby’s vision improves they will begin to recognize objects and sounds; additionally as they grow they become increasingly mobile. Both of these milestones lead to distractibility.

Your little one may be refusing the bottle because there is too much going on. He might feel that he simply doesn’t have the time or the desire to take a break from exploring in order to eat! There are a few times between birth and one year when distractibility may be the culprit, specifically when your baby makes big advancements in their mobility.

Illnesses that may cause your baby to refuse the bottle

An ear infection, a sore throat, a stuffy nose…any or all of these symptoms may lead to bottle refusal. The sucking motion of the tongue and jaw can be painful on infected ears or raw throats. A stuffy nose might make it difficult for the baby to breathe, suck, and swallow with any rhythm.

Positioning and people

At first, your baby may be sensitive to who is giving them the bottle and how it is being given. Many little ones do not like to be laying flat when taking a bottle but instead prefer to be slightly propped up. In the beginning, it may also help to mimic the position used when nursing by cradling the baby in your arms close to your chest.

When starting to bottle feed in the nursing position, some infants may respond better to being bottle-fed by someone other than the mother. Alternatively, some may prefer to take a bottle from their mom or primary caregiver and refuse to take it from anyone else.

Once you have determined the possible reasons why your little one is refusing the bottle, you can then work towards a solution.

Tips to End the Bottle Strike When Your Baby is Refusing

1. Someone other than mom

 If your baby has been exclusively breastfed up until this point, they may refuse a bottle if it is being given by you. Some infants will want to hold out because they would prefer to nurse, especially if their mom is close and available. It may be helpful to have someone else take over the bottle feeding, such as a father, grandparent, or caregiver.

2. A soothing atmosphere

 If your little one is at a stage where they are making leaps in their cognitive development and mobility, they may be too distracted to take a bottle. Try going into a quiet room where the lights are dimmed or the shades are drawn. You want to keep the atmosphere as soothing and calm as possible to minimize distractions that could draw them away from the bottle.

3. Try movement

 Some babies may prefer to experience motion while bottle feeding. You can try slowly walking, swaying, or rocking.

4. A reminder of mom

If a breastfeeding baby either won’t take the bottle from their mom, or mom can’t be around, the scent of their mother may help to encourage suckling. A bottle can be wrapped in the mother’s shirt or even a burp cloth or washcloth that the mother has slept with.

5. Trying different positions if your baby is refusing the bottle

It is not good practice to lay an infant flat on their back while feeding, and most will not enjoy eating this way. However, there are a few different positions you can try. Try reclining the baby in your arms, propping them up with a boppy pillow, or even sitting them nearly upright on your lap.

baby growth spurts

6. Timing is everything when your baby is refusing the bottle

If the refusal seems to occur when your baby is awake and alert, it can be helpful to offer the bottle during a time when they are drowsy. In some cases, when your baby is getting ready to drift off to sleep or just waking up from a nap, they may be more likely to take a bottle without a fuss.

7. A proper introduction

 Some babies do not immediately take to the bottle, especially those that have been exclusively breastfed. Consider introducing the nipple without the bottle first by placing it on the baby’s lips and encouraging them to take it in their mouth. You can also encourage sucking by placing your finger inside the nipple and gently moving it around their palette.

8. The self-latch technique

Your little one may not be too keen on the bottle being placed directly in their mouth. If this is the case, you can try to coax them to latch themselves. This can be done by rubbing the nipple around their lips and nose until they open wide and latch, much like they would when nursing.

paced bottle feeding

9. Different bottles and flows

If the issue doesn’t seem to be stemming from emotional factors or the atmosphere, you may need to take a closer look at your bottle. Make sure that you fasten all parts securely and that the milk can flow freely from the nipple. If your child doesn’t respond well to one style of bottle or speed of milk flow try different bottle types and nipple flows.

10. Double-check the milk

 It may be a good idea to taste and smell the milk in the bottle occasionally, especially if you pump and freeze. Some milk can have large deposits of an enzyme called lipase which might give the milk a displeasing strong or salty taste.

11. Check the temperature

 Babies can be quite particular. Make sure the milk is not too cold or too hot by testing a little on the inside of your wrist. Most babies prefer milk that is around body temperature though some may prefer it lukewarm. A good bottle warmer can help with this. We happen to love the Kiinde Kozii!

12. Don’t wait until they’re starving

 When you are first introducing the bottle, don’t wait until they are starving. A hungry baby will want to be fed and not have to work to learn a new system, leading to crying and frustration for everyone involved. Try offering the bottle between feedings when they aren’t quite hungry but not full either.

13. Frequent intervals

If you have been trying the tips above and your baby is still refusing don’t give up. Keep offering the bottle every half hour. Don’t force the bottle and engage in a battle of wills, but continue to offer it and eventually your little one may come around.

14. Change up the container

 If you are concerned about just getting nutrition into your child, it is recommended that you contact your pediatrician. However, they may advise you to try and use alternative containers or methods to feed your child. This may be a sippy cup, a regular open cup, or even a spoon depending on the infant’s age. This is not a very practical solution but may get you through until you can see a lactation consultant or your baby ends their strike.

When Your Baby Refusing the Bottle Mean You Should See a Doctor

If you suspect the bottle refusal is due to an illness or irritation, you should see your pediatrician. They will be able to confirm or deny your suspicions and treat any conditions if necessary. Once your baby is feeling well they will likely return to the bottle without issue.

Additionally, if you have exhausted all of the methods on how to end a bottle strike and your baby is still refusing, or if you feel that it is negatively impacting their health and weight gain then it is time to see a pediatrician. They will likely check your little one out to make sure a health concern is not the culprit. They will also check their growth and development to ensure that they are making adequate gains and the refusal is not a cause for immediate concern.

If you can’t find any apparent reason for the refusal, the doctor may refer you to a lactation consultant. This expert on all things breast and bottle feeding should be able to help your little one end their bottle strike.

Having Patience and Encouragement While Your Baby is Refusing the Bottle

Bottle refusal can be a very frustrating time for both you and your baby. Remember to relax and do not make it a battle for control. Try out the various tips listed and seek help from a professional if necessary. With patience and gentle encouragement, your baby will likely come around and take a bottle without issue.

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Grunting Baby Syndrome – Here’s What you Should Know

Grunting Baby Syndrome (GBS) can sound like a serious ailment, but it is actually more normal than you think. There are a lot of things your baby is learning. As they develop they discover other things along the way like motions and noise that are brand new to them. One of the things they realize they have control over is bowel movement. One way they discover they can do this is by grunting. Grunting simply means the baby hasn’t yet figured out how to relax the pelvic floor while using abdominal pressure to move items through his or her digestive system. The abdominal muscles are not fully developed, and babies must bear down with the diaphragm against their closed voice box, which creates the grunting noise.

So, what is grunting baby syndrome? Is it an indication of constipation? Does it tell you that your baby’s bowels are malfunctioning? Is it simply an idiosyncrasy that some babies display? Or, is this a serious bowel problem? Like many other conditions humans suffer from, Grunting Baby Syndrome (GBS) is a diagnosis of exclusion.

grunting baby syndrome

Is Grunting Normal for Babies?

Newborn grunting is quite normal. Newborns discover grunting when they use abdominal pressure to push poop or gas through their system. This is a skill they develop because those muscles are underdeveloped at this point. When babies start to grunt, they may be moving their bowels. It can also occur while they sleep. It can be distracting for parents who have their newborns in their bedroom for the first few months.

Once your baby starts to grunt, they will continue doing it while they learn how to pass their stool. There are some who call this grunting baby syndrome because of the sound they make. 

What are the Causes?  

In order to have a bowel movement, an adult will relax the pelvic floor and use abdominal muscles to move the stool through the gut. However, it takes a lot more work as babies are working on strengthening their muscles to do this. The pressure they apply pushes the diaphragm against the voice box, which leads to a grunting noise. 

grunting baby syndrome

What are the Symptoms of Grunting Baby Syndrome?

GBS is not constipation. In general, newborns who grunt are passing soft stool. It is part of the process rather than the discomfort of hard, dry stool.

Here are some things you might see when your infant is trying to have a bowel movement:

  • Screaming
  • Crying
  • Scrunching up the face
  • Straining
  • Making fists
  • Turning red or purple
  • Squeezing their abdominal muscles

What is the Treatment of Grunting Baby Syndrome?

Since GBS is not an ailment and most babies are not experiencing any discomfort, there is no recommended treatment for it. Once a newborn learns how to relax the pelvic floor, the grunting that occurs when passing stool will reduce and stop altogether. A baby can be about 3 months old when they finally stop grunting because of their more developed bowel muscles.

  • Exercise – help your baby stretch out and work their abs and legs
  • Warm Bath – to help relax the baby
  • Massage – this can help increase blood flow and function to the bowel
  • Hydration – constipation is one sign of dehydration
  • Dietary Changes – fruit juices are great for getting a bowel moving along
  • Windi The Gas Passer– If you believe gas is the cause, check out the Windi which can help your little one out. 

Above are ways to make it easier for babies to pass stool, however, they are not recommended for frequent use because it can deter a baby’s necessary development when it comes to muscle strength and learning how to poo.

When Should You Be Concerned?

  • Signs of discomfort, especially after eating. Grunting can occur when food in the stomach rises in the esophagus, such as with acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux (GER).
  • Grunting associated with fever
  • Flared nostrils
  • Grunts occur during breathing that is unrelated to a bowel movement. For example, your baby grunts upon the end of respiration as a way to clear blocked airways.
  • Grunting while breathing hard and fast, as if out of breath
  • Signs of distress including blue tinge in lips and tongue 

Newborns with these symptoms need medical attention right away.

Do keep in mind that because babies tend to grunt for any number of reasons. Therefore, you cannot just assume your baby has GBS. It’s easy to confuse GBS with other things like constipation, acid reflux, respiratory issues, or an illness or infection.

Conclusion

New parents will always have those moments when the noises their babies make scare them. Grunting Baby Syndrome is simply a matter of your baby learning how to pass stool comfortably. It can take time, maybe more time than you would like, but unless your child becomes chronically constipated or otherwise ill, a well-child check-up is all you need to put your mind at ease.

 

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How to Stop Pumping Safely + A Schedule for Weaning

Breastfeeding your baby is a bonding experience unlike any other. Not only does it help you build a lasting relationship with your child, but your breastmilk gives your child anti-bodies and defenses that bottle-feeding cannot. Whether it is your baby’s choice or yours, there will come a time when you need to wean your little one. Below you will find our Rookie Mom tips on how to stop pumping safely!

how to stop pumping safely

Steps to Stop Pumping

When to Stop

Everyone’s breastfeeding journey is different. Some mothers will breastfeed well into the toddler years while others stop at 12 months. Children are able to eat solid foods between the ages of 4 to 6 months, so how you decide to incorporate breastfeeding during that time period is up to you.

There is no true right answer as to when to stop pumping! Above all else, you must be prepared mentally and emotionally for the weaning process before you begin. It is okay if you just feel done as a mama. It is a major commitment to breastfeed for more than 6-12 months (when most toddlers go on solid food), so this is probably the most popular time to stop. Whatever the case, when you are ready here’s how to stop pumping safely!

How to Stop Pumping Safely

First, talk to your partner. Make sure he or she understands that weaning can be very emotional, as well as physically difficult. Any type of radical change in your body chemistry will create stress and fatigue. This can make you impatient, crabby, or make you cry at the drop of a hat.

Next, come up with a plan. Take a look at your current feeding and pumping schedules. When would be the easiest place to start making changes? Let’s look at an example:

Original Pumping Schedule

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
6am-8am Feed at 6am; pump at 7:30 Feed at 6am; pump at 7:30 Feed at 6am; pump at 7:30 Feed at 6am; pump at 7:30 Feed at 6am; pump at 7:30 Feed at 6am; pump at 7:30 Feed at 6am; pump at 7:30
10am-noon Pump at 11:30 Pump at 11:30 Pump at 11:30 Pump at 11:30 Pump at 11:30 Feed as needed Feed as needed
Noon-2pm Pump at 2pm Pump at 2pm Pump at 2pm Pump at 2pm Pump at 2pm Feed as needed Feed as needed
2pm-4pm Feed at 4pm Feed at 4pm Feed at 4pm Feed at 4pm Feed at 4pm Feed as needed Feed as needed
4pm-6pm Pump at 6pm Pump at 6pm Pump at 6pm Pump at 6pm Pump at 6pm Feed as needed Feed as needed
6pm-8pm Feed at 7pm Feed at 7pm Feed at 7pm Feed at 7pm Feed at 7pm Feed as needed Feed as needed
8pm-10pm Pump at 9pm Pump at 9pm Pump at 9pm Pump at 9pm Feed as needed Feed as needed Pump at 9pm

The First Cut

So, let’s take a look at places you could start weaning, both the child and the pump. The dark highlights indicate times we suggest you safely stop pumping. 

how to stop pumping

Gradually Decreasing the Pumping

As you can see from the chart, start small. Try to use the weekends or your days off as part of the weaning process so you don’t have to radically adjust your schedule at first. Try this for a week, then gradually decrease your pumping time and feeding time in place of solid foods. Here is an example of how your chart should look after 4-6 weeks of weaning.

how to stop pumping

Always be prepared to make adjustments! Do not get upset with yourself if you miss a pump or have to adjust the time. These charts are simply a suggested way to get yourself organized and have a visual of how to plan to wean.

Complications You May Face While Trying to Stop Pumping

There are multiple, potential complications to weaning from the pump: feeling too full, mastitis, depression, nausea, mood swings, and headaches. This is why you need to take the proper steps to stop pumping safely. All of these complications are a natural part of the weaning process. Your body will be adjusting to a new schedule, your hormones will be changing, and you may feel a loss of connection with your child.

Feeling Too Full

Once you have gotten into a routine for breastfeeding and pumping, your body will produce enough milk to meet that demand. However, as you wean, you may feel overly full in your breasts. This could be very uncomfortable, but it will decrease as you continue the weaning process.

Mastitis

Mastitis is a very painful, localized infection in the breast tissue. It can be treated with warm compresses, expression of excess milk, and, if necessary, antibiotics. This tends to happen when weaning too quickly, so stay safe and make sure you stop pumping and nursing gradually.

Depression and Mood Swings

As your body chemistry changes during weaning, your hormone production will vary, sometimes creating depression and/or mood swings. Sometimes these can be dealt with in therapy or your physician may prescribe short-term, safe anti-depressants to get you through the process.

You may also simply start missing the physical connection you have had with your child up to this point. Your body recognizes this process as weaning your child – and this can cause hormone changes like the ones mentioned below.

Nausea and Headaches 

Another complication from the change in your body chemistry is nausea and headaches. As the levels of prolactin and oxytocin (two neurotransmitters that support breastfeeding) drop as you wean, your brain chemistry will be off-balance for a bit. Over the counter remedies can help with both issues.

Conclusion on How to Stop Pumping Safely

Knowing when to wean, especially when to stop pumping, is always tricky. While making the decision to do so can be easy, stopping the pump and weaning the child will be demanding both physically and emotionally. You must be prepared for the challenges and issues you can run into during this change of life.

How to Safely Stop Pumping

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The Best Diapers You Can Buy in Bulk

Do you know what your house is full of more than anything when you have a baby? Diapers. In fact, your baby can go through as many as 3,000 diapers in just one year! This being said, buying in bulk is definitely preferable and we love that Sam’s Club makes this possible. I received product and compensation from Sam’s Club as part of a sponsored program. All opinions are my own.

Qualities to Look for in Diapers

In the last couple of years, parents have become increasingly aware of how important it is to really look into what goes into making baby’s diapers.

  • Softness- Obviously, you want your baby’s diapers to be soft since their bum is wrapped in them all day long.
  • Hypoallergenic Products- In recent years parents have become increasingly aware of how important it is for diapers to be hypoallergenic. This includes being free of chlorine bleach, lotions, and latex.
  • Super Absorbent- Absorbency is a very important thing to pay attention to when looking for the right diaper.
  • Find a Good Fit- When diapers are rigid and not stretchy, there is a higher chance for leaks. You want to look for diapers with a soft-stretch waist so that they perfectly fit your unique baby.

Why We Love the Member’s Mark Premium Baby Diapers

The Member’s Mark Premium Baby Diapers from Sam’s Club check off every quality from the list above. They can stay absorbent for up to 12 hours. Our favorite thing about these diapers is their soft-stretch waistband, which keeps even the most active little one comfortable.

On top of all that, they have a premium ULTRASOFT® MAX LINER to help keep your baby’s skin dry, healthy and soft. Liners help to keep your baby’s skin dry, which is especially important when they begin to sleep through long stretches of the night. The liner in these diapers is not only hypoallergenic but enhanced with vitamin E and aloe to protect that little bum. Hooray for a no-leak diaper option that doesn’t break the bank!

These diapers are exclusively sold at Sam’s Club, and below you will find some other perks to the membership that will make you want to head over to your nearest club asap.

From 8/21-9/15 get $3 off Member’s Mark Diapers and Wipes! Limit 3 per person.

Diapers & More at Sam’s Club

These diapers alone are so great that I would recommend any mama check out getting a Sam’s Club membership. However, there are tons of other benefits to being a member. We have been members since we became parents many years ago and do a big portion of our shopping here. Honestly, it’s just so convenient and easy.

Our new favorite feature of membership is Club Pick-Up. You basically have Sam’s Club do your shopping for you. Add the items you want into your cart and select a time slot to pick up. When you arrive at Sam’s Club, your items will be there waiting! This service ends up saving me so much time, and honestly, money too, because I don’t get sucked into buying anything extra while meandering around the club.

The other feature I absolutely love is Scan & Go. With the Sam’s Club app you can simply go around the club and scan items as you place them in your basket. When you are all done you simply enter your credit card to pay and head directly to the exit. No Lines! It’s A-Mazing.

I received product and compensation from Sam’s Club as part of a sponsored program. All opinions are my own.

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Nursing Aversion [Possible Triggers & How to Cope]

Breastfeeding is a unique bonding experience shared between a mother and her baby. Many mothers, especially first-time moms, experience a flood of emotions and feelings that may be overwhelming. Sometimes, these overwhelming and anxiety-inducing thoughts and feelings can happen during a breastfeeding session, leaving mothers feeling confused and ashamed of having negative thoughts during such an extraordinary bonding experience. Commonly referred to as nursing aversion by health care professionals, these negative feelings can discourage a mother from breastfeeding, even though she still has a strong desire to continue.

nursing aversion

You Are Not Alone

If you’re experiencing nursing aversion, it should be stated at the forefront of this article that you are not alone. Again, the flood of emotions combined with exhaustion can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned mother, and it’s essential to take a step back, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’re not the first nor the last person to feel this way and regardless of how you’re feeling at the moment, you are an amazing mother.

How to Recognize Nursing Aversion

What are the signs of nursing aversion? What does it feel like? Thoughts and feelings vary by person, but generally, these negative feelings are unexpected and unwanted. Breastfeeding mothers who’ve reported that they experience nursing aversion admit they go through the following emotions:

  • Despair
  • Anger
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Self-Consciousness
  • Anxiety
  • Rage
  • Irritability

nursing aversion

These emotions can create a wide array of negative thoughts, and can even discourage a mama from breastfeeding. Being a mother is a combination of sheer joy and pure exhaustion, and it’s natural to feel like you can’t go on or to feel like you’ve lost yourself. But guess what mama? IT’S OK TO FEEL THAT WAY!

Nursing aversion can appear randomly and vary in intensity. Although there haven’t been many medical studies to find out the exact cause of nursing aversion, there are many emotional and physical factors that can trigger the onslaught of negative feelings and emotions.

Physical Triggers of Nursing Aversion

Even for the most experienced breastfeeding mothers, who could be accomplishing astonishing feats like tandem breastfeeding, physical discomfort and pain are quite common. Cracked nipples, a teething baby, or simply sore nipples from a hungry baby during a growth spurt can leave a mom in pain and even hesitant to breastfeed, knowing the discomfort that’ll start up again. These physical factors can trigger nursing aversion, but don’t let the fear of what “could” happen to keep you from breastfeeding!

Easing Discomfort

If you feel like the physical pain that sometimes occurs during breastfeeding is what’s triggering your nursing aversion, then there are several treatments to ease discomfort:

  • For sore or cracked nipples: Breastmilk is truly liquid gold with many different uses. Your milk can be used to soothe irritated or cracked nipples, by rubbing a bit of your milk on the sore area before and after breastfeeding can provide relief. Another option is to use a light oil, my personal favorite was coconut oil, not only did it help ease my discomfort, but it smelled good, and my baby didn’t mind the taste.
  • For pain caused by a teething baby: It happens to all of us breastfeeding mamas at some point. Your little one is beginning to teethe and decides to use you as their personal teething toy. The sudden shock of a bite from your baby can trigger nursing aversion, but don’t let it stop you! Teething is new to your baby, and they’re just as uncomfortable as you are. Establishing from the get-go a reasonable way to remind your baby that you’re not a chewing toy can help lessen getting nipped down the road. With my little one, the second I would feel a bite, I would unlatch him, gently remind him that mommy is just for milk, and then resume feeding when we were both ready.

Mental Triggers of Nursing Aversion

There are psychological factors that can also trigger nursing aversion while breastfeeding. Being a mother is exhausting as it is rewarding. As mothers, our natural tendency is to put our children and our families’ needs before our own. This selflessness is our greatest quality. However, it’s very easy to fall into the habit of neglecting our individual needs. Self-care has been a popular topic among mothers lately; with the destigmatization of mental health issues, more and more people are open to discussing the various ways to take care of your mind and spirit.

Neglecting your mental health can definitely trigger nursing aversion. Frequent thoughts of feeling trapped, depressed, or even slight resentment are normal for a tired mother. But don’t despair! A little much-needed self-care goes a long way. Self- care doesn’t always mean taking a bubble bath or going to get a mani-pedi because let’s face it; we’re busy taking care of our little ones. Here are a few of my favorite ways to care for my mental health:

nursing aversion - baby outside

1. Go Outdoors!

The first two weeks after having my son, I stayed inside, in pajamas, and bed for most of the day. As a result, PPD kicked in as well as nursing aversion. My doctor suggested I try and take a walk or sit outdoors and get some fresh air. Contrary to popular belief, it’s OK to bring your little one outside in decent weather. (If you’re worried, give your pediatrician a quick call).

2. 30-second Mediation

You deserve to give yourself 30 seconds every day! Thirty seconds to close your eyes and be still. It may seem silly at first, but by putting this 30-second meditation into practice every day, you will create a noticeable shift in your mind and thought pattern. Take that time to focus on your breath and to recenter yourself so you can continue to be your best self for you and your little one!

Reach Out For Support

One significant commonality between mothers who experience nursing aversion is that they feel alone in what they’re going through. Experiencing negative thoughts and emotions while breastfeeding your baby can create a feeling of shame and discourages many moms from reaching out for help and support. But again, and this can’t be stressed enough – you are not alone. There are so many different resources and areas to receive advice and support.

Your doctor may offer sound medical advice as to why you’re experiencing nursing aversion. A certified lactation consultant can provide support, information, and encouragement when you feel like you don’t want to continue breastfeeding. One of the best things I could have ever done was to join a local online mom group. Being able to share my experience and receive support and advice was extremely helpful, and for any mother who is having a nursing aversion, support is available in these groups. You can join the Rookie Moms Facebook Group here.  

Professional Help is Available for Nursing Aversion

If you feel like there’s an underlying cause to your nursing aversion, it may be best to seek help from a mental health professional. Again, thanks to the continuous destigmatization of mental illness, there are numerous resources and professionals available who specialize in areas like postpartum depression and can help find out what triggers your negative feelings.

Motherhood is one of the most beautiful human experiences, and breastfeeding is a unique way for you to bond with your baby. It’s completely normal to experience nursing aversion; negative thoughts and emotions occurring while feeding your baby. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that you’re not alone, and help and support are available. Self-care is crucial when you’re on demand for your little ones and your family and always remind yourself that you are an amazing mother.

 

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