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  Breastfeeding – Restless baby
Should I be worried about the fact that my baby is not a calm feeder, but rather tends to wriggle and fight his way through a feed?

There are many reasons why babies get restless during feeding. Check them out and then, if the behaviour continues, you may have to accept that he just is a restless little chap.

• It is not a bad idea to change baby's nappy before a feed. This will serve the double function of waking him up and ensuring that it is not the discomfort of his nappy that is disturbing feeding.

• If your baby is two or three days old it may just be that he is objecting to the change in your milk from colostrum to regular milk. If this is the reason it should pass quickly as he gets used to the new taste and texture.

• The same old nag again. Are you relaxing? Are you taking care of yourself, eating and sleeping as well as possible. For the sake of this baby this should be a priority now. Make sure you are getting comfortable before feeding and find a way to relax. Play soft music. Concentrate on the baby instead of feeding him with a mind full of worries. It may be hard to believe, but this can make all the difference in the world.

• Check the section on latching to ensure that he is feeding properly, or ask a lactation consultant to visit and give advice.

• Let him feed on each breast until he unlatches himself. It may feel like forever but he will eventually fall off, with a look of sweet contentment! This ensures that he is getting enough of the rich hind milk and that his problem is not that he is still hungry and unsatisfied. From day three when full milk production is established, you should count six to eight very wet nappies a day. This is a good reassurance that he is getting enough to eat.

• Once you have established that he is getting a full feed each time, by feeding until he unlatches on both breasts if possible, then do not limit the number of feeds. It is not unusual or wrong for a newborn baby to breastfeed two hourly. Since this applies day and night, it will be very tough on you. Remind yourself that it is not for long and try to sleep or rest whenever you get the chance. Put the well being of yourself and baby ahead of everything else. It will be worth it. If people offer help TAKE IT. Let them make a meal for the family, or vacuum the house or help with the washing. No-one will think worse of you, and most people are thrilled to be able to help.

• Maybe all that is required is patience and perseverance. This is a new technique that baby is learning at the same time as you. Some babies take a while to get the hang of feeding and get frustrated with the process in the meantime. Your calmness is the best gift you can give this struggling baby.

• For some babies it's even simpler. They need to be cuddled and nurtured to help them to adjust to life outside the womb. Let this be your important job for now. Be there for him. Hold him as much as he wants. Don't let anyone tell you he is just being naughty. Snuggle him against your naked skin and enjoy the precious moments together.

See also:

Breastfeeding - After Caesarean

Breastfeeding - Alcohol to boost milk

Breastfeeding - Basic info

Breastfeeding - Breast infection continuing feeding

Breastfeeding - Breast Infection or mastitis

Breastfeeding - Difficulty

Breastfeeding - Effect of exercise

Breastfeeding - Effect of laughter

Breastfeeding - Engorgement Discomfort

Breastfeeding - Engorgement Pain Relief

Breastfeeding - Engorgement Reason

Breastfeeding - Fear

Breastfeeding - Feeding positions

Breastfeeding - Feeding when ill

Breastfeeding - Frequent feeding

Breastfeeding - Importance

Breastfeeding - Increasing Milk

Breastfeeding - In the beginnning

Breastfeeding - Jaundice

Breastfeeding - Latching

Breastfeeding - Leaking Milk

Breastfeeding - Let-down Reflex

Breastfeeding - Medication

Breastfeeding - Milk Consistency

Breastfeeding - Milk Release

Breastfeeding - Milk Starting

Breastfeeding - Mother's Sickness

Breastfeeding - Mother's Stress

Breastfeeding - Mother's Thirst

Breastfeeding - Nipples Healing

Breastfeeding - Nipples Painful

Breastfeeding - Nipples Washing

Breastfeeding - Overdue Baby

Breastfeeding - Reasons Not To

Breastfeeding - Second Baby

Breastfeeding - Shape Of Breasts

Breastfeeding - Simplicity

Breastfeeding - Sleepy Baby

Breastfeeding - Some Advantages

Breastfeeding - Watery Breastmilk

Breastfeeding - Weight Loss

Breastfeeding - When To Wean

Breastfeeding - World breast feeding day
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