There are many hurdles that mothers might encounter along their breastfeeding journey. The obvious initial ones include latching, supply levels, let down speed, length of feedings. It can be challenging but oh so rewarding! Okay, let’s say you’ve conquered all of those. Fabulous! But if you are anything like me, around seven or eight months, you might be shocked and frustrated to start emerging from each feeding as if you've been in a minor brawl. Say what?!
Around this age, babies are focused on developing their hand-eye coordination. They’re learning to put food in their mouths, learning to pickup little objects, and even learning to throw things out of their grasp. They want to grab everything, wrap their hands around things, and are often fascinated when the see their own fingers moving or clawing at something. And what better time to practice these skills than when someone is holding you, you’re getting delicious milk, and items like hair, eyes, collar bones and lips are within an easy reach? Ouch.
This stage can be very tough - you obviously want to enjoy breastfeeding, but when it begins to hurt, when baby is leaving scratch marks and you feel frustrated, your breastfeeding relationship is altered. I had to remind myself that even though I often associate nursing with inducing a sleepy state, there are countless times when baby is wide-awake and energetic, but also hungry. Just like us! Imagine how hard it is to sit perfectly still and silent while enjoying a delicious meal when you are happy as a lark and learning all sorts of new tricks!
Perhaps a nursing necklace is just what you need! (It’s what I personally needed!)
Nashville is lucky to have a local company making these for us! The Vintage Honey Shop makes stylish necklaces that are designed to be worn while nursing. (They also double as teething necklaces!) These necklaces work well because of a few reasons:
1) They have pretty - REAL PRETTY - patterns. The colors, shapes on the fabric, and designs give baby something to look at while feeding, without being overly stimulating. (Be prepared - it is hard to pick just one!)
2) They are made of big wooden beads that fit perfectly in a baby’s hand. It’s a satisfying grasp for a kiddo with a wandering hand who needs something to hold onto. They make them with and without a wooden ring as seen in the photo - some babies like mine love to swing it around while nursing.
3) There are endless options for length. This is crucial - you can tie the soft, satin ribbon at whatever length works for you and your babe. And with the satin tie, even if baby pulls on the necklace, it doesn’t pull on your neck.
4) Another really great thing about these necklaces is that they help keep your baby focused when nursing in a new environment or in public where loud noises and sights are typically distracting. If you are consistent with wearing it while nursing, your baby will become accustomed to it and look forward to seeing it. Think of it as a ‘nursing lovey.’
As an alternative, some moms have success giving baby something soft to hold onto while nursing. But, just remember that this item will likely be dropped or thrown, which could add to the distractions.
Okay, since we’re on the topic...this isn’t the last hurdle. Babies reach a new level of comfort and understanding around 12-14 months. They realize that while they are latched onto one breast, the other breast is right around the corner! Often times, mothers say that their babies/toddlers insist on fiddling with the other nipple or gripping the other breast during feedings. Nursing necklaces can be a solution to this, as well!
Whatever your breastfeeding struggle, just remember that there is always a solution and is always someone ready to help you sort it out. That's why we started our company and we rejoice in helping mothers master their nursing goals.
These make great baby shower gifts, are locally made and reasonably priced! And... read below for a big surprise...
!!!! The Vintage Honey Shop if offering a special discount for all our Bosom Buddy friends! Use code VHSHARE at checkout for 15% - yay! Click Here to start shopping!
Thanks to The Vintage Honey Shop for sharing the included images.
Anna is a guest blogger for Bosom Buddy and a mother of a 9 month old daughter. Bosom Buddy appreciates Anna's input and contribution to the Bosom Buddy blog.