Thursday, August 9, 2007

Breastfeeding Style

In one of my favorite Wise Baby Tomes, Baby 411, the author explains 5 different breastfeeding styles on page 100:
1. The Barracuda - This little guy attacks the breast and gets down to business. Mom's nipples sometimes pay the price for this style. Be prepared.

2. The Excited Ineffective - Yes, this is the baby who is so excited to eat that he loses his latch. Calming, then reattempting to latch helps until baby figures out the routine.

3. The Procrastinator - The baby who waits until the milk lets down to bother with eating. There is no rush. Be patient and keep trying.

4. The Gourmet - She must mouth the nipples, have a taste test, then begin. Again, there is no need to rush. Let her do her thing.

5. The Rester - He takes his own sweet time. He eats for a few minutes, rests, then continues. He will eventually finish the meal and eat well but you can encourage him by rubbing his back or head.

My son was a Barracuda. He always got right down to business and ate quite quickly. Anjali? Um, not so much. She is definitely a Rester. Couple this with the fact that she likes to comfort nurse and basically, she would be happy to just suck ALL DAY LONG. It's been an adjustment for me, to say the least. There's been several times when I've pulled her off and got ready to head out the door when she made it quite clear that she was NOT done eating. I am still learning that I need to give her PLENTY o' time to do her business.

Totally Tangential: Regarding Wise Baby Tomes, I also swear by Toddler 411. Toddler 411 continues where Baby 411 leaves off - hands down, these two books are the ones I would own if I could only have two. They have absolutely everything you need for your child up to about kindergarten in 2 concise volumes that are easy to read, entertaining (you'll laugh out loud) and most importantly, are conveniently organized as a reference tool. The overall tone of these two books is that of a "Hey, you'll be okay, Grasshopper." -- a tone that is comforting and reassuring.

My other favorite parenting tome is the excellent The Science of Parenting - I enjoy this book because I am fascinated by the biology of what's going on with babies and toddlers. There are often valid reasons for what they do simply because their little brains and nervous systems are still developing, yet we desperately want them to act like little, logical adults. This book goes a long way in explaining why parents need to manage their expectations regarding what their Precious Progeny is actually capable of doing at their particular developmental stages.

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