Does your baby hit, smack, twiddle, tweak, or kick while breastfeeding? Does it seem like no matter what you do to hide the other nipple, baby’s wandering hands will find their way into your shirt? This behavior is actually quite common, and normal. Commonly known as twiddling, this behavior usually begins between ages 6 and 9 months, and continues through toddler-hood. It is thought to promote milk supply. In spite of this benefit, there’s no denying that twiddling, tweaking, hitting, and smacking can be quite annoying for mamas.
How can I get baby to stop hitting while breastfeeding?
If baby is snapping bra straps, grabbing at jewelry or tugging your hair, you might consider investing in a nursing necklace. These are usually made out of silicone or cloth, and are safe for your little one to chew on. They are designed for mothers to wear while breastfeeding. You can also try giving baby one of his or her toys such as a rattle or teething rings – just be careful not to use something hard, as baby might instinctively hit you with it! When you do nurse, tie your hair back if you have long hair and try not to wear enticing things that could be yanked such as long earrings or necklaces.
For older babies who are beginning to understand cause and effect, you can try saying “no thank you” and unlatching baby whenever the bad behavior occurs. Baby will eventually associate the behavior with discontinuing feeding (this is a common method used with teething babies who are biting while breastfeeding too).
Try holding baby’s hands while breastfeeding.