It can be quite scary when your child refuses to breastfeed. You worry about if they are getting enough food, if they are getting the right nutrition, or even if they will form as close of a bond with you. Different babies have different needs when it comes to feeding, so there are several methods available to help get your little one to latch.

Tickle

Tickling the baby’s lips with your nipple will encourage them to open their mouth to breastfeed, almost as if they were yawning. If tickling them does not do the job, you may try squeezing a bit of colostrum (the yellowish substance that comes out of your breast during pregnancy and before the milk comes in) on their lips to let them know where the food comes from. 

Redirect

Once your baby opens their mouth, they may turn away from your breast. If this happens, it may help to gently stroke their cheek on the side closest to you. Babies have what is called a “rooting instinct” designed to help them find food. When the corner of their mouth is touched, they will turn towards the source in order to seek sustenance. 

Position

Different babies will prefer to feed in different positions. If your child does not seem to want to latch on in one position, try altering the way you are holding them. A breastfeeding specialist North Tonawanda NY can work with you to figure out what position works best for you and your baby.

Breastfeeding can help to nourish your baby and create an important bond between parent and child. However, it is important to remember that breastfeeding is not the right option for every baby. While breastfeeding may be ideal, having a baby that is fed by a bottle is better than having a baby who is not getting enough nutrients from refusing to breastfeed.