For a new mum, the holiday season can be overwhelming and exhausting. It can also impact your milk supply and may mean that your baby, sensing your own stress, becomes increasingly unsettled. Then, as relatives ask, ‘are you sure you have enough milk?’ your self-doubt increases and you reach for the bottle. This is often described as ‘holiday weaning’.
But please take heart, we have top tips for you to beat holiday ‘boobie traps’ so you keep your boobs full and your baby at the breast.
Here you are, dripping milk, all ready for your baby to feed – but he won’t!
If you have a newborn, there is every chance you will be ‘woman handled’ as somebody tries to get your baby to latch by grabbing baby and boob and shoving them together (if this happens, put your hand up in a stop sign and ask, ‘please can you guide me, I would like to try myself’).
Or, if your baby is older and has been happily breastfeeding until now, you are probably wondering, ‘is he weaning?’
Whatever the reasons for your baby’s breast refusal, your baby isn’t ‘refusing’ to breastfeed because he is being stubborn, and forcing him won’t help.
For newborns, generally if your baby won’t breastfeed it is because he can’t right now, but it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to breastfeed at all – although you will need to be patient, with the right help, most
As he pulled on his little ‘working boots’ my three year old gazed up and told me very matter of factly, “Mummy, when I get scared, booby makes me feel brave.”
When I breastfed our first two babies, I wasn’t aware of the nutritional or immunological benefits of breastfeeding older babies or toddlers (no, there is no ‘best before’ stamp on mama milk!); I simply kept on breastfeeding them because it felt right. In fact with each of our five children, breastfeeding has been an integral part of my relationship with them and not just about ‘food’.
As newborns, breastfeeding gave my babies a gentle beginning, and as toddlers, it soothed life’s little knocks, easing the discomfort of swollen teething gums and picking them up when they fell (or fell apart emotionally). Breastfeeding provi
Around the middle of your baby’s first year, that is at about six months, your baby will start showing signs that he is ready for family foods: he will be able to sit up in a high chair or on your lap; he will have lost the tongue thrust reflex (that protects him against choking in the early months, but also means food gets thrust out of his mouth, rather than swallowed); he will be watching you closely as you eat and probably reaching for your food - but being able to grab objects and put them into his mouth is an actual sign of readiness ( after all, even young babies will watch you and may reach for food). Your baby may seem to suddenly be more hungry but not satisfied by extra milk feeds over a period of several days.
See how, when and what to help your baby transition from breastfeeding to family foods