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Old 01-27-2012, 07:01 PM   #1
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How can I get him to learn to latch?

DS is 4 days old, and we in the hospital for 40hrs, we had a tough time getting his blood sugars up to where they should be, and so I had to supplement w/formula. On top of that, the times they took DS to the nursery, they also gave him a paci(there was a "No Paci" sign in there, but they went against it. )
Anyways, he WILL latch on, but it takes a long time for him to get it, he keeps searching and usually he gets so upset, stops trying and screams. I have tried squirting a little formula on my nipple as he tries to latch on, and sometimes that will get him to latch on, but often times that won't even work. I have been pumping since my milk came in yesterday, hoping to keep my supply going until he hopefully learns to latch on each time to feed. Is it possible that he will never learn to just automatically latch on? I'm sad that it's not working out the way I hoped, and I really don't want to quit. Any tips or ideas to get my little guy to latch on?

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Old 01-27-2012, 07:23 PM   #2
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Re: How can I get him to learn to latch?

A lot of skin to skin, try to latch him on when he's content before he gets too hungry, try a relaxing warm bath for the 2 of you and see if he'll latch on in the bath. You can also buy a nipple shield if none of the other stuff works and see if he'll latch that way.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:30 PM   #3
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Re: How can I get him to learn to latch?

You can do it! It seems like things have gotten in your way so far, but you're home now. I used a nipple shield with my 1st because I couldn't get him to latch without it, but it was such a pain to wean from I didn't want to use it with my 2nd. So I didn't. Sure, it took a while to latch her every time, and it wasn't exactly fun for either of us, but it worked. I just tried again and again and again with her until she got on. But if you do want to try it, the shield really is a magic device that gets all children to latch
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:20 AM   #4
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Re: How can I get him to learn to latch?

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Originally Posted by amitchell98 View Post
You can do it! It seems like things have gotten in your way so far, but you're home now. I used a nipple shield with my 1st because I couldn't get him to latch without it, but it was such a pain to wean from I didn't want to use it with my 2nd. So I didn't. Sure, it took a while to latch her every time, and it wasn't exactly fun for either of us, but it worked. I just tried again and again and again with her until she got on. But if you do want to try it, the shield really is a magic device that gets all children to latch
the shield seems to work for everyone except me. my son won't latch, with or without a shield. he just smacks at it like he knows it shouldn't actually be there.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:59 AM   #5
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Did they check to make sure he was not tounge tied? Both my kids ate so we had to use a nipple sheil to breastfeed & we never had supply issues like everyone sai we would 22 months & still going strong lol DS gets it & brungs it to me now! Relax momma u can do it I know its stressful but it takes time u & baby both have to learn how to

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Old 01-28-2012, 04:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 5littlesweeties
A lot of skin to skin, try to latch him on when he's content before he gets too hungry, try a relaxing warm bath for the 2 of you and see if he'll latch on in the bath. You can also buy a nipple shield if none of the other stuff works and see if he'll latch that way.
ONLY USE A NIPPLE SHIELD UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF AN LC! Those things are hard to wean off of. And unless there is physiological problem with mom or baby, they should just be avoided, IMO. Other than that, all of that is great advice.

It takes awhile for babies and mommy to learn. Sometimes it takes up to 15 minutes in the beginning to get them on right! Watch videos of new new newborns latching and if possible go to a la leche meeting and watch other babies latch on. Have a leader help you or critique you.

I want to add: don't stress about the pacifier. I'm sure it didn't sabotage your breastfeeding relationship. We broke down at two weeks and used one. There are lots of nursing moms who use pacis from day one with no problems.

LO will "automatically latch" one day! Give it a few months.

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Old 01-28-2012, 08:42 AM   #7
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I used a nipple shield and it def helped with my lo latching. It wasn't too hard to wean off it..it was just a process to wean off the shield.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:19 PM   #8
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Re: How can I get him to learn to latch?

I posted in our DDC. We use a paci have since 2 hours old. I think the paci is prob fine but def stop the bottles. The paci he isnt getting the good stuff from but a bottle he is and he will def want it over the breast. S takes for EVER to latch on still at two weeks. I noticed at a few days old it was taking longer then usual and his latch wasnt perfect. He did end up being tongue tied and you could BARELY tell. We had it clipped thursday and he still takes time to latch but his latch is SO much better.

Here some tips off kellymom:
Coaxing baby to the breast

General tips

Your goal is to coax baby to the breast. Do not attempt to force your baby to breastfeed. Forcing baby to the breast does not work, stresses baby, and can result in baby forming an aversion to the breast. As baby gets better at nursing and is able to get more milk via nursing, he will grow to trust that breastfeeding works and will have more patience when latching.
  • Wear clothing that allows very easy access to the breasts. Baby may get very impatient in the split-second it takes for mom to lift the blouse and undo the bra. Spend time, if possible, in a warm place that allows both mom and baby to be naked from the waist up.
  • Lots of skin-to-skin contact can help your baby nurse better and even gain weight faster. Keep your baby with you as much as possible, and give him lots of opportunities to nurse (even if you're not successful). Get skin-to-skin with him, first when he is sleepy, right after a bottle feed (or however you're supplementing). This way baby has the opportunity to sleep and wake up happily, skin to skin at mom's chest, and mom is right there to catch the earliest hunger cues. If baby moves toward the breast and then falls asleep before even mouthing the nipple, or after sucking twice, then these are positive baby steps, not failures. (Read more about kangaroo care or take a look at the book.)
  • Offer the breast often. Try breastfeeding in baby's favorite place, in his favorite position, in the bath, while walking around, while lying down, with baby upright, baby flat on his back, in his sleep, just as he is waking, any time baby looks as if he might be interested, or any other way you can think of, i.e. any time, anywhere.
  • Avoid pressuring baby to nurse. Offer in an ultra-casual way and pretend you don't mind if he refuses (easier said than done, but try not to show any frustration - your aim is to avoid pressuring baby to nurse). Don't hold the back of baby's head or push or hold baby to the breast. If baby pulls off the breast, then don't try to make him go back onto the breast at that time - simply try again later. If baby seems frustrated with your offering the breast, then turn the pressure down and simply make the breast available (lots of skin-to-skin!) without offering. It can be helpful to have lots of skin-to-skin time with baby where he is cuddled at the breast with no pressure to nurse - give control over to your baby, so that baby decides if and when to nurse and when to stop nursing.
  • Carry your baby close to you (a sling or other baby carrier can help with this). "Wear," carry, hold and cuddle your baby as much as possible; carry baby on your hip while doing other things, play with baby, and give baby lots of focused attention.
  • Sleep near your baby. If baby sleeps with you, you'll get more skin-to-skin contact, plus baby has more access to the breast (see this information on safe co-sleeping). If baby is not in the same bed, have baby's bed beside your bed or in the same room so that you can catch early feeding cues, breastfeed easier at night, and get more sleep.
  • Nipple shields can be helpful at times for transitioning baby to the breast. Talk to your lactation consultant about using this tool.
  • Comfort nursing is often the first to come, followed by nutritive nursing. Offer the breast for comfort any time you see a chance- at the end of a feeding when baby is not hungry, when baby is going to sleep or just waking up, when baby is asleep, and whenever he needs to comfort suck If your baby is actively resisting nursing, then try encouraging comfort nursing after baby is comfortable with skin-to-skin contact. After baby is willing to nurse for comfort, you can then proceed to working on nursing for "meals" as well.
You are working to seduce your baby back to breast. Again, coax, don't force!



"Instant Reward" techniques

For a newborn who is not latching or an older baby who does not want to wait for letdown, try these techniques that help to teach (or re-teach) your baby that nursing is a way to get milk:
  • Hand express or pump until let-down, just before trying to latch baby, so that baby gets an instant "reward" for latching on. Another way to elicit let-down is by doing reverse pressure softening.
  • If you are using a nipple shield to transition to nursing, try filling the tip of the shield with expressed milk prior to applying the shield and latching, so that baby gets some milk first thing as he latches.
  • Drip expressed breastmilk (if you have it) or formula onto the tip of the nipple as you're latching (use an eyedropper or a bottle). You can continue this while you're breastfeeding: Just drip milk toward the center of baby's upper lip; let the drop start on the breast and roll down toward the center of the upper lip (12 o'clock position if you're using the football/clutch hold), one drop at a time. A curved tip syringe can also be used to drip milk into baby's mouth.
  • Use a nursing supplementer to increase milk flow at the breast.
If baby starts breastfeeding but stops sucking as soon as the milk flow slows, breast compressions can speed the flow of milk. If this is not sufficient, the last two methods above can also be used.
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...east.html#coax
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:10 AM   #9
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Re: How can I get him to learn to latch?

DS was a tongue sucker. This is where the baby sucks his tongue or cheeks rather than the nipple, it was a pain to overcome. We used a nipple shield under the supervision of the LC. (Milk is harder to transfer through the shield so the LC will weigh your LO before and after a feed with the shield to ensure he's getting enough). I got SICK of the shield because I couldn't keep it on and hated fiddling with the extra item. I started giving DS a little pumped milk in a bottle (maybe 1/4 of the feed) until he calmed down and then laying in the bed with him skin to skin. I would also manually stimulate the let down reflex and get some breastmilk on the nipple. One day he just latched. I had almost fallen asleep when he did it and I startled up because I had never felt him latch before without the shield. You'll get there! Skin to skin is super helpful and I would also recomend a visit with the LC.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:27 AM   #10
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I used a nipple shield with both my kids! My son's frenulum (tissue that connects your tongue to your jaw) was right at the tip of his tongue and he couldn't stick his tongue out or even over his teeth! At 2 weeks they had to clip it! I was able to wean him off it around 3 or 4 months! I was a nanny at the time and I had one for home and one in my bag! Well the one in my bag fell out in the car! He just latched on after that! I actually also gave him the Nuk paci's and that seem to helped train him to the shape of my nipples (half way inverted and a little flat)! My DD had to supplement a little in the hospital and the first night we came home she cried all night because she "wanted" a bottle nipple (she latched on perfectly in the hospital and was feeding really well! She had to wear a billi blanket so the formula was to keep her hydrated)! I decided I didn't want to stress either of us out with the latching and so I just went and bought another shield and some Nuk pacis! She weaned by 2 months! Don't be discouraged mama...you can do it! Try to visit a lactation nurse/center! They can help you and make the two of you feel a lot more comfy about the experience!
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