THE DISTRACTED TODDLER
I once met a mother who’s toddler would like over the back of the couch, and breastfeed from over the mothers shoulder. That was the only way she could get her toddler to BF with less distraction. He was able to kick and look around but be focused at the same time. Sometimes it takes a bit of acrobats. Sometimes it takes us singing in the most tone deaf voice we have to get them focused. Sometimes it take a quiet and dark room. It’s a matter of trial and error. And what works for one child, will not necessarily work for their siblings.
When a toddler or child is distracted from nursing, that’s OK too. When they are really hungry or thirsty, they’ll be right with you for as long as they need. It’s also more often than not a short lived faze that they are going through. This faze can begin as early as 2 months and start and stop for many more months. There are so many more interesting things out there around them then mama’s breast. Like colours and sounds and other people, or the cat stretching. Try not to draw too much attention to their distraction if you can. That may turn them off. As always, offer them on demand and keep it a safe and happy place to keep coming back to. This will ensure your supply stays adequate.
Kellymom brings up a great point, that you should ensure that your baby/toddler is allowed to breastfeed as much at night as they would like (for information on night feedings vs. sleep training please contact me for additional information). They state that one study they found says that an older baby can receive 25% of their milk supply at night. It may be because they are not distracted. Eventually they will come back to it. Offer the breast as often as baby wants, or even when you want it.
IF your baby is still distracted and you are worried about your supply, consult a competent lactation professional or go to a local La Leche League meeting. You will get amazing information and support from…