21 answers

Baby Boy Won't Stay Latched

I am a BF mom of a 16 week old baby boy. He is wonderful, and sweet, only fusses before bedtime, we can take him anywhere (including an airplane) with no problem...just an absolute joy. For about the last month when he nurses he will continually latch on and pull off several times during the feeding. It doesn't hurt, it's more just annoying, and I'm not sure why he does it, and it's hard to tell when he's finished eating because he keeps latching back on. He does this mainly on one breast, the other he eats pretty constantly, maybe only latching off 1 or 2 times. He eats very fast, only about 10 minutes total each feeding, but is growing normally and does not give hunger cues when he's finished. Does anyone know why he might be doing this? Any tips on how to get him to stop? Thanks for the help!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Both my daughters did this and they are just playing! It is a phase and will pass. Best of luck and congrats on such a wonderful baby boy!

he is latching on and off because he has learned how. The novelty will probably wear off. It might not. When my kids started playing this way I took them away from the breast. If they were still hungry, they'd let me know.

More Answers

My son's going through the same thing right now, at 4 1/2 months old. I agree with the other moms that it's because they're getting distracted from their surroundings. I find that when my son won't focus on feeding, I'll cover his head with a light blanket or even a burp cloth, so that he's not stimulated and can concentrate on feeding. It helps a lot to have a quiet environment, too. Good luck!

It sounds to me like he is playing during his feedings, looking around and such. I would try going to a quiet room with no distractions to see if that helps. At any rate, I think it is just a phase that will pass. It did with my kids.

What you are experiencing is very typical for this age. As another poster said, your baby is at the stage where he is becoming more aware of his surroundings. This is also the age where babies become more efficient with their nursing, hence the 10 minute satisfied feedings.

Dear A.,

Your baby is about the right age to begin getting distracted while nursing. They do this whether nursing or bottle feeding. The truth is, that your baby is intelligent and if he weren't becoming distracted, you would be right to worry a little.

Distractions can be looking at you or anything else in the room. The best thing to do is enjoy his curiosity, then encourage him to continue feeding.

When you really have to get moving quickly, try nursing in a darkened room...If he sees less, he may focus more on the task at hand. (This backfired with my kids though...they were interested in the "changed environment" more than the "same ole, same ole" place I nursed them in regularly).

Both of mine when through this phase. I feel like it happened when the flow wasn't as fast as they'd like and/or when they started teething. My son started teething right at 3mos.

Hope you figure it out,

Hi A.,

It may be that the milk from that breast comes out faster. Just be patient because, as he gets bigger, he'll probably be able to handle it.


My daughter did this too. At the time I thought it had to do with her working the milk. I had a lot of problems with clogged milk ducts so I assumed it was her way of working out the "clogs". When she started doing this I would massage my breast to help get the milk going. It seemed to help.

Good Luck!

That is completely normal for his age. Just starting to become more aware of the very interesting and stimulating world around him. Hang in there
Good luck

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