26 answers

Clicking Sound While Nursing

My son makes a clicking sound when nursing. It seems to be something he's doing with his tongue, and it's making my nipples very sore! Has anyone else had this problem? If so, what have you done to correct it?
Thank you!!
Becky

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He's not latching on properly, my son did the same thing. Try using a nipple shield and every time he starts to click break the suction and try again.

It sounds like he is not latching on correctly. I would contact a lactation specialist(you can usually find one at a hospital or through the La Leche league).

my daughter did this exact thing though I think I had nipples of steel cause it didn't cause long lasting pain. When she would do this I would just break the latch and make her relatch properly. It never fully stopped but she did stop doing it so frequently (a change from about 2-3 times per feeding to 2-3 times per week)

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Hi R.,

Just a quick note. Here is the La Leche League referral number for your area: Referral Line ###-###-####. Also, it may be helpful to work with an Independent Board Certified Lactation Consultant. You can probably get a referral through La Leche League for one. Don't just see any lactation consultant!

Usually when a baby is making a clicking sound it is because they are not latched on right. It's the improper latch that makes your nipple sore. Here is a link from the LLL website about proper latching technique: http://www.llli.org/FAQ/positioning.html. Many women have a hard time learning to latch their little one on by themselves or from a book. Latch can also be complicated by physiological issues in moms or babies. It may really be helpful to consult someone locally to help!

D. Rylander, Birth Doula
A Blessed Birth Doula Services
###-###-####
____@____.com

I know it causes latching problems, but I don't know if your son will grow out of it. Our close friends' little guy has always done this and he's now 20+ months old and still drinks like that when he gets his nightly bottle. He's always been a very messy nurser and even is messy with a sippy cup (milk, water, juice, etc. dribble down his chin most every-time). I know he made his mom's nipples super soar, too. I would follow the recommendations and talk to either LLL or a lactation consultant. Good Luck! :-)

My daughter made the same clicking sound and my lactation consultant told me she was not latching on right. I also got very sore. As soon as I had help with latching the clicking went away and the soreness stopped. The best way for me was to grab hold of your breast with your thumb at the top of your areola and fingers at the bottom. you push down with your thumb so that you nipple points upward. Then make sure that your baby is getting a whole mouthful areola and all with nipple to the back of the throat. It is so much easier to show this than to explain but I hope this helps!

He's not latching on properly, my son did the same thing. Try using a nipple shield and every time he starts to click break the suction and try again.

Sounds like he has slid off a bit....I would reattatch him everytime he made the sound and see if it helps. My daughter use to do that and my nipples paid the price. When I nursed my son I realized the problem and fixed it from the start and was fine.

D.

Hi R.,
The clicking sound is most likely not the issue. A lot of babies click when they swallow. It is more likely that your son doesn't have a good latch, so you are getting sore. When he comes off, check the shape of your nipple. It should be round. If it is flat on one side, or misshappen, he isn't getting a good latch. When he is nursing, check the placement of his lips. They should both be curled (top up, bottom down) and he should have as much of the nipple and areola as possible. If you've already checked these things and you are still getting sore, call your local hospital or La Leche league. They can connect you with miracle worker lactation specialists who will come to you and help you work it out. Don't wait until you are so sore you can't nurse. Good for you for doing this hard work! Nursing can take awhile to get the hang of it, but once you do it is such a gift for you and your baby. Take good care of yourself~
L.

It sounds like he is not latching on correctly. I would contact a lactation specialist(you can usually find one at a hospital or through the La Leche league).

Hi there! Sounds like your son isn't latched on properly. You can retrain him by working hard to have him get a huge mouthful. Make sure his bottom lip is rolled out. It should not hurt, though it does hurt for awhile when you first start to nurse your first time. I struggled with this at first until my mom told me to pinch my nipple and shove it in his mouth. That helped alot. Just make sure with #2 you start right away getting a huge mouthful! It's so comical to see how big of a mouthful they can get. ;P The Sears breastfeeding book is very useful! You can tell yourself if he's tongue-tied if he can't freely move his tongue. My first boy was tongue-tied--we went up to a natural doctor in Portland and it was simply cut. He nursed really well with but even better without it. I hope you have happy, painless nursing soon.

Hi! It's a shallow latch. My baby had one too. I'd recommend a lactation consultant or check out la Leche League's website. I contacted one of their volunteers and they were incredibly helpful! She stuck with me for two weeks while my daughter and I worked on it.
Good luck! Congrats for breastfeeding!
A.

My son did the same thing, so I asked the lactation nurse and she said his tongue was lifted while trying to latck on. She told me two things I could do: 1. Watch his tongue right before he latchs and make sure it is flat and on the bottom of his mouth (not lifted at all). 2. Rub his jaw right before a feeding. Number one worked but number two didnt for him but it might for your son. Hope it helps.
La Tasha H

As most everyone's already said, it's a latch issue. My daughter did that occasionally early on and I learned that the angle of her head to my breast was wrong. As soon as we changed it (nose pointing towards armpit instead of ribs), my nipples started to heal and everything was good! The other issue we had was that I would press on my nipple so she could breathe while eating. That was completely unnecessary, but may have contributed to the clicks. I really encourage you to stick with it and keep giving your baby the perfect food!

The problem is that your son is not latching on properly. You need to get help right away, to correct his habit. The incorrect latch will cause you pain, him to get lots of air, and will also keep him from effectively suckling the hind-milk out. Your milk supply could decrease if he is not able to suck well enough.

La Leche offers free lactaion counceling and they will give you very specific instructions on how to correct it. www.lll.org

This occurs when the tongue slips off the end of the nipple. we had the same problem. the lactation clinic was of NO help! what worked was cranial-sacral therapy from a chiropractor that works almost exclusively on babies. check out Whole Mama Whole Child. Dr. Amy Watson. good luck!

I would go and see a lactation person as soon as possible. He is not latching on right! We had a hard time getting my son now 1 to get latched on right. He clicked and clenched. We never were able to get him to latch on correct! best of luck!

My daughter did that and it was because she is a little "tongue tied" but it was NOT a latching issue it was the only way she could latch on so there weren't other options for us. She nursed like a champ and was always 95% in weight so I wasn't worried. I was sore for awhile but it went away.

Hi Becky,

Depending on the age of your son, it might be that he's not latching on properly. I remember our daughter did that off and on for a week when she was born and the lactation clinic helped to get her latched on.

Hope this helps!

~S.

my daughter did this exact thing though I think I had nipples of steel cause it didn't cause long lasting pain. When she would do this I would just break the latch and make her relatch properly. It never fully stopped but she did stop doing it so frequently (a change from about 2-3 times per feeding to 2-3 times per week)

I have 2 kids who were both breastfed and they both did what you describe, although it mever made my nipples sore. what did make them sore though was that I wasn't getting a proper latch and as a result I developed little scabs on my nippes. The soreness could be from not getting a proper latch, and the baby making a smacking sound may be because your milk is flowing fast and he needs a break. My milk flowed very fast and was almost too much sometimes and so both my kids did that, unfortunately I don't think there's much you can do about that. Another thing may be if he's not getting enough air through his nose, he may break the latch to take a breath, you might pull your breast away from his nose. I hope this helped, and good luck.

Hi Becky,

You need to make sure he latches on properly. Try different positions. The sideline position is my favorite. Express milk before he latches. You may be a little to full for him to latch properly. Best of luck! You will both get better!

S.

ooooh, ouch! one of my babies did that and it hurts a lot! He isn't latched on properly, do you have someone who can help you (and him) get a proper latch?

I agree, its a latch issue. I forget what it is, but I remember reading about it when I was nursing. Definately call a LLL leader or find an IBC LC (your hospital or OB likely has recommendations) and get them there QUICK. Even a day or two can make a difference between cracked and bleeding nipples when it comes to latch. Good luck and I hope you get things fixed quick!

My nephew did that. He had a high palet, it was due to a genetic condition(not saying yours is). I noticed it(the sound) & told my sis-in-law. My daughter also had that issue, so we changed nipples(for both children). My sis-in-law still pumped,& used breast milk, I couldn't breast feed(due to a medication). Now both are teens, my daughter is fine, & my nephew, we found out, has fragile X syndrome(was born with & is highly functional). It might be some thing you'll want to try(changing to a bottle & different shaped nipple). We used gerber, they worked the best.

Yes! I had the exact same issue with my son. The Lactation Nurse gave me some great advice which solved the problem. She said this problem occurs when you are too engorged for your child to latch properly. So, she told me to massage my breast around the nipple for about 30 seconds and then express some milk before nursing. Expressing a little bit is all that was needed to soften the breast and get him latching on properly. My nipples were feeling better within days.
Good luck!

Call a lactation consultant or la lache league quick! Don't let your nipples get hurt. I'm afraid that has not happened to me but with the lactation consultant I was able to get correction when I was about to give up I had let it go about 2 days too long!

He's not latching on properly. You should see your doctor/nurse about showing you how to get him latched on properly. Also have them check to make sure he isn't tongue tied. My son was and after a very simple procedure he was able to nurse just fine. Getting it figured out sooner rather than later will save you a lot of pain!

I believe that means that he is not getting a good hold on the nipple and he isnt latching on right. Try getting him to latch on better that might help a lot. Some babies just make a lot of noise while nursing. If you are a new mom and new at nursing, you should talk to someone like LaLiche Legue or a nurse to get more advise or to see if you are nursing him right.

Also, try changing possitions and see if there is another one that is more comfortable for him or you.. That may help! Good luck, S.

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