Letting your baby put his finger up your nose is actually one good way to stop him from twiddling.

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I suffer from the antics of a twiddling toddler. Perhaps some of you can relate? She doesn’t do it every time she nurses but she does do it when she’s really tired.

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Usually at those times I’m tired too. Then all of a sudden (twiddle twiddle). Argh! No!

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toddlernursing.jpgspaceball-1It’s too bad that twiddling is such an annoyance because one of the reasons nurslings do it is because they love to be close to us. Breastfeeding is not just a form of nutrition, it’s a form of love. Twiddling is comforting to them. Our breasts are soft and cuddly so our babies literally want to hold us in their hands. Oh, if only a warm cupped hand was all it was!

Last week’s Monday Musings post was about trying to make boundaries with your toddler around nursing and whose breasts do those baubles attached to your chest really belong to? A number of readers commented on twiddling, so I thought I’d devote today’s Monday Musing post to the subject.

None of us likes the twiddling. It’s one thing if our partner does it but another thing entirely if our offspring does.

So how do you stop it? Here’s a few ideas:

1. Only offer access to one breast at a time. Keep your bra done up on the unused side. Wear a nursing shirt and keep the other flap closed. Do NOT breastfeed topless. Doing so creates a wonderful buffet effect and your growing baby will likely not be able to control himself.

2. Keep one hand over the unused breast. Eventually your nursling will be able to figure out a way to get into your shirt and unclasp your bra. You may either start out the nursing session with your hand over your breast or clap it there at the first sign of twiddling.

3. Side-lie when you breastfeed. This probably works better for larger busted women like me who can squish the unused breast onto the bed or the floor, but if you’re smaller chested you could try it and tell me if it works or not.

4. Stop breastfeeding. You could treat twiddling like biting. If your nursing twiddles your nipple, gently unlatch her and tell her, “No twiddling. Twiddling hurts/annoys Mommy.” If she can agree to nurse without twiddling you can try again. If she continues you might stop again and put her down so she begins to understand how much you really hate it. For more tips on breastfeeding a biter go here.

5. Keep her hands occupied with something else. You can hold her hands, show her finger plays, let her put her finger up your nose or in your mouth, play other games, or give her a small toy to play with. Distraction is key!

In closing, I leave you with some silly breastfeeding nursery rhymes. While I tried to think up today’s post I started trying to re-write some nursery rhymes using a breastfeeding theme. Similar to my Princess and Chick Pea story. Funny, they all ended up being about twiddling. (Likely because “diddle” rhymes with twiddle.)

Hey Baby Little (Hey Diddle Diddle)

Hey baby little

Your thumb likes to twiddle

It drives me over the moon

Daddy just laughs to see Mommy so vexed

I hope you will stop really soon.

Mine Mine Breasties (Ba Ba Black Sheep)

Mine mine breasties

Have you any more?

Yes baby yes baby

Two breasts full.

One for you baby, one for your dad,

But neither of you get one if you twiddle or are bad (dad!)

Mine mine breasties

Have you any more?

Yes baby yes baby,

Two breasts full.

Twiddle Twiddle Dumpling (Diddle, diddle dumpling)

Twiddle, twiddle dumpling my son John

Went to bed with his mouth latched on

One hand off and one hand on

Twiddle, twiddle dumpling my son John.

How do you deal with a twiddling baby or toddler? I’d love to know.

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19 Responses to “5 Ideas For Getting Your Nursling To Stop Twiddling”

  1. #1 TheFeministBreeder Says:
    January 11, 2010 at 3:47 am
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    January 11, 2010 at 6:30 am
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