The Picky Breastfed Baby: BreastFeeding Tips


Breastfeeding Tips from a Lactation Consultant. How to Make Breastfeeding More EnjoyableAs natural as breastfeeding is, it isn’t necessarily easy, especially at first. What happens when things are not going the way you had hoped? Check out my breastfeeding tips.

Understanding the Picky (aka Fidgety) Breastfeed Baby

A fidgety breastfed baby might cry, pull off the breast during a feeding, or fuss and fidget while being fed. 

Here are some breastfeeding tips to help calm your baby and create a more peaceful feeding experience for your baby and you! 

The Reality

How can something you have dreamed, planned and prepared for be so frustrating? Does every mother go through this? Am I the only one experiencing this? The reality check is in full swing. Before you throw in the breastfeeding towel, let’s take an inventory of what an ideal breastfeeding session might look like.

Breastfeeding Tips:

Breastfeeding Tips from a Lactation ConsultantThe Ideal Breastfeeding Atmosphere

If your past breastfeedings have been stressful, try offering your baby’s next feeding BEFORE he is asking to feed or becomes frantic.

Ambiance plays a significant role when baby is at the “breastaurant.” Turn off the TV,  turn on some nice relaxing music, set the lighting just like you would do for yourself at the end of pregnancy or during labor. Don’t forget to add a nice essential oil or scented candle to the atmosphere. This is for baby as much as it is for you.

Position is Key to the Foundation of Breastfeeding

Kind of like location, location, location in real estate, the same is true for position, position, position of both mom and baby. I encourage moms to sit back or prop themselves up like they might do when it’s raining outside and settling into a really good book. Your baby should feel like if you let go of him, he would either stay where he is or roll towards you, not roll away or off your lap. This feeling of security is extremely important for both of you.

Allow baby to be skin to skin and nuzzled right up under your chin, and gently stroke and talk to your baby. Your baby will begin to bobble and move towards one breast. You can then gently help him by pulling his bottom around. Guiding him, while letting him direct the feeding helps him to feel calm. At this point, go ahead and allow him to latch.

Your Milk Flow Could Be An IssueBreastfeeding-Questions

Once you begin to hear baby swallowing, his body should stay relaxed, like being in a warm tub with soft music. If not, there are a couple of things that could be going on, like a strong milk ejection reflex, in which baby has a hard time handling the faster flow of milk and will try to readjust his positioning. Sometimes it is the opposite in which the milk is not flowing fast enough and baby will pull on and off trying to elicit more milk let down. This in instinctive behavior just like kittens or piglets. Using  “compression” during feeding can help. Compression is gently squeezing and holding the breast and helps baby by increasing the pressure and flow of milk. There are also cases where baby is just simply uncomfortable possibly due to how he was laying in the womb or mode of delivery, and laying in your arms a certain way is more pressure on the affected area.

Comfort is Key

Breastfeeding Tips from a Lactation ConsultantAll of the above scenarios can result in sore nipples for mom. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different positions because a very relaxed mom and baby while feeding is always the goal. As adults, we all have had the dining experience where the ambiance was great, the service and food was great with no rush, versus the rushed eating while driving or standing. Same goes for our little ones. Babies that are uncomfortable can come across as very picky but in reality, they are trying to tell us they are NOT comfortable. When we are able to create an environment where both mom and baby are comfortable, we almost always see an increase in milk transfer to the baby. This results in satisfaction with mom and baby.

If these breastfeeding tips don’t help your baby or you’re still not getting relief or feeling like you or your little one is not enjoying the breastfeeding experience, it is a wise investment to seek out help from an experienced lactation consultant or professional. Sometimes all it take is a keen eye and experience to turn your feeding experience around.

Other Issues to Look Out For

Breastfeeding Tips from a Lactation ConsultantThere might be a number of other reasons your baby is being fidgety and/or fussy while feeding.

  • Does your baby need to be burped?
  • Is your baby uncomfortable because of reflux or another medical problem?
  • Is your baby going through a growth spurt and/or hitting a new developmental milestone?
  • Is your baby teething?
  • Is your baby easily distractible?
  • Is your baby fidgeting more when feeding on one breast then the other breast?


For More Breastfeeding Tips, Check Out:


Breastfeeding Tips from a Lactation Consultant. How to Make Breastfeeding More Enjoyable


The information on this website is designed for educational and/or entertainment purposes only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns regarding your child’s condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses.
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Kathy Bradley, IBCLC, ICCE, CD has been involved with perinatal education and health care since 1989. Her focus over the years has been providing education and support to women of all income levels. She is the owner of Childbirth Concierge as well as Director of Perinatal Education, for Commonsense Childbirth, Inc. Kathy Bradley Lactation Consultant in Orlando as an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Childbirth Educator, Certified Doula, and she serves on the Council of Licensed Midwifery for Florida Department of Health. During her career, Kathy has made numerous appearances on TV programs focused on women and children’s health, has written or been mentioned in many magazines and blog sites, as well as developed training programs for the paraprofessional and health professionals. The COPE (Community Outreach Perinatal Educator) Program is a very successful program she developed to meet the needs of birth workers in the public health arena. She also worked with mom and babies at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando, FL for 14 years. As the founder and executive director of the former Childbirth Enhancement Foundation, she developed partnerships and training programs for community-based doula programs with 14 hospitals. She managed a $350,000 grant to provide low-income women childbirth education, doula and lactation support services in Santa Fe, NM. She holds a degree in Communication and Public Relations and lives in Florida, close to her five children and three grandsons.