Latching On

Baby led attachment can really help you with latching on your baby. It really primes their breastfeeding reflexes so that they open their mouth wider and stick out their tongue. I tried baby led latch when my little guy was born and it didn't work for us because the labour had been too long and we were both exhausted.

I later found out that I could have tried it again (if only I'd known perhaps I would have avoided a month of painful breastfeeding.... oh well, hindsight! learn from my mistakes!!)

If baby led attachment doesn't improve your baby's latching on you can still use a few other methods that I've got videos for on this page, so lots of options!!

Watching videos of babies latching on can

help you to improve your latch

Click Here to Share YOUR Latching On Experience and read others

Click here to see Six Different Breastfeeding Positions

Learn the Asymmetric Latch for
Good Drainage of the Milk

The most important parts to get right with latching on your baby are:

  • Your baby's nose not their mouth is in line with your nipple so they can attach asymmetrically
  • Bring your baby to your breast not your breast to your baby
  • Don't restrict your baby's head movements, support them from their body

Getting your baby attached with an asymmetric latch is an easy way of making sure they get more of the areola in their mouth rather than just the nipple. An asymmetric latch means that the baby's lower lip is further over the areola than the top lip. This is important because it means the tongue can push on the area containing milk rather than just rubbing the nipple.

In the video above the important parts to remember are:

  • The baby is on her side, with her stomach against the mother's
  • The nipple is gently rubbed over the baby's top lip
  • The mother waits for a big wide mouth
  • The baby is then brought closer to the breast
  • The baby's chin touches the breast and her nose doesn't
  • More of the areola is covered by her bottom lip than her top lip
  • The baby's head is able to lean back a little so the mouth can open wide

Shaping the Nipple

Some newborns don't open their mouths very wide which causes problems getting enough of the areola in their mouth so that the mother's nipple isn't damaged during breastfeeding.

Shaping the nipple can make it easier to get more in their mouth. This doesn't work for everyone, but is worth knowing in case it is something that works for you.

  • Place your a finger on either side of your nipple so that you can flatten the areola to fit more easily into your baby's mouth
  • Position your baby on your other arm so that the nipple is in line with their nose
  • Wait for the baby to open their mouth wide, move your nipple out of range of their mouth until they do
  • Once baby's mouth is open wide allow the nipple to come into their mouth

If you are still needing some other quality videos, Jack Newman's breastfeeding website is excellent. A internationally renowned pediatrician from Canada, Dr Newman's job sees him helping new mothers with breastfeeding difficulties daily.

Back to Breastfeeding Babies Home Page from Latching On

Have YOU had problems with Latching On?

Have you had trouble latching on your baby? Did you find that every midwife who tried to help told you something different? Were you confused and frustrated?

Did you get one gem of advice that you would like to share? Or perhaps something that you found really useless that you think is worth sharing so other people don't have the same problem?

Share your breastfeeding story about latching on and help others to learn from what you've already gone through, or ask your question about latching on.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

My baby was too upset to attach 
My baby's twelve weeks old now and is usually breastfeeding well, but the other day he got too upset to attach. He'd made all the right head bobbing motions …

I had to use a breast shield to get my baby to latch on 
When my baby was born she wouldn't latch on at all. She did all the right rooting behavior and was clearly wanting to breastfeed but her mouth wasn't …

Baby wouldn't latch on! 
When I had my first son, we couldn't get breastfeeding right for anything! Not only was I engorged, with a cheap breast pump by my side that wouldn't …

Click here to write your own.


New! Comments

What do you think? Any good ideas, suggestions or questions?

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Dr Jack Newman is the go to man for heaping mums get their baby to latch on when other things haven't worked. he uses a very specific, and quite controlled way of getting your baby latched.  This is quite different to baby led latch.  I find his approach 

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