The milk face
Do not be surprised or alarmed at the fantastic array of expressions on display during feeding. In particular do not be offended at the grimaces, pulling away and general look of horror that might appear when he’s on the boob.
It’s not personal and your milk has not suddenly gone sour.
He’s just got a lot going on, what with digesting all that yummy goodness, trying to compute all the new experiences of that day and somehow stay awake, all at the same time.
Imagine visiting the Great Wall of China, flying to the moon and doing an Iron Man race in 24 hours – and then being fed five times your own body weight in warm milk.
You might be pulling a few funny faces too.
Ditto if he rolls his eyes while feeding or getting to sleep. I think it’s pretty safe to say that babies don’t yet know sarcasm – leave that for when they’re a bit older, like three. When they’re so little, the social cues that we would read unthinkingly in an adult don’t apply yet. See also, shaking their head when on the boob.
Someone told me a very sad story of a woman who gave up breastfeeding her two-day old baby, because she shook her head when the nipple went near her mouth. The poor little thing was just doing what comes naturally and rooting around for the delicious milk she could smell somewhere nearby. This brings us to another key component in the breastfeeding saga.
The wee man often falls asleep on the boob – in fact he seems to mostly be asleep when he’s on there. And before assuming he’s finished and taking him off completely, I have to try gently rousing him again – stroke his back, blow on his face or stroke his cheek.
Usually have to do this many times during a feed (leading to mammoth sessions), and it seems very tempting to just let him stop and try to put him down for a nap, especially if, like this little dude, he’s just taking a couple of sucks between little dozes. But, if he’s not properly finished his feed, it will be a short-lived nap anyway...hurrah for chocolate and tea for me!