Babies love their hands. When a baby is new he will love to suck on his hands; when he gets older, he will try to cram both of them into his mouth at the same time. There will come a time when a baby will stare at his hands in fascination. Then begins the stage where he will pick up everything he can get his little hands on.
Babies just love their hands!
One of the most common complaints I get from a mom is her baby will try to put his hands into his mouth when she is trying to latch him onto the breast. It feels like it is a competition and she is losing.
The truth is that baby’s hands have an essential purpose in breastfeeding.
They are using their hands, not instead of breastfeeding, but helping them breastfeed.
Your baby will suck on his hands to let you know he wants to eat. When He shoves his hand into his mouth right before you try to latch him onto the breast, that is how he calms himself and organizes himself before he breastfeeds. He may try to grab your breast and is actually trying to pull your breast towards him. Once latched he may massage your breast, which helps stimulate your hormones and he also may grab his face, which is a way that he stimulates himself to keep sucking. He’ll scratch himself now and then., but the scratch will heal quickly.
Your baby should not have his hands covered during feeding or wrapped down with a blanket. You should not push his hands away to prevent him from sucking on them. Let him suck on his hand, but keep touching the area between his upper lip and nose with your breast, and after a few seconds, he will let go of his hand and open wide for your breast. And lose those little mittens that cover his hands. He needs his hands to explore his new world.
I hope now that you know how important your baby’s hands are during feeding, you will let him bring them to the table.