by Sharon Perrella – International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
It seems that infant distractibility peaks at around 16 weeks, so many babies who have typically been really settled at the breast can become very challenging to feed. I call them “FOMO babies.” Some mothers interpret this as the baby rejecting the breast and/or they worry that their baby isn’t getting enough milk. These distractible babies tend to feed beautifully in the still of the night. Often, they have started waking more overnight at this age, which partly could be because they take less volume during the day and need to make up for it at night.
My top tips:
- This is a very common developmental stage that will pass.
- Try providing sensory stimulation near the breast to keep baby engaged during feeding eg. a bright teething necklace or scarf, textured cloths for baby to play with, sing or recite nursery rhymes.
- You can try retreating to a dark, quiet room but some babies can hear a pin drop from the other side of the house.
- Don’t try to force your baby to feed – your bub wont allow himself to become dehydrated and will seek out the breast when thirsty.
- If you find it distressing to try and breastfeed a FOMO baby in public, it’s fine to take a bottle of expressed milk and/or experiment with waiting until you get home (some babies can last several hours between feeds).
If you’re still concerned, please book an appointment with one of our One for Women Lactation Consultants.