Breastfeeding is a happy moment for babies and creates a strong bond between a mother and the baby. It is normal to see babies showing different gestures during breastfeeding. Some babies do giggle, while others smile.
As a mother, you must be asking yourself why your baby always smiles during breastfeeding. And does this happen just to your baby or to other breastfeeding kids too? Well, to have a deeper understanding of this topic, this is the article to read. It has all the necessary information.
Why Babies Smile While Breastfeeding
When a two-month-old baby flushes a smile at you while nursing, you are likely to feel cynical, this gesture may leave you wondering what that means. You can’t stop but ask yourself if that is really normal.
Note that babies are tiny little beings with a social life too. Since they can’t express love and appreciation by word of mouth, they will smile or giggle at you. This type of social gesture is more common during breastfeeding time.
The best you can do as a mother is to smile back as a sign of acknowledgment. Doing this cements your relationship with your baby. Social smile, as child experts call it, is common among breastfeeding babies.
Is This Behavior Normal?
Most newborns smile unconsciously, but those who are two months and older do it for a reason. In most cases, it is a way of communicating their emotions because they can’t speak. Babies can express their emotions anytime, including breastfeeding time. So, if your baby smiles during nursing, you should consider this normal.
Does It Happen to All Babies?
The answer to this question is yes. Note that babies who have not yet developed the skill of speaking express their needs and emotions using gestures. And one of these gestures is smiling.
So, smiling when nursing is common and happens to all breastfeeding babies. Note that so long as the baby is comfortable and does not have any health issues, he or she will express it through smiling, giggling, or laughing. It is a way of telling you that everything is okay.
What are the implications?
Though smiling is a healthy gesture among babies during breastfeeding, it distracts their feeding. However, this behavior does have some effect not just on the baby but on the mother too.
Smiling causes distraction during breastfeeding. For instance, it causes shorter and frequent nursing, which interferes with the supply of breast milk. So, if you encourage this type of breastfeeding, there will be no enough milk to nurse your baby.
Also, when babies smile during breastfeeding, they are not able to feed correctly. So, they start feeling hungry after a short time. As a mother, it will force you to have many breastfeeding sessions. If you are not feeding the baby frequently, you will be prolonging the feeding session. This might not be convenient for a mother who is working on a schedule.
Generally, this kind of feeding is not suitable for the baby. Babies are supposed to have a nursing routine. It helps them develop appropriate feeding habits even as they grow older. Nursing the baby less frequently also helps him or her to sleep longer at night. It means that as a mother, you will also have enough time to rest.
How Do You Prevent This?
Since smiling while breastfeeding interferes with the baby’s feeding, here is what to do to prevent the destruction. Try nursing the baby when he or she is a bit sleepy or just woken up. At this time, they are usually less active, and smiling may not be present. Generally, babies breastfeed well when they are about to sleep or after waking up. At this time, they are less distracted by many things.
Also, the mother should nurse the baby in a lying down position. Note that mother-baby eye contact sometimes triggers smiling during breastfeeding. So, once you avoid eye contact, the baby won’t smile.
It is hard to control smiling because even mothers feel good when their babies smile. So, most of the time, you will find yourself smiling back at the baby. However, since this behavior interferes with nursing, you should find ways of preventing this to help your baby feed well. It might seem a bit technical to tame this behavior, but it is doable.