Sunday, June 5, 2011

the marathoner vs. the snacker

What type of breastfeeder do you have?

1. The Marathoner
All the Marathoner wants to do is eat. Eat, eat, eat. Your baby is probably going through a growth spurt- the more he sucks, the more your breasts will produce. Simple supply and demand. He may also be going through a period of high-need and needs a lot of sucking and holding, as he adjusts to life outside the womb. Set up shop on the couch, and use your Marathoner as an excuse to order your partner around the house.

2. Mr. Suck-a-Little, Look-a-Little
Usually turns up between two and six months of age. Suck a minute, pull away. Suck a minute, pull away. Rewind and repeat. Mr. Suck-a-Little, Look-a-Little keeps getting distracted by other things going on in the room- Daddy walking by, the curtain blowing in the wind, the pattern on the couch, your face. Don't worry- he'll soon learn that he can eat and look at the same time.

3. The Nipper-Napper
I can eat and sleep continually! Suck, sleep, suck, sleep. Usually happens during the first few weeks.

4. The Gourmet
The Gourmet loves the breast. She prolongs each feed into a 12 course gourmet meal. She smiles at and gently nuzzles the breast, anticipating the meal to come. She'll lightly suck a couple of times, savoring the taste of milk in her mouth. Then she'll settle down for the main course: smacking, sighing with delight, wiggling and pressing against you. She might doze for a little bit between courses, then start up again with gusto. She'll finally nibble a bit for dessert, and let out some loud, satisfied burps.

5. The Yanker
Close relative of Mr. Suck-a-Little, Look-a-Little- He frequently pulls his head away, but forgets to let go of the nipple in the process. Ouch!

6. The Chomper
AKA "Jaws". You are a human teething ring. Usually happens around five to six months, as baby starts experiencing sore gums from teething.

7. The Intruder
It's the end of the day, the babies are in bed. The lights are down, some Marvin Gaye is on the stereo. You and your partner are getting down to business... and the Intruder starts crying that milk cry. Foiled again!

8. The Twiddler
She loves to use her top hand to pinch your breast or play with your face while eating- usually happens between six and nine months.

9. The Gymnast
No simple and comfortable positions with this one, oh no. She contorts all over the place, waving her leg like a little tentacle protruding from under your nursing blanket. Next thing you know, she's doing a headstand on your breast. Relax, and dream of a future filled with Olympic gold medals.

10. The Snacker
The Snacker likes to eat on the run. Usually seen in toddlers, the like frequent two hour feedings. Go ahead and attach a McDonalds sign on your chest.

11. The Pouncer
A cousin to the Snacker and the Intruder. You're on the couch, about to enjoy some quiet time with a book and a glass of wine. Suddenly he appears and pounces, much like a cheetah in the wild stalking it's prey.

I've seen them all! My personal favorite is the Gourmet- time consuming, but an image that I'll keep in my head forever.

Adapted from The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby From Birth to Age Two, by William, Martha, Robert and James Sears.

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