This post is in honor of World Breastfeeding Week and part of Mothering’s “Blog about Breastfeeding” event.
Is there anything cuter than a chubby baby? I don’t think so. Here are my tips to fattening up your baby.
1. Breastfeed on Demand
In other words, BREASTFEED ALL THE TIME. Whenever they want it, they get it. Plus encourage snacking. Feeling sad? Have some milk. Thirsty after your nap? Take a sip. Bored and pulling my hair? Why don’t I distract you with this instead?
I can’t help myself. It’s
lazy easy parenting.
2. Nurse Them While They’re Sleeping
Grab a good book (or your mobile), latch that baby on, let them fall asleep and nurse away. (Sleeping babies usually keep on sucking.) While you read (or Pin), your baby is getting that fatty hind milk. Eventually they’ll drop your nipple, or you can unlatch them, and in the meantime you’ve gotten thirty or forty minutes to read (or surf).
Plus your baby is looking bigger already.
3. Milk is Liquid Gold
If your baby is spitting up, try eliminating foods from your diet that might be upsetting their tummy. (I found that chocolate and dairy made my son fussy, burpy, and more likely to vomit. Our daughter spit up a ton before I cut out the usual culprits for a few months and she never spit up again. Really.)
You don’t want to waste any milk. You worked hard to make it and your baby needs those calories. ;)
4. Embrace Night Feedings
Try to sleep with your baby in such a way that you both can sleep while the baby eats. I sleep lying on my side, facing the baby, with my boob out and ready. Sleeping like this allowed both of our kids to settle into a routine from just a few weeks old whereby the don’t need to open their eyes or fully wake up at night. They learned that in their sleep they could reach out and usually smack me awake, I’d quickly latch them on, and then try to fall back asleep myself before I’d fully wake up. The sleeping baby would then continue to nurse in their sleep while I slept. (See point 2.) When babies get older they can even latch themselves on and then you can sleep through the whole thing, only waking occasionally to switch sides.
(I found taking magnesium before bed and exercising daily also help me fall back to sleep much more quickly. I try to go to sleep early too so I can take advantage of any longer stretches of sleep the baby might have. I don’t want to be downstairs doing the dishes when I could be sleeping four or five hours in a row. More sleep makes for a better mama. Either way, the baby is getting fatter.)
5. Stay Hydrated
I personally find staying well hydrated to be one of the biggest struggles while breastfeeding. I drink a tremendous amount of water, coconut water, and unsweetened herbal tea in an attempt to quench this constant and overwhelming thirst. At home I drink from a large mason jar with a reusable stainless steel straw. Out and about I bring my Klean Kanteen water bottle (with a BPA-free sport top) with me everywhere. I use my pee color as a guide to my hydration. If there’s any color to it, I need to drink more water to stay healthy, feel energized, and to keep that bountiful milk supply going.
6. Genetic Wild Card
I know there’s nothing you can do about this, but it helps if your breasts are bigger than your baby’s head. As much as I complain about my freakingly huge boobs, they hold a lot of milk. THANK YOU, GENETICS.
That being said, the more your baby breastfeeds, the more milk you’ll make. So latch that baby on, paruse my blog, and let them suck away.
Photos shown throughout this post are a mix of my daughter breastfeeding several years ago (see more in my breastfeeding retrospective post) and our son partaking right now. (Literally. He’s suckling as I write this post. Mama has to multitask these days and I’m trying to fatten him up.)