Blog Details

How to Stop Your Baby From Nipple Twiddling

How to Stop Your Baby From Nipple Twiddling

At some point in your breastfeeding journey, like most of breastfed babies, your baby will start
nipple twiddling. He will play with the opposite nipple during the feeding sessions, and
sometimes just whenever he likes. Other babies sometimes twist, pull and pinch their mommy's
nipples too.

Some mommies can stand it and don't really mind, but most(like me!) feel uncomfortable with it
especially that it can also cause stimulation and milk release or letdown of the other breast. But
do you know that nipple twiddling has advantages not just for babies but for mommies too? Find
out how this can help you in your breastfeeding journey. This article is written based on my
knowledge, research and experience as a mom who has a nipple-twiddling son, and hated it!
Why Babies Like Nipple Twiddling

•It Eases Their Boredom

Breastfeeding could take quite some time. Each session may take about 20-30 minutes
depending if your baby gets full fast. Babies get bored in long feeding sessions so they look for
something to do to entertain themselves without interupting the feeding sessions.

•It Gives Them Comfort

Nipple twiddling helps the baby to feel much relaxed and soothed. When baby is much
comfortable, it can help him nurse better and he will feel more full and satisfied every feeding

•It Helps to Increase Milk Supply and Letdowns


Each time the baby twiddles the other nipple while feeding, it helps to release a hormone called
oxytocin. This hormone increases the milk supply and betters the milk flow so your baby can get
more milk.

The Benefits of Nipple Twiddling

Yes Momma! Even though it is quite irritating and uncomfortable for you, you should not make
this a reason to discontinue breastfeeding because nipple twiddling has benefits not just for
baby but for you too.

•Helps Increase Milk Supply and Encourages Letdowns

As stated earlier, Nipple twiddling helps the mammary glands to release hormones that help
increase the supply of milk. Have you noticed that when a momma cat nurses her little kittens,
the little ones tend to knead their mother using their front legs to encourage more letdowns of
milk? It is the same when our baby does nipple twiddling. It is a natural process that helps both
momma and baby to successfully do breastfeeding.

If in case you experience hardship in breastfeeding because of low supply of milk, here is an
article that is full of wonderful tips on what to do if your breastmilk is running low.

It is very important to maintain an ample supply of breastmilk to ensure your baby is getting
enough milk and he is nursed well.

•Babies Can Focus In Feeding

Nipple twiddling helps the baby in a way that his mind may wander, his fingers may keep
moving, but his body will stay still and continue feeding himself with mommy's milk. This makes
the feeding sessions efficient and satisfying.


•Mother's Breasts are Drained Well Each Feeding

We all know that when mommy's milk isn't properly drained, it can cause discomfort. Other
complications may arise like breast engorgement(breast swelling and overfull of milk) which can
be painful or worst, mastitis which is attributed to breast infection because of milk.

Tips to Stop Your Baby From Nipple Twiddling

This is a no-joke task to do. It may take quite some time to fully make your baby stop the
twiddling if it gets too uncomfortable for you. But, good news is you can gradually break the
habit of nipple twiddling through these tips:

•Discourage the Twiddling as Early as Possible

If you find nipple twiddling to be very uncomfortable for you, attempt to stop your baby from it as
early as possible. It is easier to discourage him early than to break the habit once he is already
used to it. He may cry and give a fuss if he gets used to twiddling and you all suddenly want him
to stop it.

•Keep the Other Breast Covered


Not giving your baby the access to your other breast is one key to give him a cue that you are
not comfortable with him twiddling, pinching or pulling your nipples. He may still try to put on his
hand inside your shirt but be firm and stop him.
•Give Him Something to Hold Each Feeding Session
Keep his mind off from twiddling by giving him something else to hold. Be it his favorite toy, or
something he can play with while you are breastfeeding.

•Hold Hands and Talk to Your Baby While Feeding

Now this could be extra effort for you, but be connected with your little one. Keep him
entertained by talking to him or singing to him while you are feeding. Hold his hand gently too
while feeding to discourage him from nipple twiddling.

•Gently Pull His Hand Away Everytime He Attempts to Touch Your Breast

Put his hand in your cheeks or face instead. Make him try touching your face while feeding until
he gets used to it. By pulling his hands away, he will be aware that you don't like him touching
your nipples. Put his hand somewhere else until he gradually forgets about nipple twiddling.

•Additional Tip: Fake Crying

Haha. I know this sounds silly, but it worked well for me. My 1 year old son was so stubborn
when it comes to his habits of nipple twiddling. Sometimes, he just wont let me stop him. What I
did? I fake-cry everytime he does it. It gives him the idea that I'm sad and in pain every time he
pinches and pulls my nipples. So, he would take his hands off sometimes. Good job!

Some mommies don't find any issues with nipple twiddling. That would be nice because it would
serve well for both mommy and baby, everybody is happy. However, there are also mommies
who just can't stand it and see it as a disadvantage of breastfeeding and might sometimes make
them want to quit. That's the reason why I loved sharing my lists of tips on this matter.

Breastfeeding is a teamwork and I believe that both, mommy and baby deserves peace of mind
and comfort while going through this challenging yet wonderful journey of breastfeeding.


Nipple Twiddling