How To Latch Baby Correctly When Breastfeeding

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The Secret To A Good Breastfeeding Latch

This post on how to latch baby correctly when breastfeeding is going to break it down super simple for you! You’ll learn what a good latch is, how to properly latch baby on and the 4 step method to get a good breastfeeding latch each and every time.

Establishing a correct breastfeeding latch is about the hardest part of breastfeeding. Once you have that down you can be certain of breastfeeding success with a good breastfeeding latch.

This post may contain affiliate links. For my full disclosure see here.

If you are a more visual learner I highly suggest you take advantage of the Ultimate Breastfeeding Course. Its a video course all about how to breastfeed for success taught by a real life lactation consultant.

Are you ready to get a perfect and comfortable latch each and every time?

How Do I know If Baby Is Latched On Properly

These are the signs to look for to determine that baby is latched on to your breast correctly.

  • No pain on breast after a few seconds
  • You can hear baby sucking
  • No clicking or clacking noises
  • You feel your breast milk let down
  • Baby’s chin is touching your breast
  • The baby’s ears wiggle

How Do I Get Baby To Latch Better

When learning how to latch baby correctly, you’ll want to make sure that baby’s mouth is open wide enough to get a better latch.

If you are putting baby to your breast and you feel pain you’ll need to adjust how you are latching baby.

When does the latch on pain go away? If you are experiencing pain when you latch which is a bad sign, but you are now correcting it you may want to know when it stops hurting.

Once you correct the latch the pain should go away almost immediately if it continues it may mean that baby is still not latching correctly.

How To Latch Baby Correctly For Breastfeeding In 4 Easy Steps

These are the steps you should follow each time you prepare to breastfeed.

Step 1: Your Position

Proper sitting position is vital to your ongoing success for breastfeeding and establishing a good latch.

Get comfortable and relax your shoulders. You don’t want to feel your shoulders by your ears. You’ll want to relax them and bring them down.

Have good support on your back you want to be on an incline or have a back support pillow.

Different breastfeeding positions include:

  • Biological Lay (laid back)
  • Side-Laying
  • Cross-Cradle
  • Cradle
  • Football

And yes, if you keep scrolling you will learn how to do each one of these positions when breastfeeding baby.

Step 2: Baby’s Mouth Should Open Wide

To get baby to open wide you’ll want to do a few things:

  • Tickle babies lips with your nipple
  • Swipe their cheek with your finger going upward
  • Bring your breast to baby and then remove it, repeat

Once baby’s mouth is open wide you’ll wan to do the next step REALLY FAST

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Step 3: Bring Baby To Your Breast

Do not take your breast to baby, because you will move the position you are in.

You’ll want to bring baby to your breast. This step has to be done immedietly after they open wide.

Bring them in with your webbed fingers along their neck and head. Then with your free hand you can hold your breast in a ‘C’ hold or ‘U’ hold. (see below how to do these different breasts holds)

This allows you to hold your breast and give baby enough nipple and aerola exposure to latch on correctly.

Step 4: Look For Signs Of Feeding

hunger cues for a breastfeeding baby. How to latch baby correctly when breastfeeding

Fists In Mouth: smacking lips, sucking hand, (any item placed near baby’s lip will try to suck on it). If baby is doing any of this they are hungry.

Crying / Fussy: Baby is very hungry, try to feed asap.

Mouth Is Open Wide: Baby is still hungry, try to move them to a different breast, or get them to latch again to keep feeding.

Tight Lips / Mouth Won’t Open: Baby is full perhaps ready for a nap or a song.

Breastfeeding Positions That Will Help You Latch Baby To Breast

I highly suggest you invest in a nursing pillow, it will help keep your position as you adjust to a good breastfeeding latch.

You can use code: solutionsmommy to get a high quality free nursing pillow just pay shipping.

The Cradle Hold

This might be the most common hold we see around. However many women do it wrong and put added pressure on their arms and cannot get baby to latch correctly.

In this position you’d be sitting upright with baby on your side. One arm underneath baby’s head/neck area and with your free arm you can hold your breast and bring baby to your nipple.

Cross-Over Hold

In this hold also known as the cross-cradle hold you will want baby to be across your chest being tummy to tummy to you like in the cradle position.

Then the arm that is closest to baby’s head is the arm you will use to hold your breast in the “U” breast hold and with the other arm you will support baby’s neck and head.

Football Hold

football hold while breastfeeding using a nursing pillow. - how to latch baby correctly when breastfeeding

This breastfeeding hold is just like it sounds. You’d hold baby the way you would a football.

This is also known as the ‘underarm or rugby ball hold’.

You will sit with your baby by your side. Head positioned by your breast and body going towards your back. See the image below, and you can see how using a nursing pillow will help position baby’s head to your breast.s

Laid-Back Positions

The laid-back position is also known as biological nursing because you are laid back and you are tummy to tummy with baby.

However you don’t want to be laying down flat it would be much more comfortable if you have a slight incline with this position and balance baby above your body.

Side-Lying Position

side-laying breastfeeding position. an easy way to breastfeed and how to latch baby correctly with this pose.

This is a very comforting position and easy for mom to go back to sleep. You would be laying on your side and have baby laying next to you as well. You would bring baby head towards your breast.

Remember to use the steps 1-3 to make sure you latch baby correctly in this position.

How Do You Fix A Shallow Latch When Breastfeeding

If baby is latched to your breast but it is not a shallow latch and you are in pain you’ll want to put your clean finger in the side of baby’s mouth to help them remove from the breast.

After removing baby you’ll want have baby open mouth really wide.

If you need to – make a U shaped breast or ‘sandwich’ breast to help place baby’s mouth onto your breast.

We’ll discuss the different breast holds down below.

How To Get Baby To Open Wide To Latch

Breastfeeding latch trick that works is tickling baby’s side of mouth with your nipple to get them to open their mouth wide.

You can also place nipple close to mouth, then remove it, place close to mouth and remove again.

Doing this makes baby open wider to have them be moved closer to your breast and latch them on.

Different Breast Holding Techniques

The ‘U’ Breast Hold

the u breast hold is perfect for women with large breast to bring baby to their breast and get a good breastfeeding latch

Just like the name describes. You will hold your breast with your free hand in a U shaped.

This will give your breast support to be able to latch baby correctly. It is commonly used with side-laying position and the lay back breastfeeding position.

You will hand to place your breast in the palm of your hand. With your thumb on one side and your forefinger on the other side of your nipple.

You will want to make sure that your fingers are not in the way so your baby can go to your breast real easy.

‘C’ Breast Hold

the c breast hold for women with larger breast who are breastfeeding

Similar to the U breast hold the ‘C’ breast hold will have your hand in the shape of a C.

  • You will want to place your breast in the palm of your hand
  • With your fingers on the bottom and your thumb on top
  • Resembling a C Shape

This hold is also really great for women with larger breasts, making it easier to maneuver baby to your breast.

Breast Nipple Sandwich

the breast nipple sandwich for breastfeeding

This is basically the C and V breast hold combined with slight with strength.

  • You can place your breast in the palm of your hand,
  • With your index finger on the bottom and your thumb on top of your nipple
  • Squish your nipple out to avoid your fingers being in the way of baby latching.
  • Your breast will resemble a sandwich

The ‘V’ Breast Hold

the v breast hold for breastfeeding trying to get the perfect latch

This hold is great for women with smaller breast or slightly inverted nipples. It allows you to push more of the fatty breast forward to push out the nipple that way baby can put more of the breast in mouth.

That’s it the best tips and tricks on how to latch baby correctly the easy way.

So remember to position yourself correctly before even beginning to breastfeed, then make sure that baby’s mouth opens wide, and most importantly bring baby to your breast not your breast to baby.

This will guarantee the best possible latch and make breastfeeding easier for you.

Want to remember what you read? Pin the image below to your favorite Pinterest board

learn how to latch baby correctly when breastfeeding each and every time with these four steps. really 3 steps the last one is hunger cues.
how to get a good latch for baby when breastfeeding

How To Latch Baby Correctly When Breastfeeding

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Rosaura is the mom blogger who helps first time pregnant and postpartum moms find the solutions to their everyday problems. From first finding out you're pregnant to giving birth and baby care, she has you covered.