10 Stages of Infant Breastfeeding

Every baby needs to eat, and whether you breast or bottle feed your little lactose lapper, there is no denying that there are stages of infant mealtime.  Here I list the 10 stages I’ve experienced through breastfeeding 4 babies.


They notify you of this stage by crying or screaming long and loud, with very little warning, and they cry so hard that they fail to notice the nipple brushing against their lips for at least 10 full seconds.


When they abruptly notice the key to their satisfaction is millimeters away from their lips, they latch on with piranha like ferocity and swallowing as hard as they possibly can until let down. This is usually prefaced by a shaking of the head to maneuver as much nip as possible into their mouth and a suffocating mashing of their face into your boob.

3) Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.

Content, rhythmic gulping, accompanied by the cutest little grunts you will ever hear.

4) Uhm… hey… starting to get uncomfortable here…

They will signal that they need to burp by suddenly spitting up all over you or crying.  Either way, all that frantic latching and gulping from #2?  Gave them a good ol’ belly full of air.

5) I think I could fit some more in there.

That burping freed up some space.  Thankfully this time they usually aren’t attacking the nipple like a Hun invasion reenactment (I may have been watching Mulan while writing this piece.)

6) What’s going on over there?

This is the point that they start noticing there are other things going on.  But woe unto you who attempts to sit the baby up so you can interact with them without your nipple halfway in their mouth!  Sadly, they’re too young yet to learn that it’s not okay to play with their food.

7) Ugh, maybe I shouldn’t have gone back for seconds.

Maybe it’s just my babies that don’t have a ‘full’ sensor in their bellies.  Regardless, there is always 1 feeding during the day at which they eat far too much and subsequently give a bunch of it back.

8) Do you think I could have a cookie?

Feeling much better after unleashing the contents of their gluttony, baby will smack its lips looking for just a little something to top off.

9) Contentment

Here’s where the line between nursing for food and nursing for comfort gets blurry.  I let them nurse either way.

Last but not least, #10:

Here is your opportunity for uninhibited smooching of those frictionless cheeks and inhaling of sweet milky baby breath. Or am I the only one with that obsession?

Repeat every 2-4 hours.

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