Breastfeeding Styles

Every baby feeds differently from the next.

Below are different styles of breastfeeding, observed by experts from Yale University, USA:

  1. ‘Barracuda’ type. This is the type of baby that once the breast is shown to them they energetically suck the nipple for 10-20 minutes.  This can result in painful nipples but gradually your child will calm and your nipples will settle down.
  2. Enthusiastic but ineffective. This is usually a hungry baby but they haven’t quite figured out how to latch on properly.  The key is to breastfeed before your baby becomes too hungry, then there is less ‘urgency’ and your baby will be able to relax.
  3. This baby gives no indication that he may be hungry.  He seems indifferent to the milk that he’s receiving.  The key is to be patient as they may just be adjusting to a new way of feeding.  Hopefully he will adjust to your need to breastfeed.  If he misses a feed, you can express to keep stimulating milk production.
  4. This is a baby who like to just play around with your nipples.  He may taste the milk then reject it.  Don’t try to rush him as he will just protest.  Be patient and hopefully he will begin to suckle.
  5. This type of baby may only suckle for a few minutes then fall asleep.  Then suckle and sleep again.  This pattern may continue for a while.  Whilst this isn’t practical if you are a busy mother it may take a while to get them into more of a routine.

Your baby may not fall into one of these categories but they may help to understand your babys feeding style and make it easier to adjust your feeding to their needs.

Every baby has different feeding patterns.  However, because breastmilk is more easily digested than formula, breastfeeding babies tend to drink more often.

Newborns usually take approximately 10-20 minutes to feed on one breast.  However, it’s not how long they’re latched on for but how they are latched on and whether they are receiving enough milk.  Your baby will let you know if they’re not receiving enough milk!!

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