Getting a newborn baby to latch properly when breastfeeding takes practice, but there are ways to tell if it’s being done right. These handy signs will let you know if bub is on correctly and feeding successfully.
Signs that baby is latched and sucking properly
1. Their lips are turned outward, not tucked in tightly and you can see the pink of baby’s lips.
2. There’s a tight seal between the baby’s mouth and areola.
3. Most of the areola is inside the baby’s mouth.
4. If you pull baby’s lower lip down gently, you should be able to see their tongue between the lower gum and your breast.
5. You can hear them swallowing. In the first few days, they may only swallow every five to ten sucks until your milk comes in, when it will be louder and more often.
6. You don’t hear clicking sounds coming from baby’s mouth. This would mean the tongue isn’t in the right position.
7. There’s is no pain. You might get some initial discomfort in the first few weeks during the attachment stage but this should stop after letdown and the milk starts flowing.
8. Baby’s ears are wiggling. This is because the muscles around the ears will move when bubby is actively sucking a swallowing.
9. There isn’t much milk leaking from the corners of bub’s mouth.
10. Your baby’s chin is pressed against the breast and their nose is clear or only just touching the breast.
11. Baby’s cheeks aren’t caving in, or ‘dimpling’. If they are it means there’s a poor seal on the breast so the latch is breaking.
Here’s a great video showing many of these tips in practice: