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How Do I Help My Baby Latch?

When your baby is learning to breastfeed, 'baby-led latching' is very helpful.  This is a natural and simple way for your baby to find your breast, after birth or any time you are breastfeeding.  It is also called 'laid-back breastfeeding'.

Baby-Led Latching
  • Sit comfortably with support, leaning back.
  • Hold your baby skin-to-skin on your upper chest, between your breasts, so that his tummy rests on your chest.
  • Your baby was born with a 'rooting' reflex that helps him find your nipple.
  • You will notice him turning his head or moving it up and down -- looking for your breast. This may look like bobbing or pecking.
  • Support your baby's back and bottom with your arm and hand while he moves towards your breast. When his shoulders and hips are supported, he can tilt his head back a little. This will help him latch.
  • Your baby will find your nipple. He may touch it with his hands first.
  • After a few tries, your baby will push his chin into your breast, reach up with an open mouth, and latch to your breast.
  • Once your baby is latched, you can change positions to make sure both of you are comfortable.
Source: 'Breastfeeding Matters', used with permission from the Best Start Resource Centre.