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Breastfeeding Basics – the rooting reflex

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The rooting reflex is a natural instincts your baby is born with. Learn how it helps your little one navigate the world of feeding. πŸΌπŸ‘Ά

What on Earth is the rooting reflex?

Great question! The rooting reflex is a natural instinct that helps your baby find their food source (aka your breast or a bottle). When you gently stroke your baby’s cheek or mouth, they’ll instinctively turn their head toward the stimulus, open their mouth, and start searching for the nipple. How amazing is that? πŸ€—

3 reasons the rooting reflex is so important

  1. Feeding made easy: The rooting reflex is Mother Nature’s way of ensuring your baby can find their food source, whether it’s your breast or a bottle.
  2. Bonding time: This reflex not only helps your baby feed but also promotes bonding between you and your little one during those precious early days.
  3. Survival skills: The rooting reflex is one of the first survival instincts your baby develops, helping them latch on and feed effectively from birth.

4 easy ways to work with the rooting reflex for breastfeeding success

  1. Stimulate the senses: Gently stroke your baby’s cheek or mouth with your finger or nipple to trigger the rooting reflex. Your baby will then turn their head, open their mouth, and start searching for the nipple.
  2. Positioning is key: Ensure your baby is well-aligned and comfortable when trying to latch. Their body should face yours, with their head at the level of your breast or the bottle.
  3. Patience pays off: Sometimes, your baby may need a little extra time to find the nipple. Be patient and give them the space to explore and learn.
  4. Practice, practice, practice: The more you work with your baby’s rooting reflex, the easier it’ll be for both of you to navigate the breastfeeding or bottle-feeding journey.

Support on your breastfeeding journey

Keep in mind that each baby is unique, and their rooting reflex might develop at a slightly different pace. If you’re concerned about your baby’s feeding or reflexes, don’t hesitate to reach out to me in your Due Month group or attend one of our monthly live Q and A sessions to ask your questions. Click on the image to join The Due Date Club or get started with the Breastfeeding Course here.

By understanding and working with this innate reflex, you’ll be well-prepared to support your little one’s feeding journey from day one. Happy feeding, and cheers to your incredible parenting journey ahead! πŸΌπŸ‘ΆπŸ₯³

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