Your baby is not opening his mouth wide enough before breastfeeding latch because you are not supporting him properly.
Before we start, you should determine what is the proper wider latch. Or to what extent your breastfed baby should open his mouth. To know what is wider latch vs narrow latch, check the next simple picture.
How to get baby to latch wider for deeper baby latching?
To get baby to open wide for good/proper latching is simple process depending on 3 steps:
- At any nursing position, your nipple level should be higher than your baby mouth level, certainly at his eyes level.
- After that, gently hit your nipple with his nose or upper lip. By doing that, your infant would turn his head back to search for your nipple to catch.
- Repeat the last step multiple times until you reach the widest opening. Then, insert your nipple.
Some vital breastfeeding latch tricks to apply while trying to get baby to latch wider
- Apply the sandwich hold for a wide baby latch.
The sandwich hold during breastfeeding is a latching technique where you use your hand to press/squeeze your breast to minimise its size. By doing that, you make it easy for your little baby to latch on breast, especially if you have a large breast.
- Be patient, especially in the first days after birth. The wider mouth opening may take several trials. So, latch and unlatch till you hit the widest mouth opening.
- Keep your baby’s head free to turn backward. You shouldn’t put pillow-blanket behind your baby’s head.
- Also, don’t support his head with your hand. Only use two fingers under his ears “C shape.”
Breastfeeding latch problems “The shallow latching.”
There are 3 primary goals of wide/deep latching during breastfeeding:
- Achieve pain-free breastfeeding latching “mild nipple pain is ok.”
- Your breastfeed baby extracts the proper/efficient amount of breast milk each feeding
- Meet the breastfeeding recommendation regarding 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding
In the previous picture, bad/shallow/incorrect latch is when your baby catches only the nipple which is very painful action, and lesser breast milk is extracted.
As a result, within days mother stops breastfeeding where each breastfeeding session is very painful, and mom starts to drop sessions to escape the pain.
And you would notice that your baby is not satisfied with the amount of breast milk he gains while shallow latching. So, he maintains crying after latching as he needs more and more.
Need more visuals, check our unique guide on how to good latch without pain “9 pictures”