Finger feeding is to be used primarily to prepare a baby who does not latch on to take the breast.
Note that finger feeding is done only long enough to calm the baby and to get the baby sucking well. This rarely takes more than 60 seconds.
It should not be used as a method of supplementation when the baby does take the breast. In such a case supplementation, if necessary, should be given at the breast with a lactation aid.
We filmed this baby because he had already latched on after being finger fed.
Why did he not latch on to the right side in this video?
• Because he already had fed on the right side, the flow of milk from the breast was slower: babies like fast flow and even if the lactation aid would provide him with more flow, it wasn’t enough
Why did he latch on to the left side?
• Because he hadn’t yet fed on the left side, the breast was “fuller” and the flow was rapid: babies like fast flow
Note that we do not try to force a baby to stay at the breast. If the baby struggles, allows the breast into his mouth but doesn’t suck, or cries, then we let him come away from the breast and try again.
• If the baby latches on, there is no need to try to force him to stay, he’s latched on
• If the baby does not latch on, trying to force him to stay at the breast is futile and likely to make him angrier or “go limp”