The most recent is for a teething or breastfeeding necklace by Smart Mom Jewelry called Teething Bling, offered to you by the fabulous Stacy at the equally fabulous Posh Baby Boutique.
The Smart Mom Teething Bling is an elegant pendant on a cord that looks just like a fashionable necklace — but the pendant is made of soft, baby-safe silicone for your little one to chew on, and the cord has a breakaway clasp if needed.
The necklace is intended as a way to soothe inflamed gums, but I think it would rock as a nursing necklace, don't you?
I wrote awhile ago about my struggles with Mikko and nipple twiddling:
And here's the necklace I made at that point to help with the problem:
Some mamas don't mind twiddling, but I find it really irritating and skin-crawling to have Mikko tweak and twist my free nipple while he eats from the other. My nipples are ultra-sensitive while breastfeeding, and I think part of my discomfort is psychological. Mikko's old enough now to know it bothers me, which helps a lot, but if you're in the phase where it's bugging you but your baby is too young to compromise with you, a nursing necklace that's safe for your baby to play with (safe both for the baby and for the necklace!) can help give busy hands something to do.
The funny thing about twiddling is I totally understand that it's natural and serves a function. Twiddling stimulates milk production just as the baby's mouth would, so it's a way older babies get more efficient at eating quickly. If they get the other side primed and ready for them, the milk will flow more readily when they switch sides. For the baby, of course, it probably just feels good to fiddle. As you can see from the charming Mary Cassatt painting to the left, breastfeeding babies have always loved exploring their mothers' bodies in general!
I totally understand this, biologically and developmentally, and I don't blame Mikko for twiddling. But neither do I blame myself for not liking it. In fact, it's led to some interesting conversations with my two-year-old about how my breasts are part of my body. If you don't mind twiddling, just stick with that. But if it does bother you, here are a few strategies to help:
- Keep your other breast covered by clothing when you're breastfeeding. Fasten back up your bra on that side, or pull down or up your shirt to make it more challenging for your baby to find the nipple. You might find it doesn't feel so sensitive and tickly from the outside if she still wants to play over the clothing.
- Try deep relaxation, meditation, or hypnosis techniques if you know them to see if you can come to terms psychologically with the twiddling.
- Gently remove your baby's hand as often as needed. You might have to hold it in place away from the nipple.
- Cover your free nipple with the palm of your hand as an additional block.
- Talk to your baby about why you don't want him to touch you in that way. Even if he's young, it will get you into the habit of explaining in a calm and reasonable way. Try to use nonjudgmental language. Many mamas find it helpful to say something like, "It's too ticklish for mama to be touched that way" or "Mouth only, please!" rather than language that blames the baby or implies that it physically hurts you if it only makes you uncomfortable.
- Try to train your baby to touch you in a way you find comfortable. Some mothers don't mind a flat hand on the breast, so you can try gently flattening out your baby's palm while talking about and demonstrating what you want. You might redirect the hand to touch the side of the breast or your hair or clothing.
- Keep in mind that your baby has an innate drive to twiddle. She's not doing it to annoy you.
- Tandem nurse! :) That way, there's never a free breast!
- Use a toy, safe jewelry, or other tempting goody to distract that wandering hand. This is where a nursing necklace can be so helpful!
Here are some other takes on twiddling:
- Breastfeeding Moms Unite! includes nursery rhymes she made up about twiddling. How fun is that!
- Code Name: Mama shares the funniest unorthodox toddler use of a nipple ever.
- Stand and Deliver posts a sweet video showing nipple twiddling in action, with moms smiling about it! See, not everyone minds.
- Kellymom.com gives a general rundown on how to promote good nursing manners.
Whether it's twiddling or teething or just plain distraction, there'll come a time when a lovely necklace like the Smart Mom Teething Bling will be just what you want around your neck! I think it would also make a unique and treasured baby shower gift, as a way to support a mama who intends to breastfeed and give her a way to still feel stylish in those frumpy-feeling postpartum days.
Posh Baby Boutique has lots of other lovely items, from adorable onesies to fluffy tutus, and you can follow Stacy on Posh Trendy Blog as well.
Enter to win the Smart Mom Jewelry Teething Bling pendant-and-cord necklace by June 22. This giveaway is open to USA and Canada (not just USA as originally noted, so if you're Canadian and had already given up on the contest, head back on over and rejoice).
I also reviewed and am giving away a children's book by Steve Ouch called SteamPotVille. It's a book that puts the "Sure, you betcha" in "surreal." (I just made that up. Catchy, no?)
If you want a cross between Monty Python and Where's Waldo? (as some happy reviewers have described it!), head on over to enter by June 17! This giveaway is open to USA, Canada, and UK.
What have you done (or not done) about twiddling? And I'm taking an informal poll: Are you still able to wear tempting jewelry since becoming a parent?