Saturday, May 29, 2010

Giveaway of nursing necklace & children's book at Hobo Mama Reviews and twiddling tips!

Just letting you all know you have the opportunity to enter to win two wonderful prizes right now over at Hobo Mama Reviews:

Smart Mom Jewelry Teething Bling necklaceThe 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.

Hobo Mama Giveaway: Smart Mom Jewelry Teething Bling Necklace from Posh Baby Boutique {6.22}

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:

Twiddling leads to a nursing necklace

And here's the necklace I made at that point to help with the problem:

My nursing necklace

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 Mary Cassatt breastfeeding Mother and Child paintingto 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Try deep relaxation, meditation, or hypnosis techniques if you know them to see if you can come to terms psychologically with the twiddling.
  3. Gently remove your baby's hand as often as needed. You might have to hold it in place away from the nipple.
  4. Cover your free nipple with the palm of your hand as an additional block.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Keep in mind that your baby has an innate drive to twiddle. She's not doing it to annoy you.
  8. Tandem nurse! :) That way, there's never a free breast!
  9. 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.
  • gives a general rundown on how to promote good nursing manners.

Smart Mom Jewelry Teething Bling blue camo heart necklaceWhether 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 ClothesPosh 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).

steve ouch reads steampotvilleI 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?)

Hobo Mama Giveaway: SteamPotVille, by Steve Ouch — an imaginatively surreal children's picture book {6.17}

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?


Jamie said...

AHHHH! I'm so excited to see this- I have this necklace on RIGHT NOW! My Mom got me a green one for christmas and I adore it. I used to wear a lot of long earrings and necklaces before baby but wasn't able to wear them anymore afterwards. I was afraid to get my earlobes ripped out or my nice jewelry broken. This necklace is AWESOME! It looks super stylish but is still safe for baby.

love love love love love.

sorry, got a little excited there.

MJK said...

My boy's not much of a twiddler, maybe because I usually keep the other nipple covered and always have. Now that he's old enough to find the other breast on his own, he's started doing it more, mostly in bed. We have a necklace too though. He likes our nursing necklace so much he plays with it after I take it off. And then it gets lost. *sigh*
Not sure where ours is right now. I may just buy a new one soon.

I do love that Mary Cassatt painting, that's a pose we've done MANY times. Also I love that the baby is older and not a newborn. The hand on the mouth is classic.

♥ Sarah @ FFP ♥ said...

WOW, those necklaces sounds so cool and I totally need one. I do not have a problem with twiddling as much as I do random fingers up my nose.

The other day ago she did it so roughly she scratched the inside of my nose and it was bleeding. Hurt. so. bad.

geeks in rome said...

ooo twiddling! I had no idea it existed. Sorry to have missed out?
My daughter would pinch the breast she was nursing on.

It hurt like heck because she would use her nails to pick at my skin then pinch and pull. I guess it felt no different than kittens kneading their mommy with their claws open!!

Lisa C said...

Thank you for linking to that video! I saw that video when I was early pregnant with Michael and it got me interested in toddler nursing. I tried to find the video before but couldn't, so I'm glad you linked to it.

I STILL need a nursing necklace, lol.

Inder-ific said...

AWESOME! Thank you for the tips! Joe's a big twiddler, and it drives me CRAZAAAY. He twiddles, he pinches, he scratches and claws ... I try to keep the other breast covered, but he's always hunting for it ... not fun for NIP.

But also, yes, I love that painting. So classic and lovely.

Jake Aryeh Marcus said...

That necklace is for twiddling? I'd wear that as regular jewelry.

Twiddling was a HUGE problem for me with all three of my boys. People were just beginning to make Twiddling necklaces and I didn't trust that they wouldn't break so I have nothing to add about whether they worked. What I did was break down and buy nursing clothes and bras that had tight single side closure. I kept one hand tightly keeping cloth over the vulnerable breast. We lived through it but it wasn't fun.

When people ask my advice about it (and they do since I breastfed for 9 years straight) I advise trying a twiddling necklace and then just let people know this too shall pass. Cause it does.

My youngest is 10 and I have only in the past year gotten back into long earrings and necklaces. I was way into jewelry before kids but just got out of the habit. I'm digging out all the jewelry again now.

Sheila said...

Mine scratches the breast he's nursing from -- very painful! Those nails grow so fast, I just can't keep him clipped. Luckily I tend to wear nursing sports bras, and I've found he will hang on the middle part (you know, the part of the shelf between the two cups). So when he scratches, I take his hand and hang it on my bra, and he usually leaves it there. Maybe when his arms are longer he'll try reaching over to the other side, but I generally only uncover the side he's on anyway.

Marita said...

My 5yo chews everything she can get her teeth onto. Part of the sensory processing disorder and need for calming input from chewing.

I'm thinking this necklace would be a fabulous discrete chew toy for her when she is at school. Much nicer than some of the therapy products that are available.

Thank you.

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