Children are programmed to be present in the moment by nature. One of best parts of having kids is to get a chance to be present in the moment with them multiple times a day.
My favorite time of the day is when I nurse my 7 month old son before bed time. In our day feedings, he is very much alert. He is more interested in the objects around us than the milk. He wants to grab stuff, swing them around and watch their movement as he nurses. That's why day feedings are a bit of a play time for us.
But in the evening, right after bath and right before bed time, he is fully focused on the nursing experience. He doesn't prefer to be anywhere else, nor does he care about objects or other people. All he wants is to snuggle with me, indulging in his milk and enjoying the experience to its pieces.
Evening feedings are a meditation for me. I don't even think of inviting distractions such as my phone or a book to our one on one bonding opportunity. I lay beside my baby and let the feeding unfold by itself. He finds his way to the nipple and does whatever he needs to do, as I lay there and enjoy the many sensations that I notice one by one.
Important note: All of these sensations apply to bottle feeding too. ❤️
1) The tenderness of his palms
Inside his palms is the softest texture of the entire, entire, universe. I run my fingertips on them. He lets me wander inside his palm and between his fingers. When he's overwhelmed, he turns the back of his hand for me to rub the deep baby lines on his wrists.
2) The sensitivity of his fingertips
His fingers are tiny and thin like little pretzels. When I run my fingertips towards the tip of his fingers, he gently pulls them away. His fingernails are thin and sharp, as if they protect the sensitivity of his fingertips. I like to scratch my fingertips with his claw-like nails. I get energized by this stimulation.
3) The smell of the top of his head
His scalp has a thin layer of yellow crust. We don't use shampoo on him. We sometimes apply coconut oil and brush the crust off. But not all the way. The top of his head has a sweet-sour-milky baby scent to it. When I lean my nose against the top of his head, I inhale deeply to get this beautiful scent in my system. It makes my heart skip a beat. I try to etch this smell in my memory.
4) The sound of his swallowing
He gulps after every three or four sucks. When he swallows, I feel a deep satisfaction. My body is able to nourish his. Sometimes he makes a teeny tiny groan as a sign of his satisfaction. This melts my heart.
5) The softness of his hair
His hair is silky smooth. I run my fingers in them. Five minutes into the nursing session, it starts to get slightly sweaty. I gently run my fingers over where his fontanelle used to be. Then I massage the back of his head with my fingertips with a slightly pressurized round motion. His body relaxes and he pauses sucking for a couple of seconds.
6) The responsiveness of his feet
His chubby feet are always warm. I like to hold one of his feet still in my hand. He lets me for a while. I feel like he likes the solidness of my grasp, a stable surface to press his feet against. I like to caress the top and bottom surfaces of his toes. I sometimes run my fingertips between his toes too. He enjoys my wandering touch for a while, but then he probably gets ticklish and pulls his foot back.
Reflecting on your feeding experience
? What are your favorite sensations during breastfeeding?
? Can you notice them every time?
? How do you feel when you notice them?