Not every whim
Unlike Steve, I have already been trying out some discipline with Ruby. She’s developed an unpleasant habit during nursing where she writhes and turns away. Not only is it annoying and time-consuming, it leads to sore nipples for me. At best, she squirms a bit during feedings. At worst, she arches her back and cries as well. Weirdly, she always turns her head away to the right. I don’t know why.
I’m not sure of the cause. Possibly she’s impatient for me to let down. Possibly she picked up some bad habits from bottle-feeding (where the bottle followed her mouth around as she turned her head; Steve has now stopped this). In order to stop the problem, I have unsuccessfully tried:
– Feeding with her and I both lying down
– Feeding with her lying down and me sitting up
– Feeding with both of us sitting up
– Feeding while I stand and jiggle her
– Feeding while I bounce on the yoga ball (a moderately successful tactic)
– Facing her to a blank white wall to minimize distraction
– Holding her hand to calm her inner jitters
– Holding her body tightly so she can’t move easily
– Taking her off for a minute after she turns away
– Saying “No” in a firm voice
Today I tried a more martial-arts-inspired approach: use the enemy’s energy and momentum against them. While feeding her (in the standard position), I turned her body so her head was ALREADY turned to the right. This really seemed to help. If she turned her head, it only went a little bit, and she didn’t break the connection. She also seemed calmer. I’ll have to give this approach a few more tries to see if it’s a winner.
It’s hard trying to enforce discipline on an infant who not only doesn’t speak, but can’t even understand me very well. I suppose it is a good warm-up for the terrible twos.