When children are born they have an insatiable need to suck.  They will suck anything that is put in their mouths.  The thumb or fingers are very convenient for them to suck because they are readily available and attached to them; a finger is just the right size.  As they suck, endorphins are released which stimulates the pleasure and satisfaction center in their brain.

Babies are born knowing how to feed themselves.  They want the breast from the very beginning, but do they get it?  Parents today have busy lives, and when making the decision to breast feed, it means your life belongs to your child. The best way to breast feed a child is with spontaneity until they are satisfied.  One feeding should be done on one breast.  Moms sometime want to switch over to the other breast to continue feeding, but it is better to feed on the one side, then toward the end of the feeding there is a heavier cream like milk which is more filling and satisfying for the baby.   One side per feeding.  In my experience, it is good to breast for the first 6 months exclusively, then begin to incorporate whole foods.  For how to’s go to: www.babyledweaning.com 

It is not just about filling their tummies with milk.  As the baby feeds by breast, they develop very strong facial and reflex swallowing muscles needed to grow their faces outward, properly.  Bottle feeding does not give them that same functional benefit.

Back to digit sucking; depending on intensity and duration, the longer the baby sucks their thumb/digits, the palate begins to take that shape.  It is not recommended that the baby suck their finger past one year.  Many experts believe this can lead to developing a deviated septum, and a high vaulted palate. Thumb and digit sucking promotes low tongue posture.  The tongue is needed in the roof of the mouth to keep the palate wide and flat.

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#Breastfeeding, #Infant development, #Breastfeeding vs Bottle-feeding, #high vaulted palate,    #digit thumb sucking, #baby led weaning