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Feeding your distractible baby

Baby used to feed peacefully...


As babies get older they can be squirmy, playful and come off with every noise or person coming into the room.

Older baby feeding

Have you noticed your baby is distracted during feeds? They may hear a noise and turn their head and break away.

If a baby becomes distracted while feeding they may go through a series of stops and starts. They may become impatient and push away with their legs and fists.  

Many babies around 4 to 6 months of age become easily distracted. They start to become more aware of the environment around them and many noises can distract them from feeding. Everyday noise from your phone, television, people in the room and pets may distract your feeding baby and they may not want to return to the breast.  

This is quite normal and a part of your baby learning about their world. Fortunately there are quite a few ways you can help your baby to keep focused on feeding. 

Reduce distractions

  • You may find that your baby feeds better in a quiet room away from distractions from other people and noise.  

  • If this isn’t possible, try masking noise with soft music, the hum of a fan in the room or a similar low noise. 

  • Some mums find it helpful to feed with baby facing a blank wall. 

  • Many mums may be used to watching television or reading on their phone while breastfeeding. As baby gets older this can be a distraction so you may need to keep these off for a time.   

  • If you have a toddler, make sure they have been to the toilet and have books or toys to keep them busy while you feed the baby. 

  • If your baby is too distracted during the day, they may feed better at night when everything is quiet and more relaxed.  

Have something for baby to focus on

Wearing a colourful necklace may give your baby something to focus on and play with to keep them sucking at the breast. 


As babies get older, they pass this stage. Many are able to keep feeding while looking around at the distractions. It’s as if they become better at multitasking! 

Feeding necklace

© Australian Breastfeeding Association April 2022