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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Gable, RN, IBCLC

12 Breastfeeding Reasons Other Than Hunger


A dozen breastfeeding reasons other than hunger blog title photo showing man in recliner snacking while a mother breastfeeds her child.

12 breastfeeding reasons for baby to suckle when not hungry:


  • ๐Ÿ’– Comfort: Breastfeeding provides a sense of security and comfort for babies.

  • ๐Ÿ’• Bonding: It strengthens the emotional connection between you and your little one.

  • ๐ŸŒก๏ธ Illness: When feeling unwell, babies often seek comfort and solace through nursing.

  • ๐Ÿ˜ด Sleepiness: Nursing can help soothe babies and lull them into a peaceful slumber.

  • ๐Ÿ“š Learning: Breastfeeding offers babies an opportunity to learn and explore their surroundings.

  • ๐Ÿผ Needing to suck: Babies have a natural instinct to suck, which can be satisfied through breastfeeding.

  • ๐Ÿ‘€ Seeing or smelling your breasts: The sight or scent of your breasts can trigger a baby's desire to nurse.

  • ๐Ÿ”… Being overstimulated: Breastfeeding provides a calming and grounding experience for overstimulated babies.

  • ๐Ÿค’ Having a physical ailment: Nursing can bring relief and comfort to babies experiencing discomfort.

  • ๐ŸŒฑ Going through a growth spurt: During growth spurts, babies may nurse more frequently to support their development.

  • ๐Ÿ‘ถ Seeing you nursing another one of your children: Observing a sibling breastfeeding can spark the desire to nurse in babies.

  • ๐Ÿ’ž Needing to reconnect emotionally: Breastfeeding offers a special moment of closeness and emotional connection.


If your baby appears to be getting enough milk but continues to suck for an hour or more, they may be nursing for comfort rather than nourishment. This is known as non-nutritive sucking or pacifying. You can identify if your baby is nursing for comfort by observing these signs:

  • ๐Ÿ‘ถ Flutter sucking

  • ๐Ÿ‘ถ Slowing down, stopping sucking, or making little sucks

  • ๐Ÿ‘ถ Being still and looking into space while nursing

  • ๐Ÿ‘ถ Holding the nipple in their mouth without actively sucking for milk.


Remember, breastfeeding is a beautiful and multifaceted experience that fulfills a variety of needs for both you and your baby. Embrace these precious moments and enjoy the unique bond it creates! ๐Ÿคฑ๐Ÿ’—


When you have questions, concerns or need information about breastfeeding, contact the professionals at Gulf Coast Breastfeeding Center, LLC. Contact info below.


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