Little Spanish Pinay has developed this habit of fiddling or twiddling with the one bobbie while she's feeding from the other boobie. I don't remember exactly when did this start but perhaps a couple of months ago. I've learned that this is a common/normal behavior of older babies during extended breastfeeding period. I also learned that babies naturally learn to fiddle or twiddle the other breast as this helps faster letdown. Babies are really downright smart, aren't they? While I am not bothered about it while we nurse at home (though sometimes it hurts when she pinches me), it does make me uncomfortable if we are breastfeeding in public for obvious reasons. There are also times that she would pinch me while she twiddles. Such a handful.
When she does this, I'd try to distract her by playing with her hand, biting, tickling, singing to her but sometimes she's just way to persistent and is determine to continue her twiddling. That's when I'd hold her hand firmly but gently clasping it on my chest and tell her no she should not do it and that it hurst mami. Sometimes she would cry - a slow soft cry that is too cute. But I'd explain her mami is not angry but doesn't like to be pinched or that she should not twiddle because we are in public. Then I'll offer her to nurse again.
I've read that on extended period of breastfeeding, older babies naturally develop their different manners of breastfeeding they are all normal but we can always "redirect" them if a particular manner bothers us, mommies especially when we are in public. Babies are naturally smart and understanding so with the right tone and patience, they'll learn what we want them to learn.
See, twiddling is an ancient phenomenon!
The picture above is a mother and child portrait of Luis de Morales, a Spanish painter born in Badajoz, Extremadura. The period was around 1500. And based on this portrait, babies during this time were also twiddling. So it is something natural and doesn't have to be a reason to be embarrassing. Sadly, with our culture now, being embarrassed by it or feeling uncomfortable when toddlers do this during nursing time in the public is inevitable. But there are ways to avoid or stop this - in a respectful way to your babies. Kelly Mom has a great article about it.
As of my Little Spanish Pinay, I do hope she'd outgrow this very soon as there are times I couldn't divert her attention to doing something else other than twiddling. Sigh.