the chest check

OBaby has started to have this funny (?) tendency lately. When I began editing the family pictures we took on Easter, it became glaringly apparent.

I like to call it the chest check.

Are they still there? Do I still have access to them?

Yes? *Pheew*

(It may look like he was playing with my necklace in this picture, but I assure you, that was not the primary objective of his hand placement.)

The constant chest checking has arrived hand in hand with a fierce preference for Mama these last few weeks, complete with the whining and the reaching and the ‘no one else is allowed to hold me if I can see her’-ing. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that this is a part of secure attachment and I am trying to remember that he doesn’t have a blankie so I am (and I love being!) his comfort object. That very fact makes me smile and encourages me that we are doing something right.

It’s just that when he is reaching into my bra as we are at the check out of the grocery store, it gets a little awkward.

Any nursing moms out there have advice on keeping 9 month old hands out of your shirt? Help.

41 Responses to “the chest check”

  1. Kelly

    Found your blog on one of the mommy blog sites and have to tell you, that it lasts for a LONG time. I quite nursing my, now 3 year old, when he was about 14 months, and just yesterday I was sitting on the floor, he came over and proceeded to reach down my shirt, fully exposing my amazing, purple Victoria Secret Miracle Bra to all in the room! Total Humiliation….but at least I had a cute bra on, not one of my ‘lounge around the house cause no one will see it’ types. lol

    Have a great week.

  2. Alysha

    ooh how i get the chest check quite often. He even goes as far as pulling my shirt out and shoving his face in it.

    obviously no advice but i would love to hear that of others! Glad im not alone! :)


  3. Mama23Bears

    i would like some advice for this very same thing! although i still have a 5 1/2 month old i can see where we are headed. as he is nursing he rubs his hands very gently back and forth over me (yes, on my girls!) and i know it’s soothing to him but at the same time i can’t see this working out when we are in public ;) i hope someone shares some good advice here!

  4. Jenny

    My little one is doing this too, and he’s bottle fed so I’m not quite sure why he’s constantly needing me and to put his hand in my shirt. :)

  5. mandiesmithsegura

    I don’t have kids, but when I hold my friend’s kids, even those who weren’t breastfed, they often reach down the shirt. I don’t get it- sorry for nothing helpful! ;)

  6. Terri

    Ah yes, I can relate! I’ve found a teething necklace to be very helpful. They sell them at the Green Goober in south Minneapolis (probably other places too, but I’m not sure…). I wear it every day, and William (11 mos) is usually happy to chew on that. But, he still has his share of “feel mama up in public” moments. :) Good luck!


  7. Elizabeth

    Joshua has been doing this for awhile now! He’s started doing it to my friends when they hold him too – even the ones who don’t have kids and therefore aren’t breastfeeding! It’s so embarrassing when he tries to pull down their shirts!

  8. Rachel

    My daughter self-weaned at 1 year and a few days ago, I leaned down towards her and she stuck her hand all the way in. It made me laugh b/c I wasn’t expecting it and so she did it again. She likes to pat them and call them balls. I’m just not ready for a verbal 19 month-old.

  9. Jenny

    LMAO that’s cute. I don’t think my son ever pulled something like that but he likes to mention I have them to total strangers every now and then. ;)

  10. Em

    Oh my gosh, I love this. I was laughing about my son doing this over the weekend too (he’s about the same age as your son). We have fondly dubbed ours the “squish test.” He does a ‘squish/pat’ to each side…back and forth…back and forth, with a very serious concentrated face. Too funny!

  11. Lindsay

    My 7 month old does it too…except he has pats my chest too! Kinda hard sometimes…I guess that’s his way of sayin give me some Momma!! My 2 yr old did it too, and sometimes still does…much more awkward than a 7 month old doing it when you are in public!!

  12. Sara

    I’m not a mom, but I follow because your stories and cute pictures are just delicious! :) But funny story: On time I was babysitting my 4 month old nephew through the night as his mom had to work at 4 am. Just after his momma had left for work, he woke up clearly looking for her as he was trying to suck on my arm. (he actually has done this to me since he was an infant) As he figure out that my arm “didn’t work”, he started screaming. No bottle (despite being a bottle of his momma’s breast-milk) would do. We walked and walked from the bathroom nightlight to the living room night light until the big wide I’m-not-tired eyes crashed for another 1 1/2 hours.

  13. Debbi

    I’m right there with you. My 7 1/2 month old has recently started this. I have the same necklace as you!

  14. Ali

    I’m another one of those who has always gotten the chest check…even before kids. I think it has to do with the fact that my big knockers create cleavage and it’s interesting for a little one to stick a hand in there and see what they might find.

  15. Nada

    Haha! My daughter will be 2 in July and stopped nursing at 1. I was holding her in line at the grocery store yesterday when she unzipped my sweatshirt and yelled at the top of her lungs “YAY! Mommie’s boooobies!!!” Absolutely mortifying!! I am so totally no help for you!

  16. Amanda

    My Micah is 2 1/2 and he has 2 blankeys, a baby, and a monkey and he’s a momma’s boy. He still will reach out put his hand on my boob just to see if they’re there. I think they will eventually outgrow it.

    • Amanda

      I meant to add that we also started about talking about mama’s space and micah’s space. It’s hard when they are still nursing, but when they get older and aren’t nursing then you can say, these are mommy’s. You have boobies too and only you touch them. That kind of thing.

  17. annemarie

    We are fully entrenched in this situation as well. Lucy is also fascinated by the boobies of others. She has shocked all of my non-parent friends in the past few weeks by investigating their chests – my parent friends just nod in understanding.

  18. Andrea

    Turtle necks? Just kidding…but I have definitely stopped wearing low-cut tops in public, which has really helped. It stops the hand-down-the-shirt, but it doesn’t stop the gropage, so I just pretend that no one notices.

  19. Stef

    There is no stopping it…and this obsession NEVER completely goes away. Good luck with that. He is so cute!!

  20. Kristi Maristi

    I used to work in the day care at a gym. There was a 1.5 year old girl that was a regular in our care. Everytime she would get minutely upset she would reach into any female providers shirt an grab a handful of boob. It was so awkward, but, I understood it as well.
    I have no advice, I haven’t encountered this. But, just wanted to share that tidbit.

  21. Lindsey

    I don’t have a baby on the outside yet…so no advice here…but these pictures are hilarious and adorable!

  22. Erin

    I have no advice, only commiseration. Luke has been weaned for over a year now, but when he is uncomfortable, he will still try and put a hand down my shirt! On Easter, I was holding my six month old nephew and had to fight to keep HIS hands out of my shirt.

  23. brittney

    I agree with Mama Pea, after reading all these comments! Looks like they will just outgrow it, but I like Amanda’s method of creating spaces once they get older and can understand.

  24. Meggan

    I love your blog!! I have an adorable, affectionate, cuddly little…4 YEAR OLD! I love it though. He nursed for 18 months and never had a blankie or stuffed animal he loved so I was his “security item”. I used to have that issue with him putting his hand down my shirt (even after he stopped nursing) especially when he was tired. When I stopped him, he started saying “belly” all the time and wanting to put his hand UP my shirt to touch my belly. He still does that sometimes, but now that I’m pregnant with our 2nd, it’s for a totally different reason:) I love that he is so affectionate and cuddly without being needy, there’s a fine line. I will say that it was really hard when he was 11 months and I went back to work, that was tough. He didn’t transition well and cried a lot the first couple of months. I felt like maybe I had done him a disservice by being so hands-on. But now, with him at almost 4 and being the happy confident pre-schooler that he is, I wouldn’t change anything! (Not even the co-sleeping which just recently ended, or the baby wearing that I did until he was 3!!) You are doing a great job!!!

    • Meggan

      Oh, and one more thing, when he was old enough to understand, we started saying “boobies are private”. That helped a lot. But then he would tell everyone “boobies are private”. LOL!

  25. Kelly

    And then they all grow up to be men and continue to stick their hands on our boobs!!! It’s almost like velcro or something…

  26. taiwrites

    I breastfed, but got no chest checking when both my babies had weaned, maybe because the chest disappeared;) If it’s a problem, I would only suggest you start saying “no, that’s private.” Nursing creates a closeness between you and your baby, and so he’s just grabbing at you because you, in essence, are an extension of him. If it’s not a problem for you, I wouldn’t worry about it.

  27. Ashley B

    Please tell me if you figure it out. At 6 months old this is Noah’s new obsession. Also, when he’s hungry he literally tries to pull my shirt off.

  28. Brandy

    I still get that … and our youngest is 18months. BUT, she doesn’t do it out in public, so I’m fine with it. I’m still her biggest source of comfort … and I’m still loving every second of it :-D

  29. I'm a full-time mummy

    My boy (13 months old now) doesn’t do it in public (oh thank you God!) but at home, especially when he wants to breastfeed, he’ll walk over to me and:
    a) pulls up my top and goes ‘nen-nen-nen-nen-nen’ or
    b) peeped into my top and goes ‘nen-nen-nen-nen-nen’

    Once I tried to teach him to call me ‘mummy’, pointing to my chest as I was repeating the word ‘mummy’ and he was sitting on my lap facing me, and then he goes ”nen-nen” . . . ;p

    Not complaining btw, I’m loving every moment of breastfeeding and I hope I can breastfeed as long as possible!

  30. The Mom Venture Blog

    I never had a real problem with that with my first two boys. We’ll see how our 3rd one goes! He’s 7months now, so he hasn’t gotten into that stage yet. But with our first two, when they did go for the hand down the shirt, I just firmly told them “no,no, that’s mommy’s” or something like that, and took thier hand out. It’s important to do it consistantly and even at home, if you don’t want them to do it in public. Don’t make a big deal out of it, just take thier hand out and let them know that that’s not ok. I think many, especially first time moms are afraid it will damage thier attatchment parenting, but I assure you, it won’t. We have to teach our kids what’s inapropriate, or they will be 3 and 4 years old, sticking thier hands down your shirt and other people’s too!

    As far as when our fist child would ask “what’s that?” while pointing to my breasts, I would just say “those are mommy’s” or “that’s mommy’s milk” Never boobies or anything that would be embarrassing if they decided to yell it to the world! LOL
    When he was 3 and we had our second boy, he started asking what they were again and I just told him each time that they are breasts and they are for feeding babies, and we didn’t make a big deal out of it. I’ve never ever had any trouble with him talking to others about them.

    Now of course, our 3rd child may just make me eat my words after I’ve said all of that! LOL (-:
    Good Luck!

  31. Desiree Fawn

    Sigh… I can’t even keep my 14-month-old’s hands out of my shirt :( She’s also a serious twiddle and it’s driving me whacko! :)

  32. Molly

    Hee hee, I’m loving reading everyone’s comments!

    I’ve followed your blog for awhile now but got a little behind and am enjoying catching up this evening. :)

    My 20 month old sticks her hand all the way down into my bra and squeezes. Checking for fill-quantity, perhaps? Who knows. I gave up caring and just let her do it. It seems to last less time that way. She’s also a twiddler, though, which makes nursing in public interesting, to say the least!

    I’m sure I’ve embarrased other people out there on my behalf but I don’t care. She’ll only be little once so I’m going to just enjoy it and get over myself. If anything, I get a smile from other knowing mommas. :)

    Thanks for sharing your blog!


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>