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Thread: Nursing Strike? Weaning? Teething? Confused! Help!

  1. #1

    Question Nursing Strike? Weaning? Teething? Confused! Help!

    My 9.5 month old son has been almost exclusively breastfed his whole life. While he took the occasional bottle for a few months, he suddenly stopped one day and has been getting most of his nutrition from nursing (and a smattering of solids during the day, obvs).

    4 days ago, he suddenly decided not to nurse. Instead, he decided to bite me and refuse all food. We finally coaxed him into taking a few sips of the bottle (of expressed breastmilk) but when that wasn't getting enough milk into him, we resorted to feeding him via a medicine dropper. Time. Intensive. I know he's got a cold and also just cut two new top teeth so I'm not sure if that's a contributing factor to this behavior or what. We've taken him to the doctor and ruled out ear infection and constipation (thanks to a particularly harrowing suppository experience).

    In the meantime, I've been pumping to keep my supply up but this is not a long-term solution for a number of reasons. Namely, the pump I use is a borrowed one and my friend needs it back next week.

    I'm sorry, this post is long and rambly because I feel there's so many factors at play here. And because I have SO MANY questions!
    1. Does this sound like a nursing strike or is it teething or WHAT?
    2. How do I get him to take the boob back? I do not want to have to resort to formula because I don't have the time during the day to hand-pump.
    3. How do I get the baby to stop biting me. It's just a little nip, so I feel like it all happens too quickly for me to pinch his nose like I've seen suggested before.
    4. By giving him food in a dropper, have I further complicated the issue of getting him to return to breastfeeding? I figured FEEDING the baby was more important than getting him to eat the way I wanted him to.

    Thanks so much in advance!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: Nursing Strike? Weaning? Teething? Confused! Help!

    I have never had to deal with a nursing strike, thank goodness, but I'm guessing it has more to do with the cold your LO has. Is LO's nose plugged? Clearing it out might help.
    And the biting sounds like a teething thing, that's the only time my LO would bite. But when he was teething he always wanted to nurse MORE, not less. Especially at night.
    Sounds like you are doing awesome with pumping, keep up your supply because I'm sure soon your LO will be back to nursing.
    Mom to T September 10 2009 - BF for 20 months

    Due with baby #2 December 31st 2012!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Nursing Strike? Weaning? Teething? Confused! Help!

    And I don't know where you're located, but if you're in the US you might qualify for a pump through WIC.
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Nursing Strike? Weaning? Teething? Confused! Help!

    I'm sorry you are going through this. I know how stressful it can feel. My DS did that two weeks ago when he got sick. He would try to latch on, but then would start biting. We realized his nose was plugged and he was unable to breath through his nose. My DH and I squirted breast milk up his nose and then suctioned it out with a Nose Frieda (nose sucker). It helped so much. We sucked his nose out every half hour. I hope your little one feels better soon.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Nursing Strike? Weaning? Teething? Confused! Help!

    Is your child still nursing while sleepy or sleeping?

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nursing Strike? Weaning? Teething? Confused! Help!

    Nope, I've tried but he refuses to nurse at any time.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Nursing Strike? Weaning? Teething? Confused! Help!


    I understand the stress of baby refusing to nurse as I went through it with my first one when she was 3 months old. She would nurse while she was sleepy but when awake she would not even try it and eventually start crying when I put her in the feeding position. What made the problem worse was I started feeding her only when she was sleepy.

    When she turned 4 months, her doctor advised me to keep trying while awake and not feed her when sleepy.So with a smiling face and a heavy heart cause she was hungry and not nursing, I held her all day and tried every 20-30 minutes, and sometimes stop and take her out for a change. eventually she started with couple sucks per time and then increased to normal feeding. And then she finally weaned at 20 months.

    The key is to offer in a relaxed manner, start playing when the baby gets upset due to offering repeatedly.

    Good luck.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nursing Strike? Weaning? Teething? Confused! Help!

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you so much for your help, sympathy, and support.

    I'm pleased to report that this morning, for the first time in seven days, my son finally started nursing again.

    What worked for me? After trying so many different things, what finally worked was taking a bath with him. I don't know if the bath itself was the magic bullet, or if enough time had passed and enough trust had built that he was ready to nurse again -- perhaps it was a combination -- but regardless, he started nursing again.

    And best of all? He has continued to nurse throughout the day. Yes, he has bitten me again a couple of times, but now I know that he's easily spooked, I'm more conscious of my reaction to these bites and do my best to be firm, but never angry.

    So far, so good. Hopefully we've gotten over this hump for good!

    The bright side? He's really improved his ability to grasp small pieces of food since he was a cheerio addict during his food strike! ;-)

    Thanks again everyone!!

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