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Thread: 11 month old nursing strike help?

  1. #1
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    Jan 2011
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    Default 11 month old nursing strike help?

    Yesterday morning my eleven month old son refused to nurse when he woke up. He nursed once later in the morning, and not again for the rest of the day.

    This morning he woke up sad and too early. Usually when this happens we pop him out of bed without waking his twin sister if possible, change him, then I nurse him back to sleep. His usual wake up time is around 7:30a or 8a and sometimes he wakes around 5:30a or 6a for some reason. But this morning, as he did yesterday, I settled him down in the usual nursing position and he looked at me, turned away from my breast, and began to cry.

    Each time yesterday, regardless of position or where we were or what we were doing when I offered or he seemed like he was interested, he would give me this look filled with meaning, and then very deliberately turn his head away and begin to cry. I know that he is trying to tell me something but I just am not sure what it is.

    Does anyone have any advice for overcoming a nursing strike with an eleven month old? I wish that he were a bit older because I could try to explain to him how much better he would feel if he nursed, as right now he's tired and wants to go back to sleep AND his tummy is sore because he's hungry. Nursing would solve both of these problems... But he's not really able to understand that yet.
    Mom to amazing twins!
    DD nursed for 3y5m, DS still occasionally stops by for a snack

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 11 month old nursing strike help?

    This link covers all the ways I know of to end a strike: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html

    I'd also suggest getting his ears checked. Sometimes an ear infection can interfere with a baby's desire to nurse.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 11 month old nursing strike help?

    Thanks, Mommal. After going through today, we're beginning to suspect that his teeth might be bothering him along with there being some sort of emotional concern going on. Such a frustrating time.
    Mom to amazing twins!
    DD nursed for 3y5m, DS still occasionally stops by for a snack

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 11 month old nursing strike help?

    We had his ears checked out today and everything looks pretty good. There is a little bit of clear fluid in them, but overall the pediatrician was quite pleased with how healthy he was. I'm torn between being glad that he's healthy and disappointed that the strike wasn't due to something as "simple" as an ear infection.

    It's been nearly 3 days now since he's nursed and I'm having such a hard time with this. Much moreso than I thought I would. I would give just about anything to have my little man back at the breast right now.
    Mom to amazing twins!
    DD nursed for 3y5m, DS still occasionally stops by for a snack

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 11 month old nursing strike help?

    I can totally relate to feeling torn. Sometimes you'd almost welcome an ear infection, if it would explain whatever weird behavior you're coping with... I know I'm beginning to hope- if that's the right word- that my toddler has an ear infection because that would explain her increased night waking and separation anxiety without me having to look for some deeper cause, and I would know that it would pass fairly soon...

    Is your son's twin still nursing well? If so, you probably don't absolutely need to pump but you might want to- keeping your supply high might help if he does decide to go back to the breast.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 11 month old nursing strike help?

    Aw, separation anxiety is never a fun phase to deal with! And it comes in waves, I've noticed, as they seem to develop more and are able to grasp more emotionally. I hope that you are able to get through it soon.

    Yes, his twin is still nursing great. She has been a bit baffled over the past few days as to why she is getting MUCH more milk than she's used to and she's been helping to relieve my physical discomfort. I've cut back on the solids that she usually gets in order to encourage her to nurse a bit more, but I can tell that she's slowly getting to be on milk overload. I feel like I look at her and her eyes are floating. I did just rent a pump yesterday to help with the engorgement and to encourage my supply to stay high.

    I've read just about everything that I can find on nursing strikes and I still feel so helpless. It seems as though there is something more that I could or should be doing to encourage him back to the breast. From what I have read, it sounds like most nursing strikes last "a few days" but I cannot really gather if the kids just start back on their own or if the moms are doing something more to intervene. I have such a hard time believing that he's truly wanting to wean right now out of the blue like this.
    Mom to amazing twins!
    DD nursed for 3y5m, DS still occasionally stops by for a snack

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 11 month old nursing strike help?

    Yeah, that out-of-th-blue strike is pretty crazy! I know a lot of people say "babies don't self-wean at less than a year" but I have known 2 whose moms did everything to coax them back and the babies just wouldn't go. Both self-weaned at around 10 months. The moms eventually made their peace with it and pumped for the remainder of the year...
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 11 month old nursing strike help?

    I too have heard that most babies don't self-wean at under a year, but I've seen it happen as well. For supposedly not self-weaning at under a year, babies sure seem to do it more than one would think. I would like to not have to go back to pumping as we worked so hard to wean off the pump a few months ago (after I got my daughter back to breastfeeding well). We had finally settled into a nice rhythm of nursing.

    Today was interesting because this morning my DS watched his sister nurse, then seemed interested. I sat near him on the floor and he came over, plopped in front of me, and made like he wanted to nurse! He went so far as to put his mouth on my nipple three times, and let go each time without latching. It was almost as though he wasn't sure what to do...?? Is it possible that he could have forgotten how to nurse since Sunday morning?

    I received the advice to take a bath with my little guy tonight and then to take a "nursing vacation" tomorrow and spend the whole day in bed with the twins, We'll see what happens...
    Mom to amazing twins!
    DD nursed for 3y5m, DS still occasionally stops by for a snack

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 11 month old nursing strike help?

    Crossing my fingers for you!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 11 month old nursing strike help?

    Last night was really rough... We did have a nice bath and the evening went relatively uneventfully. But my DS woke around 1am crying, hungry and wanting comfort. Unfortunately, he still didn't want to latch and we didn't have any milk thawed as it's been a couple of weeks since either twin has woken up at night. So I held him, screaming and crying, with food and comfort inches away and he just didn't get it. At this point I truly think he doesn't know HOW to nurse, but I can't believe that he could forget so fast. He cried and cried and cried until we got some milk thawed and my husband fed it to him out of a cup with a straw. I think he's learning that milk comes from a straw and not from mommy.

    I have never felt so helpless as I did last night. I had the tools to make my little guy feel all better and could not use them. By the time enough milk was thawed for him to drink, both he and I were in tears.

    Thanks for your support and for listening to me. That helps a lot and I really appreciate it...
    Mom to amazing twins!
    DD nursed for 3y5m, DS still occasionally stops by for a snack

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