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Thread: Rejection by baby :'(

  1. #1

    Default Rejection by baby :'(

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here and also a first-time mom, so I'm not sure if what I'm experiencing is normal, but I haven't been able to find a lot of information on it. My nearly 12 week old boy has suddenly started rejecting me--not only the breast but ME TOO! For the past week, he has screamed his head off whenever I even attempt to put him in a breastfeeding position (cradle, reverse cradle, lying down, even semi upright, in a sling) and positively screeches if the breast comes anywhere near his mouth. He is nearly inconsolable at those times. He will only eat in a quasi cradle hold (facing me) with a bottle leaning down on my chest (similar to a breastfeeding position.) He won't eat sitting like he used to. UNLESS, Dad is feeding him or holding him -- he's completely cooperative with Dad.

    He also has become totally averse to having skin contact with me and pulls away and screams until I place a blanket or cloth between us. He cries when I speak to him, carry him around, or even sing to him. If I hand him to Dad, he calms down right away. He also enjoys skin contact with Dad still. Did I do something to make my son have some serious negative association with me? Is it possible he is picking up on some sort of chemical imbalance with me that changed my smell? The avoidance of skin contact is really worrying me. He still drinks expressed milk happily, though I doubt my supply will stay up if he doesn't start breastfeeding again soon. He has always loved breastfeeding and always preferred it to the bottle until the past 7 days.

    He is an absolute charmer and more predictable with Dad. He sees us about the same amount as I am working as much as Dad, so my time after work to breastfeed (and early in the mornings) is my usual "bonding" chill-out times with him. It's usually that he's so tired at the end of a day of daycare that he wants that bonding time with me and wants to nurse and/or suckle non-nutritively for as long as I'll let him.

    Dietary wise -- I had cut out dairy to see if it was a cause of fussiness, excessive gas, and eczema. He has had some mild improvement in gas, the eczema is gone, but now he's totally fussy just towards me. Could cutting out dairy cause such a drastic change that he would not want to be near me (yet still drink expressed milk?)

    I'm sorry for the rambling--this is all sudden and has me out of sorts. I was trying to take it in stride, but by the end of today I realized I haven't had a single positive interaction with my son for an entire week and just really broke down. Please, if anyone can shed some light on this I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you so much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Rejection by baby :'(

    That sounds tough, mama! I'm sorry. Some babies get very ornery around breastfeeding around this age, especially if they are starting to prefer a bottle, which it definitely sounds like your lil' one is doing. Just a couple of ideas: Have you tried nursing him when he's very sleepy and/or asleep. Many babies that refuse the breast awake will take it when asleep. Another idea would be to take a nice bath together, with LOTS of skin-to-skin contact. Don't push breastfeeding, just spend lots of time together. (That might mean some crying, but that's okay, he's not alone, he's with his mama.)

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Landof2toddlers, Oregon

    Default Re: Rejection by baby :'(

    Oh that must be so very hard.

    Could he have reflux mama? Daddies often hold babies much more upright than mommies. Do you have a wrap (like a moby) is he happier in there than the sling? When did you go back to work? If it is very recently he could just be really mad at you Spend lot of time together. try different holding positions. And hopefully someone here will know what is up.
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.

    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Rejection by baby :'(

    Thank you! I will try all your suggestions! I was really just feeling down from it all. Thank you for affirming that this is probably a stage--so easy for me to think I've done something critically wrong, so it's good to hear from experienced mamas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Rejection by baby :'(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*durhamgrrl View Post
    Oh that must be so very hard.

    Could he have reflux mama?

    What you are describing sounds so much like my first son and he had reflux. He hated being held tight and it was not enjoyable to breastfeed him until about 9 months. I used to have to hang over his bouncer to nurse him as he would fight and fight when I tried holding him. He would also calm down for my hubby at times. I think maybe because he could feel my stress with me wanting him to need me. I know it is a very emotional thing to have to go through but it will get better. Try not to take it personally. Easier said than done, I know. I thought I was a horrible mother. He never even had seperation anxiety, except with his Grandma. But I have had two children since then and it was just his personality and reflux. We are extremely close now and he has become more and more affectionate. Hang in there mama

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Rejection by baby :'(

    Try laying him down on the changing table and dangling your breast over him. So you aren't holding him.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: Rejection by baby :'(

    dear momma,
    please don't feel rejected by your LO. He loves and adores you. maybe on your days off from work the two of you can spend the day in bed together, just snuggling and cooing and nursing!
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: Rejection by baby :'(

    So sorry that you are going through this!
    My DS is 12 weeks old (Monday), and we were having some fussiness due to teething and a growth spurt earlier this week. While reading posts here I heard about taking a bath together. I figured I'd give it a try (can't hurt, right?), and WOW! We had been having some feeding issues (he didn't want to take my right breast at all) and while relaxing in the warm water he started rooting like he did when days old! Once he found what he was looking for we had the best feeding session ever! It was so relaxing to us both that we just stared into each others eyes the whole time. After that we haven't had any more issues (yet).
    Hope this helps!
    First time Mommy to Connor Wayne: 5/8/11, 7lbs 3oz, 21"

    EBF, after 3 hard weeks of syringes and shields, latch was successful!! Don't give up, it's worth it!!
    10 months, still going strong and loving every minute!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Brussels, Belgium

    Default Re: Rejection by baby :'(

    Such good advice and reassurance you've got from other mamas! I'll add my bit--I'm not an expert on reflux but there could be a nipple preference as a PP mentioned.
    http://www.lightlink.com/hilinda/Dia...lenipples.html I'd look into immediately banning all soothers/pacifiers, and check with DH if he'd be ok with cup feeding instead of bottles, so LO's inborn need to suck isn't getting a 'fix' anywhere else. There are good cup feeding videos on YouTube. Any plastic cup will do, you can decant ebm from a bottle first so you know how much is being given, but of course the best way to know if your baby is getting enough is by counting wet and soiled nappies.

    Night nursing is easiest with co-sleeping, but it has to be safe co-sleeping http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/safe.html I've heard several mamas coax their LOs back from a nursing strike with the bath too.

    Help for fussy babies and refusal to nurse:

    Katharine in Belgium
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    DD2 Feb 2015 - natural birth VBAC with DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

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