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Thread: Nursing Strikes vs BLW

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    SW Ontario
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    Question Nursing Strikes vs BLW

    DS is 9 months old now. After much difficulty and much pumping / some supplementationin the early days, we found our rhythm, and he was EBF on demand until 5 months , when we followed BLS, with gradual introductions - he was very interested in us eating, and he always seemed to be nursing. BLS was a success - we'd start with a nursing session, and end with some food, gradually increasing the amount, frequency, and variety over a couple of months.

    By 6-7 months, he started becoming less interested in nursing at certain times of day - he'd typically want to nurse around quiet / sleepy times (1st thing in the morning, before/after naps, bedtime, during the night), and would want nothing to do with it around meals or during "awake" stretches (too distracted). He would not demand, and when I'd offer, he'd refuse. I tried a million and one things, several times over - changing venues, having more/less distraction, motion, positions, more/less offering, etc., and he just wasn't interested. By 8 months, we were really just down to 1st thing in the morning, bedtime, and during the night if he happened to be up.

    Over the past couple of days, he doesn't even seem interested in those few feedings that are left. All of that being said, if he's not feeling well, he's more inclined to demand (surprisingly, he's sometimes wanted to nurse more while congested/teething/etc). This is where my question comes to play - while I recognize that BLW tends not to happen this young, would it be a possibility here? He LOVES his food, and will use a sippy (EBM or ABM or water). He will often raspberry or play with my breasts when offered, or ignore altogether. As it was not full-on refusal, but rather, a gradual decrease in wanting to feed over a few months as solids increased, and as anything we tried didn't seem to work, I had been assuming that perhaps it was BLW rather than NS.

    What do others think? Any suggestions? I'm happy that things seem to be happening on his terms, in spite of my actions, but am sad that this aspect of our relationship may be coming to a close. I would have liked to at least kept the morning and bedtime feeds for awhile yet (some is better than none, right?).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    19

    Default Re: Nursing Strikes vs BLW

    I don't have any advice, but I'm here to sympathize. That must be hard. Our nanny's kids did that too, they weaned themselves before they were 1 year old, both of them. And she is a very strong breastfeeding advocate. So it seems like it could happen.
    Hope that helps in some way.
    Mom to a curious little one.
    Made it to 1 year!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    278

    Default Re: Nursing Strikes vs BLW

    Honestly, I think 9 months is very young for a baby to self-wean. If you stopped offering, he'd probably wean. But if you push through this phase of distraction he'll probably seem more attached to breastfeeding around the 12 month mark. I know all babies are different, but at 9 months he should still be getting much of his nutrition from milk. My son is 8 months and if he didn't nurse he'd starve. If it were me, I'd decrease the solids you are giving him...and if he ends up weaning at a year, at least you know he's gotten your milk during the first year.

    What is ABM and NP?
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013


    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

  4. #4
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    Apr 2011
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    SW Ontario
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    Default Re: Nursing Strikes vs BLW

    NS = nursing strike, I got lazy at the end Thanks both for your support and suggestions.

    Honestly, I thought it sounded young as well, which is why I'm here. He's been a distracted eater from a young age (even the LC was surprised). I'm hoping to keep pushing, but it's seemed like quite a battle for the past 3-4 months - I offer several times a day (always during our classically successful periods, like when he's sleepy / just wakes up, and sometimes at other times), but it's so frustrating to be rejected so often, day-in, day-out. We've had several hurdles along the way - early on there were major latch issues due to OALD and failure to thrive as a result (we had to finger feed for some time, with me attempting at least every 2 hours, and pumping thereafter - we went to a LC for the better part of 2 months there), and major recurring plugged ducts and related issues a bit later (resolved well before any rejection) - if we weren't committed, I could have stopped long ago, and I certainly don't fault people who "give up" sooner, especially when they try so hard.

    We still focus on ensuring that he gets a substantial amount of milk, whether nursed, EBM, or formula (ABM) - at a minimum, he gets a bottle or sippy prior to eating, both snacks are primarily milk, and of course there's wake-up, bedtime, and any night time wakings. Milk is the basis of his current diet, and I'm not concerned about nutritional needs not being met. Ideally, I'd like as much of his milk supply to be mine as possible - I offer breast before anything else, and wait a little while before we resort to alternatives (EBM or ABM), but all of that being said, I'm getting to the "been there, done that" point with pumping. It's hard to go from near-exclusively pumping, to exclusively nursing, then back to pumping. To save my sanity, I only pump at most a couple of times a day - I don't have supply issues (and we're efficient at bumping), and I figure that any amount of my BM is better than none. I'm just happy that we've made it as long as we have, especially considering the obstacles we faced (not that they are by any means unique to us) - each day longer is a victory

    I have friends who have milk-crazy babes as well - isn't it incredible how each LO is so different? DS was an early mover (crawling before 5 months), and my milk alone was just not meeting his needs (he was always nursing for weeks on end). On the advice of our support and healthcare practitioners (most of whom are ardent BF supporters), we added some rice cereal or meat into his diet once or twice a day when he was 5 months. We added in other foods and upped to 3 meals gradually, after he was 6 months. He doesn't stop moving, and is a healthy but string-beany baby as it is, so I wouldn't feel comfortable cutting back on his solid intake, especially considering that in past practice, this has not seemed to increase his milk intake - but perhaps this harkens back to the early days.

    We'll keep pushing on at least the morning and bedtime feeds, and will hopefully see some fruit again soon That being said, I have met a few people who have had early weaners despite their best efforts, and I'll continue to assess before we both go crazy over it - at a minimum, I seem to be missing it more than he does, and he's still getting a decent amount of BM daily.
    Last edited by @llli*sallycanuck; September 30th, 2011 at 07:54 PM. Reason: added info

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    TX
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    Default Re: Nursing Strikes vs BLW

    I think that if you wanted to keep him nursing longer, you could cut out sippies and bottles, and just make your body his source for breastmilk while you are together.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  6. #6
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    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Nursing Strikes vs BLW

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*duckpond View Post
    I think that if you wanted to keep him nursing longer, you could cut out sippies and bottles, and just make your body his source for breastmilk while you are together.
    I think if you really want to draw him back to the breast, you could try to offer less liquids in cups/bottles. I also agree with the PP who mentioned that this period is often very difficult bc of distractibility - if you push through, babies usually come around to the breast (often with some enthusiasm!) at around 12 months.


    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.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Nursing Strikes vs BLW

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*duckpond View Post
    I think that if you wanted to keep him nursing longer, you could cut out sippies and bottles, and just make your body his source for breastmilk while you are together.
    Definitely this! You could also try lots of skin to skin and offer to nurse as often as possible. Congrats on making it so far - it's sounds like you've been through a lot!
    Momma to DD born 4/11/09. Baby #2 expected late Feb
    Wife to DH

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    278

    Default Re: Nursing Strikes vs BLW

    Ahh ok I get it now! I was misunderstanding about how much milk he was consuming. You've really had a rough time! But ITA with pp about not giving him as much liquids. I have never done bottles with Dylan, apart from the first 2 weeks when my milk took forever to come in for whatever reason and he was having literally zero wet diapers. Scary! Anyway, if you work you have to do bottles or a cup. But you can insist he get his milk straight from the tap when you are present. I'll give a my son like 2 oz water a day via straw sippy cup with solids and the rest he gets from nursing.
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013


    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

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