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Thread: sick baby won't nurse, worried :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Default sick baby won't nurse, worried :(

    my daughter (11 months) has been sick since monday. she had a high fever (101-102) until yesterday, and was diagnosed with a ear and throat infection, for which i started giving her antibiotics yesterday.

    she has been refusing all solid food or fluids since she got sick, but was nursing frequently so that was fine with me. but since yesterday she is refusing to nurse and im worried! overall she seems better: more active, fever has gone down. but she won't nurse well - she will latch on, then turn away and start crying. maybe it hurts her to swallow, i don't know. but i think she is getting dehydrated - she has only nursed properly once today and has not peed since 8 am (it's 3 pm now). what do i do??? it's not like i can force her to nurse or drink anything. at the same time, she seems fine so i can't really take her to the ER, they would send me back. how long can they go without nursing?? any tips?
    Baby girl born 10-15-2010

    with tongue tie - hardest thing i've ever done, and the most rewarding. Also , and

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: sick baby won't nurse, worried :(

    I don't know if there's a time limit on a baby not nursing. I think youngest have to watch diapers and behavior and skin- if she gets lethargic or shows signs of dehydration, it's time to take her in. Does she take a sippy cup or bottle? If so, you might want to put some expressed milk or even just water or dilute juice in one of those, and let her have it. You also might want to try varying your nursing position- if she has a bad earache it could be that certain nursing positions are aggravating those bad sensations that are causing her to not want to nurse.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: sick baby won't nurse, worried :(

    with mommal. Try some different positions and watch your baby. If she seems really off, then go in, where they might want to give her some fluids via IV. You can also try Pedialyte; we used it post-op for our 3 month old when he wouldn't take anything else for some hours with the pain. If her ears are hurting, sucking hurts, so the sippy cup might be a good option.

    Did they suggest alternating Motrin and Tylenol? That worked really well for my third kid, who had nonstop ear infections his first year of life. And oddly enough, colic tablets helped him settle down with ear pain.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
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  4. #4
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: sick baby won't nurse, worried :(

    Agree with trying different positions. And if she naps try while she is sleeping. I also agree with pain killers. If you can soothe you might have a better chance getting something in her. Hope she feels better soon!
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  5. #5
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    Default Re: sick baby won't nurse, worried :(

    Ugh, that's frustrating -- when my baby had ear infections the only way i could get him to nurse was standing up in front of me while i sat in a chair - a little awkward, but no pressure on the ears.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: sick baby won't nurse, worried :(

    ok i have an update. apparently dd has started taking solids and water from a spoon but still won't nurse! i don't know what's going on anymore. we visited MIL tonight and dd ate really well - she had some soup and yogurt and then some water. she also played and seemed really happy the whole time and never once looked for mommy, all evening (i was in the room but she seemed to ignore me). which is unusual because normally she will come to me every once in a while and want to nurse, no matter how well they are distracting her. everyone says she must be getting better since she is eating but i feel like something is terribly wrong. why won't she nurse?? she can't be self weaning this young, can she? oh, and she seems to be mad at me in general - whenever i hold her she screams and seems to be much happier playing with others. what is this, what's going on?? im so heartbroken. help!
    Baby girl born 10-15-2010

    with tongue tie - hardest thing i've ever done, and the most rewarding. Also , and

  7. #7
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    Default Re: sick baby won't nurse, worried :(

    I doubt she's self-weaning, when you have an ear infection nursing can cause pain. The only time Joe ever did a "nursing strike" was when he had an ear infection. He also bit me when he was nursing during that time - it just really messed up his latch. The phase did pass. Keep offering, but meanwhile, it's great that she's feeling better and eating. Hopefully you'll be back to nursing in no time!


    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.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: sick baby won't nurse, worried :(

    Nursing strikes are awful! The only time my son had a strike was the day I had a houseful of people for a BBQ. It was incredibly stressful cooking, trying to entertain, pumping to keep up my supply, and crying because my son didn't want me to hold him, all the while I just wanted everyone to leave so I could work on nursing again. It makes you worry, it feels personal and really messes with your supply. But they do pass. Just keep offering and try not to push. You don't want nursing to become a negative thing.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  9. #9
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    Default Re: sick baby won't nurse, worried :(

    The same thing happened to us too! It was also with an ear infection, I tried to keep offering without pushing and she did come back to it after a few days. Dream nursing helped and anytime she was sleepy or just fell asleep I would try. She was much more receptive in that state. Hang in there!
    Christine
    Can't believe I've been and a full-time SAHM to Elena (5/2010) for over 2 yrs!
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