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Thread: 6 month old nursing strike

  1. #1

    Default 6 month old nursing strike

    Hi I have never posted on here before but i need some suggestions. My 6 month old seems like he is on nursing strike for the last couple of weeks. He only gained a pound between his 4 month and 6 month check up so now he weighs about 16 and a half pounds which is like the 30th percentile. He nurses ok in the morning when he first gets up. But then the rest of the day I am lucky if he nurses for 2 or 3 minutes at a time. I have never had any luck letting down to a pump so I have not been pumping and I am worried about my supply. I also started having him sleep in his crib about a week ago when before we were co sleeping. So now he is only nursing once or twice at night when before it felt like he was nursing all night. Our doctor was not too worried because she wants us to start feeding him solids-so far he has only had rice cereal. It seems like a lot a one time. I am mostly concerned about the nursing. I don't know if I should start giving him formula to supplement. His wet diapers seem fine and he is still a happy baby. Any advice would be great. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing strike

    Why did you move him to the crib? I moved my little girl into bed with us to help with breastfeeding. I just don't understand the timing of this if he is refusing to nurse because when my daughter was on a very long nursing strike (5 mos) she would nurse when she was sleepy (if she hadn't fully awakened from a nap).

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html has a lot of ideas but keep offering to nurse, especially during night time and naps and I wouldn't recommend starting formula if his wet diapers are OK and he has OK energy. All that will do is probably lower your supply.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing strike

    Keep on nursing mama! My lo went on a nursing strike at that age and I was never successful at getting him back to the breast. And it has been nothing but a struggle to keep my supply up since then. Pumping is okay, but a big PITA.

    I agree with the pp to continue to try and cosleep bc a sleepy baby is more willing to nurse. And definately check out kellymom for some helpful ideas. Also, I have seen other ladies say that around that age babies become much more efficiant at nursing. Meaning they can remove more milk in less time. Do you still feel full after your lo nurses? If not, and the diapers are still ok, I probably would not stress about it.

    My ds is always on the low side of the charts too. He started in the 48% for weight and is now in the 13%, and my ped says not to worry.

    You might also try hand expressing some milk into a cup. I would not offer a bottle at this point bc that will only complicate things.

    Wife to Ash 6/10/06
    Mommy to Dalton 3/11/11

    Usually , but wish we were still

    Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they will never cease to be amused!
    -Unknown Author

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Springfield, Oregon

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing strike

    I recommend continued bedsharing, that very well could be contributing to the strike. That said:

    What is a Nursing Strike?
    A nursing strike is when your babe refuses to nurse. *It is often characterized by back arching, twisting away, and screaming when attempting to nurse. *A strike lasts a day or longer. It is not abnormal to last two weeks. Here is more information:*http://www.drmomma.org/2010/09/is-yo...ng-strike.html
    How do I Know it is Not Weaning?
    Babies do not self-wean before 12-18 months. *If a baby is showing weaning characteristics before that time then it is likely something a parent is knowingly or unknowingly doing to cause premature weaning. *Actual child-led weaning typically looks like a tapering off of nursing to the point mom often doesn't even realize it. *Before one year babes still need nursing as a primary nutrition source, after one year breastmilk is still highly valuable. *If a child is actively refusing the breast such as screaming, back arching, and/or twisting away then you can assume safely it is a nursing strike (even if it happens post 18 months). *Nursing strikes can happen for many reasons but they do need resolved or will resolve themselves. *Here is more information:*http://kellymom.com/momblog/bf/normal/babyselfwean/ and for more about weaning you can read ''how weaning happens''.
    *Ideas to Help Handle a Nursing Strike
    - *Offering a bottle may be more a hinderamce than help. Breastmilk can be offered via spoon or cup. Bottles shouldnt be offered when mom is home.
    - To help with a strike the first thing to consider is the ''mom swoop''. We become experts at the swoop and nurse, one automatic motion. As our kiddos grow they want more control over their actions and this can start to really bother them. So instead every time you offer do it slowly. Let babe have as much control over the nursing position as possible. Many find this a good time to try the position where baby sits upward on your lap facing you to nurse.
    - Never press the issue, if babe refuses go with it. Offer again in an hour.
    - During this time maximize skin to skin contact. Go topless, in a bra, in a tank. Put babe in a tank or topless.
    - Try a warm bath together, quite warm. Make it a candlelit bath, put on some white noise. This mimics the womb and several babes will return to nursing in such conditions.
    - You can also try dream feeding, this is feeding while babe sleeps. As odd as it sounds many parents have had success holding their babe close and spinning around before offering to nurse, the temporary safe disorientation has been known to help.
    - Engage in topless play time. Get on the floor topless and play with your kid. Let your kiddo find the breasts and come back to them themself.
    - If you suspect teething pain may be a contributer offer something frozen (frozen berries, ice cube in mesh feeder) before nursing as it helps numb pain.
    - As a last result one can also try pumping until they let down and then offering to nurse.
    - Consider a physical problem such as an ear infection or thrush.
    It will happen! Just have patience and minimize filling in nursing with other options.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: 6 month old nursing strike

    That sounds more like distracted nursing behavior to me. My LO started to amp up the distractability behavior around 5-6 months, only nursing for a couple minutes and wanting to be done. She did a heck of a lot more nursing at night during that time too (we're still cosleeping) She's back to more 'normal' nursing during the day at 7 months, although she's still a pretty quick nurser, but at least she's not nursing just long enough for a letdown and then stopping. I've also been more intentional about nursing in the same spot, instead of wherever I happen to pop a squat at around the house at the time. That seems to help her focus. Oh, and her weight gain slowed down at 4 months too--totally normal for a breastfed baby.

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