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Thread: Breast aversion or daytime strike going on 2 MONTHS. Help!

  1. #1

    Unhappy Breast aversion or daytime strike going on 2 MONTHS. Help!

    My 13mo old son has not nursed during the daytime for a month and a half. He arches, cries, screams, and rolls away when I attempt to nurse him in any position, even in a dim room without distractions, etc. He will not nurse to sleep at all (never really has...) Unfortunately I gave him a pacifier around 4 weeks old and he's become addicted. He will nurse at night a few times and occasionally a rare time when I catch his waking up from a nap.

    Is this a "strike"? Or is this normal? It feels awful and I'm so sad. Would taking away the pacifier DURING a nursing strike be a bad idea? I'm afraid it will be too traumatic to take away a much-loved comfort item. But I wonder if overuse of the pacifier is CAUSING this strike to begin with. He wakes a lot at night, crying for me to reinsert his paci (and I try to nurse him as much as I can at these wakeups.)

    So...ditch the paci or keep it? What else can I do to end this strike? I've tried skin to skin play time, bath time, dim lights...he's not interested.

    I am pumping once or twice during the day, and he drinks that milk from a sippy cup. I think my supply has taken a dive, so I started taking fenugreek and blessed thistle.

    He's recently gotten his first four teeth and has a few more coming. I've given Hyland's, motrin, and tylenol (not all at once ) at various times and he still won't nurse when he's awake/alert.

    As for other food, he loves food and can eat a good amount of solids. (Sometimes more than my 3yo) I'll give him a little water or almond milk in a sippy, if he's outof breast milk. I've tried to decrease his solids.

    I'm terrified he'll never happily nurse again during the daytime, because my DD "weaned" early at ~19-20 months old due to my pregnancy with my son and nursing was unbearable for me. I still feel awful about that, so if this is how it ends with my son I will be crushed beyond belief.

    I keep thinking if the pacifier was gone he'd learn to nurse more often for comfort...right? Or would the trauma of taking away the paci NOW be too much? I'm stuck on this part. The rest is "easier", because all I can do is keep pumping, keep offering, keep taking the fenugreek....but the pacifier is a CHOICE I made, and regret....but I wonder if I'm stuck with it now...?

    Any help to get my little boy nursing again during the day would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Breast aversion or daytime strike going on 2 MONTHS. Hel

    I'm sorry you're dealing with such a long strike. We had one that lasted about 5 months and it was very emotionally difficult and exhausting. I don't think getting rid of the paci will do much for the strike either way, but it might be worth trying. My IBCLC recommended transitioning my daughter from a bottle to a sippy cup as early as possible so she would, by comparison, get more comfort from the breast than the sippy (vs the bottle).

    http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/ is a great article, if you haven't read it yet or lately. I would keep offering and if he refuses, by really nonchalant and just do something else fun with him. Keep nursing him at night or during naps and keep offering just try not to get too upset when he refuses. My daughter's strike ended when she was ready for it to I have no idea what was going through her head (she was about 2.5 mos when she started and the next time she nursed fully awake she was close to 6 mos, but the next month she barely refused and the month after that she did not refuse once). I wouldn't decrease his solids, if he's 13 mos old and ready to eat solids then let him eat what he wants after he's had breastmilk. You're not going to starve him into wanting to nurse (not like you're starving him, but I really really don't think it'll help to decrease food to encourage a baby to get out of a strike).

    I really hope you figure out what will help him get back to breast. I know it's a really hard experience and you're doing a great job getting him your milk. take care.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

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