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Thread: Baby refusing to nurse all of a sudden

  1. #1
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    Jan 2012
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    Default Baby refusing to nurse all of a sudden

    So just when I thought all our nursing problems could be over, I'm extremely upset. My daughter's a few days shy of 11 months old. She nursed well half the day today, and then around mid-day was latching poorly -- pretty much would only bite me and not even try to latch or suck. I kept taking her off (sometimes jumping when she bit me -- couldn't help it) and she seemed uninterested in trying to actually nurse. Now she's been refusing to try altogether, and screams and screams if we try. I know it could be a nursing strike, but how to handle it at this age? I rocked her to sleep (she ALWAYS nurses at bedtime) after trying some Tylenol thinking teething was the problem. Then she woke up screaming and was inconsolable. She only wanted to go to me, but would not calm down, even with our trying gripe water and teething tablets. I thought she'd nurse since that's her usual wake-up ritual, but still won't. My husband just gave her a bottle after I got worried about her not having many liquids in the past 12 hours (she didn't really want any water from a sippy cup) and because she wouldn't calm down to go back to sleep. I am considering taking off work tomorrow, but not sure that will help. Any thoughts are appreciated. Will likely call local LLL leader tomorrow. Also -- as I write this, I don't hear her anymore, so she must have been happy to have the bottle.

    Probably should have mentioned she has bottles while I'm at work, so it's not like we're introducing it for this problem. But I'd like to not encourage it during my time at home.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    30

    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse all of a sudden

    sounds like teething to me. My 11 month old was doing the same thing last week. Now that the tooth is popped through, she is right back at it. Keep offering and don't get discouraged. You're doing great!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    2,538

    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse all of a sudden

    kup on how it goes
    Autumn
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse all of a sudden

    Just signed on to give in update and saw the encouragement, so thanks! Li'l Pooper did nurse this morning when she woke up -- she started off with her "test" bite that she was doing yesterday. I did jump a little (we're talking more of a tensing up) and she pulled off and started crying. I think maybe she's scared -- but so am I! But I kept telling her it was okay and she ended up nursing for a long time. DH and I sighed a great sigh of relief. I normally leave for work before she wakes up but am glad I went in late this morning. We'll see how she is when I get home from work. .

    This biting is weird and I'm not sure I can do anything differently. It's not like she is getting bored and biting at the end. It's more like she's forgotten how to latch on at first and goes straight to a bite, and then gets upset that I have to stop her. I actually have teeth marks that are not healing well. I'm hoping lcb is right and it's teething and will stop soon. Will update you later if she won't nurse again! She's never gone a whole night without nursing so last night was very upsetting.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse all of a sudden

    I'm glad things went a little better this morning!

    The biting can definitely be caused by teething, which can also cause refusal to nurse. The other thing that can cause both of these things (and in the way you describe, with baby seeming to forget how to nurse) is an ear infection. I just have to say that, because the only "nursing strike" I ever encountered with Joe looked a LOT like what you're describing (terrible latch, biting, and refusal to nurse, with lots of screaming) and was caused by an ear infection. He had no other symptoms (he was recovering from a cold; his temp was a little high but so close to normal it wasn't noticeable to the touch, like basically 99.1 or something) so it took me a lot longer than I wished it had to sort it out. I thought he was just being totally stubborn or something. But it turned out he wasn't able to latch due to ear pain. Boy did I feel bad. I might take your bub in just to rule that out. It sounds eerily similar. A sore throat could also cause this kind of behavior.


    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.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse all of a sudden

    Hmmm...what you're saying joe.s.mom is interesting. She did have a cough a couple weeks ago and we took her to the doctor and the doctor said we just had to monitor since there were no other symptoms (she didn't know if it was a teething cough or getting over a cold). DH and I got sick after that, and thought we caught it from her. I actually wondered last night if it was the other way around, and maybe she caught something from us -- possibly a sore throat (I never think ear infection because I never see any signs of it, but I'll have to check that). She seemed pleasant otherwise, like usual, so I didn't really think anything beyond teething. I'll keep an eye and try her temp later today -- maybe will call the doctor tomorrow if she's having trouble. Thanks for that info! I figured some other baby must have acted this way at some point!
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse all of a sudden

    Yeah, I'd especially suspect ear infection if there is any congestion or a cough. Joe was pretty normal when he wasn't nursing during that time, which is why I didn't realize it was an ear infection. Also, he didn't grab at his ear or any of that stuff. I actually think this is the norm - most of the time, ear infections don't have many "signs." Not being able to latch, latching and then crying, or biting and seeming to not know how to latch - those ARE possible signs. Enough that I would take the baby into the doc.


    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
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Texas
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    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse all of a sudden

    with joe's mom. elena has had ear infections with no other symptoms (fever etc) except not nursing normally.
    Christine
    Can't believe I've been and a full-time SAHM to Elena (5/2010) for over 2 yrs!
    Mami de mi preciosa Elenita
    http://forums.llli.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=32384&dateline=131170  7429 OakRoseCharms Free Shipping for LLLadies just pm me! My Blog

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Baby refusing to nurse all of a sudden

    Update -- I took DD to the doctor for a late appointment yesterday. He checked her ears and said they looked good. He also did a strep test just to be safe, and that was negative. I am guessing maybe it was a teething issue, or maybe just a minor sore throat. She nursed well yesterday, thank goodness, so we're just going to keep an eye on her. She was crying while eating her solids and having her bottles while I was at work yesterday. Must be some pain in her mouth or throat. It made me really feel extreme sympathy for moms whose babies have long nursing strikes. I was so relieved she started nursing again just after about 19 hours -- I can't imagine dealing with that for a week or more! Thanks for all the help!
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

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