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Thread: 8.5 month old only wants to nurse

  1. #1

    Default 8.5 month old only wants to nurse

    Hi! I have an 8.5 month old daughter who will not drink expressed milk, eats very few solids, but LOVES to nurse. Here's the backstory...

    I work in a school and am gone for 8 hours per day. I returned to work when she was 12 weeks old but she transitioned well to the bottle (breast milk only). Then, I was home for 2 months (starting when she was 6 months old) on summer vacation. She was exclusively nursed, but we introduced solids and a sippy cup at 7 months. On the two ocassions that I had to go to work, she refused the bottle and cup.

    Now, I have been back to work for three weeks and she is refusing all expressed milk. She is offered puree or mashed fruit once per day and will eat maybe 1-2 teaspoons, which I know is okay. We cannot do BLW due to a narrow passageway, but we allow her to self-feed.

    When I come home, she is definitely hungry. My mother reports that she is happy and her usual self all day without eating, Her wet diapers have slightly decreased and she has almost always been a once every 7-12 day pooper. Growth seems fine, but haven't had a check-up since 6 months. Everything seems fine but I have two questions:

    1. Should I test for excess lipase?
    She will drink a few droplets from the cup, then push it away. She doesn't seem to have a bad taste from it, but I don't know the signs.

    2. Should I pump wean?
    I hope to breastfeed until she self-weans. She currently nurses on demand and we co-sleep. She usually nurses twice between 330 and 7pm, then 2-4 times during the night (hard to remember!), then at least a little before I leave at 730am.

    I used to pump 2-3 times at work before summer. Now I pump once midday to relieve myself and know she has it. I end up filling her cup and dumping it and it upsets me. I have to make time to pump, I've been walked in on twice despite locking my office (admin will unlock it to find me). And I hate the shuffle of cleaning, packing, storing, dumping, freezing, I want to continue to nurse as long as possible, but is the daily pump session necessary?

    Thanks for reading!

  2. #2

    Default Re: 8.5 month old only wants to nurse

    I'm sorry we missed this one!

    I see this was a couple of weeks ago... How are things going now? Has there been any change?
    Karen
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  3. #3

    Default Re: 8.5 month old only wants to nurse

    Thanks for asking. Situation is still the same. She is taking a few sips of water or milk from a cup and a bit of food. She is still happy and growing but nearly attacks me for milk as soon as I get home. I feel terrible that she has an empty stomach all day. She is a bit gassy in the evenings from not eating then loading up. Wet and soiled diapers are consistent.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,419

    Default Re: 8.5 month old only wants to nurse

    My now 7 year old really did not eat anything aside from breastmilk at the breast at all at this age. We offered, oh how we offered! But nothing, really almost nothing at all until he was about 14 months old. Since his weight gain was normal our pediatrician did not bat an eye. He now eats fine of course and has since that time.

    lipase- Does the milk taste or smell soapy? Lipase taste is usually worse after milk has been frozen and thawed. is the situation any better when your daughter is offered fresh milk?

    when you say she refuses the cup, do you mean a sippy cup? My now 14 month old daughter has always preferred an open cup for her water with meals. Yes it is tricky but if the milk is getting spilled all over the place anyway, it may be worth a try to offer the cup with a tiny amount. We hold it for her and help guide her to lessen spillage. but it still spills.

    I would not suggest entirely pump weaning yet. Doing so would probably lower your milk production which might end up adversely affecting nursing, which obviously you do not want, as your child is getting almost all her nutrition from nursing! If she will not drink your expressed milk, you can keep your milk in the freezer and used it any number of ways down the line. (In cooking, to mix cereal, in a cup when she DOES want it, as popsicles, to use as a home remedy...)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: 8.5 month old only wants to nurse

    Hi mama, sounds like your LO is reverse cycling. Which is fine as long as she is nursing enough when you are together - ie as long as weight gain is on track; sounds like the diapers are fine. And yes, LO probably will want to be more or less attached to the breast as soon as you come home - which is great for maintaining your breastfeeding relationship! In terms of lipase, does baby refuse freshly pumped milk - as in, you pump it and then offer immediately? (Preferably you would pump out of sight and have someone else offer, because if you're there of course she will want you.) Because at that point there should not be a lipase issue. If she is rejecting it then it may simply that she prefers the breast to expressed milk (and who can blame her?). Lipase will tend to lend the milk a soapy smell/flavor.

    It doesn't seem to be bothering her to have an "empty stomach" (and even a few bites of food and sips of water maybe enough to keep her happy until she sees you), so I don't think that should necessarily worry you, either.

    In terms of pumping, since your baby is still a few months away from the year point, I think I might keep at least the midday pump. Similar to the logic that going a long stretch at night is not great for the supply of a mom working outside the home, a long stretch during the day isn't, either. Can't you tell the admin NOT to unlock your door? That does sound incredibly annoying! I know pumping is a pain the butt but you only have a few months to go - I think as you get closer to the one year point you can stop pumping altogether, without having to worry so much about keeping your supply up. And why are you dumping the milk? You could freeze it if you think she might sometime take it, or consider donating. Some moms cook the milk into pancakes and things so that would be another possibility.

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