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Thread: 11 month old refusing to drink anything!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    South Australia

    Default 11 month old refusing to drink anything!

    Hi everyone,
    My 11 month old baby girl is refusing to drink from the breast and any type of bottle, cup, sippy cup. Firstly, she isn't sick or teething! We've had two weeks of it to observe her and it's definitely neither of those. I've been exclusively breastfeeding since birth, but the other night, she bit my nipple quite hard during a feed and (so very regrettably) I reacted badly, yelling out at her. This scared her and ever since, she hasn't gone back to the boob. She even begins to cry as soon as she can see me getting my breast out. So I've tried EVERYTHING to get her back on the boob. Bathing with her, playing with my breasts out, dreamfeeding, leaving it for a few days so she doesn't feel pressured... I'm certain now that she is never going back, so I'm now focusing on getting her to drink by other means.
    I'm still expressing milk, but she is barely drinking any of it and neither water or diluted juice or anything. She isn't used to bottles or cups, but she's not even trying to work them out, she just cries and pushes them away when I offer. I've tried a real no-pressure approach by just leaving a sippy cup in her play area or on her tray table during meals, and she plays with it a little but that's about it. I've tried all the different types of sippy cups including free flowing and straw cups. She has drunk from my water glass before but only occasionally. She just seems to be refusing for the sake of refusing. Sometimes she'll let me give her milk through a syringe thing that comes with baby paracetamol, but only like 20mls a day if we're lucky.
    I know that it might just take time and she eventually will catch on, and she's not showing any signs of dehydration and she's eating about 3 meals a day, but surely such a low fluid intake and only about one wet nappy a day will be affecting her health, right??
    It's been about 2 weeks now, and she's showing no signs of progress.
    I've spoken to nurses and doctors, i've called helplines, and they all tell me the same things to try out, and I've tried it all, and we're still nowhere.
    What can I do now? Is there another type of professional that can help us?
    Is there any other mothers that have been through a similar thing?
    I'm just so frustrated and scared and feel so alone

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 11 month old refusing to drink anything!

    Hi I'm really sorry nursing strikes like this can be so very difficult and frustrating.
    First I would suggest don't believe in your head that she is never going to nurse again. She may not or she may but there is certainly been nursing strike that it lasted far longer than two weeks and eventually the baby went back to nursing. No reason to not offer on a gentle basis whenever you like or the time feels right. I'm sure you've already been suggested to offer when baby is falling asleep, just waking, or sleeping. Also I'm sure you've already read the Kelly mom.com article help my baby won't nurse. Just remember what did not work yesterday or last week may work today.

    As far as drinking, I can't imagine a child would refuse to drink just for the sake of refusing. Thirst is an incredibly strong motivator.
    I can only guess that your child is simply not as thirsty as you think she should be.
    What did the doctors say about the situation, I'm sure you have a list of the signs of dehydration. There are signs of mild to moderate to severe dehydration to watch out for. Severe dehydration does not happen until the mild and moderate has occurred so if you're watching your baby closely you should be able to tell if she is getting to the point where you're going to have to bring her in to the doctor or hospital for treatment for dehydration. I do not know if there are any illnesses or conditions that would cause a child to refuse to drink to the point that they became dangerously dehydrated, hopefully your doctor would have information on that. however I do not think that your child reacting to the bite would cause this. It may have caused the nursing strike but I don't think it would cause your child to refuse to drink at all.

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