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Thread: Nursing strike- Is this one?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    35

    Default Nursing strike- Is this one?

    Hi there, once again I turn to LLL for help DD is nearly 8 months old and it has been hard to nurse her during daytime hours since she was around 4 months old. I chalked it up to "four month fussies" but it hasn't gotten much easier. At that time I just resorted to feeding her when she first woke up, nursed her down for her 4 naps (she recently dropped to 3 a couple of weeks ago), at bedtime and all throughout the night (we bed share).

    Lately I've been trying to encourage more daytime nursing since she has one less nap (therefore one less guaranteed nursing session) by offering the breast all throughout the day. I've tried different positions, acting nonchalant about it, etc. She almost always suckles for a second and pops off, usually not waiting for a letdown. Then when I do get one, she pops off. Sometimes I am successful at getting her to get a few sips.

    So basically I don't know if there is advice I can get from other mommas, or just know that I'm not alone. I really would like to go out with her more and not worry about if she will be hungry (I'm totally down to NIP, if only she weren't so distractable!)

    Is this a nursing strike?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Nursing strike- Is this one?

    I would not call one dropped session a nursing strike.

    I think there are situations that just do not have a good definition, they fall through the cracks. A nursing strike typically means a baby will not nurse AT ALL. Absolutely refuses to nurse, ever. But there are lots of possible scenarios between "baby refusing to nurse at all, ever" and "Baby nurses whenever mom offers and also cues frequently and takes the breast every time with no issues."

    Baby is almost 8 months old and how is weight gain? I wonder if baby is actually nursing plenty often for baby even with this 'dropped' session?

    I understand wanting baby to nurse more often during the day rather than all night, but I would suggest there is nothing inherently wrong or worrying in such a situation, except as it affects YOU and your ability to get enough sleep. 8 month old babies have no reason whatsoever to sleep more at night than during the day, and while many will do so because at some point they begin to adopt the rhythms of their family, many simply will not until they are older, and this is entirely normal. It sounds like baby sleeps quite a bit during the day, or at least, sleeps often, and I would suspect that has something to do with baby being wakeful more at night- although if that is the case, then the question is like the chicken and the egg- is baby wakeful at night due to sleeping lots in the day, or is baby sleeping lots in the day because baby was up lots at night?

    As far as going out, I would suggest, just go out. So what if she gets hungry? I am not trying to be callous, but at some point I think it is important to throw away the excess caution that keeps so many moms trapped at home..."It will mess up the nap schedule" or "He won't eat because he is distractible' etc etc. So what? Your baby is not going to starve because you go to the park or have lunch with friends. I think it is usually a good idea to keep outings with a baby or toddler relatively simple and short, just to avoid the exhaustion factor (mom's more than baby's) and to be realistic in your expectations- if your baby is hungry, she may get upset and cry. It happens, it is ok. Don't let that stop you, just get out. It's important for YOU.

    Also, if baby can see other babies nurse baby may follow suit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Nursing strike- Is this one?

    Thanks for the reply. Her nursing habits might be the type that fall through the cracks like you suggested, or I might just be overreacting like I tend to do!

    Her weight gain is exceptional, has been consistently in the 75-90th %, and is quite a long baby, too, in the 95%. We haven't weighed her in a couple of months; we go back to the pedi next month.

    I absolutely have no problem with her nursing at night- not only to get all of her caloric needs, but also because I plan to nurse her for years to come.

    As far as her naps go, we probably could've dropped the fourth one earlier, but basically I had no idea what I was doing :P (still don't ha!) But she takes one in the AM, one mid afternoon, and one late afternoon. They'd be shorter if I didn't lay down with her and "transition" her to the next sleep cycle. I don't know how to have her nap less without keeping her up for a long time, and with her naps only lasting one sleep cycle (45min) without my help. I'm open to suggestions for that too

    I do still go out, but I worry about her being hungry, since she shows hunger signs but won't nurse. It's also hot and humid down here in the South, and I don't want her to become dehydrated. But yeah. I've definitely been and still often am that type of mom you described. Sigh. Perhaps she will NIP with no problems down the road.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Nursing strike- Is this one?

    Well it is normal to worry! I suggest the book my child won't eat. Have you read that? It discusses many aspects of baby and toddler eating, including how and why nursing moms stress out and looks in detail at what is and is not worrisome in the breastfed baby. It might be helpful.

    I am not in any way suggesting your baby takes too many naps or too long naps or that you should have dropped the 4th nap earlier...Personally I have little patience for the idea babies need a sleep schedule beyond simply doing what works for both mom and baby. I am just saying, it sounds like baby is getting enough OVERALL sleep, as babies almost always manage to do no matter what parents do or do not do, so that is not a worry. Your baby could sleep all day and be up all night and would be perfectly healthy...that was my point. I also will lie in bed and nurse my child so she sleeps longer and I get a longer "break," even though it often means she goes to sleep later in the evening when she does that. She is two and a half and while she now only naps once a day, it can be anything from 30 minutes to 4 hours. It varies, as it has to due to my other responsibilities. This is what works for us, and does no harm.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 15th, 2015 at 01:27 PM.

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