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Thread: 7 months, doesn't want to nurse

  1. #1

    Default 7 months, doesn't want to nurse

    My son is 7months old and seems to have lost interest in nursing. I'm trying to determine if he's weaning, or on a nursing strike, or if perhaps something else is going on, maybe due to teething. He was introduced to solids around 5m, does great switching between bottle and breast, and we've had no problems nursing up until this point.

    For the past week or so, he'll latch on for maybe a minute or less, then stop to suck his fingers and look around, roll over, fuss, etc. If I switch him to the other breast, he'll latch again, but then the same thing happens. This goes on until he seems to get frustrated and will refuse the breast entirely and start to cry. My initial thought the first couple of times it happened was that he wasn't hungry since we'd fed him solids about an hour before putting him to bed, but last night he hadn't eaten in a few hours and just fussed until I finally put him down. He slept through the night, but without a wet diaper, so I'm worried that he's dehydrated/not getting enough to eat. He'll take a bottle with gusto, so I've had my husband feed him the last few times, but I'm worried about my supply.

    A couple of things that have happened recently that may be contributing factors:
    I started my period again and have noticed a drop in supply, baby is teething and has had some biting issues (I'm worried I may have startled him into a strike by yelling out in pain), and he's had some constipation since we've started him on solids.

    Anyone have any experience with this happening? Any insight is appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: 7 months, doesn't want to nurse

    HI and welcome.

    IN my opinion, 7 month olds are far to young to spontaneously wean from the breast. They certainly may stop nursing, but that is not the same thing.

    The first thing to consider is if this is a strike, and the second is to consider if baby has been inadvertently trained away from the breast over time.

    You do not say how many bottles baby gets per day or week etc. or why. So this may not apply to you, I do not know. But one of the great misunderstandings about bottles and breastfeeding and "nipple confusion" is that a baby being "ok" switching back and forth from bottles to breast for weeks or months indicates there is no problem or no problem brewing. Breast refusal due to bottles is something that comes on over time, and is more likely to occur the longer bottles are given (and of course frequency of bottles and how they are given makes a difference.) In short, when a baby begins to refuse the breast, it is often due to the fact baby has been getting bottles for a while.

    Bottles are certainly not the only reason for breast resistance or refusal, but ongoing bottle use is almost certainly a contributing factor.

    Constipation is going to be uncomfortable and can certainly lead to feeding issues or breast refusal. Can you reduce the solids, or at least look at what you are offering and how much, and adjust as needed? Also if you are offering baby water with solids, you may want to stop and offer to nurse instead.
    Are the bottles necessary due to separations? If not, I would suggest stop all bottles for a bit. If they are, I would suggest look at how much baby is getting in bottles and if baby is maybe getting too much, and go over proper bottle feeding technique for the breastfed baby with whoever gives baby bottles.
    Assuming your baby is gaining normally, I see no reason to offer the a bottle due to baby refusing to nurse. You are making milk, even if there was a temporary dip, right? And baby knows where it is and how to get it out. Thirst is a great motivator. Obviously if this is a real strike, and baby keeps going without nursing, then baby has to be fed with cups or bottles and you will need to pump to maintain production while encouraging baby to nurse.

    There are many articles on here about nursing strikes. Teething, illness, even a change in moms deodorant might trigger a strike. this is a good one-
    http://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/babyselfwean/

    and for ideas to help baby nurse again/more: http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...ack-to-breast/
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; September 17th, 2015 at 08:22 PM.

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