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Thread: Anyone start EPing with an older baby?

  1. #1

    Default Anyone start EPing with an older baby?

    My almost-1-year-old has been on a nursing strike for about 2.5 weeks now. (I was gone before that, so it's been over 3 weeks since she last nursed.) I have been pumping for her, but it is SO HARD. I feel like our entire schedule revolves around being home so I can pump for her, and I can't ever seem to get ahead and stay ahead of her needs, so there's screaming and clawing at the pump while I try to get her a bottle. And her older brother (3) likes to go completely bananas and get into trouble and torment his sister while I pump.

    I'm not sure what I'm looking for...advice? Commiseration? Permission to give up? I just don't know. I nursed my oldest to 21 months without any significant amount of pumping, ever. I was so looking forward to permanently ditching the pump after my trip, and got the exact opposite.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Anyone start EPing with an older baby?

    Nursing strikes are so frustrating. It sounds like this one was possibly triggered by a separation, but there may be other factors that have occurred that are prolonging it. Have you considered what some of those might be? What have you tried for encouraging baby to nurse again?

    Here are a few ideas/info that may help.

    -Nursing strikes can last for many weeks, even months, and baby still returns to the breast. I am not saying this always happens, just that it can happen.

    -Appetite temporarily decreases at around a year, normally, in many children. This is a time of a big slowdown in growth rate, so appetite often decreases. This may or may not be contributing to your child's disinterest in nursing.

    If you explain your current pumping and feeding pattern, plus other info about life right now, that might help us help you. How much milk is your baby eating daily with bottles right now vs how much are you able to pump? Is she eating solids yet? Can she sit in a highchair or other and eat something while you pump? Are there times of day/night that you have another adult there who can help you by taking the kids so that you might pump more often then?

    Do you have a one sided sling or a back pack you could put your baby in while you pump?

    Do you have some special toys, video, music player etc. you could use to entertain your three year old- something special that only comes out while you pump?

    You do not need anyone's permission to "give up." If/when the time comes you are ready to pack it in, I think you will know in your heart. If you decide that you do want to stop trying, be careful to wean yourself from pumping slowly so that you do not have ill effects.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Anyone start EPing with an older baby?

    There are a host of possible reasons for her strike... she started walking the day before we left for our trip, she's been cutting six teeth for the past month or two (they have all broken through now), she has a tongue and lip tie, she likes to be independent. She actually seems *more* hungry lately, making me wonder if she's going through a growth spurt. I haven't really been using any frozen milk, so she's been eating what I pump. I haven't actually been tracking output. I've tried just about everything to get her back to the breast, though I haven't been trying much lately.

    I will try to come back and type more later, need to do some family things now.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Anyone start EPing with an older baby?

    Okay, a little more info... prior to leaving on our trip, our baby was just starting to get interested in solids. She has a tendency to spit out food. (I now think this is because of her undiagnosed tongue tie.) Since coming back, she has been eating TONS of solids. Possibly because she got more practice, possibly because she's getting less milk (impossible to know, since I just nursed on demand before). She takes a bottle around every 2-3 hours when awake. So far today, from midnight to 5 PM, she's taken 4 bottles of about 4 oz each. Yesterday and today have been better because I've managed to stay a bottle ahead of her all day. If she sleeps through the night, I can usually pump enough for 2 bottles when I wake up in the morning. If I can then pump every time she takes a bottle, I can stay ahead of her a little. I have noticed the past couple of days that my output drops the longer the day goes on. I'm trying to drink more water to help with that.

    Things I've tried to get her back on the breast:
    -Offering the breast when sleepy or asleep
    -Letting her go without any milk for an extended time period
    -Spending several hours doing topless snuggling/playing
    -Giving her a bottle while snuggling her at the breast, and offering the breast either partway through the bottle or when the bottle is done
    -Offering when she is not particularly hungry
    -Various nursing positions, including sitting up on my lap or laying in bed cuddling

    There are probably more, but that's all I can think of for now. I've honestly quit offering most of the time. Oh, I also tried expressing some milk onto my nipple to catch her interest, but the only effect of that has been to have her pinch my nipples every time I offer, as if she's trying to get the milk out herself. She absolutely and utterly refuses to latch or attempt to latch, and will actually scream and arch away from me most of the time, even if she's been pulling at my shirt or reaching down my neckline.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Anyone start EPing with an older baby?

    So how much breastmilk total each day? 4 ounces every 2-3 hours seems like a lot if she is also eating solids well...(?) Also, It is normal for pump output to be higher in the morning and less later in the day. Obviously you want to stay normally hydrated but no need to over hydrate as that has not been found to help with milk production.
    Does she get any liquids with her solids? I wonder if offering to nurse after a meal when she is thirsty might work.
    Do you have breastfeeding friends, local LLL meeting, or some other place mothers who are nursing tend to gather? I have seen it over an over again at LLL meetings that a striking baby decides to nurse when they see other babies and toddlers nursing. I think the social aspect with all the mommies talking while they nurse helps.
    My kids always nursed to get my attention. If I am on the phone, talking to a friend, typing on the computer, doing school work with older kids, or reading to older kids...that is when it is like a "Milk Bar is Open" sign goes up. ...I have never seen "ignoring the child" as a suggestion for encouraging a child to nurse, this is just something that I thought of just now.
    Bath together?
    Does she sleep with you usually? Is that when the offering when she is asleep is happening?
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; October 2nd, 2015 at 01:21 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Anyone start EPing with an older baby?

    She's taking about 24 oz a day, which I think is pretty normal for a kid her age. There is no LLL chapter, though I have tried taking her to a couple of meetings of the local breastfeeding support group. She watched babies nurse at one of them, but didn't seem interested. No one really showed up to the next meeting, so that was a bust. She usually gets water with her meals, I suppose I could try skipping that. We tried the bath Sunday with no luck - she loves splashing and playing, but no interest in nursing. She does not sleep with me. Before the strike, when she woke up in the night, I would bring her into the bed to nurse, though. Have tried that with no luck.

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