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Thread: 12-month old refusing breast

  1. #1

    Default 12-month old refusing breast

    At 6 months, my baby began refusing to breastfeed. He was a super efficient eater (chugger) and my letdown wasn't fast enough, my milk flow was too slow for him, so he would get frustrated. He would only breastfeed early in the morning. I began exclusively pumping, with the exception of the early morning nursing session. It broke my heart as I truly enjoyed the experience of breastfeeding so I look forward to having that one morning session.

    He is turning 1 this week, and in the past week, he's refused my breast 3 of the 5 mornings. Is there anything I can do this late in the game to get him back on the breast? Is he just over it? Help! I'm so sad!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: 12-month old refusing breast

    Hi Meowmixx, welcome to the forum.

    No matter when a child eventually "fully" weans, it is common for moms to feel sadness over weaning. So your feelings are very common and normal, whether baby weans soon or not.

    Given that your baby went down to one session a day 6 months ago and has been primarily bottled fed since, I think it is great baby is still nursing. Since baby IS still nursing at least a little, my experience tells me that means it is more likely you will be able to convince baby to nurse more and for longer than if baby had been totally weaned from the breast previously. If you would like nursing to continue a little longer, my best suggestion is to gently encourage/suggest baby nurse more times a day.

    Have you tried encouraging baby to nurse other times of day to no avail? Baby has no interest in nursing to sleep, nursing when upset or cranky, hurt, scared, etc? When a baby is refusing to nurse, actively encouraging baby to nurse for comfort or just as part of cuddles etc. is often effective. Or, when a baby is "too busy" to nurse, many moms find it helps to get down with baby and crawl around, do what they are doing, etc, but topless to give baby the suggestion to nurse even while baby plays. This article has many great ideas for encouraging baby to nurse: https://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb...ack-to-breast/

  3. #3

    Default Re: 12-month old refusing breast

    Thank you so much for your response. I work during the day so I will try to nurse him when I put him down for bed tonight, after his bath when he is super sleepy. I hope that works. And I will try to get in some skin to skin time as well. He shows no interest in nursing at all. He opens his mouth, but then turns his head. I did notice some new teeth coming in - could that be a factor? He is still drinking milk, although his intake has dropped considerably, from about 18-20 ounces to a mere 13-16 ounces (which I should probably post about in a separate thread).

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

    Default Re: 12-month old refusing breast

    I am pretty sure there is nothing all that unusual about milk/food intake reducing around this point. One thing I learned when my middle child never seemed to want to eat solids (he nursed but ate no solids at all until well past a year) was that due to normal decreases in growth rate, appetite often noticeably subsides around a year. Of course appetitive will continue to fluctuate, but basically the younger a child is, the faster they grow, and consequently, the hungrier they are more of the time. So as a child ages, decreases in intake can be normal.

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