my 10 month old went on a nursing strike 4 weeks ago. This happened after she bit me twice in succession (hard too.. had two lines of bruises on my breast from it...), and I made an inadvertent yelp of pain and flinched, followed by her shocked cry. She nursed a couple of times after those incidences but overnight she went cold-turkey and haven't gotten back since. She was nursing 4-5x/day up until the strike started.
I've been trying everything suggested on various sites to break the nursing strike to no avail. In the beginning, she would start screaming if I even held her in remotely cradle position, it was heartbreaking... There were instances where she would be sleepy and open her mouth to latch, until the nipple touched the lips and she would jerk to alertness and start crying. I managed to get her to accept being held by abandoning any attempt to nurse her for 2 days. Now she will let me hold and rock her, but as soon as she sees a breast coming, it's a scream-fest. I even tried to put my nipple in her mouth while she's asleep, hoping that she'll start nursing when she's starting to wake up, but it was also met with violent rejection as soon as she came to. At the time of the nursing strike she was refusing a bottle.. so it was not due to bottle preference. after 2 weeks of near-dehydration during a very bad heat wave, and trying cups, straws, spoons, etc., she now takes a bottle... but no breast.
She seems to have some sort of nipple aversion... as soon as my nipple touches her lips, she turns away, arches her back, and starts screaming in protest. She has a self-soothing technique of sucking on her sleeves, and after the screaming, she goes back to her sleeve-sucking/licking. Every time she does this, I feel an incredible sense of loss and rejection
She is somewhat immune compromised, so I really need to keep her on the breast (or at least on breast milk) through the upcoming cold/flu season. I'm pumping, but nursing a baby via a bottle is becoming a strain on me as i also have another toddler to care for (whom I nursed until 2yrs).
I'm still trying to coax her back onto the breast, but with passing days, my hope is waning. I'm now at the point of whether I should just give up hope and stop trying, or keep going even if it means a very vocal rejection at every attempt. All the web searches state most strikes end within a week or two. I have not read anything about baby coming back after 4+weeks of striking (with no known pain issues associated, that is).
Very sad, getting depressed...