My 12.5 mth old has mostly been refusing to nurse for the last week or so. She had been doing 4 feeds, usually for a total of 10-15 min and had wet diapers. Not much weight gain for the last few mths but she seemed pretty happy and is very active. She is also big at 22.5 lbs. For the last week or so, she has been gradually losing interest, she will still nurse 4 times but its for at most 4-5 min, pretty dry diapers and she seems hungry. She also refuses to take the right side except in the morning. I never thought I would give up but I am feeling like I should, DD1 self-weaned at 27 mths so it is really hard for me to give up so early.
A bit of background, she has bad reflux and only nursed asleep or while falling asleep from age 2 mths to 10 mths. Then we had a 10 day strike at 10 mths and then she started nursing awake, it was like a miracle and she wanted to nurse for about 2 mths. It has been gradually getting worse, she just doesn't seem to want it. I feel like I have killed myself to get us this far and it still isn't working. I have pumped 4 times a day since she was 2 mths old since feeding asleep wasn't as efficient at keeping up supply. I am still pumping now but it has gotten to be less and less. I feel like I don't respond to the pump teh way I used to. And I am feeling guilty for not feeding her at times when I expect that she will nurse and then her getting very little milk. I feel like she might get more if we just offered her milk and food all day and not wait for her to nurse. Right now, she doesn't eat breakfast so that she can nurse a second time in the morning. And I don't offer food right before nap or bedtime so that she will nurse then. We gave her milk in her straw cup (the only thing she would ever drink from) one evening before bed and she barely nursed at all at bedtime.
So the real problem with stopping is that she has always taken more milk from me than she will from the cup. Whatever discomfort she has from the reflux (and we have exhausted all medical options for that), it just seems to limit the amount of food/drink that she can take in. For some reason though she has always taken more when nursing, at least we assume anyway. From her cup, the most she drinks is 2 oz. So there is a major risk that we will not be able to get as much milk in with the cup and once she isn't nursing, my supply will get even worse. It would be hard to go back to nursing, if she would even do it.
I just don't know what to do, its definitely a rock and a hard place. Should I wait it out and see if she goes back to nursing again? Or should we just feed her frequently and hope that it works out, I can still offer at the normal times and see if she takes it? The only other idea that I had was to try a different type of milk (goat or cows milk) and see if she maybe likes it better. I know its not as good for her though and I have tons of frozen milk to feed her for mths.
Its been such a hard road with her and I cry at the thought of giving up as she is our last child. DD1 just loved to nurse and I miss that closeness like I had with her. She was a nurse-a-holic, still doing 6-7 times a day at 18 mths for 20 or more min at a time. I know now that she was the opposite extreme.
Sorry for the novel, just a complex problem, I would really appreciate any ideas!