16 month old ds and breast refusal after sore throat / teething - any advice?

(6 Posts)
MisterSafetyCatchIsNotOn Tue 05-Nov-13 12:23:57

My ds has been a bit under the weather for the last few days, has been very touchy during the day, some extremely unsettled nights and since Sunday has been off his food. For the first day he wanted to breastfeed a lot but since yesterday morning he has started refusing the breast as well. I have been offering at the usual times of day and he initially looks interested, even asks for it sometimes but as soon as he latches on, before even taking a suck, he pulls off and starts screaming. He then goes in to an absolute rage, throws himself around, doesn't want to be held but won't be put down, all extremely stressful. He also won't drink anything from a sippy cup, I have had more success expressing into a mug or normal cup and giving milk or water from that. In fact if I offer expressed milk in a cup he gulps it down and looks for more, but it's ages since I expressed properly and I'm struggling to get much out.

I have seen his GP today who says he has a very sore throat. I can see why that would make him reluctant to eat solid food but not breastfeed, I think it's quite likely he also has molars coming through that are causing him problems. As he is now not even trying but just going in to meltdown if I so much as offer a feed, I think it must be the memory of it hurting that is the problem - so the question is how do I get beyond that and get him back on the breast?

We have had this twice before (just posted about it on another thread but wanted to ask my question separately), after 3 and 4 month jabs due I think to an upset tummy after the jabs, however it was much easier to convince him to feed again when he was younger. I could usually get him to feed when half asleep back then but now he just wakes up and screams and it takes ages to calm him down again. I think he probably forgot quicker back then as well!

Does anyone have any experience or advice to share? I don't think either of us are ready to give up on breastfeeding yet, it had been going really well. Thanks!

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Wed 06-Nov-13 07:43:06

Not sure if you've read them, but there are lots of articles on nursing strikes here

Apparently they usually only last 2-4 days so fingers crossed. Could he have a blocked up nose too?

MisterSafetyCatchIsNotOn Wed 06-Nov-13 09:55:56

Thanks for the link, I'll have a look. No blocked nose, I think the issue now is that he is associating feeding with some pain or discomfort as he won't even try although clearly still wants to.

I'm just not sure how to gently reintroduce feeding without distressing him further (he's not breastfed at all for 48 hours now) and /or maintain supply until he is interested again. Or do I just accept that this is it (sob)?

Maybe as you say he will just start again in a few days.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Wed 06-Nov-13 11:51:37

Oh I think it must be horrible to stop before you want to! I think supply is really robust once they are over a year so even if he doesn't feed for a couple more days you could probably start up again.

We were talking about strikes at my LLL meeting and suggestions that came out were: sitting round topless all day grin (although popular with the DHs that's probably quite cold and not too practical) having a bath together, and offering lots but pretending you are not bothered. All easier said than done though I realise.

Hope he starts again.

MisterSafetyCatchIsNotOn Wed 06-Nov-13 14:19:33

Ha, sitting around topless in my (male dominated) office while ds is far away may not be the best approach! grin But will definitely try the bath thing tonight, thanks.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Wed 06-Nov-13 14:34:07

grin grin grin

Good luck! (With the bath rather than the topless at the office thing wink )

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