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11 month old refusing to BF - very sad

(12 Posts)
rostbeef Thu 23-Dec-10 21:14:50

Hi all, I was planning to BF until my DD was one. Or even beyond as I have decided to be a SAHM. She has always been a fabulous feeder and aside from the usual early days problems I have loved breastfeeding. She is now 11 months old, loves solid food and is getting more and more independent each day. She is cruising and almost there with taking steps.
She is a late teether and her three teeth (two bottom one eye tooth fang!) only arrived last month.
My problem is that for the last two days she has refused the breast. She BITES me HARD instead and then refuses to nurse. She was having a feed in the morning and evening and one at 3/4pm if she 'asked' for it. But now she is not suckling. she is falling asleep happily alone and happy taking a bottle at bedtime and sippy cup of milk in the morning. Its like she has just decided its time to quit and done it.
So, thats good in a way but I feel completely bereft and rejected. Do I need to pull myself together and deal with this sudden stop? I am engorged and feel emotionally raw about the whole thing. Its like she doesn't need me anymore!
Any similar experiences??

LadyintheRadiator Thu 23-Dec-10 21:17:12

Maybe just a nursing strike - see Kellymom here - she may well want to nurse again in a few days. I think DS had a couple of occasions of not feeding for 1-2 days solid, then carrying on again.

QuintMissesChristmasesPast Thu 23-Dec-10 21:17:57

Pull yourself together. The baby has decided enough is enough. Sorry if that is not what you want to hear, but as your baby grows, you cant keep her back at baby stage when she is ready to move on and take another step on the developmental ladder. Well done for breastfeeding to 11 months!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 23-Dec-10 21:21:28

Rost not surprised you feel bereft and raw.

I'm not trained but could the biting be because of the teething? Have you tried feeding lying down as I've heard that this can make it more difficult to bite.

If you take a look here there are some links at the bottom on Nursing Strikes. According to Kellymom babies rarely self-wean before 18 months, so there might be some hope that this is temporary.

Just one more thing, could you be pregnant?

CarGirl Thu 23-Dec-10 21:21:35

My youngest and last did this, she just wasn't interested in her only bf of the day at bed time. Once weaned she dropped her milk at a tremendous rate!

I was sad, it was the end of an era but on the other hand I was no longer required for bed time and I got my freedom to go out back wink

wrigglerstea Thu 23-Dec-10 21:26:44

It is very unusual to self wean this early! If you want to stop then this could be a good time to try and distract her if she decides she wants to go back to it, but if you don't don'T dispair. And please don't get upset by insensitive comments from someone who obviously doesn't understand the nursing relationship.
Your might want to post on the feeding topic to get some further advice about nursing strikes.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 23-Dec-10 21:29:25

Well said wriggler and good advice about starting a new thread in feeding.

rostbeef Thu 23-Dec-10 21:32:14

Thanks for the links - I was interested to read it could be her reaction to my reaction to the bites. She bit me very very hard and I shouted out. Not AT her obviously but maybe she was scared. I think I'll take my cues from her and see if she does want to come back to it. And try to pull myself together if she doesn't! Thanks all of you smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 23-Dec-10 21:34:04

Rost, have you tried talking it through with a Bfing Counsellor?

When my DC1 started biting I called the NCT feeding line and they gave me some very good information.

TruthSweet Thu 23-Dec-10 21:36:13

Self weaning happens over a long period of time with slow dropping of feeds and gaps of days or more between feeds. Self weaning does not involve biting nor is it sudden. It may be that she is preferring the bottle/beaker though - are you still using stage 0 teats?

I have had one child self wean at 3.6y/o and one is currently self weaning (will go days between feeds then want a feed out of the blue - she is 3.1y/o). I have also had nursing strikes - they are sudden, unexpected and very traumatic both for the child and for mother.

You could try to see if your DD will feed when sleepy (i.e. in the night if she wakes or first thing in the morning), never force her to feed but instead keep it low key and just offer her a feed. If she says no then cuddle her (if she wants you to!). You may find putting teething gel on 10m before offering a feed helps too. The Kellymom link LadyintheRadiator posted will give you some good advice and/or you could phone one of the BFing helplines (NCT/LLL/BfN/ABM) as they would be able to help with nrsing strikes/coming to terms with bfing ceasing.

hellymelly Thu 23-Dec-10 21:37:12

My DD did this when teething,After about three days she started again and hasn't had another nursing strike,she is three and a half and still bf.The GP could see her ears were sore and so she had calpol and teething granules,I kept offering the breast and she just started again naturally.I also felt horrible,tearful,distressed,and I think there was a hormonal component to that,suddenly stopping is hard for the body.I kept pumping but that wasn't easy for me.
just a thought,if she is dropping feeds because she is on solids,then giving her a bottle and the a cup of milk in the morning may mean she is getting what she wants from that,I would try bfing instead,but it sounds most like a teeth related nursing strike to me.good luck!

insolsticecat Fri 24-Dec-10 09:06:08

My dd did exactly this at this age. I felt exactly as you do now. You have my sympathy, it makes you feel so useless. Self weaning was not a slow process for my dd once she discovered a cup thats what she wanted.

I struggled for days and days (over 2 weeks) trying everything I could to encourage her to feed. I then continued to express for 5 weeks in the hope she would return to it but never did.

In the spirit or attachment parenting I fully intended to continue breastfeeding. The fact she had made this decision for herself gave me great comfort from that parenting angle. I was bereft until I decided to go with it.

My freinds daughter also did the same at ten months, and she is another independant little miss. I dont like to generalise but it may just be the personalities of some babies that they do this.

She is now 3.5 and strong and healthy as an ox-she gets the odd cold but seems to dodge most of the usual gippy bugs from preschool. She is bright and intelligent and I sincerley believe hat she hasn't suffered in anyway from weaning so soon.

You must remember that something like only 4% of women still breastfeed after 6motnhs so you have done incedribly well.

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