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8 month old nursing strike?

(15 Posts)
MrsGubbins Sun 24-Jul-11 06:12:04

DD is 8 months EBF and I'm not sure if she's on a nursing strike.

Yesterday she refused to nurse all day and didn't BF from 3am until 8pm, I offered regularly throughout the day but she was squirming to get away and got upset. She was offered expressed milk in a bottle by DH and refused (she will normally take a bottle from him) We offered it in a cup and she had a few sips but nothing substantial, she took solids as normal so I presume it itsn't her teeth causing pain?

She wouldn't nurse at all before naps/bed which she normally does at least for 5 mins and then last night wouldn't settle fully to sleep and I think maybe she was hungry although she had a good intake of solids for dinner, so I lay down with her and eventually around 8pm she had a good feed and slept till after midnight where she did feed but only after fussing and squirming, did the same again at 4am. Refused again this morning at 6.30 and again before going down for a nap just (I'm 3 hours ahead of UK)

Yesterday I mixed freshly expressed milk into her food and this morning into her porridge and she took it so it can't be the taste?? I've just had my first period since she was born so I did wonder whether there was a taste change.

Is this a nursing strike? Any ideas.. my DH unhelpfully asked me what I'd eaten to put her off and is lucky I didn't wrap the pump tubing round his neck!

MrsGubbins Sun 24-Jul-11 09:36:05


She's still refusing... how long can she go without having milk in terms of days? before I should be worried? I'm worried already but... can someone tell me to stop panicking??

I've kept offering it to her in a cup with and without lid and she's prob had 50mls in the last 8 hours

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 24-Jul-11 12:08:55

Haven't got any experience for you MrsGubbins but have you read this on Kellymom?

AngelDog Sun 24-Jul-11 13:03:05

It does sound lke a nursing strike to me, although I don't know much about the effect of periods returning (I think some babies do get fussy then and perhaps your supply dips, but I can't quite remembe as my periods haven't come back yet). The Kellymom stuff was helpful and if you google 'nursing strike' or search the archives here, there are lots of threads.

Offering without pressure can help, as can offering when sleepy / asleep / just waking up. Some people find that co-bathing or offering while wearing baby in a sling helps.

Expressing will help maintain your supply and give you milk to give her in a cup. It's hard not to take it personally but if it is a strike, it's certainly possible to get past it (assuming you want to continue bf).

It might also be worth taking her to the GP for reassurance. My DS went on nursing strike at 13 months and it turned out he had an ear infection, which I presume was making it uncomfortable to feed. He had no other symptoms, although he went on to get a chest infection, conjunctivitis and v&d bug too. The strike lasted for 12 days, and he's feeding still now at 18 m.o.

AngelDog Sun 24-Jul-11 13:04:27

Reading your post again about refusing the bottle, it could be something like ear discomfort as it's sucking which gets uncomfortable. Trying nursing in different positions might help, or even in the bath.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 24-Jul-11 14:50:25

How are you getting on now OP?

hellymelly Sun 24-Jul-11 14:56:45

My dd went on a nursing strike at 7m,she too would squirm and cry when she tried to latch .After two visits to the GP she did latch on again and it has never been repeated.She had inflamed ears as Angeldog mentioned above,due to cutting a tooth,and it obviously really hurt to suck. I think it was two or three days in total,I kept pumping and my supply dipped a bit but quickly came back up when she was feeding again. I offered her the breast frequently and tried to stay calm,she also had a homoeopthic remedy from Weleda,one of the tissue salt ones for teething.

MrsGubbins Sun 24-Jul-11 15:42:08

she's refused all day (6.30pm where I am) even before bed, she did take some ebm from a cup this afternoon and with dinner, I gave her porridge with ebm for dinner just to get milk into her.

she hasn't got a temp and this afternoon has played happily, enjoyed her bath etc

I spoke to a midwife here who's told me that at 8 months it doesn't matter whether she has milk or not!!! that's tosh isn't it?

I've worn kellymom and google out!

crikey... you need nerves of steele to be a mother! I'm trying to tell myself the same advice I'd give to a friend but it's not working!!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 24-Jul-11 16:23:07

Sorry to hear that she still isn't nursing. Do you think its worth getting her checked at the GP's?

AngelDog Sun 24-Jul-11 22:20:09

Yes, sorry to hear she's not feeding still. It's very hard to take your own advice, isn't it?

Yes, your midwife is talking rubbish. The WHO says bm should be 100% of nutrition 0-6 months, 50% of nutrition at 6-12 months and a third of nutrition at 12-24 months.

Like hellymelly, I found my supply increased pretty quickly after the strike, although DS did have a couple of days of loooooong feeds to get it going again. (He was having about 6 feeds a day before he went on strike.)

MrsGubbins Mon 25-Jul-11 05:36:39

well the little darlin fed at 10pm without fuss but she was half asleep, she also fed at 1 and 5am but with lots of fussing, stop start etc. I hummed and stroked her hair over and over to try and keep us both calm!

I hope she picks it up again during the day, I'm hoping this isn't her becoming a night feeder only. No signs of illness, wet + dirty nappies, generally happy, if this changes I'll take her to the doctors.

thanks everyone for your help and ancedotes, DH much reassured (as am I) to hear that other babies have acted this way and continued to be BF.

AngelDog Mon 25-Jul-11 07:15:47

Well, glad you've got something into her. With DS, there was absolutely no sign of illness at all other than not feeding - he seemed happy as anything. It was only after a week or so of antibiotics that he resumed feeding though.

Hope you manage to keep sane. smile

HappyAsASandboy Mon 25-Jul-11 08:52:16

I've just had exactly the same, at 8 months or so. It lasted about a month I'm afraid, but now my twins at just over 9 months, they're drinking in the day again (from me - still no luck with bottles or cups!).

The feeding-lots-in-the-night-again stage has worn me out. The 8 - 9 month stage has definitely been the hardest for me!

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 25-Jul-11 19:38:01

I'm glad too that she is nursing again. Once your keyboard and Kellymom have recovered have a look at reverse cycling but I'd leave it a few days if you can, just until you are sure the nursing strike is over smile

MrsGubbins Sat 30-Jul-11 08:28:51

just to give a little update and in case anyone searches for this type of issue..

she went 4 days without daytime feeding from me, fed at night during this time with much wriggling and fussing. has started nursing during the day with as little fanfare as she stopped... I'm still guessing the reason.

she does seem to have gone through some developmental leap this week, more sophisticated sounds aside from mama, baba and dada, bum bouncing and definate front crawling, clapping... whether it's connected I've no idea!!

thanks again for your help.

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