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Toddler nursing strike?

(5 Posts)
Teapot13 Sat 17-Sep-11 10:42:48

DD is almost 22 months and until about 2 days ago she fed 3-4 times per day and sometimes one feed in the night. I don't think there's all that much milk, and she is a good eater, so some of the feeds felt kind of symbolic.

It started with her crying a little on the breast. She did ask for feeds twice yesterday morning but then refused the rest of the day -- even her bedtime feed. I tried nursing her in her sleep later but she just snuggled up against my breast and kept sleeping.

I know that she is teething but other times that has meant she needed more feeds, not fewer. I gave her Nurofen last night before tea so I don't think she refused the bedtime feed due to pain.

This morning I was quite engorged. (I JUST lent my pump -- which I never used in 2 years -- to a friend of a friend. . .) I hand expressed a bit and DD was very interested -- as soon as there was anything in the cup she drank it greedily ("cup!") and then put it back under my breast and tried to express with her hand.

The toddler antics are very endearing so this isn't what I had pictured as a "strike." She still pulls on my shirt but then doesn't feed -- she just kisses the nipples. Sometimes she tries to latch on but she acts like she has forgotten how.

She was an early nap-dropper so maybe she's an early self-weaner? I am going to continue hand expressing and hope I can avoid mastitis, and I'll just try to pay attention to her cues, but I would really appreciate any words of wisdom. I'll be in and out this morning but checking in throughout the day.

RightUpMyRue Sat 17-Sep-11 17:32:55

Nursing strikes aren't uncommon and your baby is the right age for one. Don't worry, they don't usually last long.

Here's some info from Kellymom about strikes.

You're doing the right thing by expressing, this will ease any discomfort but will also help to maintain supply, keep doing it.

How do you feel about stopping breastfeeding? Is it something yout hink you're both ready for or would you like to continue? If so it's hopefully just a phase and will pass.

AngelDog Sat 17-Sep-11 21:46:09

Yes, nursing strikes are normal. Asking for milk but not actually feeding does sound like a strike to me. Self-weaning is almost always more gradual than what you describe, I think.

The Kellymom info is useful, and you'll find lots more if you search the archives on here for nursing strike, or google. Good times to try are when sleepy, when just waking up, in the bath, when walking in a sling.

DS went on strike at 13 months, which lasted 12 days. I didn't manage to express much, and he went from 6 feeds a day to 3 (he'd still feed to sleep). At the end of the strike he'd have really long feeds, presumably to get my supply back up again. He's still feeding enthusiastically now at 20 months.

I think it's normal for teeth to affect them differently at different times. With DS it turned out he had an ear infection, although he went on to get a chest infection, conjunctivitis, v&d bug and he was teething. I'd never have guessed without taking him to the doctor though as he seemed perfectly cheerful and didn't have a temperature or anything.

Teapot13 Sat 17-Sep-11 22:24:07

Thanks for your replies.

I am thinking I'll take her to the GP, at least to get her ears checked. She is perfectly cheery in the day but is sleeping more fitfully than usual.

I don't know how I'd feel about weaning now. I'm happy to have made it to 22 months but I was just assuming we'd keep going till she weaned naturally, and I wasn't expecting this to be for a while. I had such a hard time getting started with the BF, and then it was such a great experience, that now I would feel bad to end on this note.

AngelDog Sun 18-Sep-11 21:20:28

It's difficult to decide what to do, isn't it? It was easy for me as my DS was nowhere near ready to stop (still isn't).

Hope you manage to sort things out.

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