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3 m old baby refusing breast and bottle - please help!

(4 Posts)
MarcusMum Sat 22-Sep-07 13:01:53

I am practically at the end of my patience and very confused. My DS is refusing breast for about 2 weeks and will bf only when asleep. It started gradually - at the beginning being very fussy with his evening feed, skipping it sometimes then consistently. After a couple of days the same story happened with his feeds during the day. Even getting him into the breastfeeding position when awake makes him arch his back and angry. Now he is being fed only when asleep and he feeds brilliantly, but i found it distressing as it makes me feel rejected by my baby and I think its not quite normal to be able to feed a baby only when asleep. I hoped it would last maybe a few days or a week, there have been couple of times when he fed when awake but that's it. I have considered the following:
- fast letdown - i have it and he was coping well with it up to 2 weeks ago so dont see the reason to not cope with it now.
- reflux - he might have a mild one or none as he almost never brings food up after a feed and sleeps happily on his back
- teething - he started to pull things into his mouth over the last few weeks and chew on them so we started to use bonjela and massaging his gums - it didnt help. And i would say he doesnt look very teething these days.
- milk taste - but i havent had major changes to my diet, no period starting either.

I have tried:
- not feeding asleep waiting for him to go onto breast when awake - took 8 hours and he fed only 3 mins. Didnt try again - as of the fear of dehydration. He is a very stubborn little one.
- EBM and formula - he just doesnt take the bottle!!!
- tried different positions and bf standing - no success as even the sight of the boob makes him angry.

I know it couldnt last forever - there is no child that would eat only when asleep. But all the situation feels so wrong to me and makes me feel so frustrated with bf - I do enjoy bf and would happily bf him for as long as he would like but he just DOESNT want it! IS there anyone who experienced the same and what else can I do? What is wrong with my milk, my baby or myself? Please help!


determination Sat 22-Sep-07 13:19:20


There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, your baby or your milk. Some babies just have Nursing Strikes, there are many reason why this may have happened. Check this out;
Help- My baby won't nurse

You say he will not take a bootle either?? So that will rule out Nipple Confusion.

What age is he?
Has he ever fed from a bottle?
You could try a Softcup in the meantime.

Also, When my dd1 was around 3.5months she done the same thing, but this was due to her getting too many bottles and preferring the bottle. What i did was created a "Happy Time" where i would lay her on the floor and blow raspberries on her tummy until she laughed.. then i would gently and quickly touch her face with my bare breast. I continued this at every nappy change, every day for about 2 weeks. After around 4 days or so she would let me hold her in the cradle position again. Then after 2 weeks we were in full swing again bfing exclusively. I know how difficult this is for you and i completely understand the feeling of rejection. Please just remember though that he loves you more than anything in the world and this is just a stage that will pass.

Please contact the BFing supporter lines and get some RL support and encouragement.

MarcusMum Sat 22-Sep-07 13:38:14


Thank you so much for your answer and support! "Happy time" advice sounds great and i am definitely going to try it!

My ds will be 15 weeks tomorrow. He has had just a few bottles between 4 and 6 weeks but none since.
We are using a pacifier to settle him in the evenings - should I stop using it during this Nursing Strike?
And how long a Nursing Strike can last?

determination Sat 22-Sep-07 14:31:50

I dont know how long a strike can last for.. in my case it was not a strike it was a definate case of nipple confusion. She would cry so hard that she would loose her breath - this was just when i held her in the cradle position fully clothed. This went on for quite a while before i started "happy time". Happy time is basically a way of psychologically tricking them into associating the breast with happy feelings again, it certainly worked a treat for us and actually saved our bfing relationship. I carried on to feed dd1 until she was 25 months.

Was there maybe a loud noise or something that he may associate the breast with just now?

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