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Is this it? Is he self-weaning from the breast??

(12 Posts)
Essie3 Sun 12-Jul-09 20:44:42

Bit thick here!
I'm still bfing my 13mo DS morning and night. In the last 10 days he had two sessions - Friday morning and Tuesday evening - where I skipped the bf (I was out - on the Friday he slept for hours and I had to go) and DH put him to bed/got him up and just nothing happened - DS just carried on as normal, just no bf. So he can do without bfing (or at least do without one - after missing the Friday am, he did some furious feeding in the evening!).

For the past few days he's been biting. Big time. I've been bitten a few times before, I pull away (trying to stay calm! grin) and say no, that hurts mummy, and on each occasion he would break his heart and cry so sadly, and not do it again for a long time. But the past few days - since before the weekend - it's happened every feed, am and pm, and he just laughs when I pull away and say no. For the past three days, it's been 8-9 sucks, then biting, and re-biting, and getting teeth ready for biting...but no sucking. I swap sides, 8-9 sucks, then the biting. He's not particularly bothered about bfing at all, and thinks it's hilarious when he bites. When I cover myself up, he's not bothered.

Is this DS saying 'enough with the bfing, woman', and weaning himself off?

If yes, where do I go from here? What do I replace the am/pm bf with, if anything?

wuglet Sun 12-Jul-09 20:55:39

Sounds more like a nursing strike then self weaning.

Often goes with teething (hence the biting) - or at least that has always been the case with my DS.

If you want to continue with the bfing would advise expressing to maintain some supply (doesn't matter if it won't be as much as he usually takes as hopefully won't be too long until he is back) - can always give him a bit of cows milk on top if you are concerned.

Make sure he isn't in pain at feeding time - Calpol 20min before a feed and some anbesol immediately before can be helpful.

Try not to force the issue - keep offering and make your boobs available but don't try and force things.

And chin up! I know it can feel awful when they won't feed - you are desperate to feed them but scared to try because you know you will get bitten, plus a huge feeling of rejection added to the hormonal imbalance caused by not feeding (or maybe all that is just me...grin)

FWIW DS has had 4 nursing strikes, all associated with teething and biting, have lasted 5 days to 19 days (but with some children they are over in 24 hrs), and he is still feeding happily at 14mo.


sazlocks Sun 12-Jul-09 21:04:12

My DS was the same age when he went through a similar phase. Not biting but definately no interest in bfeeding. To the point where he used to cry and squirm if I tried to feed him. I persevered for a couple of weeks before I reluctantly stopped.
I just replaced the feeds with cows milk.
It was a very hormonal time though- I felt sad for a couple of weeks afterwards.
Good luck

PacificDogwood Sun 12-Jul-09 21:09:11

It was my decision to stop BFing DS at 13 months and he was just not at all bothered about it which, absurdely, made me feel a bit sad, silly me.
He now eats a cereal with full fat cows milk in the morning and has @ 8 oz in a bottle at night.

Essie3 Sun 12-Jul-09 21:17:35

Thanks - I'm having mixed feelings really. 13 months is pretty good going (I didn't intend to start bfing!!) but I'd rather he self-weaned. But I don't know exactly what self weaning is! How do I know?

I'm willing to carry on, but the biting is annoying (and obviously painful!). He doesn't seem to be in great pain (or any pain really) at feeding time, but finds the biting hilarious. Unlike me...

sazlocks Sun 12-Jul-09 21:40:19

I was like you in that I wanted DS to self wean - I think he did. Although I felt sad about it I also felt proud to have exc BF for so long and quite pleased to back in lovely bras again grin
I tried to get some support at the time from NCT helpline and they had some useful suggestions but weren't able to help me with deciding whether he was trying to self wean or not. They did say I could express for a while to keep my supply up and just keep offering him but TBH I was working and ready to start trying to concieve again so expressing didn't feel realistic for me.
Might be worth ringing one of the helplines and see whether they can help ?

Essie3 Sun 12-Jul-09 22:36:08

Have had advice from an expert (ABM vice chair!!). She reckons it's unusual to self wean this early, but the final paragraph in this article on biting is interesting - and in fact, the whole article is interesting because my DS doesn't seem to be biting for any of the reasons/possibilities given, and none of the answers have worked so far!

auntilin Sun 12-Jul-09 22:53:51

I think babies self wean when they want to.
my dd did this at 9mths , sad, but really she was so happy & content & obviously didn't want or need the bm. She never had formula , she point blank refused it, cows milk was ok then. (was a whole ago)..

whomovedmychocolate Sun 12-Jul-09 23:16:42

DS did this a couple of months ago and it was teeth. If you want to continue, you just have to keep on trying I'm afraid. DD is currently self weaning - she's ummm nearly three. Blimey how did that happen. Anyway, it's up to you whether you keep on trying or not but well done for getting this far in any case

Essie3 Mon 13-Jul-09 13:36:51

Still feeding! Biting again this morning but he did seem to take more. There was less naughtiness too!

wuglet Mon 13-Jul-09 15:42:50


Hopefully this phase is over until the next lot of teeth!


chelliews Wed 05-Aug-09 20:44:14

Hi Essie3 - I could have written your thread myself. My 13 mth old daughter is doing EXACTLY the same....for about 4 days now? I am at a loss as to what I should do? I have spoken to a local BFing counsellor and she reckons it's just a phase (dd too young to self-wean) but I'm finding it hard now cause she just keeps biting me when I offer her a feed? How are you and your son getting on now? Is he still nipping at you (with the same cheeky grin that my dd has!!!!) Would love to hear how you are getting on. What baffles me is that she just went thru a terrible stage of teething (4 molors all at once) and she nursed alot (during day and night) and how she seems to have come thru it - well NOW she seems to be refusing the breast! Just doesn't make sense.

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