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Baby with hand, foot and mouth on nursing strike - help!!!

(10 Posts)
RubyrooUK Sun 31-Jul-11 22:12:27

Help! DS - who is 11 months - has been diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth. We ended up in weekend A&E because despite paracetamol etc, couldn't keep temperature down - he was 39.3 at one point and screaming staccato yelps. He also had two separate rashes which caused everyone there some excitement.

The doctor says while he has very few spots, his tonsils and entire back of throat is covered in ulcers.

He hasn't eaten for three days apart from licking a yoghurty spoon but has been breastfeeding. He normally only feeds at night as I work full time but I've been feeding him all day too.

But today he has gone on a total breastfeeding strike and screams whenever I approach him with my breast. Normally this child would breastfeed 20 times a day if permitted, so this is very abnormal. He is starving and keeps begging for food or breast, then just cries hysterically. He actually acts like he can't even latch on when I get the breast to him. Aside from this, he has seemed better today. He has been playing around and his temp much lower.

Any advice? Anyone been here? So so upset hearing him scream hysterically. He is asleep on my shoulder sobbing pathetically and I feel horrible.

moaningminniewhingesagain Sun 31-Jul-11 22:16:07

Is he drinking something? Your milk, or water, or something else?

I would make sure he is having regular painkillers for the sore throat and temp. Keep an eye on wet nappies, don't want him getting dehydrated because it's too painful too drink. Offer cool wet foods, no citrus, no salty stuff and no crunchy stuff.

Strip him off to vest and nappy if hot. He does sound like he is on the mend though, but very miserable.

RubyrooUK Sun 31-Jul-11 22:23:14

Thanks for replying. Yes he drunk water earlier. He's definitely not dehydrated; I know the signs.

But has just accepted 50mls of formula in a bottle from my husband. This is very odd as he has NEVER drunk from a bottle before - it's a joke with our nursery that they thought he would take a bottle in the end but he has always refused. He hates formula. For the last 11 months he won't have it EVER. He would prefer to eat meals and water during the day and breastfeed at night rather than let milk pass his lips.

But he still won't breastfeed at all. It's normally such a great comfort. Is there any way I can encourage him?

hellymelly Sun 31-Jul-11 22:23:31

My dd went on a nursing strike when teething,her ears were inflamed and it hurt to suck.It was horrible for both of us so I feel for you.I second the above poster,keep up pain relief and keep offerong the breast.Pump what you can to keep your supply going.It should resolve fairly quickly,2 or three days in our case (felt like a month..)

180 Sun 31-Jul-11 22:39:56

good luck.. DD was a bit older but didn't really eat for a few days. I got it too and it was extremely sore to eat and swallow. DP thought I was being a wuss as you can't exactly see much but OMG I'll second the painkillers for the poor little thing! Mine was much better after 3 days though took a week to go completely.

PenguinArmy Mon 01-Aug-11 07:32:27

try not to it as a rejection and be prepared for it to really effect you emotionally as well. At this age nursing strikes can last up to two weeks (they have more memory), don't push it, if he rejects then simply put away and try again later.

Feeding during sleep, when sleepy (just as they're dropping off and just woken up) often works.

We had a nursing strike but a much younger age (3 months) so shorter but arguably more stressful and intense

RubyrooUK Mon 01-Aug-11 19:35:46

Thanks all! Hopefully he will soon be making his usual demented demands for feeding again xxx

applepies Mon 01-Aug-11 22:51:26


we have had hand foot mouth nursing strike due to mouth ulcers. the worst of it was over in a week, probably nearly back to normal in 2 weeks.

fantastic advice on the internet to keep up calories and fluids was to feed ice cream!!! I fed mine from my finger (as he would scream if I approached with a baby spoon as I must have nudged the ulcers once) or gave him mini milks.

BitzyVonMuffling Mon 01-Aug-11 22:53:29

You have my sympathy. I've had hand foot and mouth, along with the mouth full of ulcers and I can completely understand why he can't nurse. It's the most painful thing sad But luckily it shoudl clear up in a few days. I was given a gel from the pharmacist that numbed the pain allowing me to eat, but i have no idea if they have something comprable for babies

RubyrooUK Wed 03-Aug-11 09:12:29

Thanks again. He is now eating mashed potato with gusto and will breastfeed a bit more every day. He isn't feeding as much in the night (I think he is prioritising sleep as he is so knackered) but I can't complain as I've had four straight hours sleep for the first time since his birth.....!

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