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Teething baby won't nurse?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

DS has been super fussy, drooling, biting hands (his and ours), and spitting up more than usual, as well as sleeping like crap.  He doesn't seem to want to nurse - he'll suck a little, then cry, or he'll suck a few times and turn away, then turn back, suck a few times, turn away, repeat repeat repeat.  He doesn't want to take a binky either, but he'll take a bottle no problem.


Does this sound like teething, or is he developing a preferance for being bottle fed?  He is at daycare five days a week but we never use bottles at home and I nurse him on my lunch hour.  His rejection of the binky makes me think it's teething but I just don't know.


He will be 4 months next week and has loved nursing up until a few days ago - he's always been a frequent nurser and he'll nurse for hours if I let him.

post #2 of 6

DD is entirely bottle-fed, but she completely refuses to eat when her teething pain ramps up.  She was eating so little for a while that I had to continuously dose her with acetaminophen for several days to get her above 15 oz.  She does exactly what you describe - sucks for a little bit, then gets upset and pushes the bottle away.  Perhaps the bottle is less irritating to her gums? 


Only other thing I can think of to cause this is painful reflux.  Have you had problems with this in the past?  Do you bottle-feed in a more upright position than nursing that might help alleviate reflux symptoms?

post #3 of 6

Mine was like this when he started teething at around 3 mos.  He was super fussy, drooling, bite-y, and of course barely sleeping. 


Since then, pretty much every time he starts cutting a new one, he either refuses to nurse for a couple of days, or gets real bite-y.  I just have to resort to pumping during the day, which kinda sucks, but oh well.  During the night, he often "forgets" he's in rejection mode and will nurse just fine.  And that's just fine with me.  It seems to pass in a couple of days and he gets back to normal.


4 months sounds like a good time for a nursing strike if you haven't had to endure that yet.  Not fun, but if you stick it out, it's worth hangin' in there for the long haul, IMO.


post #4 of 6

Yup. You've described my DS behavior to the tee and he's teething (our sons are nearly the same age) off and on now for 3 weeks and no tooth yet. The first bad night of teething, he didn't nurse for almost 6 hours! Needless to say, I was in great discomfort and no pump (traveling from home at the time). So, I've learned to travel with it; as well as, his teething tablets, baby orajel, lotsa bibs and his teething toys.


post #5 of 6

You could do a little test - give him a teething specific remedy, then see if he'll nurse.  By the way, DD has been doing this for months(!) and at 7.5 months is still toothless.  The pain comes when the teeth are moving into position in her gums over time. My LO seems to be getting them all into position before cutting any. Hopefully that's not the case with yours!

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Yup I think it is definitely the teething!  I got some Hyland's teething gel and applied it before feeding him last night and also this morning and he did much better.  Still acts like the binky has been laced with hot sauce which only bothers me because it leaves him without something to comfort suck at daycare.


I was sort of hoping that teething would make him want to nurse more, because that would be great for my supply, but I'm at least glad he's not totally rejecting the breast (yet, *sigh*... working five days a week means he gets A LOT of bottle time... but I am going to fight the good fight until the end!).

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