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Nursing Strike or CLW? PLEASE HELP!

post #1 of 113
Thread Starter 
I am looking for advice from you mamas--

Okay, so from what I can tell DS (13 mos) is on a strike. I still have not pinpointed how this came to be, but I guess it is either teething, being sick (although usually he nurses more when sick) or my change of antidepressants. And now I have stopped the new meds and gone back to the old ones. (my thread from last week on this http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=612388).

From everything I have read, it seems that babies rarely self-wean before 18 - 24 mos. And when they do, it's gradual. It happens over weeks (or months) not over the course of 24 - 48 hrs. Correct?

People (mainstream and AP parents) I mention our problem to suggest that he is CLWing. I keep hearing how many babies "weaned just around a year", but I can't help but wonder if they were CLWing or on a strike. :

This doesn't seem right. He's only 13 months!!! He doesn't eat solids all that well yet and being right in the middle of cold & flu season (which has really killed us the last two months) seems the worst time for a baby to CLW. I would think his body would be smarter than that. Am I right?

I want desperately to listen to my baby's cues, but I had always imagined nursing for a minimum of 2 years, and probably longer. So, this just seems preposterous. How could he go from nursing 12 times per 24 hour period, to 0?

The last time he nursed was Thursday at 12 noon, since then I have been pumping. Every time since then, when I offer he either turns away, or opens wide and bites me. : (when he bites, my usual response is to put the breast away and tell him "Be gentle!" I hope I haven't had a stronger, scarier reaction than I realize, causing him to strike. I don't think I have....)
He refuses EBM in any form.

PLEASE, I need advice. What does this sound like to you and what would you do?

--Vanessa, a very worried mama
post #2 of 113
Strike. He is FAR FAR too young to wean.

What to do. NO other sucking- no sippy cups, bottles, pacifiers. No other milk.

At only 13 months.... personally I would cut back a bit on solids.... for sure don't feed him at all- just allow him to self feed. Offer often. In old favorite positions and places and new and fun ones. (sit topless on the floor while he's playing. Lay down topless next to where he's playing. Offer while you're sitting on the couch and he's standing)

take baths together. Offer then. Co-sleep topless. Offer when he's sleepy and when he's asleep. Offer offer offer.

good luck!

-Angela
post #3 of 113
Thread Starter 
those are all great suggestions-- and we trying them all. Just hate to be bitten so many times in one day : but am still trying.

he has had the flu this week also, so I can't imagine holding back on food, but ESPECIALLY fluids. I know weak gatorade isn't the best thing for him, but I don't want him to get dehydrated, what with the vomiting. And he is a self feeder-- altho he isn't a big eater yet.

he has no pacis, cups or bottles. and is only taking the sippy cup to get fluids while he's sick. i guess when he's better i can take everything away. but how long can one do this before he gets dehydrated?
post #4 of 113
you're totally right - you need to keep him hydrated, however possible, especially while sick. i think a regular cup (or straw) would be better than a sippy, though, since the sippy can somewhat fulfill that sucking need.

and you're also totally right, it's a strike not weaning (at least from what you've shared, that's what it sounds like to me.)

what worked best for a strike with DD were a nurse-in and lots of baths together.

try not to be stressed about it - he will sense that stress, and be reluctant to nurse. try to get yourself relaxed (why the bath works nicely, IME) take some deep breaths, think positively, and just try and be available. in the meantime give him lots of hugs and kisses and most of all be totally proud of yourself for having made it past a year already, and for knowing your child so well that despite all that bad advise you knew him well enough to know that this was a strike.
post #5 of 113
That's all I got, as usual.
post #6 of 113
Thread Starter 
thanks Leah, every little hug counts. here's one back

and thanks pixiepunk, you have a way with words that soothes me

I'm sure Miles is picking up on my stress. I cried tonight (which I needed) and then sat around topless. He just poked at 'em and pouted (he still feels crummy) :
post #7 of 113
I didn't say to reduce fluids- and I wouldn't. Just the sucking. Give him water (and if needed pedialyte, I'd stay away from the gatorade- lots of sugar and colors) in an open cup. Or maybe even popsicles. You're just trying to avoid meeting his sucking need anywhere but the breast.

the biting sucks! (no pun intended)

I expect this is related to him being sick. He feels crummy. Nose is probably stuffed up. Hard to nurse. Wait- vomiting? Probably NOT the flu, probably a stomach bug (flu is going to be sneezing, stuffy nose, cough, aches, pains, fever)

Try some frozen milk slush. That works for some babies. Take a lot of warm baths and showers. Spend as much time just chilling together (topless if possible) Hang out and watch movies in bed. Read books.

hope he feels better soon!

-Angela
post #8 of 113
Quote:
I expect this is related to him being sick.
That's what I was going to say. It could be he'll be back to nursing like normal as soon as he's well.
post #9 of 113
Thread Starter 
frozen milk slush, huh? you mean b/c it's another way to get EBM into him, right? I can do that-- the freezer is almost full of milk now

yea could be that he's sick, but he started this nonsense before he appeared sick. but still. it could be his stomach virus (yea, i didn't mean the flu-- his nose, breathing is fine. no sneezing. no diarhhea. just vomit and fever: )

how long is the longest that your babies have gone on strike? I have heard the story of the 40 day strike, but that was a baby with a broken tooth and exposed nerve. maybe Miles we do a full week and then get back down to business..
post #10 of 113
Yeah, a lot of them seem to like slush. Slushy enough to spoon. Or you could try a mom-sicle and see if he would lick/mouth it.

Strikes can last a week or so easily.

hang in there!

-Angela
post #11 of 113
i was thinking about you all night, so just checking back to see how you're doing

i had a few other thoughts last night... make sure *you're* getting enough to drink and eat. pump if you need to for comfort and also to keep your supply up. maybe eat some oatmeal or some mother's milk tea. have you tried pumping till you let down and then offering the breast? maybe he's not feeling well and therefore not willing to "work" to make the milk come - that might be why he's biting? perhaps if it was at the ready? and i was also going to suggest EBM (it'll surely help him with his tummy bug if nothing else), though i seem someone else already suggested it, and the milkie slushies are a great idea!

and for DS - lots of skin-to-skin contact, and maybe a little massage will help him relax and feel a little better. especially a belly rub for his poor little tummy.

the only strike we experienced was with DD and she was littler than your DS and it only lasted maybe two days (felt like forever). and right on its heals i had a plugged duct - so keep an eye out for that, too, that's the last thing you need right now!

hang in there. your boy is so lucky to have a mama working so hard to keep nursing!
post #12 of 113
Thread Starter 
oh, pixie punk, that is so nice of you. That feels really good to hear. I was thinking about us all night long too

Still no nursing.....4 full days now....still offering and trying all my tricks....

good point about my nutrition. I always eat oatmeal every morning and this week have really upped my water intake (I also think this helped me lose a few lbs this week) and I am pumping about 5 times/day. I know what you mean about the plugged ducts, which is why I am pumping lots and massaging a little too, when it feels like there is a small plug in there. That's the last thing I need.

Miles seems to be doing better-- hasn't vomited since Saturday morning, so I am going to stop with the gatorade : (and the next bug he gets, I promise to go buy pedialyte) and he's less whiny this morning, playing by himself and seeming pretty calm, content.

I will hit the mother's milk tea-- great idea. I forgot I have some. I will try the pump first trick, although I am not real optimistic about it. I get really fast let down and I even tried to give him a milk facial (spray his face a little) the last time we sat down to try nursing. That used to work well to get him on. Not sure why, but feeling the milk on his face would make him close his eyes and open his mouth and nurse well. But it didn't work yesterday.

I also forgot to try waking him in the night when its dark popping the boob in his mouth before he is awake. I will try tonight. :

And I am defrosting a bag of EBM, we'll see if the slush works. (tried EBM in a small cup again last night. it was a no go. I think I will freeze a few small milk cubes, Miles is into chewing on ice cubes lately.

A friend's friend (an IBCLC) is going to call me back in a minute-- maybe she will have some more ideas.....
post #13 of 113
Thinking of you Let us know how it goes.

-Angela
post #14 of 113
Thread Starter 
FINALLY, just a minute ago, I managed to get him to take some EBM through a straw in a cup!!!
3ozs from each side, freshly pumped. Maybe he is on his way back to me
post #15 of 113
Yea! Great start. Maybe if he's feeling better tomorrow a little peer pressure will help

-Angela
post #16 of 113
Thread Starter 
tried the slush-- worked for a few bites, then no. We went to LLL this morning and got a lot of very non-judgmental support. That's just what I was looking for There were babies/toddler nursing there, but none of that seemed to pique his interest. He is, thus far, immune to peer pressure

5 days on strike now, but at least he is taking EBM from a straw & cup/sippy cup. Made some oatmeal with EBM, he took two bites and then, no.
post #17 of 113
well, good that he's at least taking in some of the milk, even if he's not nursing. he might still be feeling a bit off after the tummy thing. any luck tricking a boob into him at night while he's half asleep?

and hurray for LLL!! that's what we all need, isn't it? non-judgemental support!

how are *you* doing, mama? it's so easy to forget about ourselves when something's up w/the little ones...
post #18 of 113
Thread Starter 
I did try the night thing-- he either pulled away or latched and bit. So, nope. But we did naked baby/topless mama in the sling yesterday and took another warm bath. He seems to be recovered from the virus. Still clingy but healthy, I think.

And now all of a sudden this a.m. I see that from where his molar is coming in, the gums have a strange "finger" coming up from it :
What the heck? He isn't bothered by it, but I think he's tongueing it, b/c I asked what he had in his mouth, he opened to show me, and I saw this finger-like piece of gum sticking out of where the tooth will come from. Make sense? i wonder of this is normal.... (and it's not a "flap" of skin/gum from what I can tell-- it is firm and seems to be just "attached". Anyway, that's for another thread, unless it is causing our issues!!!)

oh-- who, me?????
I'm okay, I guess. Not feeling so freaked out anymore. Just sterilized a bunch more pump parts and will hunker down for awhile longer to see what he will do. I'll do my best over here and try to remember that it's two-way relationship and just b/c I want to go for at least 2 years doesn't mean he will agree with me. But I am sad, that's for sure.
The leader at LLL suggested that *maybe* he went on strike for some odd reason (we will probably never know) and now that he has, he's not missing it a whole lot. As in, he may not've weaned himself this early, but now that he has been off for a few days, he's okay with it. (ie; he used to nurse to sleep, and instead of it becoming a nightmare to get him to sleep w/o the boob, he has happily cuddled up to me and his lovey and not said another word about it.

having said that, I still hope he will come back in his own time....I will just be patient
post #19 of 113
sounds like a strike espec since he isn't into solids - i would not give any solids and just offer bm. i bet by dinner time of doing that one day he will nurse like crazy.
post #20 of 113
The thing on his gums sounds strange... I might take him in and have a doc look at it. Maybe that's part of the problem here.
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