This was originally titled: 10mo old crying/refusing during nursing for several months. But nobody reads or responds to my posts when I title them with the actual problem, so I thought I'd try another tactic.....
My son is 10.5 months old. For the last 2 months he's been awful to breastfeed. He will latch on, suck a bit, then come off and start crying. He'll try and wriggle away from me or cry loudly until I swap him to the other breast, when he then repeats the same thing. This can go on 12-14 times before he either settles in and eats a proper feed, or I give up.
I've thought it might be several things:
-teething, but why would this go on so long? He has had 2 teeth for 3 months and has cut none since this fussing started
-slow letdown. Not a problem I've had before, but I've tried compressions and hand expressing first to hurry it along but no difference
-feeding him too often. I've cut him down from 5 feeds a day to 4 hoping that would make him hungrier, but no
-feeding position. Have tried sitting him up on my lap (a position my daughter loved), side hold, cradle hold, laying on top of me, dangling my breast while he lays down, etc. etc. no difference
-distractions. He's an easily distracted baby but even in the dark this goes on
-bottle preference. He'd had a bottle with 4oz of formula some nights after his bedtime feed, which I've stopped in case the speed it delivered milk "spoiled" him, even though I was using a stage 2 nipple so it was pretty slow. No improvement since I stopped the bottles though
The only time he feeds nicely is right after he wakes up, or during the night. He used to drink lots first thing in the morning if I laid on the guest bed with him, but now he'll just get up and try to crawl away.
What on earth could be causing this? I spend all my day worrying that he's not getting enough milk, and it's stressing me out and overshadowing any joy I should have in our breastfeeding relationship.
Has anyone got any ideas, please?
Love the title
If I were you I'd try to offer more often, rather than less often. My little one got really fussy around 9 months - I think it's a common time for a nursing strike too.
Just to give you an idea - my little one nursed about 12 times in 24 hours at 10 months. He nurses 6-8 times in 24 hours now at 22 months.
The more often you nurse, the more milk you'll make, the less frustrated baby gets at the breast, the (hopefully) more baby will focus on nursing.
I also found that a nursing necklace helped for concentration at that age.
(these may be useful:)
Thank you. I have tried extra offerings, but he will latch on, suck, unlatch and try to get away from me to do something else. If there's any hint of him wanting milk, I always offer - I seem to spend half the day flopping a breast in or out of my bra!
I had thought of a nursing necklace - he keeps shoving his hands in my mouth while I'm feeding him, or playing with my shirt, so I wondered if that would keep his attention more...
I'm glad you liked my title! In 14 hours I'd had 4 views, one of them being me! Needed to grab people a little more
I was going to suggest the kellymom links, but it looks like someone beat me to it! :)
My DD behaved like this when she had thrush.
At this point I would just get ahold of a lactation consultant. I wish I had more advice!
Wife to DH from Mexico, and mother to DD (01/10); DS (09/11); and one on the way (03 or 04/14)
:) Ah yes, I can appreciate that!
Here are other things that helped us:
- Nursing as nap ended but before he was awake (dream feeds)
- Co-sleeping and nursing at night
- Movement while nursing - bouncing, rocking, even tapping his hands seemed to help him nurse longer. If I moved it seemed like he could stay still for a bit.
- Strongly suggesting nursing. Scooping him up and encouraging him to "have some". Even popping the nipple in his mouth mid protest scream. Note: This may not work for everyone! I knew that if he started to nurse he'd stay on for at least 1 let down (~3 minutes!) Some kids will fight strong encouragement to nurse, and strike. I know that it worked for my DS, but each kiddo is different.
- Acetaminophen for teething pain. I do NOT like to give medication, but it helped his pain and helped him to nurse. I gave it for 3-4 days at the most when needed and I am sure it saved us from a nursing strike.
- Pumping on "low nursing" days to keep up my supply.
- Also, if I wasn't there to nurse he got milk in an open cup, and no soothers or pacifiers.
- Taking a bath together. He never nursed in the bath (too exciting!) but would often latch on as we cuddled/dried off together in a nice warm towel.
Hope something there may help!
Thank you. Since the revelation that the formula brand I used might have arsenic, we stopped giving him a bottle and slowly there seems to be an improvement in his breastfeeding. I wonder if he just needed to get the memory of the lovely, fast, speedy milk out of his mind? He is still whining and crying until there is a let down and I still have to swap sides often, but not as bad as when I typed the original post.
My daughter used to have pumped milk in a bottle 3 times a week at this age, and never had a problem, but I guess my son is different, so no more bottles for him!
Thanks again for all replies, I'm going to try some other tactics still to see if we can eliminate the crying completely and just make feeds fun again.
If you have to give milk while you are away, you could try in an open cup or a sippy cup. My guy got the hang of an open cup at about 4 months old (with supervision!) and a straw sippy cup at about 12 months.
Glad to hear things are getting better!
Thank you. He takes water really nicely from a Tilty Cup (they are marvelous) but does not like milk of any kind from one. At all. He gets very angry if milk is presented in any form other than breast or born free bottle. My stubborn little man!
Again, today is an improvement over yesterday. Thank you for your support.
HA! The title absolutely drew me in! ;) I was thinking, yeah, I've felt like that was about to happen from time to time...
My babe's almost 8 months. This behavior you're describing sounds just like him when going through tough teething times. And for him, I've learned that the teething "waves" do not necessarily correspond with visible tooth cutting. His first 2 surfaced a month ago but he'd sometimes go through what sure lookid like crazy teething pain since he was 3 months old. And now if he's hurting he latches briefly, sucks for a minute, then struggles away. It's like he's trying to get soothed, finds boob doesn't do it, and gives up. I second the Tylenol suggestion. I too am not into giving meds for every little thing, but sometimes it's the only thing that lets him eat and sleep.
Just my experience! It's great that things are improving, time is the best medicine for most baby problems it seems.
At home amongst the redwoods with my husband and my son, born 7/5/11 Instant CNM, just add !
She'd nurse well at wakeup, down for nap, up from nap, down for afternoon nap, up from afternoon nap, and at bedtime and however many times during the night -- we had no luck at all unless it was in a darkened room (probably also with white noise! and/or side-lying on the bed) and either in a going-to-sleep or just-waking-up from sleep mood. We kept up that "schedule" (even really she's the one who imposed it) until 15 months when she started daycare and would want to nurse at daycare pickup because she missed the pre- and post-nap nurse.
, mama to Amelie (May 2010), early loss (October 2011), and James (September 2012)