5 month old pulling away from breast, wanting food - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 11-09-2013, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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This is my first baby, 5 months and 1 week. I haven't read much on the issue. I was committed to nursing him exclusively for 6 months, then with food for at least 12 months.... but now this. I want to follow what he asks for, but please let me know what you think is going on here!


He has been showing all the signs of wanting food, and it became cruel to eat in front of him (extreme lunging, making chewing motions, etc)....so I started him on sweet potatoes. Even before that, he seemed a little less interested in the breast? But seemed hungry a lot. He was nursing, then demanding more like 45 minutes later. But then once latched, he seems less than enthused and pulls away. But he is sucking on other things.


But now, on day 3, he is REALLY into his sweet potatoes, and showing signs of being very hungry, often..... but then pulling away after a few sucks, and sucking on the arm of the rocking chair instead. Honestly, I feel like he wants more food and less breastmilk. Does this ever happen? Thoughts?


What do I do? Go along with what he seems to want? But I don't wanna "ruin" nursing. 


by the way....we don't pump, only breast.

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#2 of 5 Old 11-09-2013, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are a few causes I have found online that might apply to me (I am leaving out the things that don't apply): hormonal changes (could I be getting my period soon?), teething (though he actually stopping showing other teething signs recently)


His ears are clear....he had a doctor's appointment recently and she checked them.


I guess this is what's known as a nursing strike??? The thing is, he loooooves food. What the heck?!? It is simply a mashed up, steamed sweet potato, with filtered water. He didn't like it as much when mixed with my breastmilk. This leads me to believe hormones are changing the taste of my milk?


Also, this nursing weirdness started before I started solids, and that's why I started solids....so starting solids doesn't seem to be the cause. Right now I am only giving him a little diluted sweet potato once a day. The day I skipped, he wanted it more the next day.

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#3 of 5 Old 11-09-2013, 06:58 PM
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I would go ahead and offer as much food as he wanted. I don't think it qualifies as a nursing strike unless he completely refuses to nurse. I would offer to nurse whenever he wants, also before meals. It's normal for the baby to drink less milk and your supply to diminish (although I believe it will take many more months until you get there).

Ds 9 and dd 5
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#4 of 5 Old 11-09-2013, 07:16 PM
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I think this is likely developmental. my 5.5 month old is often like this during the day he will literally nurse for two sucks and pull off unless we are in our bedroom - same position, perfect darkness, perfect tilt of my head, no sounds. this is a really distractable age. he makes up for the milk at night, and I try to make some space as I can for his perfect nursing naps during the day. he is also really seeming very interested in food, but we will wait until at least 6-7 months.
what you describe sounds like teething to me. it can take a while, and teeth or no, putting things in their mouth is how they explore their world right now.
I would give him safe healthy teething objects and embrace that gnawing on everything is their world now.
sounds like nursing is fine mama! just keep offering, and find some quiet peaceful spaces to nurse.
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#5 of 5 Old 11-11-2013, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Yeah, I you are right....it isn't a nursing strike, because sometimes he does nurse quite enthusiastically. :) 


Oceanmama, thanks. I am just not sure what to do. My intuition is telling me he wants food. I guess not necessarily because he is exploring things with his mouth, but moreso because he just seems unsatisfied with breastfeeding. Maybe sometimes he is distracted, and maybe sometimes this is normal behavior.


As to being "unsatisfied".....it's not that I'm not producing enough milk. It is moreso that sometimes, after a huge feeding, he'll be like, "okay...next!!!" Like he wants something else. So sometimes he pulls away, but other times, he breastfeeds a ton and then seems to just want something else.


Sorry this is so "wordy"....just brain fried today!!! I keep editing and then I end up repeating myself. :)

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