My 15 month old has abruptly stopped nursing and this has lasted for about 3 days now. Before that he would nurse first thing in the morning, before naps, a couple of times in the afternoon, and before bedtime.
I've tried everything, researched Kellymom's website, etc and I'm still in the same position.
I have a hand pump but it's really not the best pump in the world and this is getting really crazy in my already hectic schedule. He's close to 18 months so maybe he's just done nursing?? I know he's teething but he usually nurses way more when he cuts teeth. I'm so confused!!
Any advice would be helpful!
The sudden stop to nursing points to a strike.
At that age I found I had to give some tylenol when the 1 year molar teething was really bad in order to get DS to nurse.
Other things that I found to help:
nursing in his sleep;
pumping as much as I could to keep up supply;
being totally calm about offering to nurse - giving a "I really don't mind either way" vibe, which was hard!
offering often, and in new position/places (like in the bath)
I would also say nursing strike.
Are you co-sleeping? Often children who are on a nursing strike will nurse when they are *really* relaxed--- so either in the tub or in bed. What is he drinking now? In what (cup or bottle)? Does he have a pacifier?
Have you looked in his mouth? Is it possible he has some infection (or just teething) that is causing him pain? Any other behavior changes?
He seems completely happy in every other way. He drinks out of a sippy cup but this isn't any new introduction, he's been doing that for a while now.
We don't co-sleep but I've tried the nursing while sleepy thing and he bites me. I've tried giving him medicine and waiting for it to take effect and then nursing after that. Doesn't work. He's teething pretty hard right now with a molar so that could be it. BUT I'm used to teething causing him to nurse more not less so I'm so upset by this all. Lots of tears were flowing yesterday.
I'm literally scared to offer the boob because lately he bites when I do!!
My supply is dipping, I can tell. Ugh. This is sooo stressful.
I agree with PP that it's a nursing strike.
I would try pumping or hand expressing to keep up the supply.
Also, you can try taking baths with him for skin-to-skin contact, he might be more tempted to nurse.
This is just an update for any mom's who might find this useful in the future.
I bathed with him, slept with him, tried going topless, gave him medicine to help what I thought might be teething pain. I offered milk often. My son is completely done nursing. I know what kellymom & other various websites say but in our case he is totally done. There is nothing I can do to convince him to keep going. He wants nothing to do with nursing anymore. I was very, very sad about this at first and felt like it might have been something I did wrong, but have come to terms with it just being our own unique experience. Sometimes our children do not follow the norms, and they surprise us. This was the case for us.
SO...if you find yourself in my shoes and everyone is saying that it's a nursing strike, your child might actually just be done nursing. 15 months is a GREAT amount of time to nurse. I would've gone much longer if he wanted to though, but I am grateful and proud of how far we've come.
Best wishes to any mom who's in this situation. Be gentle with yourself....I know how emotionally testing it can be.
You're right--- 15 months is a GREAT time to nurse and you should be very proud.
I think one issue is that 15 month olds still need a milk replacement so they can't actually be *weaned* from milk. If he is drinking a milk replacement he has not weaned from the need to nurse (hae milk) so he has been weaned onto something else rather than away from the need to nurse. While it's purely a semantical difference it is an important one because kids that young still need the fat that a full-fat milk source provides! Just like if a younger child rejects the breast in favor of the bottle--- that' is not CLW per se, but breast rejection in favor of an alternative that has been offerred. It doesn't have to happen with the first offering of a bottle, but can definately interrupt the natural weaning trajectory.
Since you feel good about it, I wouldn't encourage you to necessarily do any active encouraging him to wean but to realize that even two weeks is not *that long* for a child to stop nursing and still go back to it. Many children, as they wean, go days, weeks, sometimes even months between nursing. You might be surprised in the future!
Take care :)
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