My sweet 20 month old baby has nursed morning, nap, and bedtime for months now. 3 days ago she abruptly refused, and hasn't nursed since. A couple times in the weeks before she refused, she went to latch and spit the nipple out, like it tasted bad. I had either been to the pool or exercised, and chalked it up to my skin must taste sweaty. I went and showered, and later that day she nursed as usual. She spit the nipple out this last time she nursed, I don't think I had been at the pool, and hadn't exercised. I didn't think anything of it, thought the next feeding would be normal, but she fussed when I went to feed her next. Since then, I've continued to offer (attempting to be very low key about it) and she will pull my shirt back down or fuss at the sight of my nipple, or if I try to lay her down in position to nurse. I've tried waking her up in the middle of the night, thinking she'd do it if sleepy, and she refused again. I have been skin to skin with her a lot today, and at first she'd wiggle away from me to not be near my naked breasts. We took a bath together, and rocked in her rocking chair. She finally got to the point of rubbing her lips back and forth on my nipple a few times, but still refusing to nurse. She fell asleep with her head on my breast.
I have not changed my diet, soap, no meds, etc.
We didn't have a traumatic event. The last few times she nursed she was trying to pull my hair out of my pony tail and I'd stop her from doing it, but didn't scold her. That's typical though, she always tries pulling on my hair and I always stop her.
She could be teething, but I think the teeth are mostly through, unless there are some coming in that I don't know about.
She's not sick, hasn't been sick.
What to do???!!! I'm heartbroken that she's refusing the breast like this. I didn't anticipate ending this way. I don't even remember the last nursing! Is this a strike or is she weaning? Should I pump and keep trying? I had hoped to nurse until she was 2. I'm ok with stopping now, if this is truly weaning, but it feels like a strike!
mom to 4 kids, ages 20 mos to 11 years
It seems like a strike to me. Abrupt refusal is usually a strike. Weaning is usually a slow and gradual process. If continuing to nurse is important to you, keep trying. Pump to keep up your supply too.
Here's some good info with regard to strikes.