15 month old nursing strike? Please read - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-08-2012, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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My LO suddenly stopped nursing! We had a wonderful breastfeeding relationship and haven't ever really had any problems, then out of nowhere he just stopped. Everything I've been reading says that self-weaning is unlikely before 18 months but part of me feels like that could be what he's doing. Afterall, there's really no magical time table that says it HAS to be past 18 months in order to mean self-weaning.


He eats solid foods like a champ and seems very happy and playful during the day. Nothing seems out of the ordinary other than he just will NOT nurse.


I've tried everything and have been so emotionally distraught over this. I'd really hoped to nurse him until he was 2. I know we've had a good long run and if he truly is done, then I will move on. I just don't know what to do. No one I know IRL is very pro-breastfeeding. They are all so completely certain he is done.


Does anyone here have any advice they could offer me?? I'm stumped.

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#2 of 7 Old 05-08-2012, 06:06 PM
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What have you tried so far?


What liquids is he getting?


18 months is definately the very lower edge for child led weaning (many people would say 2-2.5 because children *need* a full fat milk source before two, so if you are weaned before then you need to be weaned *to* another milk source, either formula or milk).



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#3 of 7 Old 05-08-2012, 07:47 PM
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My 15 month old has heavily dropped off her nursing sessions in the past few weeks. I think part of it is the warm weather. She's excited to get to be outside all the time, she doesn't need me so much anymore. And because she eats solid food completely (she has 14 teeth) and drinks water, she doesn't need as much milk as she did even just a few months ago. Some days she will only nurse at naptime (1 pm) and when going to bed (7pm) and then once overnight. 


Could it be his teeth? DD recently got her molars and it bothered her teeth to nurse. 


Self-weaning developmentally usually occurs sometime between ages 2 and 7, varying widely based on the child's physical and emotional growth and needs, a 15-month-old is much more likely to be going through a phase of distractability, teething, a minor illness, etc etc etc. 


Do you co-sleep? If you don't, you could try sleeping together for a nap, which isn't as much of a commitment as co-sleeping but will encourage him to nurse. Your babes' sleepy state will work in your favor if he's feeling indignant for one reason or another, he's less likely to feel that way half-asleep! 

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#4 of 7 Old 05-09-2012, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both for the tips. hug2.gif


I will keep trying and pumping for awhile longer. He takes a sippy cup with water, sometimes milk. He's been doing this for awhile now so nothing new has been introduced there.


I'd thought if I tried to nurse him while he was sleepy, he'd take to it as well. But he just bites me. Also I've tried giving him medicine for his teeth and then nursing after that has had a chance to kick in, to no avail.


Really sad times over here. He just seems totally done. If I even offer him the boob he will cry and try to smack it away. confused.gif

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#5 of 7 Old 05-12-2012, 11:16 AM
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This might be helpful:  http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/


From what I understand, true weaning is usually very gradual, not abrupt like you are describing.

Jamie, DW to Jeff, birth and postpartum doula and Hypnobabies instructor.
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#6 of 7 Old 05-14-2012, 11:28 AM
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I could have written this post myself :(


My 19 month old is doing the same thing.  Last week he refused to nurse to sleep for a nap.  The next day everything was normal, but ever since then, he's been refusing the breast.  Nothing significant has changed.  In fact, I'm off from work, so I'm home with him more than usual.  We partially co-sleep.  He goes to bed in the crib, but then wakes up overnight and I bring him into bed with us at that point.  But he is stuffy and he's getting his molars.


Every now and again he'll ask for milkie, but then he doesn't latch properly.  He'll open up, but then once my nipple is in his mouth, he kind of puckers and spits it out again.  I recently got my period back, so I thought maybe there was something wrong with the taste, but I pumped and he drank it happily from a sippy cup.  


So I'm pumping now as I type this.  


I have no advice, just empathy.  I've cried about it like 3 times in the past few days...I'm not ready for him to be done, so I'll be reading the advice hoping to snag some for myself.

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#7 of 7 Old 05-17-2012, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Awww. grateful301....I totally feel you. hug2.gif


I was so sad when he stopped nursing as well. It was on my mind in my sleep and I'd have dreams about him nursing again. I'd thought that it would be gradual but in our case it was not. I offered him milk many times in many different ways and it's official...he's *done* nursing. I know what the literature says and I hear all the advice from the mom's here but in my son's case, he is done. There's nothing that I did wrong, and nothing that I can do to convince him to continue nursing, he's made up his mind. I am thankful for the time we had though and am looking on the brightside of him being done. I've mourned enough and am going to stay positive. Best of luck to you!

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