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Old 02-15-2011, 05:47 PM   #1
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15 MO refusing to nurse (teeth? cold?)

DS is 15 months and has always been a pretty focused nurser (I never had to go to a dark room or anything with him), but over the past few days he's been outright refusing to nurse multiple times/day (and SCREAMING at me when I pick him up to offer). He's been on a pretty regular schedule for the past few months, and did cut out one session a few months ago, but this is all of a sudden cutting more than one nursing session, so I think it's more of a strike than a gradual wean. FWIW, he's also been eating a lot less solid food the past few days.

Yesterday I gave him some motrin, thinking it might be teething pain, and a little while after not only did he nurse, but he kept asking for more after nursing for a long time on each side (so we switched sides a few times). He also has a cold, which is affecting his suck a bit, so I think the milk is taking longer to let down.

I think he must be getting some molars and the pain must be really bad. I don't want to be giving him tons of motrin/ibuprofen, but our regular teething go-tos (wet washcloth, frozen stuff, etc) don't seem to be even making a dent in the pain.

I realize that (particularly if this is teething) it will pass and he'll be fine; mainly I just don't know what to do about the nursing -- I don't want to force him, and if he's wanting to wean that's ok with me, but I don't think that's what's going on (?). Should I just pump during the nursing sessions he refuses for the next few days/weeks or should I just not worry about it?


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Old 02-15-2011, 07:40 PM   #2
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Re: 15 MO refusing to nurse (teeth? cold?)

Absolutely could be the teeth or cold or God only knows. My DD is a dark room type of girl since 7 months old, and we had weeks of day time nursing strikes around 9-10 months. It is hard not to feel rejected when your precious little nursling is refusing you. Try not to get frustrated! Just offer every couple of hours and if he isn't interested don't push it or worry about it. I think the baby senses it if you are upset and frustrated and it makes it even worse. Pump if it gets to the point where you have engorgement or you are worried about it effecting your supply, but generally for us a strike passes within a week or two.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:12 PM   #3
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Re: 15 MO refusing to nurse (teeth? cold?)

We're experiencing something similar... my daughter is now 10.5 months, and for the last 3 weeks she has been refusing to breastfeed. And like your son, she screams and arches her back... not subtle at all! From what I've read, I thought it was a strike, and not her weaning at this point, but she is still refusing after 3 weeks. I have been pumping 4 times a day to keep the supply I had going (not as much as it was a couple months ago - I would estimate around 4 oz every 5 hours). Somehow, I make just enough for what she drinks from a bottle, as she is in daycare. She drinks a 7 oz bottle in the morning, and then 2x 5 oz bottles later in the day. She eats solids very well (3 solid meals of at least 3/4 cup each, and usually a snack and puffs), so I'm sure she's getting enough food. However, I wish she would nurse again.

I wonder if it is due to my lower milk supply now, and so it takes more effort to get the milk compared to a bottle, or if she has teething pain? We're expecting her two top teeth any day now... will keep trying, although I'm starting to think we're probably done with breastfeeding
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:22 AM   #4
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Re: 15 MO refusing to nurse (teeth? cold?)

Could be teeth or a cold or an ear infection. When my son (who now has tubes) got ear infections, he either wanted to nurse constantly or not at all. Does your LO seem to be in pain when lying down flat or prefer to be upright? That was always a clue for us that it was ears. He also sometimes refused solids.

GL, it's tough with a sick baby.

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