Baby Suddenly Refusing to Breastfeed

Karina - posted on 08/22/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My 7 1/2 month old son is suddenly refusing to breastfeed. He's generally good about breastfeeding, but a few days ago, he had a 24-hour period in which he had the runs, and had several very runny poopy diapers. From that point on, he has generally refused to breastfeed. He will still drink breastmilk, but doesn't want to nurse. I need to pump my milk with a mini electric pump then give it to him via a bottle, which he will take. He has always had a few bottles a day but has never refused to nurse for this long. Usually he is pretty good about nursing all night, which makes it effortless for me, but the last three nights, I have been unable to get him to nurse at night, and I've always had to pump into a bottle for him, while he screams as he is an impatient eater who wants his food NOW. He has recently begun teething too, so I don't know if it is possible that he could be refusing to nurse because of the teething or the diarrhea or both? Any ideas on how to get him to nurse again? I don't plan to stop breastfeeding for several more months, and I would hate to need to pump every feeding for the rest of his nursing days.

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Karina - posted on 08/30/2010

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Thanks for all the advice. The baby has been getting better, and last night finally was the first night he was willing to nurse all night again without needing to take a bottle through the night. I just hope this doesn't happen too often, although it may if it is linked to his teething.

Rachael - posted on 08/23/2010

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Hi Karina, my son who is 6 1/2 months is teething just had 2teeth come through and when his mouth is sore he wont nurse the sucking aggravates the pain. i expressed also a few time i would much rather nurse than have to pump every feed but since he didnt have to suck as hard he found it easier drinking from a bottle when he was in alot of pain. i would use some bonjella -oral gel to relieve pain or give him some fridge cold food first like puree pears nice and smooth in his mouth it seemed to help relieve him.
Its so difficult i felt awful when he wasnt nursing properly : ( good luck i hope he is feeling better soon.

Jennifer - posted on 08/23/2010

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the diarrhea is likely related to the teething, my son and i are going through the same thing as he is cutting his 2 top front teeth. i don't know why on earth they would be related to one another, but its pretty common. it is also common for babes to not want to eat much while they are teething because they are uncomfortable...the pressure from sucking might be making him more uncomfortable, and since bottles require less work it might just be easier for him. when my son is refusing to eat, i've found that teething tablets help soothe him enough for his feeding.

also, i agree with Sara about pumping first to get your let down going, then try to get him to latch.

keep trying, it shouldn't last all that long. when my little chunk is teething, it usually takes about a week and then he's back to his regular self.

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