my 8 month old has self weaned of breast feeding
User - posted on 07/18/2012
My 8 month old baby had a normal 7 pm breastfeed 7 days ago, and absolutely will not take the breast since then. She screamed and screamed any time I'd offer it to her for the first few days, then she started laughing at and playing with the breast, and is still doing it. She won't take a bottle either. She has always been offered breast before solids and was having 4 big breastfeeds everyday. I've tried ALL the advice re: feeding in the bath, walking around, etc etc and she just laughs at me. I've seen the paediatric chiropractor and the doctor and health nurse and no-one can really explain why this happened. She's very happy and sleeps really well...she just won't breastfeed!!! I have twins that I breastfeed for 12 months, so this has really perplexed me.
Minnie - posted on 06/12/2009
No, she hasn't self-weaned. It's incredibly rare for a child to truly self-wean prior to 18 months.
Let me guess...you feed her solids? She's probably filling up on them. They should only be offered AFTER a breastmilk feeding, never before, and never in place of. Seven and eight month old babies are quite distractible as well. Some need to be fed in a quiet dim place. A nursing necklace is helpful to keep hands busy and baby focused.
Let me pose you a question- what would your baby do if you eliminated all solids from her diet? Would she not nurse? You see, she has not weaned herself, you have weaned her.
I would personally cut out all solids, get her nursing again, 6-8 times a day, and then reintroduce solids, but only in small amounts, and only after a breastmilk feeding if my baby seemed interested.
Stefanie - posted on 06/07/2009
Definitely sounds like a nursing strike to me. They are common at this age and do not mean the child is weaning. If the baby still needs formula, they are too young to wean themselves. I have only heard of babies legitimately weaning themselves before a year if their mother is pregnant again as the milk changes to a weaning milk. Here is some info on Kellymom to help you overcome this and get your baby back to the breast if you so desire:
Even if it has been a couple days, your body will still make milk. Pump, put her to the breast as often as you can (especially when she is sleepy, she may be too tired to resist) but don't force it. She should outgrow it. Most people suggest not offering supplements of formula or water during this time unless she is getting dehydrated or sick because she will just take those and not nurse.
Lois - posted on 06/07/2009
Sounds like a nursing strike! Keep pumping to keep up your milk supply and she might start again. She might be cutting a tooth that hurts her when she nurses. Or did she bite you and you reacted strongly, scaring her? Or anyother kind of soar in her mouth? Could be any number of things but sounds like a nursing strike! I've heard of it before, but mostly read about it in Today's Parent magazine and in my nursing book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. But I'm sure if you google nursing strike you'll find tons of resources and assurances.
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