My daughter is 4 months old and seems to be refusing my breasts

Alecia - posted on 02/16/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My daughter has been breastfeeding since born (though we did supplement in beginning because she was so small) , but the last few days she has not bee taking to it as well. She hadnt taken the bottle in awhile, but she sucked the formula right down. Any one else ever have this happen? Did you get through it, or did you have to switch to bottle for good?

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In regards to what Andrea said about your daughter possibly being ready to switch over to a bottle...that's bull. My son is 14 months and still nursing and he has only had a handful of bottles in his life. All of expressed breast milk and all before 3.5 months. No baby is ever really ready to switch to bottles. Many women breastfeed from birth to weaning without never once using a bottle. If you don't want to switch over to bottles and formula then get some help first. Talk to a lactation consultant since doctors get very little training when it comes to breastfeeding.

Also, Amber said something about your baby probably weaning. It's actually very rare for a baby to self-wean before a year. If it happens, there is almost always some other factor involved, such as filling up on solids too early, mom unknowingly practicing weaning methods such as 'don't offer, don't refuse', nursing strikes, and so on. I don't think the majority of parents know a whole lot about breastfeeding and with the lack of support and knowledge from our doctors, it's no surprise that these things happen and get mistaken for early weaning. If a child is allowed to self-wean, it normally does not happen till sometime between 2 and 3 years.

I'll say it again, talk to an LC.

Jennifer - posted on 02/16/2010

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good quote from that link "In general, a baby who won't nurse, can't nurse. Your goal is to (hopefully) identify why baby can't nurse and either remedy the problem, work around the problem, and/or preserve your milk supply until the problem remedies itself (sometimes necessary for ill, small or premature babies). A board-certified lactation consultant is a great partner to have in this process"

Jennifer - posted on 02/16/2010

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i think you should get in touch with a lactation consultant or go to a la leche league meeting. you can usually just call the LLL leader in the group nearest to you and ask her what she thinks. i don't think she would wean this early. i'm going to see if i can find any info on kellymom.com then i'll post the link.

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Alecia - posted on 02/18/2010

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well after 4 days of trying i think we're done. she tries to suck, but doesnt seem to want to as soon as she starts. she'll take breast milk in a bottle though so i known thats not the problem. thinking of calling peds tomorrow to talk to lactation consultant to see what she says, but this is too hard on me. ive tried using other methods to feed her, but she will only take bottle. i guess its over for us :(

Melissa - posted on 02/17/2010

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My son ended up with the ear infection lol.

I am not sure what causes my daughter to do that sometimes. I have been feeling sick the past few days and thought maybe that had something to do with it...

Kayla - posted on 02/17/2010

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Has your baby been fussy at all? My daughter refuses to bf when she has an ear infection but will take a bottle. I would check that if I were you. The bf refusal is the only way I ever know if she has an ear infection. She doesn't get a fever ever! (which is good!)

Sarah - posted on 02/17/2010

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Maybe your daughter isn't getting enough breast milk. The more you breast feed the more milk your suppose to get. I was having a hard time with my daughter I was breast feeding but she seemed hungry all the time. It felt like she was permantly attached to me. So I would breast feed her until she started getting irrated and then I would give her a couple ounces of formula. Breast milk is always best for the baby. Good Luck!

Melissa - posted on 02/17/2010

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My 2 month old daughter did that to e,m last night. She didn't want to nurse she just wanted the bottle. This morning she was back to nursing so I don't think you need to worry unless she keeps doing it. Hope this helps.

Emilie - posted on 02/16/2010

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Doctors really don't know much about breast feeding, I feel bad that I didn't have the support of a lactation consultant or LLL. Next time I will try harder. My first time the doctor told me not to nurse, because I was on medication for a bladder infection. My mom was not much help either, because my brother wasn't interested in nursing she thought it was normal for babies not to be interested in it. If I could go back and do it again I would talk to somebody that knew what they was doing, and try harder.

Nicole - posted on 02/16/2010

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Ha ha! I guess Katie was typing at the same time I was. LOL Good info there, too.

Yep, as a CLC myself, babies just don't wean themselves before a year. =)

Nicole - posted on 02/16/2010

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Thank you SO MUCH Jennifer Vanderboegh! Very useful info! And true.

First of all Alecia, babies very rarely (and I'll say it again, RARELY) wean on their own before 12 months of age. Also, whatever may be going on, you CAN get through it.

Has your daughter been sick? Does she have a runny nose? If yes, make sure to keep her nose as dry as you can. Use nasal saline spray to water down the mucous in her nose to help drainage. Suction with a bulb any mucous drainage. If wheezing, put a humidifier where baby sleeps or hold baby in a steamy bathroom with the door closed while a hot shower before nursing.

If she is not sick, make sure you check out the website Jennifer provided (http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby...). It is quite helpful in this situation. The whole page is wonderful. Try every technique listed, if you have to, and make sure to ENJOY the techniques. Use them to bond with your baby, to love on your baby and to relax with your baby. A baby is less likely to latch on to the breast of a stressed out mother. =)

This will pass! She is NOT weaning herself, this I am sure. Remember to maintain your supply during this period and know that if you try the techniques I mentioned or those mentioned on the kellymom website, this WILL GET BETTER.

As Jennifer suggested too, log onto the LLLI website and find a leader in your area to help you through this time.

If you want to talk with me, you can send me a private message and I will be more than willing to help. (I have 5 years experience counseling moms with breastfeeding.) But, there is probably a LLL Leader right in your area and that would be a great asset.

Good luck and YOU CAN DO IT!

PS: My fourth baby is 4 months old, too. =)

Sarah-Anne - posted on 02/16/2010

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my daughter, who is now 11 months, was more or less afraid of my boobs for lack of a better term. every time i tried to nurse her she would start off ok, but she would just let go for some reason every ten seconds or so and get sprayed in the face. she didn't like that too much and within a week outright refused to nurse. i pumped until i dried up when she was 8 months. and she had no problems being bottle feed. it was almost a blessing because i wasn't the only one who was able to feed her and she was still getting all the benefits of breastmilk. i was able to freeze almost half a my milk supply once she started eating solids at 4/6mo. this allowed me to get thru to the end of the year before we switched to formula exclusively. i also supplemented with formula when it was inconvenient to bring the cooler bag with ice packs along.

Amber - posted on 02/16/2010

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Some babies wean themselves off and it sounds like thats what your daughter did. You can continue with the formula or pump and do breastmilk. It may be that your milk does not come out fast enough (milk will come out faster in the bottle) and I know there is something that you can use to help be able to stay on the breast but I can't think of what it is called right now, you can call your hospital and talk to a lactaction consultant and they should know what it is.

Jaime - posted on 02/16/2010

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have you tried a bottle? you could pump and freeze the milk and provide her with the greatness of breatmilk with out having to give up since she is! just a thought good luck!

Andrea - posted on 02/16/2010

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u might have to switch over to the bottle for good, she might be ready, but remember breast milk is best, so pump into bottles

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