Help! My 6month old baby is refusing breastfeeding!

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

Since two nights ago, my 6month old daughter has been refusing to nurse. She will arch her back and scream when I put her to my breast. I walk her around and rock her while I try to feed her or I will wait until she is sleepy, but still unsuccessful. I thought she was teething since she bites/sucks fingers sometimes, but I don't see any tooth cutting out. (She aleady had two cutting out couple weeks ago). I doubt she has ear infection since looks normal and plays well. This is especially frustrating when she awakes in the middle of night or morning hungry but can't eat and we both loose a lot of sleep.
She does take bottle better twice yesterday and drank 15oz all day with some rice cereal and applesauce. I tried to pump but can barely pump anything out now, guess I'm too stressful. I'm afraid my milk supply will stop soon. One of my guess is she just learned to drink from bottle few days ago, and has been eating with spoon. So she is either too busy with learning all the new skills or confused.
I am stressed out and frustrated I'm thinking about weaning her to a bottle. Is this just a stage she is going through? What can I do to get her back to breastfeeding or at least eat at normal amount?


Natalie - posted on 04/12/2010




Same thing happend to me twice, when she was 4 months she just would breast feed AT ALL, at that time she was exclusively breast feeding no apple sauce, no cereal, just milk. So she would take my milk in the bottle once a day (as usual) while I was at work. I left her get over it (she would starve to death) and then she came back to me. Don't force the baby, maybe she is teething (my daughter can spend up to 3-4 months in the process before you can actually see anything) or is enjoying the variety of food now. Don't get discouraged, and don't stress too much. Relax, try to express your milk to make sure she eats, even if not a lot comes out, it's still stimulation. Feed her fruits, juice and cereal with your milk and check her diapers change. A nice trick for newborns (maybe it'll work for a big girl) remove her clothes, leave only her diaper and remove your shirt to, the skin to skin contact is supposed to stimulate the feeding.
Good luck!

Anne - posted on 04/02/2010




This happened to my baby too when she was a few weeks old. We had introduced bottles at that time and she seemed to prefer them. From that time on breastfeeding was always a struggle. When she was 6 months old she refused to breastfeed at all and for the past 8 months (she is now 14 mo) I have been exclusively pumping. I do it 4 times a day at evenly spaced intervals and get enough to feed her without need for supplementation. It's a huge pain though so if you can somehow coax her back into nursing I think it will be the easier route, especially if she is waking up for feeds at night.

Lisa Keiran - posted on 04/02/2010




This happened to me twice!! Once at 3 months but managed to trick her back into breastfeeding, now at 5 and a half months my baby will NOT take the breast. Seems she prefers bottles, so i am expressing and can get 3 bottles out a day. But I have to introduce her to some formula as my milk supply will eventually fade. Maybe your baby is ready for some bottles or check her mouth for thrush...? SO heartbreaking I know as I loved breastfeeding and it was SO easy in the early morning or late night :)


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Bharti - posted on 02/25/2014




hiiii anne.. i read ur statement actually i hv same breastfeeding issue since his birth due to my inverted niooles.. but somehow my baby used to feed directly during sleeps,,, rest i express but for last few days as he was ill he has started refusing breastmilk.. though i can express but i have fear that in this way my milk will stop soon... pleas help m v tensed...

Samantha - posted on 04/12/2010




Hi. I want you know that first of all I am a La Leche League Leader, so if you would like help in helping your baby breastfeed for a longer time, I would love to help. I do have some questions...How often does she take a bottle? How often is she eating solid food. When does she refuse the breast, i.e. bed time, nap tiime, mornings, afternoons, etc. Often times, though we don't see the teeth, they can have very sore gums. You are correct that the longer she refuses, the less milk you will produce. It is also possible that if she is taking a bottle more often that she is deciding it is easier to hold out for the bottle than nurse, nursing def. requires more effort on baby's part and let's face it, like any adult/child, they can be lazy too! LOL.

It can be a stage she is going through, often times, babies will go on a "nursing strike", but if you are patient, more often than not, she will come back to the breast with a little encouragement and LOTS OF PATIENCE. I look forward to reading your post. Please feel free to email me directly at for more personal information

Sylvia - posted on 04/10/2010




My daughter was like this on and off for the first few months, she was a ventouse delivery and had problems with the muscles pulling in her jaw which made it hard for her to breastfeed but easy to take a bottle. We took her to an osteopath who specialised in babies and he did cranial osteopathy with her. she was right as rain in a few months. Its not cheap but it really was worth it. Hope this helps. If I'm ever lucky enough to have another baby I'll be taking him/her to see him again straightaway.

[deleted account]

Thanks Lisa - I totally agree with you, it felt so heartbreaking! The sudden change is a sudden shock for me, I love the bonding of breastfeeding (well sometimes felt so tied up, I have to admit) and convenience!

[deleted account]

Thanks very much to you all! I did go to her doctor today just to rule out any infections or other sickness. The only thing she can think of was because she has reflux first two months, and reflux could come back to some babies when they're about 6month. So I'm starting her on reflux medication again. Not that I want that be true, but that's the reason, better than not knowing anything at all!

I'll keep offer the breast, if still not working, I'll switch to bottle. It's not the end of the world as long as I can provide the nutient she needs, right? I'll be more patient and give her some time. Thanks a lot for your help here!

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