very perticular, spirited child, nursing mom wants advice, or encouragement...

Stephanie - posted on 08/26/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )




My 3 month old daughter is VERY "spirited" and smart. I am greatfull for her personality, but it makes nursing a bit of a challenge. I am 100% committed to continuing nusing her, but sometimes I have to let her wear herself out and bounce and rock her untill she falls asleep, BEFORE she will start nursing. She seems to like nursing while sleeping better than when she's awake. She will scratch and claw at me, kick her legs or make them stiff and straight, if she's not ready to nurse yet. Or will start to nurse but then turn her head and become un latched and cry, I will guide her back to the boobie, she'll start to nurse and then turn her head and cry, over and over. So then I stop for a while and try again in a few minutes. A lot of the time she will not nurse if I am sitting down, so I stand up and she'll happily start nursing again, I'll think she's relaxed enough to sit down and she will get mad and cry, so then I have to stand and rock her some more. I feel like she's running the show and I always have a sore back. She does sleep really well at night, she sleeps in bed with mom and dad and nurses a few times durring the night with out any problems. I feel like I have enough patience to handle her at home, but when we're out, it becomes very difficult to create the type of atmosphere she desires for nursing. I REFUSE to give her a bottle or pacifier and practice attachment parenting. Anyone have advice or encouragement? Does anyone else have experiance with a "spirited" child? My first child was a piece of cake compare to her...


View replies by

Angelica - posted on 08/26/2009




I have to sing to my daughter (also 3 months) to calm her down enough to nurse.

Chelseaszidik - posted on 08/26/2009




I am also a proud mommy of a spirited child (now 11 months old). I also share your determination to NEVER EVER give her a bottle or pacifier. I also practice attachment parenting. So now on to your question. I have a feeling that there is something going on here such as a need for some chiropractic services or possibly thrush or even a partial nursing strike. Of course you know your infant better than anyone so choose what sounds most like your daughter.

In the case of possibly needing some chiropractic I only say that from experience. My daughter went through a period starting at 3 months of age were she would do exactly what your daughter is doing while nursing on the right. Over time she refused to nurse on that side. I tried EVERYTHING to get her to take that side but she would do what your daughter does. This lasted until she was 6 months old and her nature path suggested I take her to an chiropractor who specializes in infant chiropractic. I was extremely skeptical and I knew I would refuse any sort of cracking, popping, risky or painful procedures. I was pleasantly surprised because the plan was only to poke her and gently rub her. I took her twice a week for 2 weeks and after just the first session she was better at the breast. By the end of it we had a completely normal nursing relationship and we still do. I can't say enough for this option. What I found out was that while in utero or during birth she became "out of wake" so to speak on her left side which is why she had issues laying to nurse on that side. It was pain that was causing the nursing "issues".

In the case of possible thrush. This would only apply if her nursing issues were relatively new. She does display the behaviors of a thrush infant such as the arching and crying. The treatment that would rule this out is Gingian Violet. It's completely natural and can be picked up at your local pharmacy. Apply it twice a day to your infants mouth and your nipples for up to 4 days. Thrush is a yeast infection in the mouth and is most common after one of you has been on an antibiotic but can occur at anytime.

In the case of a partial nursing strike you are doing exactly what you should do by walking and nursing and staying determined and positive. Nursing in the tube will also be helpful in most cases so give that a go.

I just want to say that I respect your parenting style and I think that you are doing a wonderful job parenting your young infant. Your determination and love is making such a great difference in her life. To keep up that style of parenting with a spirited child is going to take your daughter far. My daughter at 11 months old can say 9 words, walks and comprehends EVERYTHING. I pay it all to attachment parenting.

I welcome you to send me a message so we can work on this together. Good luck!


Kristin - posted on 08/26/2009




My 6 month old started doing the same exact thing at this age and it is very challenging! I couldn't take her anywhere, because she wouldn't eat because she was so distracted and still gets like that to this day. At home it usually has to be really quiet and darker and my lactation consultant suggested I wear an interedting cheap necklase that dangles for her to play with, That seems to work pretty well. She also told me that if she pulls off crying to put her down and try a little bit later. How often are you feeding her? She might not be hungry yet.

Rachel - posted on 08/26/2009




I don't really have an advice for you. My daughter, now almost 11 months, did the same thing at that age. She would go through stages where she would nurse great and then all of the sudden for a week or two start nursing, unlatching, screaming etc...I found out pretty fast that she was/is a VERY distractable baby. Anything and everything cought her attention starting at that age. I had to put a cover over her or nurse her laying down for awhile, then all would go back to normal. I am still nursing and now I have to just go in a dark, quiet room and nurse her otherwise it just doesn't happen. I hope you find something that works. Good luck!

Nicole - posted on 08/26/2009




Just a question, when you go to nurse her, is she really ready to nurse or you think she's ready?

Both my boys would take the breast whenever offered and with my daughter (2 months) now, it's when she wants it. At home we do pretty well but I've noticed her "acting" up when I go out and refusing the breast. I think she just likes her routine at home. That's ok. It's only a few more months really...

You said she does great at night. Can you replicate that environment during the day? Not sure how old your first child is but if it's just you and the baby, it may be doable and might work to calm her down and put her in the mood. Good luck!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms