L.T. asks from Issaquah, WA on November 28, 2008
11 Month Old Refusing to Nurse - What to Do?
So my 11 month old that has LOVED the breast all of the sudden refuses to take it. I planned to start weaning soon, but don't I need to gradually start offering less milk instead of just going cold turkey? I don't know what to do because I'm worried I will get a clogged duct since he is absolutely refusing me and at this point when I pump I'm just getting a few ounces out. Has anyone else had this problem? What did you do? Thanks!
J.C. answers from Seattle on November 29, 2008
-- Oh, L.- how tough for you-- as a 3 time nursing Mom - I'd say your baby is likely teething and it probably hurts him to nurse - which is why he is declining-. Check with La Leche--
M.L. answers from Seattle on November 29, 2008
Could you be pregnant? Boobie babies generally don't refuse it so adamantly without a reason. Is there a tooth popping through that could be causing him pain? It might be uncomfortable for him to eat. If that's what happening, it helped my daughter to have a cold teether for a few minutes before getting breast. You can wean cold turkey and I've heard that cold cabbage leaves helps with the discomfort.
J.R. answers from Seattle on November 29, 2008
My son went cold turkey at 11 months...I was surprised, but fine because I too intended to stop when he turned 1...I pumped 1-2 times a day for about 2 weeks, and I was fine, no issues at all...he switched to cows milk with no problems, and I was pump free!!!
N.P. answers from Seattle on November 29, 2008
My daughter did the exact same thing but around 10-10 1/2 months. She loved me and my boobies and I was very shocked too. I thought it was going to be so hard to wean her and poof she was done. What happened with me was she had been sleeping through the night for so long that my milk had drastically reduced. She was sleeping 12 hours each night since around 6 months. And, I never pumped any of the milk. So, my milk just went away. I think she was just totally frustrated that the milk was not as plentiful as it had always been. With my daughter, she never even took the bottle before this point. We had to hurry and get her to start taking one. Do you think your milk supply has drastically reduced? I bet he's just protesting that your supply has dropped. By the time I realized something was going on with my supply, I tried to pump and increase it but it was too late. I was producing not very much milk at that point. Also, my daughter was having constipation. I think back now and believe it's because she wasn't getting enough milk. As soon as she started on cows milk, the constipation ended. My little girl is now 18 months and it totally still a momma's girl.
Good luck to you.
J.W. answers from Seattle on November 29, 2008
I had a similar experience. My daughter had been fussy and distracted at the breast for a few days just before her first birthday so I stopped trying to nurse one morning and gave her a bottle of formula and pumped and only got 1 ounce from both sides total! My milk supply was never overly abundant so I wasn't totally surpised that the "well had dried up" so to speak. I gave her a bottle of formula and then cow's milk and she never seemed to miss my breasts or breastmilk. We stopped cold turkey and I actually felt some relief because I was nervous about weaning. Breastfeeding was a hard-fought battle for us (it took us almost 3 months to get it right) and it seemed so odd for it to just stop like that. I just accepted what my body was telling me at that time although I do still miss our time together (she's now 16 months). I still hold her for her morning and evening bottle of milk so we still get some close time together! I don't know if this was helpful, but I thought you might like to know there are women who share your experience. Good luck!
B.G. answers from Seattle on November 29, 2008
You can certainly go cold turkey. I won't hurt either of you. If you are really worried just massage your breast once a day or so. I know of lots of children who were just DONE one day and never nursed again.