8 Month Old Not Interested in Nursing

Updated on June 02, 2008
C.C. asks from Savannah, GA
20 answers

Okay ladies, I need help! I am a first time mom of a beautiful almost 8 month old. Just in the past week or so (besides her first nursing right when she wakes up) she really doesn't seem very interested in nursing. I know the problem is not my milk supply because she will suck and get it going, then pull off, then go back, then pull off (like it's a game) and when she pulls off milk drips everywhere. I feed her food three times a day as well and she eats around 4 oz of stage 2 baby food each time. But, I know she still needs plenty of milk. I'm a little confused because there's so much conflicting info...I read lots that say milk (or formula) should be the main source of nutrients for the first year, but when I asked my ped (which I totally love and trust) at her 6 month appointment if it is more important for her to get the food or get breast milk, he said the food. (I asked back then because I would breastfeed and then immediately feed her food and she didn't seem hungry so I wanted to find out which I should be doing first.) Since then, I've started alternating - nursing at 7:30, food around 10, nursing around 12, food around 2, nursing around 4, food around 7. I'm thinking she's just not hungry when I nurse her, but I'm not sure how to get 3 food meals and 3 nursing sessions in. PLEASE HELP!!! I want her to be getting everything she needs, but I'm really confused about what that is. Oh, she also drinks water at meals - not much but some and she seems to be having plenty of wet diapers (at least 3 REALLY wet ones everyday) and at least one soiled diaper everyday. Thanks in advance for any advice you gals can offer.

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answers from Athens on

Everything I have heard and read, including my ped, is very adament that milk is the very most important part of a babies diet, at least until 1 year old. My ped says a minimum of 4 good milk feedings a day. I feed my 9 1/2 month old twin girls around 5 breastfeedings a day and 2 times a day with "solids" (noon and 6ish). Maybe you should cut down slightly on the baby food and see if she picks up on the breastfeeding. I do know that around 8 months or so, some babies loose interest in breastfeeding, but she should still get 4-6 servings of milk per day, either breast or formula/bottle. Best of luck! F.



answers from Atlanta on

I agree with Sara...I really wouldn't worry about it. She's eating a lot and so she probably won't be as hungry and besides that different kids wean at different times. It's okay that she isn't interested in it as much. I'd be concerned if she wasn't eating yet, but she is and getting her nutrition. It's totally okay.

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answers from Atlanta on

Well, first off, relax. She's had 8 months of milk from you, which is a great start! If you are frustrated, she'll pick up on that, and either become frustrated, or find a fun game. My oldest (now a beautiful 11 1/2 year old) stopped nursing at 6 months. She just absolutely refused! So, we stopped. I didn't feel that it was worth the pain and frustration to force it on her - and she would drink breast milk from a cup. So there's an idea for you. Pump your milk, and offer it in a cup for her ( or a bottle if you please) She'll still get the nutrients that she needs, and you will feel like you've done the right thing for her. But most of all, you need to relax. You're not a failure if your child doesn't want to nurse now. And if anyone tells you that you are, well - they're just insensitive!! Hang in there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Myrtle Beach on

Hi C.,
There is an organization that specifically helps nursing moms called La Leche (spanish for the milk) League. www.llli.org According to their philosophy...BREASTMILK IS THE SUPERIOR INFANT FOOD! I was a leader and also a mother of five. I have successfully breastfed four. Other mothers often found themselves confused with advice from others. The Book "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" is the Bible to Breastfeeding, as far as I am concerned. If you nurse her first, then offer other food after, you will find out just how ready she is for solid foods. Some of my children were primarily breastfed til almost 12 months, with introduction of table foods after they nursed their fill. Other possibilities could be that once she gets the milk flowing, the let down is so strong that it overwhelms her. Is she willing to resume once that has subsides? Also, at 8 months, they are easily distracted. I had to take mine to a quiet room to determine if she just wanted to "play" or if indeed she was just distracted. Here is a number you can contact: 800-LALECHE ###-###-####)There are once-a-month meetings in your community and a leader that you can call anytime questions arise. It is also a great place to find the support of other mothers who relate.You are not alone. I can almost guarantee that this will change your life. It did mine. I learned so much about my baby, myself, nutrition, mothering, and more. God Bless You and Your Family.



answers from Augusta on

Hey C.,
Just a thought... if it's just the breast milk you want to give her, ever think of just pumping and giving it to her during her meals or something?



answers from Atlanta on

Hi C.,

Congratulations on your baby girl! It sounds like you are a good mom; concerned about doing what is the best for your baby.

You have already gotten some good advice, but I'll just throw in my 2 cents worth. My daughter also went through a nursing "strike" at around 8 months. I was already pumping while at work, so I just pumped again after she finished nursing and gave her my breast milk in a bottle later. She never really went back to nursing as strongly as before, but we kept it up and she got some from me and the rest that she needed in a bottle. The nursing time was so special for both of us, and I wasn't ready to give it up at 8 months.

I definitely think that she should still be getting most, if not all, of her fluid from milk. I'd give her any breast milk you have pumped instead of water. Pumps are pretty easy to use these days. I don't have a recommendation for one (it's been 10 yrs since I used one ;-), but I'm sure some of the moms here can give you one.

Also remember that while doctors have special training, and you should listen to their advice, not all doctors are sold on nursing. Women have breast milk for a reason. That is the best food for your special little girl! As long as she is healthy and gaining weight, she should be fine.

Enjoy your family, especially this precious time when your daughter is small.





answers from Savannah on

Cassie I have 5 children and breastfeed them all. Your schedule sounds great with your dd. I can tell you that ALL 5 of my kids did these mini nursing strikes between 8 and 10 months and for most of them I didn't give them as much food as your are giving your daughter now. The first 2 were nurse/feed like yours and the last three I have taken a more natural approach. I point this out to you to assure you it is not the food.
I think babies at this time just get kinda busy or something and just go on a bit of a strike and then around that 9-10 month mark they will come back around and be boobie lovers again.
The important thing is for you to
1-do not stress out about it- if she is hungry she will nurse/eat
2- keep offering the breast let her take it when she wants
3- keep offering the breast- yes I know I said this already but often times moms will take this as a sign thattheir child is weaning- THEY ARE NOT- they are just going through a little phase and will be out of it before you know it =-)



answers from Atlanta on

girl, i had the same issue with my 9 m/o bundle of energy. in fact he's here with me right now trying to type. anyway, i got great advice a couple of months ago from other moms on this site. they were saying that in this developmental stage babies really want to play and may be getting distracted from nursing. not that they don't want the milk but everything is soooo interesting at this time. i found that right now i had to switch to a quieter place in the house (no t.v., other kids, etc.) and then nurse. it took a few days but he's back to nursing at least 3 times a day if not more. hope this helps. keep up the good work :0).



answers from Charleston on

ITA it's a nursing strike or she's just too distracted. I'd also try to breastfeed her BEFORE any meals. Also, it's probably going to be a little easier to get her to nurse when she's sleepy, try nursing while side-lying.

At almost a year, my baby still prefers breast to bottle or other foods. So I bet she'll come back around, good luck.



answers from Atlanta on

breast milk is more important than food. I would slightly decrease the food and keep offering the boob-I assure you this is not a sign of weaning.
Have you considered making your own baby food? This way you can add your breast milk in so they can get milk while eating. Making your own food is very easy and saves money.
My son rarely wanted to eat until he was 18 months old, and I nursed him until 26 months. It was nice to know even if he didn't want food, I knew he was getting the nutrients he needed.



answers from Albany on


Babies sometimes go through complete or mini nursing strikes and that may be what this is. But I think you may need to trust yourself: She may not be as hungry as you'd like her to be for nursing. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that breastmilk be the mainstay of the diet through age 12 months. (http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/ped...) So, maybe you could breastfed first, or feed slightly less at a meal.

D. S, mom to 5 breastfed children



answers from Columbus on

I want to recommend a book to you called Touchpoints by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton. He talks about your daughter's age as being one of an intense need to be independent and explore. He says that babies at this age do tend to lose interest in the breast, but that it is temporary. Many mothers make the mistake of stopping, but don't! I know it is frustrating. My daughter did the same thing and then got back into the swing of things.
My daughter is a year old. She is eating table food and breastfeeding. Our schedule goes liek this...breastfeeding when she wakes up and breakfast anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour afterwards. She has a snack around 9:30ish and then nurses before her morning nap around 10:30-11. She has lunch around 12. She nurses again before her afternoon nap around 2. We are weaning off of the next feeding which usually was when she woke up. So instead she has a snack. She eats dinner around 5:45. Then she nurses again before bedtime around 7:45. She has water available in a sippy cup at all times.
I hope this helps!



answers from Spartanburg on

hi C., unfortunately doctors don't always have all the correct info on nursing. its more important for her to get the breast milk. i would find your local la leche league support group (www.llli.org). they have helped me tremendously with my 8 month old daughter. also, my daughter can get really distracted while nursing and i have to go to a quiet room or use a nursing cover even in my house. i've gotten so much different info about nursing since i had her and its all so confusing. if it wasn't for la leche league i don't think i would have made it this far. and of course you have done a wonderful job making it this far but if you want to nurse longer i would take the advice of a LLL leader. they've been around for over 50 years and have all breastfed their own babies. they can pretty much answer any question you throw at them! i hope this helps and hang in there.



answers from Atlanta on

My daughter is almost eight months and is doing the same thing while nursing. I've found that if I nurse her without any distractions (TV, conversation, dog around, etc.), she seems to do a little better. It is very normal at this age for your daugther to be very distracted by other things and interested in everything around her. My daugther nurses great first thing in the morning and mid-morning and then she doesn't nurse as well throughout the rest of the day. It sounds like she isn't breastfeeding too closely to solids and that you have worked out a good schedule. Just stick with it. Some breastmilk is better than none and she will get what she needs. As long as she is satisfied, having 7-8 wet diapers in a 24 hour period and gaining weight she should be fine. Good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

HI C.- She could be "weaning" herself - or simply be on a nursing "strike" this is common at this age- Iwould still continue to try and nurse- see if she resumes to normal in a week. If not- It may be time to wean her -Make meal time, meal time tho- nursing and eating- I wouldn't serve food then nurse few hours later- you want her to know when it's time to eat- have you read baby wise? If she is getting plenty of nutrition from food - Iwouldn't worry too much about the milk intake.I've actually read a book from an elderly Dr. that suggests that babies don't need milk after 7 mos...(Dr. Denmark is her name)
Babies will refuse alot of things while growing and developing- just keep trying - if it doesnt resolve in a week -it's time to change something. Pretty soon she'll be resisting naps and foods she loved- keep on trying and she'll eventually take naps and eat the food again.
Good LUck!



answers from Atlanta on

Sounds like a "nursing strike" to me.

Every nursing mom should know about the kellymom website - I want to drop flyers all over the city with this website's URL so everyone will know about it!


Pumping is great, but it's a huge pain compared to nursing, and you'll get tired of the hassle sooner.
Nursing is just so much more convenient that you'll do it a lot longer than if you're pumping.

You'll get her back! Good luck.



answers from Atlanta on

Dear C.,

My head is spinning from reading all of the conflicting advice in this forum.

Honestly, I believe that a mother's instinct is always right. Only you know your baby because you are with her 24/7.
Obviously you are not satisfied with your doctor's answer. Doesn't mean that you like that doctor any less.

Go ahead and get another professional's advice. La Leche League has been an absolutely invaluable resource for me with all 3 of my children. You could talk to a consultant over the phone or in person. Someone else left a link to their site, but I'll leave it again http://www.LLLI.org. (Also, your insurance may pay for the consultation, so be sure to check on that, as well.)

My experience: at 8.5 months or so, my oldest child began weaning herself because I was pregnant again and my milk changed.

So, you may need to see your ob/gyn, too.

Also, I totally agree with Kelli L. about minimizing distractions and continuing to observe the baby's signs of health such as normal diaper changes and growth.

God bless!




answers from Atlanta on

hey C.,

it is funny--i have an 8 month old that is totally giving me a hard time with eating too. he has just decided that he doesn't like baby food any more and will only eat things i can give him with my fingers. of course it took me a week of him being upset every time i put him in the high chair to figure this out. oh well. i think that right now is just such a time of growth and learning, so they can be very distracted while nursing. i remember my 2 year old going through the same thing. i also had a friend ask me the other day if it was normal for her 7 month old to be really distracted while nursing. so, just hang in there and keep offering it to her. i try to play with my little guys hands or sing or talk to him while he nurses to try to keep eye contact with him and keep him focused. i have always believed that breast milk is more important over food up to a year, so i think you are doing exactly what you should in splitting up her times to eat and nurse. i have done that with mine. it is crazy how much we worry about everything. i even do it with my second one--i think it is because everything is always changing as soon as you figure it out and also because every child is different. i just remind myself that it is just a season and before i know it he will be walking, talking, and eating everything in sight.

as long as she is happy and showing signs in her diaper that she is getting nourishment through the day, i think you are doing great. good luck and enjoy every second because they grow up toooooooo fast!!



answers from Atlanta on

i have found our kids are pretty smart creatures. she is probably doing well with the food and is getting enough milk from the nursings right now. my daughter was bottle fed and she decreased the amount she was taking in when we started solids. just let her eat what she wants. i would try to condense the feedings though, so that the day looks more like breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few snacks in there.
trust your daughter, let her eat when she's hungry. always offer the milk first then the solids. 7 is pretty late for dinner, maybe try to move that up to 530 or 6 and then breastfeed her before bed.

good luck!



answers from Savannah on

Hey there,
At this age you should be feeding your baby 3 meals a day, plus a snack of juice or something. Feed her the baby food, then follow with a nursing session after the food. That should work better for you, plus you won't be feeding her something every 2 hours. Good luck! (I am a mother of 3, and former nanny to twin baby girls.)

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