Nursing Strike Advice

Updated on June 24, 2008
J.W. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
12 answers

I am a daughter of a soon to be 11 month old. She suddenly stopped nursing 5 days ago. AT first, I could get her to nurse if she was sitting up, facing me, but now she will not even do that. She acts as if she wants to nurse, but as soon as I offer her my breast she turns away, starts crying or nips me. Does this sound like she is weaning or just on strike? Any advice to get her back in the routine?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

My first daughter did that at nine months and I think it had to do with the fact that I'd screamed in pain the first time she bit me. I didn't scream at her or all that loud mind you, but it was enough to startle her. I decided to pump and give it to her in a sippy, but she wouldn't take that either. I tried breast milk in a bottle and sippy. Then I tried formula in a bottle and a sippy. No luck. I called my pediatrician and she said to go ahead and give her whole milk so I put it in a sippy and gave it to her. It took a couple tries before she would really drink the milk, but she was got used to it pretty quickly.

More Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

It sounds like she is ready to wean. My daughter is 20 months old. I nursed her until she decided to stop on Valentines Day. She was 16 months old. I sat to nurse her like I always did, and she turned away. I waited a few minutes and tried again she did the same thing. I tried to more days after that, and she kept turning away. At that point I knew she was done. I was sad, but they tell us what they want in their own way. Good luck.



answers from Scranton on

My son acted the same way, and it turned out he had a double ear infection. He was just one of those kids who didn't run a fever or tug at his ears. The only indication I had was that every time I tried to nurse him, he would cry & scream & just plain refuse. Turns out it was the pressure of being laid back to nurse & the pressure of sucking that was hurting his ears. He also had an increase in his appetite (b/c he wasn't getting enough milk to fill him up). I would take your daughter to the pediatrician to get checked out. When I called the lactation consultants in my area they said it was a nursing strike or self weaning. I went with that theory for a week before I decided to follow my instincts & take him to the doctor...and good thing I did! Although I think the lactation consultants are a great resource, I would def have her checked out by the doctor...certainly couldn't hurt! Good luck!



answers from Philadelphia on

Could you be pregnant? My first did this same exact thing and as it turned out, I was pregnant with baby #2! A womens milk changes when she becomes pregnant and a nursing toddler may not like the taste of it.

I remember feeling very frustrated and confused about what to do because I had planned on nursing her a lot longer and just like you, she had never gotten formula. I cried over it. We gave her goats milk, rice milk, or soy milk for a few weeks until I finally switched her to whole milk when she was about 11 months only after talking to her doctor about it. She is 22 months now and is doing fine as far as food allergies are concerned.



answers from Philadelphia on


This sounds exactly like a nursing strike. Strikes are sudden stopages of many/all feedings. When a child weans naturally, they gradually drop feedings over a long period of time. Also, when self weaning, children don't self wean before a year they still need breastmilk as a primary source of nutrition - most will continue to nurse until at least 18 months.

I would keep offering as often as you can. Is she more likely to nurse while she's sleeping or drowsy? When my DD (9.5 months) is going through similar phases I find that if I keep offering while she's drowsy, I can usually get her to fall asleep and dream feed for me.

Is she getting any other liquids during the day? If she is, I would cut out any bottles, it may be that she is showing a preference for the artificial nipple. I would cut out all artificial nipples, bottles and pacifiers for the time being. If you need to offer other liquids, use a small plastic cup with no lid. It will likely be a little messy, but water cleans up easily.

Is it possible she's teething? My DD is biting 2-4 times per day right now, and she's finally cutting her top front teeth through the gums.

I've also heard glowing recommendations for chiropractic adjustments on infants, just be sure you find someone who frequently works with children. I use the Chiro myself and there are days where it feels like a miracle cure - instant pain relief.

Don't give up on her yet mama, you'll get through this strike!




answers from Lancaster on

My son acted just that way and it turned out he had fifths disease (hand foot and mouth) and his mouth was just too sore. It was his only symptom, but as soon as I told the ped what was happening, he knew what it was. By the next morning, my son was nursing away again.

Best of luck to you!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi J.,

It sounds like a nursing strike to me. It is very very rare for a baby to self-wean before age 1 or 2. Here is a link to some info on Kelly mom on nursing strikes. She has great advice for getting your daughter back to the breast. <; My son went through this when he was 13 months old and it lasted about a week. I was able to get him to nurse in a dark room laying down on the bed with him. Gradually he went back to nursing full time again.

Good luck!

A Mother's Boutique
Maternity & Breastfeeding clothing, Nursing Bras, Breast Pumps, Slings and Accessories.
MamaSource members save 10% off their first order (excluding breastpumps) with coupon MAMASOURCE



answers from Pittsburgh on

Is she teething? Sounds like she wants to nurse and it hurts. Is she taking any fluids? If she isn't, stop reading this and call your doc...Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

My third went through a similar thing. It happened shortly after a phase of her biting a bit. I'd try not to react much, but sometimes it was painful and I'd jump or be surprised by it and scream (not at the baby - just in pain). I always firmly said "No bite" and put her down and turned away from her.... as my ped said to do with my first 2. My third is really sensitive and would get horribly upset - almost inconsolable. She did this enough that it sort of became a routine for a few days. Then she suddenly stopped and while she'd act interested, she's refuse and get upset. I don't want to say I had to force her, but I did have to put my nipple in her mouth with some resistance and really insist that she nurse. I made extra efforts to escape to a quiet place and sing solft gentle songs while nursing to regain that closeness and change the routine. It worked and she gradually (2-3 days maybe) became more comfortable with nursing again and is still nursing at nearly 14 months.



answers from Philadelphia on

That was exactly what my son did when he night weaned himself. I read somewhere that it was normal (if somewhat early) to self-wean at this age. But if you want to continue nursing, I agree with the previous two posts about checking her ears and trying to get her back to the breast...



answers from Philadelphia on

It sounds like she is ready to be weaned. give her a sippy cup with formula or soy milk. Most pediatricians, do not want children on whole milk until they are a year old. my son does vanilla soy milk,he will be one as of the 19th of july. if you are worried about her getting enough calcium try some baby yogurt like the yobaby by stonyfield farms which is made with whole milk and is organic. they come in a variety of flavors.



answers from Erie on

could she be teething??? Ear infection??? I know there are lactation hotlines out there. check the front of your phone book, or maybe call a hospital to see if they have a nurse that deals with breastfeeding issues. I wouldn't think she would be weaning just yet. And you need to make sure she is getting enough nutrition.
Are you in a quiet room with nothing to distract her? Good luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches