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Nursing Strike!

A nursing strike can happen to breastfed and bottle fed babies alike. It often happens around six months of age when your baby begins eating solid foods. This can be stressful and difficult for parents and even if they don’t know it, for the baby as well.

nursing-strike.jpgBefore their first birthday a baby’s main source of nourishment should be breast milk. If you are not breastfeeding then the baby should be mainly drinking formula, with baby food being only a secondary source for nourishment. Occasionally when your baby starts solids he will begin refusing to take the breast or bottle. If he does this there are several things you can do to help him get reaccustomed to the nipple.

1. Cut back on solids. If your baby has started refusing to nurse, cut back on the solids. It could be that you are feeding him TOO many solids and he is full.

2. Try to reintroduce breast. Put your baby skin to skin, letting him find his way to your breast on his own. Don’t force him, just lay there, acting like it is no big deal, and let him discover breastfeeding all over again.

3. Feed your baby when he is drowsy. If you catch your baby right as he is about to go to sleep, or just as he is waking up, you will probably be able to get him to latch on in his not-so-awake state.

4. Nurse baby before offering baby food. Use the baby food like a “dessert” with the breast milk or formula being the main course.

5. Try a cup. Often if your baby no longer wants the nipple, you will be able to get him to drink from a sippy cup and get his liquid that way.

Nursing strikes can be very common and is another one of those stages that your baby may or may not go through. Patience will help you persevere as a parent in helping to make sure that your baby gets the proper nourishment that he needs.

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3 Comments on "Nursing Strike!"

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4 years 9 months ago
My 8 month old has been on at least 3 nursing strikes! However, I’m still nursing him even though it’s a fight sometimes! I think his problem is that he wants his food faster, so he’d prefer it from a bottle or a spoon & dish. I think he is also distracted by wanting to play & look at the world. Nursing him when he’s going down for a nap works pretty well for us, but a few days ago I happened upon another thing that has really helped! Letting him hold his pacifier while he nurses has calmed him… Read more »
5 years 6 months ago
My baby is 5 months old. He is mainly breastfed and totally refuses the bottle since he turns one month. After he turned 4 months, he started to refuse the breast as well. He eats so little that he keeps getting dehydrated. We had no choice but to use the syringe to force feed him. If he is not dehydrated, he is smiling and very active though. Well, he also hasn’t grown a single ounce in almost a month. We sent him to the various doctors but they couldn’t find any problem. They all said that he will eat when… Read more »
5 years 11 months ago
My 9 mo bit me one day and I yelped and said “No!”. He started crying, really crying. He did not nurse for 5 days after that. He wanted me near him and wanted me to hold him – but refused to nurse. He would cry, turn away, and push away from the breast. I was pumping during this time but he preferred water or formula out of a sippy – not my milk. Needless to say I was so sad and cried every day. I wasn’t ready for him to be weaned – he is my last baby (3rd).… Read more »
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