Milk refusal at 8 months

A baby's refusal to feed is a distressing time. Sometimes the refusal is outright; other times just an extreme fussiness. Usually it is temporary and the baby returns to the breast. Share your experiences and support one another through this tough time here.
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BoscoJack
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Milk refusal at 8 months

Post by BoscoJack » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:45 pm

I could really use some advice regarding breast refusal.
My DS is almost 8 months old and has been refusing to feed during the day for about 2 weeks now. He started on solids at about 5 months and has taken to that like a duck to water. I never seem to have trouble feeding him solids but he refuses milk. At first it was just from the breast and was happy to drink EBM from a bottle but today he has started to refuse the bottle as well. He has a bottle of EBM before bed at night and will usually finish that without a fight and he is happy to breastfeed at night between one and three times (although these feeds are generally of only about 5 minute duration). The whole situation if really getting me down as I know how important it is for him to still be having milk. My husband has mentioned formula but I am not ready to try that yet and I figure is he is refusing EBM from a bottle why would he be happy with formula? I don’t know if I should reduce his solid food to make him more interested in milk (somehow that seems really mean, I don’t want the little man to go hungry).
I would really appreciate any advice on the matter, the whole situation is starting to affect me quite badly :(

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Penguin
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Post by Penguin » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:18 pm

No advice from me, but that sounds tough. Have you tried calling the helpline? You can call or email, click on the box in the top right corner of the page and it will give you all the details. They are trained breastfeeding counsellors and they will have good advice to give you (as opposed to me who would just be making stuff up).

Good luck, I hope you get it sorted soon x

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Loli&Lulu
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Post by Loli&Lulu » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:17 pm

I second the suggestion of calling a counsellor. They can talk you through some of the suggestions from the "Coping with breast refusal" booklet. DD went through several major bouts of breast refusal, especially with teething. When her mouth hurt she wouldn't suck (but she did continue night feeds). I did try to make sure I didn't increase her food so I was not replacing the milk I knew she needed at that age but didn't try to starve her into submission either.

I found lots of offering the breast in a low pressure way helps (hanging around the house with your top off) and she eventually always came back to feeding. Our worst one was 8 days of total breast refusal with hand, foot and mouth disease.

It is a terribly hard and emotional thing I know. Big huge to you!
DD#1 May 2010 - BF to 19 months
DD#2 August 2012 - super cute cheeky booby toddler - storked by AndyPandy. :-)
Proudly co-storked AndyPandy's DS#2.

KarenMac
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Post by KarenMac » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:16 pm

*Hugs* DD1 went through lots of bouts of breast refusal so I know how stressful it is. My first instinct when reading your post was that he's possibly got used to having bottles so now refuses milk from the breast. DD1 did this early on when I expressed and bottle fed due to nipple damage. She wasn't too keen on coming back to the breast afterwards as the bottle was much less effort for her. I know this doesn't explain why he's now refusing EBM from a bottle though :? Have you tried a sipper/straw cup rather than a bottle? Both mine started getting the hang of cups around this age so that could be an alternative. Other than that, I second what Loli said...just try to make breastfeeding really low key. Here are some things that I found helped when DD1 was refusing...
1. Feeding lying down
2. Feeding when drowsy (either straight after a sleep or as soon as she woke up)
3. Feeding while walking round the house and singing :shock: It seemed to distract her just enough that she fed absent-mindedly and calmly :lol:
4. Feeding in a dark, quiet room with no other distractions (obviously this is the opposite of point number 3 but it just depended on her mood...I used to try everything :roll: )
5. Doing a dreamfeed around 10pm before I went to bed. Because she was asleep she couldn't fight it and this was often her best feed of all!

Hope some of that helps...good luck and hugs. I feel your pain :(
DD1 - 21/07/08 - Breastfed for 12 challenging months
DD2 - 27/10/10 - Breastfed for a blissful 17 months

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Esther
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Post by Esther » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:11 pm

What a tricky time for you!

There's been some great suggestions here from some of the other mums. Actually the thing that jumps out at me from your post is his keeness on solids. Sounds like he could filling up from solids, which would mean he's less interested in breastfeeding, which causes a drop in your supply, which causes even less interest in breastfeeding from him....and so on....

We do tend to suggest to mums if they have an enthusiastic solids feeder (which is fun, let's face it!) that it can help to offer more finger foods, rather than spoon feeding, so that they don't fill up as much. You might have been doing something like this already? There's some threads here on baby-led solids if you're interested.

It's not mean to reduce the amount of solids, your DS will actually get the bulk of his nutritional needs met from your breastmilk, as you mentioned.

Here's our article on breast refusal, you might find some other useful suggestions here

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-info/breast-refusal

Maybe you could also try offering the milk in a cup? Sippy cup or straw? Doesn't have to be a bottle :wink:

Good luck!
Esther
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Sileana
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Post by Sileana » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:15 pm

My 8 and a half month old is doing the same. He has been on solids for a while now and had 3-4 b/feeds p/day. I recently started back at work and gave him EBM in his sippa cups to take to daycare. He had no problem with these but he has slowly cut down and been less interested. I have tried formula too as I am afraid he is not getting what he requires from food and water and he isn't interested in that either. I am at a total loss as to what to do. I called the hotline a few times but was waiting a long while. I am afraid I will dry up and then he will decide to want to drink again. Is this normal? Is he weaning? This is surely too early?

X

amy guang
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Post by amy guang » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:48 pm

I am sorry to here that.
That is a article about Breast Refusal – When Your Baby Doesn’t Want The Breast here : http://www.bellybelly.com.au/baby/breast-refusal
Maybe it is useful for you.
Good luck!

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AbbeyCat
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Post by AbbeyCat » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:00 pm

Sileana wrote:My 8 and a half month old is doing the same. He has been on solids for a while now and had 3-4 b/feeds p/day. I recently started back at work and gave him EBM in his sippa cups to take to daycare. He had no problem with these but he has slowly cut down and been less interested. I have tried formula too as I am afraid he is not getting what he requires from food and water and he isn't interested in that either. I am at a total loss as to what to do. I called the hotline a few times but was waiting a long while. I am afraid I will dry up and then he will decide to want to drink again. Is this normal? Is he weaning? This is surely too early?

X
Sorry to hear you haven't been able to get through to a counsellor. :(

They also do eCounselling if you wanted to give that a go.
https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/services/counselling :smt024
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fellare
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Post by fellare » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:15 pm

hugs

I think I had a similar problem at around the same age. Only time he'd feed was at bed time, when I fed him to sleep! Just stick to it, offer as much as you can, don't replace it with the bottle, that will only make things worst and before you know he'll be back again.

I think around that age they are gaining this new awareness of the world and are just too busy. The good thing is, they won't let themselves starve, and are extremely efficient feeders, so still get heaps. If he feeds frequently overnight, you don't need to worry about supply. Plenty of babies go without a feed for 10 hours over night (sleeping through, I get so jealous of those babies LOL), and they and their mums do fine with their milk supply.
3 Min can be enough to chuck down 100mL, don't underestimate the power of their suction! I've seen mine drink that fast from a bottle and I express quite fast too, so I know he can do that.


trust your baby! he'll let you know when he's hungry and your breast milk will be there to satisfy him
Boobymonster weaned at 3.5yrs.
Ms Firestorm born august 2015
Whatever you perceive to believe, dream.... be free.... (eMDee)

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