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refusing the breast

My DS is almost 8 months old and has recently started refusing the breast.. either just biting the nipples (which gets him a stern "NO!" and makes him wait 5-10 min to try again) or he cries and struggles like I'm trying to kill him. He does this, I'd say about 25-50% of the time. Yet I offer him solid foods and he opens his mouth before I can even get the spoon out of the bowl or jar... After he eats his solids I offer him the breast again to wash everything down and until recently he would take it.. now he doesn't seem to want anything to do with it.

Any reason he might be doing this? Is it just a stage or is he trying to let me know he wants to be weaned (which I personally don't think he's ready!)

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Asked by alinker at 6:04 PM on Apr. 16, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 14 (1,666 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • My 7 month old dd has done the same thing. I pump and bottle feed during the day and nurse her at night.

    Answer by calliesmommie at 6:23 PM on Apr. 16, 2009

  • Does he get bottles too? It could be nipple preferance if he does. Stop the bottles and he'll take the breast again. It could also be too many solids. He should nurse before eating(if he is willing). Breastmilk should be his main food source until 12 months old. Babies don't naturally wean at this age. Just keep offering if none of that is the case. My son slowed down when things got interesting because nursing was just too boring but he picked back up again.

    Answer by Pauline3283 at 6:27 PM on Apr. 16, 2009

  • Could be a nursing strike. Dont stop nursing. Offer it often, cut back on solids and dont give bottles. Here's a link!

    Answer by kate_jocelyn at 6:45 PM on Apr. 16, 2009

  • He is ready for a sippy cup. You can pump and put it in the cup if you want...he is just growing up and waiting for you to get the message!! ;) (home-birthing, breast-feeding mom of 5)

    Answer by singnstitch at 6:58 PM on Apr. 16, 2009

  • Sounds like a nursing strike! One of the top causes of a nursing strike, "You reacted strongly when your baby bit you, and the baby was frightened. " Check out the info on nursing strikes at

    Lots of holding and skin to skin contact usually helps.  Taking baths together can help too.  Hang in there!


    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 7:31 PM on Apr. 16, 2009

  • I've never reacted strong enough to scare him. even when I tell him "NO!" in a stern voice, he smiles and coos at me.
    The sippy cup does make sence.. we've been letting him have sips of our water from regular cups and he's been "asking" when he sees a cup.
    I'll stop giving him solids for a day or so and see if that helps.. The only other thing I can think is either teething or ear ache.. he's been trying to rip off one of his ears but only when he nurses. He nurses fine at night which confuses me.

    Answer by alinker at 7:35 PM on Apr. 16, 2009

  • My DD is 9 months and has been doing the same thing for a month or two. I think she is just distracted by the world, and more interested in what else is going on.
    But I have persisted, and some feeds are really good, and some are very quick because she is so distracted. But she is still happy and gaining weight, so I've just just decided not to stress about it, keep offering the boob, and she takes whatever she takes.

    Answer by sandj29 at 6:58 AM on Apr. 17, 2009

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