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Is my son on a "nursing strike"?

My son is almost 8 months old and has been consistently and happily nursing 4-5 times a day as of late, as well as eating three very good meals a day. All of a sudden he is practically refusing to nurse- not to mention using me as a chew toy! I've verbally admonished him and used Oral Gel on him prior to nursing, but now I'm going on two days of a nursing strike. I'm still pumping, hoping he'll change his mind. Any advice?


Asked by vixenmama at 6:36 PM on May. 3, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (7)
  • It is a nursing strike. It may be due to the teething, and may also be in part due to being admonished for biting at the breast (this is really common, it happens with lots of moms/babies) Check out this collection of articles on Nursing Strikes

    The best thing is lots of holding, skin to skin if possible, take a bath together, he may take the breast while half asleep.  Keep pumping and hang in there!


    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 7:27 PM on May. 3, 2009

  • If he is teething it may hurt for him to nurse, thus the biting...continue to pump and freeze so you don't dry out...If he is still refusing in a couple more days either call his physician or a local WIC office...btw is he taking formula as a subsitute or drinking the milk you pump? If he is doing neither be careful that he doesn't dehydrate....also infants under one should have more than an ounce of water of day because they can actually die from water intoxication

    Answer by justcallmebean at 6:46 PM on May. 3, 2009

  • id talk to my dr about it and continue pumping..maybe hes done nursing or maybe its a phase

    Answer by hug4akiss at 6:56 PM on May. 3, 2009

  • My son did that at that age. He got over it after a couple of days.

    Answer by MAUREEN55 at 6:57 PM on May. 3, 2009

  • YEP nursing strike and giving him bottles or more solids will reinforce it...

    Cut out solids and give BM in a syringe until he will bottles or sippies will reinforce how much easier they are and he will continue to refuse to nruse

    Forget makes the gums tough, ask a dentist, use the hyland teething tablets or raw onions rubbed on the gums...both numb and help the gums thin so the tooth can come through

    Answer by tabi_cat1023 at 8:41 PM on May. 3, 2009

  • Sounds like a nursing strike! Stop giving all solids, bottles, and binkys until breastfeeding is back to normal. He WILL nurse eventually, and wont starve himself. Dont give up!! :)

    Answer by kate_jocelyn at 12:50 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • He woke up this morning at 3:30 am and I thought I'd try again... after a few little bites (which I tried to ignore) he nursed again, and the same thing this morning. I am so relieved, I was so upset last night you'd think that someone had died. I just wasn't ready for my baby to not be a baby any more!

    Answer by vixenmama at 10:15 AM on May. 4, 2009