Sudden self weaning from b/f?????

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

Sudden self weaning from b/f?????

Postby ladyPMD » 18 Nov 2013, 21:13

I have been breast feeding my 15 month old before naps and bedtime, just before bedtime on work days, and any other times she asked (which she had stopped doing during the day). 5 days ago she struggled to latch on for her bed time feed, bit me very hard then refused to latch on again. I had to put her in the cot crying (both of us...). Since then she has done the same every night, but not even trying to latch on. She just struggles, pushes me away and cries. It is really distressing for both of us.

She is also spitting out food after cramming it in her mouth like usual. Nothing to see wrong with her mouth. She even has most of her teeth already so I don't think it is teething. She is full of cold, but often is and has never before reacted like this.

I am not sure what more I can do to get her back on the breast. I had hoped she would keep on for longer, especially as she seemed to love it and often eats really poorly. I did not think self weaning happened so suddenly, but maybe I am wrong. I don't even know how long my milk supply will last for in the absence of feeding (I can't really express very well).

Does anyone have any experience of this? Is there anything I can do?
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Re: Sudden self weaning from b/f?????

Postby LittleBethlehem67 » 18 Nov 2013, 21:31

I don't have any direct experience but it might be a nursing strike as opposed to self weaning. Kelly Mom website and LLL have some good info on this. I think you have to keep offering and hopefully it will pass. Some people manage to get them to latch on by feeding them at night when they are drowsy. Not sure why she would be spitting food out unless her mouth is sore or perhaps it tastes funny with a cold?
Some nursing strikes can go on 10 days+ your milk supply will prob be ok at this point but any expressing you can do will help. Really hope it works out for you.
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Re: Sudden self weaning from b/f?????

Postby DandelionFrosting » 19 Nov 2013, 04:06

I could have written this! Saurus is only about a month older, and he just did nearly the exact same thing. His latch got funny and he got bitey, and then he started refusing it. Well, in our case he still requested milk, but when I got one out for him he just looked at it for a minute or so, said, "All done!" and covered it back up again. It's been over a month, and he hasn't gone back. Of course, I'm nine months pregnant, too, so that might have something to do with it and that wouldn't be applicable in your case. But I think there are babies who do wean themselves before 2 and are perfectly happy about it. If she needs it again, she'll find a way to get it. In the meantime, up the cuddles, and watch out for colds! The instant Saurus gave up BM, he immediately caught a sinus infection and has been dripping snot constantly ever since. :(

Also, in place of feeding him at bedtime, I've switched to holding him on my lap and singing a lullaby. He snuggles his head up under my chin and twiddles the hem of my shirt, and it's almost as snuggly and nice as feeding him to sleep -- better, even, if feeding to sleep means getting bitten!
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Re: Sudden self weaning from b/f?????

Postby Brigitte » 19 Nov 2013, 04:24

My eldest self-weaned very abruptly too at 13 months. She had been nursing anywhere from 4-8 times per day up until that point, so it was not a gradual thing at all! The same thing happened with the biting instead of latching. After two days of that nonsense I sensed that it was becoming more of a battle than necessary, so I pumped and offered her the choice of breastmilk in a sippy cup or direct from the source. I carried on pumping and offering for 5 weeks before I gave up. (I tried for that long because we were moving to a new apartment and also travelling, so I kept on trying until we'd been back in our regular home routine for a week or two in case the upheaval was what was bothering her.) My supply dropped dramatically after 2 weeks of pumping, and in those last three weeks I was only managing to get a total of 2-3 ounces per day.

Your story sounds different, however, in terms of the solid foods. My daughter has always had a pretty steady intake of solid foods since starting BLW, so thankfully I was never concerned for her overall nutrition during this time. She did lose some of her baby fat and turned into a lanky toddler when she stopped breastfeeding, and also started getting sick more often, as well as more diaper rashes/yeast infections. So, that was unfortunate. But she was always happy and energetic and ate lots, so I guess I couldn't ask for more.
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Re: Sudden self weaning from b/f?????

Postby Kitcameron » 19 Nov 2013, 07:51

Little G did the same thing at 10 months old. She was on 6 feeds in a 24 hour period and suddenly just started biting and pushing me away and wouldn't latch on at all. It was really distressing for us too. I tried lots of skin to skin, co sleeping during nap times, kept offering it to her etc etc etc, but after about a week of refusal I knew in my heart she had self weaned and it wasn't just a strike. She wouldn't even drink it from a sippy cup.

Luckily, she hasn't succumbed to constant colds etc from stopping breast feeding but I think she has a pretty good immune system tbh, must be all that fusing to sterilise anything and living in a pig sty lol. Her solid food intake also increased dramatically at the same point so I didn't have to worry about her going hungry.

Does your lo seem upset when eating or is she happy just spitting her food back out again?
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Re: Sudden self weaning from b/f?????

Postby ladyPMD » 19 Nov 2013, 21:33

Thanks for sharing your experiences and for all the helpful suggestions. Babies are so varied! I checked out the LLL/Kelly Mom and nursing strike seems like a possibility. I just hope she changes her mind before my milk totally dries up, although showing no signs of it yet.

She is not obviously distressed by her eating. She just feeds as normal then instead of swallowing opens her mouth so it drops out, or spits it out. Very odd, probably just a phase... just after we got through the throwing everything on the floor phase. Still full of cold.

We have always kept strictly to BLW and been relaxed about her poor intake up to 1 year due to her high B/F intake. The B/F had become less due to me returning to work, but the food is still very hit and miss. Great eating skills, just very picky. With the breast milk top up I was not worried. Not that I can do anything about it but I feel a bit more stressed now.
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Re: Sudden self weaning from b/f?????

Postby mamapup » 19 Nov 2013, 21:46

Nothing helpful on the bf.strike or end but my puppy is a picky eater. He's perfectly capable of managing all foods, he just doesn't want to eat.unless he's growing as far as I can tell. He has a good breakfast every day and then just picks at.lunch and supper if he's not at nursery. It can be hard with a kid who lives on air but.some really do seem to. I'm.sure your lo will pick.up again when she's growing again.
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Re: Sudden self weaning from b/f?????

Postby Kitcameron » 20 Nov 2013, 07:54

I'd say if she's not distressed then just let her get on with it. I know it's very easy for me to say as I'm not the Mum and I'd probably be worrying too if she were my lo but it sounds like you're doing everything right.

As far as milk drying up goes I think you'll be ok if it's just a strike. It took quite a while for mine to decrease. I can still squeeze some out 4 months later but don't think I could feed her now really. It might decrease a bit but I'm sure it'd increase again once demand picked up.
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Re: Sudden self weaning from b/f?????

Postby StJuniper » 20 Nov 2013, 13:38

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