- Mommy Smiley
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Caitlin on a nursing strike
Once you get the hang of nursing, it will be difficult to stop. Not only are you physically attached to breastfeeding your child, but you are emotionally connected as well. So once the baby starts to self-wean, mommy should take steps to prepare, too.
But how can you tell when the baby is self-weaning?
I asked myself that when my seven-month old daughter refused to nurse from me for almost seven hours. It was excruciating to see her refuse me and cry several times. It was painful on my breasts, too, so I needed to pump twice to relieve myself from engorgement. She’s teething again and I figured it may be stressing her, but she never had this problem when her two bottom teeth came out two months ago.
It was a good thing that I have a trusty helper around to take turns with me in taking care of Caitlin as I took some time to research online or call friends on what could probably be distressing my little one. This has taken me completely off guard.
My helper was even the one who suggested that I offer my breast milk in a bottle which I made her do. (I don’t give Caitlin milk in a bottle. When she was a week old and mixed feeding, I had Jay do it. I only want Caitlin to associate me with direct breastfeeding). She still refused the milk so I thought that she may not be hungry. But that was already five hours from the time when she last nursed and three hours since she had a few teaspoons of solid food. She usually feeds every three hours unless it’s night time which could be longer than that. Besides, she has been crying every now and then so I know she is hungry.
More than an hour later, I relented and offered the bottled breast milk when she continued to refuse me and she took it. I tried offering my breasts again and she finally nursed and fell asleep soon after.
When she woke up two hours later, she nursed again and her strike has ceased. A nursing strike, according to a useful online resource KellyMom:Breastfeeding and Parenting, happens when the baby quits breastfeeding all of a sudden. On the other hand, “child-led weaning occurs when a child no longer has the need to nurse – nutritionally or emotionally.” This article also mentions that it is unusual for babies to self-wean under a year old.
It is important to note that babies who self-wean cut down on nursing gradually. So as there was a careful process in starting to breastfeed your child, there should also be a slow course when it ends.
Looking back, I realized that I scolded Caitlin earlier in the day when she bit me again. I looked her in the eye and told her not to bite as I have been doing consistently in the past. I wonder whether she took it badly and rejected me as a result.
Whatever the cause may be, I hope the nursing strike won’t happen again. Oh, and I pray she will stop biting me totally as well.
- Mommy Smiley
- Mommy Smiley