9 month old starting to refuse nursing...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
9 month old starting to refuse nursing...
Fri, 01-27-2012 - 7:22pm

I am new to this site and I have no idea how to post a discussion,however, I am having troubles with my breast fed son who is nearly 9 months old. He have NEVER been a good nurser. He has also always been a quick nurser, but I also had troubles with him pulling away after a few minutes and screaming until I finally just let him be done nursing( even though I didnt think he got enough) Now his new thing is not nursing at all. Sometimes he does this in the evening, before bed, sometimes after nap etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Sat, 01-28-2012 - 4:34am

I am not familiar with what you refer to as the Easy schedule.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Sun, 01-29-2012 - 12:32pm

There is some very significant developmental work that goes on around this time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2006
Mon, 01-30-2012 - 4:52pm
I know the book makes the schedule seem ideal, but the reality is that many 9 month olds still need to nurse more than every 4 hours and can't eat 3 meals a day without it affecting your milk supply. I would try to emphasize nursing over solids for a while. Maybe drop to two meals and try to nurse first. My DD was supremely distractible at that age and I had to nurse in a dark room a lot.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Fri, 02-10-2012 - 2:36pm
Based on the amount of solid foods and the EASY schedule, it would seem you've been working toward an earlier than later weaning (at least that's usually the consequence of this kind of schedule with the addition of so many solids at a very early age). For those who don't know EASY is essentially: eat, activity, sleep ... essentially Babywise repackaged.

It seems your baby is growing well, which is good, as many babies on this schedule will fail to thrive early on due to the milk restriction (also why solids are often added such high quantities). Since your baby is doing so well developmentally, I wouldn't worry too much. If you want to encourage more nursing, you may in fact find you want to change your schedule a bit to offer nursing at times that he might be more sleepy. Or you might try waking him a bit earlier than he would naturally so that he is still restful and will nurse upon waking.

As pp said, babies are very frequently distractible now ... and often begin waking at night even if they previously STTN due to developmental brain activity and also due to reduced milk intake during the day thanks to their busy little bodies!

At 9 months, I'm not sure how he'd respond to a change in schedule or if you'd even be interested in moving to a more on-demand nursing format, but you could try just offering to nurse at random times to see if you could get him to take additional milk (if nursing him right before his normal wake up time isn't effective, which seems to me it might be the easiest option). You might also consider a nursing vacation. Due to the amount of solids he's been getting your milk alone likely wouldn't satisfy him for a whole day, but try to hang out and nurse as much as possible offering some nutrient dense snacks ... over a weekend but maybe passing on 3 big meals / day.

Obviously you can continue to pump and offer the milk via cup in order to maintain supply and get milk to him if he otherwise refuses so that he can get the recommended breastmilk / formula up until the 1st birthday.

Oh and always always offer to nurse BEFORE feeding solid foods ... this can encourage baby to take more of the preferred milk instead of allowing him to fill up more on solids.

If nothing works, you may have to accept an early weaning (but again you can still pump since you do have milk supply at this time). 1-2 oz / pump session is perfectly reasonable. And if you pump more often over the course of a week or two, you'll likely see an increase in milk volume (which could peak babies interest in nursing a bit more). I don't know that you need fenugreek / blessed thistle, but they have been shown to help increase milk supply when combined with adequate pumping / nursing. The removal of milk from the breast IS the important part ... but the herbs seem to help your body respond a bit better to the increased stimulus.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2011
Sat, 02-11-2012 - 11:54am
I have a ten month old and I can only get 0.5 oz both breasts combined when pumping. When she nurses though she gets a lot more since she swallows continuously after letdown and has a ton of wet diapers. She has very little solids by volume. She self feeds once or twice a day for practice and has a few sips of water. Her nursing sessions are about 5 minutes long during the day and she is really adamant about getting back to playing ASAP. She will nurse longer before bedtime and overnight though.

I just wanted to post to let you know that short sessions are not unusual and that pump output doesn't tell you how much baby is getting.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Tue, 02-14-2012 - 3:20am

The EASY schedule she refers to comes from the very controversial book "The Baby Whisperer".


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Tue, 02-14-2012 - 4:40am

Yes, I ended up looking up more about it on the internet. It seemed to have ideas that were not what I followed. I also thought that often an older baby will nurse best when they are tired and ready for sleep, and the EASY schedule seemed to be against that, as well as for introduction of a fairly large amount of solids.