Almost 8 Months Refuses to Nurse

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2003
Almost 8 Months Refuses to Nurse
Sat, 08-01-2009 - 1:02pm

I need help!

My son was tongue-tied up until he was 4.5 months old when we figured it out and got it corrected by his pediatrician. Until then he would nurse some with a nipple shield (75% of the time) and we supplemented with BM in a bottle. Every since his tongue was fixed, he adamently refuses to nurse with or without shield. He kicks, smacks, pushes me away and screams. One time, I got him to calm down enough to nurse and he did it without a shield. I don't even know what I did to get him to calm. Right now, I am exclusively pumping, but I would love for him to nurse. I know that part or all of his problem is nipple confusion. What can I do to try to get him to nurse again? I have been trying about 1-2 times a week and we spend some time with me half naked. So far, he just likes to squeeze, pinch, and one time he bit me with his brand new teeth, but no nursing. I have tried nursing him in a cradle hold position and with him just sitting up in my lap facing me. He has never had formula and I have always had a very good supply. Someone please tell me that there is hope that he will nurse again ;)
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!




iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2006
Thu, 08-06-2009 - 11:21am
Hi are things going?


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Sun, 08-02-2009 - 5:31pm

Hi Tara,

Getting a baby back to breast is half hard work and half dumb luck. My DD didn't nurse until 4 months, and then it was shaky. But by around 6 months she was somewhat consistent, by 8 months she preferred it and by 10 months she smacked the bottle out of my hand and never looked back. She stopped nursing at age 3.5. My advice is this - if you quit you lose all chances of it working.

What helped us was to start with the "sleepy sessions". Trying to latch a wide awake (and/or hungry/angry) baby who doesn't normally nurse doesn't usually work well. I used paced bottle feeding. Feed her in a "nursing position" (leaned back, bottle against my chest as close to my nipple as I could get it so that she had to lean back AND turn her head into my chest to eat). I did this against a bare breast when feasible - as she did the "breast freak out" if she felt bare skin or if she was leaned back. it was a slow process, but eventually she got used to the position - then when she got sleepy I'd do the "switcheroo" on her and that is what SLOWLY worked. It was a back and forth process with success one day and none the next, etc.

Here is a a link on how to do paced feeding. he'll be mad as heck at first - but it REALLY does work. my LC told me to do it this way.

The other thing that helped me was to realize that I wasn't a failure if it didn't work. I EP'd for my first and then we had problems again with the 2nd with weight gain and she refused to nurse AT ALL until she was 4 months old. It is easy to want to quit and to blame yourself. letting go of the guilt, blame, and worry makes it better. It IS what it IS. If he goes back to breast then great - if not, you know you tried your hardest and should feel good about it.

Hang in there!


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