Jump to content

How do I stop him self-weaning? Tips appreciated.

  • Please log in to reply
62 replies to this topic

#26 Titania

Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:19 PM

Thanks Kristie. Yes, it does give me a little hope thanks. It was never this difficult with DS1 (different set of challenges there).

Yes, there is a tooth that will probably cut in a few days.

What did you do about supply during these times? My supply just drops so much, and expressing doesn't seem to help much (hence the maxalon and cookies).

Also, how did she start sleeping again after the dreamfeed episode?

It's been five nights in a row since I tried the dream feed that he keeps waking at the same time and won't settle (I could kick myself). It's become such a habit.  mad.gif  Twice we've given in and given a bottle (after a BF and he's only had a bout 20-40mls of bottle), once some water, twice rocking, and we tried controlled crying for one of these times too (gave up after more than an hour - too tired to take it.  blush.gif  ). I just don't know how to break this habit, and it's very, very frustrating when he often used to sleep through.

#27 kristabelle01

Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:15 PM

Well, DD has actually just come out of two weeks of fussiness/refusal while getting her third molar. My supply definatly dropped a lot, and last night I could tell she was a bit disappointed at her bedtime feed. Today she has had 4 feeds already, and will probably have had six by the time she goes to bed tonight. And when I say feed, I mean she empties both sides. Shes so grumpy! So I've kept offering and she is taking it. I guess shes trying to get her supply back. She has done the same thing for the three molars, all of which shes gotten since about 9mo.

Hopefully, when this tooth comes through and your DS starts nursing properly again(thinking postive here!) the best way to get your supply back is to feed him more.

DD still has a feed at around 4am, and it is always a really good feed. I believe that my supply would have dwindled a lot without this feed, so I have just accepted it because I dont want her to wean.

When she started waking at 10pm after the dreamfeed attempt,  I would just pick her up, give a quick cuddle and tell her its time for sleep,and put her back down. She would cry but it was shortlived. I have never had any luck resettling by staying in the room, she is actually better if I leave (assuming shes not hungry).

From memory I think she stopped waking after about 4-5 nights.

I know you're worried about bad habits developing, but in my experience, once the stressful period has finished eg the tooth cuts, DD has always returned to her old(good) habits. I have learnt to just go with it, or face the fact that she may wean earlier than I want.

But when she was your DS age I had exactly the same worries as you are having now. I really hope something gives in the next few days for you guys hands.gif

Kristie x

#28 Titania

Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:16 PM

Thanks. That all helps. original.gif

#29 beaglebabe

Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:24 PM

Hi Titania,

Sorry to hear that you are still having problems  sad.gif   And sorry that your DS's sleeping has gone down hill too - you certainly don't need added troubles at the moment!

I don't have much advice sorry.  We had big sleeping issues with DS at that age, and I didn't find any magic solutions - just riding it out and thankfully it improved with time. Very strange that he wakes at a similar time though, especially if he's not really hungry.

On the issue of supply - I agree with Kristabelle.  If expressing doesn't work for you, then increasing feeds once he is over the teething is probably the best method.  Maxalon and cookies sound good too.

I really hope things improve for you - teething, breas refusal and sleep issues are not a nice combo at all.


#30 kristabelle01

Posted 21 August 2008 - 10:27 PM

Titania, how are things going?

#31 Titania

Posted 22 August 2008 - 08:27 AM

Thanks for checking in Kristabelle, aren't you lovely!

Much better thanks. It was definitely the tooth, and not feeling well, and may have been partly AF also. He's doing very well again, and my supply has built up a bit. That being said, he's now sick again (adenovirus, vomiting, wheezing, coughing etc), off to doc's this morn... So don't know how long things will stay positive. We've had soooooo much illness here. I'm hanging in there (doesn't help when I've got gastro from this virus too).

#32 kristabelle01

Posted 22 August 2008 - 09:54 AM

Oh, YAY! biggrin.gif  Well, the feeding bit, not the sick bit, poor little fella sad.gif   We've had a shocking winter for illness here too, I've had enough, roll on Summer I say cool.gif

Well it sounds like you may just achieve your goal after all so well done for sticking it out! I hope you're all feeling better soon, sounds really yukky poor things original.gif

Kristie x

#33 Titania

Posted 08 September 2008 - 08:28 AM

Well Kristie - seems like we have developed this same pattern every tooth as well. He has his first canine coming, and has been terrible for a week or so, but has gotten worse in the last couple of days. Total refusal, and every time I offer him the breast he bites me. It's gotten to the point where I am scared to put him to the boob, and am now thinking about weaning. I really don't want to though.  cry1.gif
My supply dwindles to nearly nothing during these periods, and I just don't know how much more I can do.

#34 Prizzy

Posted 08 September 2008 - 09:35 AM

You're going through a rough patch you poor thing. You've come so far though that it would be awful to have to wean.
If you're keen to continue bf, you certainly can.
I read through your previous posts and I think that one dreamfeed couldn't have created that waking habit so don't worry about it. Your baby is awake and crying because of the teething, not anything you did so please don't stress about that. Sleep will return once those awful teeth are thru.
Here is some info from celebreast.com.au for you re the biting:

There are a few reasons why babies bite – teething, boredom, impatience, a perceived lack of attention or for older babies and toddlers, to see what sort of reaction they get.  It is important not to scream or yell if your baby does bite – you may frighten him and find he refuses the breast altogether in fear.

Babies can’t bite when they’re breastfeeding because their tongue is over their teeth. This can help you to anticipate bites and detach your baby gently by inserting your little finger into the side of his mouth, breaking the seal on your breast and gently remove him.
A baby who is impatient for the milk to let down may bite. If you think this is the case, it can help if you
express a little before attaching the baby will help.

Teething babies often bite on anything and everything for relief. Allowing your baby to have chew a cool teething ring before a breastfeed, or applying some teething gel or even offering a teething remedy (approved by your health care provider of course) before your begin your breastfeed may save you from being bitten.

Some babies will bite at the end of a feed when they have had sufficient and are just playing.  They have no idea it hurts.  Look for that lovely rhythmic suck and swallow action to ascertain if he’s still actively feeding and if not, you might be safer to detach him until this stage passes.

When your baby does bite you, stop feeding by gently detaching him from the breast and tell him firmly “no”.  He will learn pretty quickly that its not a great idea to bite the breast that feeds him.

If you are bitten and your breast or nipple is sore or damaged, smear some hindmilk on at the end of the feed, allow your breast to dry naturally and make sure you change your breastpads regularly to avoid infection. There are also some breastfeeding safe creams available from your chemist that can help or you can make up a mix of 1 tsp bicarb soda to 1 cup of warm water and bathe your sore breast with this solution.

Some ideas to try to help you with the breast refusal:

1.   Try and relax, first and foremost
If you’re trying to initiate a breastfeed, your stress and tension will be felt by the baby. Also your feeling stressed will interfere with your letdown reflex making it more challenging for the baby to receive an immediate reward for attaching. If you are both getting upset, stop trying to feed and have a break. Play a game, go for a walk, sing or read. Once you’re both calm you can try again.

2.   Go back to basics
Make sure that your baby is attached well, you’re both comfortable and in a peaceful space and your baby isn’t already stressed and crying. Now probably isn’t the time to bother with timing feeds and feeding to a strict routine if you normally do. Allowing your baby lots of skin to skin contact, even without attempting to offer the breast, can sometimes be of help too.

3.   Breastfeed in motion
Walking and feeding simultaneously can help, either carrying your baby in your arms or using a sling, all the while maintaining skin contact. A rocking chair is also an idea or a high-backed swing or hammock if you have one in the yard.

4.   Different hold
You can try using a different feeding position: lying down together, using a football hold or having baby curled up under your arm (feet towards your back), feed in a nice bath lying or sitting together.

5.   Dream-feeds
Sometimes babies who are half-asleep already will accept a breastfeed, so you can try anticipating when your baby may be waking and offering a breastfeed just before she’d awaken naturally, or paying a few night visits and in the quiet and dark, just taking your baby out of bed and having a breastfeed without actually waking them.

6.   Other thoughts
Other suggestions that have worked for Mums have been: play relaxing music while feeding; wearing an interesting set of beads around your neck can help entertain a distractible baby; sing to your baby while you feed; massaging your baby; allowing a baby to suck on a dummy for a few minutes before swapping to the breast; hand-expressing  right before attaching your baby to ensure that the baby instantly receives breastmilk when she attaches.

If you are struggling with the breastfeeds, to maintain supply I would be expressing pretty regularly. You could freeze the milk and offer it as iceblocks which will help both with the teething and can be medicinal while baby is sick.

Sick or teething babies are often difficult to feed, either by bottle or breast. Just get the feeds in that you can, rest as much as possible together, get lots of skin to skin contact and express very regularly to maintain your supply.
Let us know how you get on.

#35 Titania

Posted 08 September 2008 - 01:41 PM

Thanks Celebreast for taking the time to reply - appreciated.

I read through your previous posts and I think that one dreamfeed couldn't have created that waking habit so don't worry about it.

TBH, I'm not so sure - he does seem one for habits. At any rate, he's not doing that anymore - we're through that lot. Now he's back to either not going down at all (for about two hours), or waking soon after going to sleep (30 mins or so) and then taking an hour or so to settle. And also is up in the night once or twice (hasn't done this with teething before) - it's particularly bad this time.

I've tried pretty much all the suggestions. He just plain refuses, and if I force the issue he bites. Or, he'll start to suck, for literally about 0.5 second and then bites.

I am expressing (which I hate with a passion), but 15mls is a good outcome. I used to be able to express loads (at two months or so), but later in breastfeeding, I just don't get any out - even when I know there is a decent supply (which there's obviously not at the moment).

I'm feeling pretty defeated, it's such a struggle. sad.gif But on I shall struggle I guess.

#36 Prizzy

Posted 08 September 2008 - 02:35 PM

Darling, its all perfectly normal. Horrendous to live with I know. But perfectly normal for a teething baby.
This too shall pass - and I know how useless those words are right now and how badly they suck. But I promise it will. Lots of others will come in after me and say the same thing.
So, now to helping you two get through this together. original.gif
He's probably uncomfortable with his teeth - have you tried Brauer's teething remedy? It worked really well for us. Other people use Bonjela with success, or panadol/nurofen if you think that's suitable.
If he can get some pain relief he won't be waking so much.
Plus of course, he's probably hungry or thirsty or just wants a cuddle which is all fine. He's only a baby after all. Would you consider co-sleeping for this period? Just till he gets over this stage of teething? At least then no one has to get up in the night in the cold, he can feed when he wants, you can sleep while he does feed, and everyone will probably get more sleep after a night or two.
When he does bite, take him off and tell him "No" in a clear voice. Leave it for a few minutes, do something else then return and reattach.
I'd imagine you're quite stressed when you do put him to the breast - try and get your let down reflex started before you attach him - by hand expressing, relaxing and maybe looking at him, or a photo and getting your milk flowing  nicely so he gets that instantaneous reward.
Truly, once those teeth are through you'll be steaming along again. Just do what you need to to get through this patch. Habits can be replaced with newer better ones later. Right now you both need rest and he needs your breast.
You're doing just fine. We're all here supporting you.

#37 kristabelle01

Posted 08 September 2008 - 04:00 PM

Hi Titania original.gif

I think I understand why I have identified with you over this issue. We both have an extra reason why we dont want our babies to wean. Your DS having lung issues, and DD is allergic to cows milk. Not really in the same ball park, but still,along with all the benefits that come with breastfeeding, these reasons have upped the stakes somewhat for us and our babies. They will more than likely be just fine if they do wean, but I know I have an underlying fear of 'failing' my baby.

I guess what I am getting at is, I understand why this thing is getting to you. It gets to me too and I wonder if all babies go through this or is it just mine! The truth is, most babies probably do, but we have placed added importance on breastfeeding, and when our babies dont want to feed, we panic!! laughing2.gif

I know you've pretty much tried it all, so all I can suggest is just ride it out as best you can, and he will come back to the breast again. Every time DD has done this she has always come back, and then feeds like crazy to get her milk back rolleyes.gif

Just so you dont feel so special, DD bit me so hard the other day I looked down fully expecting to see blood streaming from my nipple(there wasn't)but boy did I scream blush.gif I'm just be a sucker for punishment I guess... laughing2.gif

Lovin' ya work grin.gif,

Kristie x

#38 Titania

Posted 08 September 2008 - 06:30 PM

Thanks Celebreast and Kristie.

have you tried Brauer's teething remedy?

Yep, has worked for neither boy. Nothing has really worked for them, though the Bonjela helps in the night a bit, and he has panadol. I'm not really bothered about the night wakings - after DS1, who was ill, it's a walk in the park. original.gif
No way will he co-sleep. I'd be happy for him to - but again, neither boy will/did. Independent little souls - well they love their own beds at any rate!

When he does bite, take him off and tell him "No" in a clear voice. Leave it for a few minutes, do something else then return and reattach.

Yar, done that form the start. Makes not an iota of difference - mostly cos he's obviously not interested in nursing, I think. Truly - all the suggestions from all the sites ABA, Kelly Mom etc - just don't make a difference at the mo.
Thank you very much for your support though!! original.gif I think that's what helps.

Yeah Kristie, I can see you totally get where I'm coming from.

They will more than likely be just fine if they do wean, but I know I have an underlying fear of 'failing' my baby.

Prezackerly - spot on. If it wasn't for the fact he is asthmatic, and has been so ill, I would actually wean now, and get over it. But I want to give him at least as good a start as his brother who weaned at 14mths (and is also asthamtic, only recently obviously though), but did not have as rough a start to life as DS2, if not better.

DS1 never did this though. Nipped a couple of times and that was it. He did self wean - lose interest. At 14 months, and my supply was dwindling, so I was happy enough with that.

I'll try and go with your suggestion and just 'ride it out' lol. I think the choice is that, or weaning. But there's another 13 teeth to go after this one!!! If that's two weeks per tooth and they all come separately - that's 26 weeks = 6 months!!  blink.gif  blink.gif  cry1.gif  cry1.gif  lol

OUCH! That bite sounds awful! I'm wondering if anyone's baby has actually ever bitten off their nipple?  sick.gif  ohmy.gif  I probably don't want the answer to that (especially if it's in the affirmative).  laughing2.gif

Thanks again, I feel your empathy.  wub.gif

#39 kristabelle01

Posted 08 September 2008 - 10:58 PM

But there's another 13 teeth to go after this one!!! If that's two weeks per tooth and they all come separately - that's 26 weeks = 6 months!!


#40 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 09 September 2008 - 09:44 AM

Hi Titania, I don't have much to add (all the others have given you some wonderful advice), just wanted to share my supoort.  I apologise if I'm repeating what others have said - I read this thread last night, so have forgotten a lot of it already. blush.gif

My DS1 went through this at a similar age (although I don't think his nursing strikes were related to teeth - he started refusing the breast around 7 months), but I managed it the wrong way and it became the end of our breastfeeding relationship, and I still feel sad today that it ended on such a negative.

My biggest tip would be NOT to offer bottles/sippy cups of formula or even EBM.  I can't remember if anyone's suggested it, but have you tried feeding him overnight while he's sleeping?  I know it's a big ask, but if you could dreamfeed him every few hours throughout the night, it will keep his hydration levels up and ensure he's still getting some breastmilk.

Also, have you tried feeding while walking around?  I used to find DS1 would often feed better while I was walking around/dancing slowly to some relaxing music etc.  I also used to find putting him in a sling when he was due for a sleep and walking around for a few hours (good time to go window shopping!) so he could have a good sleep but be close to my breast used to help - it's like smelling the milk for a few hours while asleep whet his appetite and he'd be more likely to feed when he woke up.

Try and cuddle him a lot, and hold him in the feeding positions you use without offerring the breast.  I found DS1 got so stressed out by the idea of it coming that I couldn't even hold him in the nursing position as he associated it with the breast, which he associated with a fight (he also started refusing the bottle at this stage and went on to drinking formula out of a sippy cup, in his high chair only).  Don't force him to feed when you offer the breast (I made this mistake too many times) - just offer it and if he refuses, put it away with no fuss.  You don't want to create the same breast=fight association as I did, because that's damn near impossible to reverse.

I also used to wear chunky necklaces for him to play with, sing silly songs and pull silly faces to distract him while he was feeding.  Every second he was attached was a bonus (even if he was laughing at me with a nipple in his mouth rather than feeding).

I hope things are getting easier for you - I know how horrible and heartbreaking breast refusal can be.  I felt horribly rejected and useless - I wish I'd understood more about breast refusal and nursing strikes then.  Good luck - and remember that no matter what happens, you've done a fantastic job getting this far! original.gif

#41 Velociraptor

Posted 09 September 2008 - 10:13 AM

I haven't read all the replies, Titania, sorry - but have you tried working milk into his solids? If you can't get him breastfeeding again, would you consider expressing into a cup, or mixing breastmilk in mashes and cereals? This would give him the immunological benefits. You could also consider offering the breast before solids for some meals.

I went through a similar breast refusal stage with DS at around 7 months. Keep trying.

#42 Titania

Posted 09 September 2008 - 12:31 PM

Try and cuddle him a lot, and hold him in the feeding positions you use without offerring the breast. I found DS1 got so stressed out by the idea of it coming that I couldn't even hold him in the nursing position as he associated it with the breast, which he associated with a fight (he also started refusing the bottle at this stage and went on to drinking formula out of a sippy cup, in his high chair only). Don't force him to feed when you offer the breast (I made this mistake too many times) - just offer it and if he refuses, put it away with no fuss. You don't want to create the same breast=fight association as I did, because that's damn near impossible to reverse.

This is some great advice thanks Karla. I have been struggling too much with him, and I know you're right about putting it away.

I haven't tried the feeding with walking around - I'll give it a shot, but he's pretty heavy, and long!

My biggest tip would be NOT to offer bottles/sippy cups of formula or even EBM.

I know, this is so hard as sometimes it's been the only way to settle him - although I've never done that very often/consistently.

The night feeding didn't work for us. Impossible not to wake him up and then he just screamed for a long time and was very difficult to settle. Won't be doing that again.

Jcroc - thanks, that would be a great idea! If I could actually get anything out when I express. But I will remember that - even 10mls helps right?

He did eventually have a good feed this morning - no tooth has cut through though, so not sure what happening.  wacko.gif

Thanks all for the wonderful support and encouragement. Nice to talk to people who 'get it'. I'm a bit sick of hearing 'why don't you just wean?' IRL.  rolleyes.gif

#43 beaglebabe

Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:08 PM

Hi Titania,

No new suggestions, but just wanted to pop back in to say I was sorry to see you are still having breast refusal problems.

If it gives you any hope, my DS got one tooth at a time for the first 6-8 teeth and then the rest seemed to come in a few at a time, so it was really only another two weeks for the last 8 teeth.  So perhaps it won't quite be six months of teething troubles!

Keep up the fabulous work!  You've done an amazing job, and you should be proud of your efforts.  It's good to see you have some support in here - especially if people IRL just don't get it.

Karla - what a gorgeous sig  original.gif  You should be proud too.


#44 Titania

Posted 10 September 2008 - 01:42 PM

Thanks Michelle.  wub.gif

And yes Karla - you should be proud of yourself - what a great job expressing so long for twins especially!  wub.gif
I hate expressing with a passion (done a lot of it - both babies) and am looking forward to the day I chuck out my pump!  laughing2.gif

Sadly I have loads (probably litres) of BM in the freezer that I need to chuck out as it's over 6mths old now - second lot I've had to chuck.

#45 Titania

Posted 12 September 2008 - 06:40 PM

Sadly, I really think it's the end of the line for us.

He's gotten worse and worse. He had a feed this morn, but refused the rest of the day and has just bitten me every time I offer. I'm starting to worry about his milk intake. I guess I'll give it a couple more days, and then what else can I do but put him on a bottle. Feeling very  cry1.gif  cry1.gif

#46 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 12 September 2008 - 07:52 PM

Oh Titania, I'm sorry.  sad.gif  I know exactly how you feel.  Once I accepted that it was over for us, I set a day (only 2 or 3 days ahead) that would be the last feed I would offer - DS1 was the same, and would only feed in the mornings.  That helped me prepare for it to be the last feed and treasure it - I still hoped he'd ask for another after that, but he never did.

Remember that you've given him a wonderful start by breastfeeding him for so long, and by perservering for so long throughout these battles.  Try to be gentle with yourself and don't beat yourself up or feel guilty or anything.  Just feel proud that you breastfed for so long and tried so hard to keep going.  You're a star!

#47 Titania

Posted 12 September 2008 - 08:05 PM

Thanks Karla, for your kind words. I'm so sad. It doesn't help that this is my last baby. I can't stop  cry1.gif  I wish he knew what was best for him.  blush.gif

#48 beaglebabe

Posted 12 September 2008 - 09:06 PM

Hi Titania,

I'm sorry too  sad.gif

And while I haven't been where you are now, I can understand the feelings of sadness.  While it's completely legitimate to feel this way, try and remember to feel proud of yourself too - for giving him breastmilk for so long, and for the amazing effort you have put into trying to turn this situation around.

Be kind to yourself,


#49 mpbigtime

Posted 12 September 2008 - 09:10 PM

Hi Titania

So sorry to read of your troubles.  Refusal has only ever happened to us for short periods but it is always very upsetting.

Not sure if this is appropriate in your situation, but if he feeds OK for his morning feed would you consider keeping the morning BF and going to bottle for the other feeds? I know supply may be an issue for you, but our bodies are amazing things and you may find it adjusts. Some breastmilk (even just one feed a day) is still valuable.

My DS, (almost 14 months) has been having one BF a day (after breakfast) for the last six weeks or so. He has a bottle of formula after lunch and before bed.  Sure my supply isn't what it used to be, but amazingly there is still something there for him in the mornings.  

Whatever happens, well done for getting this far. Be kind to yourself. Try to remember all the great things about feeding him and not the stresses of this moment in time.


#50 kristabelle01

Posted 12 September 2008 - 09:18 PM

Whatever happens Titania, remember that you grew him on your milk for almost a whole year - that is an achievement, not a failure. original.gif

I can only imagine how you are feeling right now, its an emotional thing this weaning business, and not everyone understands how a woman feels when her baby weans, why she is so upset. We are all here to support you, cry away hhugs.gif

Kristie x

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Top 5 Viewed Articles

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.