Is your little one refusing to breastfeed? Are they refusing to latch on and feed as they used to before? There could be different reasons why your baby isn’t as enthusiastic about breastfeeding as they used to be. As a mother, it might be a really emotional and challenging time for you to bear as every mother wants her baby to feed for the required time and have a healthy body.
Your baby refusing to breastfeed during the day could be caused by one of several reasons, like some pain or discomfort, some illness that could be troubling your little one, stress or distraction, and many other possibilities that we’ll discuss in the below sections. As long as your baby continues to have five or more wet diapers each day, gain an average of 2-4oz per week, and the baby seems satisfied and content after breastfeeding sessions. Then your little one is most likely getting enough nutrition from breastfeeding.
If they are fulfilling the above requirements, you don’t need to worry about their nutrition. But if they are refusing your breast and running away from it or crying just when you are about to feed, there might be other reasons involved which you can remedy yourself at home. To learn more about it, keep reading.
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Why Does my Baby Refuse to Breastfeed During the Day?
As I mentioned above, there might be different reasons why your little one refuses to breastfeed when it was a piece of cake for them to feed before. Some of the possible reasons could be:
It is the primary reason why your baby might be refusing to breastfeed. When a baby starts teething, their gums are so irritated and get swollen too that they cannot feed at all.
The whole process of feeding becomes unbearable to them, and they start refusing to breastfeed.
There could be other discomforts like ear infection, thrush, or cold sore. With an ear infection, it becomes difficult to lie on one side and feed. The correct position needs to be taken care of by you as a mom. If your baby also got just vaccinated, it might be causing pain to them. Even if they got slightly injured while playing, that could also be affecting their proper feeding.
Any kind of illness also directly and primarily affects your child’s feeding. Like any other adult, when sick, your baby could be noticed by a change n behavior, with irritation and crying and improper feeding.
Scents and Smells
If you have recently changed something in your day-to-day use like your soap, shampoo, hair oil, perfume, powder, etc., it could be another reason. To you, it might not seem like such a significant change, but to your baby, it is.
Babies are very sensitive to smells and scents. If they notice something unusual about your smell, they will cry or get irritated and refuse to feed on you.
Change in diet
Similarly, if you have changed something in your diet with your food, it could be another reason why your little one is refusing to breastfeed.
As you know, whatever mom consumes directly affects her breastmilk, too, be it some new medication you start taking, or some significant change in what you eat or drink could also be one of the reasons.
Distraction and movements
Sometimes, your baby is too distracted to latch onto your breast and start feeding. Their attention might be somewhere else, or they just appear disinterested. This could also be because maybe they haven’t been fed properly in one place for a long time.
Either there is too much movement, overstimulation, or delayed feeding.
Pacifier and Formula
During the first 6 months, it’s essential and recommended by doctors to breastfeed your child for multiple reasons. If you are unable to do so due to some significant difficult reason, then it’s understandable. Still, if you start using pacifiers and formula too much as an excuse, of course, your baby will refuse to breastfeed.
These are just some of the main reasons which can help you categorize which kind of problem your baby is facing and refusing to breastfeed. While sometimes, the problem lies with your baby, which you can identify, while other times the problem lies with you as a mother, your position might not be right, or there might be feeding problems. Problems like overfeeding delayed feeding, things like that.
What can I do to Breastfeed my baby?
Where there is a problem, there is a solution too. So, now that you have narrowed down your question and found out what it is that could possibly have made your little one refuse to breastfeed, then you need to rectify the problem. You can always do things to make things easier for your baby and help them have a good and healthy feed.
Keeping your baby the right way is very important, as it can make or break the case. How you position your baby and cradle them on your lap is a crucial factor for feeding. Their head should be raised slightly than their bodies, and they should be close to your chest, so it’s easier for them to latch on. Change positions as required, and you have to see yourself what is comfortable for you both.
We have an entire article dedicated to the best breastfeeding positions.
Filter out distractions
Distraction is a big problem as they tend to get distracted easily by anything after turning 5 months old. They get more perceptive of things around them and get playful a lot. But while feeding, you mustn’t keep toys around or your television on.
Take them to a quiet room if possible, and try to feed them there.
Teething and biting
Teething could be another reason, as mentioned above. This is a widespread reason, where the baby is irritated due to it and cannot feed. For that not to happen, you need to comfort their gums and make the teething process more comfortable for them. When their gums are soothed, only then would they be able to focus on breastfeeding.
Sometimes, you can just also hold your breast and position it the right way to help your baby latch on. You can place two fingers and a thumb around your nipple, so it’s easily accessible to your baby.
Hopefully, these simple tips can come in handy to you in making you breastfeed your baby more efficiently and not let the refuse breastfeeding at all.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it normal for my baby to nurse for over an hour?
Yes, it is entirely normal that your baby is feeding for an hour now. It depends on how frequently you feed your baby and how hungry they are. So don’t need to worry if they feed for over an hour even. Just set their pace and frequency to feed them.
How quickly can a baby drain a breast?
It might take only about 10-15 minutes to drain a breast full of milk for a baby.
Why does my baby kick and squirm while breastfeeding?
It is perfectly okay for your baby to kick and be overall active when breastfeeding, as this is all part of growth. If they are squirming every time you try to feed them, you might want to check in with your baby and try to find out what’s troubling them.
What should I feed my baby if not breast milk?
You should definitely try your best to feed your milk to the baby for the first 6 months, as it is a complete diet full of nutrition for them to grow healthy. If, due to any reason, you are unable to, you should prepare the formula.
Is it OK to just pump and not breastfeed?
It is entirely okay if you choose to pump and feed your baby then. If you find pumping easier and making both you and your baby comfortable, you should definitely feed that way. But breastfeeding has its own perks and is recommended as it increases your bond with your child more.
Why does my newborn constantly want to breastfeed?
Newborns have a tiny stomach and thus little appetite. They tend to get full quickly and hungry too. They tend to sleep almost all the time and keep waking up also. So, it is not at all shocking that they tend to breastfeed more often. So, don’t get alarmed by this.
As I tried to explain earlier, there can be multiple reasons why your little one refuses to breastfeed during the day. While it is easier to breastfeed them during the night, they are sleepy and don’t create the same amount of fuss. While in the day, there could be reasons like they are distracted or unable to find the right position. There are other reasons, too, due to which they are refusing to feed.
You need not worry, as you can remedy most of these problems by yourself. Be it due to teething or maybe any kind of illness or simply because you as a mother have changed something in your diet or the way you smell. Once you narrow down the problem, it is easier to find a solution.