What to do if my baby refuses the breast?

Breastfeeding is very important for any newborn. Breast milk is a unique food specially designed to feed the baby. But what if your baby refuses the breast?

This is something that can happen to you and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.. There are some causes that you need to know to put an end to the situation.

Why is breastfeeding so important? why second Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEPED) has multiple advantages. These include emotional well-being, reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and postpartum recovery.

When a baby refuses to breastfeed, all of these benefits are set aside., because many mothers end up being disappointed. Not knowing what’s going on doesn’t help. So let’s try to figure it out.

What is a breastfeeding strike or crisis?

The fact that a child refuses his mother’s breast is called strike OR lactation crisis. But this term is valid only if maintained for a long time.

No matter how much you offer the breast to your baby and he is hungry, he still refuses it. We know it’s very frustrating, but this reaction has a reason to be.

Are you back at your job and spending less time with him? Has he ever bit your nipple and ripped it off or reacted with a loud scream? Did your teeth come out? These questions can be decisive.

What can annoy the child?

There are many things you may not be aware of that annoy a child. These are the causes of your child’s refusal to breastfeed. Knowing them will bring you great relief.

At least you will know what is happening to him! Next we will also give you some tips to solve it.

Mother holding her crying baby.
Many causes interfere with the breastfeeding process and knowing them allows you to plan a solution.

ambient noise

It may seem like it doesn’t matter, but breastfeeding your baby You should be in a quiet place without too much noise. Excess noise and people around cause the baby to reject the breast.

nasal obstruction

It is important to check that the baby has free nostrils. If he can’t breathe well he won’t be able to suckle and this makes him refuse the breast, because he already knows what will happen. So he uses a baby nasal aspirator

changes in routine

If you’ve started labor and this has resulted in a change in routine, your baby may react by refusing the breast. It’s like his way of complaining and protesting in front of something you don’t like. The same can happen if you’ve recently moved.


If your baby refuses to breastfeed and none of the above match the possible causes, check if you changed your shampoo, body wash or cologne. Babies may reject new smells and this makes them not want to breastfeed.

little milk

Another reason your baby may refuse the breast is in milk production. The child will not cover his nutritional needs and this can make him react even with early weaning says the AEPED.

previous unpleasant experience

One final possible cause for your baby’s refusal to breastfeed could be related to some unpleasant experience. A pain in the mouth when sucking because the teeth were coming out or your cry because it bit you.

What can I try to break this crisis?

There are several ways to break this breastfeeding strike or crisis. We cannot guarantee that they will all work for you, as every case is different. But why not give it a try? Here we leave you some options.

don’t force it

We will dedicate a section to this because it is important. Pressuring your baby to take the breast back is a mistake. Let him take it again.

A good way to do this is to strengthen skin-to-skin contact. In the bath or in bed, make that bond last as long as it’s meant to last. It may be that with this simple gesture he ends up sucking again.

Use a fanny pack

While strollers are very comfortable, a baby carrier can be a great way to solve this situation. It will be close to your chest and if it is in contact with your skin better. If you’re hungry, you’ll have a food source nearby. Why don’t you try it?

Choose a quiet environment

If the possible cause of your baby’s refusal to breastfeed is noise or distractions, you may want to try a quieter environment. A room or area where there aren’t too many people and all is calm. This could be the solution you needed.

Breastfeed in a quiet place.
Peace of mind when breastfeeding is essential for the connection to be adequate and for the baby to enjoy the space.

Take a different position

It can be a good way to encourage him your baby takes the breast without forcing him to adopt certain positions. For example, in lateral position. Give it a try, since perhaps what doesn’t convince you is the usual posture.

Offer the breast when she sleeps

This is a great technique for breastfeeding your baby. They do it automatically. When you are about to fall asleep, you will find yourself calm and relaxed.. Stand next to him in a lateral position, skin to skin.

Don’t let him go hungry

If your baby is hungry, he will be much more irritable and more likely to refuse the breast. So we don’t advise you to do that. The best? Offer it to him when it’s his turn, even if he doesn’t want to.

If your baby refuses to breast, there are ways to fix it

Remember never to force your baby to breastfeed. and that it is important to take into account all the previous advice. Especially skin-to-skin contact.

Newborns are very sensitive to any changes in routine or schedule. In any case, don’t hesitate to go to the pediatrician. He certainly knows your case best and can give you personalized advice.

The post What to do if my baby refuses to breastfeed? first appeared on research-school



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