A nursing strike happens when your baby is so distracted by all her new discoveries that she seems disinterested in nursing and may refuse the breast.
Many moms assume that a breastfeeding strike is a sign that baby is weaning and ready to give up breastfeeding, but this is often NOT the case! Nursing strikes are often temporary and can signal an exciting developmental milestone.
During a nursing strike, some moms may feel rejected by their baby. If you feel this way, it can help to remind yourself that this is a normal part of their development. Try not to be discouraged and continue to offer the breast even if your baby nurses for a moment before she pulls away. No breastfeeding strike lasts forever, and don’t take this as a sign - especially in the early months - that she wants to wean completely or that there is an issue with your milk supply.
Two breastfeeding tips to keep baby focused:
- Nurse baby in a quiet room away from distractions like TV or siblings
- Hold a favorite toy or wearing a nursing necklace
As this phase passes, more than likely your baby will return to you for the comfort that nursing provides, and you can continue your breastfeeding relationship. If the nursing strike does turn out to be baby's sign that she wants to wean, appreciate the time you have had together and continue to offer your baby the breast so she can sometimes take it and wean gradually. Take comfort in the fact that you have given your baby the best start in life and provided her with benefits that will stay with her forever.
For more tips on how to breastfeed an easily-distracted baby click here.