What to do when a 6-month-old loses interest in nursing

Lactation Consultant Corky Harvey, IBCLC, shares advice for breastfeeding mothers on what to do when your baby begins losing interest in nursing and how it is often misinterpreted as a sign of early weaning
When Your 6-Month Old Loses Interest in Nursing
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What to do when a 6-month-old loses interest in nursing

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Mothers often tell us that when their babies are about 6 months old they seem to be losing interest in breastfeeding. Moms misinterpret that as early weaning or self weaning when in fact babies need that milk at least as the primary source of food through the first year of life. So what's really going on is tremendous developmental changes. These babies have got a lot to learn and they're ready to get to it. So they're watching the wallpaper, they're learning to roll over, they are learning to get up on their own force and they're so interested in the world around them. So, why would they want to lean into the breast and lay down and be still for a little while? So what's a mother to do to maintain a good milk supply and make sure her baby is well fed? One thing she can do is go to a dark and quiet place and maybe find less distraction. Turn the television off, maybe lay down for a nap with your baby in the afternoon. Don't ignore those times if the baby is willing to nurse well. Early in the morning cuddle time in your bed. Night feedings, a lot of people think that by 6 months baby should be sleeping through the night but in fact most breastfed babies don't, if they do, it's fine but if they really up and need to feed that's a great time to have a quiet good feeding. Also know that even 3 minutes on the breast babies can transfer a great deal of milk and so it's okay to do that. Those quick little feeds are important. I also found that if I walk my baby around a little bit or bounce on ball for a few minutes and rock them they would nurse for a few minutes more.

Lactation Consultant Corky Harvey, IBCLC, shares advice for breastfeeding mothers on what to do when your baby begins losing interest in nursing and how it is often misinterpreted as a sign of early weaning

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Corky Harvey, MS, RN, IBCLC

Certified Lactation Consultant

Corky Harvey is a co-founder of the Pump Station & Nurtury™ - the first new parent resource center of its kind. She is a registered nurse with a master's degree in maternal/newborn Nursing, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She teaches breastfeeding and baby care classes, facilitates the New Mother Breastfeeding Support Groups, and is a frequent guest lecturer. Corky has three grown children who were breastfed and she loves to claim that their intelligence is linked to this. Corky has two grandsons, Diego who nursed over two years, and 18-month-old Axel who is still breastfeeding. 

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