Baby Breastfeeding Strike: 6 Ways To Deal With A Baby Who Does Not Want To Nurse

Is your baby suddenly refusing to breastfeed? It’s called a breastfeeding or nursing strike! Find out what could be the reasons behind this and how you can deal with it!

If you’re a breastfeeding mama and you suddenly have to deal with a little one who refused to nurse, this can be extremely nerve-wracking. Thankfully, this scenario is actually pretty common (and can be overcome!) so there’s no need to panic, Mama.

One thing you have to remember though is that even if your baby is on a baby breastfeeding strike, you still need to express milk using a breast pump. This is to ensure a steady milk supply and prevent clogged ducts.

What Causes Baby Breastfeeding Strike?

Babies can suddenly refuse to breastfeed for various physical and emotional reasons. Here are six possible causes behind a nursing strike.

1. Feeling sick or uncomfortable while breastfeeding

Your little one could be teething or have an ear infection, which may make breastfeeding difficult because of the fussiness. Nasal congestion can also make it difficult for babies to breathe while breastfeeding, which is why some babies may refuse to be breastfed altogether.

According to Healthline, other conditions that may lead to nursing strikes include an ulcer in the mouth, sore throat, or hand, foot, and mouth diseas.

2. The smell or taste of breast milk changes

Changes in your body odor can cause your baby to feel uncomfortable when they want to breastfeed. For example, when Mama uses a new or stronger perfume or soap.

Changes in the taste of breast milk, which can be because of the food you eat or the medicine you take, can also be the reason behind your baby’s breastfeeding strike. In addition, hormonal factors such as when you are menstruating can also trigger changes in the taste of breast milk.

3. Unpleasant experience

If your baby has had an unpleasant experience while breastfeeding, he or she may refuse to breastfeed again. One such example is when you reacted strongly when your little one bit your nipples or when your baby choked because of a too-strong milk flow. 

4. Changes in breastfeeding routine or schedule

If you usually breastfeed in a quiet place, chances are your baby will refuse to breastfeed in crowded places. Likewise, if there is a long breastfeeding break. For example, when Mama is forced to go on a business trip abroad, babies may become fussy after not breastfeeding for so long because they’ve gotten used to feeding on a milk bottle.

5. Mama is stressed

Believe it or not, babies can sense your mood. So when you are sad or stressed, your baby can also feel uneasy, so he refuses to breastfeed.

6. Lack of breast milk supply

When your milk production is low, your baby will feel frustrated because they are not getting enough milk. As a result, the baby may choose to stop breastfeeding.


How to Overcome Baby Breastfeeding Strike

Here are some ways to help you deal if your little one goes on a baby breastfeeding strike.

1. Try the dream feeding method

Try to nurse your baby when he/she is sleeping. In a semi-conscious state, babies are usually less fussy which can help make breastfeeding easier. However, you need to pay attention to the right position in breastfeeding your little one with this method. It’s best to put your baby in a semi-upright position, with his/her head cradled in your arm to prevent choking.

2. Change breastfeeding position

You can try changing the baby’s position while breastfeeding, or you can try changing your position as well. For example, breastfeeding while walking around a bit, or sitting in a different position. This helps your little one find a more comfortable position that would best ease her back to her usual breastfeeding routine.

3. More skin-to-skin contact

Make your baby feel comfortable by increasing skin-to-skin contact. Then, slowly try to offer the baby to breastfeed. In addition to helping your little one suckle, skin contact between mother and baby can also improve bonding.

4. Keep away from distractions

Avoid crowds or unusual places for your little one. When your little one is 3 months old, his hearing is better than when he was born. If there is a disturbance or distraction in the form of noise, the little one will divert his attention from the breastfeeding process.

Therefore, a calmer environment will help your baby focus more while breastfeeding.

5. Improve diet and fragrance

Changes in the taste of breast milk and the smell of Mama’s body can actually make your little one refuse to breastfeed. Mama should avoid using a different fragrance than usual. In addition, Mama can also arrange a healthy diet as usual so that the baby does not feel the change in the taste of breast milk.

6. Maintain breast milk supply

Don’t forget to keep your milk production up, Mama. Don’t let your little one who is hungry be disappointed because he doesn’t get enough milk. To maintain breast milk supply, you can consume almond milk and natural breast milk booster supplements.


Enjoy Your Breastfeeding Journey with Mama’s Choice

A breastfeeding strike isn’t the only thing Mamas have to deal with during their breastfeeding journey. There will also be sore, cracked, and dry nipples along the way. 

Thankfully, there’s Mama’s Choice Intensive Nipple Cream to help make Mamas’ breastfeeding journey a little easier and more comfortable with how it effectively moisturizes and soothes chapped skin. 

Halal Nipple Cream
Photo Credit: @donutaung

Our nipple cream is formulated to be safe for the little one, using ingredients carefully selected from nature. What’s in our nipple cream?

  • Date Palm: Renowned for its antioxidant and anti-aging properties, it soothes and hydrates sore and cracked nipples.
  • Coconut Oil: An edible oil known for its hydrating properties. As a natural emollient, it moisturizes dry and stressed skin.
  • Shea Butter: Pure butter from the shea tree that is rich in skin-protecting and anti-inflammatory properties to help improve skin suppleness

Food grade and free of harmful chemicals, we ensure that you can 100% focus on your baby and not worry about the safety of our nipple cream. Best of all, our breastfeeding nipple cream is lab-tested in Singapore and certified Halal.

Discover how Mama’s Choice Intensive Nipple Cream can support your breastfeeding journey by clicking the banner below! Shop it now on Amazon1

Natural and Halal Nipple Cream



Author Mama's Choice Team

Mama's Choice Team

A team of passionate writers, young mamas, and creative superheroes who help mamas face motherhood one educational article at a time!


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