What can I do if my baby has a nursing strike?

During the time that your baby is refusing to nurse, you will need to express your milk either by hand or by pumping, in order to maintain your milk production. Do this as frequently as your baby would normally nurse. If your baby has refused several feedings, you can offer your expressed milk in a cup. Avoiding bottles and pacifiers is recommended during this period in the hope that your baby's sucking urges will encourage him to start nursing again.
 
Spending lots of time skin-to-skin with your baby can be very helpful. You can also try:

  • taking a warm bath together
  • making the breast available while baby is sleepy, especially when he is just waking up
  • singing to or rocking your baby while holding him skin-to-skin
  • nursing in a different position or location

Do not try to make your baby breastfeed; rather just hold him (skin-to-skin when possible) and let him take the lead when he is ready to try again.

To encourage, promote and provide breastfeeding, chest feeding and human milk feeding support and educational opportunities as an important contribution to the health of children, families and society