Distracted Nurser

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Sonya Myles 3 years, 1 month ago.

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    My 8 month old son is getting distracted / refusing to nurse at times… distracted my people, the dog, the phone on the night stand, my water bottle or any noise he hears… He used to nurse every 2 hrs for 20 – 40 min… but lately he will go longer between nursing sessions and only wants to nurse for 5 min and sometimes not at all even when it has been 4 because something else catches his attention. Somtimes he will just arch his back and refuse to nurse at all and I don’t know why… I am worried about my supply but more worried about my nursing relationship…

     Sonya Myles 

    Ah, older curious babies who have learnt to be efficient at the breast and no longer nurse like newborns. Lots of mom’s have questions about this new stage of breastfeeding.

    The good news is you don’t have to worry. Your baby is showing curiousness about the world around him, breastfeeding has become a tad boring for him, he is an expert in the field now, and has become fast and efficient. He also knows where to go when he is hungry or thirsty and will let you know if he is. Forcing him to eat or drink when he isn’t hungry or thirsty will lead to crying and arching of back, a clear message to mom that “I am full and I don’t want to eat right now.” (It is this behaviour from babies that makes those of us who nursed older children laugh when people who know very little tell us we are forcing our children to breastfeed…) you can’t really force a baby to breastfeed.

    I would recommend not looking at the clock at all, no one really likes to have their eating timed. Know your son can transfer a full feed in less than 5 minutes (my own babies were 2 minute feeders at this age). Keep an eye on his diapers and on his growth, but most often this is not a case of decreasing supply, but of increasing efficiency and learning about something new. Your breastfeeding relationship has moved to the next level – congratulations 🙂 It’s a fun time as your baby starts to explore his world and you get to see everything for the first time again.

    Hope that helps,


    Hi Sonya,

    Thanks for your response. And I totally get what you are saying about him become a more efficient Nurser sometimes i feel this, it’s like he has a straw, but other times after these short sessions, my breast still feels very full… And lot of times, I’ll give him a minute or two to look around and try again and then he will latch back on… Other times there is just too much going on and he won’t…
    I am trying to keep an eye on his wet diapers… Sometimes after 2 hrs he will be dry or just alittle wet… At this age, how many wet diapers should he have?

     Sonya Myles 

    About 6 to 8 pee’s in a day, some diapers will be heavier with larger pees or multiple pees. If you feel that your breasts are still full after he has nursed, give him 10 to 15 minutes before trying again, and spend some time actively engaging him during that time, so that he can be stimulated and hopefully he will settle down to nurse while processing all that he has just experienced. If things are really hectic and you can’t get him to settle down, you could try moving to a quieter area, but I generally don’t recommend this as it tends to feel a bit like punishment, unless of course you are trying to avoid the in-laws 😉 I think the main thing to remember, is every study where we have allowed children access to food, they have eaten enough and a varied diet ensuring that over a period of time children if given the opportunity to eat when hungry will ensure that all their nutritional needs are met. We really can trust our babies to eat when they are hungry, and hunger levels change during the course of a day.


    Thank you! I appreciate the advice and help!

     Sonya Myles 

    🙂 Anytime!

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