Why is my baby refusing to breastfeed?

Q: My baby is suddenly refusing to breastfeed. Is she ready to wean?

A: Most likely, your baby's not ready to quit entirely; she's just on a nursing strike. Nursing strikes are common and happen for a variety of reasons, from changes in schedule to illness -- or for no reason at all. The best approach is to keep offering the breast every few hours; try nursing in a quiet spot with minimal distractions. If your baby doesn't appear to be taking in much milk, you might have to pump to keep up your supply and feed her from a bottle. If a week passes and your baby still prefers the bottle to the breast, chances are she's ready to wean. --Sarah Van Buskirk

Originally published in Parents magazine, February 2005. Updated 2009

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