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Why is my baby refusing to breastfeed?

My baby is suddenly refusing to breastfeed. Is she ready to wean?
Submitted by Parents Team

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

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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There is also a possibility your baby has an increased intolerance to the dairy that you are consuming. Try eliminating dairy for a couple of days and see if that affects her reaction to nursing. (Talk to your doctor about taking a calcium supplement if you do this.)
Submitted by towler5