Q. My 9-month-old has lost interest in nursing. Do babies self-wean? What should I do?
A. There are a couple of reasons that this could be happening, says Anne Garrett, an international board certified lactation consultant in San Francisco. First, your baby is becoming increasingly mobile and interested in the world around him. There are many things competing for his attention, and sitting on your lap facing you to nurse may not be as exciting as flexing his crawling muscles or checking out who's coming and going. And since your baby has been on solids for several months and is perhaps eating from the table by now, he may be filling up on these foods, so he's not as hungry for your breast milk. It's also possible that as your baby nurses less, your milk supply is going down, which in turn makes him less interested in nursing because he has to work harder to get anything.
If you want to keep nursing, find a quiet place where your son won't become easily distracted. "If you're not producing as much milk as you used to, drink more fluids and try to nurse more often," suggests Garrett. At mealtime, you might want to nurse first, then put baby in his high chair for his diced potatoes and chicken so he has a greater appetite for breast milk.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.