My baby gets distracted and doesn’t want to nurse

My baby gets distracted and doesn’t want to nurse

It doesn’t happen to all babies, but daytime nursing seems like a waste of time for most babies between 8 and 9 months. They get distracted and don’t want to nurse during the day; does that sound familiar?

At this stage, it is normal that they hardly feed at the breast during the day, or if you offer them your breast, they just nurse for a few seconds and then go back to what they were doing. By 8 or 9 months, babies have already gone through several developmental stages and have acquired several significant skills:

  1. Mobility: at this age, many babies can crawl or even begin to stand with some support. Some may also attempt to take their first steps, although most will still hold on to furniture or an adult’s hand – but it’s all quite an adventure!
  2. Fine motor skills and coordination: Babies are developing fine motor skills and can now pick up small objects with their thumb and index finger in a pincer grasp. And they tend to enjoy and distract themselves with activities such as handling toys, clapping their hands, and pointing to objects.
  3. Feeding: Most babies now enjoy discovering food and are very interested in eating and drinking water, although this does not happen to all of them.
  4. Communication: Babies are now developing their communication skills. They can respond to their name, babble, and make sounds to express emotions and enjoy interaction with adults.
  5. Cognitive development: At this age, babies explore the world around them. They may enjoy hide-and-seek games and may show an increased interest in stories and toys that make noises. They may also begin to understand the concept of cause and effect, and this will make them drop an object over and over again just to watch it fall down.
  6. Teething: At this point, babies may have already started teething. They may be drooling more than usual and have the urge to chew on objects to relieve the discomfort in their gums, and they will put everything around them into their mouth.

With all of this going on, there are babies who now find breastfeeding the most boring thing in the world and don’t see a need for it anymore. They prefer to experiment, observe, discover, analyze… and then they leave breastfeeding to when it’s time to sleep.


So, what can I do?

Well, the first thing you have already done, which is to get informed. If you know what is going on, you may not be completely calm, but at least you will have an explanation for this odd situation, especially if your baby has been very demanding up until now.

And if I offer my baby the breast more often?

You can try, but sometimes it actually has the opposite effect. At this age, when a baby does not want to feed at the breast and you, as a mother, insist, it is possible that you might end up with a bite into your breast. And if they don’t bite, they will almost certainly insist and refuse to breastfeed, making it clear that they don’t want it.

Is my baby going to wean themself?

No, that would be unusual. That is to say, even though they lose interest, when they want to calm down when they are sleepy or tired, then they will return to the breast. In fact, it may be that during this 8-9 months developmental leap, at night, they constantly want to keep breastfeeding.

So, is this a good time to wean and stop breastfeeding?

So, is this a good time to wean and stop breastfeeding?
It can be a good time for daytime weaning, yes. It is usually very easy; because they are so interested in the world around them and not so interested in breastfeeding. You can now drop some feeds, so within a few weeks, your baby will stop nursing in the daytime. But if you are going to wean your baby, you will need to offer them food to replace breast milk: formula milk, if your baby already does mixed feeding, other dairy products, or foods that are rich in calcium and healthy fats.

Will the rest of my breastfeeding journey be like this?

No, it is likely that this behavior is temporary, and when your baby enters what we call the one-year breastfeeding crisis, he or she will ask to feed at the breast all the time again.

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