As babies who have breastfeeding strikes and breast reluctance are generally a little older and the problem is more a preference than an inability to latch and stay latched, additional tools include:
- Using different breastfeeding holds such as vertical, laid-back, or side-lying holds.
- Dripping a little milk on the breast before offering it.
- Offering the breast:
- At different times, such as when the baby is tired or during playtime.
- While co-bathing.
- While the baby is asleep. This is called a dream feed.
If you are away from the baby a lot because of work, try to increase the amount of time you spend together by:
- Going home for lunch.
- Having the baby brought to you.
- Meeting the baby at a third location.
- Keeping the baby close at night.
- Breastfeeding during the night.
- Minimizing any unnecessary separation from the baby.
If the baby will still breast feed a little, a tube-at-the-breast system may encourage the baby to keep feeding.
If using bottles for the baby’s supplement:
- Use a bait and switch technique by giving a little milk from a bottle, taking it out of the baby’s mouth, and quickly offering the breast.
- Try a slower flow nipple.
- Change bottle nipple shapes or change to another way of supplementing the baby with milk.
Older babies are less likely to accept a nipple shield but it is worth trying a few times.
Babies will gradually stop breastfeeding. It is relatively rare in babies less than a year old and usually happens at between two and four years old. If the baby has decided to wean, it is unlikely that the above tools will be effective.