My baby was too upset to attach

by Carmel
(Melbourne, Australia)

My baby's twelve weeks old now and is usually breastfeeding well, but the other day he got too upset to attach. He'd made all the right head bobbing motions and was definitely looking for a feed but because I had to make him wait while I settled my 2 year old he got quite distraught and then wouldn't attach.


It has happened once before and it's really upsetting for me. In the end I had to go somewhere quiet and settle him down with a dummy just to get him to the point where he was even aware of my nipple being near his face.

Once we'd had a few minutes out he fed perfectly but I had really forgotten just how gut wrenching it is to see your baby in so much distress when you're offering them the thing they actually are wanting.

Comments for My baby was too upset to attach

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Breast refusal is such a stressful situation, my heart goes out to you
by: Rebecca

Breast refusal is one of the most common reasons mothers give up breastfeeding. Many mothers are told that their milk is "off" or has dried up, or that their baby will never successfully attach again.

A really useful tool to help you re-establish breastfeeding if this is happening is baby led attachment. Just be sure to start the process well before your baby is likely to be hungry. It can be really good to try it in a location that you don't usually breastfeed (eg in the bath) so that your baby is emotionally setting up their behaviour before you even get to try.

If you are unable to get your baby to breastfeed successfully for a period of time that is long enough for you to need to offer a substitute, try using a cup or spoon first. babies who suck on a bottle can sometimes refuse to breastfeed afterwards because the bottle was really easy to milk from.

My best wishes to you if you're having this problem. If you can't resolve it definitely see a lactation consultant to help you with other suggestions and a full diagnosis of your particular case.

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