My LO is 8.5 months. He was such a champ on breastfeeding from the get go and we were both so happy (well at least I know I was!).
Then at 3 months, our nanny started and we started giving him a bottle. He cried and wouldn't take the bottle for hours, and my boobs were so engorged but wouldn't dare to pump because I was afraid he would starve! He saw my boob and latched on immediately, but I decided to not give in and let him drink the bottle. The beginning of the end.... and looking back I regret so much on rejecting him...
He finally took the bottle fine and I pump during work hours (he gets bottles) while nursing him morning, evening, and overnight. Things go really smoothly until at some point he started acting weird. He'd end his nursing sessions within 5-10 minutes during the day time, whereas I know friends their babies would nurse all day and night if they could! My baby doesn't associate comfort with my boobs, and he would only latch and drink if he's hungry, and he finishes his business quickly when he's full.
At some point around 4-5 months, his nursing strike starts. I think that is related to teething. He would have 1-4 days where he'd have sessions that he just doesn't want to nurse. He'd cry and you can tell it hurts him when he drinks from the breasts. But he always recovers.
But still, he prefers the bottle overall. I think it was around that time I started getting anxious and worry if he would latch the next session. He may or may not have sensed that. During nursing strikes, I would get so upset that I wouldn't be able to concentrate on playing with him before the nursing session because I worry too much if he was going to nurse the next session - and wonder how I'd pump 1 hour later and how that would affect my supply...etc. etc.
This lasted for months, and it got worse after solids started because he might have realized and remembered there are easier ways to eat than sucking on a thing that takes 2 minutes to let-down! Many friends told me to give up, but I just can't. Because when he nursed, it was just the most beautiful thing in the world that I can't even explain.
Up until now.
About 2 weeks ago, he decided that is it for the evening session. He used to nurse to sleep for 30 minutes (!), but all of a sudden, one day he just decided that is it. I gave it a week, and he still didn't want the boob. I didn't want to continue to upset him so I gave him bottle for good for the night session and pump afterwards. Then a few days later, he decided that was it too for the morning session. And that concludes our 8+ months of breastfeeding relationship :'(
Now I am in the process of weaning... down to two pumps a day now.
I look at other moms and babies, and they are still going strong, even after 1 year old. And I just wonder why we are not one of them. I always wonder what did I do wrong (probably because I am always anxious, worry, nervous...etc. And my baby is too distracted, active, independent, and doesn't care about being held or comfort) I am just wondering, do you think there is a type of mother + baby combination that is more prone to nursing strike and/or baby to not want to breastfeed early (ie before they turn 1)? What is/was your experience? What did you wish you would have done, or wish you haven't done?
**Other things I regret : Since I work from home anyway, I wish I'd always breastfeed him and not ask the nanny to bottle feed him (although I'd have no idea how I would actually be able to work!). Then when he was way younger, I read that you should not nurse him to nap / sleep or they will create an association and wouldn't be able to fall asleep by themselves...etc. So I never let him fall asleep while nursing (until after he developed nursing strike then I let him nurse to sleep before bedtime - and that was the most enjoyable thing for me for months). I also regret putting him on a schedule way too early. It brought me sanity back then, but that's probably the reason why he never associate breastfeeding with comfort too much. In fact now he doesn't like eating that much and he dropped from 75-90% to now 10-25% on weight - and I don't know if me putting him on a schedule too early contributes to that.... mommy's guilt.