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Old 09-11-2011, 09:25 AM   #1
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Extended breastfeeding challenges

Hey mamas,

My son is 16 months and is still nursing a lot.

He has always insisted on falling asleep while nursing..... the past few months, I have been nursing him until he's groggy and then rocking him to sleep without nursing.

The past few weeks, I was able to nurse him laying until I just didn't want to anymore (he teeth nurses A LOT lately) , and then I would tell him "no more milkies, milkies go bye-bye, milkies all gone" and then he would fuss a little bit or not at all and fall asleep peacefully with his head on my arm while laying down. It was amazing!!

Well, the past week or so, he is rejecting the rocking chair and getting super duper screaming tantrum mad when I won't continue to nurse him and I tell him we're all done. It just gets to the point where I can't nurse him for one more minute when he has emptied everything I have and just keeps sucking a way. It gets so uncomfortable and I feel so trapped.

It is also next to impossible to get him down for a nap, I am trying several times during the day. It's taking 45 mins to an hour to put him down for a nap or for bed at night. It is really stressing me out because I have a lot of knitting orders to fill and I am taking 2 and a half to three hours a day just trying to get him to go to sleep!

Also, He's been doing this for a while now, probably since he was 11 months, but it's really starting to make me want to .... he switches sides seriously every 30 seconds. And he will do this at night when he wakes up to nurse too even if he's half asleep. It doesn't matter if I have tons of milk or if it's getting towards empty. I definitely have enough milk because I can hear him drinking it. I have tried all kinds of positions. At first he stopped doing it when I held him like he was a little baby when nursing him, but he just does it all the time now. And it's not that he doesn't want to nurse anymore either because he will get seriously upset if I have him stop nursing!

What makes it more difficult is that my partner has severe lower back pain due to a ruptured disk He is unable to rock him or hardly carry him or anything. He has put this baby to sleep seriously about 5 times since he was born. He works a lot too and I have never put my son with a babysitter (no relatives within 45 minutes) I am honestly just so burnt out with it all. I just want to be left alone for one whole day and whole night without having to wake up, care for the baby, etc.

He wakes up at least 3 times a night to nurse. I wish so much there would just be one.single.night he would just sleep through and leave me be but he hasn't slept through the night since he was very tiny (4 months or so). The 3 times a night he wakes up now is actually a vast improvement from what it was. The waking up for a second to latch him on doesn't bother me, but the constant side changing (it's the worst in the early morning for some reason) is just awful.

I want very badly to keep nursing my son until he is at least 2 years old,and I will as long as I have the milk, but it is starting to feel impossible and I am starting to feel very angry and frustrated with him at times.

I just feel like he is such a difficult baby sometimes. He is my first so I don't have another to compare him to.....

Anyway, moms who breastfeed older babies, will this impossible putting him to sleep thing end? Anyone have experience with the constant side changing?

I need to add that I still really love to nurse my son in a sense too. I love holding him and he DOES eventually stop squirming around so I can hold him and he will drift off. But he is missing naps for the day and being nearly impossible to put to sleep as mentioned above. Nap time and bed time are the times where I recollect my sanity LOL

I won't use the cry-it-out approach and I don't want to night-wean him either

I know I'm a mess!

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Last edited by lovewool; 09-11-2011 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:54 AM   #2
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Hi momma. I couldn't read without responding, but I'm on my phone so it will be brief.

I don't have any advice for extended bf'ing yet, as my longest was only 14 months, BUT I have a 4.5 month old in addition to 4 other children and my husband has been traveling for work a lot lately. I totally understand your frustration and am there constantly. I just want some time to breathe, relax, do what I need to do, and sometimes it's been impossible because the baby will. not. go. to. sleep. I left 5 loads of laundry to be folded last night so that I could stay up late and do my nails. Folding laundry was on the must do list, but i needed to carve out a moment for ME. That was seriously the first thing I had done for myself in over a week.

I'm certain a bunch if other smart mommas will have tips for you in regards to a solution or help, but I wanted to let you know you are not alone.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:04 AM   #3
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Re: Extended breastfeeding challenges

my DD is almost 22 mos old and i've been there. Still there in some ways. She finally got to a point where I could lay her down. Basically shes learning that its ok to sleep without me next to her. I just kept trying. I am assuming you co-sleep?? The best thing i've done is start putting her down on a crib mattress on the floor. At first she would only stay for an hour or so and then i'd let her come to bed with us. Now I try to get up and lay down next to her on her own bed (In the living room now, she doesnt have a room) until she goes back to sleep. I also figured out that she sleeps now for longer periods since i've started doing that. Usually until 2 or 3 waking to nurse and sleeping until 5 or 6. She also would start about 4 am and just want to be latched on CONSTANTLY. It absolutely was driving me crazy and I wasnt getting any rest. I figured out her diaper was SOPPING by then, and if I got up and changed her she would go back to a deeper sleep. Her problem was that by being so wet, she was uncomfortable enough not to fall back deeply asleep. Changing her when she wakes at 2 has helped, and shes slept through till 5 twice. I know you arent wanting to night wean, but I would try to limit him to once a night before a certain point. I am fighting with a coffee caused clogged duct right now, so i've let her sleep nurse the last 2 nights to keep it from getting infected. just keep trying mama.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:22 PM   #4
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Re: Extended breastfeeding challenges



I've SO been there. I don't have many suggestions for the bedtime thing; we finally ended up nightweaning at 21 months using Dr. Jay Gordon's method for cosleeping. It wasn't fun, but it was about as gentle as it could have been given the circumstances, and we were all getting more sleep within a month.

However, you CAN work on nursing manners and set limits. DD1 did the switching sides thing as well, and it was wearing me out and making me crazy. So we set limits on how many switches she could have--I'd put four fingers out and put one down every time she switched, and when I was out of fingers, we were done. That alone helped me feel a little more in control of the situation.

There's a lot of resources on Kellymom about nursing a toddler, but the book "Mothering a Nursing Toddler" was pretty great, as was one other whose name is escaping me, but it had to do with weaning, but actually covered all sorts of other stuff as well.

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