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Old 06-29-2011, 12:24 PM   #1
Len27
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I am absolutely at my wit's end with my 9 mos old and could use some advice

I am seriously about ready to lose my mind. I'll try to be concise, bear with my rambling.

So DS is just over 9 mos. He has never been a comfort nurser- even as an infant he would nurse for 5 minutes and that would be a meal. 10 minutes is a long time for Rhys to eat. As he gets older he gets harder and harder to feed. If you talk, he's done. If the wind blows, the dog barks, someone looks at him, and god forbid, but DD is around (she's 2yrs 9 mos), game over. He's been like this for a few months. It takes absolutely anything or nothing to trigger a nursing strike- an ear infection a few months back had him refusing to nurse at all (well, he'd eat once or twice if I fed him while he was dead asleep) for a WEEK AND A HALF. Today he is refusing to nurse because he has a runny nose. Not super stuffed up, just runny. He hasn't nursed since 6am and it's after 2pm right now (he's had solids instead- veggies, fruit, and cereal and BM together as I had some pumped milk in the fridge).

The thing is, I get the being sick or teething or whatever throwing him off for a day or so, but this is constant. The dog looked at him sideways, he's not nursing now (I jest, but not really!). On a good day I can convince him to nurse down before the morning and afternoon nap and then usually once before supper, and before bed. And then, the recent habit, he's up at least every two hours to snack at night. Occasionally I can nurse him in the glider, but usually we HAVE to be laying down together, in a quiet room. He will not nurse in public, ever. Or with other people around at all, really.

Further to that, he doesn't really like nursing. Like, he's not a comfort nurser. He nurses for the bare minimum time to feel full and then whips himself off the boob (and then turns his back to me usually). He also has wicked eczema, which is slowly getting better- I've eliminated gluten/dairy/eggs/peanuts from my diet not because HE is allergic, but because *I* am intolerant, and our naturopath feels that the antibodies my body is over-producing are freaking out his system, hence the skin issues. While the n-path and I are in agreement that breastmilk is best at this point, we are also in agreement that he won't be an extended nurser- his skin is already improving now that he's eating more solids and nursing less.

I'm not looking for a 'go ahead and wean' answer, though I know it sounds like that. I am looking for advice on what to do, how to handle this, or things to try. I'm really pro-breastfeeding (nursed DD quite easily and happily to 14 mos) and I like nursing my babies- but I'm not sure how much longer I can fight him. And I'm not sure how many more times I can see that look on my 2.5yr old's face as I once again banish her from the room because he's nursing (or not nursing as the case may be).

For more info- he LOVES solids and is doing awesome with it. We have a big a food repetoire as we can with him re. the food issues, but he doesn't eat the things I can't have and the n-path wants us to hold off on meat/beans for a while longer. So I worry about protein, big time. I feed him purees when he lets me so I can sneak in some probiotics/supplements/extra breast milk, but he's a classic 'should be a completely BLW' baby and wants to do it all himself, and does a darn good job of feeding himself too. I've tried offering BM in every which way- different bottles, sippy cups- I just watched him blow bubbles and then dump most of the milk down his shirt instead of drinking it. I feel like we've tried everything- offering often, waiting til he's hungry, feeding solids after nursing, feeding before. Offering in cups, bottles, whatever. Twice today he's fought with me even though he's starving so I've given in and just fed him- squash, fruit, cereal, whatever. And he is more than happy with that, but the kid is gonna starve! Oh wait, no he's not, he can just nurse all night long. If I push nursing on him too much he just bites me (gently, like a warning bite).

Help, advice, commiserate with me? I don't know what to do anymore. It's fine to say oh he'll eat when he's hungry or whatever, except he doesn't- and I have a 2.5 year old running around as well, so it's not like the little dude and I can just hang around naked all day together until he gets his act together.

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Old 06-29-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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Re: I am absolutely at my wit's end with my 9 mos old and could use some advice

I know you aren't looking for "go ahead and wean" advice...but honestly, it sounds like that might be the best. I don't believe breast is best all the time.

Your little one doesn't enjoy nursing
He is dealing with eczema that you suspect is caused by nursing
You are forcing your two year old away because of his nursing
He loves solids and gives you indications that he's ready for baby led weaning


If he were 9 years old and this was an organized sport we were talking about, would you force him to continue? If he hated practicing and hated going to games, if he constantly complained about a sore knee or arm, if your older child were was being dragged to all the games and practices unhappily, and if he was giving every indication that he would much rather participate in say, chess club and appeared that he would be good at it...would you force him to continue the organized sport?

As I type this, I am nursing my 9 month old...sort of, because she keeps whipping her head around to see what my 2.5 year old is doing or what I am typing. And she's kicking my arm constantly. She doesn't fight nursing, but she can't be still while she does it. I think she burns more calories than she takes in! So I can commiserate some with the distraction and the necessity to keep the older one occupied and such.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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Re: I am absolutely at my wit's end with my 9 mos old and could use some advice

I STRONGLY STRONGLY STRONGLY suggest you find a La Leche League leader near you, or consult with a Lactation Consultant.

I have no advice, because I honestly have never dealt with this so I just don't know what to say that would be helpful.

If you want to keep BFing, you need a professional's help.
http://www.llli.org/webus.html This is the La Leche League's website where you can find a local group.

www.forbabiessake.com is the website of my Lactation Consultant and her business partner. Both are super awesome lactation consultants and they got me through a really rough patch with my LO.


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Old 06-29-2011, 06:29 PM   #4
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Re: I am absolutely at my wit's end with my 9 mos old and could use some advice



I'm sorry hun. DS was very similar. He hated nursing. He was an eat enough to be full and get off kid. There couldn't be any noise or distraction. He would starve instead of eat in public. It was a nightmare. As soon as solids were introduced, he was done with me. He was more interested in them. It killed my supply in the end, and I had to stop at 9 months. It's a very frustrating thing to go through. I felt like everything was my fault, but really that is my DS. It was his personality coming out when he was that little. I can even agree on the "he won't let himself starve" thing. Because even at 3 he will and people don't understand that! I don't have any advice because it didn't work out for me, but I wanted to let you know you're not alone and that you're doing all you can. I hope someone gives you something helpful to make it easier for you both, and you can make it work!
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:47 PM   #5
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Re: I am absolutely at my wit's end with my 9 mos old and could use some advice

Thank you so much ladies. It means a lot, having others weigh in.
Angie, you are exactly right, that is Rhys to a 't' at the moment. I am ok with feeding him at night (well, except it's killing me with exhaustion, but that's another issue) but I am really worried about supply. And I am worried about the toll it's taking on my DD.

I know he's teething right now, and has a majorly runny nose, so he is perhaps a bit 'off' legitimately- it just seems that the tiniest thing throws him off nursing, and it's frustrating. I did finally manage to get one short-ish feed into him tonight, after he was already asleep and had had some advil earlier and then of course woke up hungry. So that's something. And of course I now have a bunch of pumped milk in the fridge so I'll just keep mixing that into whatever I can.

Michelle, a friend of mine here is involved in LLL, I will get in touch with her tomorrow and see if she has a contact in the area that could help.

I'm ok with him working towards weaning, I really am- but I know he's not ready yet, physically. He simply doesn't have enough of a variety in his diet yet to start to meet the calories he needs. I hate that I feel like we're just riding it out, but honestly, that's how I feel- like we just need to stick it out for a few more months and then we can quit. What a terrible feeling.

Tomorrow is another day. We'll tackle it again tomorrow, and in the meantime I'll look for some guidelines for how much BM he should be getting at his age so I can at least know he's getting the bare minimum, and can supplement with table food as needed and really make sure the solids he's getting are as healthy as possible.

Thanks ladies.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:52 PM   #6
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Re: I am absolutely at my wit's end with my 9 mos old and could use some advice

Hey Mama- You might want to stay in touch with your pedi too and make sure he's at a good weight. I say, if he's at a good weight and is gaining as he should be, then just hang tough. (Easy for me to say, huh?) But I think a lot of us have been there. DS is 13 months now and we've had our share of nursing strikes, ridiculous distraction problems (DS won't NIP either), etc. He's been on a 3 week semi-strike and I am seriously considering throwing in the towel, especially after he bit me hard enough to draw blood yesterday.

Oh, and a food suggestion: can he have tofu? I used to puree tofu in with various fruits and veggies for the extra protien. DS never even knew it was there.

GL, Mama. You've done great so far. Maybe if you can get DH to take over for a night with a bottle or two, and you can get a good night's sleep it'll seem a bit less overwhelming. Sleep always helps me.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:35 AM   #7
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I agree with the pervious poster. Please please please contact la leche league!
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:38 AM   #8
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Re: I am absolutely at my wit's end with my 9 mos old and could use some advice

Oh yeah, no shortage in the weight gain department- he's 21 lbs already, he's a small tank of a child! I'm not sure about tofu, but I have a food handout somewhere from the n-path, I will check and see when he can have soy.

His runny nose is now a full-blown cold, so that explains the extreme behaviour too now.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:49 PM   #9
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Re: I am absolutely at my wit's end with my 9 mos old and could use some advice

The eczema could be caused from a dairy allergy. You can try eliminating dairy from your diet to see if that helps. Hazelwood necklaces help with digestion and eczema. Amber necklaces help with teething and any sort of discomforts. To learn more check out Inspired by Finn. The necklaces were a lifesaver for us!!
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:41 PM   #10
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My Dd was EXACTLY like this too! She could seriously be distracted by the led light on the baby monitor in the dark quiet nursery. I am proud to say that she did manage to BF til 14 months, but it would have been very easy to just stop. However, I don't think weaning sounds like a good idea for you since your DS wont drink BM from a cup or bottle. Solids alone wont sustain a 9 month old. I met numerous times with a LC and she told me to offer frequently but dont insist if the baby refuses, or it will cause the baby to associate nursing with being upset. I hate to tell you that the last feeding my DD held onto was the 3am. I found that offering when she was most relaxed had the most success. I often got her to nurse as soon as she started waking up in the am or from naps. Keep working with sippies of BM in case he does wean. Other than that, just enjoy it and try to be relaxed... He can sense it if you are stressing.
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