cosleeping and night nursing

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Chris_85's picture
Joined: 10/14/08
Posts: 675
cosleeping and night nursing

I know I have been away from the boards for some time but I was hoping some of you wonderful ladies here can shed some light on night nursing and tooth decay.
also just some good old kind words and support would be great.

Long story short, had Lillys well check but her Dr. was called away to delivery. I am trying to get to know the other 2 Dr.s in the office as I know that ours will not always be available he is a busy man. anyway this was the second time seeing this particular Dr. and I hoped to be armed with some information which she quickly dismissed.

the first time we saw her she was shocked at how much Lilly still nurses, but i was more taken back by the round about insult, " while many mothers do continue to nurse at her age, it isn't a societal norm or very well taken socially." I quickly dismissed this confrontation as i was just there because Lilly had fallen and scraped up her face, and wanted to be sure she was ok. our Dr. was on vacation.

she then said to give her some motrin or tylenol but to do so before i brush her teeth.

Then at the well check this same Dr. was absolutely sure that even breast milk is bad at night for teeth as milk has sugar in it, after baby goes to bed, and she gave me this look of i was crazy to bed share as well. and thought it odd that we night nurse at all.
I tried to explain what i had read on kellymoms website about how it is different than a bottle and she continued to argue the point but only saying "no any thing at night after brushing teeth even breast milk is bad. nope nothing nope"

I just know what my Dr. would say since he knows Lillys history with poor sleep, and she was a round the clock nurser like every 2 hours and while I am starting to get more breaks we still nurse up wards of 6 times a day. and she is eating tons of solids and drinking water and whole milk, she still prefers mama's "nana" her word for nursing. I also have wanted to cut out some nursing sessions but i have had 2 incidences with a blocked duct and a nipple bleb, and the last time i just gave up on the selective nursing and went back to when ever she asked since i am terrified of getting a breast infection. on a side note her growth is around the 73% mark so she is doing well and very smart. she just sleeps better with us and i usually get her in her crib a few times a week but only probable once until she wakes up for her mamas milk.

I have strong will and opinion so i will continue to nurse Lilly as long as she wants but wanted to feel like i am not the only one.

So i guess i was just wondering how many of you still cosleep and night nurse?
what do you think about the whole tooth decay/ bottle mouth?

I just can't help but thinking i know this Dr. is a mom and she said her self she breast fed, why is she was so negative towards us.

I only hope that one day we can change how ignorant our society can be when it comes to breast feeding our babies the way nature intended, and encourage all mothers to nurse for as long as they wish.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

I no longer co-sleep or night nurse. Livy weaned herself at 22 months. She night weaned around 19 months I think. But at 15 months I definitely still co-slept and night nursed. You are NOT ALONE!

I think the doctor just doesn't like extended nursing at all from the sounds. I think she's also ignorant of the differences between formula and breast milk. with nursing the baby has to swallow the milk and it doesn't stay on the teeth so even with sugar in the milk it's not on the teeth, vs. a bottle where they can just let it drip around in their mouth and such. Just my opinion though, never looked it up or anything.

Here is Dr. Sears take on it - Breastfeeding and Cavities | Ask Dr. Sears?

from a comment board by a dentist (assuming that is accurate of course): Since decay is caused not by sugar directly, but by acids produced from food sugars by bacteria present in plaque (the white, sticky material that collects on teeth), the regular and thorough removal of plaque by brushing is one solution that may help susceptible children. Brushing should be done twice daily, with one session before nursing down for the night.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

How silly. That doctor is clearly not well versed in extended BFing (or cosleeping). I'm not currently cosleeping and night nursing my toddler, but if he was I'd have no worries about it. Everything I've ran across has shown no correlation between cavities and night nursing.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

My son was still co sleeping and night nursing up to about age 2, he is fine. He chose to stop both, I started with just patting back to sleep but if he tantrumed for boob he got it and then he just stopped and was happy with the patting.

beccasweet's picture
Joined: 04/10/11
Posts: 679

We are still co-sleeping and nursing and even when DD sleeps all night in her crib she is nursing a couple times during the night. I have no plans to stop. Everything reliable thing I've read agrees with twice daily brushing being the best thing and no worries about breast milk overnight.

I'm sorry you had a poor experience with the doctor. I have also had a personal experience with a pediatrician who breast feed herself and I was led to believe was breast feeding friendly who gave me very poor advice that goes against what reliable sources like Kelly Mom and LLL recommend. Unfortunately even though they breast fed themselves they still seem to believe some of the common misconceptions about nursing. Maybe someday a medical school will get smart and add some better lactation training to their program for Pediatricians.

Joined: 04/24/11
Posts: 1253

I couldn't co-sleep with the twins (otherwise I probably would have) but we are still night nursing (although I'd love to cut it out!). Doctors can be such idoits some times. When we went in for their 15 month check up last week she said that they are underweight and I need to feed them more. And when I mentioned brad doesn't like cows milk but still nurses 3-4 times a day (not including any night feeds if he wakes) she told me it was more important for him to have cow milk for the calories and calcium. Am I wrong or does BM not have the most calories and isn't he getting calcium from all the other diary products he is consuming. Congrats on still bfing. And I agree some doctors don't agree with it which I think is wrong.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

From Kellymom:
"Breastmilk has a higher fat content than whole cow’s milk (needed for baby’s brain growth), and all the nutrients of human milk are significantly more bioavailable than those of cow’s milk because it is species specific (not to mention all the components of mother’s milk that are not present in cow’s milk).
There is no need to add cow’s milk to your toddler’s diet (or the equivalent nutrients from other milks or foods) as long as your baby is nursing at least 3-4 times per day. Cow’s milk is really just a convenient source of calcium, protein, fats, vitamin D, etc. – it’s not required. There are many people in many parts of the world who do not drink milk and still manage to get all the calcium, protein, fats, vitamin D, etc. that they need."

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

The other ladies have given you good resources with information as to why that doctor is wrong. I'll just add that not only is she wrong but she's an ***. Smile We coslept and night nursed until DD was about 18 months and then used the Jay Gordon method to get her to STTN in her own bed without nursing. I wasn't liking cosleeping and the constant night nursing anymore so we dealt with it. DD still nurses to sleep every night. She has perfect little teeth.

My pedi is awesome. He stopped asking about nursing when DD was about a year. He could care less whether she nurses and has never once asked me how she's sleeping or where she's sleeping. I *think* he gave me the "back to sleep" talk at her first check up (2 days old) and at the time we weren't planning to co-sleep so I didn't say anything. We chat about nutrition at each appt. My DD is a picky eater and we're vegetarian. It took me awhile to be OK with her pickiness. He assured me that toddlers need anywhere between "none and some" cow's milk. He's not worried one bit about her pickiness but he suggested I give her a multivitamin that contains iron since she won't eat the sources of non-meat iron I offer and because its not passed very efficiently through breast milk. I get the feeling that even if he's personally uncomfortable with extended nursing he doesn't show it and he at least recognizes that its good for families for which it works. I really like that my relationship with my pedi works like this: He doesn't get involved in my parenting choices. He trusts that I know my child better than anyone else and bases a lot of his questions on his gut feel rather than some developmental checklist. Whenever we've had a concern, he's been frank but reassuring and has never offered tests or treatments (ex: antibiotics) just to give me a sense of having done something. His approach jives well with our parenting style. If you don't feel comfortable with something this pediatrician says, especially when its a matter of parenting style and not health, then avoid her and see a pediatrician you trust.

Chris_85's picture
Joined: 10/14/08
Posts: 675

Thank you ladies for all your kind responses, It just got me riled up since I love my family Dr. and he supports most if not all my decisions about Lillys health, and he tries his best to guide us in he right direction and has great resources when it comes to all my questions and concerns. He encourages us to continue nursing for as long as we want. There is also a wonderful lactation consultant in the office as well. I just thought made the assumption that all of the Dr.s in his office were like minded, and with the program lol I guess i was saddened and slightly discouraged.
I wish i had more time to respond right now but things are crazy, and we r recovering form a stomach bug. talk to you all soon.

MJDttc's picture
Joined: 08/12/12
Posts: 1118

Yeah, I am late on this post, sorry.

I don't think I would want to see that particular doctor anymore, unless my kid was sick if it were just a wellness exam I would just have to reschedule.

I bf'd DS until he was 4.5 years, nursing on demand, and it eventually just got down to night nursing. And we still co-sleep most nights (DH works nights so I we both feel better with him sleeping with us.) I am not into doctors who push their ideals on patients, and have changed pediatricians a few times because of it. Normal to you is normal, and every kid is different, and if you aren't harming YOUR child then what does it matter what "societal norms" say.

BWAH, I would have yelled at the doc then and there. (I am not sure if it's because I have worked with pushy doctors or what but I just have no patience with them.)

AkMomma07's picture
Joined: 07/04/07
Posts: 1159

I nursed DS1 until he was 3.5 and co-slept so there was definitely night-nursing. He just had his first dentist appt a few months ago and the dentist said he had "great looking, super healthy teeth" so apparently all those years of night nursing didn't do any harm Smile

Also, it sounds like that Dr is letting her own personal feelings about extended BFing influence her professional views. Very unprofessional IMO. In addition, as I continued to BF DS1 I heard more and more stories from moms I knew who had extended nursed their kids too. I think more people do it than most people realize, but people are often so rude about it that moms keep their extended nursing to themselves.

Sounds like you are doing a great job mama Smile