I have very mixed feelings about this. I love nursing my daughter and my goal was two years. It's been a long road. When DD was born early, I had to finger feed and pump then when I got her on the breast, I needed to use a nipple shield until she was 9 months old. Months four through seven were a huge nursing challenge where I had to coax her to nurse and I never thought we'd make it to a year. Now she's 15 months and I couldn't be more proud of our BFing.
When she isn't teething, she's good about only getting up once or twice in the night now which I can handle. When she is teething, she's up like a newborn.
What's made me think of at least partially weaning her (during the day and working more on her falling asleep by other means than the boob) is that she's becoming brutal with me. Sometimes, she quietly nurses, but half the time she's trying to tear my hair out, put her fingers in my mouth/ears/anywhere she thinks she can, pull on my clothes, play with things etc. She will suck incredibly hard and bite a lot no matter how often I pop her off and let her relatch. Sometimes it seems to be overtiredness, but sometimes she's just fussy and wants to nurse but can't seem to do it comfortably for both of us. I have tried different positions, places, pre-nursing activities etc and not much seems to change it.
Anyone else have this happen to them? It's been going on for a few months now. DH keeps saying "maybe it's time to wean" because he can't stand see/hear about it. A lot of the time it's at night, so maybe our bedtime routine needs an overhaul.
Ideally, I'd like to let her still nurse in the morning and at night. My big hesitation is that she's not great with a sippy yet. She can use it, but if I try to give her milk in it (even EBM) she only sips it casually. She'll drink water out of it fine, but milk she just looks at me like I'm nuts. I try to offer it to her more and more and try all types of sippy cups (valve and straw) but it feels like I'm not getting anywhere. The other thing is we just found out our offer got accepted on the house we wanted (after a four month wait!!!!) so we'll be moving soon, and I know that's not a good time to wean.
Sorry this is so long winded, I just am at a loss on what to do. I need to do something because her "bad" nursing sessions become such a (painful and emotional) chore, but I feel awful because DD is so attached.
Aww Mia, I know what a rough road nursing was for you in the beginning, I'm sad to read this.
If it were Will biting this is what I would try: At night if he does start biting/grabbing/etc. say "no biting" and offering a sippy of milk instead? Maybe he'll understand that if he's going to act up like that then he doesn't get to nurse. Nursing is only for babies who don't bite.
With this ^^ route I would be a little worried about him just wanting to wean, but at the same time, if weaning is already an option then it doesn't hurt to try. Right?!
Will uses a sippy but he never finishes one in a sitting. I give him a sippy in the morning and have to refill it a few times thoughout the day, but he walks around and gets to it whenever he feels he needs a drink.
Married my golfer 10/2009
Mr. Monkey 09/2010
Mr. Buggy 09/2012
Hugs! That does get rough, and my boys went through that stage too, violent nurslings. I was very insistent that that behavior was not okay and would put my breasts away amidst much screaming and carrying on. Often I would get it back out again to give them another chance, but you do have to deal with the aftermath of refusing them.
Also, the sippies were a huge concern for us too. My twins were just not interested. They have gotten better with them over time, and we tried many different kinds. I think the transitioned best with the soft spouted nuby cups, but it still took months. We always sweeten up their cows milk with ovaltine (because they also needed the extra calories and its good for you lol) and with my older two we had to warm it up for 45sec or so before they would take it. Just keep offering it, and one day she may surprise you.
Rachel, momma to 4
dd 9, ds 7, twin boys Dec 09
I nursed my twins for 2years and 2 weeks! A little sad to be all done now.
We're going through something quite similar and I swear we're only still nursing because I'm stubborn as a mule. Teagan doesn't bite as much as she pinches. For the past month or so she absolutely insists upon pinching the nipple she's not nursing on. Its driving me batty.
You guys are co-sleeping, right? I tried the first step of the Jay Gordon method a few months back and it really helped. Teagan was nursing non-stop and I wasn't getting ANY sleep. It took a few days but now she'll usually just roll over and go back to sleep after I pop her off. After she comes into bed, we have a rule. She has to sleep for a while before she's allowed to nurse again. This sometimes works out to nursing every 2-3 hours but its WAAAY better than before. In a few months, I'm going to move on to stage 2 - going back to sleep without nursing. We're doing it much more slowly that he suggests but that's what I feel comfortable doing.
Thanks ladies for the support. It's nice to know you're not alone in that stuff. She's been pretty good this last week, but I never know when she's going to act up. I"m hoping she'll adopt a sippy PT so she can be more adaptable if she's with the in-laws or just DH.
Emma sleeps in her crib, but a lot of times when she's up in the night, I just do side lying position to BF and a lot of times we fall asleep together, so we're sort of co-sleeping still. I"ll have to look at the Gordon method for when she's in bed.
Have you tried a nursing necklace? I've heard great things about them. At this age it's ok to set boundaries even though it's difficult at the beginning. You may want to have DH take over nights. Have him pick her up and put her back to sleep at night so that you aren't nursing and are well rested for the daytime. Trystan's been driving me nuts lately as well. It's definitely the age. Up, down, here, there, sitting, standing, upside down. I find if I try to nurse T too often he's way more active where if I try to space them out by distracting him for a while first (one way to wean or just schedule sessions to work for both of you). DD nursed to 37 months and weaned when she was so busy during the day that she didn't nurse and had someone else put her to bed after a week of that she only asked once a few months later and after 10 sec of not getting anything never asked again.
One big motivating factor to keep going esp right now (at least for me) is that continuing nursing will drastically decrease the rates at which she will get sick with winter just starting and then you can reevaluate in the spring.
Oh as for the sippy's have you tried just using an open mouthed cup? DD hated sippy's but she could use a regular cup just fine.. I had to keep it out of reach so she didnt spill it but neither of them use sippy's much. T just empties them out to play with them anyway.
Just wanted to check in on you and see how things were going. *hugs* thinking of you.
We do have a nursing necklace. It's one of those mommy necklaces (I think that's the brand name). It's actually what helped save our nursing in the 4-6 month range when she was striking and I had the hardest time keeping her nursing. She's not too interested in it now, but sometimes a string on a jacket of mine will distract her well.
She's got one sippy she likes a lot for milk that's a wider straw nubby so I am going to try to find another one of those. I have thought of trying a cup as she loves being offered things in a cup, although she usually bites the lip of the cup lol.
Giving her the extra "boost" in the winter months has been a huge reason why I want to take it slow with weaning. She's been drinking a little more out of her sippy and now that we're in the new house, she's sleeping better and isn't as needy about the nursing sessions (so usually it's like 5 to 6 now instead of 8+).
My nipples have been so. freaking. sore. the last few days. I O'd early this cycle, so I'm thinking it's just PMS stuff as my body loves to "play pregnant" the week or so before AF comes. Hope all is going well for everyone else.