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Doubting myself. . .

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi mamas. I'm feeling a bit down and out right now. DD is 1yo and is still going strong nursing about every 2-3 hours. She has many food intolerances and so we introduced solids late and slowly. Lately she screams when I put her down or try to put her in her chair to eat. She wants to be in my arms and preferably latched on. I am losing confidence that I am doing the right thing by nursing on demand at this stage. If I wear a shirt with a v neck or tank she shoves her arms down my top and wants to touch my breasts all.the.time.
post #2 of 13
no advice, but just to let you know we are in a similar boat. DS is about to turn one year, and he is still 90-95% on breastmilk. And he doesn't have any intolerances, he just doesn't seem that into food! Last night we tried to give him a bit of our dinner as usual and he ate even less than usual and cried to get out of the high chair and nurse instead (or, he does also like water out of his sippy cup, its true, but only for a little while) I work FT, so he does do bottles of pumped milk - but on weekends he still nurses every hour or two (he grazes)

and yeah, now he just goes for the boobs whenever I am holding him! I wear tanks since it is easier to nurse, but it also means its easier for him to pull my shirt down!

I wonder also, most other folks I know w/ babes this age are even weaning, or not nursing anywhere near as much. I figure all babes are different, but I do wonder if I should be pushing food more or trying to set some boundaries w/ nursing. (beyond the 'biting, no more boob! one )
post #3 of 13
You're doing the right thing by nursing her on demand; at one year she's still a baby... she won't still be nursing that much a year from now, even if you are still nursing according to her cues.

My daughter was slow to take to solids (even though we introduced them around 6 months) and nursed A TON between 12 and 18 months (and more than most kids her age even after that). Around the age of two she started dropping a lot of daytime nursing sessions of her own accord out of a preference for other foods/activities. Even the most avid nurser doesn't nurse like a newborn forever.

That said, there's nothing wrong with beginning to teach her some nursing etiquette at this point if her behavior is making you uncomfortable, although the best strategy at this point (assuming she's closer to 12 months than 24) is probably diverting her attention when she pulls at your shirt. You might just have to wear more conservative shirts as a deterrent for awhile (For what it's worth I've heard complaints of weaned toddlers engaging in the same behavior.)
post #4 of 13
Ds was the same way at about a year. He would barely touch solids. Then all of a sudden, he was just REALLY into food. He still nurses about 4 times a day and throughout the night, but has gotten to where he will ask and while he will pull on my shirt for a minute, if I say no, he stops. He has also started putting my shirt back when he is done. It's too cute.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks. All of the other moms I know with similar aged (12mos) babies only nurse a handful of times each day. I think DD would prefer to be attached 24/7. She also has started to startle at noises and will race to me to take cover when something startles her. I have read so much about AP kids being more independent that it makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong. I also wonder if I am not offering enough food and that is why she wants to nurse so much. FWIW, we just came out of a week with the inlaws staying at our house and my MIL proceeded to tell me all that we are doing wrong. Now, I know that we are making the best choices for DD, but actually having someone say that directly to me (what they feel we are doing wrong) hit me harder than I thought it would, IYKWIM.

Hearing that I am not alone and that it is OK helps. I'm just feeling really low on confidence today.

decided to edit to clarify that I don't expect her to be independent at 1yo- just trying to sort through whether I am being a good mama to her.
post #6 of 13
Sometimes my 14 mo drives me crazy with his nursing! He signs for milk, and there are days where he's doing the sign non-stop. I just think "again..you've got to be kidding me!"

Try to slow down and do something for you while nursing. It's hard, I know that when he interrupts me in the middle of something, clinging and asking for milk, it sometimes is easier to feel frustrated and stuck. Take the time to grab a book or sit at the computer or even watch a movie while you nurse. I feel better when I use the time to relax while he nurses, and we both get a little bit of what we need.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThankfulMama View Post
Thanks. All of the other moms I know with similar aged (12mos) babies only nurse a handful of times each day. I think DD would prefer to be attached 24/7. She also has started to startle at noises and will race to me to take cover when something startles her. I have read so much about AP kids being more independent that it makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong. I also wonder if I am not offering enough food and that is why she wants to nurse so much. FWIW, we just came out of a week with the inlaws staying at our house and my MIL proceeded to tell me all that we are doing wrong. Now, I know that we are making the best choices for DD, but actually having someone say that directly to me (what they feel we are doing wrong) hit me harder than I thought it would, IYKWIM.
I think that it's a cultural thing. Most of the children we know in real life have been gently mother led weaned by 18 months (if they were breastfed). A lot of parents only want their children to breastfeed for one year and begin introducing human milk substitutes early. Other factors like the number of bottles and pacifier use also contribute to earlier weaning, whether or not it's intentional. All of the 12-36 month olds I know who are no longer breastfeeding are very attached to their pacifiers. I've known other children who ate a fair amount of solids before 12 months but still went on to breastfeed for 3+ years.

My husband offered a variety of solids regularly and our daughter still didn't eat them until she was ready. (I'll admit that I was pretty relaxed about it.) And for a long time even as her solid intake increased she still nursed a lot because she had a strong need to comfort suck.

Toddlers go through fearful/clingy phases whether or not they're still being breastfed. It seems to mostly depend on individual temperament as well. It seems like the kids whose parents respect their need to be dependent end up having fewer other issues later on. I have a few older friends who have teenage/adult AP-ed kids and you can totally see the difference in their relationships.

Mothering Your Nursing Toddler is a pretty good resource/pep talk for nursing beyond the first year and even attachment parenting in general.

And MILs seem to be great at making you feel like crap. Mine managed to make me feel guilty/inadequate for being pregnant! (And she WANTS another grandchild...)
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
thanks bunches! Your support helps a lot. It is hard sometimes because I have few AP friends IRL. Most are pro CIO etc. Someone told me yesterday that DD (12mo) was trying to manipulate me when she cries for me an not DH. ugh.
post #9 of 13
I would listen to your DD, she can get all she needs from you still at 1yo. My Dd who will be 2 this month hardly eats any food. I offer and she will take a bit or too and ask to nurse. I don't push it they will eat when they are ready. Trust yourself mama you are doing what she needs. Listening to her and I don't think nursing on demand has caused this or the delay of solids.
post #10 of 13
I just wanted to say stay strong mama. You are doing the best you can for your LO. Maybe it is a growth spurt or just needing the closeness. My dd who is almost 2 1/2 just woke up the other night and started nursing constantly like a newborn! I was like "Whoa,what is going on here?" she did that for about a week or so nursing every 2-3 hours. Then one day she just stoppped and went right back to nursing once or twice a day.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the continued support.

We are trying to offer more food, but I don't think its that. She just wants to nurse and i think it may be the closeness. She has been nursing VERY often the last 3 nights and no one is getting much sleep. Today, she is wanting to nurse every 1.5 to 2 hours. I have noticed that she definitely wants to be very close to me all the time. I guess I just wondered whether there was any potential downside to nursing whenever she wants to at this age. (i.e. is it always and forever on demand or at what point during BF does that change?)
post #12 of 13
There are no downsides to continuing what you are doing. It sounds like she obviously needs the connection, when her need is meet, then she will move on. It doesn't always have to be on demand, when she gets older, if you want to, you can set limits.

I have had 3 nurslings, my first nursed all.the.time the only time she practically wasn't nursing is when she was crying. That child is 7 now, and out of my 3, she is the one that NEEDS to be right by you, she craves the affections, closeness, it was wired into her. It wasn't anything I did, I did the same with my others and they don't need as much as she does. She let me know from a young age what she needed, just like your child is doing. It wasn't always be this hard BTW, it does get better the older they get.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
thank you! These words of encouragement help so much.
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