I need some help figuring out what to do here...
I've been invited to attend a women's weekend with my church this coming weekend. The whole weekend is 2 nights and 3 days, I am debating going for 1 full day (Saturday) and possibly staying the night and returning home after brunch Sunday.
My DD is 19 months. At this point she is nursing 2-3 during the day. At night she sometimes sleeps through, other times she nurses 1-2 times- usually in the early morning then goes back to bed for a couple of hours. When DH puts her to bed and I am not home she will always sleep through the night (weird observations we have made). The sessions she is most dependent on are upon waking. I work 3 days a week and do not pump anymore- she takes an alternative milk in a cup just fine throughout the day. On rare occasions I am out of the house at bedtime she takes milk in a cup at supper and goes to bed just fine. I have always been home to nurse her in the morning and/or another time or two on those days though.
My questions are- do you think that leaving her for more than 24 hours will push her into weaning earlier than she might otherwise have at this point?
How would that affect my milk if I do not nurse that long(pumping is not an option- though I could possibly hand express a little when I use the bathroom just for the stimulation...).?
Will I fair much worse than her emotionally? :P Everyone says "oh, you need/deserve/will love the break"..but I am not sure. Part of me really wants to go and enjoy it. Last year I brought DD because she was just a little nursling and welcome...now she is a busy toddler and cannot attend, but I know I would enjoy myself while there. I also know I would miss her like crazy and be worried about how DH is doing with her for so long. I know I should trust him more but he is a child in a man's body and may be able to keep her alive but I would have to 'let go' of a lot of things...actually, he is likely to spend most of the time at his mother's house...which is..eh, a whole other issue. ;)
Would you do it?
Would you just go for the Saturday full day? I'd have to leave home around 7AM to make it there for the 8AM devotions and breakfast. The program goes pretty late into the night..so I'd either be leaving early and missing some of the social parts or driving home late at night.
I first opened your post because I felt bad that there were so many views but no responses. But, once I read it it really resonated with me.
My daughter is 18 months old, and I have recently had to make a similar decision. She also has very, very similar nursing habits to your DD.
I say go for it Saturday into Sunday, and here's why: If I understand correctly she will be fine wo your milk during the day Saturday and she'll just have other milk. Her dad will put her to bed that night and she will most likely sleep thru the night. So it will be Sunday morning that might be difficult, but then you'll be home later that day.
My DH says with our DD it's mostly "out of sight, out of mind", at least for a day or so. Do you think it might be that way for your DD? I really dont think it will make her wean.
If youre having some anxiety about leaving her with her dad, that may put a damper on things, though. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
I totally understand your reluctance. To your question--would I do it?
Yes--I just did let my 14-month-old stay with my mother-in-law overnight while my husband and I went to a movie, restaurant and hotel for one night for our 4-year wedding anniversary. I was really reluctant to do so, and I inundated my MIL with my advice and worries... but it was fine. She nurses a lot (2-3 times during day and 2-3 during night), but eats plenty of solid foods, so I left a little pumped milk but she mostly just ate.
She did wake up at 4 a.m. calling out "Mommy Mommy Mommy" though--and insisted on holding a picture of me and pointing to it "Mommy Mommy Mommy?"
I was away from her for about maybe 16 hours--our longest separation ever. I pumped a few times to avoid getting engorged. And the first thing she wanted to do when she saw me was nurse like crazy for an hour. She is now (a few days later) nursing two or three times as often--maybe to reassure herself that Mommy is still there for her...?
Of course, it's about you and your comfort level, but if your child is happily nursing, she might be even more eager to do so when you get back?
I did really enjoy the time with my husband, but I'm not eager to spend time away from my little nursling again any time soon. I missed her a lot and had to restrain myself from constantly calling my MIL to check in (I kept it to two calls).
Sewing, knitting, breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering + working mama to baby Zora (born 6/22/10)
I left DS for 2 days, one night, when he was just over 2. He was nursing with about the same frequency as your DD. He did fine (although he was a bit harder to console at night, I think) and nursing picked right back up when I got back.
One thing I didn't expect was that I got engorged! I figured my supply was low enough that it wouldn't be a problem. But by dinner time the first night I found myself hand-expressing into a paper towel in a public bathroom. So if you do go, I would suggest bringing along a hand pump, even if you just pump and dump (unless you are really adept at hand expressing, which I wasn't at the time).
Thanks for your replies!
I know that a big part of my reluctance is my my own feelings about not being with her for so long and missing out on the weekend with her. At a year and a half old I still feel like she NEEDS me every second and clearly can't survive without me around :P
My DH is encouraging me to go and I think he wants to 'prove' he can manage on his own. I know he can, he is great with her in many ways- I just have to let go of the smaller stuff and he will have to depend on himself rather than relying on me to take care of things like meals, packing her diaper bag, diaper laundry, etc. I think he plans to take her out of the house most of the time which is what makes me nervous, haha, he has a really hard time managing outings (what to bring, keeping her occupied, meals on the go, etc). Like I said, I'm pretty sure he will just go to his mom's for the bulk of the day Saturday and just bring DD home for bed that night.
I think she'd do fine during the day- she is used to me going to work and the occasional evening meeting or responsibility. If she does wake at night they might have trouble because I have done all the nighttime parenting for her whole life... she only ever wants to nurse for a bit then go right back to bed without a problem. She is a pretty independent sleeper (literally asks to come to bed to nurse, them gets up and asks for daddy to bring her back to her own bed). We don't bed share anymore so she won't be missing me in that respect.
I am going to go Saturday morning and I am thinking about bringing stuff to stay over night and playing it by ear. Either way I doubt I'd make it back for bedtime since she is in bed by 7. I will talk to her/prep her for my being gone when daddy puts her to bed and I will see her in the morning.
As far as engorgement, I hadn't really thought about that...I guess I do underestimate my milk supply these days since I don't 'feel' so full or get engorged ever, and rarely feel letdown like I did so strongly when I had a huge supply! I wonder how many ounces she is taking on average.... I might have to dig out my hand pump in case of discomfort. I also really don't want to come back and have a big dip in supply after a day or two without nursing.
Sorry for being so wordy- I don't have any friends IRL that nurse this 'long' and so the only advice I get around here is that maybe this is a good opportunity to finally wean her. Cause obviously we need to do that soon. *rolling my eyes*
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