Please hang in there, this may get long. Let's start with my DS. I decided to nightwean him around 18 months. He would take a pacifier so it was fairly easily done with very little crying. He was so busy during the day that he ended up weaning entirely by 19 months. I would have nursed him longer but it was so trouble free I was just thankful to have nursed that long.
Enter DD, she will be 19 months tomorrow. We have many, many sweet moments. I love when she grabs her boppy pillow and drags it over to me smiling and giggling. That said, actually nursing is fairly unpleasant. She pinches and kneads and chews. I have tried a million things but she is really only happy when pinching skin. She won't take a lovey or anything else to mess with. We co-sleep so she starts the night in her crib and then at first waking moves into bed with us. She won't take a pacifier so I am the pacifier from about midnight until we get up. With my son he would nurse and we would both fall back asleep. With DD she bites if my nipple starts to slip out and with all the pinching and kneading neither one of us gets much rest. Frequently I can't take it so I make her unlatch. This leads to screaming and flailing like she is being tortured. It lasts 5-10 minutes max I think...feels like forever. She will hit, kick and generally flees to my DH. I feel awful but then, she falls back asleep. I feel like it's CIO even though both DH and I are trying to soothe her. What do I do? I want sweet memories of nursing not battle scars.
Any advice? Support? Commiseration? I'll even take a flaming if you think I am doing something wrong :)
Mama, here are some huge hugs from me to you, because I am pretty much where you are... only my DD is 26 months old. She still nurses very frequently, especially at night (seems like every 2 hours) and she usually has to be pinching, twiddling, etc my other nipple. If I try to cover it up, many times she'll get upset and try shoving my hand out of the way, and occasionally will even cry if I dont' let her touch me. So what I've started doing is taking her hand and placing it gently on my breast and I say "You can touch mama's breast like this, but you may not pinch me." And she does understand, and even if I have to remind her a few times, she'll eventually remember to only touch.
As for nighttime... you're actually in a great spot if she only cried 5 - 10 minutes and takes comfort in your husband! My husband has resorted to sleeping downstairs on the couch because he can't take DD waking up so often to nurse (and then crying for up to an HOUR if I try and say "no"), and DD gets very distraught if I try and pass her to him anyhow. I end up getting very frustrated, yelling, slapping myself in the forehead, etc because I am sooo tired, and I feel obligated to nurse her if I want to get back to sleep quickly.
DH and I have actually begun discussing getting DD her own toddler bed to see if it will help things. She will still be in our room with us, and she might even be right beside our bed, but after talking we feel like if she had her own bed and was not right next to me all night (because she literally sleeps half on my body most of the night), she may actually sleep longer and therefore nurse less. It just has to happen because it is putting too much of a strain on all of us.
Perhaps you could try giving your DD her own bed next to your own? Or get up and leave the room whenever DD wakes up crying to nurse so your DH can settle her down... Enough nights of that and she may fall into a new rhythm where she can put herself back to sleep instead of depending on nursing (like my DD does). I hope this helps somewhat, mama!
Thank you thank you MayasMama88 for the response and perspective. Sorry you are going through this too. Here I felt horrible that she would scream for 10 minutes when you're right It is good she will go to DH and does re-settle.
If it helps you we did move our DS out of our bed because he was like sleeping with a helicopter and I was worried we were waking each other up. Sure enough, he slept better on his own. I missed him but t was better for all of us.
I'm glad to hear that you had a good experience with your DS! I'm definitely nervous about putting her in her own bed, but I think it will help in the ways you mentioned above. On a side note, DD amazingly slept from 10 or 11pm until 5am this morning without waking up once!!! I could scarcely believe it, but it just goes to show how things can change so suddenly with children. This is not to say that I'm expecting her to sleep that well every night (although it would be wonderful if she did), but it's a start! :)
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