Been a long time since I've been here..and that's because this site was screwing with my ancient computer for some reason.
But I've come here, today, with a question I'm seriously seeking advice on from other breastfeeding moms.
My fiance's friend is giving him a birthday present this upcoming year - and that is to see someone, in concert, that he, and I both adore. His friend thought it would be nice if he got me a ticket too, as since our son's been born, the last time we've been out together by ourselves are quick trips to the grocery store if he's sleeping, and when he was just a few days old to just under 2 weeks old before I was able to transition him fully to breastfeeding.
..But that poses a problem.
My son is breastfed, and really only falls asleep nursing. He also rarely accepts comfort long-term from anyone else but me. This concert is going to take me away from him for a good part of the day, and I've only been away from him for an hour at most, due to the reasons mentioned above. The last time he had a bottle was when he was just shy of 2 weeks old, and we don't use pacifiers. My mom's going to bring over her rocking chair, because that's the one thing he finds comfort in other than breastfeeding. But beyond that..I guess I'm not sure how to satisfy his suckling needs. Now, I have no issues staying home with him and having my fiance bring someone else along *if* that's what it comes down to. I am well aware of my responsibilities as a parent. And we fully plan on running test trials where I am away for longer and longer periods of times to see where our son's comfort level(and mine) lay, and see if we can stretch that, bit by bit.
But again, I'm at a loss. Should I even try introducing him to a bottle, or a pacifier, and see which he might find comfort in better, if either at all? Or should I look into other methods for his grandparents(all 4 would be watching him) to comfort him? =/ Thoughts seriously appreciated.
Oh, by the way, he'll be just a few days shy of 24 months by the time this concert comes up. If that helps anyone. He is 20 months now.
You may also want to post this in the breastfeeding forum if you don't get many replies here.
I want to make sure I have all the info correct...... your DS is 20 months and Exclusively BF? No solids at all? If that is the case, you would need to have pumped milk in a bottle if you are going to be gone that long.
If he is taking solids in substantial amounts, I think having an afternoon apart should not be an issue (for breastfeeding). Does he trust and know the grandparents? Do they know the activities that he enjoys? Have a list of things to keep him occupied. I would give it a try and be willing to leave early if needed.
SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)
Er no no, he eats solids! Plenty of 'em! Sorry, perhaps I didn't use the term correctly? I breastfeed him on demand. And he mainly gets his liquids that way, unless he clearly states he wants his sippy cup. And yes, he lives, together with us and two of his grandparents, and visits his other grandparents regularly. I'm just not sure if being away for that period of time will cause his suckling needs to become unbearable and if I should come up with something so that he can have that need met, especially if he gets tired.
There, I edited my original post above.
What time would you be leaving for the concert? If you wear him out during the day (especially after his nap, or second nap if he is still on two) he should totally crash after a good meal and maybe a bath. I think by 24 months he will be able to find something to sate any suckling needs. My DS really liked an unused bulb syringe an EMT friend had one day. We didn't do pacifiers or bottles and were also nursing on demand. He had a couple of things that he found (like the bulb syringe and a gourd rattle) that he liked to chew and drool on for a while, and sometimes at night would phantom nurse/suckle without anything in there.
Are you worried that he might take to a pacifier or bottle, or even a thumb, and it will become habitual? I think if you tried a pacifier as a one time thing to help with comfort nursing it would be okay, but he might not even take it! My DS took one out of a friends diaper bag and couldn't figure it out. He was around 24 mos at the time and he just thought it was the funniest thing ("Look Mama! It's like a booba, but there's no juice!!! Who left their empty booba in ______'s bag?"
Ha! Our son will chew on a bulb syringe when he's in the car seat... but it's not thrilling enough to soothe him. I don't *think* a paci or bottle would become habitual... but yes, the question is if he'll even take to it. Last night I handed him a Soothie pacifier they gave him in the hospital as a newborn to see what he thought of it; he had no idea what it was for. Months ago I had made him a rattle out of a cleaned out Similac ready-feed bottle that he'd been loaded up with in the hospital, and for the longest time, he liked chewing and at time sucking on, and much preferred the mouth-feel of the latex on that bottle's nipple. I do want to get him a latex pacifier to introduce to him, even if I have to soak it in breastmilk, for his grandparents to have on hand, should he need to suckle. But at 20 months I'm not afraid he'll chose it over me :) I just want to have something for him to suckle on..should he need it. Because this concert is 2 hours away, so even if we were to leave early, which I'm totally fine with, my son comes before anything... that's still 2 hours that I'd prefer him not to be in a desperate state of needing mommy =/
Yes, actually. Just today. We planned on doing them for quite a while to see where his comfort levels lie and to see if we can stretch them. I stayed downstairs for as long as possible until no one could distract him any longer. He didn't last too terribly long, lol... We went out today and I picked up a Nuk latex pacifier. And he likes the mouth-feel of it, actually accepted it into his mouth and enjoyed chewing on it and sucking on it-pulling it out-pushing it in-sucking on it, lol.... so...it MAY work as a substitute for my breasts should he need to suckle.
But of course.. he KNEW I was downstairs, too. Because when he had had it, he hung out next to the door to the downstairs, crying. So this practice run might not have even given way to a realistic response of his. I've read that I should leave when he's good and distracted, instead of letting him see me leave? I'm right in reading that, am I not? Because he saw me disappear downstairs, so maybe if I'm just suddenly gone, he won't take it as bad as long as he's sufficiently distracted. So perhaps we will have to do a realistic trial run in which I leave when he's distracted and only spend a short time gone. Maybe I'll go for a walk or somethin'.
Hello! What an exciting and stressful time, leaving your babe for the first time.
I too left my nursling at 20 months for a concert, however, I left the city overnight! What I found wasn't what I expected.
I was unable to pump ( just never got the knack) so my mum offered almond milk to her in a sippy. During the day, my mom played with her, read her books, fed her; business as usual. For her afternoon nap, my mum walked her in a stroller ( which she had never been in so she didn't fight it-she found it fun!) and when she fell asleep my mum stopped at a park and read a book so she didn't have to transfer M. In the evening, after supper, my mum bathed her, read her books, gave her a bedtime snack, offered warm almond milk, then she read her more books. When she thought M was good and tired she popped her in her car seat and drove for about 30 mins. M fell asleep and my dad transferred her to my bed. She woke up a bit so my mum rubbed her back and hummed " twinkle, twinkle". Then they both fell asleep!
I was expecting she would miss me so much, she didn't look for me once!
If you trust your caregivers and so does your little one, they will be fine. You, on the other hand, will be nervous and missing your babe! Try and enjoy yourself anyway!!
I left M later in life when she was about 3.5, and still nursing ((GASP)) this time for 3 days. Everyone said " This is perfect, she'll wean while you're gone". Ha, she asked my MIL if she had nursies that M could have! Then, when she saw a friend of mine, who was a nursing mum, she asked if she could have her nursies!
Oh, that's a really uplifting story! Thanks! The milk is a really good idea. Our son is fine with both almond milk and whole milk. But he might calm down and go to sleep if he's being particularly reluctant as long as he's got some sort of *milk*, I had been thinking about that...
I don't know what it is with people thinking your absence is a good idea to wean =/ My brother said perhaps I should work on weaning him before this concert. My response was "..Why would I want to wean him?"
We have only left our DS for short periods of time with friends/relatives (an hour or two) a couple of times, but the novelty of hanging out with someone else seemed to trump our absence! We also gave our friends some ideas for projects they could try that would be a fun and exciting treat, things that we didn't do every day. And it's true, I think we were WAY more aware of our absence from DS than he was!
I was always pretty hard-core about never leaving my babies, but by age 2, both of them were fine for a full day without me. Ds1 weaned on his own right around 24mos and ds2 kept going way longer.
A few ideas for you...
Don't leave ds, let him leave you. Have his GPs take him out the door for a walk around the block so you can go without a scene. Better yet, have them take him to a park or the mall for a few hours. Might be just distracting enough to keep him happy.
I wouldn't worry too much about making sure he has something to suck on for just one day. My ds2 had a HIGH sucking need. He nursed constantly around the clock for 2 full years and then kept going all day til age 5. Anytime he was close to the boobs, he wanted to nurse. But by age 2, exdh could pick him up and take him out all day and he didn't give nursing a second thought. (And I know ex wasn't lying bc I could call him at any time and ask to speak to ds and he was never crying, not once. And also, ex wouldn't have known what to do with a crying child; he's the type to bring him right back!)
And one last thought: If you're worried about being 2 hrs away, could you get a hotel room for ds and the GPs to hang out in while you enjoy the concert? Then if he needs you, you are super close by.
I understand how it's really hard to leave the kids while they're nursing! I couldn't leave my baby for more than an hour until he was 6 or 7 months, and even then, it was hard.
I think that by age 2, you should be able to swing it! If your son does eating and sippy cup, start experimenting with leaving him for a few hours (like 3 or 4) during the daytime. Day is easier than night. Make sure that your caregiver is understanding about rocking him and letting him sleep (for comfort) while snuggled and that sort of thing. Then you can try leaving him at bedtime. That might be a harder sell for your son! Good luck.
DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)
Okay! So tonight I wound up accompanying(with my fiance) a close friend to her grandma's funeral, since she'd have no other support person there. I was, incredibly nervous, leaving our son. But thanks to everyone's suggestions here, he did superb. He noticed I was gone shortly after I left(I put my coat on and slipped out while his grandparents distracted him), but they just kept distracting him, and when I came back... it was like he didn't even recognize how long I was gone. He smiled at me, wanted a hug, I set him down, he decided he wasn't ready to leave me just yet and nursed quickly(thank goodness, because my breasts were getting stuffed after being gone from him for 6 hours >.<), and he was back to playing. Just like that. I was expecting a greater welcome back from him, and I feel a little cheated, honestly! lol!
Edit: He wouldn't take a nap for his grandparents. He's passed out now, of course, so he was going from the time he woke up, to pretty much a half hour ago. Poor guy..
Thanks! I am too. Just like everyone said, I think I was more nervous about it than he was. I kept checking the phone for missed calls every 5 minutes or so. Apparently he did run around looking for me for a little bit, but they just kept distracting him and offering him his favorite foods and drinks. I really was expecting more of a welcome back from him, and feel kind of cheating with what I did get...lol... But I am very pleased it wound up working out exactly like everyone else had said.
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13