Hi there, my 18 month old daughter has always nursed on demand and slept in my bed. Around 4-6 months old, she started comfort nursing at night for an excessive amount of time but I put up with it because I thought it was a developmental thing - or growth spurt - or teething - or other passing stage. I just wanted to do what was best for her so I kept on trying, hoping it would pass.
Well, it wasn't a passing thing, and now she will switch back and forth ALL NIGHT. If I try to unlatch her, she bites. HARD. If I succeed in getting her off, she screams until morning, or until she makes herself sick and we have to start bedtime all over again. She has no self-soothing, would never take a bottle or soother, and is too upset to drink from a cup.
I tried for about 2 weeks straight to keep her off for a 4 hour period in the middle of the night. There was no progress, just a very upset and sad baby. She does not take comfort from my Husband at night. She loves to play and read with him but is so angry when he tries to help her sleep.
I just don't know what to do. I don't sleep. I mean I must sleep lightly, or else I would not be functional, but it's really not much, and I really want to night wean although at this point I would be so happy to fully wean her. It isn't what I intended, but she is getting so demanding that it is making me resent nursing. SHe will pull down my top on the bus when there are creepy people around, or in cold weather, and won't take no for an answer.
I am not enjoying breastfeeding anymore, it is not working for me at all, and I know most people on here will be in favour of BLW (for many good reasons) and keeping on until she gradually stops, but I have had enough. I just have no idea what to do about it.
Even though the nights may be more difficult for you, you might want to start limiting her during the day, so she gets used to the idea when she isn't in a sleep state. Then, she is presumably more distractable. I can almost always say "no" without tears when my older (age 3) nursling is fully conscious. But at night, it's a different story....
At night, I've been helping mine back to sleep with foot rubs and back tickles. But he is much older......Maybe it would help to offer an alternative soothing technique before she even starts nursing for the night, rather than trying to pry her away....
It sounds reaaly challenging! But, just remember that it is very temporary! Best of luck!
Thanks, I have been trying to distract her during the day but as you say, that definitely doesn't work at night. I wish I could give her back rubs but she is really so upset at night that she will be in full tantrum mode. I have never got her to sleep without nursing so I don't even know how.
I am working on getting my 10 month old down to one night feeding, because he literally nurses and cries all night. We have been using this method. I am on day three, and I am finally enjoying breastfeeding again and getting more sleep. This method isn't for everyone since your baby will probably cry, but my baby was crying while nursing too so it works. I have been just sitting up and holding him and telling him I love him while he cries. Last night he woke up and went right back to sleep. He has never done that. Good luck!
V + E=baby G in 2012. Rural Midwestern homesteaders going back to their roots.
“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” -Paulo Coelho
18 months is about when I wean. It's hard for a few days, but once weaning is over, you will feel so relieved and happy that you can move on to a different stage in your relationship with your daughter. I felt the guilt for BLW, but when nursing isn't working, it isn't working! It's confusing for the little ones when sometimes we let them nurse and other times we don't. But it is so great to be able to comfort with snuggles, stories, kisses, etc after the weaning that I always wonder why I waited so long :) My method is just quitting cold turkey. I gently say, "All done," to my baby/toddler and then distract them. I day wean first because then they know what "all done" means at night. They cry for a few days, but it is only a few days. It is better to put up with a few days of crying NOW than it is to put up with weeks and weeks of unproductive sleep and the resulting cranky mama. Not a single of my six children remember being weaned and not a single one feels unattached or unloved because I didn't let them decide when they needed to wean. The second part, getting them to fall asleep without nursing, is a little harder. My first would fall asleep as we read to him or we would put on a DVD and let him fall asleep in our lap. When there were two in one room, we would put them to bed, put on a CD, and I would snuggle with the youngest in his bed until he was asleep. When #3 joined the club, she just did what her brothers did-she didn't need any extra snuggling or reading...and the rest were the same-they just copied their older siblings. The first one was the hardest though because he had no one to copy;)
Thanks, I am glad I'm not so terrible for trying to cut back on my own, even though my daughter would be happy to nurse for a lot longer. I would be happy to keep on nursing if it was a more manageable amount of time, but it's not.
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