Nipple sucking while co-sleeping - Mothering Forums

Nipple sucking while co-sleeping

Iamhappy2BAmom's Avatar Iamhappy2BAmom (TS)
10:07 AM Liked: 0
#1 of 22
09-25-2007 | Posts: 203
Joined: Oct 2006
Ok- I am not sure if this is a cosleeping issue or BF issue so I will probably post in both.

I nurse DD to sleep (she is 3 months old). I don't sleep as well co-sleeping but it seems the path of least resistance right now since if she get's hungry at night I don't have to fully wake up, I can just re-insert my breast in her mouth- or better yet when I'm really exhausted she finds it herself. Anyway, we are now in a situation where she needs my nipple in her mouth when I lay next to her constantly. Not to suck but just to have. During her light sleep transition she gropes for it and get's panicky and wakes up unless she finds my nipple again. She doesn't want the whole breast- she just wants the nipple tip and when I have a let down sometimes she will clamp down b/c the milk wakes her up and she does not seem to like that either. On the other hand when I am not in bed with her and I watch her through the video monitor she does not get panicky and grope around during her light sleep phase, she stirs but settles back down quickly and is out again. I've watched her through the night a few times- partly because my nipples are in pain and my body hurts b/c making sure my nipple is constantly accessible means not changing positions too much which makes my body hurt.

So I do feel conflicted:

Co-sleeping- she seems to prefer our bed to her crib- and we don’t want to do the CIO method – that’s why she is in our bed.

Nursing- She is just nipple sucking when she is not clamping down and seems to want it in he mouth constantly when I lie next to her…

Thoughts?
TinyMama's Avatar TinyMama
11:02 AM Liked: 13
#2 of 22
09-25-2007 | Posts: 693
Joined: Sep 2007
Why don't you try a port-a-crib or something similar in your bedroom? That way she can hear your breathing and movements (which may be why she sleeps better when she's co-sleeping) but she's not close enough to smell the milk and feel your breast.

My 4 1/2 mo dd has been doing this marathon nipple-sucking almost since birth. She has also sucked her thumb from about 1mo, which is a real nipple-saver for me, especially at night. Often, when she is done eating but still wants to suck, I will flip her onto her tummy and she will find her thumb immediately--that way she can keep sucking while she's sleeping. (Tummy is better than back for thumb-suckers because they don't "lose" their thumbs as easily.) Maybe you could try introducing your lo to her thumb.
SublimeBirthGirl's Avatar SublimeBirthGirl
02:03 PM Liked: 1063
#3 of 22
09-25-2007 | Posts: 3,428
Joined: Sep 2005
Any interest in a pacifier? Maybe try that.
Iamhappy2BAmom's Avatar Iamhappy2BAmom (TS)
08:39 PM Liked: 0
#4 of 22
09-25-2007 | Posts: 203
Joined: Oct 2006
We do have a mini-porta-crib next to our bed but she wakes up and starts to cry when placed there - even when she is out. She sleeps in our bed and likes to take up space.

Isn't tummy sleeping discouraged in shared bed or even crib? I mean all my siblings and myself were all tummy sleepers- but everyone now adays seems to warn against it.

She won't take a pacifier. We have tried three different ones so far and she chews them up and spits it out.

She doesn't suck her thumb but she chews on her fingers constantly since 2 months. She likes to chew more than suck it seems.
onesofar's Avatar onesofar
08:45 PM Liked: 0
#5 of 22
09-25-2007 | Posts: 56
Joined: Jun 2007
Tummy sleeping is a no-no for many of an increased risk of SIDS. However, co-sleeping and breastfeeding are 2 often unmentioned reducers of SIDS. Our ds has become more of a tummy sleeper as he has gotten older, and our dr. did tell us that as soon as he could hold up his head, the risk of tummy sleeping was diminished because he would be able to turn his head if he needed to get out of a situation. So, in my mind, tummy sleeping would be an option to try.

I have found that when I turn my back to ds, he doesn't seem to want my nipple in his mouth ALL night, just most of it ; I don't know if perhaps by turning my back he can't smell my milk quite as much, but when I really need to get some shut-eye, I put him on one side and turn my back to him.

Good luck!
MommytoTwo's Avatar MommytoTwo
08:53 PM Liked: 0
#6 of 22
09-25-2007 | Posts: 3,864
Joined: Jun 2004
1ht

try turning your back to her or sleeping head-to-toe....i find that when ds is close to my breast he looks for it more ... he settles himself easier in the pack n play next to my bed.DS tummy sleeps in his pack n play but I wont let him do it in our bed - too squishy.
Pumpkin_Pie's Avatar Pumpkin_Pie
11:30 PM Liked: 55
#7 of 22
09-25-2007 | Posts: 4,587
Joined: Oct 2006
My DS loves to sleep with my nipple in his mouth too, and I just realized a couple of days ago that I could sleep with my back to him, and I wasn't going to set off some sort of "bad mommy" alarm. He has been waking up to play at 2:30-3:30 lately, and I simply turn my back to him and let him play by himself or wait until he begins to fuss for my breast and then I turn back and nurse him back to sleep.

It was such a lightbulb moment to realize I could actually do that!
Iamhappy2BAmom's Avatar Iamhappy2BAmom (TS)
05:31 AM Liked: 0
#8 of 22
09-26-2007 | Posts: 203
Joined: Oct 2006
I've tried turning my back to DD but I started feeling panicky- like what if she pulls a blanket over her head, or what if she scoots so far that she wiggles off the bed or starts to nuzzle in a pillow. Or I worry that she will "cuddle" up to my back and I will accidentally lie on her. She's pretty good at holding her head up now and she weighs about 12 pounds. Still tiny.

I turned my back on her once- but I think the anxiety emanating from my body plus the fact I kept turning around to look woke her up.

What's the best thing to put on the side of the bed, the bolster or the rail? Right not we just have her mini crib against our bed.

I'm worried how we can keep this going when she actually easily roll over more or starts crawling... Our mattress is pretty high off the floor.
Momtwice's Avatar Momtwice
08:15 AM Liked: 33
#9 of 22
09-26-2007 | Posts: 10,142
Joined: Nov 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by SublimeBirthGirl View Post
Any interest in a pacifier? Maybe try that.
Although it can interfere with breastfeeding for some bf pairs.
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/concerns/pacifier.html
SublimeBirthGirl's Avatar SublimeBirthGirl
10:49 AM Liked: 1063
#10 of 22
09-26-2007 | Posts: 3,428
Joined: Sep 2005
I would be incredibly UNconcerned with nipple confusion in a 3 month old with an established breastfeeding relationship. Neither of mine took a paci, but I wouldn't have hesitated to try it at 3 months to save my nipples. IMO nipple confusion is not particularly likely at any age, and by 3 months I would really not be worried.

I'm not sure I buy the back-to-sleep thing. We have seen the rate of SIDS decrease but it seems to me some of that is probably due to better diagnostic tools in medicine. SIDS is unexplained death; more and more deaths are being explained by other things so naturally the rate of SIDS appears to go down, since things are being more accurately classified.
Momtwice's Avatar Momtwice
03:00 PM Liked: 33
#11 of 22
09-26-2007 | Posts: 10,142
Joined: Nov 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by SublimeBirthGirl View Post
I would be incredibly UNconcerned with nipple confusion in a 3 month old with an established breastfeeding relationship. Neither of mine took a paci, but I wouldn't have hesitated to try it at 3 months to save my nipples. IMO nipple confusion is not particularly likely at any age, and by 3 months I would really not be worried.
Pacifiers caused me and a lot of other moms a lot of trouble with breastfeeding, both latch and supply. For other moms they do not cause bf problems. That's why I put the link above with a lot more information. They help some moms, and cause problems for other moms.

Using one to "save" your nipples can help some moms, but can increase sore nipples for a mom if they change the way the baby latches. It's not a one-size-fits all issue.

And yes, even older babies can get nipple confusion/preference sometimes. This article mentions that. (Looking for the link for a longer article I saw...)
http://www.medela.com/NewFiles/faq/nipconfus.html
veggiemomma's Avatar veggiemomma
04:00 PM Liked: 0
#12 of 22
09-26-2007 | Posts: 970
Joined: Oct 2004
Well, my dd was the same. We moved a crib in beside our bed and took the side down so that it was like one big bed. After she was asleep, I would skooch her over into her bed. When she woke to eat, I would just reach out and pull her (safely) toward me without hardly waking up. I also always wore a nursing bra and nursing pads because the entire bed would be wet when we woke up if I didn't. It isn't that difficult to unlatch the strap. You get to where you can do it in your sleep. It might also help if her access was a little more restricted. I mean, she thinks "It' s here in my face, so why not." I mean, if there was chocolate cake right there within inches from you all night long, eventually, you would probably eventually take a bite even if you weren't hungry. I would, anyway.

I honestly think they babies can smell their momma's milk and it is SO comforting, they just want to be close to it.
Iamhappy2BAmom's Avatar Iamhappy2BAmom (TS)
09:51 PM Liked: 0
#13 of 22
09-26-2007 | Posts: 203
Joined: Oct 2006
Great idea on the crib being right next to the bed so that you can just *scoot* the child. Wow wish I thought of that sooner. Now we just have a mini crib where the baby needs to be lifted and placed inside we figured it would save space... next time.
riversong's Avatar riversong
02:19 AM Liked: 0
#14 of 22
09-27-2007 | Posts: 1,766
Joined: Aug 2005
What worked best for me with both dc (with whom I co-slept/cosleep) was to take my nipple quickly out of their mouths when they got to the flutter sucking stage. She might startle at first, but if you can lay a hand on her to settle her down, she might just grope for a few seconds and settle into sleep. Seriously, the faster you pull your nipple out of her mouth when she starts flutter sucking, the better. If you try and inch it out, she'll just wake up a little and start sucking harder. I used to have to have my nipple in dd's mouth throughout her entire nap and it was driving me crazy. When another mom clued me in on pulling my nipple out fast, I found she really could sleep without it in her mouth. Good luck!
cjanelles
03:07 AM Liked: 0
#15 of 22
09-27-2007 | Posts: 1,944
Joined: Oct 2005
My dd is almost 4 mos and she will not sleep next to me in the bed...because she reflexively wants to nurse, even if there's no way she's hungry.

We went through a lot of similar stuff in the early days with her, and my only solution was this...to put her in the pack n' play (with the bassinet insert and hood) in our room at the foot of my bed.

I nurse her to sleep, until she is out like a light, then I lay her down in her bed. It took a few days, and NO crying it out, before she was really comfortable and slept soundly for longer periods of time, but now she will sleep for up to 10 hours (but usually just around 7) in her bed.

The few times when she does wake up and it's very early or I've just been able to fall asleep and I try to bring her into bed with me, she nurses, passes out, and then does the frantic nipple-search thing...

Remember, the whole thing about positive night-time parenting is finding a solution that works best for the whole family, and sometimes baby in the bed with momma and daddy is not always the best solution.
kdtmom2be's Avatar kdtmom2be
03:56 AM Liked: 10
#16 of 22
09-27-2007 | Posts: 3,677
Joined: Aug 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjanelles View Post
My dd is almost 4 mos and she will not sleep next to me in the bed...because she reflexively wants to nurse, even if there's no way she's hungry.
:
Although it IS getting easier to tell her "shhh" and get her to go back to sleep on her own, but it's been work. Have you tried the "pantley pull-off"?? I've heard it called that here, I haven't finished reading the book but it is a method that saved my sanity. Gently unlatch your child and press gently on the front or bottom of thier chin, this stops the rooting reflex and they'll settle into a deeper sleep without the nipple. It worked the first time for us, and works like a charm still.

Quote:
Remember, the whole thing about positive night-time parenting is finding a solution that works best for the whole family, and sometimes baby in the bed with momma and daddy is not always the best solution.
: to that too! DD starts out in her crib and depending on if she will nurse back to sleep eaily or not, stays there or comes in to our bed when she wakes up in the night.
chemer's Avatar chemer
06:32 PM Liked: 0
#17 of 22
09-27-2007 | Posts: 76
Joined: Jun 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjanelles View Post
I nurse her to sleep, until she is out like a light, then I lay her down in her bed. It took a few days, and NO crying it out, before she was really comfortable and slept soundly for longer periods of time, but now she will sleep for up to 10 hours (but usually just around 7) in her bed.
So, if you weren't crying it out, were you pulling her back into your bed as she started to cry?
Iamhappy2BAmom's Avatar Iamhappy2BAmom (TS)
06:42 PM Liked: 0
#18 of 22
09-27-2007 | Posts: 203
Joined: Oct 2006
I tried the pantley method-- that would work 1 out of 10 times. I've pulled my nipple out both when she was fluttering and when she was just "holding" my nipple and she wakes up furious. I've tried turning my back to her which will work for an hour and about 30 minutes of kicking me in the back. Well, I guess I should let it go for now and try the same techniques in month. But BOY DO MY NIPPLES HURT. They do feel a bit damaged. (*sigh*)
MovingMomma's Avatar MovingMomma
07:07 PM Liked: 13
#19 of 22
09-27-2007 | Posts: 2,326
Joined: Apr 2004
Your nipples hurt from doing the Pantley pull off? Make sure you are breaking baby's latch before rolling away!
cjanelles
04:41 AM Liked: 0
#20 of 22
09-28-2007 | Posts: 1,944
Joined: Oct 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemer View Post
So, if you weren't crying it out, were you pulling her back into your bed as she started to cry?
Basically, it went like this:

I'd nurse her and burp her in our chair in the living room. She'd doze off.

I'd lay her down in her bassinet. Usually, within just a few minutes, she'd start wiggling and bobbing her head, pecking her sheet. When she started to make grunting noises, I'd go to her and pick her up before she got upset enough to cry or got too awake.

I'd hold her and sway and pat her back until she was dozing again, and I'd lay her back down.

I'd repeat this scenario one or two more times. Then, after picking her up, settling her (because I *never* let her get to the upset point) and laying her back down a few times, if she didn't stay asleep, if she started wiggling or fussing, I would go to her and pat her back and "shhh" her.

The first night, this was about a 3 hour process, and I knew it would be a long time. She didn't sleep in her bassinet that night. She ended up sleeping in the bed with us, but I was figuring that would happen.

After about 4 days of doing the above routine of continuing to lay her in her bed when she was settled and content, it seemed like she's been doing it since birth. She slept better in the bassinet than she did with us because I think our noises and movement disturbed her.

I sort of took the idea from the sleep chapter in "The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer"...I modified it to work for our family, though...The one thing she said that stuck with me is that parents should help baby to feel safe and comfortable in their own beds...Now, I didn't have a problem with Willow sleeping with us in our bed, but the thing was...she wasn't sleeping. And I was going crazy. So, it was an effort to find a working solution for our family that led me to try to acclimate her to her bed (in our room, of course).

I never let her cry it out. It was really just a matter of being with her and helping her settle without ever have to get upset and demand it from me, ya know?

It worked for us...too well, in fact. Now I can't even get her to take a nap with me!
AbbieB's Avatar AbbieB
05:27 AM Liked: 47
#21 of 22
09-28-2007 | Posts: 2,222
Joined: Mar 2006
I remember going through this with DD.

What worked for me was turning my back (plus it allowed me to sleep hugging a pillow...ahhhhhhhh!) and using my pinky as a transitional pacifier. When she was asleep enough to have the annoying suck/chew thing I would give her my pinky. It was much easier to slip it, rather than a nipple, out of her mouth as she settled into a nice deep sleep. plus I did not disturb her shifting my whole body away, KWIM?
Iamhappy2BAmom's Avatar Iamhappy2BAmom (TS)
09:47 PM Liked: 0
#22 of 22
09-28-2007 | Posts: 203
Joined: Oct 2006
I've been trying the turning back thing the last few nights making sure she was asleep but she get's up. She really cuddles up to my back and starts to grope for a nipple.

I've also tried slipping my finger in her mouth and 3 other types of pacifiers and depending which method I used- she usually figured it out within a minute.

I did try the nurse,burp, lay her down. But I must say I barely lasted 3 hours before I gave up... Maybe that was the problem...

No- my nipples hurt in general from her refusal to let it go. B/c I've been trying to unlatch her when she is asleep she has learned to clamp down more so my nipple "wont get away." OUCH! But yes I unlatch first before attempting to take my nipple out at different speeds.
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