Pregnant, nursing aversion...help
I have a 3.5 year old daughter (will be 4 in January) and amexpecting our second in December.
We have a family bed and have been nursing (mostlydryly…oww!) at bedtime, 2-3 times during the night and upon waking.
5 nights ago I decided it was time to stop night nursing,for my comfort (it is excruciating now and I can only bear 5 minutes at a time)and so that when baby 2 comes in December she will (in theory) be used to no“neh-neh” at night and hopefully not correlate it to the new baby and his nightnursing needs.
Our issue is that it’s going horribly. We still nurse atnight (not to sleep but for 10-15 minutes and then I say all done and shestops) and I have said (during the day when we talk about it and at bedtime asa reminder) “my neh-nehs will go to sleep too and we can nurse more when thesun comes up” and remind her now that she’s bigger and 3 that we need to rollover and go back to sleep when we wake up when its nighttime). I repeat the“neh-neh’s sleeping” statement when she wakes up and offer to snuggle her/rubher back/hold her in the crook of an arm or sing her a little song to help hergo back.
Nights 1 and 2 were ok, she woke but said “alright” when Ireminded neh nehs were sleeping and rolled over/slept, nights 3-5 have beenawful. Last night she woke 4 times, instantly crying and angry, kicking and notletting me comfort her – asking for her dolly and snuggling with the doll.
This is breaking my heart. I never wanted to force weaning(thus why we’ve persevered so long) and I wanted it to be natural, herchoice…but I feel like for my health/sleep/sanity and the balance of our familywhen # 2 comes, we need to work on this sooner than later, as I don’t want herto correlate this big change to the inevitable #2 baby big change.
She’s never clung to a lovey/doll more than a day for play,but lately this one little dolly is attached to her, she mothers it constantlyand is always nursing it….my mom says this is a healthy way of her dealing withher emotions around our reduced nursing, kind of “playing it out” but I(through a thick lens of mom guilt) see it as her clinging to a thing she’s notready to let go and telling me that through her actions.
Please mommies who have been here before, am I doing theright thing? I still love nursing her (excluding the pain) and I still want tonurse for nap/bed time and mornings (even when 2 comes, I’m open to limitedtandem nursing). Her angry/sobbing reaction to it at night is killing me, andof course, we’re all so tired which doesn’t help. She rarely cries, is a “toughcookie” even though I encourage her to express her feelings,saying/narrating “you’remad/sad/frustrated” when she’s acting out….
Should I be letting her nurse to sleep instead of stoppingbefore she’s asleep? Maybe I’m trying too many changes in our nursingrelationship at once? (falling asleep without nursing is about a month old andshe’s NOT a fan, doesn’t cry but asks for more nurse at least 5-7 times beforefalling asleep).
Or maybe offer daytime nursing? I don’t offer/don’t refuseduring the day and we haven’t day nursed (other than to sleep at naps) in ages
I just feel like crap about it. Doubting my weaning decisionin a big way, which of course, in full pregnancy hormone swing, is making meless excited (horrible statement) and anxious about our next baby…
I only have a moment (typing one handed while bfing) but I wanted to say - you are doing the right thing. Extended breastfeeding is a good thing as long as it is working well for your whole family. My other thought is that it is totally normal for her to be upset, you are not doing permanent emotional harm or anything, but perhaps it's time for your partner to step into a more active nighttime parenting role? It can help if the person offering soothing (rocking, singing, back patting) is not the same person telling her "no". Besides that, it may just take a week or two before she gets used to the new normal. HTH!
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