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He's happy with our nursing relationship, but I'm not

445 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Ravin
Just within the past month or so, I have become less enthusiastic about nursing DS (21 m.o.). I'm hoping some of the wise mamas here can help me find some renewed enthusiasm or do some fine tuning so I can continue to enjoy nursing as much as DS does.

The things that seem to be setting me off and making me unbelievably irritated are the following.

We continue to co-sleep and night nurse. While I have felt comfortable with DS waking 1-3 times a night, nursing, and going back to sleep, new patterns have begun to emerge over the past few months. It almost seems like nursing sometimes wakes him up completely, rather than putting him back to sleep. (I am not jumping in too soon, I wait until he asks for bubbas to nurse him.) Instead of nursing for 10-20 minutes, and allowing me to unlatch him so we can both fall asleep, he will nurse for 45 minutes or longer, and howl like a banshee if I try to unlatch him. Great, gulping, inconsolable sobs. If I don't nurse him, he demands that DH take him to the guest room so they can sleep there together, without me.
He is also waking at 4:30-5 a.m., so the extended nursing sessions at least twice a night are killing me.

I'm also having issues with his latch. He starts to doze while he is nursing, and will hold onto the nipple with his teeth so it doesn't fall out. During the day, he does this as well - if something distracts him, he will grab the nipple with his teeth so he can hold onto it while he whips his head around. We've talked about it, and he knows it hurts me - he will look at the bubba and say "bite, hurts mama" and pat me... and then go right back to doing it.

Twiddling is another maddening habit. I've been working with him to stop this for at least a month now, and all he does as a result is make a game out of it. He will shake his head "no" (while he's nursing on one side) while twiddling the other. If I remove his hand, he will hit me, playfully, but still hitting. He will use his foot instead of his hand and rub his foot across my nipple. It's making me absolutely NUTS.

Finally, I'm frustrated at his nursing demands lately. He won't take "no" for an answer, will sob if I ask him to wait for even a minute (while I do something nonessential like pee
, and demands to nurse anytime he encounters the smallest trauma or frustration. It could be three times in ten minutes.

I want to be able to comfort him in ways other than nursing, and I want nursing to be comfortable for me when we do nurse, but I don't seem to be making any progress with either of those goals. It's hard, because nursing is becoming a battleground; instead of feeling more connected to DS through nursing, it makes me feel more and more detached from him.

He is not ready to wean, and I'm not sure I am either. Can anyone offer any suggestions?

I have loved nursing, and it's distressing to me that I currently feel so negative about it.

As far as I can tell, he has no teeth coming in. He is healthy, and there are no unusual stresses in his life.

All thoughts are welcome.
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Set limits. If he throws a temper tantrum because you want to pee before you nurse him, oh, well. He'll calm down when you're done peeing. Make him latch off and take a break (could be as short as 20 seconds, but longer if he does it again immediately) when he bites/twiddles, etc. It's okay, imo, to set physical limits around yourself and to refuse to allow him to breach those limits.

And I'd offer to nurse him as soon as he stirs, rather than waiting for him to wake up and ask. My DD nurses less if she doesn't wake completely, but ALWAYS nurses to fall asleep except in the car or at her dcp's.

And I wouldn't curb comfort nursing. Let him use that way to reconnect with you as long as he needs. You can practice other comfort measures when he's upset because you've refused to nurse because he clamped down w/ his teeth or started twiddling.
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