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I am happily nursing my 22 month old. We co-sleep and he nurses on demand throughout the evening. Don't get me wrong--there are times when he reaches for me for the 7th time at night and I ask myself why I haven't night-weaned, but for the most part I feel that it is clearly something he still needs and I am happy to be able to provide it for him.<br>
However, I have made an appointment for him to see a pediatric dentist on Monday, because I can see the tell-tale "white lesions" on his teeth and I am certain they are early childhood caries. He also has brown spots in his molars which are likely cavities.<br>
I have done my research and know that BFing itself does not cause caries, and I know that we were not vigilant about brushing his teeth up to this point, which undoubtedly contributed to the caries.<br>
I'm just dreading the appointment. I know she is going to tell me I have to stop night-nursing, and I don't know how to respond. I feel so incredibly guilty about the cavities, and I am sick thinking about the work that he might have to have done on his teeth.<br>
I also keep reading about other children much younger than my DS who begin to self-wean on their own, and it seems as if my DS will NEVER do that. He still nurses several times a day and throughout the night.<br>
Am I doing something wrong? Should I be encouraging him to be more independent? i just feel terribly insecure right now. Someone tell me to buck up! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Thanks for reading.
 

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Ah, I can't tell you to buck up because I seriously hate that phrase! It's what people say to their kids around here to get them to stop crying, "suck it up", and stop bothering them!<br><br>
No, you shouldn't be encouraging him to be more independent. He'll want to be soon enough, trust me. I thought D would never, ever stop nursing all night. I nightweaned him successfully at about 27 mos. He still nurses to sleep every night (just turned 3) and he is about the most independent kid I know, actually.<br><br>
As for the caries, I have no advice...other than to resist the urge to give that information to your dentist. Do you have a feeling that she will ask? Around here a dentist wouldn't "assume" I was still nursing a toddler, so they wouldn't ask if he nursed at night. They may ask if he drinks a lot of juice or takes a sippy cup.<br><br>
If she does ask and/or presses the point, offer her some research if you are comfortable doing so. Don't let her make you feel guilty or bully you into even saying you're going to try to wean him. You know it's not the bf'ing causing the caries; even if she disagrees, you still know it's not the bf'ing. You can just say something like "we won't be weaning, but we will be more vigilant about brushing" or something like that.
 

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MY daughter nursed night and day like crazy. Eventually, she slowed down after age two, but didn't wean until 3 1/2. She did have Early Childhood Caries (cavities). I did a lot of reading, research, and discovered that it's not a breastmilk-caused issue. But I also did dread what a dentist would say. Fortunately, the dentist mentioned "milk pooling on the teeth at night" but I didn't find that realistic. He mentioned it and then the conversation moved on. We did have to take her to the hospital at 18 months for dental surgery. (She was in a bad way, poor thing!)<br><br>
But I feel like I parent the way I believe to be the best for our family. We make deciison to vaccinate or not, to co-sleep or not, to nurse, etc. We make these educated choices with MUCH love. I can't neccessarily agree with what an old dentist learned ages ago in dental school if I am reading new studies on the subject that contradict him.<br><br>
I also had a lot of cavities when I was young, people believe it can be hereditary. This makes me feel better since I never gave my daughter sweets and brushed her 3 or 4 times/day.<br><br>
After having gone through the huge and awful ordeal with my daughter, it actually happened again!! We had another baby and at 24 months she had the surgery, too!!!!!!!!! We were EXTRA EXTRA careful after having gone through this already. But here we were, another hospital trip for tooth issues.<br><br>
We were soooo surprised. SOOOOOOOOO sad. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> We were so careful with her, too.<br><br>
You will have doctors, dentists, friends, relatives with opinions that differ wiht yours. As a parent, you just have to know what is best for YOU and YOUR family.<br><br>
READ, RESEARCH, and STAY CONFIDENT!<br><br>
It sounds like it's not the time to wean... Your baby will be so relieved to nurse as he is going through and recovering from dental work. You are doing a good job!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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Two things. You know it is probably not the night nursing that caused the cavities but I totally understand that you need some other people to back you up - you are right!<br><br>
My daughter at 22, 24, 25, months old was nursing like that at night. I mean 7, 10 times. I thought I would die. All of a sudden at 26/27 months she is down to maybe three and I can tell her it is time for mommy to roll over and she will unlatch and then fall asleep on her own. I just started being able to just hug her back to sleep when she wakes up too. So there is light at the end of the tunnel.
 
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