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Thread: Made it to 1 year! Some questions.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    22

    Default Made it to 1 year! Some questions.

    So I guess I'm officially nursing a toddler! My little man just turned one. I can't believe we've been nursing 12 months and I'm now looking ahead on what to expect with keeping going. I never really had a set plan when we started. I took a great BF class before giving birth that really got me excited about nursing. I guess starting out I probably thought I wanted to at least make it to six months, but as I learned more getting to one year made much more sense. For the most part, our experience has been an absolute dream. I was able to nurse DS pretty much right after delivery and although he was a peanut at 5lbs, 11oz, he took to it like a pro. When we left the hospital he weighed in at 5lbs, 4oz, and within four days at our first doctor visit, he had returned to birth weight and thensome, 6lbs, 2 oz! Amazing the power of breastmilk! Now that we've hit the one year mark, I have some questions/concerns going forward that I'm hoping you ladies can help me sort out.

    As of right now, I'm a SAHM (wow, feels great to say that!). I work in education and am going into my second year of child-rearing leave. If I want to keep my job, I would have to return to work by September 2012. I actually put in to return this January, but have the option to extend my leave to the fall, which most likely is what I'm going to do. At this point, I'm not really looking to rush into weaning, but I guess I am thinking about having DS completely weaned by the time I return to work, and possibly before. I guess right now I am willing to go to 18 months, and am open to going further but not sure. Right now I'm just going with the flow and thinking about things, with no set plan. I guess to some extent, we have weaned quite a bit, since DS eats solids like a champ and we no longer nurse every two hours. In a way, we're kind of doing a "don't offer, don't refuse" thing during the day, but in all honesty my DS doesn't really "ask" too much. If he does I can usually distract him, but I usually just nurse him, since he really doesn't nurse too often during the day. I think it's usually when he's tired or just wants to reconnect, and he's so sweet and non-pushy about it, how can I deny him?! So we generally nurse right before wake-up (around 6am), then before morning nap, then sometimes after lunch or before afternoon nap (if he takes one), then before bed. Night time is a different story! DS still wakes pretty frequently. We go thru phases. He was giving me a good 3 to 4 hour stretch, but now we're back to every two hours waking up. We used to exclusively co-sleep, and now we co-sleep and crib sleep. He starts out in his crib and at some point usually ends up in our bed. I just can't commit to keeping him in the crib all night, when I'm tired it's usually so much easier to just go get him and bring him to bed. I would rather be awake horizontal in bed than sitting up in the rocker! But in the last few months, he's been a real PITA in our bed, rolling all around, climbing on me, ect., whereas in the past he used to just snuggle up and go to sleep. This behavior causes me to be wide awake, because although we have a guard rail I still feel I have to monitor him and it's like a battle sometimes; he sits up, I lay him down, he crawls to the end of the bed, I pull him back up. When he does this sometimes I just try to put him back in the crib. However, he has been and is still nursed to sleep, so I can't just put him down. He needs to be held and rocked. There are times that when he wakes at night I can just rock him and he doesn't request nursing, however, if he's fidgity I nurse him, especially if he's playing his rolling games in our bed. I really resort to the boob as a tool, even though to some extent I would like to night wean him in the hopes he would sleep for longer stretches. Again, I just can't commit or just am not ready. I guess I'm far too lazy, nursing is just too easy!

    I guess what I'm worried about is, by not making more of an attempt to cut out the night nursing, am I prolonging it? And I guess an even bigger concern is, since he is nursed to sleep for naps and bedtime, how am I going to make the transition for him to fall asleep without nursing? I think this is the thought that concerns me the most. I would love to hear how some of you have made this transition. I'm not ready to stop nursing altogether, but don't necessarily see myself nursing past 18 months to 2 years, and kind of feel I need a plan. As of right now, I'm not ready to commit to more active weaning, as I think DS is not ready and it will be a struggle that just isn't worth it right now. But I do think I need to look ahead. DS will fall asleep without nursing if rocked in his stroller or carried in the ERGO. But at night, he only wants me. Gets all worked up when DH goes in to get him. DH gets upset because as soon as he hands DS over to me, he immediately stops crying.

    If you've made it this far, thanks for reading and letting me get some of my thoughts out. Please share your experiences on where you are in this journey and any insights and advice.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Made it to 1 year! Some questions.

    Happy birthday to your son! My DD just turned 1 as well and it sounds like the night-time situation at our houses is very similar, except that DD's crib is set-up right next to our bed. The only thing I am doing to promote night weaning (though I know that is a long way off for us) is to make a goal to settle her once at night without nursing. That usually involves snuggling her on my chest and then just letting her sleep there until the next waking. It can be hard right now because she has molars coming in, so I am trying to be sensitive to that. If she really needs to nurse, no way am I going to deny her, but it does feel to me that waking every two hours is more of a habit right now than a need for more calories.

    Anyway, I'll be watching your thread here and hoping some more experienced moms have answers for you (and me )

    BTW, have you looked into Jay Gordon's night weaning method? I haven't done it, obviously, but it gets good reviews from people around here who are familiar with it. Here's a link for you: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
    -Hannah

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Made it to 1 year! Some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lizziesmom View Post
    Happy birthday to your son! My DD just turned 1 as well and it sounds like the night-time situation at our houses is very similar, except that DD's crib is set-up right next to our bed. The only thing I am doing to promote night weaning (though I know that is a long way off for us) is to make a goal to settle her once at night without nursing. That usually involves snuggling her on my chest and then just letting her sleep there until the next waking. It can be hard right now because she has molars coming in, so I am trying to be sensitive to that. If she really needs to nurse, no way am I going to deny her, but it does feel to me that waking every two hours is more of a habit right now than a need for more calories.

    Anyway, I'll be watching your thread here and hoping some more experienced moms have answers for you (and me )

    BTW, have you looked into Jay Gordon's night weaning method? I haven't done it, obviously, but it gets good reviews from people around here who are familiar with it. Here's a link for you: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
    And a happy birthday to your DD! I have seen the Dr. Gordon page and it sounds good, something I may try, but I guess I'm not ready yet. It's just so much easier to give in and nurse, especially at 2 am when I'm half asleep. If it's a difference of nursing for 2 minutes and rocking, or just rocking for 40 minutes or more, I'm going with the 2 minutes, lol!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Made it to 1 year! Some questions.

    This sounds pretty typical. It sounds like that would be difficult for him to be awake moving around a lot at night. He might be ready to give one of his naps up and try to get him outside and playing while the weather is still nice and see if he is more tired out. As far as nap time without nursing to sleep for me that went pretty smoothly I didn't do anything. I mostly worked nights but when my son was about 22 months I started a job working 2 times a week during the day and My caregivers (my sister and mother) always said he would lay right down with them no problems. My son didn't like the bottle and stopped taking it at about a year at which time I pump weaned so if he wasn't with me he would usually just get water or whole milk (which he didn't really take to much). My mom would be so concerned saying he didn't eat hardly anything I would just smile. My son is really big for his age and always has been he would nurse at home before we would leave and first thing when we got back home. Its the best way to reconnect. I would recommend the book How Weaning Happens. Even if your not looking to wean it gives great ideas for making nursing manageable so you can continue to nurse ie night weaning. I think my son night weaned gradually over that second year but he would have set backs when he was teething or sick when he wanted to nurse. It's totally possible to continue nursing after returning to work and also very rewarding. Also like I said I work two nights a week so when I am gone my son is pretty good for DH but when I am home he wants me that's normal. Actually now that my son is older turned 3 in August he is much more of a Daddy's boy. The other night my husband stayed up late and didn't want to disturb us so he slept in my son's room which he doesn't ever sleep in because he sleeps right next to me and my son woke up and asked where Daddy was and I said he's in your bed he got up walked across the hall in the dark to sleep with my husband for several hours then woke again early morning and came back to where I was sleeping. Those are bittersweet moments because you're proud there getting so big and independent but also sad that they're getting so independent and growing up so quickly.
    Did this for 9months with Kailey and Hailey
    who are now 8.

    weaned Dane somewhere around 3.5 no longer he likes to sleep with his sisters He's now 5

    Now I am , , My baby Cruz who is almost 6 months and my last baby

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Made it to 1 year! Some questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*NikS819 View Post
    If it's a difference of nursing for 2 minutes and rocking, or just rocking for 40 minutes or more, I'm going with the 2 minutes, lol!
    This is exactly what has kept me from actively pursuing night weaning, and what has kept us in a family bed situation. I figure DD will grow out of her night waking eventually so, in the meantime, I really don't feel like doing the work. If you're fine with the situation right now, I don't feel like there is anything wrong with nursing to sleep. I'd bet that by the time you return to work, LO will improve his sleep on his own without you having to do anything. Personally, I would try to just go with the flow of what your son seems to need, without necessarily trying to follow a long-term "plan" for weaning.

    Maybe you could offer to nurse more during the day and see if he wants to nurse less at night, since he's not "pushy" and doesn't ask very much (This has not worked for us, but I guess it's worth a try.)

    Some people have tried a mattress on the floor for a squirmy baby/toddler. That way you can nurse him to sleep lying down without then having to move him between beds. Then you can either stay there or move back to your own bed.
    -Hannah

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010


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