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Thread: Losing steam...

  1. #1
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    Default Losing steam...

    My little lactivore is 14 months ( can't believe we've made it this far) and is nursing around 8-10 times a day when I'm home all day (this is down from 10-12 times a day a couple months ago). He is in daycare 3x a week while I'm at work and I send 13-15 ounces (whatever I pump at work) for the day. He is pretty hit or miss with solids. He always eats breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a couple small snacks. Sometimes he eats more than my husband during a meal, but sometimes he just picks at his food a little bit and wants to go play after a few bites. He is anemic and on an iron supplement. He gets constipated easily, even without the supplement, but does not seem to be in pain from it. Because of the anemia and constipation, I am reluctant to introduce cow's milk just yet (although I will eventually as this is what the rest of us in the house drink).

    I absolutely love nursing my little guy, but I'm feeling a little drained lately. I'm thinking about dropping a pumping session.* Do you think it is okay if I send 10ish ounces and have him take water with his lunch, even though he doesn't always eat well? He usually nurses once overnight, once in the morning, and 2-3x from the time we get home to the time he goes to bed. I've seen that technically he should be okay without expressed milk if he is nursing 3-4x at home, but I doubt that would be sufficient for him. He will nurse all. night. long if he doesn't get what he deems enough milk during the day, and I would rather pump during the few days I work than stay up all night to nurse.

    He's been working on his first set of molars since he turned 12 months. I think the last molar is about to cut through, and I can already see his canine teeth bulging around the gum line. I don't feel like I should start setting limits on nursing while he is teething, but eventually I would like to ease up on some of the nursing sessions a little bit. I think that this may happen naturally because he does cut down on nursing a little bit in between each tooth eruption, so maybe I'm worrying prematurely. Plus, cutting out one pumping session may be enough to rejuvenate me. However, I'm tired enough right now that I'm just looking for a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm curious how long some of you have continued to nurse on demand, and at what age you started to set some limits on nursing?

    Sorry this is so long and rambly. Did I mention I'm tired?

    Thanks in advance for any advice or encouragement!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Losing steam...

    You have been doing a GREAT JOB pumping for this long!! I stopped pumping for Lilah at around 14 months and for Trixie a bit before 12 months, so I hear you.

    You could drop one of those pumping sessions easily.

    With Lilah I nursed on demand almost until she weaned at 2 years old. I am still nursing Trixie on demand right now, at night and Friday through Sunday. I might implement some limits closer to 18 months or maybe 15 months. I haven't felt the need yet.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Losing steam...

    First of all, I the term "lactivore." That is so awesome.

    Fourteen months was a "needy" nursing period for Joe, and I was pretty burned out. It got better quickly after that, though.

    You could totally drop a pumping session! With all of that nursing, your baby doesn't need any kind of replacement milk unless you want to try cow's milk. Just water and solids should be fine (my lil' guy is a picky eater too, so I get that concern, but I don't think a few ounces of breastmilk will make much difference and maybe he'll branch out into some new solids).


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Losing steam...

    Thank you both for your wisdom! I really shouldn't be complaining; just a month ago he was waking up every two hours (a voracious nocturnal lactivore, if you will), so you'd think waking up only once or twice at night would be a dream come true! And honestly it is, I think I'm just exhausted from a multitude of things going on right now and I guessing it is the pumping that is exacerbating the problem not the nursing.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommy2lilah View Post
    You could drop one of those pumping sessions easily.
    This is pretty much what I needed to hear.

    I think that I will go ahead and drop the one pumping session. I hate pumping, so it is very possible that all I need right now is a little less pumping in my life. Plus, I am starting to fixate on all of the things that I could be getting done rather than pumping (I do pump hands-free, but just taking the break and getting set up sucks up time). I am in awe of the all the moms out there who do this full time! I've toyed with the idea of pump weaning altogether, but, as sappy as it may be, there is this part of me that feels like sending milk to daycare gives me some small connection to him while I'm at work so I'm not ready to let it go entirely.

    The weird thing about solids is that he's really into some pretty odd things for a one year old. When he's in the mood he loves things like ginger glazed salmon, chicken piccata, balsamic roasted vegetables, etc. The problem is that he is only in the mood for food about 50% percent of our mealtimes. I'm afraid that he might lose his enthusiasm for fine dining if I try to coerce him into eating, so nursing has really given us the latitude we need to let him take the reins and eat as much or as little as he likes. Hooray for toddler nursing!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joe.s.mom View Post
    First of all, I the term "lactivore." That is so awesome.
    Thanks, me too. It's so appropriate for my little guy.

    Fourteen months was a "needy" nursing period for Joe, and I was pretty burned out. It got better quickly after that, though.
    I needed to hear this too! Mine seems to be much clingier than usual lately (not just with nursing), so I wouldn't be surprised if he is going through a bit of a needy phase that will eventually pass.

    Thanks again! I feel much better from hearing from those who have BTDT!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Losing steam...

    Hi! Sounds like you are doing wonderfully, though I hear you on the worn-out part. We are just about to cross the 1 year mark and I am sick of being hungry ALL THE TIME. But that's beside the point I guess. Anyhow, I do have two suggestions for you:
    1) i just read "How to get your kid to eat but not too much" -- if you havent, I suggest it. If you can get past her apparent neutrality about formula feeding and old fashioned advice on weaning/solid introductions, she has some useful ideas about feeding kids. The main take-away is that kids will self regulate based on their awareness of their own hunger, and that parents are responsible for providing good foods, but not for making their kids eat. It has helped me relax about solids as I face toddlerhood, and to feel confident we will be able to work out the solid-food equivalent of cue feeding for the next developmental stage.
    2) are you taking iron, too? When I get worn out like you sound, I pretty routinely show low hemoglobin levels, and a few weeks of Floridix can make a big difference in my energy levels. B12 helps, too. I wondered bc your LO needs the iron; you might, too.
    Kate

    Mother to a sweet boy, born at 34 weeks on 2/11/11.
    Proud that I grew 26 lbs of baby before solids, and still counting...

    We received banked milk in the NICU. Thank you, donors!!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Losing steam...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*katmar View Post
    We are just about to cross the 1 year mark and I am sick of being hungry ALL THE TIME.
    No kidding! It's like there is not enough food on the planet to satiate my appetite.

    The main take-away is that kids will self regulate based on their awareness of their own hunger, and that parents are responsible for providing good foods, but not for making their kids eat.
    This sounds like what we have been doing. I enjoy cooking and we usually eat healthy foods, so my approach to solids has been to give my little foodie-in-training some of whatever we are eating and let him decide what to do with it. His solid food consumption has certainly improved since we started solids, but I'm not comfortable relying on solids alone for complete nutrition quite yet as I never know how much he will decide to eat at any given meal. I'm not too worried about it because he's still pretty young and he is making progress, albeit fairly slowly. My plan is to continue to take a "hands off" approach so that he doesn't feel pressure to eat and associate mealtimes with tension/stress/anxiety as a result. My only real concern with this is that he gets enough milk to fill in the blanks, particularly when we are apart as I would really like to cut down on some of the pumping.

    are you taking iron, too? When I get worn out like you sound, I pretty routinely show low hemoglobin levels, and a few weeks of Floridix can make a big difference in my energy levels. B12 helps, too. I wondered bc your LO needs the iron; you might, too.
    Good thinking! I tend toward low hemoglobin myself, so an iron supplement for me is an excellent idea. My levels were good during pregnancy so I didn't really think about it, but I've had two surgeries since then, both involving significant blood loss and pretty intensive recovery, so I wouldn't be surprised if my hemoglobin has tanked.

    Thanks for the response; this is all very helpful!

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