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Thread: 9 mo must nurse to sleep - how can I get away to work?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    168

    Default 9 mo must nurse to sleep - how can I get away to work?

    Hi everyone,

    I have a 9 mo daughter who is a frequent nurser (every hour??), always nurses to sleep, and recently is also becoming upset sometimes when away from me (e.g. when I walk out of the room). I usually work from home, but in the next two months I will need to go in to work some days. The hours are fairly flexible and my husband can bring the baby to me to nurse, but it would really put a wrench in his day, and also interrupt my meetings with supervisors (making me look bad) if he has to do that every hour or every time she wakes up a little.

    Lately it has become more difficult to put her to sleep even nursing, unless we lie down in bed together. Otherwise she is often too stimulated. Also, often she wakes up after one sleep cycle but is still tired, and cries to nurse to fall back asleep for the second half of her nap. I feel like her mood is really dependent on her sleep, and her sleep is really dependent on my being there to nurse her, preferably in a quiet place. She cries for me when she wants to nurse or sleep, or if she wakes up a little bit from a nap, or if I left when she wasn't quite fully asleep (wants to fall into a deep sleep with my nipple in her mouth).

    It would be so nice if DH and baby could stay at home while I go to work for 5 hours, but that doesn't seem at all possible because of her need to nurse so frequently. I also have a 5-day conference coming up in a couple of weeks (here in our city), during which I would like to attend as many sessions as possible, but my husband doesn't want to be stuck hanging around in corridors all day with a baby, waiting for me to show up with my boobs every hour.

    She eats lots of solids, but only nurses to drink. We haven't had any luck introducing a bottle of expressed breast milk, and we haven't tried a sippy cup but she can drink water out of a spoon. Should we be teaching her to take my milk from a cup, and would that cut down on her need to nurse so frequently? Is there anything else we could do so that I can be away from her for longer periods? Part of it may be about increasing my husband's confidence, but it would be such a big help if she didn't want to nurse so often, and didn't need it to fall asleep!

    Sorry for the long post, hope someone can help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: 9 mo must nurse to sleep - how can I get away to work?

    They find their own way. I have worked for a few hours a week with most of my kids. My third would cry if I turnedmy head away from him. He was OK. They worked out their own system, and he even was Ok with a sitter (only this one though)

    I did go to a conference, and DH did take the kids and brought me the baby every few hours. Easier than finding somewhere to pump at this conference.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3

    Default Re: 9 mo must nurse to sleep - how can I get away to work?

    Are you offering the expressed milk or is someone else? I've heard babies will sometimes refuse a bottle when the boob is close by. Have you tried different nipples - some babes are just really picky. At 9 months I would think she could take a sippy cup if you are ok with her using one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: 9 mo must nurse to sleep - how can I get away to work?

    Thanks for your encouragement. My husband tried the sippy cup today when he stayed home with her for 4.5 h while I was in meetings. He said that she drank quite a bit of milk, but the problem was when she was tired and just burst into tears and couldn't fall asleep. He said it took about 30 minutes of carrying her while she screamed, before she fell asleep. Then she would only sleep in his arms so he couldn't put her down. But when I got home she was happily playing in the bath with my husband, and didn't seem to have missed me too much

    We will try again tomorrow and hope that she can fall asleep more easily, perhaps if my husband puts her in the Ergo....

    All that said, it's a rare time she has to cry for 30 minutes and although very difficult for my husband that way, we have friends doing Cry-It-Out and they have a 30 minute crying session every night. I don't feel so bad about her crying in my husband's arms as opposed to alone in a crib....but it is hard on my husband.

    Sure wish men had boobs sometimes!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    45

    Default Re: 9 mo must nurse to sleep - how can I get away to work?

    My baby is 6 months, and experienced a lot of the same things. The sippy trainer by advent is what worked best for her, but even now that I'm back to work she only has 3 oz total from it while I'm away from her, but she comes to nurse over my lunch break. It was a long road before she accepted milk not from the breast, although she is eager for solids. The first time I was away and left her with my husband was so, so hard. She cried a lot, and fought sleeping, and he had to spend a lot of energy on calming her. The second time was much easier. Now when I work she goes with a sitter, who I introduced her to slowly. I really thought she would never sleep, because with me she only sleeps after nursing lying down a lot. But somehow she naps better with the sitter. She does sometimes have to stroll her or bounce her before she'll sleep and one time she needed to hold her for the duration of the nap, but she does sleep regularly and is really happy now. It started off hard, but got better, and she acts much differently for the nanny than she does with me.

  6. #6
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: 9 mo must nurse to sleep - how can I get away to work?

    They'll work it out He'll learn how to soothe her to sleep and she'll learn how to trust him so she can fall asleep without the 'drama'
    Daniel Keith + Rachel Joy = Leonel Dante [4/13/2012]

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 9 mo must nurse to sleep - how can I get away to work?

    CIO is not the same as crying in the arms of a caregiver. If your DH is responsive to her needs which it seems he is, then they will find their own way of doing things. My suggestion is for you to not try to dictate or control how they do things, it will only lead to hurt feelings. Sometimes I teach at night and my DH puts the kids down, DS2 nurses to sleep but my DH gets him down by rocking him....they have to find their own groove.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  8. #8
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: 9 mo must nurse to sleep - how can I get away to work?

    It worked! Last two days she went to sleep easily for my husband, in the Ergo. He didn't try putting her down on the bed yet, but I think the fact she fell asleep so easily after 5 min in the Ergo really was the confidence boost we needed. Thanks everyone.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 9 mo must nurse to sleep - how can I get away to work?

    Great news!
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    168

    Default Re: 9 mo must nurse to sleep - how can I get away to work?

    Just wanted to update on this post, because I know others are likely worried about the same sorts of things. My conference went very well. After the first day, the baby fell asleep easily for my husband in the Ergo, then he would wear her while using the computer or put her down on the bed. He stayed home most of the day with her, and brought her out to the conference once or twice per day on the bus, so that I could nurse her there. It seemed to make more sense than pumping. He gave her a bit of water in a rubbermaid thing with a straw if she was thirsty at home (it was pretty hot). I looked forward to seeing both of them every time, and we had several dinners together at the conference. She loved the avocado sushi, and I loved the fact that someone else was cleaning up the floor! She also went to a poster session with me, but it was too hot in there and she was cranky so I only saw two posters. Thanks to all of you for your encouragement.

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