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Thread: Feeling the need to wean (10 months)

  1. #1
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    Default Feeling the need to wean (10 months)

    Hi All, I have posted a few times and you all have been such a support. My daughter is 10 months old, and I am feeling very, very run down and would like to wean. I emotionally wish to continue but I feel physically beat. Right now I have mastitis for the 4th time and it hurts so much. I think part of the reason I have had so many bouts is that I am just not getting sleep. My daughter was never a great sleeper but as she got older it got worse and worse, and now we're at the every hour stage for night nursings. We co-sleep but My back hurts, I'm uncomfortable, and always tired. If her father tries to help her she screams for me which makes me feel horrible and sad and then I take her back. I thought the all night nursings were reverse cycling due to my working, but right now I'm on winter break (I'm a teacher) and she's getting as much as she wants during the day and still not sleeping any better.

    I would like to wean because I just feel so run down and I feel if I don't do something it will just get worse.

    At the same time, I feel so stuck because she completely refuses formula (I tried it and don't blame her - it doesn't taste good). Could I wean her without her going on formula if she's under a year? She doesn't like cow's milk either- I gave her the first taste this week just to see. Also, she's had bouts of minor constipation and I hate the thought of her getting worse without the breast milk. But I really, really need to sleep now. I feel my health spiraling downhill.

    I love her so much, and loved components of the nursing. I feel like if I'm going to do something this is a good opportunity since I'm on break and have time to devote.

    I'm scared it will psychologically damage her also. Last night we tried having my husband help her, rocking her, bouncing her, and after 5 min of screaming for me, I nursed her. The rest of the night she would once in a while make a crying sound in her sleep - it was so sad. And then today she was extra cuddly/clingy.

    What do you think I can do? Is there any way to wean her now while still preserving our attachment and also keeping her healthy?

    Thanks so much for your thoughts,
    W

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Feeling the need to wean (10 months)

    Mama, there is no garauntee that if you wean her that she will sleep through the night. And if you wean her before her 1st B-day it HAS to be to formula as they are not supposed to drink Cow's milk before their 1st B-day as their gut isn't ready for it.
    Also you are SOOO close. Is there any way you can hold out for 8 more weeks and then begin the process of night weaning her? I just think before the year point what she needs in terms of milk is what she needs. How are things going with solids? How much solid food is she eating? Because I think about her 1st year molars breaking, and the idea that she is going to wake up less when those huge teeth are breaking, doesn't sound realistic to me. What will happen is you will have one less tool in your mothering arsenal when she is waking and in pain. And you will likely have to get up and mix and warm up bottles so I don't think you will get MORE sleep. I think you will get less. Up every hour usually means teeth. Have you tried giving her any pain meds to see if you can get a longer stretch out of her? I think that we all reach a point near breaking when we are getting up every hour to nurse. I encourage you to NAP during the day right now while you can. And see if after you nurse her down is you get up and go sleep in a separate space if THAT gets you a longer stretch because perhaps she won't wake as soon if she can't smell you. BUT in general I encourage you to be patient and empathetic. The pain of teething in an infants life is literally the worse pain most of them have ever experienced. And they are coping the best way they know how. I KNOW this period of time seems long. But I think you will kick yourself later for quitting so close to the year point. When you have a supply and it's clearly so important to your baby.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Feeling the need to wean (10 months)

    you are almost there, mama. do not quit now.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Feeling the need to wean (10 months)

    Hang in there, Wendy300! I was in your shoes last year, except our wakings were every 45 minutes. DS, DH, and me got all kinds of crazy illnesses last winter, though thankfully not everybody got every illness (every stomach bug, pneumonia, food poisoning, ear infections, colds, you name it). I know you are tired. I know it is difficult when baby wants YOU and only YOU in the middle of the night. I agree that you should change something, but before weaning, I would look and see what else you can change. How can you get more rest? Can you use pillows to support your back at night and between your knees to make you more comfortable? Can you nap with your baby while you are on break? Can your DH take your baby so you can nap on weekends or can he take your DD so you can sleep in on weekends? Can you go to bed at the same time as your DD? What else can you do to maximize your rest?

    I agree with djs.mom: night weaning does not necessarily mean a reduction in night wakings, particularly with the one year molars coming. My DS had monthly ear infections last winter, and they were horrible because he wouldn't nurse to sleep with the night wakings, which meant I had to get up and rock him back to sleep every time he was up. I didn't think it was possible, but I was so, so much more tired after those nights than after the "usual" night where i was up every 45-60 minutes.

    If you can, stick it out for the next 8 weeks, even if you do it day by day. DS started sleeping better after the 1 year molars were in. He's still up at night, but usually not as much as before. You can do it, mama! Just try to find creative ways to rest as much as possible, and make sure you are eating as healthfully as possible to help your energy levels (not easy with a baby, I know!).
    Mom to a spirited DS1, born 2/21/2011, and DS2, born 7/3/2014.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Feeling the need to wean (10 months)

    I bet your baby's first year molars are coming in. If that's the case, weaning will not get you more sleep, it will just mean you don't have the magic cure-all of nursing to quiet and calm her and relieve her pain. I know it's exhausting, believe me I know. But you are so close. You can do this, mama.

    Have you tried a bit of tylenol or motrin right before bed to see if that gets you one long stretch of sleep at the beginning of the night? If that works, you'll know it's teething that's the problem.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Feeling the need to wean (10 months)

    with the PPs. I hate to say it, because your post sounds so... Exhausted. But weaning doesn't necessarily translate into more sleep or less need. It just removes that one sure tool you have for dealing with night-waking.

    I'd read up on the Dr. Jay Gordon night-weaning method: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html He recommends trying it only after 12 months.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Feeling the need to wean (10 months)

    Hi All, thank you for your replies. I'm just worried that the longer I wait the harder it will be. I haven't changed anything yet. I will try to sleep in a different room for part of the night tonight. My daughter has 4 teeth right now. She's rubbing her upper mouth, and sometimes she puts her hands on her cheeks now. I will try Tylenol too. I have given it before but have been hesitant to give her meds regularly. Do the one year molars almost always come in by one year? Sorry for the dumb question. Also, if in 8 weeks I wean her, what liquids are okay for her to drink? What if she doesn't like milk, is that okay? Thank you for your responses. Last night she woke up about 10 times.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Feeling the need to wean (10 months)

    The one year molars come in by age... 2. Seriously, they can take f.o.r.e.v.e.r. My kids both got them at around 18-24 months, but they were late teethers who didn't get their first tooth until 8-9 months. I hate to tell you that, but... Yeah.

    If you wean at age one, your LO can have water or whole cow/goat milk. Kids should never get juice or soda except for a special treat- those beverages are super-bad for their teeth, and it's always better to eat a whole fruit than to drink the juice.

    ETA: Weaning doesn't necessarily get harder the longer you wait. If you nurse long enough, kids actually self-wean. IMHO, 10-12 months is actually the hardest time to wean a child- she's still extremely dependent on the breast for nutrition and comfort, and strong-willed enough that she won't give up without a fight. But weaning, even mother-led weaning, gets easier in the second or third year because you can offer substitutes for the breast and reason with your child.
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; December 28th, 2012 at 06:01 PM.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Feeling the need to wean (10 months)

    Here the thing, I am not recommending that you wean by year. I am suggesting you wait another 8 weeks to begin night weaning her. And IME 1st year molars ususally break right around the year point and take 6-8weeks to come in. They could be late. But if your baby already has 4 teeth, they probably won't be. AND once they break her nursing should calm down significantly. I believe the year point is where weaning should BEGIN. I asked about what solids she is eating. The more she is eating, the smoother and easier the transition will be. And for as long as she is nursing 3-5times in a 24hour period you don't need to worry about other milk. So while you are working on night weaning, as long as she is getting that much from you in addition to her solids, there is no pressure around replacement milk. It's only after you have found a reasonable substitute for your milk that works for you then you get rid of the last of her milk.

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Feeling the need to wean (10 months)

    Hi, thanks for all your opinions. I feel so confused, and also conflicted, when it comes to the right thing to do in respect to weaning. Wishing I could continue, but feeling exhausted. I'd feel fine with any combination that just gave me a little more rest and still was healthy for her. Right now, she's eating solids pretty well. When I'm at work, she eats 2 ounces of my expressed milk, plus a few sips of water, plus one meal of baby food in the morning. She comes to the school where I work during my 30 minutes lunch break and I spend that time with her. Sometimes she'll nurse well and other times she's too distracted. Then in the afternoon with the sitter she gets another few ounces of baby food or so, another 2 ounces of milk, and then I pick her up and nurse her at 3:30. There are usually a few more nursing sessions before bed. The part that stresses me out to no end, that I just hate, is that I'm pumping once I get home, and spending 45 minutes of time I could be bonding with her or preparing something to eat but am at the pump instead. I can't pump at work....I thought of every way possible but I just can't and have given up even trying. It won't happen.

    Again last night she was up hourly or more and I feel exhausted today. I'm was thinking of trying tonight going into a separate room from 3 am to 8 am since my husband has a day off tomorrow and so do I. Here are my ideas right now as far as these next few weeks or months:

    do not stop nursing her when she demands it at night - but try the separate room thing once in a while for a block of time, and hubby can bring her to me if she seems to need to nurse. See if that leads to fewer awakenings and some more sleep for us. Also, stop the pumping which would mean no more 4 ounces of BM while I'm at work. Since she'd still be getting 3-5 nursings at other times, would this be okay, and just a little water if she's thirsty with solids??

    Again thank you so much for your advice.

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